Few years back,
I was with my mother in a steep hill collecting fodder for our animals. Got a call from cousin bro, saying that he had planned to go to Dhorpatan the next day, and was asking if I would also join. Without much thinking, I immediately agreed to go with him. Because I had heard much about the place, read in books, but had never been there even when it lies in my own district Baglung.
The very next day, I packed my bag with 1 pair of clothes and some basics, waited for bro in Hatiya and from there took a jeep. It took around four hours in four wheeler jeep to reach to Burtibang. As the road isn’t pitched, the journey of rough roads is interesting and a headache too.
Burtibang is one of the major hub of Baglung, and it is also one of the proposed place for developing it as a model town in mid-hill highway chain. I was amazed to see such a beautiful place, the landscape, houses rivers, people and so many things were much advanced.
Even there was a fuel station. We took a hotel room, got fresh. It was about four or something, we leaped out to have a small walk around the bajaar. We were joined by some teachers who were also planning to visit Dhorpatan next day. We walked around the school, hospital, market, and river. We could see many young kids swimming in the river to get rid of the hot temperature. Also, spent few time, watching fisherman catching fishes.
In the evening, we were accompanied by some local teachers of Burtibang. Plan was made, we all decided to reserve a jeep and go to the very awaited place next day.
Early in the morning, we boarded jeep and left for our dream. The road was rough and challenging. Our jeep was full of male passengers, we were about 12. and it was so fun. Some adult talks, jokes, views, discussions were part of our journey. It was great moment to see even the teachers teasing the young ladies passers-by. We two brothers were youngest of all there. No doubt we got the last seat, which are aligned in different manners than others.
One hotel owner joined us somewhere in the middle of journey. We were going to stay at his hotel, and he said that he has arranged local khasi for us for the evening.
After around four hours of drive, we finally reached The Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve Office area.
The temperature their was cold, freezing wind was blowing. I was so much excited that I can’t express here.
We were in a big plain land. It was so beautiful.
We kept our belongings at the hotel. Hotel was simple, a normal house of village made of mud and stones and covered with slates. Then we headed to hunting reserve’s office.
We gathered different information from there.
It was dusk, we returned back to hotel, had tea, and were having normal talks. Later, we started the 'local khasi' part. :D some got busy slaying the goat, after that we made small pieces, it was dark. We started having some fun. Some were having local drinks with the khasi. We were enjoying red bull. Our team mates, enjoyed the evening very much. Before going to bed, the hotel owner said about the place. He warned us to not be engaged in quarrels or disputes with the local communities and people here are of different nature and we might get killed.
We woke up to find this amazing view from balcony of our hotel.
We went to Thapa community residing there, we also saw a cottage of former COAS of Nepal Army Pyarjung Thapa which had helipad too. The people there were educated and had better living standard. We went to several plain lands, it was so beautiful. The places were so much perfect for film shootings and other purposes.
Then we went to one of locals home, talked there and had boiled potato with local pickle. Potatoes were so tasty and energetic. The potatoes there were different than those grown in our villages.
Potato , buckwheat are the major crops grown here. People have potatoes most of the time.
We also saw Tibetan communities, and saw many places reading “funded and supported by American Government” in these Tibetan Refugees area.
We went to another local home, here we got to taste bhote chiya, it was great. I liked it.
The owner aunt shared us so many things, about the life here, difficulties, challenges and so on. She also told about her experience about the time during Maoist insurgency. She said that one night when Beni was attacked, and Maoists and Armies were having a long war, the Maoist fighters moved along the path nearby in mid-night. She said she saw many young children, fighters, many wounded fighters, and many dead bodies being carried by others. She added that they were crying and moving, the way was blooded. I felt so bad to know about this.
Later, we kept on returning , we went to a community hotel being operated by the local community there. The owner of the hotel shared his experiences about Maoists war, and so many other ideas. We could see many horses grazing freely in the field. We came to know that each family reared horses, and these horses come to the plain land to graze in the morning and return back to their shelter themselves in the evening, it was such a great fact.
We had lunch lately at about 2pm that day, then rested for a while. Then our teacher’s team departed back to Burtibang. We two brothers decided to stay here for more days. In the evening, we went to Hunting Reserve’s office and had some talks with the staffs. We also charged our cameras and mobiles.
The mobile network wasn’t stable, as it was relaying the wireless signals after receiving and ran with solar power, whenever the weather condition changed the network would be down.
Also let me also tell that the weather condition here kept on changing so fast. Later when we were trying to return back to hotel from the office, we got lost in the ground. As the ground was fully covered by fog , and wind was blowing. I was shocked , to see the ground being covered by fog heavily which was just clear few hours ago. The visibility was less than a 10meters. We marched ahead, as we couldn’t see ahead, we didn’t know where we were going as the land there was plain, and same in all sides. Luckily, we met one local while struggling , he showed us the way and yeah we could make our way back to hotel.
So the day ended, had dinner and slept.
..ok wait, I remembered one thing , the water there was so freezing cold. I couldn't hold it in my hands. It used to be so difficult in the morning time, I guess you understand. :P
we went to sacred spot, Uttarganga there, from where the body gourd river originated. We worshiped and prayed, and as a morning walk we headed towards a local under priviledged village where most of the families were very economically backward and uneducated. As we moved ahead, they used to stare at us. One came to us and said, “are you from the hydro power project?” . We said , no we are students , look at our ID cards, we are here just to visit, we are also from Baglung. He said that they dislike the staffs of proposed hydro power as constructing a dam there would risk their village.
We went to one old man’s house. He was alone there. We talked about so many things. He was afraid to share us everything . He kept our contact numbers to verify that we wouldn’t do any bad to him. He shared about his illegal hunting experiences, and offered us that he could gift us some if we wanted. We denied the offer.
He shared so many things about the life their, their living style, people there, government’s negligence and all. We were amazed when he said that whenever in any night , if a fox screamed in that far village, and it could be heard here, the next morning some people would be found dead here in this village. And whenever, fox screamed here, the same would happen far there. This was a strange fact. When returning he asked for some money to have some drinks, I gave him a hundred rupees.
Came back hotel, had lunch, rested for a while and again we headed for our trip.
We went to next community, talked there, and came to know many things.
While returning I found that I have lost my wallet. I felt so bad. It had few thousand rupees, my credit cards and two hospital cards. Brother scolded me for my carelessness, for which I could do nothing. After I lost my wallet there, I haven't carried any till this time. :D pocket is good choice.
We went to the communities, talked, tasted the food, and gathered many experiences.
The day ended like this.
Next morning we returned back to Bobang, as Jeep couldn't reach our hotel as there was rainfall last night and jeeps couldn't cross some spots in the roads. The road was recently constructed so was weak, and rainfall could do a lot of damage.
After walking for few hours, we found a jeep. Got last seat again. We talked with other fellow passengers, two of them were returning back from Maikot, Rukum. They gave their identity as Yarsagumba traders. They buy from local communities and sell to Chinese dealers.
They said that it is so risky and challenging job as they have to walk in snow, make shelter their and live many days without food. Because of the cold, many people give up their life too. But they do this all to make their living, to run their family, to pay the fees for their children’s schooling. They added that, by doing this once , they can make their living for 5-6 months. And they come in seasons to do this.
I found them really brave , strong and determined. So, after talking with them, we reached to Burtibang. Went to hotel and had some food. Next morning we visited a government high school where board examinations were being held. In the afternoon, we returned back collecting so many awesome moments and life lasting memories.
To sum up,
the travel was great in itself. I came to see new place, taste new environment, meet new people, eat new things, and interact and understand the life of people.
I found that Dhorpatan is naturally rich,beautiful and a great gift of nature. If proper plans and policies can be made and enacted well, then this place has so high prospect for tourism and development.
Most of the people here are very uneducated and backward. They haven't seen or know what development is. I could see many people gathering around our jeep as they were seeing this new object in their life, and were amazed how it worked. The road reached there recently. As our jeep moved ahead many children tried to catch us running. People here take local drinks most of the time to keep themselves warm. As the water is cold, bathing ans washing clothes seem challenging here for many people. We could see many people in dirty clothes, and unwashed rough skins. I came to know that the Reserve's land is being illegally encroached by the people. And some land are being sold too.
I felt the necessity of good hotel/lodge here for tourists.
The transportation and communication infrastructures should be made easily accessible. People here should be provided with education. Schools here only primary level of education and they had to move down to other places for further education.
So, this much for now, I am writing this travel diary after two years since I had been there, I have missed so many things. You can check my full photo gallery from Dhorpatan here
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