Kathmandu Post


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Sublime bends

KATHMANDU, DEC 18 - The BP Koirala Highway, an important stretch that links Banepa to Bardibas, has an aura of geographical mystery about it. Often referred to as the ‘best alternative road to the Capital city,’ parts of the highway are still under construction (with support from the government of Japan). Sections that have already been completed, on the other hand, are among the finest in the country. The roads are smooth, and driving upon these stretches is a real pleasure. What’s more, the road cuts through some of the most majestic landscapes in the country, and one can easily imagine just stopping somewhere along this beautiful route to enjoy its serene views.   

The experience of driving across the highway with its serpentine bends and its view of magnificent rocky hills is akin to taking an unforgettable trip into a different world. With pine trees on either side of the road at some stretches, and lush greenery all around, it is often easy to forget that we’ve just driven here from a city where patches of green are becoming increasingly scarce. While some portions of the road wind around terraced hills, others make their way through forests of exotic herbs and shrubs. The view—both above, and underneath—is awe-inspiring. The road moves alongside numerous small streams at times, and even finds a path parallel to the Sunkoshi at one point. Scary precipices grin at you, and although the view up above might be dizzying at times, the knowledge that comes with this experience is not easy to dismiss. As the indomitable rock faces stare down at you, you find yourself pondering on your puny, human existence in this big, wide world.

We whiz past excitedly though; an escape into the hinterlands is nothing short of sublime as we make our way out of the turbulent Capital city. We savour each moment the pristine natural surroundings afford us, an often lose ourselves in the serenity of the hills and the slopes. A mild wind tickles you, and your eyes feast upon the sight of marvelous snow-capped mountains. As hanging canopies of cloud take our minds away from the monotony of life, we often stop the vehicle and enjoy the moment. While some of us find happiness in taking pictures, others even sing and dance. Such spontaneity is hardly possible in our daily lives. As we feel relieved of the constraints that bind us everyday, we find ourselves surrendering to the serenity.

As we reach Bhakundebesi, a small market-town located some 45 kilometres away from Kathmandu, we find some respite in warm tea and local dishes. After traversing through a few more kilometres, we reach Nepalthok, another station on the bank of the Sunkoshi River, and find ourselves revelling in the beauty this landscape promises. Breathtaking views of waterfalls cascading down rocky hills accompany us, and one finds it impossible not to wish to spend one’s whole life admiring such wondrous beauty.

As one makes one’s way through these roads, one can’t help but mull on how kind nature has been to Nepal. The hilly and mountainous zones of the country in particular must be explored by all those who call themselves nature lovers and travel enthusiasts. If their experience travelling through these beautiful places is anything like mine, they’ll surely have created a lifetime’s worth of memories.


Posted on: 2012-12-19 08:47

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