Travelling is liberating. People talk about why they love travelling and how they travel. In my case, there are two reasons. First, I love to explore things and widen my perspectives. Travelling, for me, is a therapy and it always makes me grateful towards my life for many reasons. Second, I envy my dad’s travel diaries. Perhaps, I fathom, I got that travel-itch in heredity.
Towards the third week of January, I decided to go to Kalinchowk. Again, there are two reasons for this. First, for a getaway through hiking. Second, I was lured by the beauty that this place held and the adventure that it offered.
I was joined by my friend Minu, Diwas-her brother and my cousin Aastha. We had no idea what the place had on offer for us. We started-off our journey at 8 in the morning from Bus park in Kathmandu and reached the Kuri Village at 6 in the evening. The thick forests, rivers and rivulets, stunningly beautiful landscapes and snow-capped Himalayas captivated us throughout the journey. They added a soul to our trip. Meanwhile, it constantly reminded me of the richness of our natural beauty and gave an answer to why travelling Nepal is not just an option but a compulsion.
As you plunge through the journey, the chaos of the urban settlement slowly fades away. With the chill of the wind, the burble of the flowing river and silent, thick pine forest, you experience the utmost peace throughout the trip. (Except when you land up in a seat just below the loudspeaker of the vehicle. Haha! 😀 ). Also, the narrow and treacherous snaking hill road up in 2000 m of height gives you an adrenaline rush. The fear could only be overcome by humming ‘Jai Mata Di’ in your heart or just close down your eyes if you are acrophobic just like me.
Kalinchowk is at a distance of around 10km from Charikot, the district headquarters of Dolakha, which is almost 132 km far from Kathmandu. For a hike to Kalinchowk, Kuri village is the starting point. It is a small village located in the laps of Himalayas. For me, it is more like a far-away wonderland that is often described in fairy-tales. It is magical. It is quite remote; secluded in its own unique way. There were hardly 50 houses, but Kuri was not free from load shedding though.
The cold chill of the wind pierced through our double layered thick woolen jackets. In Kuri, we shared our room with 5 other persons because apparently, this was our only option to rest after the tiring journey. The starry sky and a bonfire in 3 degree Celsius cold very well complemented the moods of people who were there to enjoy and have fun. We decided to sleep early so that we could hike early the next morning. In the morning, it was still dark, and we set off to hike to Kalinchowk Bhagwati temple which is located at the altitude of 3842m from sea-level. The way forward was very slippery due to snowfall and was straight upwards. I would walk some 10 steps and sit down to rest while my cousin would walk 5 more and rest. But, the energy of Minu and Diwas led us to the end point of the hike.
As we moved upwards, the orange-hued rays of sun kissed the entire snow-covered mountains. They glazed in shades of orange and seeing this is literally unexplainable. As the darkness surrendered to the light, these gentle sun-rays brought warmth. The view became clearer. The soft amber of the sunrise glowed through our body as well. The overwhelming expressions of seeing our own country in a way never like before deluged us into extreme joy.
After the hike, we returned to our hotel, had breakfast and set off to enjoy the snow that was literally everywhere. Born in Biratnagar and raised in Kathmandu, I had never seen a snowfall or snow. So, my excitement was far beyond normal. We laughed and giggled, slid through the snow, played in the snow, clicked as many pictures we could and finally geared to return back.
As we return back, I reminisced my journey and this getaway!
It was amazing!
I made memories!
Naturally Nepal! Beautiful Nepal!
Travel makes you awesome!
By Anusha Kadel