Travelingnepal: Panchpokhari Trekking – One Hell Of An Adventure!

Heaven Is Myth, Nepal is real

“Because based upon what the locals said during my trekking to Panchpokhari, even Gods and Goddesses were here in this auspicious land of beauty.”

Lately, I’m utilizing my personal leaves in exploring Nepal. Guys, I’m not lying you can check my Instagram @travelingnepal

If I find any timeline in the calendar which says holiday for one day before or after the weekend, I will take leave for one or two more days and plan a short trekking. And this is how Panchpokhari Trek happened. March 1st, 2018 was a public holiday to celebrate Holi Festival. It was Thursday and so I took leave on Friday. So now I got five days for traveling.

But things didn’t go accordingly! Definitely things never work as planned. My friend Sudeep Timalsina & I had planned to head to Panchpokhari on the very day i.e. Holi Festival. But sadly as we inquired at the ticket counter of Helambu Yatayat, they told that the queue to Bhotang was canceled for celebrating the festival. So we started the journey on Friday i.e. 2nd March.
In the next few sections, I will share my daily travel logs of Panchpokhari.

Day 1: 2nd March, (Banepa-Melamchi-Bhotang-Deurali)

Banepa to Melamchi
– Time: 3 hours to 3hours 30 Minutes
– Bus: Helambu Yatayat
– BusFair: Nrs.130

We started our journey on a bus that morning from Banepa. We waited for the bus at Banepa Chardobato and it arrived at around 6:30. Bus leaves from Balaju area at 5:40, that is what we were said by the bus driver. But as expected the vehicle was full of passengers and many were already standing inside as there were no seats available. So Sudeep thought to skip this one and wait for another one. Well, it took another 40 minutes for the Helambu Yatayat to arrive. Finally, we took another bus and left Banepa at 7:15.

I would suggest you all, book the tickets one day early and keep in mind that the bus won’t have their queue in Festivals(Local or National). In case you missed to book the tickets, then be ready to stand for another 3-4 hours as you won’t get any seats in between 🙂

We reached Melamchi at 10:45. So it is generally 3-4 hours ride from Kathmandu to Melamchi. Bus it will take up to its station where it does punch in and logs its arrival time. After you get off from the bus you need to walk for like 3-4 minutes ahead to reach to the bus park where we can catch the bus to Bhotang which leaves at 11:00A.M.We have our lunch at the bus park and headed to Bhotang.

Lunch Expenditure
Dal Bhat Tarkari Power 24 Hour: NRs.100

Melamchi to Bhotang
Time: 4 to 4 hours 30 Minutes
Bus: Leaves exactly at 11:00 A.M and only one
Bus Fair: NRs. 180

Distance from Melamchi to Bhotang is about 35 kilometers but you will have a complete offroad experience. Sometimes you will be scared to death while the bus hits the bumps. And there are bumps everywhere 😀
Sudeep was scared and he refused to sit on the window side. The bus we traveled was not only for carrying people but also some packets of cement, few wooden logs, metal frames to make pillars of a concrete building. One thing that surprised us was, it cost twentyfive hundred rupees fee for 5 packets of cement. So we were wondering why won’t it pick only cement and earn three times more money 😀

BABU HARU MARNU JANU LAGNU VAKO?

We reached Bhotang at 3:30 P.M. At a local shop we asked an old woman if we could have a cup of tea. Then we inquired about the route and time to reach Panchpokhari. But her first reaction was like this “BABU HARU MARNU JANU LAGNU VAKO?“(Are you guys going there to Die?) We were seeking as many information as possible but with her first response, we thought better not to ask any more questions. But that was one heck of a response from her. Now after completing the trails, I think her response was somehow true.

We had forgotten one important thing for this trekking which was fire. The same old woman asked if we had brought light and we bought a Lighter. It was a life savior, else it could have been a hard time for us up there.

We walked Uphill from Bhotang towards Deurali. In about an hour we reached to deurali but there all houses were locked and nobody was nearby. There were two-three homes or hotels. Time was only 5:00 PM and the day was still bright, so we decided to walk a bit further for like one and a half hour. As locals said after deurali there comes a place called “TUPPI DANDA”. After walking for half an hour more we saw prayer flags on a top hill which could take us more that an hour. The weather was also deteriorating slowly and there lied a forest in between. We were right in the middle of two small huts, one below and one above us. So we took a wise decision to settle down there.

Out of those two huts, one on our right(above one) had a luxurious comfy bed with attached bathroom and also a swimming pool just out of the corridor. (LoL)

It had wooden planks inside where we could sleep, a classic stone made fire stove and lots of woods to burn, kind of airtight hut. The roof was a little bit opened. So Suddep and I covered the roof with a tarpaulin which was already there. We stayed there and had a warm sleep.

DAY2

We started our Journey at 6:00 AM in the morning. The place where we started our journey was Somewhere near Deurali. We walked upwards and reached Tuppi Danda( we are not sure if that was the exact place but still 🙂 ). After We walked all day and don’t know how did we manage to make such a difficult trail in a single day. In between the trail, before we had to cross a few high hills,

we need to cross a river. fill your water bottles there only. Because you won’t find any source of water after you cross that river. This river has a wooden plank used as bridge. We need to walk atleast 6-7 hours straight uphill after crosssing the river.

After walking about 4 hours up from the river we will reach to “Nasim Pati”.

Here you have to decide whether you would want to walk ahead or not. From Nasimpati to reach Panchpokhari, it will take you around 3-4 hours. As the time was about 3:00-3:30 PM we called it a go. We stayed there at Nasim Pati’s stairs for 10 minutes had our energy bars, snickers and took a few sips of water. Then we started walking.

The toughest part of the overall journey is walking from Nasim Pati to Panchpokhari. Sudeep told me that the path was similar to that of Gosainkunda. (Sadly, I’ve not been to Gosainkunda yet 🙁 But I will make it there). And you can say this that the exciting and scenix views are also found in between Nasim Pati to Panchpokhari 🙂

We finally reached our destination at around 7:00 PM. It was about to get dark, the air was too cold to take my globes out and now we had to figure out our night stay. Locals had suggested us to stay in the open houses that they had prepared for the pilgrimages as tourists. But we found that they were filled with water inside and the door was covered with snow. Also, the wind was strong and there were no chances of controlling such cold wind all night. Hence we decided to do what locals forbid us. We picked the lock of one of the hut. This part I’ve recorded on my podcast which I will be uploading soon 🙂

DAY3

We woke up at 7 AM, the wind was strong, it was freezing cold inside the hut only, so what to expect outside? We backpacked and got ready to walk around the pond. We took lots of pictures there and also climbed the height towards the viewpoint where we could watch all five ponds at once. After spending one and half hours at Panchpokhari, we walked downwards. So the only purpose now was returning straight to Bhotang such that we could have “Dal Bhat and get a sound sleep 🙂 ). We walked in our pace, taking pictures, videos, and obviously short brakes in between. Walking downwards the trail is actually easy compared to those breathtaking high hills. We reached bhotang exactly at 6:30. Yeah, 🙂 got our goodnight sleep there in the same old woman’s hotel 🙂

DAY4

We returned back to Melamchi and than to Kathmandu like we did on the first day for arriving here. So nothing interesting happened here. Sadly I lost holder of Pratit’s Tripod Stand 🙁

Historical Importance of Panchpokhari

The locals of Bhotang are the ones who flew from Tibet due to dispute with the Chinese government. So all lamas from Tibet were kicked out, punished and many eloped. One group of Tibetans were trailing an escape via the mountain routes in old days. They had to be safe from wild animals as well as hunt for food to survive. So they had dogs with them. While they appeared near this place of Five Ponds( Panchpokhari ), their dog escaped from the Tibetans and started running towards the paddy field where it found people working. But they were not actually humans but gods and goddesses.

It is believed that long ago Lord Shiva along with Gods and Goddesses from heaven were planting paddy in that very place. Seeing the dog, gods and goddess were worried and frightened that human has found them. So immediately all gods and goddess hid inside the temple( currently where there is the Panchpokhari temple). Now that the dog wouldn’t let them escape them out and return back to heaven, Lord Shiva appeared in his real form. After that only the locals let the Gods and Goddess escape.
Source of the story: Locals from Bhotang

It is also believed that Dalai Lama made the same trail of Panchpokhari as the escape route from Tibet to reach India. This is also a reason locals mark this place with great importance as a holy land.

Lastly

Panchpokhari is not a mainstream trekking destination yet. Government and their organization like Nepal Tourism Board need to pay a greater attention and start on exploring the opportunities for growing local tourism. Locals use the herbs of forests for many medicinal purposes. The old generation of that place are very few and the education about natural herbs are not transferred to the younger generation. This might cause the extinction of knowledge and importance of evergreen and always available herbs. There can be hundreds of business explored and introduces in that place. Also, many people don’t have abundant information about Panchpokhari. So it is the responsibility of every individual as well as the government to promote tourism of Panchpokhari.

 

“Heaven Is Myth, Nepal is real”

Because from what the locals said even Gods and Goddesses were here in this auspicious land of beauty.

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