Beautiful Tangting Village
Distance: 20 KM
Van Route: Kathmandu – Kahu Khola - Chasu
Hike Route: Chasu – Tangting Village
Hike Date: 14th – 15th September, 2019
Hike Duration: 10 hours
It was a cool morning on 14th September 2019. Each one of us was excited about our long-awaited hike. A beautiful road trip and an alluring place were waiting for our arrival.
Nine of us joined our office shuttle – our little Hawaijahaj from office. I joined from Kalimati, Sudeep and Pujan were waiting for us with their everlasting smile at Kalanki, and Rabin dai joined us from Thankot. It was a team of thirteen – lucky thirteen.
Our next stop was Naubise. We had one plate chana tarkari and selroti each. Sumit dai warned us that we were getting our next meal after more than five hours. So, we ordered our next plate. We filled our belly and soon rushed out. It was already 7: 30 AM.
It was a cloudy day. “Mitho mitho” was playing on in the background while hills around us were busy hiding behind the cloudy curtains. Each one of us was chanting “mitho” lyrics while hills peeked at us and then shyly hid behind the clouds. Soon Trishuli river joined us along with our song and to guide our way along the Prithivi highway which ran from Naubise to the capital of beauty – Pokhara City. At this point, we were already far away from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu city. We could smell the freshness in the air and exchange air with nature without any wariness. The wizard of song, cool morning, smooth ride, and occasional snack already had us under its spell. None of us wanted this trip to end. It was magical.
We stopped at Madi Khola bridge to stretch our feet and capture some scenery with us in the frame. Our next stop was Kahu Khola. It was an unknown location for us, so we asked around. Finally, we reached the Kahu Khola. To our disappointment, Kahu Khola was a small stream of water. We expected Kahu Khola to be bigger – a lot bigger than what it was. We had our lunch in a local restaurant and booked two jeeps to take us to Chasu. Our Guru Ji informed us that they cannot take us all the way to Tangting as Madi Khola had washed away the only bridge it had. No worries we had to hike from Chasu. So, we started our next part of the journey leaving behind our shuttle there at Kahu Khola. Unfortunately, we forgot Rabin dai. He had gone to change his dress – all set for a hike. It was 1: 30 PM in the afternoon.
We drove through a short, smooth road along with the green paddy fields and soon met a bumpy road. Just a few kilometers away from the city and we could already see the old hard Nepali Gauley (village) lifestyle. One old lady was carrying a big load of grass in Doko (bamboo woven traditional basket). A little girl was herding a flock of goats. Little kids were fishing in paddy fields. The lifestyle there was so simple and beautiful which we do not find in the cities. We could see some small landslides here and there but nothing alarming. There was a big river which we had to cross on a jeep through the water. There was no bridge for vehicles. But we could see a Jhulunge pool (suspension bridge) for people to cross the river. One of our jeeps got stuck in the river and suffered a little damage but nothing serious. The road was all muddy and newly made but well maintained in its condition. On our way, we were blocked by a big military truck that was unable to pass through the muddy way. The truck was well guarded by armed military. We could only guess that the truck has some serious weapons in it and boy we were right. There were two more trucks carrying a load of explosives to blow away a hill in order to make the road. About 15 minutes later an excavator arrived to rescue the truck and we were on our way to Tangting. On the way, we could see some wild beehives. Of course, we couldn’t get it. It was way up in a huge rock. It was like the saying goes “आकाश को फल आँखा तरी मर”.
Now we could hear the loud roaring sound of Madi Khola. Our two hours long wonderful jeep ride came to an end as we came near to a suspension bridge over Madi Khola. We divided the water bottles and snack packets among us and started our hike. Also, not to forget applying coconut oil! We did not want to risk any of us getting dengue, did we? Our Guru Ji told us that it takes about one hour to reach Tangting from there for the local people and it should take us around two hours. Oh boy! they were wrong – very wrong.
The road was muddy and wet but gravel. On the way, we met a small waterfall. And yes, we took some pictures of us walking under its shower. The fact that we could get wet didn’t scare us but of course, some of the pictures did scare us afterward. But most were as amazing as they could get. Next, we met another waterfall, a big one this time but we could not get near it. In fact, we could see many small and big streams here and there rushing down to join Madi Khola on its long journey.
It was already 3:30 PM but we were no way near to Tangting. We asked some passer-by and they said it might take around one more hour to reach Tangting. Who knew we were going to prove them wrong? But with high hopes in our heart and listening to the loud whisper of Madi Khola, we continued our journey. Now we could clearly see the on-going construction of 44 MW Super Madi Khola Hydropower Plant. The way was getting more upright as we walked by. We were getting hungry and tired now. So, we decided to take a break and finish our snacks and water. And yes, of course, take some unique pictures with beautiful hills behind. After a short 10 minutes break, we resumed our journey. On the way, we could see some houses with no good facility but they had electricity so that must be a good thing. We could only imagine how people lived there with electricity but no WIFI.
Now it was 4:30 PM. And still no sight of Tangting. It must have sunk like Atlanta and we were on a voyage to discover it with no map. We were so eager to bask in the offerings that Tangting had planned for us, but time was running out. It was getting darker. At 5:00 PM we reached the base station of Super Madi Khola Hydropower Project. We rested there for a while. Pointing at a huge hill, a man told us that Tangting was just behind that hill and it will take us one hour to reach there. He also mentioned a shorter way that will only take 30 minutes, but it was infested with leeches. At this point, we were desperate to reach our hotel, take a bath, have our meal, enjoy the night view, and sleep. So, we took the shorter way.
Who knew it was going to be a battle of thirteen humans against an army of leeches armed with their secret weapon – vampire fangs? Looking at our feet we could see 2 leeches on our shoes. Pick a stick to remove 2 and we could see 10 more climbing up on our feet – classic mathematical problem(?). It was a complete disaster. The night was in their favor. We were at a great disadvantage. Yes, yes it was our complete defeat. Unfortunately, Rajendra dai got cramps in his calves. We could only imagine his immense pain. Bikash dai helped him all the way to the hotel. On the way, we crossed path with another waterfall. This was close to us and yes, Pujan took some amazing pictures there. In fact, he had been taking our pictures this whole time. But we could not spend more time there.
We managed to reach our hotel at 6:30 PM. Our hotel owner was waiting for us with garlands of flowers. It was a sweet gesture. We removed the leeches attached to us and dipped them in salt – most effective weapon ever developed against leeches. That sweet little vengeance. Finally, we could take a nice cold shower, changed into fresh clean clothes, and order our dinner. We were just in time for the Premier League! We had The Sumit Shrestha supporting Manchester United and Mr. Sudeep Sharma supporting any team against Manchester United. They had a bet and alas, Lady Luck did not smile down at Sudeep Sharma. The night got ended with great laughter, joy, delicious local food, more importantly, great bonding among each one of us.
However, the night was still not over for the boys; pointing to an empty cloudy area up in the sky, Pujan told Sandeep that we could see Mt. Annapurna up there on a clear day. Sandeep couldn’t believe this, and he disagreed. Who could blame him? We had our dinner at 9:30 PM. Out we came and there it was – Mt. Annapurna basking in the moonlight and smiling at us. Touching the heaven itself, it softly whispered “Hello my dears. How ya’all doing? Just saying hello. Hope you have a good one”. It was a feeling that couldn’t be described in words. It was peaceful and straight out of the fantasy box. Heaven soon felt jealous and hid Annapurna from us. We called it a day and went to our rooms. It was a peaceful night.
We woke up at 6 AM in the morning. Mt. Annapurna was briefly there to say, “Good Morning”. We didn’t miss that precious opportunity to take some breathtaking photos with it. Our hotel owner had prepared us some sweet cup of tea – just the drink you need to start a cool, wet day. Then we went on a short walk through some alleys of the village. At 9 AM we had a blissful Kodo ko Roti (Millet Chapati) as our breakfast with jam and peanut butter and wait-for-it a sweet cup of tea. It was just perfect.
At 9:30 AM we left our hotel to return to Chasu to return to Kahu Khola through the two jeeps, where our shuttle was waiting for us. The day was all rainy and cloudy – like heaven began to love us and wanted us to stay. But our life was waiting. This time we avoided the short route and walked down the road across the Madi Khola to the jeep which was waiting for us. On our way back, we took some time to enjoy a clean river. Dipping our fatigued feet inside a clean and cold river was just the thing we needed. Again, Pujan was our cameraman. All thanks to him, we have many breathtaking photos. We managed to cover that same path in around 2 hours and 30 minutes.
On the way, we encountered a roadblock by a landslide. But an excavator was working and soon the way was cleared. In two hours, we reached Kahu Khola and immediately left for Lake Side Pokhara on our shuttle. We had a great Thakali meal at a popular restaurant “Maili Thakali”. It was already 3:30 PM in the afternoon. Again, time was running out and our wish to walk along the banks of Phewa Lake had to be abandoned. We immediately left for Kathmandu valley.
Our energy was drained and some of us needed a quick nap. But Prashraya, Sudeep, Pujan, Sandeep, Lijala, Sophiya, Prason, and Ujjwol were not done. They made the van flow with the music and lifted the spirits of all others. Soon we all joined them in singing the broken lyrics all the way to Kathmandu and never did we stop. We stopped only once at Malekhu to have a cup of tea because we were worried that it would get too late to reach the valley. We managed to reach the office at 9:30 PM in the evening. Thanks to our Guru Ji for bearing with us on this long trip.
“Was this real life? Was this just a fantasy?” You decide.