Hiking Route: Daman, Markhu to Thankot
Date: 16th to 18th of September 2005
Participants: Rudra, Mohana, Amit, Amulya, Anjana, Bhaskar, Bidyut, Bijay, Bikal, Binay A., Binay N., Biswa, Charu, Govind, hitesh, Nilesh, Niraj, Pawan P., Prabhakar, Prajwal, Raju M., Rasju S. Rashmi, Sanjeet, Santosh, Sarad M., Sewa, Shashi, Shekhar, Siddhi, Siris, Sudeep A., Sudeep K., Surendra, Thakur, Tika, Vishnu and Yalamber.
Duration: A total of 11 hours and 30 Minutes.
Report: VishnuK and BhaskarB
As the day was making its way towards evening, we left the office heading for Daman to spend the night at the Everest Panorama Resort. Daman is situated at an altitude of 2400 meters above the sea level. As soon as we reached, we checked in. After refreshing ourselves after approximately 4 hours of traveling, we all were gathered in at the courtyard where bonfire flared up to keep us warm along with hot and cold beverages. Later on Yalamber and Hitesh started to tune up their guitars. Other teammates soon joined making the atmosphere more lively. For making the party alive and kicking, we unclosed beer can and some grog. With the company of these most of the folks began to open themselves with their hidden talents. All of us sang a lot of old and new tunes accompanied by guitar and madal. After the enjoyment we went to banquet where Chinese dinner was set in a buffet. After the dinner, some of us went to the dance floor to shake their hips while others gathered around the bonfire reflecting the serenity of the place and singing to old soft numbers on the guitar. The rocking and rumbling entertainment at the both side continued until 1 PM. Slowly the participants began to move to their rooms to rest themselves after a hectic day of driving, dancing and drinking. However for some of us the party continued well into the early morning hours.
Early next morning (17th of September) at 5:30 AM there was a wake up knock on everyone’s door to make us to watch the sunrise towards east at the top of Mt. Everest. As the weather was ending of rainy season, the view was not that spectacular but we were fortunate enough to see the beauty with majestic Everest. The sunrise was giving the message of new aspiration to continue our odyssey through ups and downs like the sunrays that manage to escape through up hurdles on the way, ultimately reaching us to give pleasure to cherish within. From Daman, one can see most of the 8 of the world’s top mountains. We could easily spot Everest. Between December-February, when the snow falls, this place is one of the best in the country to watch the sunrise and sunset owing to the crystal clear skies at that time of the year.
After having delightful moment and sipping the morning tea, 21 of us went for a trek to Rikeshwor Mahadevsthan. After taking the darshan at the temple, 6 of us – Rudra dai, Surendra, Bhaskar, Vishnu, Prabhakar and Govinda took an unknown hiking route trying to find the Bhutanese Monastery. This monastery is said to contain Buddhist practitioners who have been meditating constantly for 15, 20, 25 years! The only contacts they have with the outside world is with their immediate family and spend all their time in meditation. This was a very treacherous trail to say the least because the way was not clearly marked and the plants and shrubs were up to the thigh and even higher sometimes. In this ordeal we reached the highest point from which we could see the place called Baghmara (on way to Hetauda). We hiked for 3 hours but were unable to find the Monastery. However, we also took that as a blessing and a challenge for the next time we come around these parts.
After the hike, we returned to the Resort where all of us were having breakfast. After the breakfast some began to enjoy playing cards, some went on a sight seeing and some were busy with their chatting.
At 1:00 PM the Nepali lunch was set on buffet table and everybody rushed to reach the meal. During the lunch time, Bhaskar proposed another hike from Daman to Kathmandu itself. Surendra, Bhaskar, Raju, Vishnu, and Rudra decided to join and commenced on another unknown journey to Kathmandu. We left Resort at 2:00 PM in a car for 20 kilometers to begin our journey to explore yet another experience. We were to start from Bajrabarahi village near Tistung, hike to Markhu village near the Kulekhani dam, rest for the night and then begin the final journey to Thankot.
For this purpose we commenced our walk from a place called Gahate at 3: 00 PM, which was a village associated with agricultural activities. Most of the walk was passing through similar type of villages inhabited by smiling and friendly people. From time to time, we had to climb over rocks, cross small river streams and walk along the river shore. Around 6:00 PM we arrived at the place called Markhu that is situated at the bank of Kulekhani, the first reservoir water dam to produce hydro-electricity power. It was Asian Development Bank project with expertise of Japanese and Korean engineers. At Markhu we spent the night at small hotel that was called Krishna Lodge and Resturant. We cooked ourselves fresh fish from dam water to feed ourselves, accompanied by dal, bhat, tarkari that was prepared by cheerful hotel owner along with traditional homemade grog.
On 18th, early in the morning at 6:15 AM., we left the hotel with the sip of one black tea. Wonder walking through fertile villages around 8:30 we reached a place called Chitlang, which is famous for growing potatoes and cauliflowers. Near the village of Bhandarkharka, we stopped for a quick breakfast of tea and cookies. After a short while, we continued our journey and began to climb the very steep Bhanjyang hill. It took us nearly 2 hours to reach the top. The climb down from the Bhangjyang hill was a killer! It is one of the steepest routes in the valley. After an hour’s descent, we reached Thankot and took a local transportation home.
This journey also ended with insufficient words to describe all the beauty and charm of its. However, the journey left a lasting impression to march ahead again.