The semester was over, with month long arduous exams just attended. Another challenging semester and further exasperating exams. Life wasn’t particularly blissful, with the same monotonicity, absent of any vigor and gusto. The thoughts were infuriating. And, all such turmoil and muddle, set on the noisy, dull and cynical city of Kathmandu made me sometimes wonder if life could ever get worse. In all that commotion, off we went, in a group of thirteen to Lake Gosaikunda, far from the madding crowd. And, thus began an amazing adventure, washing away all worries and regrets, with every drop of sweat along the steep Dhunche-Gosaikunda trail.
The journey started, with us leaving Kathmandu, on a fine September morning. With every turn of the wheel of our minibus, we moved away from the concrete jungle of Kathmandu. And, all the while, we passed through green foliage, crystal clear rivers and picturesque hills, visible from the interior of our vehicle. The quest had only begun but I had every premonition that it would bring upon me a great joy. Even the earliest encounters with nature aroused a feeling of abysmal elation within me and I had the awakening that life wasn’t worthless, after all. By twilight, we reached Dhunche, the capital of Rasuwa and the experience up to that point, was far too a little, compared to what we were going to experience by the end of the journey, in the scale of Lake Gosaikunda itself. We ended the night with a fine meal, ordinary Nepali meal, but with extraordinary taste of organic nurturing.
Early next morning, having a cup of fine tea, we took upon us to conquer the uphill trails of Dhunche-Gosaikunda Trek, which made even the biggest of egos to come down to earth. We toiled and sweated, with our breaths running out every second. The souls, living around the heights of 1350 m in Kathmandu and who had insignificant prior trekking experience, were hiking around the heights of 2000 m. At times, we’d pause to rest and devour foodstuffs we’d brought with us from the valley. And along the way, we chatted on many topics, expressed ourselves like we’d never before and laughed with our wits out at even the meekest of puns.
We stopped at Deurali and had a nice little meal. In the meanwhile we rested there, we settled for a game of cards. Pretty hopeless at cards, I didn’t fare very well. But it didn’t matter in those lively spirits. Soon after, we started again. The cool Himalayan wind was blowing and look around, everywhere you would feel like nature’s smiling at you. On and on, we marched, forgetting our engineering self and glancing at the beauty of nature, taking photos once in a while and we reached Chandanbari, just before the evening. I felt how much we’d missed from the endless offerings nature of Nepal had bestowed upon us, limiting ourselves to the void of cities. We called it day at Cholangpati, where we warmed ourselves by the fire our Tamang hostess had prepared for us. Late at night, after having the meal, we downed ourselves in local liquor and reclined.
All of us were revived from good night’s sleep and our adventure resumed next day. Walking steadily, we reached Lauribina where we were walking above the clouds. The excellent views of Langtang and Ganesh Mountain could be observed from there. Meanwhile, I had the recollection of verses of the poem “Leisure” by W.H. Davies
“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”
Around midday, we reached Gosaikunda, lying there in its eternity. We had a quick lunch at nearby hotel and went to explore around the lake. When we were on par with the lake, with its crystal clear water and tranquility, the colossal Langtang standing behind it, I was convinced it was what people called paradise. We went to the Amar Singh Cave and walked around the bank afterwards. We slept soundly at night, after having a good deal of supper.
Next day, early morning, we went to the point where Lord Mahadev, allegedly stroke his Trishul to create the lake, and had its last view. Shortly after, we scaled down via the same path by which we had reached Gosaikunda previously. We made steady strides and by evening, we had already arrived at Dhunche. We had dinner and reposed our bodies there. And, by early morning bus next day, we returned back to Kathmandu, left in awe for what Nepal had in offer for us, which we were quite unaware of previously. And, as the wheels were rolling, I thought to myself “I have never been to heaven but where I’ve just been, it’s as close to heaven I can ever get.”
About the author:
Nabin Paudyal is a computer engineering student from Nepal, who wants to travel and explore things. He believes life begins out of the comfort zone and wants to try new things often.
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