Route: Taudaha – Champa Devi – Pharping
Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Hike Duration: 7 Hrs.
Date: Sunday, Feb 15, 2009
Participants: SurendraA, AnaA, NirajS, KapilP, AbisheshJ, AnantaS, ManojR, BhuwanG, RichanS, DineshA, KeshabG, DipankarS, RameshB.
Report: RameshB and BhuwanG
Photos: DineshA, ManojR and AbisheshJ
Creative Support: Dijup Tuladhar / Ganesh Thapa
This Sunday, Feb 15, 2009, we hiked around the Southern Hills of Kathmandu Valley. The route was from Tau Daha to Champa Devi to Pharping. This was an interesting hike in that of the thirteen hikers, seven were first timers. Below are the accounts of two: Ramesh Raj Baral and Bhuwan Gautam.
It was a first hike for me at D2 and I was excited but it came out really wonderful and thrilling. We continuously walked around 7 hours up and down. Ramesh and I joined the hiking team at T.U. gate in Kritipur. Very soon, we went to the beautiful scenery place called Taudaha. There we set to take some breakfast but unfortunately we messed up with the things there and it took around one and half hours to complete breakfast. At the meantime we viewed around the panaromic scenes of Taudaha and fed fishes. After that we started towards our destination. Ater 5 minutes of driving from Taudaha we started to climb up the hills and it was already 10am. Richan, Manoj and I led the hiking team and we were far away from the others. We messed up with the direction and we were separated from the group for some time. Again we rejoined the group and started to climb up the hills. I was surprised to see the “lapsi” trees. We also tried to get lapsi by throwing stone at them but it didn’t work out. I had to climb up the tree, and shake it well to get what we were looking for. After taking some fast food at the base of Champadevi hills, we climbed up the first peak of hills within an hour. Ealier I had thought that we had reached the peak and our journey seemed so comfortable but later we came to know that we have to climb up yet another peak. Again Ramesh and I came about to lead the hiking team but we didn’t know the way. Suddenly we saw the trail at the mid of the Champadevi hills. Ramesh and I climbed down the hill thinking that we have to go that way. But later we came to know that we have to climb up to the peak. So we two separated and later joined the team at the peak of the hills. I am amazed to view the clear blue sky, white silver mountain range, panaromic view of Kathamandu valley from there. it’s truly glorious and beautiful. We rested their for about an hour and set to climb down the hills and reached Pharping after 2 hours.
All the hikers were interesting. Surendra’s historical information, Kapil’s folk song, Niraj’s satirical words, Richan’s inspiring talks, Keshav, Ramesh, Dinesh, and Dipankar’s joke, good chatting with Manoj, enthusiastic Surendra’s daughter, last but not the least Abhishesh’s guidance all made the hike interesting. I felt great to see the Laliguras(Rhododendron) trees and I took some.
It was the Feb 15 2009, a very interesting day in the sense we were having the challenging hike to the rocky mountain in the following day of February 14th, the Valentine’s day. I don’t know if anyone of us had any influence of the preceding day but certainly, the company of such feelings in mind have inspired and energized me.
Bhuwan and I were picked up by Offce van from Kiritpur at around 8 am. We were ready for wonderful breakfast in the Ramro Hamro Restaurnat at Taudaha. The large pond and the big fishes were the items to lapse the time of breakfast preparation. It was said that the Karkotak Cobra couples live in the pond. The Restaurant wardens were amazed when we ordered our breakfast. They rush to bring breads, eggs, potatoes only after we ordered and the task was repeated as our order was cumulated. It sounds amazing to hear that but it is true because the restaurant was not among the popular ones and the owner claimed that most of the staff were busy late night for service of Valentine’s day and most of the food stuffs were finished last night. After spending around 1.5 hours in breakfast and a short drive, we were ready for the hike.
We started from Taudaha, we had planned to end it in Pharping. Surendra was seeking for typical narrow paths for hiking while some of us were suggesting the other. The energetic guys Richan, Manoj and Bhuwan were on the other way while others among us were to follow the usual way-Abishesh knew(he claimed it to be his fourth hike in the same place). Finally Abishesh was on the lead. Energetic people like Bhuwan and Kapil were always ahead of other participants. It took around 2.5 hours to reach the peak opposite to Hattiban and still we had to climb almost the same distance. After having short break for water and some food stuffs we were on the way. Surendra was aware to not to throw the non disposable waste, so we collected them in a plastic bag and managed there. In company with Bhuwan, I also started to be ahead of others. Surendra was suggesting for the peak of Champadevi but as we knew the shortest path, Bhuwan and I landed from the midway of the mountain. It was so rocky and slippery that I was so afraid to follow Bhuwan. When we tried to keep foot on the stones, they slided down. There were herbs to get support but majority of them were weak in front of us and used to get detached. The steep mountain was challenging us but we were strong enough to face the challenge and finally succeeded in landing down to the right way. After walking half an hour we could see other people just starting to climb. Bhuwan was shouting and advising them to follow our way but none of them were ready to take the risk, in turn they were suggesting us to return back. We were in dilemma, we were hungry and thirsty and all the food stuffs were with the other group. We decided not to return the way back but to go ahead and meet them in the peak of Champadevi. We climbed fast and fast without any rest. After a long walk of around 45 minutes we saw one beautiful thing-the tree of Rhododendron covered with red flowers. Bhuwan was ahead to take the flowers but being the supporter of environment, I suggested him to get only one for each. We will take the flower and throw on the way or take home and keep until it gets dried and finally throw but it could be good to leave it there for ecosystem and also other people can have a look at. Bhuwan was very clever he took about 6 flowers and gave me only one. We reached the peak of Champadevi and waited for other people. We shouted and enjoyed the echo but could not see or hear from our friends. I was wondered if we were lost but Bhuwan was confident that they still have a long way to reach to us. We enjoyed the beautiful view of Kathmandu city. We could see almost all of the things of this city from the Chmpadevi height. Jaya Champadevi!!!. I remembered one song in the mean time”Rato raani phule jhai saajhama timi fulyeu kaleji majhama manko rahara,kanchhilai ghumaune kathmandu sahara… “.The sad point to include is that the beautiful city was covered by big houses and was being concertized.
After waiting for about half an hour, other people showed up and we enjoyed the food, water, view together. We were still not tired and were heading the way with Bhuwan as the leader. He was named as Columbus of the hike as he explored the new way. But this time we suggested the other path which was clear to merge with the right way. We were heading towards the football ground which was visible from the top of Champadevi. But we were lost on the way. Our Columbus(Bhuwan) and Surendra could not discover the way and finally we followed the monotonous path(in Surendra’s word).The path was stepping down to the football ground where some monks were playing football. Ananta did not miss the chance to handle the ball that went outside the ground and showed good performance of ball-boy. After half an hour walk we reached the main road near the “Payol Dorje Choling” Gumba-Pharping and drank the cold water. This road leads to Hetauda. Surendra dai and Bhuwan went ahead to reach the office van and we were waiting for the vehicle to pick us up. Dinesh was interested in pani puri (kasto keta keti jasto manchhe…) but I had the chatpat(kasto kasto…).Everyone agreed to join Chopstick to have the lunch. Having late lunch (about 5:30) was interesting but I did not use Chopsticks at all. we departed at 7:00pm.
-Drinking water scarcity-Bhuwan and I were eating Rhododendron to forget the thirst
-Bhuwan climbed tree
-Dipankar scared of heights
-Ana was very brave hiker
-Surendra was very energetic to challenge me in running, but he could not win the race
-We thought Kapil was behind but he had already climbed the hill and was taking rest
-Keshab tried for proper management of water
-We met only one villager throughout our walk on the hills