Shooting Hoops in the Mountain

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     Chommorong (2,140 m) is a charming Gurung village on the Annapurna Circuit. It is the last stop where you can get proper hot showers and laundry, and the last point to refurbish your much needed supplies, such as batteries, as well as to buy sun glares at Chommorong’s only wholesale shop. After Chommorong, the guesthouses at Sinuwa, Bamboo, Dovan, Deurali, and Himalaya only offer basic necessities. Up ahead of Chommorong, with a dramatic increase in altitude, the oxygen level starts to thin out.

    Besides being a quaint charming village on the trekking route, Chommorong also boasts of one of the most beautiful multipurpose courts on the Annapurna Circuit. The multipurpose court situated at the edge of the village slope, offers an undisturbed breathtaking view of Annapurna South, Himchuli, and Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail). Situated at a height of 2,140 m, the court probably has one of the highest basketball, volleyball, and lawn tennis courts in the country. The court is maintained by the Century Youth Club, a local club which includes young entrepreneurs and students at Chommorong. It was built with financial help of the club and members of the Gurung community living in the UK and Hong Kong.

    Chommorong’s playground is open from the early morning, but it’s during the evening when the court sees some serious action. With only steep uphill and downhill stony roads, the people at Chommorong are an exceptionally fit bunch. Local youths and entrepreneurs gather at the court during the evening for team sports to test out their skills and stamina. Anyone can join in the game.

    During the winter, the entire community at Chommorong comes together for Tamu Lhosar, New Year’s Day of the Gurung community, for the annual basketball and volleyball tournaments. The club has plans to organize lawn tennis tournaments in the future, once the sport gets some hype from the locals.

    Text: Astha Joshi/ Photo: Prajwal Maharjan