Mane Danda Hike
Chandeswori to Tan Chauk
We at, Nature-treks, are always on the lookout for the unique destination to promote for the tourism purpose Last week. To explore this area just next to us in Kavre with Sudorson Karki was a great opportunity. We drove to Banepa that took more or less an hour, located to the east of Kathmandu, beyond Bhaktapur and west of Dhulikhel. Banepa is a large Newari town, with beautiful setting on the valley with picturesque hills on its both side and with a large statue of lord Shiva. This is when we also go this opportunity to visit this hidden gem, yet a famous old temple of Chandeswori by the river Punya Mata. This 17th century temple seems damaged by the last earthquake, though still looks very impressive.
After Chandeswori, we started climbing higher and higher through the dirt and almost no road condition, stopped for views, which was already looking great through the scattered settlements and farms along the hillside. We stopped by a small public school that do, look like a private one and visited the classroom and got to know how the school is running. Sudorson has supported and helped the school to achieve this level with almost two hundred students and is the best school of the secondary area.
After tea and visit at school at Bhanjyang, we continued further higher and higher with the road that seems almost impossible to drive through but our driver was great to drive through to arrive at the base of Mane Danda. Visited the monastery site that was completely gone and to the ridge when we got caught by heavy rain and got stuck for almost two hours. Just after rain we walked to the real top of the ridge at an elevation of 1900m. The view from there looked serene and wonderful. Even though the weather was not permitting for the snow clad peaks but the surrounding green hills and valley with the rain and clouds over the terraces and villages was just dramatic. I could certainly imagine, what would be the view when the sky would be clear in autumn and winter months.
View is one of the high lights of this hike, and other high lights are meeting the school kids, meeting local people and enjoying the nature along the trail. The birds were making the trails so lively and lovely especially in Rabi Opi village where Sudorson has his farmland with varieties of plantation around his house. We not only saw the common urban but many forest species including, the beautiful Long-tailed Broadbill in the garden, that was just great.
After enjoying the khaza of roasted corn, soybean, homemade curd and tea, we descended down and visited the local hospital and drove back to Kathmandu. What a great trip we had.
Must thank Sudorson Karki for helping us to be there and showing around and allowing us to use his jeep and for the hospitality at his home, appreciate lot!