The excitement began on 19th December. Everything was packed and was in its place. I could barely sleep that night. The excitement increased, even more, when the engine of our tour bus started. We were all together with a group of twenty-seven students, three teachers, a bus driver, and a guide. Our journey began from Kathmandu traveling to 143 km to the west, Gorkha. After reaching our first destination, the place which is famously known as the kingdom of Late King Prithvi Narayan Shah, we really could see the place on its glory reflecting the history of the unification of Nepal. However, some of the places there were still under renovation which got destroyed in the 2072 earthquake.
Then after the journey of four hours, we finally reached the place where we had decided to accommodate, Bandipur. The warm-hearted local people warmly welcomed us with ‘tika’ and ‘mala’. As we had reached the place late evening, we could barely see the beautiful Bandipur, so we decided to stay indoors and treat ourselves with the local delicacies of ‘dal, bhat and tarkari’. After a long nap, early in the morning when the ray of light stroked into the corner of our room, I reached to open the window and it blew my mind witnessing the very beauty of Bandipur. It was cold over there so we all wore warm clothes and headed to have our breakfast. After that, all the students gathered to form a group for the study of different cultures, religions, occupations, migration rates of the people of Bandipur. Our study concluded that most of the people there are involved in farming and hotel occupation. Bandipur is also a good place to observe natural beauty with a wide panorama of mountain, Marshyandi river, architect, sunrise and sunset which we captured in our cameras.
Thereafter we left Bandipur for another tourist destination, Pokhara. Night to morning view of golden mountains seen there was mesmerizing. After an hour commute from the lakeside, we reached to explore Bat cave where we could see thousands of bats hanging on the wall. Exploring the bat cave from inside was an adventure of its own, it was thrilling and scary in a good way, and it certainly explained the funny faces people had when coming out of the cave. Let’s say, the adventure was worthwhile. Likewise, before visiting David’s fall I had many queries about the fall, for instance, why it was named David and no other name, where does the fall end, et al. Visiting the fall and asking my queries to fellow people out there helped to answer few of my curiosities. After visiting the fall we went boating to enjoy Phewa lake’s beauty. We had a small race on who would boat to the Barahi temple first where girls won and we had banter shouting ‘winner winner chicken dinner’ while returning from the temple. Indira ma’am was on our team. When deciding where to go in our free time, we thought of visiting some of the nicest restaurants and bars. The night scene of Pokhara with lights at the time of Christmas dazzled our eyes. Then, we returned our hotel for a well-earned rest. We danced and had campfire over there. Samir sir was the best dancer of all time.
The next morning we traveled from Pokhara to Lumbini which almost took a day. On the way, we stopped at Palpa to take a close view of Nepal’s biggest statue of ‘karuwa’. Lumbini, which is a pilgrimage site in the Rupendehi district of province no. 5 in Nepal is as peaceful as Lord Buddha’s saying. There we saw the footprints of baby Buddha when he was just born out of Mayadevi’s womb. We also saw Puskarini or holy pond where the Buddha’s mother took the ritual dip before his birth and where he had his first bath. Lumbini has several older temples and various new temples funded by Buddhist organizations from various countries, some have been completed and some are still under construction.
To get close to wild animals we headed to Sauraha, Chitwan which was 155 km away from Lumbini. During the journey, we danced and sang songs that we didn’t even realize we had reached Sauraha. The coordination of people performing Tharu dance for our welcome was energetic that we couldn’t stop our legs and joined the group. Then we slept having a sad vibe set in our mind that tomorrow was the day to finalize our journey. As the sun rose we could barely see the sun because of the fog. After having our breakfast we moved to jungle safari on jeep. The guide showed us different animals, sometimes he said us to look rhino, sometimes peacock with their fascinating feathers and sometimes other beautiful creatures like elephants, tigers, and crocodiles. Then we returned to our hotel. I and my friend Minma had a ‘tanga’ ride except for others because we didn’t know cycling. We also clicked photos and posted them on Instagram and Facebook.
By the end of this trip, I have realized that the journey is best measured in friends rather than miles. Thank you to the United family for giving us such an opportunity to explore some parts of Nepal. We the students of grade XII ‘Humanities’ got the chance to meet people from the different parts of the country. Nepal is a great country to explore. It has everything you could wish for – fascinating nature, religious and historical monuments as well as warm and welcoming people.