19 Mansir, Dang. I like to visit new places that are not talked about as tourist areas of Nepal but have potential. Due to this, I reached Makot of Purvirukum. Because I wanted to have an interview with Putha Himal.
The mountains of other districts of Nepal are often talked about but I had to take a closer look at the mountains of Rukum. Coincidentally, it snowed in Dule, where we lived. The snowfall in that place was unpredictable. This was not only the first snowfall of the year, the first sight of snow was the first experience of my life.
That is the essence of this journey. Now I will mention in detail the travel memoirs that reached Makot in search of Putha.
If the road network had been reached, I would have already reached Makot of Purvirukum. Since there was no festival at home this time, we decided to go to Makot for a family visit. Makot, a remote hilly area, was getting colder. Another thing is that there was no information about before Taksera. I got all the information about getting there with Hastiman Pun Sar, the headmaster of Putha Mavic, who was connected to Facebook a few years ago.
We decided to go to Putha, a family of eight of two brothers. As we are also pharmaceutical traders, we also prepared medicines in coordination with the ward office with the idea of providing health services to the people of remote areas according to our skills and abilities. After completing all the preparations, our journey started from 9 am on November 10. We left Ghorahi, the district headquarters of Dang, for Makot of Rukum.
It was late evening when we reached Thabang of Rolpa via Holeri, Tila, Ghartigaun and Duikholi. On the first day, we planned to stay in Thabang. When we reached the big village of Thabang, our friend Amit and Uday came to pick us up on the road. With their help, we stayed at the SP Hotel in Thabang.
The next morning the journey from Thabang to East Rukum started. Before eight o’clock in the morning, we reached Khabang Bagar, the center of Bhume village. Due to the festive season, flowers were blooming in the courtyards of almost all the houses. Somewhere there was Pahelpur with mustard blossoms, somewhere there was barren field after cutting millet. Seeing such a beautiful scene, the car kept moving forward.
Mid-hill highway is found from Khabang. We reached Kankri within 10 minutes of taking the Mid-Hill Road. We have to leave the mid-hill road from Kankri and go through Sahid Marg again. After meeting Tilak Roka, a health worker in Kankri, we headed uphill to Taksera.
Within an hour of walking from Kankri, we reached Rika Lake. This is where the Putha Uttarganga village municipality we are trying to reach begins. It is the largest village municipality in Nepal with 14 wards. East Rukum has many identities, such as district without municipality, district with lowest local level, fully organic district, the only mountainous district of Lumbini province, etc. It will start snowing in the next few days in Rika, which is located at a high place. From here, the mountainous region can be seen clearly, but since there has been no snowfall this year, the hills were bare.
Rika’s Lake Bhume is the boundary between the village municipality and Puthauttarganga village municipality. There is a steep road from Kankri to Rika. From here you can reach Taksera by descending. Just below Rika is a village called Cubang. From here, the road to Kol, Rangsi and Golkhada is diverted and Shahid Marg turns towards Taksera. We headed towards Taksera. On the left, Sisne Himal is visible in front of the eyes.
Mount Sisne, which falls under the Kanjirova Range, is 5,849 meters high. There is an unforgettable sign of the 10-year People’s War. It sheltered leaders from the top to the grassroots. The state has also endured bullets and bombings.
We reached Sera village. The river Uttarganga flows near Sera, which flows from Dhorpatan, the only hunting reserve in Nepal. The name of Puthauttarganga village is derived from the name of Putha Himal above the river Uttarganga and Makot. Scary looking at the big north river Ganga. We swam cautiously. We reached Taksera along the river. It was about 10 o’clock in the morning. Before this, Taksera was old for me as I had reached the Adivasi Janajati Mahotsav of 072 BS.
I met NTV activist Maitya Gharti in Taksera. While Nanda was eating at Bhauju Hotel, the police called us and informed us that health services could not be provided in Makot because of Kovid. Our main objective was domestic tourism. We did not insist on providing services, as our only intention was to help communities that did not receive health care when we went out. We left the medicine for Dang at the Area Police Office, Taksera.
After some confusion in Taksera, we proceeded through Birgum, Padmi and Pipaltung villages. We reached Nayabazar at three o’clock, taking in the view of Kol Golkhada and Sisne Himal. Nayabazar, which is 195 km away from Ghorahi, is the last stop on the Shahid Marg.
Hastiman Pun Sir, who was already in touch with us, had sent Bisang Pun, a teacher from his own school, to the new market as a route guide. As soon as the school holidays are over, you have to go to a new place. The new market is a small place, only one or two jeeps a day run, I met him easily. We got all the luggage out of the car and parked the car first because our car will stay in this place for five-six days now.
We started our trek from Nayabazar with our own luggage and heavy loads. We went from Naya Bazaar to Khaire on the road that opened the track. Goreto road started from Khaire. From Khaire we crossed the Magma river and proceeded. On the left side, a small bheri was clearly heard but not visible.
From Birgum we were on the Bheri river but very high. Going to the other side of the river Bheri, crossing the river Bheri and going uphill is the only way to reach Makot. Horses, mules, and people were moving along the road. After climbing a normal hill up to Khaire, a horizontal path was found. The sun had cut the hill. About 6 o’clock in the evening we reached Dimmurgaira. We plan to stay here today.
Ordinary small hotel of the village but sweet hospitality is the specialty here. It is not difficult to cook what has happened, the friendship is equally sweet. Selfless village life. Someone may have used this selfless nature for personal gain, but the pot of selflessness of the people here is not empty.
As there is no electricity, there is a lot of solar and Tuki here. As it is close to the forest, firewood is abundant. The food was cooked in an instant on the wood fire. Since there were no potatoes in the vegetables, it was found that the locusts had caused a lot of damage. Maize and potatoes have been destroyed, said the hotel operator.
Below here is a hot water source on the banks of the river Bheri. Patients from nearby districts Rukumpashchim, Salyan and Rolpa are being brought to Doko saying that bath in hot water will cure skin diseases etc. Maybe that’s why there are about half a dozen hotels in Dimurgara. Even though there is no electricity facility, some hotel operators have even arranged for Wi-Fi.
On the morning of the third day after leaving home, the trek started again from Dimmurgaira. On the other side, Bisang Sarle was introducing Kharbang, Arjal and Kukurgade villages. We reached Andherikhola in 30 minutes from Dimmurgaira. Seeing the goods of the people going to the village from the market, it was clear that artificiality was entering the village. Most of the organic people were importing plastic goods into remote settlements. I was worried that such an item would lose its originality.
We were constantly walking from the new market to the heights. As it is getting colder in the hills, it is customary to keep the livestock there as it is a little below the Aul. Nepal Telecom’s Namaste SIM is working here. There were 2/4 houses in Andherikhola. After walking for an hour from there, Mayang village can be seen.
Now unseen electricity poles and wires can be seen from Nayabazar. In terms of river civilization, Uttarganga is a village municipality with abundant rivers. Small hydropower projects are in operation here. Due to which the villages look dim at night. There are also plenty of threshing machines.
I did not feel any fatigue as I walked around happily. The Goreto road is also built in the mountains, so it is easy to walk, but it is also attractive to look at. After a while we reached Mayang village, which is ward number 6. The early morning sun made Mayang village look even more beautiful. The villagers were seen basking in the sun on the roofs of their houses. In hilly villages, even more so in these settlements are courtyards of mud-roofed houses. All the activities like playing with children, drying biscuits are done on the roof of the house.
The straight road from Mayang to Makot and the uphill road to Hukam are missing, but you can also reach Makot from Hukam. We turned around and decided to go to Makot. At 11:30 in the morning we reached Deurali High School Hukam. After cutting through the Sallaghari forest on the side and the huge grass field in the middle, the hukam began to appear after reaching the top of the hill. Before 12 o’clock we reached Hukam. Breakfast was in order.
There are only homestay type hotels in Hukam. We went to the house of the ward chairman of Putha Uttarganga Ward No. 5 for food. Hukam is also a large village of Gujupp. Earlier, Hukam and Makot were separate VDCs. In the middle, there is Hukam on Vallo hill separated by Bheri river and Makot on Pallo hill. From both the villages one can see the other village clearly but to reach there one has to walk at least three hours.
At around 3 in the afternoon, we started from Hukam towards Makot. Bhalo was being played on the occasion of Tihar below Hukam village. Although it is not customary to celebrate the festival by vaccinating, it is customary to dance, sing and enjoy. Dances like peacock and paseri were dancing in Valo. After watching the dance for a while, we went downhill.
After crossing the Bheri River from the suspension bridge, the ascent started. Around 6 o’clock we reached not only today’s destination but also the last point of our journey to Makot. Makot is the largest market after Rukumkot in East Rukum. Even in such a remote area, there is Wi-Fi facility. Today’s work ended here with food at the hotel.
On the fourth day, at 8 o’clock in the morning, Hastiman Sir came to meet him at the hotel. Physical contact was our first contact despite contact through other means. After talking for a while, we went to the police station. As the market area is small, the police know that everyone has arrived. We were called by the police to find out where the new people came from and why. It is learned that the police chief was transferred from Dang to Zipra a few months ago. After meeting the police, we went to Makot village or market. Hastiman Sir toured all the villages.
Surprisingly, when you walk around the village, you can see everything by climbing on the roof of the house instead of walking on the road. It is not difficult to move from one house to another. Some were drying corn on the roof while others were millet. Persimmon and okhar are very fruitful in this region. Persimmons were seen on the roofs of every house. Here, oil is also extracted by crushing the seeds of beetroot and ghanji of okhar. I was surprised to find out. In some places, even sheep’s wool seemed to have dried up, but the practice of raising sheep is also disappearing. Nowadays, cotton yarn is more popular here than sheep’s wool.
After seeing the beautiful scenery of the village, we ate and started looking at Putha. We have reached the lap of Putha Himal as seen from Rolpa Holeri, but Putha Himal is not visible from Makot. You have to walk a few hours uphill from here to see Putha Himal. About 1 o’clock we headed towards it. The name of the hill at the top of Makot is Hanpa.
The Yarsa Festival was also held at the same place in 2073 BS. Walking around one o’clock in the afternoon, we climbed the hill and it was evening. When we reached Hanpa, it was about half past seven in the evening. Since we could not return, the acting chairman of Makot, Adhikar, arranged for us to stay in a place called Dule.
The base camp of Dhorpatan Game Reserve is in Dule. There are also those who go to Dule Dolpa and Dhorpatan. Therefore, there is a good arrangement of hotel for eating and staying in Dule. That evening our meal was local potatoes. The next day, when I woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning and was sitting in my room looking at the geography and place, the snow started falling.
For the first time, I had the opportunity to see the snow falling. This was my first snowfall experience of my life. Shortly after the snow fell, blackness began to appear everywhere. The snowfall of about two hours gradually subsided.
This was the first snowfall of the year. Although I enjoyed playing in the snow, I was now worried about paving the way. However, it did not happen and soon the sun started shining. Roads began to appear.
Enjoying the beautiful scenery of the mountains, the forest, the chirping of the birds, the murmur of the river, we came back to Hanpa hill again.