हिमालमा लुकेको तपोबनका रहष्यहरू || सुदुरपश्चिमको हिमाली यात्रा || Far West Tapoban Surma Sarobar

हिमालमा लुकेको तपोबनका रहष्यहरू || सुदुरपश्चिमको हिमाली यात्रा || Far West Tapoban Surma Sarobar

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We've crossed this and now approached by a Patan(grassland). Onto a similar capped landscape again. You will find multiple landscapes like this here, one after the other. Amazing view near this Bir Odar(cave) area. Two similar hills shrouded in the clouds. Mountainous region of Sudurpaschim in Nepal.

which mesmerizes everyone. But sadly, not many people know about this place. Enchanting meadows 4000m above the sea level. There aren't any human settlements here. Only few temporary Yarsha camps and shepherd sheds.

How is accomodation around here? Well, just set up a makeshift tent, you know. An absolute feast for the eyes. Abundant greenery, and small settlements tucked in the mountains. Endless meadows, one after the other. You just can't get enough of this unparalled beauty in this place. We will stay at a place called Parthi and travel further to Tapoban, Tatopani.

And immerse ourselves in this heavenly landscape. Even now, the temperature in this place is not more than 5 degree Celsius. Plus, this flow of warm water here. There's a natural spring up there, and it flows down to this pond where you can take a bath.

The pilgrims who travel from Darchula to this Surma Sarovar trek, still follow the tradition of resting and replenishing themselves in this cave here. At the base of this hill, there's these onion like plants, and the ground water is seeping through here and forming a stream. We'll enjoy our time here between Soonkhani Himal and Chande Shikhar.

We are at the base of Chande Shikhar mountain. which is aptly named because of its abundance of silver here. That shining white part is silver. This is Chainpur Bazaar in Bajhang district of Sudurpaschim region. After travelling 7-8 hours from Attaria, we arrived here.

We took a vechile from Chainpur to Surma municipal. Spent a couple of days in the beautiful village, Alka. And then, we embarked on a challenging 2-day trek. We visited many beautiful places including Jaljala. We arrived at Surma Sarovar after 12 hours walk each day for 2 consecutive days.

We are planning to travel to a place called Parthi next. Our lodging had been arranged there. After that, we plan to head towards Tapoban, and visit meadows that fall on the way.

Nevertheless, simply walking this path in the evening time is breathtaking. The mountains would have looked awesome, if the clouds hadn't shrouded the horizon. The same breathtaking beauty to this side. What can I say? Feels like heaven, absolutely mesmerizing. There aren't any accomodation facilities around Surma Sarovar.

We have to walk around 2 hours to reach Parthi to spend the night. There seems to be a temporary house down there. Probably a Yarsha shed.

We are moving our tired legs towards that shed, and before nightfall. It's been an hour that we've left Surma Sarovar. So, Daju, where is our stay tonight? Down there at Parthi. That shed over there? Yes. So, we'll be staying there.

Are there other sheds down there? Yeah, those are used by Kira pickers. Kira meaning Yarshagumba. So, we'll be staying at their campsite. We have sleeping arrangement there, right? We do have our own food. Yeah, all arranged. We'll be staying there today. We can see the shed with blue tarp down there.

We'll be spending 2 days there. There in the distance is Surma Sarovar. We have gained quite a distance from that point. You've laid on the ground, Naresh sir? What happened? Extremely tired. We've been walking since yesterday and there's still 30 minutes more to go. Just imagine.

We've walked more than 13 hours today. More than that. Isn't it? Tell me yourself. We spent our night here, in this shed at Parthi. So this shed is located deep in this ravine, near the river. It's more like a camp than a shed.

For Yarsha pickers from Bajhang And especially, from Surma municipal and nearby areas. People stay in these kind of camps here during season. There's at least 10 to 15 such camps around here. Now, we are heading towards Tapoban, the actual Tapoban. A place of great religious significance. And there's a hot spring, where one can bathe.

And, we will show you some amazing landscapes along the way to Tapoban. We left the shed around 7am. Two of our companions decided to stay. One of our companions, Hari dai, feel quite ill. So this is the view everywhere.

And eventually, we shall reach Tapoban. It might take around 3 hours just to get there. We must return back here before nightfall, no other option. I just can't explain this landscape. Unbelieveable, unimaginable, can't believe I'm at such a place. The camera wouldn't justify what I behold with these eyes right now.

These plants look just like onion. What exactly are these? These plants are used as onions here. So we use the stem of this plant.

These are known as onion of the mountains, and we can definitely consume these. So to consume these plants, you see these stems right here. These are dried and used just like onions afterwards. This place falls in Surma municipal of Bajhang district of Sudurpaschim region. Also known as Parthi. There aren't any human settlements nearby.

Few temporary camps here and there. Either as Yarsha camps or livestock sheds. People from Bajhang and Darchula come here for herb foraging. But majority being shepherd camps of Darchula residents. The nearest village from here, Darchula or Bajhang, is a two day walk. To the North is China.

Locals have been known to reach Tangla in just 2-3 days. Before, there was a lot of trade with China. Although, roadway yet hasn't reached here.

This landscape is so beautiful that the images speak for itself. We are passing through this ravine in Parthi towards Tapoban. To this side are lush green mountans and meadows. And you see that peak at the distance.

The pilgrims who have travelled from Darchula, to Surma Sarovar pilgrimage. That's the mountain that they have to pass. Just imagine. It took us 2 days just from there. But they wrap up the trip within those two days.

And so, they pay their respects here and return back again, barefoot. This place called Parthi resembles a valley in many ways. We've already left Surma Sarovar.

Almost 3 hours away from there. Now, from here, a trail towards Tapoban. Absolutely amazing place.

Majestic mountains everywhere. Bunches of mountainous plants, abundance of greenery. And these wild flowers here, native flowers of Himalaya. These just fill you heart with joy.

You might ask yourself, where am I? This place will compel you to ask yourself if this place is real or imaginary. Surrounding areas of this Surma municipal holds a deep religious significance. Since Surma Sarovar and Tapoban is here, this is an important pilgrimage for Bajhang and Darchula. Every year, a number of pilgrims come here during Janai Purnima.

Barefoot on this challenging road. Although many pilgrims come here from Darchula and Bajhang, it is believed that they shouldn't meet each other. Deep reverance held towards Surma Devi. And so, it has been regarded as a spiritual and revered place.

In fact, it holds great potential for tourism because of such an unparalleled beauty. There hasn't been enough promotion though. This place holds unparalleled beauty yet is challenging as well. A one day walk for the locals took us two days. Some even take three. depending on the pace.

There are some challenges for accomodation and food here. You'll have to bring you own food, and you'll find local shelters for stay. It's recommended you get help from locals from Surma municipal. We couldn't have made this journey without help. Surma municipal, Bhisam Surma Sarovar, Only because of local assisstance could we make this happen. We are leaving a mountain and heading towards a valley.

Again, mountains everywhere, another beautiful meadow. There's a confluence down there and two big fields. Wide variety of wild flowers has decorated the whole landscape. Now, we will have to cross the river on the left and head forward.

We saw a shedherd's tent after an hour's walk. These sheeps must be either from Bajhang or Darchula. You can see that temporary shed there and a large flock of sheep. These sheeps never run out of grass here. We just leave these livestock out in the open. It's quite difficult grazing here. Sometimes, lambs die because of cold.

Where are you from actually? I'm from Khandeswori, Darchula. So Darchula? So you've come from Darchula to Bajhang. How many years have you been doing this? It's been years. So is this a ancestral tradition? Yes, our fathers have been doing this and so will our sons. How long does it take to get here from your home? It takes about 3 days if you walk at a pace.

And accomodation? Well, I just set up a tarp tent. So which one is yours then? There. That one. It looks like it's in a cave. No, no, it's just regular tent. Oh, okay, under the rock.

Well, it's not bed of roses, you know. Of course, there are challenges and difficulties. And it's quite exciting and enjoyable at times as well. But most importantly, it's what we do. We crossed the river towards Tapoban.

crossing the same river over and over again. Going back and forth on the river. There are no trees here due to it's geography. But wide open meadows and wild flowers. And tall grasses which are called Ghoor here. We walk through this, Naresh sir? These are tall as a man.

So to explain this landscape. You cross one grazing meadow. climb a few hills and then, onto the next meadow. Numerous such hills and meadows.

One after the other. Just numerous. A repetetion of such landscape through this 3-4 hour walk here. That's the mountain we came through.

Again, a meadow across there as well. The first meadow. And this is the meadow on this side. This grazing area, also called Kharka Patan Nagijay. As we move forward, there'll be more such meadows up ahead.

Such a mesmerizing landscape this is. But not just once, but over and over again. We crossed 4-5 meadows there. To this side, are 10-12 more meadows.

3-4 hours walk. It's exciting on that side as well. consists of large meadows, would take 15-20 minutes to get from one to the other. Almost like a valley, but a smaller version.

Being 4000m above the sea level, snow covers these meadows 10 months in a year. So the shepherds move down to lower altitudes. They stay only for 2-3 months.

Dhansiri Himal is across this hill, but it's shrouded behind the clouds today. These are abandoned sheds, when they migrate to lower altitudes during Baisakh. They renovate this again next time. Abandoned sheds after the seasonal migration. Well, the sheeps live out in the meadow. These sheds are for shepherds. Let's drink some fresh water.

Mountain spring water. How is it? You just dived in, huh? Cold? So? Water is good, but you will lose a couple of teeths. So freezing. We are walking along the river, and it's been 2 hours since we left the campsite. There's still a long way to Tapoban. Pilgrims from Darchula and Bajhang also make their way to Saipal from here.

Meaning you could also enter China through here, via Tangla. Mansarovar and Kailash mountain is also not that far from here. Couple of days walk. But, usually, people don't walk all the way up there. Look at these man sized plants.

Feels like drowning in vegetation. Where were you lost, my friend? Can't see anything here. Crossing the same river again. Back and forth this river, quite interesting trek indeed. These vegetations soak you with moisture when walking. Completely drenched.

But there aren't any leeches at this altitude. There's a risk of getting lost in these meadows and grasslands. Since everything looks the same, there's always a risk of losing your way. But these hills can be used as landmarks to guide you through. And running water also can be used as a reference. If there's a lodging arrangement here, there's so much to explore.

The more you forge ahead, the more this magical landscape reveals itself to us. I say again, do not travel here alone. The guidance of the locals is a must.

A companion can be arranged with a fixed price. They have extensive knowledge of this place. Although a bit challenging, this place is a must visit. We've almost arrived at Tapoban, Tatopani.

A 3 hour leisurely walk from Parthi. Similar landscape, lush green grasslands and meadows. I might not be able to express it in words. You just let go of all your troubles here. Mesmerized by this magical natural beauty.

Absolutely overjoyed. A desire to be childlike overcomes you. We've almost reached Tatopani, Tapoban. The lake is somewhere around here, not visible yet though. We are anticipating the excitement. It should be around here, but still not visible.

Here is the lake. On the left of this rivulet, rests Tatopani. We plan to take a dip in Tatopani. 4000m above the sea level is this place, Tapoban.

Tatopani lake. With access to warm water all year round. Even now, the temperature is only 5 degree Celsius. Plus, this hot spring water. Flowing from that spring up there. You could take a dip here as well.

Regardless of this cold temperature, you'll always find this source of warm spring water here. There's a belief attached to this place. That it has healing properties, can heal various skin ailments. Numerous pilgrims who come here from Darchula and Bajhang. Take a bath and cleanse themselves.

And taking a bath in this place, heals various skin ailments. There's a belief that paying your respects in the temple here, fulfills ones wishes and desires. It's freezing outside of the warm water. What's the temperature, 10 or 5 degrees? This is the bathing area. It flows from the spring up there. And the water up there is almost at a boiling point.

You could even prepare noodles in that water. Scalding hot water patiently flows down here. It gradually cools down upto this point, perfect for bathing. There's a tradition of paying respects after the bath. So this is the spring hot water on route to the lake.

Some sort of algae, maybe because of the warm water. Slightly smelly. A place covered in snow 10 months in a year.

But there's no snow at this time. You can see the steam slowly descending from up there. We follow the steam clouds towards the main spring. We will return to Parthi the same way. So up here is the main spring, but visibility is poor due to steam. Now, we make our own path towards Parthi from here.

Greeted by another meadow a little up ahead. Much larger and wider. We returned via another path, not the one we came here. Hills and mounds everywhere, a slight walk up multiple elevations.

From here, the same valley below. The scenery is amazing, confluence of three rivers. Amidst lush grasslands and mighty mountains.

Now, we descend back to out campsite in Parthi down there. After a short walk, we see the river. Now, we descend towards the river and make our way to Parthi. It looks quite close, but it's a long walk down there. We're slowly descending, and there aren't any specific paths here. We build our own path, stumbling and falling, we descend. In reality, you don't need to have a path here.

You just make one. Walking downhill is not extremely difficult, but tricky. Our legs bear all the brunt, and it's not enjoyable. But you don't become breathless. Besides, this landscape takes away all the exhaustion.

Scenic image of sheeps grazing in the distance. These are sheeps from Darchula, and sheeps are called Patha here. So this is the actual view of Parthi. A small mound and then a meadow. Again, a mound and then a meadow.

Then again, a mound and then a meadow. Buwa, where are you from? Marma. And where is that? Khandeshwori, Partha. Meaning this is the same place? Beyond those mountains. You have a house there? Yes, a house. Chheti, do you know it? No, not chetti.

We have patha here? Patha meaning? Sheeps? Yeah, sheeps. So your house is in Bajhang or Darchula? Darchula. Okay. Darchula. Khandeshwori. Khandeshwori municipal? Oh, okay. So how many days to home?

One day. You reach in a day? Isn't it quite far? You just have to cross these mountains behind. So there's another village behind these mountains? Yep. All right. There's a confluence of three rivers here, also called Triveni.

And you can see this Bir Odar(cave). This cave also holds religious significance. The pilgrims from Darchula on this Surma Sarovar pilgrimage, traditionally, rest and replenish themselves in this cave. You see this flag here, offered by pilgrims from Darchula.

So this slanted part of this cave right here. Can hold upto 20-25 individuals at a time. A roofing also has been constructed. The temple above. Such a mesmerizing view here, two similar hills ahead.

And snowy peaks playing hide and seek in the distance. The speciality of this place called Parthi. You see that low ridge behind me. Do not make the mistake of thinking that this is the only ridge out here. Across this, you'll find a meadow.

And again, after that, there's another ridge. And this kind of landscape continues, one after the other. Surma Sarovar region comprises of numerous such amazing places.

Places like Tapoban, Dhansiri, Parthi, Chupipurna. Bhitrikhola, Naudadey, and many others. Many similar landscapes.

Today, we've only visited Surma Sarovar and are in Parthi at the moment. We have only been exploring Parthi. But there are more such places. Like Nilkuti... Many, many such places.

A wide expanse of such landscape. We can see a large groundwater spring here. It forms into a river downstream.

It flows from here. As you can see, it's flowing through here. It flowing through both sides here. Beyong this point, the water disappears. And at the base of this hill here, among these onion like plants. groundwater seeps through and forms a river again.

Groundwater springs like these are everywhere. Just everywhere you see, every step of the way. So this just seeps from the ground here, right? Yeah, it's only seeping through the ground here.

I'm wondering how I should show it. Not just this one, another spring connects here. From the same point here. And beyond here, nothing. As if there's a tunnel beneath. Like I mentioned earlier, these capped mountains. You can see, another similar ridge ahead.

And again, beyond this, another meadow. Unlimited such ridges here. It rained heavily at night.

The local Daju we met earlier came searching for us here. It started raining while we were at this campsite. (Local folk song) This morning of the departure today.

We'll have to reach the village anyhow. Did you find it? So you have to dig? Panchaunle is collected like this. Are there any? Yeah? Is this it? The one that looks like five fingers? Only a portion. Not the whole plant? So I'm consuming this Panchaunle. Freshly dug medicinal plant.

It's sweet. Roasted is the best. Dried? Roasted in the fire.

The rain came back while returning, very cold droplets. We've again arrived near Surma Sarovar through these stony paths. Took us more than 2 hours from Parthi just to get here today. A 14 hour walk further till the village. This is Soonkhani Himal. And the next one? Oh, the whole range.

Below lies Surma Sarovar. Across the distance, glimpses of snowy peaks. We're having chickpeas served in a lime. This pass you see here, Chande Shikhar Pass. Approximately 4800m.

We couldn't get footages last time. As you can see, the glitter of that silver ore of Chande Shikhar. We're at the base of this Chande Shikhar. We've learned it was named that because of abundance of silver here. That over there is silver, and over there is Soonhimal.

Or, what? Oh, Soonkhani Himal. Obviously, you can't see the gold. Only beleived that there's a gold deposition. So this is Soonkhani Himal. On our way back, we met a group from Bajhang. On their way to the higher grounds to collect medicinal herbs.

For two months. Where are you heading, sir? To higher grounds? Which herbs do you find at this time of the year? Well, herbs such as Khiryanglo... Katuke. That's it. We found some Panchaunle on the way. How long is the stay? A month or two.

You'll stay for a month or two then. Where exactly is your campsite? We'll have to contruct. Oh, so you don't have a prepared camp. So three in your group?

Six. You have more friends coming? All right. Have a safe journey. Road is difficult. I told them to be careful, but in fact, it's normal for the locals. Instead, we had difficulty. A bit easier while returning.

This is how the path is, so we just kept walking on. But I definitely wouldn't call it an easy path. Great support from the locals.

Harish Bohara dai even held my hands at few challenging spots. All of our companions were very supportive. We've arrived back in Thangundada, and now, we'll experience the Mela.

Biggest Mela in Sudurpaschim, Birijaat Mela. My gratitude to all my locals friends for their support. Special acknowledgement to Surma municipal for inviting us. And Naresh Ji, Mission Surma Sarovar, and to all the residents of Surma, Bajhang. We will see you again in the next episode.

Thank you. Namaskar.

2022-09-14 01:27

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