Monday, July 27, 2015

Travel to Khali; The highest pass to reach the Largest and Deepest lake of Nepal "RARA"

Heading to Khali

Around 7 am of morning I took Jeeps to Cherray Chaur hoping that crossing the pass before 10am so that we could not hit by heat of sun while climbing uphill. Unfortunately, Jeeps is not able to climb the road besides KTS due to muddy and slippery. So, I need to start walk from KTS that means walking full day on sun.
Cherray Grassland,Jumla
As it is very hard to climb uphill during day time due to hot temperature. It took me an hour and half to reach Cherray Chaur; It is a beautiful grassland with religiously an important place for Hindu. Cherray Malika temple lies at the Northern west side in a small hillside surrounded by pine trees. During Shrawan Puni people from all over Jumla come to celebrate a festival.

Students of KTS carrying Fire Wood
student carrying firewood
While climbing uphill I saw a student of KTS carrying wooden lounge that is used as fire wood in KTS.Student of KTS cook their food by them self as there has been divided a group for each work for each day. Every Saturday they must go to forest to bring firewood. Interesting fact is that girl’s student cook food for the boys on Saturday. Girls are not going for carrying wood. Their is a rule that one students must carried 200kg firewood till his course finished otherwise they must pay money as a penalty to the administration. The students of KTS belong to different district of Nepal but mainly more students are from five district of Karnali region. Later they gone to they’re way and I headed to Cherray Chaur. 

Tea and water at Cherray Chaur Hotel

I have had a cup of tea and keep some water in my bottle. It is only hotel and place where one can get water and snack before climbing Danphe Mountain. Cherray is also known as basecamp of Danphe lekh. There is one Hotel at Cherray Chaur. The owner of the hotel is Dalgit Khatri he had 50 Sheep’s and own micro hydro power but its is no more working. He has six beds in two rooms. His wife is disabling and they have no children. They are running hotel business at Cherray Chaur since 20/25 years. He has horses if needed he used to carry baggage’s and people to cross the Danphe mountain from his hotel. He has Bee farming as well presently he has 60 traditional Char for bees and yearly he used to earn around 1to 2 lakh by selling honey.
Only hotel at Cherraychaur;Basecamp of Danphe mountain
After few minutes rest, I start climbing the lekh hoping that rain will not fall because sky is covered by clouds in a few minutes. It is almost three hours walk from Cherray Chaur to reach top of Danphe lekh or Danphe pass. If rain occurs there is no place to hide and wait everything is covered by fog and temperature goes down with in a minutes. And rain at Cherray Chaur means different situation on the way and top of lekh. Although it is good to walk on cool environment ones need to be careful because many of died during this season due to hell stone and misleading the route.

Thus. I enjoyed my day because no sun no hot, good view of Jumla valley as I expect. 

Unsatisfied Yarsha Hunter
At the last steep uphill of Danphe mountain,I saw two groups of People coming downhill.I guess they are returning from yarsha hunting because of their baggages they carried.later I know they are from Litakot village of Tatopani VDC of Jumla returning from hunting yarshagumba. As everybody knows yarsha is a seasonal but economically worth for which people of west Karnali keep their lives on risk at any cost.

I started with greeting Namaskar daiharu; when we talk then they remember me that one I was in their village with foreigner for filming about the live of women.Thus, that makes me easier to bring few questions to them;

I beginning with question are you coming from collecting Yarsha?,
How was your experience of this year?
Is this your first time?
How many yarsha did you found and you earn this year?
Are you satisfied?  
According to them; this trip of the year was not good as it was last year because due to dense snow at Grassland it was very hard to search and find Yarsha. As well as changing weather gives trouble like raining, occurring hell stone and even snowing for a while. Thus, in our last three trips this is the worst trip ever we had.

Most of their trip was thrice or more.

About finding an earning they said; Finding Yarsha is very tough and uncertain. About us we don’t find and earn as we had earn last year. So, we are not in loss and profit. This is all due to  bad weather and dense snow at grassland areas.

Again they said “manchey lai khailey po Pugcha ra?”, when does enough for a human? As same we are not satisfied because we invest almost per person Rs.20,000/( in words twenty thousand) and earn little higher than that. So before beginning our journey they said, we have a dream of many things for our family and children but this year dreams are all gone to nightmare.
Sheepards on the way to Khali
Later we said bye and heading to our destination. They walking fast with their load to downhill but I am very slow on climbing up hill. Anyway they disappear with in a few minutes from my eyes and I keep walking to top. After an hour I reached to Top of Danphe lekh. It was different feeling of reaching and crossing the Danphe pass. I took rest their for few minutes. From the top one can viewed a beautiful landscape of Jumla Bazaar Valley, Dhimi Grassland, Dhauligada grassland and during Winter, beautiful Patarasi Mountain can be viewed and many more. On these time beautiful and colorful flowers makes different trail than any other time of the year.

My destination is only half an hour far from top. I liked to sit for few more hour and smell fresh air, capture the beautiful landscape of Jumla valley and many more. I could not able to sit there due to with in a few minutes cloud turn into black cloud and started lightening and thundering and rain started to fall.

Unnecessary Investing by Karnali Tourism Development and Research Center under MoCTCA

I met a VDC secretary of one of the VDC from Jumla District (VDC name is not published due to privacy) who is heading to his working VDC. Both are in hurry and victim of rain and hell stone on the way. I asked him, I saw a construction of trail further up to Danphe Lekh do you know what is the purpose of it? He said with frustration; “Sarkar snaga Budget cha hami sanga Bikash ko naam ma khaney sayau party chan?”, (Government has budget and we have hundreds of party who finish in the name of Development) I did not understand later he explain KTDRC under MoCTCA has been allocating and providing the budget in the name of development of Tourism destination by forming a user community.Thus,this is how they are goanna used the budget in such a way that is not gone benefited the tourist and people of the region. Although, that help user community member of all political party. At last he clarify, That is the under construction trail to reach the place where they are going to Build the View Tower above the elevation of 3500m from sea level in the name of proper trail development and promotion to Rara lake from Jumla.
View from top of Danphe lekh
Later, I thought purpose is good but the selection of site is clearly inaccessible.The authority who had passed this place as a view tower ceneter is totally failed. The expenses is not going to benefit the community and tourist as they planned for ;
·      It is above the elevation of 3200m from sea level.
·      From top of Danphe anyone can see beautiful landscape and Mountain View so, no body needs further height to watch view.
·      Windy place
·      Every time once who reached the top they are always hurry to reach Khali so that they feel safe.
·      To reach view tower site ones need to walk uphill for few more hour that is impossible to one who hardly cross the Danphe pass.
·      As everybody knows most of the tourist or people get back without crossing the Danphe pass due to altitude sickness so how most of the people or tourist reach their by walking uphill for few more hours.
·      It is the inaccessible and not benefited to the people or community that the KTDRC has purpose.
proposed view tower sites is on the top of that mountain and the trail seen in the image is the pass of the Danphe lekh

Thus, choosing the site is totally wrong this could be good if this view tower was built at Cherray Chaur. Reason behind choosing Cherray Chaur is;
·      Good view of Jumla valley and landscape.
·      Easy access for people
·      Road is connected so it could be developed as picnic sport and could be view tower utilize.
·      People travelling Sinja, Rara Botamalika or Bumramadichaur could use for a rest center as they     used to stop at small hotel at Cherray Chaur.
·      By walking also people could reach there in the name of View tower. Thus, it could be on e of the day hiking site in Jumla valley.

Danphe Pass

Later I thought this is an only one example how government authority are investing money in the name of tourism development in our region. They are investing less than ten lakh money in the name of reconstruction of temples and monuments that are historically and archeologically important. Thus, this is my major concern as a tourism student from Jumla. ;
·      They are using cement and Tin as a roof in the temples that destroy the importance pure taste of the sites.
·      They are changing the statue of gods inside the temple.
·      Marble and other unnecessary things are using in the temple and heritage sites.
·      There is lack of proper surveying and planning of historically and religiously important sites.
·      KTRDC is not working on for the development and safeguarding of intangible tourism resources like culture, festivals and myths.
·      Unnecessary expenses of budget in the name of tourism development in the region.
Anyway I had understand very well how people openly doing corruption in the name of development.

Reached at Khali

Khali Grassland

We feel safe when we reach at hotel situated first in Khali Bazaar with roof of Tin. When we entered inside; in middle of kitchen there is fire oven with big fire. Almost 10 to 12 people are sitting besides of oven. There were two beds on two sides with local made carpet called “Liew”. Almost 10 to 12 teahouses are providing lodging and fooding services. They are not proper hotel. Most of, hotel owner stay there for grazing their goats, sheep’s and domestic animals. Hotel is their optional and side business but they provide good food and show their good humor to their guests. 
Khali valley

Worries of Mother

We were very cold and we asked people to give space to sit. We ordered a “ChauChau” packed noodles that found everywhere in Jumla to eat as snack to boiled.
I started to introduce my self to the people who are sitting there and asked to the woman who is sitting besides of Kitchen. How is business going? Tapilai Sanchai cha?, Are you fine?...she does not answer properly and she looks worries later one of the guy who is sitting there told me that a few minutes before she got phone call from Jumla bazaar from his son informing that he r daughter is very sick due to falling from somewhere. They have no money to take her hospital. So she needs to go to Jumla bazaar right now. I think how could she able to go on this heavy rain. Later in a few minutes She went to Jumla bazaar on without concerning heavy rain by giving keys of her hotel to one of the relatives at Khali and I stayed in her kitchen waiting for her husband to come from Patmara Village. It took 3/4 hours to reach at Jumla bazaar during a common day.

While I was in Kitchen few local people come and Join with questioning where I am going? Why you staying here although I have a time. …When I said I come here to stay here then they did not believe instead saying due to rain you may stock…and so on after few minutes of talk they gone. Again, I am alone in kitchen. I tried to sleep.
But singing of a bird makes me not to sleep. I keep watching to that bird with red and black color. When I pointed my camera normally that birds hide from me but with in a few minutes again come back and started to singing later heavy rain makes that bird to leave the place. Before that bird leaves I able to took its picture. 

After siting three hours alone in-unknown kitchen her husband Mr. Dan Thapa comes form Patmara village. We talk about the rain and I tell him her wife been to bazaar. He brought the firewood, burn the fire and boiled the water. I drink hot water and he leaves kitchen and gone to visit his friends. He didn’t return to kitchen for an hour but the cows, sheep’s and goats sounds hearing louder and louder later when I saw outside they are bringing to their herds that are back to the hotels. Night began her husband Dan Thapa come and started cooking Daal Bhat.I observed his cooking and talking things about his business.

Shepard’s at Bali Kitchen

Bali Kanya is a women whom I known very well. She is one of our trainees while I was working in NGO of Pokhara based in Karnali region. I gone to say Namaste and how she is?, She is a beautiful women with Bulaki in nose, earrings ad beautiful neckles called Jhaley on neck. She is a good humor woman I had ever made. She always seems happy and keeps smiling.
a beautiful women Bali
I saw a group of people who were staying in her Kitchen with making rope of wool that is used for making Liew, Sweater, Radi and many more; Later when we talked then I come to know that they come here to see their sheep’s and gives salt and Dana. From them I come to Know that; Normally 5 to 6 people keep their sheep’s together .In turn wise they come to look after their sheep’s.

They said they kept Goats and sheep’s because this are easier to sales in needs but we cannot able to sale our cows and buffalos in needs. So, economically sheep’s are far better than any other domestic animals. But during rainy season they are in trouble. The grasses are bigger and slippery thus wild animals like foxes killed as well as flies gives trouble to both sheep’s and us.
Sheeps in the grassland of Khali

The routine of giving Salt to their sheep’s is given below;

Salt given to their sheep’s per month three times on the month of Kartik, Mangsir, Poush, Magh, Falgun and Chaitra.

 Salt given to their sheep’s per month one time on the following month of Baisakh, Jestha, Asadh, Shrawan, Bhadra and Ashoj.

Note:While giving salt to their sheep’s they mix with the Dana that mixed with herbal medicine that kills the Juka and help their health.

Herbal medicine they mix with Dana of Sheeps are; Mauromal, Padam chal, Bhultey, Katuko (Kutki), Satuwa with barley flour.

According to them routine of giving Salt to their sheep’s is same in Jumla area.

Again grazing routine of Sheep’s are also different according to the season. So, grazing routine is;

Baisakh to Ashoj; they took for grazing their sheep’s for two times(Dochakey..eating for two times) in this season temperature rise and greenery all over and available of grasses every where.
·      Early in the morning 5 O’clock and bring back around 10 to 11.Give rest till 2/3 of noon
·      Again go for grazing around 2/3 and back at evening.

During Kartik to Chaitra: They took one time for grazing their sheep’s. On this season temperature fall down and cold, no greenery and lack of grasses.

·      Thus around 10 of morning they leave for grazing their sheep’s and come back at evening.

Their major problems are;
·      Lack of medicine and treatment center is very far.
·      Pakhala, Juka, Mukh pakney (Mugala) and Porey (Poision) is the main problem they are facing till date.

And one of them told me interesting way of treatment when their sheep’s eat Porey (a Poisonous grass);

·      Beating and throw down in the field. Make him/her run.
·      Brought a milk of sheep’s and make him/her drinks.
·      Owner must keep silence or no outside people must knows about their sheep’s eat Porey; a poisonous grass.

They said that when the flowerer of Porey bloom then that doesn’t harm to their sheep’s even if they eat but before flower blooming if their sheep’s eat most of them treated in above prescribed way but must of them died.

Before going to Bed………

Though that night two of us are in his kitchen. He cooked really good food with varieties of vegetables. Wild Spanish of Wild Garlic, cauliflower. Spicy and meat.
Truly, taste of food was tasty that I loved it.

While eating food he was asking me “ aajkal ta Bazaar ko Mitti ta mahango Hola Haina?”, “ “these days does land cost higher in Jumla Bazaar?”about the land cost in Jumla that shows he was planning to bought land in Jumla bazaar. I replied I heard that as area wise cost varies but it is expensive but I don’t know the exact rate of land.

Again he told me that who are going to sale the houses in Bazaar and who had already sold their land in the heart of bazaar. I am truly shocked that he knows more about me in this matter. Then I realize soon it goanna be very hard to see and find people at Jumla bazaar on their grandfather and motherhouses. Later was I thinking why local people are selling their houses instead of their other land; I guess that might be because of two three factors; they are
·      Every brother needs their part of the house, which is belonging to their father. Thus, easy to sale and distribute the money.
·      Loan of Banking and unemployment make them to sold there houses which worth good value.
·      Migrating to Nepalgunj.

I questioned him; do you know why most of the houses bought by the people from Bumramadichaur and Patmara VDC of Jumla and Mugali of Mugu? He said they are businesspersons and I added that they are serious to their business and very honest to their profession.

I asked him are you going to buy land in Jumla he said recently I had land at Surkhet. Per meter cost Lakh and bought 8-meter breadth and 27 m length land near to Deautibajai Temple. So, it means almost he bought land of cost of more than 28 lakh.

I have queries of how you earn that much amount he said by my shops, hotel, and sheep business, vegetables, potatoes and most important is seasonal herbal business. He earned almost a 10 to 15 thousand a day during donkey carried loads to Mugu for last few years and these days they earned pretty well although not like those days. He said I am running this hotel from last 7/8 years and first 5 years is very good in terms of earning.

Night and dark doesn’t matter for Yarsha Hunter

In these between Yarsha knock the door by calling “Bhauju dhoka khola ta”
Sister in law open the door. It means they are their relatives. Sahu g said Today Bhauju is not here and he opened the door. Two of them are having a big roof sack covering with plastic. Both of them were drunk. They want to bought a Surya cigarette of Rs.200 but due to no availability of Surya they bought a Pilot cigarette of Rs.5o. We asked them to stay to night because it’s raining and it’s almost 10 pm.They said today we come from Balai bazaar of Mugu. We had informed our family that we will reach to night at any cost. They are from Patmara village and it took around an hour in normal days but due to rain and night time It is not goanna be easy to walk although they belongs to this land their confidence seems they will reach their home in an hour. After few minutes, they left hotel in Rain. Hope they reached their home safely.

When they left………..

Saahug dai started briefing about him; his o lapahlr eouse is beside of mine at village.He was maiost during 10 year conflict.those days he ws very young and good know those days schools in villages were closed.that time Maobadi were against of Education system of Nepal and demanding for changes of system.They called school education is a “Burguwa Shiksha” and motivate small student for joining in their revolution. He had joined too.

Now a days you can see leaders are on palace and cars living luxuries life, area and district commander and their family earned many lands,buildings at Jumla bazaar and nepaljung and Surkhet.Their wife waring m.any ornamnets of gold.He had queries how they earn that much money although our social status and livelihood is pretty same.We had business and they are on fight.Thus,he said what I understand is no any parties gonna stop corruption in our country because we believed Maobadi that time and now they shows us who they are and what they did for us.I hate  all partiesof Nepal. All are same same….he said.

Later he said; he is an example how maoist ruined his life because what he got from revolution. he is uneducated he is not going to get any jobs he is no guerilla of Maoist so, he is not getting any compensation from Government. If he studied he could be engineer, teacher or anything he wants to be. but now he has to do hardship to live and feed his family.

In search of Future; a family from Humla  

Due to heavy rainfall all night and morning I was stock at hotel. I had 10 cups of herbal tea and boiled noodles aiming that rain will stop and leaving for Jumla bazaar. I tried to buy plastic at Khali but I did not found and I have no umbrella as well. Thus I was waiting aiming that rain stop for an hour so that I could cross the Danphe lekh and the it doesn’t matter when I reached at Cherray Chaur because I can get umbrella or Plastic from their.
guest in the Bali Kitchen

Later Ram told me that some of relative of Bali didi come from Patmara village so they could sale their plastic or she could manage one of them. So aiming to get plastic once again I went to Bali didi kitchen. Bali Kitchen is not only full of her relatives there were 7 /8 customers who ordered food. Thus, there is no space to sit but Bali didi mange space for me to sit. Out of 12 people inside kitchen 7 are from Gargyangkot village who come from Mugu Patan by hunting Yarsha. Again we talked about earning; they said this year is bad luck for all yarsha hunter.
a family heading to Jumla for Loksewa exam
In same place, two with small baby of six month were from Humla. They told me today is their fourth day of walking to Jumla from their home. They are going to Jumla to attend and give exam of nongazeetted officer (Khariddar) that taken by Lok Sewa Aayog (Public Service Commission). They said we trying for this exam because it is an only organisation where source force doesn’t work. He said we believed on its transparent exam and result system otherwise how could our friends passed and entered in the Burecracy he tried to clarify. From our village they said it took two days to reach their district headquarter Simikot.
 Tieng their baby for breast feeding
 Due to cold their baby has closed eyes and eyes covered with……they keep going saying that they all come from Naurighat this morning although raining. Yesterday, we plan to reach here and plan to stay but due to rain all day it was very hard to make it and we stayed at Naurighat.Hoping that next day will be good weather but the weather has been not change as we hope and then started walking in raining.

All along the way weather comes on our side although we could not able to see the beautiful landscapes we had a good walk with out rain.As this is their first attempt and first time in Jumla bazaar they don’t know any body and environment of Jumla bazaar. I had managed them for staying in a hotel called “Fitkiri” situated in Kholikot near to Public Service Commission Office. Hotelier agrees to charges very low rate for them as I request for discount. For Lunch and dinner Rs.200 and per night room charges Rs.200/ that is cheaper rate that provided by a hotelier in Jumla bazaar.   


  1. Lovely photo blog. Excellent stories. Keep it up. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you very much for your comment.You are heartly welcome.


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