Date: Sep 13 , 2009 Saturday .
Hike Coordinator: Sangharsha Bhattarai
Participants: Abanish Kayastha, Anup Basnet, Anup Sharma, Asim Khanal, Bipin Karmacharya, Robert Thompson, Deepak Maharjhan, Manish Shrestha, Paras Babu Tiwari, Pragya Ratna Bajracharya, Sangharsha Bhattarai, Sanket Shrestha, Saroj Dahal, Sudeep Khatiwada, Suresh Thapa
Photos: Manish Shrestha, Sangharsha Bhattarai, Suresh Thapa
Caption: Abanish Kayastha, Anup Sharma, Sangharsha Bhattarai
Report By: Abanish Kayastha, Bipin Karmacharya, Anup Sharma, Pragya Ratna Bajracharya, Sangharsha Bhattarai
Design Support: Dijup Tuladhar
Geolocation: Budhanilkantha (27° 47′ 29.2518″, 85° 22′ 15.042″), Shivpauri Nat Park Gate (27° 46′ 41.1234″, 85° 21′ 45.1866″), NagiGumga (27° 47′ 0.0738″, 85° 22′ 53.5326″), Bagdwar-Shivapuri Peak (27° 48′ 47.7648″, 85° 23′ 7.4364″), Muhan Pokhari (27° 46′ 41.1234″, 85° 21′ 45.1866″)
6:00 pm – Back to Square One
Finally, the tough and adventurous hike came to an end when we reached Muhan Pokhari at 6:00 pm. Taking a sigh of relief and patting ourselves for successful hike, we looked at our watches. It was a 9hrs trip up the hill and down leaving us exhausted, thirsty, tired and starved. The next destination, to quench our thirst and fill our tummies, was a good restaurant. After driving for around 15mins from the place we started the hike, we met a restaurant on the way. The hungry souls were unleashed. Having a bit of snacks along with chilled beers & cold drinks followed by hot dal bhat tarkari helped us rejuvenated on day that was mostly filled with jungle thrills. Finally, at around 9pm we reached the office and headed towards our homes after bidding adieus. All of us were really tired and looking forward to hit the sack resting on the reminiscences from the day’s hike.
4:00 pm – Running down the hill
The steep rundown at this time felt as if it would never end at all. The difficult trail created by rainwater gave a torrid time to our tiring legs. The entire team was forced to split into a number of groups. We were reliving the saying “A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo” as we dragged ourselves down this passage. The brisk walkers, among us hikers, were completely out of sight down the hill. Some of the groups that followed them, spotted several signs along the way, which were created by the galloping group so as to provide directions towards the base. While some other were unlucky enough to have chosen a wrong path, thereby making their experience even more treacherous.
“A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo”
2:00 pm – Peeping into the clouds, at the amazing view point
The trail covered with wet leaves was not manmade and travelling through it reminded of bygone days. Moving slowly towards the valley, the team got divided into two. Those who could move fast in the lot galloped ahead while the remaining moved slowly taking refuge of little rests on the way down. Since Manish had cramped his both legs, those coming at the back moved even more slowly by taking cautious steps and ensuring that Manish was not straining his legs. But the trail was tough. We literally had to run at times even when we knew Manish was seriously crippled. It was fun though. We jumped from one rock to the other while at other times we took cautious steps fearing of slippery surface underneath our feet.
1:00 pm- Abode Shivapuri Peak @ 2732 meters
Spending about an hour over the spot at 1:00pm we then ascended towards the Shivapuri peak , 2732 metres from sea level. After about a minute away Bag Dwar, we reached courtyard of a hut where some Babaji (yogis) had stayed upon for their ‘dhyan’. After some time chatting with them, they showed us the way uphill to shivapuri. To our utter dismay, we barely saw a trail that would lead us to the way. Hence we decided to consult with some other ‘Babas’, whom we met along the way. These consultations turned out to be quite misleading, since each of them had their own opinion regarding the correct trail. These conflicting opinions created sparks of agitation among us tiring hikers, and in the moment of desperation, we chose the path that was initially chosen.
The zigzag trail towards the peak was surrounded by tall Oak trees, and was relatively different from the steep path that we had ascended on our way to Bag Dwar from Nagi Gumba. Everyone talked about the toughness of the road as well as the number of leeches that had attacked them. Crossing few stone steps after all the slippery trails with withered leaves we reached the peak of the Shivapuri. Unfortunately, we were surrounded with mist when we reached there. So we couldn’t see anything beside them. We were soaking in sweat, taking sighs, laying on backs. Reaching over the 2nd highest hills around the valley, we felt overjoyed. Had it been around April, the forest would have been covered with rhododendrons. The 5.5hrs of uphill marked the halfway of the day’s excursion. After taking short rest and few group snaps we started to descend.
12:00 noon – Bag-Dwar, the origin of Bagmati & home of Todke Baba
After 2 hrs of climb at 12pm, on descend of few steps we reached our second destination, Bag Dwar. The place is named after the Nepali term for tiger, and has a stone spout resembling tiger’s face. It was like a small courtyard in between two hills with a small pond amidst which a small sculpture of Lord Shiva stood. The water from the place is said to be the origin of the holy river ‘Bagmati’, thereby making it an important place for Hindus as well as Buddhists.
It was so silent and delightful that we forgot the world outside. The water from the spout so chilly that we could feel its chill as it down poured into our stomach. We reenergized ourselves with the foods, snacks and fruits that remained with us.
“The water from the place is said to be the origin of the holy river ‘Bagmati’, thereby making it an important place for Hindus as well as Buddhists.”
11:00 am – Walking through the lush green jungle
Midway through the passage to Bag Dwar, laid a dense jungle covered with rain dampened leaves and fallen trees. The walk through such passage was accompanied by a ‘playful’ sun, which was busy playing hide and seek with the clouds and the trees that stood overhead. The lush green jungle cooled the temperature to a pleasant range, hence making it easy for us to move ahead. We made brief stops along the way to recharge ourselves with snacks and water, and also to add reinforcements to our protection shields against the leeches.
“The walk through such passage was accompanied by a ‘playful’ sun, which was busy playing hide and seek with the clouds and the trees that stood overhead.”
10:00 am – NagiGumba, the second base station
We had our fair share of rest at the Nagi gumba premises and thereby proceeded to our second base, Bag Dwar. The plain fields at the gumba premises quickly disappeared, as we marched in unison along the steep trails. Anup Sharma took over the role of being the pacesetter for the rest of the hike. The level of difficulty of the trail that followed escalated from ‘easy’ to ‘moderate’, thanks to a stirring combination of steep climb and sporadic booby-traps formed by leeches.
“Little did we know that the first stop we chose happened to be a safe haven for the leeches as well.”
09:00 am – Square One, Shivapuri National Park gate @ Budhanilkantha
After a brief stop at the Buddhanilkantha temple area for our breakfast, we were headed to the starting point of our hike, the Shivapuri National Reserve. The guards there collected our names and provided us with the tickets to our destination. Within an hour, we had entered the peaceful premises of Nagi Gumba. The monks, residing there, were engaged in their daily activities. We rested there for a while and energized ourselves with the Red bull tonic carried along by Anup Dai. Little did we know that the first stop we chose happened to be a safe haven for the leeches as well. The mere sightings of such leeches enforced us to take proactive actions in order to prevent ourselves from being ‘sucked’ along the way.