Saturday, October 15, 2016

A visit to Kaulepani / Gaon Sahar: the place of origin of Shah Dynasty that ruled Nepal for centuries

On the second day of the Tika of 2016 Dashain, we were stranded at Besisahar. Shanta and I were in the town, on the way to Manang for sight seeing. Two jeeps available for the day were packed and we were left out. Our second destination Bhujung that included Ghale Gaon was out of our luck too, for the same reason. No jeep. The drivers were at large to celebrate their annual leave and festival. But something better was on our way. We used our natural means of transport. Our feet. We climbed the mountain leading to Gaon Sahar. There was a snaky road recently dug and rarely used by wheeler. A native or a fast walker takes about forty to fifty minutes. We were not in a rush. We climbed the mountain studying the vegetation and enjoying the beauty of the landscape.

Half way up the mountain was the Gaon Sahar palace. The palace of the Shah kings. From there the Shah dynasty spread to Gorkha and finally unified the country Nepal. The palace was in good standing, protected by barbed wires. Unfortunately, it had turned into an abattoir in the name of the sacrifices. People flock to this site to offer blood to the deities. Thousands of animals are sacrificed during the two Dashains; Chaite Dashain and Bada Dashain.

The palace was on the top of a cliff. The cliff protected it from north and to wards its south was a large stretch of cultivated land with some houses in between the green fields. That was Gaon Sahar. A few minutes walk beyond the palace was Kaulepani, recently famous for its community based home stays. The Kaulepani home stay had won national awards and was part of One Village One Product (OVOP) initiative.

Our host for the evening was Dev Gurung’s family. Dev was the Headmaster of the local school and living historian of the region. He can spend hours talking on the life of the Shah kings nine generations prior to Prithvi Narayan Shah. He is one of the living legends of Gurung ethnic groups.

We were welcomed; first by a cleansing ceremony. The Gurung ladies sprinkled holy water at us, provided nine stringed nine knotted thread, home brewed spirit and bouquet of flower. We had meal made from the local ingredient. One of the items in the meal that attracted my appreciation was shellroti made from finger millet flour. Black but delicious. We shared the family dinner.

The following day, we started with the sight of the mountain. There are more than fourteen mountain peaks in front at 180 degree angle. There are no interrupting mountains between the snow clad peaks and Kaulepani, the sole reason that attracts the mountain lovers. One villain that often appears in between is the cloud and we faced it too.

We were guided to temples, view tower and a dummy house prepared for shooting films. We were asked not to make public the photographs of the film house. One of the guides told us that the film being shot was called ‘lalpurja’. They were not sure.

The departure was a painful separation from a family. The host family provided us yogurt to sip. We were decorated with flower garlands and token of love.

Caution: if you are planning to visit Kaulepani for home stay experiences, make reservation through phone. Twelve houses that accept paying guests are mostly full.

It was a wonderful experience. Thank you very much our host family. Miss you all.

An eagle eye view of Besisahar from Gaon Sahar.

Gaon Sahar Darbar


कोदोको सेलरोटी (रोटा)।

A ceremony to caलl back bewildered consciousness (सातो).

Wild climbers

Mr Dev Gurung is also the prist of the temple.

Shanta with Dev's Father, a retired Indian Gorkha Soldier. He served in during the India China War. He was in Bhutan for combine military training in 1979-1980.

Wild Climbers

View of the View Tower

A traditional Wooden Swing

Mr Dev Gurung

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures and good summary of the trip!