Trip to Khaptad | Travel Diary | Beautiful Nepal

Trip to Khaptad | Travel Diary | Beautiful Nepal

by Pragya Pokharel

Trip to Khaptad | Travel Diary | Beautiful Nepal

“Do you remember the default wallpaper of Window XP with that eye pleasingly green grassland? Khaptad looks the same”. This is what one of my colleagues answered when I asked him “why Khaptad?” I had recently joined Karkhana and was enjoying working there. We had our annual vacation at the end of the Nepali academic year and we all decided to travel a remote area away from schedules, alarms and continuous work. I needed break for myself so despite knowing the distance and how hard it was going to be, I decided to go to Khaptad for a week with a group of people I barely knew. We were altogether 6 colleagues, 2 girls and 4 boys. We were prepared to spend our nights in tents in the wild for there were no hotels. We carried tents, mattresses, chocolate bars, beaten rice, pickles, dry meat and other stuff for our trip. We managed to remember to carry all required things including safety kit and medicines. So begins one of my favorite travel memories.

Trip to Khaptad | Travel Diary | Beautiful Nepal


The trip started with us forgetting to pick up one of our colleagues. We would like to blame it on the fact that all of us were half awake at 4:30 in the morning. We took the bus from Gongabu bus stop to Dhangadi. We reached Dhangadi at 9 pm in the evening after 16 hours of a bus ride. On our second day, we took a micro to Silgadi from Dhangadi at 7 in the morning. We were lucky enough to see steep hills on our way to Silgadi. After having lunch at Dadeldhura, our long and tiresome bus journey continued again. Finally, we reached Silgadi at 4 in the evening. We rested for a while and went roaming around for an hour or two. It was a lovely night, the skies were clear and the stars seemed so near. We ended up talking about stars, galaxy, universe and other stuff (stuff I didn’t have much idea of). But it felt good. It felt good to just stare at stars and think about nothing.


The third day started with a group selfie as we were all geared up for adventure. We started walking for Jhingarana at 6 in the morning. The road was difficult and I found it quite hard to walk all the way. Those chocolate bars we had packed helped a lot. We had our breakfast at Baglkeh. On our way, we met three lovely ladies who guided us the whole way. They were so humble that they even offered me to carry my bag thinking I was too tired. One of the things I love about travelling is meeting different people and getting to know them even in a short time. After 9 hours of walk, we reached Jhingarana, had lunch and took rest for a while. We had pre-planned earlier to spend the night in the tent so we started early to set up those. I was pretty excited for I was new to the whole sleeping in the tent experience.

It doesn’t matter where you are going, it’s who you have beside you.

Trip to Khaptad | Travel Diary | Beautiful Nepal


Next day, we woke up early, packed our tents, had breakfast and then left for Bichpani camp. We passed through the Khaptad National Park entry point. After 5 hours of walk we reached Bichpani Camp which is run through the National Park. They provide basic fooding facility for limited number of people. Since we reached earlier than we had expected, we decided to walk to Khaptad the very same day. The road became less difficult as we passed by. After walking for about 3 hours, we crossed a wooden bridge to reach a rest house “Dharmasala”. We reached Khaptad at 5 in the evening. Grassland and meadows [called Patan in Nepali] between the sub alpine landscape was the most beautiful scenery my eyes had ever seen. There is an army barrack in Khaptad for the protection and preservation of Khaptad National Park plants and animals. We decided to stay one more day there so that we could visit all places around. One can’t think of leaving this place just as they arrive here. Next day, after having breakfast we set off to KhaptadDaha that lies towards the east from the Headquarters and can be reached in about an hour. KhaptadDaha is a small elongated lake alongside another Patan. We spent that whole day playing with snow and making snowman. It was so comfort seeing the snow sparkling like diamonds in the sunlight. It was my first experience with snow and I was over the moon. The best part was all of us gliding on the snow together.On 6th day, all bags were packed; we were ready to leave for Bajhang. I loved everything about Jhigrana-Bichpani Camp-Khaptad and vowed to never hesitate to come back to experience it again and again. We walked that whole day and at the end of the day we reserved a micro to take us to Chainpur where we planned to stay the night. On our way I met a girl named Pramila who was so interested to know about us. She asked us to come to her house to take rest for a while because she knew I wasn’t in good health. We talked for a while as we were waiting for our micro. She shared her story and her future aspiration. She seemed really friendly and asked me for my number. She still calls me just to check up how I’m doing with my health. After two hours, micro arrived and I bid her farewell inviting her to visit Kathmandu someday.


Next day, early in the morning we took a bus to Kathmandu. As we left, I thought of all the things we did in the last 6 days. Memories of taking photos and dancing around like crazy people, playing antakshiri while hiking, getting scared for we could have lost our way as we all were new to that place, getting excited whenever we saw anyone from that very place, spending the night in tents, we were celebrating not just the adventure in nature but each other’s lives, talking about stars, universe and time machine, my colleagues carrying me because I got sick and couldn’t walk a step, playing sword game with a stick, meeting new people on the way and so much more. The trip was short but I had a fantastic time there with these crazy “I barely knew before the trip” people. This trip also made me realize how important travelling is to expand the knowledge of the world around you. Most importantly, it reminded me about the beauty in the world and in humans. Now I can’t wait for another time to pack my bags and go travelling!

 


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