Once, Danish Travelogue writer Hans Christian Anderson said “To travel is to live”. There is no doubt that a traveller lives two times more life than those who stays. Travelling has been more popular these days because of the easiest transportation and promotion. There are some places in the world which have remained virgin due to privation of promotion.
It was 1PM, 1st of May when we reached Khalanga of Pyuthan in Motorbike from Lamahi, Dang. Our Journey started from the khalanga after interaction with DFO of Pyuthan. Actually, we had no idea about route to follow and destination to reach. It was plan of Chiran Dai (Chiranjeevi Khanal) to explore Syaulibang VDC which harbors highest peak in Pyuthan. The road from Bagdula to Thulabesi was semi-graveled. The real drive started after Thulabesi. The road seemed just constructed with large stones on the way. Though the road condition slowed our speed, the scenery of terrace farming with adjoining river accelerated our motivation. As it was month of May, trees had just started to grow young leaves. The whole landscape looked like a fresh canvas of Picaso. The road became more and more challenging after Rajbara. Calls of Spiny babbler and Koels cheered up the exquisiteness of forest. As higher we reached, I had to walk as we couldn’t ride the bike with two person. But I enjoyed with my camera as I could capture some beautiful butterflies and birds. After walk and drive of four hours we reached Syaulibang. It was already night and we were confused as we couldn’t find the hotels to stay a night over. A man of about 35 named Pritha Bahadur helped and led us to hotel. After we got a small room to sleep, we started interaction with locals. Four young Guys and two old men were in our round table. We got to know that the highest peak lies 3600m above freezing.
Next morning, rain disturbed our early departure. We had a young guy to lead us to the highest peak named Kothibhir. After having chicken and Dhido, one of my favorite dish at home of secretary of Kothibhir development centre Nepal (KDCN), our trek started at 12. The sun cleared all clouds for our trek. Along the side of Kharikhola, our feet stretched ahead. Cattle were grazing in the field and herders were doing their own work at shed. Interestingly, Dhib our guide cum friend of syaulibang described the lifestyle of herder. They shift their shed in every season to find much grass for grazing. But, the fact that amazed us was that it was not actually for business purpose. It was just to fulfill need of milk and ghee in their family. Our move was on into the wilderness. White capped water redstart, Minivets, Blackbirds, Verditer Flycatchers seemed to enjoy flying and playing here and there along the watercourse. After climbing semi vertical hill we reached to famous pilgrimage destination Naubaini (Nine sisters) temple. We came to know about the historical story of Naubaini. During the days of origin of human civilization, there lived nine sisters who were protector of life of wildlife and human. We also observed the natural waterfall with 9 flowing route. Soon after temple, the rock with Supo chalno () and Khet bari was visible to our eyes. This was evidence of how nature carves all these beautiful things. On the way, there was waterfall named ‘Guptechahara’ which was named after its structure. People believed that this waterfall looked like the reproductive organ of women. Guptechahara appeared like a women giving birth to a child. Interestingly, this natural waterfall with flowing water seemed to disappear inside the rocks as it streamed down. Similarly, there was cave of nine sisters, unfortunately we couldn’t enter the cave as we had chicken as our lunch. They believed that only impure body will distract the god and she will harm them. After an hour walk from cave we reached to Khalizbang, the most beautiful potato farm! You won’t believe, the whole scene from khalizbang was beyond our expectation. Plain valley in 2500m altitude which was surrounded by dense forest and high hills. We enjoyed the enchanting view. We all wished to stay there forever but we were traveller and we had to leave. We reached Guransey at 7 in the evening. There were two women in the shed. One of them appeared like she was in her early eighties and another looked in her seventies. Their warm welcome in such cold places had eliminated all our tiredness. They made Dhido and some wild vegetables. That was some delicious food I ever had. The wild mushroom tasted different compared to the local one. Due to shortage of mens wear in the area, we had to buy womens clothes and wear as the cold almost got us. After the deep sleep in cold shed, it was another day as we could feel and see the rays of sun hitting us. The scenery of Kothi bhir from the shed was something to cherish. That was the very same hill we had to climb in few hours. We started to hike up. It was totally vertical trail from the forest to nude hill. After 5 hours of the trek through scattered forest patch, we reached to the Lower edge of kothi bhir. The mesmerizing view of pathibhara mountain and associated range in top with Baglung, Rolpa and Pyuthan in lower part. Our guide cum friend pointed the forest belt of Rolpa connected with Pyuthan as the potential site of Red panda. We got to know that local herder often encountered with Red panda in the area.
Chiran Dai asked me to zoom on the hill of opposite side as he had noticed some movements there. When I zoomed to 80x, my eyes stood still out there. There was national bird of Nepal, Danphe. Actually this was my first sighting. Danphe was foraging in the top of hill. We climbed another vertical trail for an hour. I suddenly noticed ghoral in another hill right infront. I suddenly grabbed my camera and captured the creature in my lens. This was first sighting for me and chiran dai as well. The frequent observation of pellets of deer family and scat of cat family proved the wildlife potential of the area. We reached Kothibhir, the highest peak of Pyuthan district at 3660m altitude. We could see Nissi VDC of Baglung and Gam VDC of Rolpa clearly. The very moment was splendid. I felt heavenly to be present there. There were east facing rocks in another hill. People believed that the traveller from west used to rest in this place and travel east. So, those stone denoted direction of traveller.
We moved down in 3 hours nearly to khalizbang and again 4 hours to syaulibang. In total, it was 12 hours journey that day. The sound of Rodhi (typical nepali song competition between male and female) echoed the whole village. Unfortunately, we couldn’t attend rodhi because of exhaustion. I can never forget the people of Syaulibang for their warm welcome and support. We are indebted to Kothibhir development centre Nepal (KDCN) for their hospitality during the journey.
At the end of the page I must write “if you dare to travel, Travel Syaulibang”.
For More information about travelling please contact the author at prashant@wildlifenepal.org
And http://www.kothibhir.com for plenty of information.