The Making and Nepal – Part 1


The Making and Nepal – Part 1

 

This travelogue comes in a bit too late but the destination is such that it needs to be penned down regardless of the delay. I could have done this much earlier but I didn’t have any pics to upload along with the description as I normally do with other blogs. But now, I have got my pics scanned(also some from my friend) and so the ultimate journey of my life till date gets the nod to be jotted down.

It was April/May 2005. I was reading the newspaper when I came across this Ad of Kailash Manasarovar. There was going to be a slide show and a brief summary about the trip on Sunday. We decided to watch the slideshow although we had no plans of undertaking this trip. I am not mentioning the name of the Company the reason for which would be given at appropriate time. This was not an ordinary slideshow. It was so fascinating and intriguing that it prompted us to go ahead with the trip.During the entire trip, my heart skipped several beats, not literally but figuratively 🙂
Read on to find out when, where and why.13th June 2005:

We left for Delhi from Mumbai by Indian Airlines. At Delhi, we switched to International terminal to board Royal Nepal Airlines which would take us to Kathmandu. As expected, the flight was delayed by 2 hrs.

14th June 2005:

Reached Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport at 4 am. We were welcomed with garlands. It was so heartening to see people from a different country giving us such gr8 hospitality. We were then taken to Royal Singi Hotel in a mini bus. The hotel was really good and we met our fellow group members there. A group of 21 people.
Later in the day, all the group members were briefed about the DOs and Donts in the trip. We even introduced ourselves to let know each other. We then visited Swayambunath temple perched on a hill top. In the evening, we visited Thamel which is one of the most happening areas in Kathmandu. It is a market with small lanes, packed with people, shops selling all sorts of trekking gears, restaurants etc etc.15th June 2005:

Wake up call at 4 am. It was time to get ready and go back to the airport. Before u presume anything, let me tell u that nothing had gone wrong. We were to catch an early morning flight to the HIMALAYAS.


At Tribhuvan International Airport

Buddha Air organizes a flight over the gr8 Himalayan range. How can one miss the chance of getting the bird’s eye view of the mighty Himalayas! Soon were we flying above Gauri Shankar, Cho Oyu , Makalu, Lhotse and ofcourse the King of all Mountains, EVEREST. I quickly grabbed the opportunity to enter the cockpit and I was rewarded with a 180 degree view of snow clad mountains including Mount Everest and other 8000 meter peaks . Ahh, Awesome !!!..My heart skipped a beat( 1st time). I shot the entire flight with my handycam. That was the best flight I have ever had in my life.

Above 3 mountain pics courtesy: Prachee (2006 Kailash Yatra)

(We didn’t have a digital camera and still don’t have one 🙂 Pictures were mostly taken by my dad with the normal analog camera and I used the handycam. U may notice that some of the pics are yellowish in colour…donno the reason…but i think the 2 year old negatives were not in their original best while scanning.)

In the afternoon, we paid obeisance at Boudhanath Stupa and the famed Pashupathinath Temple.


Boudhnath Stupa

16th June 2005:

After an early morning breakfast, duffel bags with our names printed on them were loaded onto the carrier of a mini bus which would transport us to Borderland Resort(15-20 kms from the Sino-Nepal border) via Bhaktapur.


Royal Singi Hotel…bags being loaded

Bhaktapur, 14 kms east of Kathmandu is a city famous for having UNESCO’s world heritage site- Nyatapol Temple. This temple is one of the tallest in Nepal towering over 30 meters/100 feet.

We continued with our journey, now moving north towards Borderland Resort. After some hours of travel, our bus took a left turn leaving behind the road which would take us to the border next day. This resort is located in a beautiful valley alongside the roaring Bhote Koshi river which incidentally flows in from Tibet.Borderland resort, 96 kms from Kathmandu, surrounded by mountains wrapped in thick foliage, with Bhote koshi river flowing just yards away was truly breathtaking. It made my heart skip a beat(2nd time) while I kept gaping.
We were welcomed by 2 big dogs. They were rather inactive and were more like stuffed toys just gazing at the beauty of the valley or so to say the resort itself where they were being fed all day.
It was lunch time and we enjoyed feeding ourselves sitting on a small platform overlooking the river. Post lunch, I and my dad thought that we would take a dip in the river, not to freshen up but just for the heck of it. So we moved closer to the river by getting down the stairs. When we finally came in contact with the river, we decided that it wud be better to just let the water gently caress our feet 🙂 It was freeeeezing and on top of it was dangerous too.

Later in the evening, I kept the handycam for charging and went for a leisure walk with Vaishali (member of our group) and Basant(Nepali guide). Basant spoke hindi quite well and it didn’t take long for us to get acquainted with him. He told us that he would take us to a bungee jumping site which was further towards the border. It is named as “Ultimate Bungee” and is a free fall of 160 m/500 feet from a suspension bridge over the Bhote Koshi river, thus making it one of the highest in the world. So, pretty excited and animated about the whole thing we started walking towards it. It was quite a long walk and by then the Sun too made a disappearing act behind the mountains. A crazy thought just crept into my mind. How would it be if we do bungee jumping in total darkness plunging into the monstrous river flowing in the gorge. It was quite an eerie feeling and we promptly took a U turn and walked back to our resort 🙂
Click here to go to Part 2
[ Published under the author’s permission ]
[ Original publication at www.kailashmanasarovaryatra.blogspot.com on September 10, 2007–the readers are requested to express their comments on the original Blog as mentioned above ]
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