Panch Pokhari, Sindhupalchowk – Monsoon Trek

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Panch Pokhari is a very familiar name among Hindus and Buddhists. Every year on the full moon day, people from different parts of the country come to this place of worship. At an altitude of 4100 meters, this place sees many religious people who are Hindus and Buddhists and some trekkers as well every year. This religious place that lies within the Langtang National Park is not only religious but also natural. But unfortunately, even though it is close to Kathmandu, the number of people who reach the Panch Pokhari for trekking is very less. We were also looking for this beautiful place near the capital while wandering around the country’s tourist destinations. Realizing that, in this last episode of Heaven is Myth Nepal is Real season 2, we decided to reach Panch Pokhari. We reached Panch Pokhari from Kathmandu in three days, fighting with torrential rains and lice that cling to our bodies every step of the way. If you are looking for a beautiful hiking trail from Kathmandu, Panch Pokhari can be your next destination. Our final episode of this season is the Panch Pokhari, a small effort to save the nearest shrine from being desecrated. Besides enjoying watching this episode, you should also make up your mind to go to Panch Pokhari by the end of the episode.

Panch Pokhari in Sindhupalchwok district of Nepal. Photo: Amir Shrestha

Panch Pokhari is located in Sindhupalchok district. After traveling a total of 72 km from Kathmandu, we can reach Chimti, the starting point of Panch Pokhari Pathway. When traveling during the rainy season, most of the time our mind is panicked. Heavy rains, landslides and floods are common at this time. When we travel, we are afraid that we will make news somewhere, but because we are traveling with the purpose of showing the country, we feel afraid to travel. Although the journey of this shift was close, it was in a dangerous area. So we were more scared than ever. Our journey started from Kathmandu and reached Dhulikhel and stopped for lunch.

After eating some Selrotis at Dhulikhel, we again moved towards Chimti. We were very excited to see the Panch Pokhari and we also knew that we still had a 40 km drive and two days of walking before that.

There is a strange kind of rush in us before we leave home and reach our destination. We act as if we could reach the destination as soon as possible. Because of that, we are forgetting to enjoy the present by getting lost in the imagination of the destination. So we believe that a good traveler is one who finds happiness in the journey before reaching the destination. In order to take full advantage of the journey, we also need to develop this thinking in ourselves and it is necessary to be ready to accept everything that the journey gives. A traveler is not allowed to close his eyes and mind. To understand this is to understand the journey.

Wild flowers are seen during the Monsoon season in Panch Pokhari Trekking. Photo: Amir Shrestha

We reached Bahunepati in a short time after looking at the green fairy scenes on the other side of the road. When we reached there, some faces of Bahunepati were looking at us curiously. We stopped to eat in the settlement of that curious face.

After having lunch at Bahunepati, our journey proceeded towards Chimti via Indravati bridge. The river Indravati was flowing along the road with great turbulence. Listening to that noise, we started to go along the dirt road of Melamchi Helambu highway. After a short journey, we reached the flood-affected area. Seeing the area devastated by the flood a few years ago made us feel sad. Houses built with all the hard work were completely destroyed. Just seeing the appearance of that place was like hearing the screams of those who lost their lives in the flood. The mind was of one mind. It seems that even nature sometimes becomes so cruel that it does not care about anyone

Every year, the floods and landslides that occur in different parts of the country wash away the homes of thousands of Nepalis. At that time, they have no other option but to surrender to nature. Every year, floods take away not only the physical infrastructure, but also the will and courage of people. The time has come for the country to think about something to minimize the effects of such floods, which destroy the very heart of life. The flow of people’s houses and the flow of dreams is like the flow of a country. We don’t know if the country thinks about it that way or not.

The road was rough. We had to travel along the river. Since the destination to be reached was not very far, we were moving forward, stopping at the places we liked from time to time. We stopped and chatted for a while while having hot tea and puffs. The journey was exciting.

The green rice fields on the way to Panch Pokhari. Photo: Sadish Joshi

While traveling along the river, we reached a village full of paddy fields. The terrace rice cultivation on the hill also looks artistic. It looked more attractive because it was all greenery. The farmers who were filtering water by covering it with plastic were busy working when we reached there. Some were returning home leading a goat that had been taken to graze. After taking a look at us, they were busy with their own work. We also proceeded towards Chimti looking at the beauty of the village. After passing through the village, we saw a small pond. We lingered there for a while to understand more about that pond.

Terrace farmings on the way to Chhimti. Photo: Amir Shrestha

After learning something about Raithaneswari Mahadev from the locals, we decided to have tea nearby. After having tea, we started towards Chimti and it was evening.

The Lake of Raithaneswari Mahadev on the way to Chhimti. Photo: Sadish Joshi

When we reached Chimti, we were hungry. We satisfied our hunger for a few moments by eating furan dana along with tea. When we reached Chimti, we were tired from the whole day’s journey, so we rushed to sleep after having dinner.

Next morning we woke up to see The Dragon Falls from the hotel itself listening to the singing of the birds around us. Chimti village nestled in the lap of the hills looks more beautiful in the morning because of all these.

Usually we used to start the trek by traveling by car for two to three consecutive days, but this time we traveled by car for only one day. Because of that, the body was fit enough. We thought this trip would be a little easier than the previous trips. But that did not happen. The mountains of Panchpokhari were waiting for us with gifts like Leeches and Rainfall.

On the first day of the trek, we were forced to climb uphill listening to the sound of the huge waterfall. These waterfalls have a unique charm. It is true that this river also flows down from the mountain, but the flow of these waterfalls is more turbulent than that of the river. The waterfall seems to be more alive than the river. Even when walking near such a living waterfall, a person can feel the flow of energy within it. We were also trying to make ourselves as playful as the waterfall while walking near the waterfall that day.

Wild flowers are seen during the Monsoon season in Panch Pokhari Trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha

After having tea at Bhotang Deurali, we slowly moved towards Tuppi Danda. We had to stop every now and then on the way to see if the body was infected with leeches. We were climbing up and down, filling the water in the bottle and drinking it.

The most unique thing we experienced during the Panchpokhari trek was the names of the places there. Names like Tuppidanda, Noshempati were the names we had not heard before.

Walking uphill for 5 hours in a row made us very hungry. Eating delicious rice cooked on the fire in Tuppidanda, we felt both heart and stomach full.

The weather was a little clear in the morning but when it reached Tuppi Danda it was all covered with fog. Now we had to decide the rest of the journey by walking in the fog. We could barely see our friends because of the dense foggy weather. It was not even decided when the water would hit. There were many uncertain things in our journey. Certainty was only the destination. The desire to reach the destination was encouraging us to deal with uncertainty.

The beauty of Monsoon, Yellow wild flowers seen during Panch Pokhari Trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha

Traveling during the monsoon season has both merits and demerits, demerits were Leeches, whereas we loved the flowers that were blooming all around. Nature gave us pain and satisfaction at the same time and gave us a vision of life. Nature taught us that day that those who seek happiness and contentment have to face difficult situations sometimes.

Another unique thing about trekking is that small groups of travelers discuss many topics from around the world during the trek. The hikers are seen discussing the country, politics, development, love, life and love. After leaving the family, eating together with friends for a few days and sleeping in the same bed, people are unknowingly creating another family outside the home. Walking, which gives a good chance to get to know each other, sometimes causes a rift between friends and brothers. But to the friends who have been separated due to disagreements, walking again teaches that people with the same destination should move forward together. Needless to say, hiking becomes a guru in a hiker’s life with the knowledge that teaches him to look closely at life and understand it.

Sometimes we had to stop due to Leeches, and sometimes we had to take the shelter of a tree to hide the rainfall. Even if we wore raincoats, it would not reach his feet. After it rained, the shoes would be filled with water and the journey would be more difficult. However, since we had set out to walk, we did not want to stop. No matter how difficult it was, we kept walking.

The previous day, the weather was gloomy, so we could not see Chokar Danda properly. But the clear weather in the morning introduced us to Chokar Danda. Looking at the river flowing down from Chokar Danda sitting on one side of a cliff, we were scared. We had already spent one night at a cliff side hotel that made us wonder how anyone could stay in such a place.

Sunset with a great Landscape seen during Panch Pokhari Trek. Photo: Amir Shrestha

The road leading from Chokar Danda towards Noshempati was stone marked. Our porter brother was walking ahead of us through that road. We , who were carrying light luggages were left half way by the porter, who was almost more than half of our age. When we reach his age, will we be able to go for a walk on such hills? Asking this question to ourselves, we followed him. 

While going, a Chorten also appeared on the road. Passing it to the right, we proceeded towards Noshempati. Panch Pokhari Path brought us closer to Buddhism as we set out to travel to famous Hindu religious places. Panch Pokhari Path was giving us the proof that the beauty of Nepal is the religious tolerance of Nepal.

After having lunch at Chokar Danda, we walked for about an hour. We knew that Noshempati was near, but we didn’t know how much more we had to walk. After an hour and a half of steep uphill walking, we finally reached Noshempati.

Noshempati is a small village situated at an altitude of about 3700 meters above sea level. Most of the people who come for the Pachpokhari Trek stop here to stay the night. Although it is a small village, this village has arranged food and accommodation for many people who come to Panch Pokhari Trek. The nature of this place makes people wonder about the achievement they have made being here. We were tired and hungry. That hunger was extinguished by the fire burning in the stove under one of the houses of Noshempati. These homestays of Nosempati are waiting to feed you too. When you are here, please bring that hunger with you.

After eating at Noshempati and resting for a while, we continued our journey to Panchpokhari again. As soon as we left Noshempati , a big mountain appeared in front of us. We knew that before reaching Panchpokharri, there were many more mountains to climb. So that particular mountain did not discourage us much.

A local goat grazing near Panch Pokhari. Photo: Amir Shrestha

The more we walked, the more beautiful the route became. The stone-printed path and the hills were seen on the way. The clouds playing hide and seek on those green hills. We were forgetting our tiredness as we moved forward looking at that beauty.

When walking in a dry place during the rainy season, people sometimes ask themselves which corner of the world I am in. Even the mountains that are pierced by the clouds are probably asking themselves the same question when they can’t see anything around them.

We are lucky that there are places in our country where people forget themselves. Even in the mountains of Panch Pokhara, there was that magic that could make people forget themselves. We were more excited to climb up as we thought that five beautiful lakes would be seen in front of our eyes in a short walk. That enthusiasm was sure to bring us to Panchpokhari.

Local Homestays near Panch Pokhari. Photo: Amir Shrestha

After climbing uphill for a while, there was a board with Panchpokhari written on it. We could not see the nearby mountains clearly. Even after walking such a long way, what would happen if we could not see what we wanted to see we asked ourselves being sad. But we reminded our minds that the weather will be fierce tomorrow hopefully.

When we saw the board that said Panchpokhari, we thought that the destination was near, but it took us another hour to reach there. One uphill climb, then another downhill climb, and then another uphill climb. This regularity of Ups and Downs did not leave us since Chhimti.

Even though it was summer, the weather was cold. if we walked without covering his head for a single moment, our entire hair would get wet. After the uphill trek from Noshempati, the leeches were less in numbers because of the altitude. So we didn’t need to stop and check our bags and the body.

As we moved towards Panch Pokhari, we got another opportunity to see another Chorten. How could the ancestors have built such Chortens in the hills where there is no vehicle facility, we asked ourselves. This is what we were thinking when we saw that beautiful chorten made of stones.

Our country has given us many things to be proud of. Natural beauty, religion,  culture and hardworking ancestors. Sometimes, we think that as much as our ancestors gave us, can we do the same things to our future generation? We asked ourselves.

When we reached the Panch Pokhari and saw the pond for the first time, we were filled with unstoppable joy. We thought about spending some time on the shore of the pool. But the body was tired, we were hungry and we had to change our wet clothes, so we decided to go to the hotel, have lunch, and then go out to see the pond.

Reflection of Yaks in Panch Pokhari. Photo: Amir Shrestha

After reaching the hotel, we sat near the fire. The hot noodles were ready for us. We were losing our patience for the noodles due to hunger.

Panch Pokhari at an altitude of 4100 meters above sea level is located at the source of Indravati river. Occupying a small flat surface on top of the hill, these ponds pass the time by showing the reflection of the sky throughout the day. If you go to a higher place to see, you can see the movement of the clouds reflected in the ponds when the weather is clear. Seeing Panch Pokhari, it seemed that God had created the ponds to fulfill the desire to see the mirror of the sky. The Panch Pokhari is a unique example of beauty that gives travelers the opportunity to see two skies at once. And to see and feel that travelers need to stand near Panch Pokhari

We prayed for the weather to be good. We could not see Panchpokhari well the day before, but the weather helped us in the morning. That day, we got up early in the morning and went out to visit the nearby Panch Pokhari temple without eating anything. People were already out for their daily work. It was a new day so everyone had new energy. Our tired body also became agile again after a day’s rest. We left for Panch Pokhari temple with new enthusiasm and enthusiasm.

The holiest Panch Pokhari, Aerial view. Photo: Sadish Joshi

Another attraction of Panch Pokhari is the Panch Pokhari Temple. There is an old story about the establishment of this temple. It is said that about 2325 years ago, a famous hunter named Bumba Ruwa Baiba, while wandering around, reached the place where the temple is now, and saw some people cultivating rice in front of him. He was suddenly surprised to see that rice was cultivated in such a place where there is snow, and to find out who is cultivating rice in such a place, he moved towards that person. Seeing the hunter Baiba coming towards him, the rice farmer and his farmer disappeared to the place where the temple is now. It is said that man was none other than Mahadev, Lord Shiva himself to cultivate it.

Seeing the people disappearing before his eyes, the hunter deduced that the cultivator must be Mahadev himself. And at the same time, he removed the bell tied around the neck of his hunting dog and hung it at the place where Mahadev disappeared and established the temple. The temple that we see today is located on the same spot where the hunter rang the dog bell 2325 years ago.

Panch Pokhari Mahadev Temple in Panch Pokhari, Sindhupalchowk. Photo: Amir Shrestha

Even today, Hindu devotees are seen searching for paddy fields around the place where the temple was established. The belief that people who find rice grains in this place will become rich is still alive today. On the day of Janai Purnima, thousands of pilgrims visit this temple from different parts of the country to Lord Shiva’s temple here and bathe in its water to purify themselves. This temple, which has great religious significance, has been the center of Nepalese religious faith since ancient times. Coming here and seeing Lord Shiva is considered equal to earning great merit. We believe that every Hindu who can walk should visit this holy place once in their life.

After visiting the temple, we left to see the nearby view point. After climbing for about half an hour, we were climbing towards the view point with the desire to see Panch Pokhari and the temple from a different perspective. But, the weather that had opened with joy in the morning was suddenly covered with anger. The Yaks were grazing near the pond.

We were smiling inside standing near Panch Pokhari and looking at the clouded mountains beyond and the yaks grazing nearby. The surroundings that we saw in front of us was a beautiful definition of beauty. We were engrossed in adopting that feeling.

Reflection in Panch Pokhari. Photo: Amir Shrestha

Leaving Panch Pokhari behind, the weather worsened as we headed towards the view point. Even the nearby hills, which were visible a little, stopped being visible. Even after reaching the top, we could not see anything, so we decided not to go to the view point and return from where we were.

Panch Pokhari was our shortest trip of the season. But in terms of experience, it is equal to other long treks. We did not think that we would be able to see this place where Lord Shiva lived in ancient times in just three days of walking from Kathmandu. Panch Pokhari is an excellent destination for travelers who want to explore and have limited days to do so. This place, which includes religious and natural beauty, has immense potential for tourism. But the immense potential of tourism becomes a reality only when we leave our homes to see Panch Pokhari. Our job was only to introduce you to the new place. We have completed that task through this episode. It is now in your hands whether to go to Panch Pokhari or not.

Yak grazing near Panch Pokhari. Photo: Amir Shrestha

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