Adventure is a part of my life, riding a motorcycle to remote places is also my hobby. In this context, I have already rode Mechi in the east to Mahakali in the west Korla (Mustang) in the north to Sunauli in the south within Nepal. During these journeys, I have learned many things and had collected beautiful experiences which are now became source of inspiration and living style of my life. Exploring destinations as per the will was easy during my bachelor days but, I got married recently. Before marriage I used to dream about beautiful moments of couple adventure by exploring and experiencing new-new destinations rather than traditional style of travelling. It was winter and snowfall started to high altitude areas in Nepal. As couple adventure I was looking for long ride with my wife. Finally I decided to visit Kalinchowk in the mid winter of 2019.
Kalinchowk is popular religious, natural and adventure destination which can be reached in a single day form the capital city of Nepal Kathmandu. Winter season is its peak season specially after snowfall. Its terrain is perfect to have fun for snow related activities. That is why many youngster’s dreamed to visit Kalinchowk to play with snow. That was my second time for Kalinchowk trip but, for my wife that was her first time and she is going to explore at the height of 3842. I was bit worried about the potential resulting consequences of high altitude sickness as she was born and brought up in warm region. However, we decided to reach Kalinchowk as a means of couple adventure and choose biking instead of purchasing luxury travel package.
I had no problem because I am an experienced motorcyclist but in the case of my wife definitely, it would going to be an exciting and thrilling experience to her. I know she had never rode on a motorcycle as pillion to such a long and rough road before. I tribute to her courage as she was ready to embarked a journey carrying Sixty liter backpack on her back. This is how we headed toward couple adventure. The distance from Kathmandu to Kuri village in Kalinchok is only 148 kilometres, but it is not easy due to the terrain tough rough structure of the road. As the entire journey was new to my wife, So, I continued riding by identifying places to her. We crossed Suryavinayak, Saga, Banepa, Dhulikhel, Pachkhal, Zero Kilo respectively and stopped at Dolalghat for breakfast.
It was like dream come true having my sweetheart as pillion while riding on the beautiful road along with the Sunkoshi river. Shining sun in middle winter, burble of pristine sunkoshi river, fresh blowing wind form wheat and mustard field had added liveliness to our trip. We kept going having our interesting gossip, laughing at silly jokes taking pictures and making videos. Suddenly, I realized the rear break of my bike was not working. Safety is the foremost priority to my any trip so we stopped at Balafi to repair bike. After, installing original rear break and other minor repairs I kept riding confidently without having the doubts of mechanical failure. The condition of road was fine till the place called Khadihaur. After crossing the Sunkoshi river from Khadichaur, there was inconvenience on the way.
As we are inclining up special attention should be paid to the vehicles coming from opposite directions specially in the narrow turning. The road was deteriorated badly so slow and focus ride was much needed. Despite of bad road condition, I experienced panicking situation in two conditions while heavy vehicle coming from opposite side by producing thick layer of dust and difficulties of overtaking the vehicles because of poor visibility due to heavy flying dust. Really, those moments were the nightmare in that tough terrain. I then applied the strategy to understand the terrain first and apply respective speed to avoid potential slips. On this way I like the terrain of Kharidhunga very much so my focus was to reach Kharidhunga overcoming that gravel, slippery and dusty road.
I always develop destinations related customized t-shirts to make the trip memorable whenever traveling. Similarly, in that trip I and my fiancée were wearing black T-shirt containing customized map from Kathmandu to Kalinchowk in front side and the slogan ” We two -memory of Kalinchowk -2076″ on back. Wearing such clothing had added extra value to our trip as couple adventure and foster love and care to each other. The purpose of designing and wearing customized attire behind my travelling trip is to collect and secure the memorial items for future as a means of souvenir about visited destinations. Where, I believe bygone memories will be re-called easily in future (even in old age) by looking to this items. Which is my different style and I am doing so in my every trip.
As a pillion rider I knew she was facing frequent difficulties to adjust tilting bag and fixing loosen stripe time to time due to rough and tough terrain but, never complained about it to the entire trip. When we reached Kharidhunga after crossing such a difficult road, our fatigue and tiredness was blown away by the beauty of its landscape. For sightseeing, I decided to reach the hill top of Kharidhunga and took left turn, I stopped at the ridge of hill after riding few minutes in the dirt trail. As a reflection of joy and happiness I noticed beautiful smile on my wife’s face while taking off my helmet in that breathtaking calm place. We sat on the ridge and had a view of beautiful landscape view in the presence of cold blowing wind.
The moment we spent together to take picture by adjusting tripod is still fresh in my mind. It was indeed full of fun on the lap of mighty nature. After spending an hour at Kharidunga we continued our journey. Leaving Kharidhunga, we took a left turn from Makaibari to Deurali and stopped for lunch in traditional tea house. That was the dedicated road to reach Kalinchowk where, the road was overcrowded by motorcycles and Jeeps. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I was confused about what to do. Kuri village was not far from Deurali in distance may be 18 kilometer but, the road was rough and awkward ahead. By seeing that crowd I put in dilemma what, if we do not find accommodation despite of reaching Kuri village? So changed my mind to reach Kuri village and returned Charikot to spent a night on that day.
I came to know I made a right decision not to reach Kuri villa on that day after hearing extreme shortage of rooms at Kuri village while taking room key from the reception at the hotel in Charikot. Next day we left Charikot and headed Kalinchowk at around 7 in the morning. The road to Deurali was fine but the road after that was super bumpy, slippery and extreme difficult. After few kilometers, firn began to appear along the road side in ubac sides. Gradually, those firn was replaced by snow and snow layer became thicker and thicker with reference to the ascending altitude. This resulted difficulty in riding however, I kept riding only form the four wheeler tyre marks. At one point, due to riding over verglass I was nearly skidded at one point but, managed to control my bike and escaped from potential occurrence of accident.
Approximately it was 3 kilometres to reach Kuri village but, due to heavy snowfall the dirt road was completely blocked. All the vehicles were parked side of the trail and everybody was walking. We also parked our bike finding a suitable place and started walking towards Kuri village. There were too many people which remind me the picture of busy city. That was the first time my beloved stepped into that altitude. Fortunately, the whole terrain was covered by thick snow but, I still had doubting for potential occurrence of high altitude sickens to her. The blue clear sky and shiny day had added picturesque value to beautiful snow covered sloppy meadow land. Many happy faces were playing snow with their nearest and dearest one and sharing their happiness. Although, I have been to many places of Nepal but, that was also my first experience with such heavy snow.
We embarked our journey as couple adventure and now becoming meaningful. In that marvelous and stunning landscape we started indulging in snow fun activities. Having snowball fight, building snowman, stomping together through snow and making foot print, skidding together by holding hands and marking love sign on fresh snow surface were undeniably romantic moments for us. After spending couple of hours with magical moments we headed towards Kuri village. It was difficult to walk further because of the supper slippery snow on the trail. However, we walked slowly and cautiously holding hands together. Sometimes the glare of sun used to dazzle our vision but, we continued our walk toward Kuri village. In the lap of Kalinchowk hilltop and snow covered Himalayas as background, the view of kuri village looked amazing with its blue roof top houses.
The cable car service has been in an operation form Kuri village to Kalinchowk hilltop, we decided reach to hilltop via cable car. After waiting two hours in queue we finally boarded to cable car and reach Kalinchowk hilltop. The view from hilltop all direction was extremely captivating. The most enchanting things form this hilltop is panoramic view of famous snow covered white mountains like Langtang, Gauri Shankar, Jujal, Ganesh, Dorje Lakpa etc. These mountains camouflage with presence of the sunlight as golden in the morning, silver in the afternoon and again golden in the evening. The inception of Tamakoshi river and Sunkoshi river lies to east and west from its peak respectively, and believed there is connection of these rivers origins with this peak. That is why this place is also called as a wonderland.
By contrast, this peak has also carry significance value for religion too. The power and destruction of Hindu goddess (Bhagawati) is worshipped in this hill top. According to sage Naraharinath’s scripture in his book Nepal Darshan, Goddess Ranachandi killed demons Maishasure, Raktibih, Sambhav & Asahmbav in this region. It is said steep plain meadow below the kalinchowk hilltop was the battlefield of goddess and demons. Present crack seen west of its peak is believed to have been pierced by a demon’s horn in that battle. The plain hill top, which can accommodate hardly hundreds of people has the temple of goddess Bhagawati. There is no definite proof as who has founded this temple, however there is a tradition of worshiping goddess Bhagwati since ancient times.
Surprising fact is that there is a Two by Three feed deep well in such a elevation. Where water remains uninterrupted in this well throughout the year. This specific well is worshipped as the idol of goddess Bhagawati. Despite of being Bhawati shrine animals are not sacrificed in its main temple however, a separate stone statue of Ganesha was established to the north of main well and scarification is made on the name of Kalinchowk Bhagawati. The hilltop Bhagawati shrine was adorned with a large number of tridents and bells offered by pilgrims. A very cautious and careful walk should be made while descending to this hilltop because of vertical climb-down. While climbing down my wife was extremely nervous due to its scaring terrain but, she successfully climb down holding my hands.
Part of couple adventure we two as husband and wife successfully visited the Kalinchok Bhagwati, the symbol of power and destruction in the middle of winter. Where we rode 365 kilometer to hilly terrain in our Two nights and Three days journey.
How to reach Kalinchowk?
Day 1 Kathmandu – Kuri Village 3450 m.
You can find public transportation form Kathmandu – Charkot and Charkikot – Kuri village. But, we recommend you to reserve private vehicle for the ease of your trip. Four wheel drive vehicle is must needed. We recommend you to stay at Kuri village on the same day. It is compulsory to book hotels rooms in an advance.
Day 2 Kuri village – Kalinchowk hilltop 3842 m.
If you have no problem with walking we recommend you to hike form Kuri village to hill top. Or you can ride cable car till hill top. For better experiences hiking is preferable, It can one to two hours to reach hill top depending upon your stamina. But, you must be careful for the potential risks of high altitude sickness. So carry necessary food items, drinking water and medicine along with you. To explore more terrain return Kuri village via alternate trail.
Day 3 Kuri village – Kathmandu
Return Kathmandu via land transpiration.
Hotels and Accommodation
There are standard hotels and tea house available in Kuri village. But rooms often shortage in the peak season specially in weekends. In that case you can stay as Charikot and visit Kalinchowk temple next day. We recommend you to visit Kalinchowk in week days to avoid crowded. Book your hotel prior commencing your trip.
Geography Countryside, rural village, mountain forest, timber line and alpine area
Attraction Religious and natural
Level of difficulty Easy to medium
Duration One Night/Two Days Or Two Nights/Three Days
Distance Km 300 Km
Best season Autumn (September – November) & Spring (March – May)
Maximum altitude 3842m
Accommodation Standard Lodge/teahouses