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Hiking from Panchmane to Kakani via Tarkeshwor

Participants : Mohana, RupaA, Surendra, BalKrishna, Basu, Bhanu, Rejan, ManojR, Rajan, RajivU, BinayA, BhaskarB, Mahesh, Kapil, NishchalS, Kamal, Abishesh and Vishnu
Route : Panchmane to Tarkeshwor to Kakani
Time : 6 hours
Distance : 20 km (Appx)
Date : Sunday, Feb 25, 2007
Report : BhanuC
Photos : Mahesh, Basu, NishchalS and Abishesh
Captions : BhaskarB, VishnuK
Creative Support: BinayaN
Hiking Tips : American Hiking Society

If you are looking for a workout, hiking offers an opportunity to break a sweat. The level of excursion, however, might not be as high as most other exercises. Regardless of the exercise element, the mental health benefits of hiking are well noted. Life can be hectic and stress can build up without being noticed. Hiking is like taking a timeout from life. For that purpose, I used to participate in D2Hawkeye’s hiking whenever I can.

Entrace to Kali Baba’s meditation spot (legends)

The morning had promised a clear day ahead. I think good hiking has relation with clear day and moist forests leading to a peak revealing all terrains around but not limiting to this. Like other Sundays that morning too, D2Hawkeye premise has people early in the morning. Some were having chat with each other coffee in hand, while some were busy with table-tennis. The veterans were prepared for yet another hike. New ones eyes had glitter for the new experience about to come. Copies and pencils, which were to be distributed to needy students, started filling backpacks of participants in hiking. The pious aspect of our hiking is that we try to help schoolchildren every time we hike. When it was decided that all hiking members had arrived we gathered inside van which quickly left D2Hawkeye premise.

Nepali songs played in van were unable to satisfy everyone’s choice. We proceeded to Balaju from office where we picked up another hiking member. We left the city noise, dust, dirt all behind on entering cool peaceful forest from Balaju. Forgetting about all the jobs, chatting with one another, sharing past experiences we were making the time enjoyable to ourselves. We passed Goldhunga check post, but it seems the officers recognize our van so we passed without a word (might have been due to the numerous hiking in that part or it might be due to the current political situation).

Health Benefits of Hiking

More than 2,600 Americans die from cardiovascular disease each day, which is an average of 1 death every 33 seconds. While heart disease is caused by more than just inactivity, the odds of avoiding this leading cause of death in America can be greatly improved by maintaining a regular walking routine. The results of 43 separate studies by Centers for Disease Control showed that by exercising, individuals significantly reduce their chances for heart problems, while those who do not exercise are twice as likely
to have coronary heart disease.

Hiking can also decrease cholesterol levels, a common cause of heart disease. More specifically, it increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL), considered to be the “good” cholesterol, which helps move bad cholesterol from the artery walls. A study comparing the cholesterol levels of mail carriers, who walked a few miles daily, to people engaged in no exercise, proved that walking leads to an increase in the “good” HDL. The study’s results support hiking and walking as a method of stabilizing cholesterol levels.

It was a hazy and cold day with gentle breeze blowing from the morning promising rain. The beautiful track along forests took twist and turns making the travel more captivating by the sceneries. Passing Ohso Tapoban we reached Panchmane, which is to be the starting point for hike. Alu(fried potato), chiura(beaten rice), boiled egg and bhutan(goat’s meat) were main dishes for breakfast there.

At about 8.30 am hiking started. Some members had already left but Surendra was busy with his compass and a topographic map for the direction in case we lost the way. A line of 18 members could be seen on those sandy hills of Panchmane making their way towards Tarakeshwor. Old hikers and those with strong legs were far ahead leaving the new ones and others. New subgroup used to form and break many times in path. We were aware of the fact that we had climbed some altitude by the change in vegetation. Widespread flat-land could be seen when there is clearance in the forest. The forest was dense with shrubs and few tall trees. The path to Tarakeshwor contained steep climbs and some plain road. We heard our friend’s call from a vertical stone cliff. It seemed unconquerable, but a well-built steps-way carried us to the top of that same cliff. This place is called Tarakeshwor, a religious place where people arrive to worship lord Shiva. Shree Nath, a yogi, lived in a modern hut in the cliff. Bhaskar did not lose a moment to meditate in that superb place. We had brought a photo as gift of that yogi taken in past hike to him from office. He loved our gift. Herbal tea, which he used to prepare, was famous and we were not going to miss that. We had a first sight of Rhododendron in that hut. After having tea, we started for Kakani. The choice of those who love more adventure was left for Mohana and new hikers and a short hike was planned before leaving office. However, a steep path filled with dry leaves made us hard to make firm foothold. We seek shrubs and grass root to make sure that we did not fall of such a vertical cliff. We passed right on top of the cliff from there. Whenever the small trail leaded to bifurcated trails, we had tough time deciding. We left a trail thinking that it might lead to same hut and proceeded to height. The snow, fallen few days back had broke trees and for us it had completely ruined trails in the forest. So we need to make our own way. Many promising trails had deceived us. We got halfway down an everlasting extremely steep hill only to find that we had climbed down for nothing and had to go the other way. Mohana’s home made titaura and biscuits, cheese brought by Vishnu were so delicious at that moment. Other people too have carried some foods and all of it was shared.

The forest started filling with fog and rain, which was certain had already started. In many places, we could not stand without support. We knew that road was very near below us but we just cannot climb down. We tried then to ascend more and climbing down from other part. With some difficulty, we found the trails again. We descended by that trail and reached the Scout area of Kakani. It was victorious moment for us. We gobbled up remaining food. In a happy mood, we reached Kakani where our van was waiting at 2.30 pm. We distributed the copies and pencils we brought along and left Kakani. We had a nice lunch in the same place where we had breakfast in Panchmane and we left for home.
It was a nice hike filled with adventure, herbal-tea, and support of one member to other. Well not to forget Surendra’s compass helped a lot.

Two became our lunch, three survived

Mohana hands the portrait to Kali Baba’s chela

Mohana discovered the missing link between Compass and Direction

BinayaA handling out stationaries to students

Teacher Ramesh Yadav

Mrs. transfering $ to Mr. Cameraman

Urban Baba serving wild tea

BinayaA picking the fallen Rajan

Sharing secrets of Buckingham palace

Surendra leads the pack

Shortly after Mohana leads

Nepal Scouts camping site in the distance

V collection

Rajan and Mohana distribute stationaries

RupaA trudges along home grounds

I know its hard to believe, but this chicken is guarding the axe.

Bhuttan breakfast at Panchmane

Trail to Tarakeswor

Surendra sets this “kendriya yantra”

Village past Panchmane

We are bandmates


Steps to Tarakeswor

Lingam at Tarakeswor


Resting outside of Kali Baba’s ashram

Insomnic Baba, Urban Baba and Nishchan Dada

Baba doing what he does best

Basu and Nix aim at the same spot



Mohana starts

Ashram from another angle

Hikers rest

Shivapuri jungle

Tree bark

Mohana makes a 911 call but no one answers

Hiking team

Carrying fodder for household work

Walking towards Tarakeswor


Charitable deeds

Basu’s Rhododendron trick

Serpentine moves

Games of nature

Hazardous crossing through a fallen tree

Mahesh doing God knows what

Tin and Tar

Looking towards Balaju far far away

Moving up

Nagarjuna range

RupaA sharp and alert in downhills

Famous rock at Tarakeswor


At Tarakeswor

Rudra’s promise fulfilled


Stoney courtyard

Supposedly Kali Baba’s meditation spot

Black waters

Stairways to Tarakeswor temple

Surendra decides enough is enough and the time is now

Mohana thinks about rock climbing next time around

Bhaskar lifts the Hanuman flag

Dried orchids

Tree Monologue

Basu draws to confuse wild boars

Surendra helps Mohana towards the lek


Finally we reach Kakani

Team shot at Kakani

Rudra do you remember your Scout Lady? Think back to that day …

The school where we distributed the stationaries

Children in happy mood

Thank you Sir, Thank you Miss