Sunday, September 8, 2019

Ilam


Ilam
Ilam


Things are a little different this time around. The place we are traveling to is unique.
This series covered some wonderful travel stories from the western and central part of Nepal, until now.

This time around we are traveling to explore eastern Nepal. We are exploring Madhes, eastern Terai, the beautiful tea farms of ilam, and a very holy place called Pathivara.
There are various travel routes from Kathmandu to East. We chose the Sindhuli Bardibas Highway (BP Highway) for its ease and scenic views. The Sunkoshi river flowed next to us.
After crossing Khurkot we get very curvy and uphill roads until we reach Sindhuli Gadhi, Nepal's ancient fort once the downhill begins we reach Bardibas in a while.


Terai region begins from Bardibas in our travel. Tarai has a different way of life and living. We were fascinated by the environment for a while. We tasted the local foods and had a good time with the local people. We collected a lot of memories and stayed the night in Lahan.
Day 2, we visited a popular sweet shop "Bajeko Peda" 10-15 minutes later we reached Koshi Barrage. It will be a long day of travel. But moments like these feel this us with the energy. We have to cross the river. The biggest river of Nepal, Sapta Koshi (Combination of 7 rivers). With a humongous amount of water, it fills the soul of travelers like us. We spent some time alongside the riverbank and then moved further.

 After crossing a dense forest, we reached a place called Pathari. We had a common eat special food of Tarai, "Chatpate" it is prepared by mixing various spicy ingredients.
After getting a taste of tarai, we moved forwards Ilam. We leave East-West highway from Charai Chwok, jhapa. Foggy weather welcomes us. That ever-changing cold weather and the beautiful tea gardens.
Moving further in the fogs of Kanyam we reached Shree Antu Hill. On the top of the hill covered with tea gardens, there lies Shree Antu Community Homestay. Such a beautiful place with beautiful people.

Tea and tea industry has great importance in Nepal. The tea gardens in Ilam have plants from ages. A tea plant typically survives for 30-50 years. The tea plucking starts in may and ends in October. A tasty tea starts a beautiful conversation. Two leaves and steam. The tea plucking is an art on its own. You need to pick youg buds with two adjacent leaves. Machines have arrived for tea harvesting. But the villagers still prefer their skillful hands. The tea leaves are collected in a local tea steps and levels of drying and filtering. The final tea leaves are filtered as per the need of production. We learned a lot about tea production later we headed for boting
The boat ride was very special because of the view that you get to see while boating is mesmerizing. That night we enjoyed that peace and serenity of just being there.
Day 4, Antu Danda (Hill) receives the first morning light in Nepal. Thus, it's famous for watching the first sunrise of Nepal. People gather ground for tea and breakfast while watching the sunrise. With sips of morning tea, a lot of interesting things gets shared. We are scheduled to reach Taplejung on the fourth day. We buy some popular local food items in Ilam Bazar. We have a very long away to Taplejung via Phidim. We stayed that night in Taplejung.
The next day, we started our two days journey to rach Pathivara. We meet off-roads soon enough along with fogs of taplejung. It gets colder as we ascend. After some time we reach Tallo Fedi. We had a very long journey here. But if some prefer short then there's Suketar Airport nearby. We have to start Hiking from Tallo Fedi. Hiking is a different journey on its own. We still have a lot more to walk. But, the weather is favoring us. We could sense that we have reached quits a high altitude as we see the clouds below us.
We exchanged our feelings with the people we meet and then we reached a place called Mathillo Fedi. A small village mostly covered by the fog. It feels like a different world. But are quite tried today.


Day 6, we start the hike early. At the hills that we could see are covered by the clouds, making the scenery eye-pleasing beautiful to watch. The sun is about to rise. Pathivara can be seen on the top of the hill. After hiking for a little more we finally reach Pathivara Temple. One of the most popular holy site of Nepal. Pathivara is a goddess of faith, belief and holiness. The hill of Pathivara has a shape like a pile of grains, which roughly transforms to name "Pathivara" in Nepali. After coming from a long hike and worshipping this goddess, the people feel a sense of powerful energy there. Legends say when shepherds once led their sheep to the place where the temple lies today, hundreds of sheep disappeared as they were grazing. The distressed then had a dream in which the Goddess told where she resided and instructed them to carry out ritualistic sacrifices of sheep. When the sacrifice was offered and the temple and the statue was built, the lost sheep were said to have returned one by one. Since then, this place is considered as a shakti peeth (a holy place of a goddess) and is worshipped.

After listening to this fascinating story, we start observe the mountains. The energy that we feel at pathivara heightens after watching the majestic mountains. A close and mesmerizing view of the mountains can be seen from there. We can see a close view of Mt. Kumbhakarna, Mt. Kanchanjunga and Mt. Makalu.

In this journey, we explored the lifestyle of Tarai, the beautiful tea plantation of Ilam and experienced the holy energy of the Pathivara Temple. This time we were extremely fascinated by Eastern Nepal.


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