It had been already three months since I and my travel friends did the last Trek to Kalinchowk. We desperately needed to travel to somewhere. But, it’s monsoon season going on and maybe not a good time to travel around. So, this time we decided to hike to any of the short destinations from Kathmandu. Hence, Balthali was what we chose, which is a famous nearby destination from the valley. And after reaching there, we realised, when the monsoon hits Balthali, it looks just too majestic. I would say that this was the shortest yet beautiful travel I have done so far.
Route: Kathmandu – Banepa – Panauti – Khopasi – Balthali
Time: 2-3 hours hike from Panauti
Cost: Nrs. 2000 at max. per person will be enough (more if you are to stay in resorts)
Specialty: mesmerizing greenery, homestays with good hospitality
It was already 8 am in the morning when we took a bus to Banepa from New Baneshwor. As a travel freak, the excitement was boiling within me. My feet were in hurry to get off from the bus and start to take the steps towards Balthali. After reaching Banepa, we took another bus to Panauti from where our hike was to start. We had a light refreshment there and proceeded to hit the road.
It was around 10 am when we started our hike from Panauti bus station. As per our little research about the hike, we were to head towards Khopasi from there. So did we. The moment we crossed the busy Panauti bazar, the green paddy fields and the beautiful scenery around joined us. The greenery all around us was so mesmerising. It did not take much time for us to get ourselves into nature.
We met this woman on the way who when realised that we were from Kathmandu immediately asked, “You are from Kathmandu. You might be literally feeling pleasure with such fresh air, greenery and peaceful place, right? That place is so full of reasons to stay away from.” She was indeed speaking the truth and I couldn’t deny her.
We were still not done being overwhelmed by the beauty of Panauti village, then, we reached Khopasi. The old-fashioned houses reminding the 19th century movies with black and white texture and the locals from there were what I counted the most.
On the way, we visited the ‘Panauti Hydropower Station’ as well. Better to say we were successful in convincing the authorized personnel over there who were not interested in letting us in. Crossing two suspension bridges, playing with nature, capturing the green fields on the way, creating lots of memories, forgetting all the stresses in life, smiling, laughing and making the hike short but beautiful, we reached our destination ‘Balthali’.
It was around 1 pm when we reached there. We got to know that there are a number of resorts, guest houses and homestays for serving internal/external tourists. Among them, the ‘Balthali Village Resort’ is the most popular one but one can also savor the taste of good hospitality in small guest houses or homestays.
We quickly booked a room in a guest house and went out to explore more from Balthali. As we had quite a lot of time to wander around, someone recommended us the river flowing by the side of the village where one can enjoy swimming. The owner of the guest house where we stayed is actually a member of the 11th ward from Panauti Municipality. And he has come up with this plan to make a natural swimming pool in that river along with the physical infrastructure so that the visitors can have extreme fun or have a good time there.
We had a quick tour around the village and came back at around 7 pm in the evening. By that time everything was ready on the terrace of our guest house to relax our tired souls. After having dinner, we had a good sleep there.
Next morning, the magnificent Balthali village had woken up earlier than us. Moreover, the sky was so clear and the clouds had already started playing. They were asking us to stay more but we had no choice. We had to return back.