Route: Mude, Sindhupalchowk – Deurali, Dolakha – Dhungebazaar, Dolakha – Sailung, Dolakha
Hike Duration: 10-11 hours
Date: March 8, 2009
Participants: AshishP, BalL, BhaskarB, BishwaS, DhilungK, DijupT, MadhavS, PragyaR, PurushottamP, SabitaK, SarojD, SudipK, RudraP, VishnuK
Photos: BhaskarB, DhilungK, AashishP, BalL
Caption: BhaskarB, DhilungK, SarojD
Creative Support: DijupT/DhilungK/GaneshT
Sailung hill, Dolakha, Janakpur: 27°33’45″N 85°58’30″E
Dhunge Bazaar, Faksu VDC-9, Dolakha, Janakpur: 27°35’56″N 85°58’2″E
“Deurali” Katakuti-8, Baghkhor, Dolakha, Janakpur: 27°38’16″N 85°57’42″E
Mude, Sindhupalchowk, Bagmati: 27°40’59″N 85°55’31″E
Fourteen eager hikers from D2 left the office premises at 2 PM towards the slated starting point for this weekend’s hike – Dhungebazaar in Dolakha district. The delay was due to the OSCN presentations on the day from a couple of fellow hikers. When the altitude started to drop after passing Dhulikhel, it started to get a bit hot. Vishnu reminded all not to sweat as it would again start to get chilly very soon. As soon as the van cruised past the bridge at Khadi Chaur and ascended the slopes on the right, the temperature did start to drop. We were chasing the setting sun in the West and leaving behind the gorging Bhotekoshi river directly below us. The van came to a gentle stop at Mude, Sindhupalchowk near the gravel road to Dhungebazaar, Dolakha. It was six in the evening.
Our driver Ram and the locals were in unison – the van would not make it to Dhungebazaar. The last bus to Dhungebazaar had already left. Thus it was decided that the team would stay for the night at the Horse Shoe Mountain Resort at Mude and make their move in the morning. Bhaskar gave a personal wake up call to all the members at quarter past three in the morning. The team started their journey towards Dhungebazaar at exactly four in the morning. The approximate time to get to Dhungebazaar, our planned starting point for the hike, would take anywhere between four to five hours. Just go back and read that last line again.
With three torches, fresh bodies and excited minds everybody literally sprinted in the dark. Saroj commented that the speed was due to the fact that we could not see anything around us except the stars (that too if we looked up) so that saved us from getting distracted like in the day time. In about two hours time (around 6 AM) the team stopped at a placed locals called Deurali (Katakuti-8, Baghkhor, Dolakha, Janakpur) for a cup of fresh tea. After spending some time enjoying the morning hues and fresh air, the team left for their next destination Dhungebazaar.
Something interesting happened en route. Dhilung and Bhaskar took one short-cut too many and got lost. They were fortunately saved by two fellow travelers who met them on the way. They informed that the route would take to Dudhpokhari, Dolakha and not to Dhungebazaar! The amount of road they had travelled resulted in loss of one and a half hours. The team (with the exception of Bhaskar and Dhilung) stopped at Dhungebazaar to have some brunch. After which, they resumed their journey to the final destination – Sailung. Bhaskar and Dhilung reached Dhungebazaar some one-and-half hours later and stopped for short refreshment. Kalapani, Dolakha sits as the last place of human settlement of perhaps a handful of village houses before the steep climb to Sailung begins.
It was around one in the afternoon when Bhaskar looked at his watch after meeting up with the team at Sailung. Everybody was very elated at the top of the hill and took tons of photographs. One member would sit in one position with a certain backdrop for a portrait and the rest of the team would follow suit. The landscape itself consisted of small hillocks (or thumkas) spread over almost a flat plateau. Apparently there is a total of hundred of these small hills as the place is called saya thumka by the locals. These hills were all covered with soft grass (which had dried up due to winter season). Monsoon would be a good time to come to see Chauri grazing on these fields. The land consisted of many ritual graves adorned with prayer flags. It was a natural view tower, a vantage point from which we could clearly see the Himalayas (even Mt. Everest appeared very close) to the north and the gradually descending hills towards the Terai plains. It is said that on a clear winter’s day one can even see Kathmandu valley from here. With heavy hearts (due to insufficient time spent at such a calm and picturesque locale) the team descended to Dhungebazaar at approximately quarter to two in the afternoon and reached Dhungebazaar at half past three thus culminating a very exciting and an eventual journey.
Presented below are blogs from two of our friends who took part in this adventure. Do enjoy reading their write up.
Rookie’s lexis – by – Sudip Koirala
My first hiking from D2 turned out to be one of the wonderful moments in my life. Lured by the description of Sailung, I decided to join the hiking troop and take the challenge. Although I have already enjoyed tough hiking some years back : from Ktm to Hetauda along Kulekhaani and another from Sindhuli bajar to Haibar besi, I knew this hiking would be really different and pleasant. We set off for our destination almost two hours late than the planned time. Bhaskar dai as the hiking coordinator, Rudra dai, Vishnu Dai, Dhilung and other experienced hikers were in the team. We had initially planned to make to Dhunge Bazar the first day and start hiking from Dhunge Bazar to Sailung early next morning. However, when we reached Mudhe, we came to know that it would not be feasible for our office van to drive from Mudhe to Dhunge Bazar as the road was not good. Moreover, it was already 6 PM so we planned to start our hike early next morning (at 4AM) and stayed in Mudhe at a resort.
We had some interesting moments during our night stay in Mudhe. Rudra dai came up with an idea of having fun in a different way and then began amazing competitions- Stand up and down, Push up competition etc. Rudra dai and Vishnu dai, Purushottam Dai and Dijup (Heavy weight pairs) competed in Stand Up and down . The moment when Purushottam dai played a game with Bhaskar dai was also really funny. Rudra dai also taught different exercises and yogas that would make the body fit and healthy. We found the service at the resort not that good and they took long time to prepare the dishes. However, we enjoyed staying beside the fireside, sharing interesting stories and experiences. After having the dinner, we went for sleep as we had planned to set off early in the morning.
Early morning, Bhaskar dai came up awaking everybody and asked us to be ready soon. We hurried ourselves and managed to wash our faces and get in the van. After few minutes drive, we got off the van and started our journey; walking in the dawn with torch lights to show the way. We had different gossips and walked past Chhipchhipe in a good rhythm of walk. We shared experiences of previous hikes and other interesting moments in the life. As the sun rays touched the ground, we could see beautiful greenery and pine and juniper trees all around. On our way, we were excited to see different colored (Red, White, Pink) Guras, our national flower. We had already reached Deurali at 6 where we stopped for a while and had tea. Then we continued the walk to Dhunge Bazar. We were divided into few groups and were on pace. We later realized that Bhaskar dai and Dhilung were not with us. As we reached Dhunge Bazar, we had our breakfast (Chowmein and Boiled egg). We realized hunger is tastier than the food itself. We waited for our lost partners for more than an hour. Hoping that they would come along and join us later, we headed our journey towards Sailung, our final destination. We had a very steep hill to go and almost two hours to climb up the difficult path. It was very funny when Rudra dai was making pranks and comedy with the local people. We found the local people very hospitable and interesting. We had some drinks and rest at Kalapani.
Everybody of us must have gasped to see the Sailung peak very far and high, but we were all determined; all of us. Biswo, Bal, Aashish and Saroj were the leaders, Sabita, Pragya, Madhav and me were moving slowly and steadily at the mid and Vishnu dai, Rudra dai, Dijup and Purushottam dai were following. It was a pleasant environment, fresh air blowing, the pine forest was whistling like a river and the orchids had begun blossoming and the forest was reddened with Guras. We were very lucky to witness all these beauty.
When we were almost at the top at Sailung, it seemed our feet were not obeying our orders; our steps were getting heavy and were creeping. Finally we could conquer the top of Sailung, we felt proud of ourselves to have it done. We were all amazed to see so many Thumkas. We got the knowledge from the locals that there are hundred such peaks and so it was called as Saya Lungeshwor or Sailung. There was also abhilekh that Lord Buddha had visited the place. We enjoyed staying there gazing at the mountains and the hammocks all around. Later we were very happy to see our lost teammates coming along. They had actually lost the way and were moving almost 1 hour towards Dudhpokhari instead of Dhunge bazar. We were delighted to see Mount Everest from there. However, confusion and debate wasn’t over regarding which peak was the Everest actually :). We had some photo sessions with beautiful Himalayan ranges at the background. It was around 2:30 when we started climbing down. When we reached Dhunge bazar, we managed to reserve a local bus to take us to Mudhe where we had our van waiting for us. Our return journey was rather silent. We were all tired and hungry. We had our quick dinner at Khadichaur at around 6. The repetitive soft music entertained us along the way.
Physical stress and pain is a common thing in hiking, but the adventure, amusement and eternity along with physical fitness that we receive overshadows the negative part. The geographical knowledge, acquaintance of the local rituals and customs are yet another important aspects. So, lets be health conscious and go for hiking every week. Happy hiking!!!
Effort well spent – by – Sabita Khadka
Hiking for me has always been an enjoyable experience. This was my first 2-day hike and had a different experience. On the first day we couldn’t start hiking as it was already 6 PM when we reached Mude. We were uncertain of getting proper shelter in the middle of the jungle. So, everyone whole heartedly agreed to stay there in the hotel of Mude. In the hotel, Rudra dai taught some meditative postures and made people do Up-Down. That reminded me of punishment I got during my old school days. Then we had chitchat around fire while waiting for dinner.
We were all geared up the next day and started hiking at 4 in the morning. It seemed like we were being monitored by the moon and stars when we started. The first part of trek from Mude to Deurali was undoubtedly the easiest section on this route. It was almost flat and had a nice walk.
After being fuelled by a warm glass of tea in Deurali, we headed towards Dunge Bazzar. The route was moderate. We stopped at Dunge Bazzar for lunch and waited everyone to be there but there was no sign of Dhilung and Bhaskar dai. Everyone was wondering where they were. Some tried calling them but in vain as their mobiles were switched off. Then we ascend towards Sailung. The route was getting tough now. The sun was up by the time we got to the Dunge Bazzar. But we went forward in a slow and steady pace with zeal determination.
Wow what a pleasure after reaching there. All hardships in reaching the zenith were paid off. View was magical, mystical and majestic up there. Spectacular view of surrounding mountains and hills gave immense pleasure. After sometime we could see two people in a distant and we speculated them to be our two lost hikers. As they approached we could distinctly identify them. They were our own Dhilung and Bhaskar dai. Everyone was eager to know where they had been. They had actually lost their way and were heading towards DudhPokhari. But they successfully made their way towards Sailung even after moving in wrong direction for 1.5 hour. Then we rested for about an hour on the top, posed for pictures and then we descended. On the way down, I felt my energy level dwindling. I happened to step slippery rock and fell back onto my hand but thankfully there was no harm. It was already 3:30 PM when we reached Dunge Bazzar. We had to reserve the local bus to get back to Mude where office van was waiting for us. It was around 1.5 hours drive. We arrived Kathmandu much earlier than expected.
All in all it was a challenging trip. It was my sixth hiking from D2 and for the first time I had ache in my legs and back. But seriously I enjoyed the pain as it gave me the feeling of being a true hiker. Thank you Bhaskar dai for giving me chance to be the part of such wonderful hike. I look forward to the next one.