Abisha Thapa Magar
It had been such a long time since I went on a hike, which was enough reason for me to get excited for this adventure. We were a group of 13 hikers. It all started from the base of “Hazaar Sidi”. All of us were well prepared to face the scorching heat as we applied multiple layers of sunscreen and had caps and glasses on. The first goal was to complete the 1000 steps and I was the first one to reach the top (humble brag). Ascending the stairs was quite comfortable; the only problem was that we went out of breath very quickly. We took mini-breaks and climbed the stairs one after another, which reminded us of how in life we need to take those baby steps one by one not knowing what’s at the end. After reaching the top, we got to experience the nature itself surrounding us with such greenery, freshness and serenity, far away from the noisy and dusty Kathmandu. Some of us took pictures and videos, while I enjoyed the greenery, heat, shade, clouds, walks and pains. I lost my way multiple times. I guess I must have walked some extra miles than my companions.
Up and down, we meandered through the hills with the blazing mid-day sun right above us. After 4 to 5 hours of hike, we finally saw buddhist prayer flags along the way and a glimpse of Namobuddha, known as den of tigress. But then, there were 2 to 3 more hills to ascend. Luckily those hills were fused in the middle, but this time, we met the dirt track with racing vehicles passing by and got ourselves covered in dirt. We finally reached the Tigress Den in about 45 minutes. Namobuddha had such beautiful and peaceful environment. As we toured around the monastery, we entered the main temple full of paintings and meditation halls. We stayed there for a while in a state of tranquility and killed all of our tiredness. We finally headed out and had some snacks in the local restaurant after enervating walks. Then we descended to Panauti through another set of stairs. Having a monastery on top of the hill is all about stairs. Meanwhile, we also distributed Deerwalk notebooks, pencils and Samyam bhai’s birthday chocolates to many children. Finally we had our lunch/dinner at Banepa and wrapped up the hike.
After Great Being offered his body in generosity to the tigress, people found it difficult to travel through the region for fear of all wild animals, so they developed the practice of reciting “Namo Buddhaya” (“I take refuge in the Buddha”) to dispel their anxiety. To this day, the place is called Namo Buddha. It was a great day of hiking, and I’m very glad I was a part of it. I know that I’ve been getting more and more into hikes lately, it’s after when I realized that adventure was the best way to learn, and into the woods you can lose your mind and find your soul.
The actual hike to Namobuddha is not long – the total distance is only 6 kilometers one way, but it is the serene forest, spectacular views and awesome company which made this hike demanding. Whole hike, we were like –
“Jani ta holani – Gaye vaihalyo ni.”
“Khani ta holani – Khaye vaihalyo ni.”
“Hidne ta holani – Hide vaihalyo ni.”
“Keep away from dust and us.”
Coming back to the blog, the beginning of this hike is inclined and has thousand stairs. Approximately 1 kilometer ascending the stairs leads through an open meadow. It is not until the end of this meadow when the path starts to zig-zag all the way up to Namobudhha. While the hike, we spent time on some rest areas – we sat there for about ten minutes each, not only to enjoy fabulous views but also to relax and replenish our energy. When we reached Namobuddha, in wide panorama, we see some clouds glisten white like a conch shell or a crystal. Even in summertime, cool southern wind was blowing which was the beauty of the place. A few minutes walk up from the shrine, we visited the place, holy tiger den, where the prince offered his body in great generosity.
Then, descending to Panauti, we met up with the Deerwalk vehicle, took our lunch in Banepa, and set off on our way back to Kathmandu. One of the hikes to stay on my mind for quite a long time, that I’m certain of.