Wednesday, 14 April, 2021

A Trip To Bhattedanda

Parmeshwar Devkota

This piece of writing is dedicated to those who want to leave their home and stay overnight outside the city to know much about the world as Thomas Fuller says: “He that travels much knows much”.
The Kathmandu Valley’s ancient monuments and historic sites enthral tourists around the world but the hills, dales and hamlets around the valley equally delight the visitors.
Two weeks ago, we, five colleagues of TRN, made a trip to Kotdanda. The serene place is some 20-km away from the capital city. The trip was well organised, thanks to the zeal and efforts of Ballav Dahal. He had travelled on a bumpy road to map out the routes over the village resort. We drove to the south of the valley, leaving the madding crowd behind. We passed through Khumaltar, Dholahiti, Sunakothi, Thecho, Chapagaon and Tikabhairav within an hour or so. It was full of fun as our jolly pal Narayan Upadhyay cracked a few jokes to cheer everyone up. He quickly seized on creative clues to make harmless gags that trigger a peal of laughter.
Before arriving at Tikabhairav near Lele of Lalitpur, we confronted a real picture of Nepal: a dusty road with humps, bends and perilous turns. The settlements, though striving to become modern, were seen in their original shape. The flora and fauna found in that part were slightly different from that of Kathmandu. Contrary to our assumptions that the southern part must be hotter, we found it colder. Within just one and a half hours’ drive, you will find yourself amazed to see high and majestic hills and the Bagmati River winding below them.
As we got to a resort at Kotdanda at 4 pm, we felt that we were free from all burdens. It was followed by informal talks. Ramesh Lamsal, known for his sharp and keen observations of things around us, started the ball rolling, making the atmosphere friendly and lively. The chat covered various national and international subjects. Ritu Raj Subedi, with his insight into history, went on correcting and explaining the events related to the involvement of China and the US in the Korean War.
At night, we became familiar with a smart tourism entrepreneur, Binod Silwal. He shared his exciting experiences of student life in Cyprus and visits to Europe and Asia. But his tale of romantic encounters delighted much even the sleepy listeners.
In the early next morning, we moved towards Tinpane. The very name of place rightly evoked the feelings of hikers. Tinpane is a pass that straight leads to slope road to Hetauda, the capital of the Bagmati Province. The road on the right leads to Bhattedanda. A gravelled but fine road makes it easier for visitors to reach the top of Bhattedanda. It provided a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley and numerous mountains. The fresh air and rich vegetation made us forget our momentary fatigue. The en-route radar system installed at Bhattedanda has added weight to the green hilltop.
A picnic spot and children’s park are under construction at Bhattedanda where a PIA plane had crashed in early 1990s. “If I had no responsibilities towards my family and the nation, I would have jumped from a cliff and stayed here for good instead of returning to the polluted city,” said one of elated friends.