|Route||Kathmandu=> Dhulikhel => Balthali via Namobuddha|
|Date||27-28 March 2014|
|Participants||Sagar Atri, Prajwal Rajbhandari, Abhishek Bhandari, Suvechhya Bastola, Prabhat KC, Satish Adhikari, Sanjeev Parajuli, Nirma Basnet|
|Report by||Sagar Atri|
“I was drawn to Balthali Village Resort by the promise of “off the beaten track” adventure. I found this and more! I leave reluctantly after 6 days enchanted by the beauty and friendliness of the people”.
This was what one tourist from New Zealand said in his blog that caught our eyes one fine weekday afternoon in the office. It didn’t take too long for us to realize that we needed a break from the crowds of Kathmandu to somewhere peaceful, it then just strike- why not a couple days hiking to Balthali village. Plan was fixed for following weekend. Prajjwal did a quick homework on the internet and made necessary booking in one of the Homestays in Balthali.
Just after morning tea I headed towards RIBB office in Sinamangal, which was the starting point of our two days much excited-about trip. At around 8am all eight of us gathered. And we drove to dhulikhel- a 45 minutes drive. It was dhulikhel where the actual hiking would start from. In dhulikhel we met Sudeep shrestha our long time friend since KU, who took us to a famous local breakfast point of Dhulikhel, notable for “pankaj”- a puri and papad roll! Breakfast was delicious and the excitement was high.
At 10 am we started hiking uphill to Devithan. The air was fresh and the weather was nice. We were hopeful on getting glances of the Himalayas on our way. In about 45 minutes we reached the top of Devithan hill. There were a few paragliding tourists unfolding their gears atop the hill. We weren’t very tired yet to need a break so we kept moving on. We were passing through things that reflect typical village lifestyle- traditional houses, a common water-source a.k.a. padhero, and so on. We could see students in uniforms on way to school. The ones we saw must have been late that day, as it was already around 11 in the morning. Abhishek was keen on photography activities.
After couple refreshment breaks on the way, we reached Namobuddha at around 1:30 pm. Like all Buddhist shrines, Namobuddha gumba gave us all, that special feeling of peace. A local monk told us that Namobudhha was actually one of the meditating places of Gautam Buddha himself before he finally went to Bodhgaya in india, where he found nirvana. After enjoying the ambience and gazing over beautiful hilltops around, we sat down for delicious lunch. At 3:00 pm we started downhill for Balthali. The hiking trail was getting even better. Orange farms on the hilly slopes and river on the base of the hill made the view just splendid. Local farmers on the way were very generous to give us some oranges to taste- one of the most delicious orange I ever had! At around 6:00 pm we reached our destination, Balthali village. The village was indeed very beautiful and clean. Traditional Nepali thatched houses arranged beautifully among large Potato fields (at this time of the year). After walking cross a few potato fields, we reached our Homestay where we were greeted with typical Nepali snack of mohi and makkai. The owner Sabina didi was a very friendly and charming lady. She also arranged a bonfire for us in the aagan before dinner. Every bit of the day was enjoyed to the fullest.
Next day, after breakfast we headed towards Panauti- a small town where we could find a bus back to Kathmandu. It was just a 45 minutes’ walk, let’s call it a refreshing morning walk. From Panauti, with all the sweet memories from the day before, we got on the bus back to Kathmandu. A well spent weekend I must say!