Abhilasha Rayamajhi enjoys a soothing hike and explores the outskirts of the valley
As nature lover I am keen to explore and connect with the magnificent hills, racing rivers, green dense forests and cool breeze that revives the soul. Every once in a while I come out of the humdrum city life to experience the surreal beauty of nature. My connection with nature refreshes me and renews my vigour for life. However, due to college and work I hardly get time enough to travel. Last week, I could finally take time out from my hectic schedule to hike with an amazing bunch of hikers from Hike for Nepal. Hike for Nepal is an initiative by young travel entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to promote Nepal as a safe travel destination after the recent earthquake and its aftermath.
Our hiking route would start from Gundu village which is located two kilometres from Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur and conclude at Sanga. It was a bright Saturday morning; I woke up early and got ready for the hike. My excitement knew no bounds. All the hikers gathered at Bhrikutimandap and registered for the hike. Before we started we were briefed about the route and lunch packs were distributed. We then all boarded the bus and off we headed to Gundu village.
The alluring Gundu village, its trails, small houses and the innocent smiling faces of children on the way got a hold of my heart. The hill from the village was a challenge to climb as it was steep and slippery. It was difficult for many hikers including me to balance ourselves. However, after we reached the top of the hill, beautiful scenery of green lush fields and blue sky welcomed us along with refreshing breeze. The weather was perfect and romantic. The golden rays of the sun fell into the pristine valley and most hikers scrambled to capture the scene with their cameras. Pilot Baba Ashram and Somnath temple is situated at the top of the hill. The holy shrine is built by the sage Pilot Baba who is believed to have renounced the material world for the spiritual one.
We moved along the trail and explored the hills and villages ahead. The next hill was called Ghyampe dada, a hill that encompassed its own beauty. There were old women dressed in traditional red dhoti and cholo preparing alcohol out of millet and rice. A few steps ahead there were pear orchards in full bloom. The farmers allowed us to pluck fruits from the trees! We also bought some off them. Next we hiked downhill to Aashapuri Mahadev temple which lies between Bhaktapur and Kavre. The pristine and sparkling Ashapuri River races through these two settlements. There are natural water spouts in and around the temple. Devotees paying homage to the deity usually bathe in the river or water spouts before they enter the main temple.
We stopped to catch our breath for a while and took the opportunity to know each other better. We introduced ourselves to the rest of the group. It was nice to know people I had never met and I must say I made a couple of friends too. As the evening crept in we sipped on cold drinks, feasted on selroti and spicy tarkari in a local shop near the temple. With our stomachs full and mind refreshed we then headed to Sanga where our vehicles waited to take us back to Kathmandu.
Even though I was exhausted and the thrill of the hike is yet to wear off, I am in high spirits. Every journey is beautiful if you enjoy the company. Life is a continuous journey and I choose to live every moment of it. I choose happiness for my soul. I choose many more of these journeys with people who soothe my soul and places that rejuvenate my mind.
A version of this article appears in print on September 17, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.