I went to Sauraha – the eastern entry point to the Chitwan National Park to spend a couple of days with family and friends. Sauraha, a popular tourist destination, is a must if you are visiting Nepal. Accessible by road (4-5 hours) from Kathmandu and Pokhara, if offers entry to the wilderness from within the moderately developed small town.
Here is how we spent three days at Sauraha as tourists and enjoyed every second of it.
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? & what dread feet? (From Tiger by Willian Blake)
January 1, 2016: Tiger is an animal that co-holds the titles of both – the beauty and the beast. Meeting a tiger in its wilderness is a treat – not only for the eyes but for your heart too as someone termed the experience as equivalent ‘achieving orgasm during first sex by a lady’ – a possibility but a rarity.
I was in Lumbini a week ago to attend a seminar. This was my fourth visit to the Birthplace of Buddha, and there was along gap between this and the third one. And, I felt happy about the difference I saw in Lumbini.
I spent almost 20 hours at Ghalegoan, Lamjung – a popular tourism destination for community based rural tourism and left wondering why exactly the village is so popular during the return trip on a jeep through rocky risky road (that took almost three hours to reach Besisahar – the district headquarters).
To say, the village is nestled on the lap of mountains including Lamjung, Annapurna II, Macchapuchhre and Manasalu, the village is at 2,070m (well, Nagarkot which is at one-hour easy drive from my home is at 2,175m), but the scenery I was offered was, well, not breathtaking.
For me, it looked almost foolish to travel/trek/ride that far for the views of the mountains that are offered better at many other easy destinations.
The homestay facility is something to look for. The food/night at a Ghale home was worth experiencing but I like it, I am not fond of homestay. However, my first experience of homestay at Goljung, Rasuwa felt much better (even the mountains).
The traditional-ness of the village is somewhat intact (despite the fact that the traditional Gurung house photo on the brochure is the only one of such type in the entire village).
And, the thing I was expecting but did not get was the briefing. Despite being a member of 30-member team to visit the village, the local tourism committee did not brief us on anything. We were left with hours with nothing to do other than roam around the village.
One of my favorite activities while on holidays is roaming in and around the Bhaktapur Durbar Square – a UNESCO heritage site in my home district.
Being rich in art and artifacts, the mediaeval palace and its surroundings offer me something new every time I spent time there. Sometime, I discover an art I have never noticed, other times, I walk through a new alley and most of the time the square offers me a different kind of tranquility despite never being deserted.
I love sitting on a corner watching people’s activities: tourists taking photographs, children playing around, elders sitting together chatting and smiling and people moving. I feel almost like watching a favorite program on a muted television.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is different than Kathmandu or Patan Durbar Square, for it seems lazily peaceful; for it offers glimpses into lives of people still to be touched much by modernity. It looks more a community backyard than a touristic attraction.
Last Saturday I was there for a peaceful evening just strolling around with my beloved wife and taking a few photographs and the most interesting piece I discovered, that I had never noticed before, was a statue just beside the famous 55-windowed-palace.
It’s a woman walking with a dog and dragging a child [distinctly a boy]. Here it is: