Sudhan Subedi @tweetsudhan

Day 1: Flight to Surkhet and Trekking Beginnings

Our journey commenced with a smooth flight to Surkhet, the headquarters of Karnali Province. From there, we embarked on an extraordinary trek, not your average stroll, but a voyage into the realm of mountaineering. Our destination: a ski training ground situated at a breathtaking altitude of 3250 meters—a height rivaling Australia’s tallest peak, Mount Kosciuszko.

Navigating through the picturesque landscapes, we ventured onwards, cutting short the usual trekking route by opting for a vehicle to Manma, the district headquarters of Kalikot. The journey, albeit peppered with the regular bumps along the Karnali Highway, took an unexpected turn when we encountered a dry landslide near Talo Dhungeswor, halting our progress for nearly four hours. Nonetheless, we persevered and arrived in Manma by nightfall.

Day 2: Manma to Jumla – A Journey Through Nature and Culture

Setting out from Manma, we embarked on what I can only describe as a road traveler’s dream. The terrain between Manma and Jumla proved to be the epitome of road-worthy paths, with the Karnali Highway offering a scenic route unparalleled in its beauty. Passing through Nagma, we marveled at the sight of an old wooden bridge, a testament to the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Our journey was punctuated by moments of relaxation, such as indulging in the soothing hot springs, a welcome respite from the rigors of travel. Arriving in Jumla, we found ourselves amidst a veritable paradise, nestled amidst terrains perfectly suited for apple farming. The city’s core, adorned by the Chandannath temple, served as a beacon of spirituality and community reverence. Not to be missed was the Karnali Technical School, a bastion of learning and innovation, providing invaluable opportunities for students seeking technical expertise.

Jumla’s claim to fame as the “apple kingdom” was evident in its organic farming practices, which have elevated the region’s agricultural output. It was here that we learned of Hari Rokaya, a legendary figure in the marathon world, whose tireless efforts in training the next generation of athletes and managing the solar-run mill with the Karnali Sports Club left us in awe.

Day 3: Journey to the Skiing Haven of Chhetadi

Our next destination beckoned from Raskot Municipality to Sani Triveni, where the allure of skiing awaited. A six-hour trek from Raskot led us to Chhetadi, a place shrouded in snow and adventure. Navigating through the snow-covered terrain, often wading through snow up to our hips, added a thrilling dimension to our journey. Despite the challenges, the experience of staying overnight in rustic sheds amidst the snow was an adventure in itself.

Chhetadi, located just a day’s walk ahead of Badimalika, formed part of the Triveni region, renowned for its skiing opportunities. With an abundance of snowfall and the requisite depth, it fulfilled the basic requirements for skiing. As we took in the panoramic vistas of this snowy haven, thoughts turned to the potential for development and promotion of skiing tourism in the region.

Day 4: Return Journey to Surkhet and Exploration

Day 4 marked the homeward journey, retracing our steps back to Sani Triveni village before embarking on a ride to Surkhet. Recognizing the length of the journey, spanning over 6 hours walk and 9 hours ride, we should opt to split it over two days for comfort and convenience.

Upon reaching Surkhet, we wasted no time in exploring its treasures, including the serene Kakre Bihar and the picturesque Bulbule Lake. These natural wonders provided a fitting end to our incredible journey, encapsulating the essence of our travels through Karnali Province.