I think I should have spent one more night. Just a daytime, viewing in Indrasarovar Lake, it wasn’t enough! I should have captured those scenic beauty of the lake under night sky, should have gazed sunset and should have breath the morning fresh air at Markhu. But, the time was so demanding that we had to rush and leave Markhu the day we arrived .Never-mind, if you want a break from your hectic schedule; if you want few days free from noises, pollution of Kathmandu and of course if you were that urban kid of the valley who had never witnessed countryside. Chitlang, with a bonus of Markhu is calling you from few kilometers far. Chitlang, located at the south-west of Kathmandu in the mid-hills of Makawanpur, gives a genuine definition of country life: untouched, pure and beautiful. We say “Unplanned trips are always the best”, but we can’t say planned aren’t better! So, here’s my travel story which we’d planned two years before we trekked.
During our last days of high school, my friend used to plan about going there, which came to be possible only after two years. But, sad thing was that person who encouraged us so much about it and who was just like a guide to Chitlang , was very busy and didn’t join us for the trip. Instead, that badass girl later went for a 20 days alone trip to Lomanthang. So, everything was on my shoulder. For the first time, I was searching for maps, hotels, reading every travel blogs, inviting friends to join the trip, fixing the feasible date for the trip, I had such a rush. On top of that, the day just before the trip, at Kalanki was a headache. We had a plan of catching a bus to Chitlang and hiking to Markhu the other day. But, there at Kalanki I got no bus direct to Chitlang, so we had to trek to Chitlang from Goddam Godam! Well, I had that pessimism that no one would favor to trek to Chitlang and the plan would be cancelled, but thanks to all my buddies who had a great love for trekking. Even though, everything was sorted out, at the night before trip I was so unsure about everything; would we be in the correct route? Would we be there at time? Is that person trustworthy with whom I booked the room? Would weather be favoring? There was so much of doubt and uncertainties.
So, on September 15, we, six boys dropped from the bus at Thankot and went for the journey full of uncertainties. Ascending towards the foothills of Chandragiri, gave me a feeling like I was going to climb Everest and that foggy top hills gave me so chilling pleasure where cable cars were disappearing in the fog. That cool view gave us a warm welcome for the trek. Belts were tightened, legs were strengthened and the challenge of being lost in the woods was accepted. Soon, houses were getting fewer and woods were the next to be joined. Then,we entered the woods. Rather than following the Google map, we took a shortcut to ascent the hill. We did find some other groups howling above the trail, which relieved us about being in the correct path. But, it was after 2 hours of trek, we didn’t hear them and no other people were below too. We had a bad feeling of insecure and getting lost. Eventually, by trusting our instincts we were at the top of the hill, the weather was favoring and neither it was not raining nor it was super shiny. However, who knows that if we were at the right way? Luckily, an old shepherd was found who showed us a motor way to Chitlang which took us till our destination. As we were heading towards Chitlang at midday energizing own self by singing and giving tribute to Linkin Park, taking photos, videos, eating, we didn’t notice that scenario of Chandragiri cable cars far way had already changed into a heavenly place of Chitlang. So, at 2pm we reached our destination, running down the plains of Chitlang. This place was so awesome and was a genuine manifestation of countryside that we only used to study in the stories of Nepali books. Then, we went to our booked homestay. Owners were so genial and welcoming, so were the food they served. That khana that they served were from their own vegetable garden, that hard work they did for the meal was easily interpreted in the taste. Then, after having a rest, we went to see the organic village resort’s pear farm just above our homestay. There, leeches loved our feet, and we loved them to beat. I had kind of 11 leeches’ bites in my feet.
Those pear trees grown in such a good perspective were very impressive to make a background for the photos. Those tents over there looked so beautiful with those pear trees which we couldn’t afford to live in for a night. That resort was a bit costly than the homestay I booked which we had just for 900 rs per head. But, we made a plan coming there at night and gazing at the night sky to look for some constellations and to take a photo of Milky Way, which never happened. But, we got to gaze them from the roof of the homestay and also clicked Milky Way with the courtesy of my friend and his sophisticated Nikon DSLR. The night was very dark and beautiful, that perfect flowing sound of stream and hustle of wind, broke the silence of the night, also that songs sang by other travellers far away in other resort took that nyctophilic scene into perfection.
Morning at 6, snacks was served, and our bags were packed. We were offered tika and flowers from auntie and were blessed for safe journey for our next destination to Markhu. We were very fortunate that they arranged a hotel at Markhu for breakfast and also bus tickets back to valley. Red tika on forehead and yellow flowers in the hand, it felt like we were going abroad leaving behind our sweet home Chitlang.
Those forests of pine trees, so beautifully placed by nature, sunlight passing through those branches of pine was overwhelming in the way to Markhu. After walking few kilometers for an hour, a spectacular scene of Indrasarovar Lake was there steadily moving. Soon, we reached our last destination, Markhu. My own bucket list was there to be unlisted, in fact while I was just a toddler I did my first boating that I never knew, which I got to know, only when I saw its photographs. So, it seemed legit to say that I’d never experienced boating. While sitting in the boat, that thrusting motion gave me a fright, but later we became much bored except letting my hand inside the water was something fun to remember. After boating was fulfilled, a very good thali was served in the hotel and we had more two hours left for the bus. That was the moment I regretted about not visiting Bheda Farm. But, I had made up my mind coming again and visiting this place. So, remaining hours were spent walking to Markhu suspension bridge.
Wow! That wind was so strong! At the middle of the bridge, you’re there holding your cap from getting it blown away and your cell phone from drowning in the lake, then you see a beautiful scenario of Nepal’s biggest manmade lake, Indrasarovar. It was awesome that weather was favoring, a sunny day with windy ambience. That scenic beauty of Markhu was alluring, I was thinking of adding one more night in the trip plan to gaze this beauty at night sky and of course in the morning. But, our following day’s schedule was very tight. So, we got our bus tickets and left Markhu at 2pm for Kathmandu. Our trip got ended.
Travelling is a quest. It’s a quest for finding your specific destination and also finding yourself while dealing with the real world. Well, from this journey we hope we did find answers to our own respective quest. Myself, I found our specific destinations, its way, its nature, its social beauty and also found myself being more mature, more responsible person. Because, you know I took this trip as a challenge of testing myself, it was the first time that I was asking myself if I could make this trip a very smooth, fun and beautiful. If I could be doing well in managing people, hotels and other accommodations so that my friends will have a comfortable trip. And I think I had succeeded in it more or less. But, it is sure that it has made me feel more confident, more independent and more pro-active for any next trip to come. Thank you. J