Outskirt of Kathmandu Valley – Jagdol Park to Tarebhir

Outskirt of Kathmandu Valley – Jagdol Park to Tarebhir

For the past three months, I have been confined to my home  due to pandemic Covid-19, as we all know it  has spread globally which  clouded billions of people’s lives.  Even, democrats governments around the globe also forced their citizens to live within their residence’s boundary by enacting strict rules and regulations. Days were not like before, free movements were restricted and forced people to live like house arrest. It was beyond the  imagination to hang out with dearest and nearest as a means of travel. Due to Covid -19’s fear, anxiety, and stress  peoples living standard and livelihood  was getting vulnerable days by day. The future seems uncertain, commercial activities were shut down and has affected all sectors except medicine and food. Like many sectors tourism industry has also badly affected and it has triggered unprecedented loss. According to different studies it is predicted that tourism sector will face negative 60-80% diminish in the international tourism industries whose impact is inseparable to Nepalese tourism industry too. This is unfortunate to outbreak Covid-19 while celebrating visit Nepal 2020. Poured investment in this sector turned completely into unproductive and may entrepreneurs and employees suffered from financial crises.  Having said that we shouldn’t give hope for positivism  and we all know blue sky seen much better after heavy rainfall.

For the first Fifteen days the lock down period was not noticeable, everybody took it positively for family time, relaxation and leisure. For me I was also happy because I didn’t have to go to the office on daily basis. Social medias were trending with new dishes and family members pictures and videos. Similarly, it turned into the fashion to have group video call and play online ludo among relatives, friends and families. Childhood friends were connected and recalled their bygone days. But, theory of limit converted those activities into transient and declining. Again the situation became such that the general became frightened, anxious and restless. The sense of eagerness to get an updates on news and statistics of Covid-19 on social media and the internet is also gradually weaken.  The  recurring news for extension of  lockdown period  further turned situation into panicking  and suffocated. Due to extreme tolerance people raised their voices voluntarily  for unlock. Finally the government also loosen it policy. Gradually, shops began to open and the odd even rule of thumb was imposed on personal vehicles for mobility.

Taking an advantage of the loose policy by government, we family members formulated a plan to go on a day hike. The risks and challenges in the proposed proposal were health (getting infected by Covid-19) , weather (rainy season)  and destination (government has not opened hiking trails), respectively but, with the consent of all a one-day hike was passed and the destination was decided.  In the month of Asar (rainy season), when there was no single query from anyone regarding the weather, it became clear how eager and excited  we were to go for a day hike beyond the compound of house.

We decided to meet at Venus College Jorpati – Sundarijal Marg Gokarneshwor at 8 am the next morning.  Ramu Dai and Hema Bhauju reached there on time as decided, while Krishna Dai, Bharat Dai, Sindhu Bhauju, me and my wife reached a little late.  The route was proposed by Krishna Dai hence, he further took initiation to manage lunch en-route. Actually he was experienced and familiar in this trail so he took his cell phone called to Maila dai and circulate information to prepare lunch for Seven pax before formally commencing hiking form Venus college. From Venus college to Jagadol park we walked thorough black topped road where the terrain is similar to urban area. But ahead of Jagdol park, the settlement gradually became thinner and greenery become thicker. We were so excited might be because of first hike after lockdown that even the most ordinary scenery gave us satisfaction like sprawling cucumber vines with gherkins, chili pepper in dark green foliage, the corn in the orchard etc. In the month of Ashar, we kept going to our destination by buying plastic sheet to protect us from rain in case of raining. From here uphill trail passes though pine trees jungle all the way to Taebhir many of the hikers hike form this route but we chose another way  a dirt road on our right although, it’s a bit lengthy but relatively easier. Why we did this was foremost we like to hike round the terrain instead of climbing up and climbing down form same route and secondly, our lunch point is en route via dirt road not on the trail. As it was a dirt road which was more than enough us to walk together exchanging  conversations, critique and comments. It was a fun to  actively engage in a discussion and putting arguments for and against matter. We were walking on outskirt terrain of Kathmandu which was less crowded and beautiful. The sight of newly planted paddy field and ongoing paddy plantation activities (Ropaai) was really amazing. In addition of greenery, the gust of wind that blew form mountain added liveliness to our hike. It was unknown to us how fast due to amazing scenery and our interesting gossip we reached to our lunch point.

Hiking trail

At lunch point (traditional tea house) despite of the relative’s wedding ceremony and the devastation of Covid-19, I was surprised to see that the sister of the shop was rushing to feed us. Excitingly she said you reached here too early please have a seat then she  laid traditional mat on the on the floor with full of hospitality. Meanwhile brothers -in -laws sat on the mat, while we sat on mudas (small stool made up of bamboo and rope) but, Ramu dai find his comfort sitting on chair in court yard. The jokes and gossip continued till the preparation of lunch. At the same elder brother (Ramu dai) took stand to cook pumpkin shoots in firewood for additional authentic taste in our lunch. The tea house sister did it accordingly. Brother Krishna stood up went to the court yard and pointed to the rocky cliff uphill with his index finger and said that is our destination far to the horizon.  By the time food was ready everyone sat down on mat in traditional Nepali style and ate lunch. The food was delicious, but its deliciousness was shadowed by its strong spicy taste. We came to know the uniqueness of this lunch is local rice whose texture and taste was different than ordinary rice found in the market. After eating, we settled  the bill said goodbye to the sister of the teahouse and continue on our way.  As the horizontal dirt road was came to an end, we slowly started ascending. There was minimal moment of people due to Covid-19 and lock down impact where we were noticed by locals differently through the way frequently. At one shop on foothill we purchased drinking back pack it and continue our journey. While climbing uphill via dirt motor able road scenery of grazing cattle, lush greenery were magnificent. Hiking with the proximity of nature we recalled our bygone childhood days. The memory we spent at our village suddenly started recurring  could be because of  similarity in topology. During hike we have plus point, the weather was very good, with little or no sunshine or rain. Slow and gentle walk continued till hill top clicking picture, gossiping and cracking jokes frequently. The drizzle of water that fell on the horizontal trail while descending helps us to get rid out of sweating.

Hiking trail through pine forest

Now along the way, shops targeted at tourists began to appear.  The trail ahead was steep down through pine forest. This is the same forest on the left as we climbed up in the morning, which was very beautiful. Now this place was bustling with hikers, I thought the popularity of this place could be the reason behind the arrival of so many hikers. People come here not only for hiking but also for cycling.  Walking through the pine forest, the rustle of the forest added more liveliness to the journey, but the downhill road was slippery, so we walked carefully.  The atmosphere and the geography were such that everyone was excited.  We also took a rest under the pine trees in that wonderful environment.  The combination of the cool breeze and the drizzle added  aroma to that that place and the atmosphere.  We saw many travelers clustering in small groups inside the pine forest and were busy for their own activities like camping, tight rope walking, picnic etc. Nowadays among Nepalese there is an increase trend for  travelling to new destinations could be the reason behind inflowing hikers in this place, which is a positive aspect for domestic tourism development in Nepal. After resting for a while, we started walking down the same path again. The footpath, the atmosphere and the surroundings were so pleasant to unwind  ourselves.  The view of sunrays filtering through pine trees and striking on dropped pine needles mulch further added value to this trail. At one point we collected pine needles mulch and played with it took pictures. During clicking pictures the atmosphere we created by means of cracking jokes still fresh in my mind while writing this travel memoir. Finally, after that memorable moment, we continued our journey leaving pine forest behind and came to the junction of trail and dirt road where we choose to hike via dirt road in the morning. Slowly we were approaching towards the city where there human settlement and movement become thicker and thicker.  Now that delightful journey had become a past memory in front of the city empire, keeping the same memories safe in our minds, we terminated our hike and went to our own homes.

At present, it is well known to us that the tourism business is in dire straits due to Covid-19.  Our small efforts can contribute to bring this industry into its platform. As a Nepalese citizen we should support domestic tourism. So, let us all pledge that first we will travel around the country and abroad once circumstances comes under control.

PLEASE SUPPORT DOMESTIC TOURISM

Jagdol ParkTarebhir
Hemant Gautam
Hemant Gautam
I am a traveler who loves to explore, experience and learn through travelling. I will share my travel reminiscence, culture & festivals, lifestyle and stories relating to recently visited destination in this platform.