Last weekend, as I along with few of my friends literally needed a break from our daily routine, we planned a trek to Chitlang, Markhu and Kulekhani Dam. These destinations are being quite famous lately to visit specially for those living in Kathmandu valley. Luckily, the date of our trekking happened to be 31st December, 2016 (new year eve) and 1st January, 2017. So, I can proudly say that we had an amazing end of 2016 and beginning of 2017.
Before we move on to the trek story, I’ll just provide you a few important details:
Thankot to Chitlang – around 4 hours (50/50 uphill and downhill)
Chitlang to Markhu – around 1.5 hours
Markhu to Kulekhani Dam – around 1 hr
You can extend the trek towards Daman from Markhu if you want
Around Nrs. 2500
Chitlang Organic Resort, Goat cheese, Indra Sarobar lake at Markhu, Boating, Kulekhani Dam
Now, let me narrate our experience:
So, as per the planning, the trek started from Thankot (nearby Tribhuvan Park exactly) at around 10 p.m. We started climbing up the hills. Initially it was being quite hard for us as we are habituated of using vehicles in the valley plus the cold breeze swirling around was creating troubles as well. But, with the wonderful views from there and the entertaining friends, it was worth suffering.
The interesting thing was, we were climbing up through the hills next to those of Chandragiri and we could see the cable cars running up to the top.
After walking for around 2 hours, we reached the top hill station from where people can depart for either Chandragiri hills or Chitlang village. That was a relief as we no longer were going to climb up the stressful hills. There were few small hotels which serve some delicious foods as breakfast or lunch. We had heard about the amazing ‘chhaang’ (an alcoholic beverage) of there. No wonder, we packed few bottles for our remaining journey.
Then, climbing down the Chitlang hills started from there. We actually took the shortcuts through the dense forests rather than the dusty road.
It was not more than an hour since we resumed our walk from the top of Chitlang, we reached the VDC. Oh! the feelings were astonishing as we neither were supposed to climb up or down the hills/forests but just enjoy walking through the beautiful village, talk to the villagers and forget everything that was being a disturbance in our mind. That’s when our cameras started to get busy.
The landscapes of the village were wonderful. ‘Goat cheese’ is undoubtedly one of the specialities of Chitlang. Our trekking would be incomplete had we missed the chance to taste it. We obviously did along with light lunch as were starving till then.
After having our tummies full, we then were off to the next destination, Markhu. But, as the roads were too dusty, vehicles would leave a heavy amount of welcoming packages for us. It was too annoying. Moreover, we were so tired till then that we literally were pissed off. After having a boring walk for around 30 minutes, we reached this place called ‘Kuslechaur’ where we had a much-needed break savouring the scenic beauty.
Afterwards, walking further for around an hour led us to the small yet alluring village called Markhu. And the first glimpse of the ‘Indra Sarobar lake’ relieved our stress. It was around 5 p.m. when we reached there. The dusk was already falling.
Making the plans of cherishing the natural beauty there for the next day, we were off to our hotel. Let’s not talk about the insane time we had that night but the unplanned campfire was one of the things that made the journey worthy to remember.
The next day, we woke up with the chirpy birds of that tiny village. Boating was the one thing to never miss there. With the sips of hot tea at the beach of that ‘Indra Sarobar lake’, we had an informative talk with the boatman assigned to sail our boat. It was good to know that the lake was created by late king Birendra in the name of his wife Indra Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah during 2031 to 2034 B.S. and it is basically the reservoir for seven smaller rivers which are: Palung, Dhasku, Chalkhu, Chitlang, Chakhel and Thado Jharana. Boating actually inflated our amusement.
We also visited the ‘Kali Devi temple’ located at one side of the lake even though we had to pay more for the extended boat ride. The temple actually seemed to have been needing proper care and maintenance.
After being done with everything there at Markhu, at around 12 p.m. we were ready to head towards Kulekhani Dam. But, as it was raining with hailstones, we had to hire a vehicle to reach there.
The dam was spectacular. It became more compelling to know that it was the end of the same lake where we did boating earlier that day. Witnessing such a large artificial lake/dam was fascinating indeed. With that, our journey was almost to the end.
The clock had ticked already 14:00 hrs by the time we returned from the dam. Then came the most infuriating moment of waiting the bus for Kathmandu. We waited for almost an hour. The bus from Markhu had no space to stand even while the sumo vehicles from Hetauda would stop for no one. Finally, a goods carrying van was there to take us along with other trekkers to Kathmandu.
The journey actually had some bonus points: we travelled via Sisneri, Dakshinkali and Farping. The adventurous travel through those steep hills were accompanied by the eye-catching views.
Well, people you gotta visit this mesmerizing place.