Tale of the first ascent of the world’s highest peak

Kanchha Sherpa, the last surviving member of the 1953 British Everest Expedition shares his memories of the successful ascent.

— By Rajiv Joshi

Well, George, we knocked the bastard off!
Sir Edmund Hillary told his friend George Lowe while returning from the first-ever ascent of Mt Everest back in 1953. Though discovered as the highest peak on earth in the 1850s, Mt Everest was relatively unknown to many people. The successful summit, however, made Mt Everest popular all over the world.

Attempts to climb Mt Everest, however, had begun in the 1920s. Various expeditions were organized from the northern side as it was difficult to obtain a permit for foreigners from the Nepali side. When Nepal opened its borders for foreigners in the 1950s, expedition teams started attempting the mountain from the southern side. In 1950, a small group led by a British, Bill Tilman, undertook an exploration trip to Mount Everest. The team developed a standard route to Everest via the south col. Next year, another British expedition led by Eric Shipton traveled Nepal to survey a new route via the south face. The exploration teams at that time identified various possible routes from the Nepali side. But the only one they considered feasible was taking the route via the Khumbu Icefall, Western Cwm (a broad, flat, gently heaving glacial valley basin at the base of the Lhotse Face of Mt. Everest), traversing to the South Col.

In 1952, members of the Swiss expedition team made two attempts on Everest in spring and autumn. Two members of the spring team — Robert Lambert and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa — reached the record altitude of 8,510 m. on the southeast ridge. They had to retreat because of the unsettled weather conditions. A year later, Tenzing Norgay, now with British expedition, and Sir Edmund Hillary reached the summit of Mt Everest.

Kanchha Sherpa
Kanchha Sherpa

Darjeeling in 1952 together with his friends at the age of 19 to search for some works, returned to the Everest region a year later as part of the British Everest Expeditions. “We headed straight to Tenzing’s house. As Tenzing knew my father, he allowed me to stay with him,” Sherpa shared at his home in Namche Bazaar some months ago. “I helped Tenzing in household chores.”
Before meeting Tenzing, Kanchha had no idea that Mt Everest, which locals knew as Chomolungma, is the highest mountain in the world. “I was happy to know that the highest mountain in the world is in our backyard and that foreigners were planning to climb it,” he added.
Tenzing, a Sirdar of the British expedition, included Kanchha in the team. “I was both surprised and happy,” he added.
It was very difficult to travel to Kathmandu these days. Tenzing and Kanchha along with eight other Sherpas walked to Kathmandu from Birgunj. They stayed in Kathmandu for two weeks. Kanchha first met Hillary in Bhaktapur.
“He was the first foreigner that I met. I had not seen any foreigners before that. I had only heard that they are red-haired and white-eyed. I was surprised to see that tall man (Hillary),” Kanchha shared.
After all the equipment arrived, a jumbo team of 400 people, 15 expedition members from England and New Zealand, and 20 Sherpas and porters trekked all the way to Namche via Dolalghat-Risingo-Chitre route. “It took 16 days to reach Namche from Bhaktapur,” said Kanchha.

A group of Sherpas helped lead the first successful climb of Everest.
A group of Sherpas helped lead the first successful climb of Everest. (Photo: Royal Geographic Society)

 

New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepali Tenzing Norgay, the first men to summit Everest on May 29th 1953
New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepali Tenzing Norgay, the first men to summit Everest on May 29th, 1953

It was the ninth British expedition led by Col John Hunt. The expedition was organized and financed by the Joint Himalayan Committee. The team comprised of Britishers Charles Evans, George Band, Tom Bourdillon, Alfred Gregory, Wilfrid Noyce, Griffith Pugh, Tom Stobart, Michael Ward, Michael Westmacott, Charles Wylie; New Zealander Edmund Hillary, George Lowe, and Nepali Tenzing Norgay and Sherpa Annullu. James Morris, a correspondent of The Times newspaper, also accompanied the team.
“At that time, supplies were cheap but money was scarce. The daily wage of Rs 8 (US$ o.7 cent) that too in silver coins was a big thing for us. We were also provided with good gears, but it wouldn’t come fit,” shared Kanchha.
It took the team about a week to find the appropriate trail in the Khumbu Icefall. “Supplies were running out at the time we reached the Icefall. It was not as easy as it is today. Everything had to be built, even the bridges,” Kanchha shared.
The team fell ten trees in Namche Bazaar and carried the lumber all the way to the Khumbu Icefall to build a wooden bridge over the crevasse. “It was the toughest part. We were very afraid when crossing the bridge. But after crossing the bridge, the trail was easier,” he added.
Tenzing and Hillary got the opportunity to climb Everest only after the first choice pair Bourdillon and Evans returned unsuccessfully, said Kanchha. Tenzing and Hillary started on May 28 and reached the summit a day later, he added.

Light dusts Mount Everest’s West Shoulder and Nuptse, a nearby peak just southwest of Mount Everest, as the sun begins to set.
Light dusts Mount Everest’s West Shoulder and Nuptse, a nearby peak just southwest of Mount Everest, as the sun begins to set.

The record-making duo spent only about 15 minutes at the summit. Hillary took the iconic photo of Tenzing posing with his ice-ax. Additional photos were also taken looking down the mountain as proof of the successful ascent.

The land of Yeti, Tsum Valley

The unique culture and tradition of people living in this valley have remained intact even though modernity has gripped almost every place in Nepal. Many Tsumbas (residents of Tsum Valley) say that they have seen or found the signs of methi, commonly referred to as the ‘Yeti’ or ‘Abominable Snowman.’

 

Tsum Valley River
Tsum Valley River

Tsum comes from the Tibetan work ‘Tsombo,’ which means vivid. Historically, Tsum valley was a culturally distinct geographical area called ‘Tsum Tso Checksums,’ which means 13 provinces ruled as a single territory. The valley was recently opened for foreigners.

Situated at an altitude arise from a 1905m at Lokpa to over 5093m at Ngala Dhojhyang on the Tibetan border, the valley occupies an area of about 1663 sq. Km. Tsum Valley, popularly known as the “Hidden Valley,” is surrounded by Himal Chuli and Baudha Himal in the western past Ganesh Himal from the southern part and Sringi Himal from the Northen part. Tsum Valley includes two remote village development committees — Chahe Kampar (Upper Tsum) and Chumchet (Lower Tsum).

 

Temple in magic light
Temple in the magic light

The valley is especially untouched by modernism. Due to its remoteness, numerous ancient relics are seen almost everywhere in the valley. The unique culture and tradition of people living in this valley have remained intact even though modernity has gripped almost every place in Nepal. Many Tsumbas (residents of Tsum Valley) say that they have seen or found the signs of methi, commonly referred to as the ‘Yeti’ or ‘Abominable Snowman.’

 

Suspension bridges criss-cross over rivers and valleys below.
Suspension bridges cross over rivers and valleys below.

Thumbs are mostly of Tibetan origin and have a unique dialect. They are often referred to as ‘Bhote’ or ‘Bhotiya.’ Most of the Tsubas practice polyandry systems and families that are practicing polyandry systems are found well-managed and prosperous than other families.

According to elders, a group of nomads called Tamba Setto migrated to this Valley from Bichour in the Lamjung district many centuries ago. They were connected by the Bu Phaujyas, who came from Tibet to spread Buddhism. The Buddhist saint named “Milarepa” is believed to have meditated in the caves on the laps of mountains in Tsum Valley.

 

Stupa near Nile village - beautiful buddhist building - Manaslu and Tsum Valley trek in Nepal
Stupa near Nile village – beautiful buddhist building – Manaslu and Tsum Valley trek in Nepal

People in Tsum Valley have strong faith in Buddhism. They respect and worship Buddha, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), and some bodhisattvas. They install prayer flags, khata, or mani walls and burn butter lamps in monasteries, and they believe in the reincarnation of lamas. They follow numerous rituals, festivals against devil entities. They don’t believe in animal sacrifice to please their deities.

 

Housing a rich Nepalese (Tsum valley)
Housing a rich Nepalese (Tsum valley)

Tsumbas believe in reincarnation; thus, birth and death are just cyclic and not supreme. The birth of the child is a social occasion that reunites friends and family members. Generally, older adults in the house take care of the newborn, letting the adults work. Winter is a suitable season for marriage, as there is plenty of time to celebrate. Traditionally, older people find a match for youths. However, young people have started selecting partners on their own. The ritual of cremating dead people is very interesting. The dead body is kept untouched for several days until Lama’s visit. The astrological chart of the dead person determines the type of burial as per the four components — cremation, ground burial, water burial, or the sky.

 

Crossing ice blue rivers on the way out to Chumling.
Crossing ice blue rivers on the way out to Chumling.

Tsumbas are joyous by nature, and they celebrate numerous festivals, mask dances, and other rituals throughout the year. Festivals are the way for preserving centuries-old practices and make merry. Lhosar or the New Year festival is the most important in Tsum Valley. However, Tsumbas in Lower Tsum Valley celebrates the festival earlier than the Tsumbas in Upper Tsum. Dhaching or horse riding festival is another important festival in the hidden valley. Men enjoy horse riding and participate in races while women sing and dance in the evening. The festival is celebrated in December/January. Saka Dawa is another important festival in Tsum Valley. Rituals are performed at local monasteries and nunneries, and people take fast for a whole day during this festival.

 

Basking in the morning light.
Basking in the morning light.

Trek to Tsum Valley begins from Arughat in the Gorkha district and mostly end in Arughat. But the trek can also be linked to Annapurna Conservation Area before concluding at Besi Sahar in Lamjung.

 

Stupas in Tsum Valley, Nepal. Don't forget to pass them by the left, if you want your wish become real.
Stupas in Tsum Valley, Nepal. Don’t forget to pass them by the left, if you want your wish to become real.

 

Green wish village
Green wish village
Birds fly across the mountains of Chumling at sunset.
Birds fly across the mountains of Chumling at sunset.
Extreme Tsum Valley
Extreme Tsum Valley
Cheerful faces greet us along the way.
Cheerful faces greet us along the way to Tsum Valley

Le trek au Haut Dolpo

Dolpo est une des destinations plus intéressantes pour le trek au Népal pour de nombreuses raisons. Avec une superficie de 7889 kilomètres carrés, il est le plus grand district du Népal, et pourtant l’un des plus faibles densités de population. Il est riche en nature, il contient le lac le plus profond du Népal, le lac Phoksundo , qui est aussi le lac plus profond du monde de la haute altitude. Dolpo est parmi quelques districts qui se trouvent derrière la chaine d’Himalaya, l’abri de la mousson il pleut très peu. Les paysages sont désertiques.

A cause du climat rustique et des hautes montagnes la région est une des régions plus sauvage au Népal et pourtant le paysages sont fascinants. Il y a peu de gens qui vivent ou voyagent dans cette région. Une grande partie de Dolpo est réservé demande une permission spécial pour pouvoir entrer qui favorise la préservation de la culture unique du Dolpo.

Mountains in the boarder of Tibert

Le village Dho Tarap est une habitation à l’ altitude la plus élevée dans le monde. Le monastère Shey Gumba est le plus important monastère du Népal. Dolpo est riche en flore et la faune aussi. On peut observer des animaux sauvages. Mouton bleu , ghoral , et même des guépards , et de nombreuses autres espèces. Dans Haut Dolpo il y a des plantes médicinales qui sont rares comme Yarsagumba (une demi plante exotique, mi-animal qui est considéré comme un puissant aphrodisiaque) Jatamasi , Panchaunle , Chimailo , et bien d’autres . Chaque année, en mai et Juin, le parc national de Shey Phoksundo ouvre ses portes aux chercheurs d’ Yarsagumba .

 

Mars à Septembre est le bon moment pour faire du trekking dans cette région. Après Septembre, il commence à neiger, et le trekking est possible seulement avec un bon équipement. De Novembre il est déconseillé de faire le trek. Le meilleur moment est de Mars à Mai, car il peut pleuvoir en Juin et Juillet.

 

Les moyens de communication dans la région sont très difficiles à obtenir. Les téléphones satellites fonctionnent partout, mais ils sont coûteux. Les réseaux nationaux de communication ne fonctionnent pas bien ici. Le trek commence officiellement à partir de l’aéroport de Ranjha , un petit aéroport au-dessus de la ville de Juphal et se termine à Juphal.

Haut Dolpo Iitinéraire

Journée 1 Kathmandu-Nepalgunj

Conduite ou vol jusqu’à Nepalgunj.Hôtel

 

Journée 2 Juphal-Chhepka         

Trek jusqu’à Kagbeni environs 3 heures. Pause déjeuner à Kagbeni et on continue jusqu’à Chhekpa via Sangta. Lodge/Sous la tente

 

Journée 3 Chhepka-Chunuwar

Trek jusqu’à Rechi environs 4 heures passant par Dhane et Kiptarung. Après le déjeuner à Rechi on continue jusqu’à Chunuwar en suivant la rivière Phoksundo et la fôret dense. Nuit à Lodge/ Sous la tente

Journée 4 Chunuwar-Ringmo

Trek d’environs 2h30 jusqu’au tour d’observation d’où on peut profiter une vue spectaculaire de cascade de Phoksundo. Une montée pour apercevoir le lac. Une descente d’une heure jusqu’au village Ringmo. Nuit à Sous la tente

 

Journée 5 Ringmo-Ruktang

Trek jusqu’à Choklapuk. Le début d’haut Dolpo commence aujourd’hui.Le village Ringmo est la frontier entre Haut et Bas Dolpo.. Nous arrivons à Choklapuk en traversant les montagnes et forêt pendant 5 heures.Déjeuner à Choklapuk on continue jusqu’à Ruktang. Nuit à Sous la tente

 

Journée 6 Ruktang-Base Camp

Nous portons notre piqnique et continuons le trek jusqu’à campe de base en passant par plusieurs cascades qui se jettent dans la rivière.Nous traversons plusieurs fois la rivière. 6h pour arriver au campe de base. Nuit à Sous la tente

Shey Gompa

Journée 7 Base Camp- Shey Gompa

Nous portons la piquenique pour la journée et continuons vers Shey Gompa, le plus grand stupa du Népal. La journée cruciale car nous passons un col le plus haut du circuit.Piquenique en route. Environs 7 heures de trek jusqu’au Base Camp. Nuit à Sous la tente

 

Journée 8 Shey Gompa-Saldang

Trek jusqu’au petit village Namjung, 7 heures de trek. Déjeuner à Namjung et on continue jusqu’à Saldang, 4 heures de trek. Autre option s’arrêter à Namjung. Nuit à Sous la tente

Saldang

Journée 9 Saldang-Rhakyo

Trek jusqu’à Namdo, un petit village sur le chemin. Deux heures pour arriver à Namdo.Déjeuner à NamdoOn continue jusqu’à Rhakyo,cinq heures de trek. Cette partie du trek est la route commercial entre Tibet et Nepal. On peut croiser des caravanes des yacks et mullets. Nuit à Sous la tente

 

Journée 10 Rhakyo-High Camp

Nous suivons la rivière par un gorge. 6 heures de trek jusqu’à High Camp en altitude de 4850m. Nuit à Sous la tente

 

Journée 11 High Camp-Dho Tarap

Trek jusqu’à Jengla Pass,le dernier col à passer pour le circuit.5 heures de trek jusqu’au village Takshi . Déjeuner au village et une heure de trek jusuq’à Dho Tarap. Nuit à Sous la tente

 

Journée 12 Dho Tarap-Tangum

Trek jusqu’àTangum en passant par Lang and Tol Tol,. Déjeuner à Lang. 8 heures de trek. Nuit à Sous la tente

Grandfather in the village of Tinje in the Upper Dolpo Region

Journée 13 Tangum-Lashikyap   

Le trek continue par une vallée étroite Laini Odar en passant par la forêt de pin continuons jusqu’à Lashikyap village.

7 heures de trek. Nuit à Sous la tente

 

Journée 14 Lashikyap-Dunai

Trek jusqu’à Dunai, le centre départemenatl de Dolpa en passant par plusieurs villages Tarakot, Tarabagar, Sahar Tara and Tuppo Tara en route. 7h30 de trek. Nuit à Sous la tente

 

Journée 15 Dunai-Juphal

La dernière étape du trek commence par une piste jusqu’à Kalagauda et continuons par un chantier jusqu’à Juphal. 4 heures de trek. Nuit à Lodge/Sous la tente

Events of Visit Nepal Year 2020: From Mustang Ice Climbing to Skydiving in Syangboche

Nepal Government is working hard to make Visit Nepal 2020 Year a successful event. Various strategies and programs have been set up at the ministry level for this purpose. Although there are many tourist attractions in Nepal, it has not been abruptly promoted to the world. The government plans to identify Nepal as the best destination during the Visit Nepal Year 2020, especially for adventure tourism. Various programs have been set up for this. Here are the ten main promotional programs forwarded by Nepal government:

 

Ice Climbing festival in Manang

The Ice Climbing Festival is being organized in Manang with the participation of the world’s best ice climbers. According to the Secretariat of the Visit Nepal Year, this event is held on 2-4 February. It is planned to promote the festival as a fundamental event in South Asia. It is expected ice climbing in the mountains during winter will help in promoting Nepal as a brand country for this event.

Ice Climbing in Manang
Ice Climbing in Manang

Ice Hockey Match at Gokyo Lake

Ice hockey competition is going to be held at Gokyo Lake in Solukhumbu. In winter, when the water in the lake freezes, it turns into a field. An ice hockey game is planned for the same ground.

This competition will be organized in February 2020. Gokyo Lake is situated at the height of 4750 meters.

The International Hockey team of Finland has finalized to come to Nepal for an ice hockey event. The team will fly to Lukla Airport and trek to Gokyo Lake.

Also, an ice skating event will be organized on the same lake. Lake skaters from America are invited to this event. The government believes that this event will play a big role in promoting offseason trekking

 

Mustang Trail Race

A high altitude race competition will be held in Mustang, a beautiful land known as the Desert of Nepal. There will be eight events in this competition. The competition will run from 1-4 April. This event is believed to play a major role in exposing Mustang to the world and bringing out the hidden beauty.

Manang

Sustainable Summit 2020

A mega event is being organized in the year 2020 to protect the environment and promote sustainable tourism. The Climate Alliance of Himalayan Communities plans to bring Alpine Clubs, Land and National Park Managers, conservation area engineers, pedestrians, and tourism professionals in this event. This event will discuss preserving resources of sustainable tourism in the Himalayan region. Foreign speakers are invited to the event. The event is scheduled to be held on the 1-5th of June.

 

World Trails Network Conference

A conference of trekking trail countries around the world has been held in Nepal. It invites entrepreneurs from all over the world to promote and preserve the trails in the event. Held on September 3-7, the program is believed to be crucial for promoting trekking in Nepal.

 

Karnali Kayak Race

A kayak race will be held on the Karnali River, known as the best river in the world. A kayak is scheduled to take place from Rakam, Dailekh, to Bardiya. 20 to 25 national and international teams will be participating in this race. Each team will have five kayakers. Various events of kayak races will be held during this time. This event will help promote the tourism of the Far West region. This competition is organized to attract tourists through water tourism. The secretariat stated that the race would be held in October.

Kayak Race in Karnali
Kayak Race in Karnali

Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Hot Air Balloon Festival will be held at Gautam Buddha International Airport in Lumbini. The event is being prepared for October 2020. The event is being organized with the purpose of delivering the message that the new international airport has been constructed in Lumbini to tourists around the world. World’s ten best Hot Air Ballooners are being invited to Nepal, and they will be jumping from balloon to the ground in this event. The government believes in the promotion of Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini and contributes to mass tourism.

 

Mountain biking in Kali GandakiCorrider

The Kaligandaki corridor is now under intense construction. This road, which is a project of national pride, will connect Nepal to the north-south. Mountain bike event is being organized at Kagabeni- Marpha-Tatopani-Kaligandaki River Corridor in Kaligandaki Corridor. Participants will have the opportunity to jump bicycles in the deepest gorge of the world in the event held in December 2020.

 

Golden Trail Series

The world-famous Solomon Golden Trail World Series will be held in the Annapurna area of Nepal. The event, which will be held on October 9, is named the ‘Annapurna Trail Marathon.’ The 42 km long marathon is the Grand Final of the Golden Trail World Series. The top 10 runners from various six qualifying races from all over the world will participate in the event.

 

Sky diving in Syangboche

Sky diving in Syangboche
Sky diving in Syangboche

Youths are preparing to dive form sky above Mount Everest carrying the banner of Visit Nepal Year 2020. The event is being held at Syangboche in Solukhumbu. According to the Secretariat of Visit Nepal Year 2020, Sky Dive is planned to be documented in the video and picture with the logo of the Visit Nepal Year 2020. Famous skydivers from different countries, including the US, have been invited to this event. This event will be in October 2020.

Ghalegaun: The quintessential Gurung hospitality

The snow-capped mountains glittered in the sunlight. It was an amazing experience. We could see many peaks like Machhapuchhre, Lamjung Himal, Buddha Himal, Annapurna and Manaslu, among others. We could also see the beautiful Ghanpokhara village, perched on the small hillock, in the horizon.

 

— By Bishnu Bhattarai

Ghalegaun was one of the destinations in my bucket list that I prepared five years ago. But I had been failing to manage time to visit this beautiful Gurung village despite getting many opportunities. So when Zimba dai, the former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), asked me to join him for a two nights, three days visit of Ghalegaun, in the last week of October, I happily accepted.

Ghalegaun and Himalaya

Zimba Zangbu Sherpa, who chairs Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratisthan – a non-profit based non-government organization, was leading a group of travel writers to Ghalegaun with two objectives. One was to promote Ghalegaun news reports and write-ups in different mass media, and the other was to cover the familiarization trip of homestay operators of Salyan VDC of Kaski to Ghalegaun. Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratisthan organized the fam trip.

 

On a fine winter morning, we left Kathmandu on a luxurious van. We were sixteen altogether. Apart from four or five new faces, most of us knew each other. The journey was pleasing. We chatted like old friends covering issues ranging from political developments to new Bollywood releases. Narayan dai, the renowned face of News24 TV, was cracking jokes now and then. He pulled the legs of everyone, sparing not even our driver.

Mountain View from Ghalegaun

We reached Besishahar – the headquarters of Lamjung – where mouthwatering Thakali daal-bhaat was waiting for us. After having our lunch, we boarded an India-made SUV reserved for us. As the SUV did not have sufficient seats, two friends volunteered to get on the rooftop. We began the journey on a windy, graveled road. Home stay operators from Salyan followed us in another SUV. The road passed through beautiful villages, lush-green forests, and neatly arranged terraces. As the road was full of bumps, we swayed right to the left and left to right many times. Not to mention our heads hitting the roof of our vehicle.

 

It was nearly five in the evening when we reached Ghalegaun. Once we got off the vehicle, we were greeted by beautiful Gurung women, draped in their traditional attire, with garlands. The first view of Ghalegaun was mesmerizing. We could see neatly arranged houses with stone and tin roofs. Smoke was bellowing from the houses in an apparent sign that locals were preparing dinner.

Welcome to Ghalegaun

Kitchen of Ghalegaun Homestay

The officials of the Ghalegaun Homestay Management Committee escorted us to a community hall that sits in the middle of the village. There they offered us steaming cup of tea, makai bhatmas, the popular combo of pop-corns and soybean, and gundruk (fermented lettuce) pickle. After we have devoured the snacks, the officials divided us into three groups and handed us over to our respective host families.

 

The real homestay experience begins here. Our host was a pleasing lady in her early 30s. She showed us to our rooms. There were four beds with neatly arranged bed sheets and warm blankets. By the time we had changed, our host had already prepared hot tea for us. She asked us to meet other family members who were busy preparing meals. We assembled around the fireplace and introduced ourselves to other family members. Zimba dai and three other friends were in the neighboring house. He invited us for some drinks and local snacks. The dry lamb meat prepared by his host was simply awesome.

Sunset in the Himalaya -- View from Ghalegaun
Sunset in the Himalaya — View from Ghalegaun

Our host called us for dinner at around seven. Rice, lettuce curry, gundruk pickle, and radish slices were neatly arranged in a bronze plate. We were served lamb curry and lentil in bronze bowls. We were seated on a woolen mattress, locally known as radhi, near the fireplace. The meal was simple but tasted great as all the ingredients were locally produced.

 

After dinner, our host escorted us to the community hall where local artists performed traditional dances like Ghatu, Krishna Charitra and Jhankri. The Ghatu dance, performed by two young Gurung girls, was simply awesome. It was a completely new experience for us. The artistes even invited visitors to join them. It was a memorable experience. By performing the traditional dances for visitors, the locals are not only earning livelihood but also preserving the art handed over to them by their forefathers.

Bhujung Village -- nearby Ghalegaun
Bhujung Village — nearby Ghalegaun

Our host escorted us back to the house after the cultural programs were over. We retired to bed early so that we can wake up early in the morning to view the sunrise.

It was already five when we woke us up in the morning. Snow-white mountains were already greeting us when we assembled at the courtyard. We hastily walked toward the view tower because we did not want to miss the sunrise. The golden sunlight greeted us a few minutes after we reached the view tower. The snow-capped mountains glittered in the sunlight. It was an amazing experience. We could see many peaks like Machhapuchhre, Lamjung Himal, Buddha Himal, Annapurna, and Manaslu, among others. We could also see the beautiful Ghanpokhara village, perched on the small hillock, on the horizon.

 

After watching the sunrise and mountains from the view tower, we traveled to the other hillock which housed Bhedi Goth – a community sheep-shed. There were more than 300 sheep and goats. The community had hired four shepherds to look after the flock. The shepherds bring goats to lower altitudes when it is challenging to live in the highland during winter. We were lucky to find Bhedi Goth in Ghalegaun. We, however, could not arrange a time to visit a small tea garden managed by the local people and the Uttar Kanya temple.

Sunrise View from Ghalegaun
Sunrise View from Ghalegaun

When we returned to our house, we were offered millet bread, eggs, beans, and tea for breakfast. After breakfast, our host bade farewell to us by offering us tika and garland. They then escorted us to the bus park, where most of the members of our team had already arrived. We then held a small interaction with the home stay operators of Salyan VDC, where they shared their experience of Ghalegaun. At around 11, we left Ghalegaun on the same creaking SUV for Besishahar. After spending the night in Besishahar, we left for Kathmandu early the next morning, bringing lots of sweet memories from Ghalegaun.