Hiking from Chaukot to Dhulikhel via Kavre
Chaukot – Kavre
30th Sep 2007
Lava Kafle, Kumar Kisalaya, Pawan Pandey, Vishnu Kshetri, Shiram Kshetri, Bishwa Shrestha, Ananta Raj Sharma, Shankar Subedi, Basu Dahal, Ashish Tuladhar, Abhishek Chhetri, Abhishek Shrestha
Participants:Lava, KumarK, PawanP, Vishnu, Shiram, Bishwa, Ananta, ShankarSu, Basu, Ashish, AbhishekPC and AbhishekS2
Route: Chaukot to Kavre to Dhulikhel
Date: Sunday, Sept 30, 2007
Duration: 3 hours 15 minutes
Trip Doom: 11-Kilo meters
Report: AbhishekS2, AbhishekPC and PawanP
Photo: Dhilung, Bishwa, Ashish, Abhishek, and Basu
Creative Support: NishchalS
Love Work, Know Work, Team Work & Explore Nature
Dhulikhel is popular as a Himalayan Viewing Point with Newari settlement. Drive for about 35 minutes to Banepa and visit to nearby Panauti.
One of the joys of hiking in the surrounding of Dhulikhel is that the park offers a variety of trails, from easy walks beside the roads and the highway to challenging climbs up sheer cliffs, with an abundance of trails that are "moderately difficult" and sufficiently strenuous to satisfy the experienced hiker.
Sunday morning we all gathered at D2 at 7 in the morning. Guys started to run to the table tennis board to play as soon as they made eye contact with each others. At last the team gathered and then we took off for a really enthusiastic hike. Stomachs were empty and something had to be done about it. On our way we diverted towards Surya Binayak and then had our breakfast in a local shop.
Dark clouds started surrounding Katmandu valley. I could smell the change in the weather. Winter has nearly started. Its spring time even if autumn doesn’t wants to go. The drive to Banepa was itself amazingly beautiful. All Paddy green fields, the beautiful mountains started making me excited about the hike. As soon as we started going up hill towards SANGA, i saw some tourist taking pictures of the beautiful valley covered by foggy clouds on top and the green paddy field made the view even more panoramic.
Then we reached Banepa which is a small town with a population of about 15,000 located 27 km east of Kathmandu, Nepal. For the first time in life I went pass the IT PARK. I guess it was also the first time for most of the hikers as well.
Then we all started our hike from Sirkhandapur. Cranes and ducks gathered in the greed grass field and we were busy taking pictures of it. We then started the uphill path. The roads were muddy because of the rain last night. Soon we ended up in a small temple. We found out that the place was called CHAUKOT. Young school students were on their way to their school. They reminded me of my old days.
LAVA took the lead & started walking along the path. In our hike Lava and Ashish were from Kathmandu University. So they were quite familiar with the locality. We could see the pine trees up in the top and Dhilung mentioned his willingness to reach the top. But until that time, I shall hike to the summits because that is more satisfying than the flat path. We then walked through the edge of the mountain, the pine trees the fogginess was tempting us for the hike. Deep inside the fog we could see some small houses with triangle roof top which turned out to be KATHMANDU UNIVERSITY MEDICAL SCHOOL premises. We then walked along the newly constructed highway. Then Vishnu suggested we take a narrow path towards the mountain leaving the highway.
Bishwa was up in front, followed by me and Pawan and then the whole team. It seemed that there was no path along our way. We however went ahead. Suddenly we heard a big scream from one of our team mates. We all turned back and found out it was KUMAR.
Kumar had seen some leeches in his shoes. Then we all checked our shoes and trousers. There were around 7-8 leeches in my shoes. So we made sure there were no leeches with us and took some time to get it off.
Then we kept on walking through the hills. I felt that there is no end to the beauty of nature. The weather was spectaculars. We kept on walking for around an hour. Then we reached a temple on top, where was a military post also. The military post was for the Nepal Telecom tower security. We all gathered near the temple. After a couple of minutes rest, we descended towards Dhulikhel bazaar. I walked the way with LAVA. The place was one of his favorite when he was in college.
Finally we reached Dhulikhel. Then we walked all the way to a Hotel where Manoj already did some arrangements for food. The food started with the Green Carlsberg Beer may be just to match the color with the fields. Then we had a lovely lunch there and after that we were on our way to the valley.
All of us were even more energetic after the beautiful hike. It was an Amazing Hike. The pictures will tell you more.
One thing I realized at the end was that the scenery from a mountaintop that one has reached by walking is somehow always more glorious and gratifying than that from a mountaintop one has reached by driving.
The day began like any other day this week: it was pouring outside, I had gone to bed pretty late last night, and I wasn’t in ‘early to rise’ kind of mood. Besides, I’ve been a long time believer that the early worm gets eaten by the birds. No alarms to go off, no office to rush to, it was almost perfect, but as it turned out I’d been overlooking something - the Hike. This was to be my first D2 hike in over six months that I’ve been here and I had been looking forward to it, until it rained for the whole day yesterday and the hike seemed surely out of the picture. The cell phone rang with the tune of premonition; Shankar was on the other side of the line and then it hit me: I’m going on the hike. And after a couple of calls to Kumar and Ashish I was in New Baneshwor waiting for D2 van.
We left New Baneshwor at around 8:00am and stopped somewhere on the way to Banepa for breakfast at 8:30, and the time in between just passed listening to the two Ex-KU’eans, Ashish and Lava, reminiscing on their college days. We had the much awaited breakfast, carried water bottles and continued the journey in the van, looking for someone who could tell us where exactly we were going and how to get there. After a few bewildered pedestrians we finally met few people who could tell us the route to “Srikhandpur”. The only problem was that they knew the vehicle route but no hike route. When asked how we get there on foot they gave us a blank look which can be summarized by the words: “well then get off the van and walk”. Finally, somebody pointed us towards a hill. We stopped in front of the ‘IT Park’, and started to scale the muddy slopes at around 8:45am.
There was no scorching sun in the sky and the walk felt relatively easier. All was going well until suddenly it started to rain. Luckily, the rain never grew beyond a mild drizzle. There was a brief respite in the form of leveled & smooth pitched road but it didn’t last for long as we again took a sharp turn perpendicular to the road and started on a very slippery ascent. And just when I thought it can’t get any worse, it did - the slopes were infested with leeches. I was probably overreacting but I hadn’t seen leeches that size my whole life. The whole area seemed to me like an extract from a Hollywood horror movie, and Kumar shared my trepidation. We were constantly checking the insides of our shoes and shocks, and throwing out the few that made in. I was much relieved when we finally got out of that site.
Soon we reached Devisthan Kotakshe temple, which has a NTC tower guarded by the army on its side. It was the apex of our journey and from there we were on our way back. We were all tired, hungry and dying for lunch. After walking down the hill on sets of staircases - a luxury I had been missing the whole time - we got to the town at the foot of the hill. We walked for some 20-30 minutes through the town and got to a fine restaurant around 1:30pm. As soon as we got there Dhilung got busy with his cell phone, and the rest of us busy basking in the sun with drinks of our preference.
The sun was out and shining with all its glory, and I had three glasses of cool beer just to cool myself down - I’ll come up with a better excuse next time.Vishnu’s theory about cheese and beer going well together was terrific. We were enjoying ourselves and soon it was time to go into one of the rooms for lunch. I got up, attempted to walk, and was struck by a sudden revelation - all these years I took walking for granted. Beer on empty stomach had taken its toll on me. Still, somehow I made it to the lunch table and we all satiated our hunger. After the lunch Ashish took us to a nearby field which served a great view of the valley. The site motivated guys to give their own rendition of Rang De Bashanti’s “Rubaroo”. We ran around for a while, and after a call from Vishnu from the van, we had to bid the place goodbye and make our way back to the van.
All in all, this was an unforgettable escapade. I can’t imagine what I would’ve missed had I not got those wake up calls early in the morning. This has been a day of many ‘firsts’ for me, and to top it off, for the first time I’m thanking someone for not letting me sleep till late in the morning. My thanks go to Shankar and Ashish. I am looking forward to hike with you guys many times in coming weeks.
Sunday September 30, day of my first hike from D2 and I was very eager to be a part of the D2 tradition. The only thing that I was worried about was the rain. It had rained all day the day before and I wasn’t optimistic about the weather; so, I stuffed by backpack with a rain coat and was on my way to D2 by quarter past six.
We left for Banepa at around seven and stopped at Surya Binayak for breakfast. Then we were back on the road again, making jokes and sharing Ashish’s and Lava’s experiences of life in Dhulikhel.
At Banepa we asked the locals for directions to Sikharkhandpur. When we asked them for a walking path, they seemed to give us a strange look as if saying – “There’s a motor way to Sikharkhandpur and you want to walk?! Are you crazy?!”
Anyway, we started the hike at around eight a.m. Vishnu, one the folks of the pack, always seemed to look for the longest possible route. And I, who had no idea where we were going, followed along, stopping occasionally to take pictures of the spectacular scenery.
After a while it started to drizzle but we kept on walking as if we were soldiers on a mission. Earlier I had wished for it not to rain, but after walking a good distance, I was quite relieved that it did.
At the top of the climb, we were on black top road once more and I thought that the hike was over. Little did I know that Vishnu had some other plans in store for us. I had heard that with Vishnu around, no path was short. It certainly sounded strange then, but I came to experience it first hand. After walking a few meters, he suddenly said – “Now we go left.” I looked to my left wondering what he was talking about since I could see only a steep hill there. Then Abhishek laughed at my bewildered face and confirmed my suspicion – we were going to climb the hill.
The climb was very steep and to make things worse, there were leeches everywhere. When we reached the top, we took a few minutes’ rest while some of us tried to get rid to the leeches. I, on the other hand, was completely drained out and didn’t even bother.
From here onwards and till we reached Dhulikhel, the scenery was mesmerizing. I was too busy taking pictures and admiring the view (and not to forget fighting leeches) that I was one of the last persons in the group for most of the time.
We reached Dhulikhel at around one p.m. and had lunch. After lunch, Ashish said that he was going to take us to an amazing place so we all followed him. He was true to his words. The view from there was just spellbinding. We stayed there lying on the ground and soaking up the sun until it was time to return home.
I was very tired from the walk and was asleep for most of way back but I could hear three different songs playing in the background. The vehicle’s sound system was playing a Hindi song and two different English songs were playing at the back. All in all, it was a wonderful experience.
01 Typify season for gathering crops
02 In respect to center attraction
03 Young men in an organized belief of journey
04 An opening time period
05 IT Park unserviceable
06 Starting from Chaukot
07 Shooter Dilung & L2R Lava, Vishnu, Shiram, KumarK, PawanP, AbhishekPC, Bishwa, Ananta, ShankarS, AbhishekS2, Basu & Ashish
08 Prominently upward
09 Vishnu with D2wood's Jackie Chan-De Dhilung
10 Right famous educational Institution of the area
11 Experiencing pleasure
12 Baseball Club
13 Lava in a state of deep mental absorption and perhaps of green curtain too!
14 Mr. uncle is not happy
15 Fostering branch of knowledge
16 Hither and thither
17 Night duty can not stop me
19 A distribution in shares
21 Kauri pine
22 A path set aside for walking
23 An apex move
24 Walikng towards Kotakshe Mai
25 Silky sky above Dhulikhel
26 Misty Dhulikhel
27 We walked on those hill year ago
28 Walking here was pleasing
29 Unmixed with extraneous material
30 Soaked with liquid and alone!
31 Pigeons of Goddess Kotakshe
32 Lieutenant Suresh- A pleasant person
33 In a way to build thousand steps fromupper Dhulikhel to Goddess
34 Meshwork though nice and clean
35 Walking down on a proposed stair
36 Lord Krishna of 1000 step of stair
37 Name of the families who made the welcome gate to Goddess place in the name of late parents
38 Here is the Welcome Gate
39 Slogan-climb thousand step, become healthier, visit Goddess and be sacred
40 Home ground of Dhulians cutting hillsand making play around
41 Back to black
42 Active strength of body and mind
43 Lovely smile shall be remembered in days to come
44 Hi i am in a swing and making you a ring
45 Wait next time i will come with my machine
46 The mallow of Arniko
47 Jocund PawanP
48 Brewage assemblage
49 The 13 of September 30, at kickshaw of Arniko
50 Following bike in a state of well being towards home