Whether you believe it or not, the water I just drank is of Bagmati River. Even I had never thought that the water of Bagmati could be so sweet and pure. Welcome to another episode of Ghumante which is full of adventure and little surprises like this one. We got a chance to hike Manjushree Trail which loops the entire Kathmandu valley once again this year. In the monsoon of last year, we had done a two days trek of Dhulikhel-Balthali-Godavari section of this same trail. Hello everyone and welcome. Our destination this time is not that far from Kathmandu. We will hike around the hills nearby Kathmandu which are collectively known as “Manjushree Trail.” Our starting point is Kakani. We are currently driving to Kakani from Balaju. Our trek will start from there. We have planned to walk until Jhor from Kakani and stay the night there. We had some food at Kakani and are now on our way. Since none of us have ever walked this trail before, after inquiring with locals we located the main trail to Jhor. We’ve arrived at the Kakani entry point of Shivapuri National Park. As you can see in the map, we are going to Jhor Mahankal there from Kakani which is here. It will take us a maximum of 3 hours. But we can also do it in two if we are quick. Once you cross the Nepal army post in Kakani we come across an intersection both of which will lead to Gurjebhanjyang. If you take the North one, it is 7.5km and if you take the South one it is 11 KM long. Since we are a little behind, we are going North this time. This section is not frequented by hikers and the locals so it was pretty quiet. We didn’t come across another person that day except when we passed by the army post. As dusk began to fall, the sound of birds and animals grew more prominent as they became engaged in collecting food and returning to their nests for the night. “bear” “oh my god” “where?” “there are two.” “where?” “up there” “you see the black spot. There.” “One is right next to that tree over there.” And another is in front of it.” “It cannot be a boar. Looks more like a bear.” As we were walking through the woods, we saw something above us. We know it’s some wild animal but we are not sure if it’s a wild boar or a bear. Khim spotted it first and he thought it was a bear but he is a little confused now. So what is it? It had a lot of hair. It was black so it struck me as a bear. But our team members have information that even boars are plenty here. so it could be a boar too. They are still making sound. Yes we were all startled by the sound. We even took hasty footages but not sure if they are captured. They are still making noises so they must still be above there. “Did you see anything?” “there there” “could be a squirrel too.” The thing that we saw earlier, maybe bear but most probably a boar by the sound of it after we spotted it, our whole walking style has changed. We are walking very quietly and are super alert. Maybe we can encounter another wild animal. We heard some noise just a while ago as well. From this point onwards, the trail becomes even more secluded. So few people ever come here. So there’s actually very high chance that we will come across another wild animal. We come across another intersection just before we reach Suirechaur. On cursory look, the one on left looks like the main trail. The right one looks like a minor path. But the smaller trail is the right way. Even though our target was Jhor, we only reached Surya chaur and have decided to stay here for the night. Jhor is still 1.5 hours walk away and we lost time due to our exciting jungle adventure. We will head to Jhor early tomorrow morning. We will decide where to go after that once we reach Jhor. We are now leaving behind Surya Chaur and we will reach Jhor in an hour. We will have some breakfast there. And we will talk with some locals to decide our next step about whether we want to head towards Baghdwar or Sundarijal. Our team member Ashish will also join us there in Jhor. So we will have to wait for some time there. Yesterday we had chosen the North route of 7.5 KM. If we had chosen the 11 KM one, the trail would have been from here. We are stepping onto Kathmandu district once again after half an hour’s walk from Surya Chaur. We were actually on Nuwakot district before that. And now here’s Kathmandu once again. We also wanted to visit the Jhor waterfall. But the owner of tea shop where we stopped said that the waterfall is dry right now. So we will have a hearty lunch at Jhor and then take a quick bus ride uphill upto Gurjebhanjyang. We have decided to go to Baghdwar from there. We just took a bus ride upto Gurje from Jhor. The bus was super packed. There are two ways to reach Baghdwar. We have chosen the Narayanthan route on the right side. If you are confused you can always ask the staff at the national park entrance while you are purchasing ticket or you can ask army personnels in the check post. Everybody has warned us that it will be difficult for us to reach Baghdwar. It might take us upto 7 hours of walk The walk of that day was a little gruelling. We arrived at Dandagaun from Gurjebhanjyang via fireland. According to locals, it would take an hour to reach Dandagaun from Gurje. But it took us almost 2.5 hours. After Danda Gaun, there is an intersection again. One goes to Nagi Gumba and another to Baghdwar. We will see when we reach the intersection about what we will do. If it’s too late we may head towards Nagi Gumba. If there’s more time and the trail is easy, we will continue to Baghdwar. On the trail we could spot many birds like wild fowls and when we looked down, we could see the concrete jungle of Kathmandu. We are now at the intersection of ways that will lead to Nagi Gumba and Baghdwar. The walk too a bit more time than expected. So we’ve decided to go to Nagi Gumba for today. Tomorrow, we will again retrace our steps back and head to Baghdwar. Trash collection sites like these is useful for us travellers. We have to carry our trash in our pockets and bags. It’s a relief to find dump sites like these. We don’t have to carry trash all the way to our homes. Roshan was still carrying trash from our Sikles trip and he finally found a place to dump it. “So that way is Helipad, and this way is Nagi Gumba?” “Helipad just above, Baghdwar 2.5 hours away. There’s Chisapani too.” So Baghdwar is uphill along those stairs and Nagi Gumba is straight from here. “Come along then.” “So happy we are almost there.” We underestimated the distance to Nagi Gumba. We walked very casually as we thought it was close. But it’s night already. We were all faint with hunger so we are taking a snack break as we cannot go on any longer. “is that a tiger or a boar?” “there’s a motorbike.” “both bike and a wild animal at the same time.” “maybe the animal got frightened due to the bike.” “oh but it really scared us.” “a wild animal just scared the daylights out of us just before you were here.” We thought Nagi Gumba was close. But it’s apparently not. And these last few steps just before Nagi is killing us. Still almost 75% of stairs is left. We see light at the top of our head. We are guessing that is the gumba. Let’s hope that is the gumba. If it’s not, let’s just camp somewhere in the forest. It was a long way and we had to walk along paved road on top of that. We reached the Gumba around 9 at night. A kind nun managed a camping site, and firewood for us without any hesitation even at that late hour. The first thing we saw in the morning is that monkeys are looting our food. Monkeys woke us up early in the morning next day. Not only did they wake us up, they also stole our sugar and noodle packets. It’s quarter to 11 right now. We had a nice relaxing breakfast at Nagi Gumba. Now we are headed walking uphill towards Baghdwar. There is a nice step trail right from the back gate of the Gumba. The steps will probably lead us all the way upto Shivapuri Peak. Or close to the peak. And then onto Baghdwar. We want to thank the nun from Gumba very much and also the lama who resided just besides our camp site. They gave us tea in the morning. Also managed firewood and everything for our camping. After about 3 hours of nice and relaxing walk from Nagi we are finally at Baghdwar. We had heard that there would be priests and hermits living here. It also looks like there have been people living here. But right now at the moment no one is here. For those of you who don’t know Baghdwar is also the starting point of River Bagmati. beaten rice and noodles power 24 hour. This section of Shivapuri Nagarjun National park sees only a few hikers. We only met two foreign tourists who were doing the Baghdwar-Chisapani-Budhanilkantha hike. On two ashrams 5 minutes above Baghdwar, we met Om Baba and Todke Baba. On a monastery next to it, we also met a Lama. We borrowed sugar, oil and tea from Om Baba and then headed back down to Baghdwar for our stay. This is our shelter in Baghdwar for tonight. We didn’t have to fix tents as there is this cozy hut. There’s a nice fireplace to cook food. We think somebody lives here year round as there are utensils and other essentials lying around. We will use some of their utensils but will then clean them and restore them as they were. We thank whoever he or she might be. And thanks to Om Baba too as he recommended us this shelter. Talking about a fun thing, usually we used to worry about the next day. But today, we have to worry about the present. We are living in the moment We are so focussed in the moment. We were surrounded by thick forests on all sides. So spending night here is not the most easy feeling. So this safe hut built for trekkers and pilgrims alike is a blessing. It makes the night stay so much safer and easier. Good morning from Baghdwar. We will be heading down today. But since Shivapuri Peak is so close only half an hour away, our guys are warming up two of them will do a short trail running. “is trail running always so slow?” We cleaned the shed at Baghdwar and put everything back in place. We then headed the same way back as yesterday to come out at Panimuhan Budhanilkantha. We are almost near Panimuhan after about 2 hours walk from Baghdwar. This is the same place where we had brief rest a couple days ago after Dandagaun. This path over here would lead to Nagi Gumba. Now, we will take the path down here to reach Budhanilkantha. We will pause our trek and go back to our homes in Kathmandu for today. We will then resume our trek from Nagarkot. Our route now was upto Dhulikhel via Nagarkot. So we took a bus upto Nagarkot from Bhaktapur the next day. Welcome back. If you have watched the video up to here, thank you so much. We are continuing our paused hike from today. We are now at Nagarkot. We are hiking towards Dhulikhel but since we started late we will not reach Dhulikhel tonight. We will camp somewhere suitable in the middle. We will reach Dhulikhel either in late morning or at noon tomorrow. We did some brief shopping at Nagarkot for our camping and then headed uphill. After about 20 minutes walk on the main paved road, we took the hiking trail to the left side of the road. We descended down to Rohini Bhanjyang from there. We found a lot more people, vehicles and traffic in this particular section of the trail. What was sad was that most of the hiking trail was already replaced by paved roads. The sun had already set when we neared Kasi Bhanjyang. We followed the new roads to come down on Chunatal village. We met with a lot of locals who were returning home after dropping off milk at the dairy. We were hoping to reach Kasi Bhanjyang tonight. It is still about an hours walk away so we will stay at Chunatal for the night. We are informed that there’s a small tea house down below. If there is appropriate camping spot, and firewood we will camp there. Otherwise we will manage something after consulting with the locals. But even before that we met a local who was more than willing to accommodate us in his homestead. We are climbing towards the home of Rewati Prasad Dahal where we will camp tonight. Towards Nala Charghare. Rewati dai’s home is right at the hilltop. Will be perfect for sunrise. Plus he has also promised to give us cow milk in the morning. Very serendipitous for us. We nearly went to that restaurant where who knew how the condition would be. Such a good fortune that we met Rewati Dai on the way. We camped at one end of fallow land near Rwati dai’s home and then started a fire on the other end. A strong wind nearly didn’t let us start a fire. But it was over in a moment. “so guys how is it going so far?” “Nothing much. Just doing our thing.” Good morning to everyone from Chuna Tal. This village is rich in dairy products like milk and curd. We bought a liter of milk from Rewati dai. I am currently boiling this pure cow milk for our breakfast. We will start our hike after breakfast. “applying some sunscreen.” “an all white entity approached me. I was so scared my knees buckled (mimic)” “put that in tiktok.” We had camped in the land of grandpa over here tonight. We also had a hearty fill of delicious local milk. Now we are headed towards that point over there called Tanchok where there’s a nice hotel. We will have our lunch after reaching that hotel. Our stay was so pleasant and so relaxing we want to thank Grandpa, Rewati dai and everybody else for being so great and letting us camp. Thank you so much. The milk was so delicious.Only Rs. 50 per liter. In Kathmandu, that can only buys us half a liter. Bye grandpa. Like always, we cleaned the site, put everything in order and then started our hike towards Tanchok. We cross Kasibhanjyang through a steep and short ascent. It’s 12 at noon. We have arrived at Tanchok from Nala Chuntal. Most famous landmark of this place is that hotel with its own view tower. But since it’s closed, we have ordered food in a local’s home nearby. After having food, in about two hours we will reach Dhulikhel where we will conclude our trek. It took us this long from Nala to get here because we are walking very casually. Also the hiking trail is no longer and there’s only paved road. So it was not the best hike. We felt like we were hiking only after crossing Kasi Bhanjyang. Before that, walking on roads is not so much fun. After having our lunch in Tanchok, we headed down towards Rabiopi. The minute we descended down from Tanchok, it started to rain. There’s thunder too. Dhulikhel is now not that far away but the rain has hampered our progress slightly. Even though the rain is beating down on us, the boys are still hell bent on picking raspberries. Kiran here had won an award by making the most money selling raspberries. Looks like he is planning to make some more money by selling that cup full of raspberries even today. We navigated corn fields, forests, hills, paved roads and villages to come to Gosaithan hill. “here” “grab them” The rain grew furious right before we stepped on Gosaithan. So we took shelter at the nearest tea shop and had filed ourselves with some snacks. When the rain stopped and clouds parted, the view of Dhulikhel from here was amazing It took us only a short time to reach the end point of our journey Dhulikhel from here. We then boarded the Mayur express which took us to Bhaktapur. Our journey had started from Kakani. And we’ve wrapped this up at Dhulikhel We walked through a lot of dusty roads in this trip too. Just like we had to in our East Nepal episode. Overall our 6 days of short trip was fun. We are grateful to everybody who helped us directly or indirectly in our trip. A special thanks to the Nepal army who have worked to maintain the trails, ensure safety of the national park and are working tirelessly for the protection of wild animals and birds. A big salute from us Ghumante. This particular trail group around Kathmandu is getting recognized as Manjushree Trail recently due to the initiation and effort of a few young people. According to folk legend, Kathmandu was once a lake. Bodhisatva Manjushree had come here for pilgrimage. When he reached Chovar, he split the hill midway from his sword making the water from the lake drain out. It is believed that just before he drained the lake, he had made a round of the lake through Jamacho. So, this trail around the valley is called “Manjushree trail” in honor of him. We also have a small request to make to all local representatives, social workers and leaders. Development is essential. But many ancient trails have been wiped out and lost in the name of road development This trend is not only here but all over the country. Many of the roads are dug right on top of old walking trails without much scientific study or evaluation. Such roads are not sustainable and also has huge risk of landslide. If there could be provision of hiking trails alongside the roads so that people could choose whether to walk or drive, it would also be helpful to tourism. We did a loop of Kathmandu periphery. Camped out a lot compared to other trips. It was fun to enjoy the rural vibes through cow milk, raspberries and bayberry. One can choose to do this trail for one day, two days or even the whole two weeks according to your preference and time availability. After completing this trail, we had a feeling that Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is often neglected and does not receive as much attention as it should. We appreciate whoever conceptualized this protection zone and established this park. Plants, water sources, birds, herbs, and wild animals the park has everything in abundance. This park is a national asset. It is our duty to protect it.