I was with my mother on 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, and 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 a four-wheeler jeep to reach Burtibang. As the road isn’t pitched, the journey of rough roads is interesting and a headache too.
Burtibang is one of the major hubs of Baglung, and it is also one of the proposed places for developing it as a model town in the 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 and got fresh. It was about four or something, we leapt out to have a small walk around the bazaar. We were joined by some teachers who were also planning to visit Dhorpatan the 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 time, watching fishermen catching fish.
In the evening, we were accompanied by some local teachers of Burtibang. The plan was made, and we all decided to reserve a jeep and go to the very awaited place the next day.
Early in the morning, we boarded the 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, and discussions were part of our journey.
It was a great moment to see even the teachers teasing the young ladies passers-by. We, two brothers, were the youngest of all there. No doubt we got the last seat, which is aligned in different manners than others.
One hotel owner joined us somewhere in the middle of the 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 driving, we finally reached The Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve Office area.
The temperature there was cold, and the freezing wind was blowing. I was so much excited that I can’t express it here.
We were on a big plain land. It was so beautiful.
We kept our belongings at the hotel. The hotel was simple, a normal house of the village made of mud and stones and covered with slates. Then we headed to the hunting reserve’s office.
We gathered different information from there.
It was dusk, we returned back to the hotel, had tea, and were having normal talks. Later, we started the ‘local khasi’ part. 😀 some got busy slaying the goat, and 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 a red bull.
Our teammates 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 that people here are of different natures and we might get killed.
We woke up to find this amazing view from the balcony of our hotel.
we started our hiking, and visited nearby places, local villages and more.
We also went to a monastery there. We came to know that once a very reputed Lama used to live there, with his disciples. He ran a herbal treatment hospital and people used to come here for treatment travelling from far places.
The monastery was lifeless, no people were staying there now.
As the main Lama was murdered, then all the disciples went away. When we reached there, the doors were opened, and solar lamps were glowing. This monastery was well-infrastructured with Buddhist art. I felt that this should be preserved well.
We went to the Thapa community residing there, we also saw a cottage of former COAS of Nepal Army Pyarjung Thapa which had a helipad too. The people there were educated and had better living standards.
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 the locals’ home, talked there and had boiled potato with local pickle. The potatoes were so tasty and energetic. The potatoes there were different from those grown in our villages.
Potato, and 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 areas.
We went to another local home, where we got to taste bhote chiya, it was great. I liked it.
The owner shared with us so many things, about life here, including difficulties, challenges and so on. She also told about her experience during the time of the 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 at 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, and 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 the Maoist 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 2 pm 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 staff. We also charged our cameras and mobiles.
The mobile network wasn’t stable, as it was relaying the wireless signals after receiving and running with solar power, whenever the weather condition changed the network would be down.
Also, let me also tell you that the weather condition here kept on changing so fast. Later when we were trying to return back to the hotel from the office, we got lost in the ground. As the ground was fully covered by fog, and the wind was blowing.
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I was shocked, to see the ground covered by fog heavily which was just cleared a 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 on all sides.
Luckily, we met one local while struggling, he showed us the way and yeah we could make our way back to the 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. 😛
we went to the sacred spot, Uttarganga there, where the body gourd river originated.
We worshipped and prayed, and as a morning walk, we headed towards a local underprivileged 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 hydropower 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 staff of the proposed hydropower 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 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 life there, their living style, the people there, the government’s negligence and all. We were amazed when he said that whenever any night, 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, the 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 headed for our trip.
We went to the 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 a 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. 😀 pocket is a good choice.
We went to the communities, talked, tasted the food, and gathered many experiences.
The day ended like this.
The 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.
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After walking for a few hours, we found a jeep. Got the last seat again. We talked with other fellow passengers, and 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 the snow, make shelter there 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 to be really brave, strong and determined. So, after talking with them, we reached Burtibang. Went to the hotel and had some food. The 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 a new place, taste a new environment, meet new people, eat new things, and interact with 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 uneducated. 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 at 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 and 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 on by the people. And some land is being sold too.
I felt the necessity of a good hotel/lodge here for tourists.
Transportation and communication infrastructures should be made easily accessible. People here should be provided with education. Schools here only had a 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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