‘Lower Ganesh Himal Manaslu Trail Promotional Trek’ (Dec31, 2023 – Jan 1, 2024)

[“Lower Manaslu Ganesh Himal Trail Promotional Trek”, is a remarkable adventure project initiated by Wandering Trail Adventures Pvt. Ltd, in collaboration with the Nepal Tourism Board and the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN). Our core mission is to shine a spotlight on the captivating beauty of the lower Dhading and Gorkha districts, boosting tourism and showcasing the cultural and historical treasures nestled in this region.

Our journey embarks from Bunchung Dhading, where we set foot on a path of discovery that leads us to Siddhalek, with the final destination being the revered Gorakhkali Temple in Gorkha. This six-day trek offers an extraordinary tapestry of experiences, guiding you through enchanting locations such as Siddhalek, Maidi, Darbungfant, Tanglichok, Manakamana, and Ghairug, each with its own unique cultural and historical significance. Some of these places are also home to sacred temples, deepening the spiritual and cultural richness of your journey.

One of the most heartwarming aspects of this adventure is the chance to connect with the local indigenous people. You’ll have the privilege of staying in their homestays, where you’ll savor authentic organic cuisine and immerse yourself in their culture. It’s a rare opportunity to witness life through the eyes of the locals and share in their traditions.

As a part of our initiative its second phase of our project, we are organizing a hiking event to Tanglichok that commences from Darbung Fant and concludes in Chumkhola-Dhading. Along this journey, you will be greeted with breathtaking vistas of the Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh, and Langtang mountain ranges. The beauty of these natural wonders will leave you in awe, providing an unforgettable backdrop to your adventure. You will stay at local indigenous Gurung’s homestay with their cultural shows and delicious typical Gurung’s food.]

On the eagerly awaited morning of December 31, 2023, the 13 spirited participants of the “Tanglichok Trek” gathered at Buddha Mall, Machapokhari, at 6:10 AM. We were so ready for this journey! We hopped into a Toyota Hicae and quickly reached Naubise in just an hour.

Our first pitstop was at  ‘White Hills,’ café, where we grabbed some tea and coffee since we planned to have lunch at Benighat around 10 AM. We kept it light and just enjoyed the drinks.

While at the cafe, we did a quick introduction session. It was a chance for all of us to get to know each other better. We shared stories about ourselves and got everyone acquainted. It was nice to connect with people from different backgrounds.

 Among the participants, 10 were regular hikers, familiar faces in our group. However, we welcomed three new members: Manisha Dangol Shrestha, a fashion designer and owner of London Fashion House; Suberna Moktan, a UN employee; and little Aahana Timilsina, a nine-year-old joining her first trek with our group, accompanied by her father Saroj Timilsina, a regular hiker and a valued member of our team. Together, we looked forward to creating wonderful memories on this special journey.

After a nice break for tea and coffee at ‘White Hills,’ our trip to Darbungfat kept going. It’s about 80 km away, and it takes three hours to get there from Kathmandu. It was going to be quite an adventure! We went through Galchi, Gajuri, and Malekhu, and during the ride, our friends, especially Bhavana Rimal, played some really nice music. Even with the bumpy roads, we all kept in high spirits, chatting and laughing together.

With good music playing and everyone in high spirits, we made it to our lunch spot, the ‘Trishuli Glory Resort’ in Benighat, delayed by half an hour at 10:30 am. The journey might have been a bit rough, but the fun we had and the great company of our fellow trekkers turned it into a memorable trip.

Benighat, located in Dhading district and marking the beginning of Gorkha district, is a unique place. Here, the Trishuli river from the east and the Budigandaki river from the north join forces. On the right side of Budigandaki is Dhading district, and on the left is Gorkha district. The Trishuli river, on the other hand, acts as the natural separator between Dhading and Gorkha districts.

Our lunch spot was right on the banks of these two rivers. We all enjoyed the picturesque surroundings, capturing the beauty in many photos and videos. Once we settled, a delicious buffet lunch awaited us. Special thanks to Mr. Umesh Shrestha, the resort owner, for serving us such a tasty dal bhat.

After the satisfying meal, we resumed our journey. Crossing the Benighat bridge over the Trishuli river marked our entry into Gorkha district within the Gandaki province of Nepal. We drove a smooth 1 kilometer on a paved road before embarking on a 7-kilometer off-road adventure to reach our hiking point, Darbungfat. Despite a bumpy 45-minute drive, we arrived at Darbungfat at 12:15 pm, ready to commence our trek. The real adventure was about to unfold!

Our trek kicked off from Darbungfat, with our eyes set on Patiswara, Tanglichok(12 km and 5 hours hike from Darbungfat), situated in Ward No. 2 of the Gandaki Rural Municipality in Gorkha district at an altitude 0f 1300 metres. Patiswara, a cozy village, is home to indigenous Gurung people, boasting 90 Gurung houses along with a few Newar and Brahmin/Chettri households. The Gurung community is truly special, known for their warm hospitality, rich culture, and delightful Gurung cuisine. In my experience exploring all corners of Nepal, I’ve found Gurung homes to be among the most welcoming.

Patiswara-Tanglichok is renowned for its historical and cultural significance, adorned with various temples and captivating natural beauty. The village hosts temples like Gaura, Mahadev, Setidevi, and Rideswor, each adding to the place’s charm.

One highlight is Mahadev Hill, crowned by a temple dedicated to Lord Mahadev. This spot offers breathtaking panoramic views of nearby mountains, including Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh, and Langtang. Gorkha district is home to Manaslu, one of the Eight-thousanders, visible up close from Mahadev Hill. The viewpoint also captures the majestic Gorkha Palace, Manakamana, Bandipur in Tanahun, Chimkeswori in Tanahun, Sidhalek in Dhading, and Chandragiri in Kathmandu.

Mahadev Hill provides an excellent vantage point for witnessing the spectacular sunrise and sunset. When in Patiswara, a visit to Mahadev Hill is a must to soak in the magnificent views. Don’t miss out on this unique and enriching experience!

After a one-hour uphill hike covering 3 kilometers from Darbungfant, navigating through a picturesque trail with lush forests and small village settlements, we arrived at the charming village of Thulo Darbung. This village is predominantly inhabited by Newar people.

The sun was shining brightly, and the uphill trek had us feeling the heat, so we made sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. In Thulo Darbung, we purchased an additional liter of water. Here, a jeep track began, stretching for 2 kilometers. The track was level, and surprisingly, there were no vehicles in sight. We strolled along, enjoying the scenic beauty of villages, farmlands, and the local lifestyle until we reached Lakuri Bhanjyang,Chautari passing Barbil danda.

Lakuri Bhanjyang, Chautari served as a perfect spot for a rest. We took a break, shared some snacks, and soaked in the surroundings. The journey was unfolding with beautiful sights and moments, making the trek from Darbungfant to Lakuri Bhanjyang truly enjoyable.

After a brief rest at Chautari, we resumed our uphill hike along a splendid trail, tracing the ridge of the hill and surrounded by lush green forests. The delightful melody of birdsong and the sight of beautiful flowers along the way added to the beauty of our journey. After an hour of trekking from Lakuri Bhanjyang, we reached Banpale, a Gurung village.

As luck would have it, today marked the significant Gurung festival called “Tamu Lohsar.” Upon arriving in Banpale, we were warmly greeted by the local people with the traditional Nepali panchebaja. The festive atmosphere was contagious, and we couldn’t resist joining in the celebration. We danced to the local tunes and relished the festive spirit for a while.

The villagers were kind enough to invite us to stay longer, enjoy the festivities, and explore the newly launched homestays in the village. However, mindful of reaching Patiswara before nightfall, we expressed our gratitude, promising to return in the future to fully explore their village and experience the hospitality of the homestays. It was a wonderful cultural encounter on our journey, leaving us with memories to cherish.

After a pleasant half-hour downhill trek from Banpale, we arrived in the charming village of Ghyaprung. The village and its people welcomed us with warm hospitality. Here, we stumbled upon orange fields with ripe, juicy oranges. The temptation was too much to resist, so we found ourselves lost for a few moments, picking and indulging in the delicious oranges.

Having walked for 4 hours from Darbungfant, fatigue had set in. Fortunately, luck was on our side as we spotted a motorbike heading towards Patiswara. We approached the rider and asked if he could kindly give a ride to our two young hikers, Savannah and Ahanna. The generous rider agreed, and the kids happily hopped onto the bike for the journey to Patiswara.

By this time, it was 4:30 pm, and with winter evenings approaching darkness quickly, we, the rest of the hikers, made a pact not to stop anywhere and push through the final one-hour hike to Patiswara. Determined and united, we continued our trek, eager to reach our destination before nightfall.

After a 1-hour trek on a jeep track from Ghyaprung village, we reached Patiswara, Tanglichok, by 5:30 pm, just before nightfall. Although we missed the stunning sunset view, the sky still glowed with a golden hue after sunset. Patiswara unfolded before us, a beautiful Gurung village adorned with blossoming flowers, and the Gurung houses stood out with their typical beauty and cleanliness.

Our chosen stay for the night was at Chhandi Fupu’s homestay, a community homestay managed by the hospitable Chhandi Fupu. As we arrived, Chhandi Fupu was there, ready to welcome us with a bunch of flowers and a traditional white Gurung tika. The warm reception filled all the hikers with joy and excitement.

Chhandi Fupu wasted no time in offering us a delightful welcome. She served Millet’s selroti (bread), popcorn, Gurung’s local wine (Jhuwaikhatte), and tea/coffee as our welcome drinks. The millet’s selroti was incredibly tasty, and the Jhuwaikhatte, a millet wine mixed with hot ghee and fried rice grains, was a comforting drink for the chilly evening.

The friendly reception, tasty Gurung food, and unique Gurung wine helped us shake off our tiredness. After enjoying some snacks, Chhandi Fupu guided us to our rooms. The rooms were neat, comfy, and had that traditional Gurung touch.

We hurried back from our rooms, thrilled about ringing in the New Year with an evening filled with fun – a BBQ, campfire, Gurung cultural performances, and music. At 6:15 pm, we lit a campfire, and Mr. Tenzing Tamang, a friendly local working on a project in Tanglichok, skillfully prepared a mouthwatering BBQ. Big thanks to Mr. Tenzing for the tasty treat! We gathered around the fire, danced to the music, and welcomed the New Year with joy. Chandi Fupu and her daughter-in-law served us a variety of delicious dishes. We also tried local wine made from coffee and pomegranate, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

After an hour of campfire and BBQ, we were invited to a Gurung cultural program in the village. Since it was New Year’s Eve and the Gurung festival of “Tamu Lhosar,” we were fortunate to witness the “Chudka song,” a local Gurung song accompanied by the traditional “Chudka dance.” Villagers of all ages joined in the cultural celebration. Our team contributed some money to support the program, knowing it would go towards charity and the village’s development.

Following the cultural festivities, we returned to Chandi Fupu’s homestay for a delightful dinner. We were amazed by the Nepali dal/bhat, featuring local rice called “Marsi,” and the flavorful local chicken. After a satisfying meal, we retreated to our rooms for some much-needed rest, tired from the day’s hike and the evening’s dancing.

On the second day, which also happened to be New Year’s Day on January 1, 2024, we gathered for breakfast at 7:00 am. Unlike our usual hikes where we wake up at 5 am for sunrise and mountain views, we enjoyed a more relaxed start this time.

Chhandi Fupu had breakfast ready for us, featuring a typical Gurung dish called “Latte,” made from local ghee and sticky rice. It was served with delicious boiled sweet potatoes, a healthy treat for us.

After breakfast, following our plan, we were eager to visit the nearby orange field. Being the season for oranges and Gorkha district being famous for them, we were thrilled at the prospect of exploring a large orange field, picking and devouring oranges, and bringing some back to Kathmandu.

A 15-minute hike led us to a vast orange field, surprising us with its size and abundance of ripe oranges. We happily picked oranges, indulged ourselves, snapped countless pictures and videos, and each of us bought some to take back home. After spending a few joyful hours in the orange field, we explored parts of the village and returned to the homestay for lunch.

After reaching the homestay, our lunch awaited us, and we enjoyed a hearty meal. With our stomachs full, it was time to begin our descent for the journey back home. The hike down to Chumkhola in Dhading covered 8 kilometers and would take around 3 hours, passing through Makaising and Butar.

Following lunch, a brief farewell program awaited us. We were adorned with white Gurung tika and garlands of Marigold. This moment brought mixed feelings – happiness for the incredible time, warm hospitality, and delicious Gurung cuisines, and sadness as we were bidding farewell and heading back to Kathmandu today.

Bid adieu to Chandi Fupu and the whole Patiswara village, we began our descent to Chumkhola at 1 pm. The first 3 kilometers followed a jeep track until Makaising, a charming village where curious eyes watched us adorned in Marigold Garlands. Some locals questioned why we chose to walk when a bus was available, but being avid hikers, we explained our love for exploring villages on foot.

After an hour on the jeep track, we transitioned to a beautiful but narrow and slippery trail as we hiked carefully down. Four hours later, we reached Butar, a small village in the bank of Trishuli river, where we took a break for some snacks. Our vehicle awaited us across the bridge at Chumkhola, and as we were running late, we decided to have our snacks in Butar to avoid further delays on the highway.

After the snack break, we crossed the suspension bridge at Butar, marking the transition from Gorkha district to Dhading district. Our vehicle was waiting at Chumkhola, where our ended. From there, we drove back to Kathmandu, aiming to reach as early as possible. Despite encountering some traffic jams on the highway, we finally arrived in Kathmandu at 10 pm, bringing our memorable journey to a close.

The “Tanglichok Trek” concluded, leaving us with unforgettable memories of breathtaking landscapes, warm hospitality, and the shared joy of exploration and camaraderie.

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(1) Comment

  1. Shreeker Prajapati

    It was pleasure to be part of this unexplored yet full of potential trail…enjoyed every moment and also was thrilled to be part of special event New year 2024

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