Our Journey to Ghale Gaun Lamjung : Tuka Chhetri-Sandwell

Our Journey to Ghale Gaun Lamjung : Tuka Chhetri-Sandwell

by Radha Paudel

There are many places in Nepal with full of natural wonders which is not appreciated while you are young and seen it every day. It is experience of maturing and travelling around world makes one realize the true value of those wonders one grew up with.

I was born and brought up in Duradanda, Lamjung and had a privileged to study at Sarbodaya High School established in 2009. Radha Paudel a Nurse, Peace maker, social worker  and winner of international peace award and most prestigious Nepali award ‘Madan Puraskar’ 3rd women to receive in history has strong root to Lamjung had desire to visit Ghale Gaun for last decade and we decided to put our plan to implement.

We, my brother, nephews, Radha and I started our journey to Ghale Gaun on 27thOctober 2014. Journey to Besi Sahar, District headquartor of Lamjung was smooth and comfortable in the context of Nepali Road.

                                             Road to Ghale Gaun (photo from above)

Our Journey began at 3pm local time and road condition appeared worse than Jumla which I experienced in our last trip. My nephews had knowledge of driving in different road conditions and they were very helpful to clear the road as we go and directing the driver, despite all this the driver was grumpy to the extreme and to some extent we started regretting our travel plan we thought we were in danger too. Eventually we arrived to our destination at 7 pm without major incidence despite the dangerous road and unhappy driver.
We were welcomed at Ghale Gaun and accommodated in several house. We all enjoyed the locally grown home cooked meal (cooked in agena) by sitting and eating around it on Gundri.

Radha started to interview the daughter of land lord, young girl visiting her parents in Tihar. I was amazed by Radha’s question very private in nature and young girl’s answer in such innocent/shy expression which sunk in my heart. We, Radha, Girl and I had good laugh at the time but I still have that innocent face fresh in my memory.

On 28th morning we started at 6am to view the sun rise, we were able to see Annapurna range, Lamjung Himal, Manaslu, Ganesh and only a tip of Machhapuchre on the left. It might be breath taking for many people but to me It was little disappointment because I was spoilt by the childhood memory of snowy mountain surrounded 90 degree from our Aagan. We all (my family) thought Turlungkot in Duradanda would have been the better tourist spot than Ghale Gaun.

                                                             Sunrise at 6 am Ghale Gaun

Duradanda my birth place in Lamjung has changed a lot because of being the pioneer in education after the independence in 2007. The education brings changes for better I guess.
Ghale Gaun in other hand I found unchanged, they still have the house build by their great grand parent, traditional style of farming, traditional costume which makes Ghale Gaun unique.
People from ghale Gaun are self sufficient economically according to the locals we chat with, they grow rice, millet, corn, soya beans, mas, local seasonal vegetable, even their own tea.
The houses who meet the criteria (modern toilet, shower, running water and separate beds in sharing room) to accommodate tourist have another source of income and are better off than others

                            My brother trying to pick the tea in Ghale Gaun Tea Garden.

                           Our Landlord’s house Radha peeping out from the window.
Radha – A Nurse, Peacemaker, Great social worker, Author, True Volunteer and little Ghale girl. Whatever you do, you do it very passionately as well as selflessly from the bottom of your heart and I have great respect for you for your compassion, dedication and true determination. People like you are far and few between in the universe.
I would like to wish you very best of everything to continue your journey to fulfil the dream you created which you shared on our way to Kathmandu in a car during 2 hrs traffic jam and I rejoiced  in pretension of  ‘Bhanu Bhakta and Ghanshi’.

                          Local man, Radha and Master wearing traditional Bakhhu.

                      Our Landlord with Khurpeto and Aansi ready to go to ghas katna.

                    My family in front of Bhedigotha and mountain at the back ground.
Other thing brought my childhood memory back is ‘Bhedigotha’ when people used to bring all their Bheda (sheep herd) to the warmer place when the winter sets in and sheep do not get any grass.
We had a privileged to see the Bhedigotha and meet some of their sheep dogs and shepherd.
When the sun was rising high then the cloud took over to cover the magnificent snowy mountains we enjoyed few minutes ago.
Then it was time to say good bye to Ghale Gaun and start the difficult journey back to Besisahar and to Kathmandu.
We were bid traditional farewell by our land lady by putting tika on our forehead and mala from the local flowers.

            Landlady putting tika to bid farewell to their guest which is their tradition.
This was our second day at Ghale Gaun and we were preparing to leave with very heavy heart. We were so much like family with this girl third from the right partly because we were Lamjunge and she goes to Turlungkot Kalika Mela (my village) every year in Chaitra Dashain where many people from Lamjung gather to celebrate the festival.

Another interesting thing worth looking is their museum which depicts very traditional Gurung/Ghale Costume, jewellery, Dhiki/Jato, Banduk, Shyakhu, khurpeto, Theki, Hukka/chilim,Bhangra for man and , Ghalek for women, Doko, Soli, Nanglo, Chhatri including Thal/Kachhaura, Ankhara still use.
This museum made me realise we, Bahun/Chhetri have nothing to be proud of our tradition.
I hope the road to Ghale Gaun attracts government’s attention to progress tourism.

Our journey back appear better because the driver was in pleasent mood perhaps Ghale Gaun was his jurney of a life time.
Sadly all the good things must come to an end but our memory is fresh of that most relaxing two days we had.
It was purely relaxing break for couple days with good view, innocent people but soon I realesed the word RELAXATION in Radha’s dictionary is underconsidered.

October 2014

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