After the first stop of Project Mitratā ended in Kathmandu, it was time for us to head towards our 2nd stop, Pokhara the tourism capital of Nepal! Home to some of the highest mountains in the world and the ultimate trekker’s paradise. (Find out more about the Kathmandu adventures here)
With our bags packed we left Kathmandu heading west towards Pokhara. It was a long 6hr drive. Our first stop on the way was Chandragiri hills, where the crew took a cable car ride over a blissful mountain range. At the peak we observed four mountain ranges of Himal. Rtr. Himatha (as usual) engaged in a photographic extravaganza where he was the victim who had to take snaps of each member posing for their social media cover photos. Out of nowhere we heard Rtr. Hasitha calling us and to our awe we finally saw what he was pointing at! It was nothing but Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) in her full glory. After visiting the Shiv Temple on the top of the mountain we continued our trip off to Pokhara, passing mountains, streams and evergreen forests. When we reached Pokahara, we headed off to our hotel where we were hosted by our Rotaract friends in Pokhara. Rtr. Amrith Subedi, who visited Sri Lanka back in October took us to a carnival where we tried out some rides in a ferris wheel.
The following day was yet again an early morning call from Rtr. PP Himatha. “Girls are you awake?” No we weren’t ! We never were ! Finally getting off from bed and freshening up, we caught up with Rtr. Nirmala Subedhi one of the Vice Presidents of Rotaract Club of Pokhara. She is one of the first few certified woman travel guides in Nepal! We were indeed proud to be guided by her. Even though we couldn’t see a clear sunrise at Sarangkot the day followed was first class. The second stop was at Bindabasini Temple, the first temple ever to have been built in Pokhara! The third stop was Devi falls, named after a foreign couple who got killed in the waters. At the Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, we observed the underground Shiva temple and the rocks which formed a spacious cave. Next we visited the Peace Pagoda in Pokhara followed by a tour in the Mountain Museum. We walked and walked in the endless museum filled with astonishing stories of mountain climbers and the native mountain lives. What a day it was! The 6 iconic destinations which left us super-excited despite aching feet. We came back with a notebook filled with notes for Project Culturact 2.0! Have a look at Rtr. Himatha’s blog article for more elaborate details .
That night we met the members of Rotaract Club of Pokhara, signed the twin certificate and had a joint meeting. We celebrated our twin day over an authentic Nepalese dinner. Later that night the Rotaractors visited us at our hotel and we had long cheeky chats about life and love! Rtr. Prawesh Gautam was hilarious and his talkativeness kept us awake with fun and laughter.
The 5th day was the most dreaded day for me. It was an adventure game time! I am not a very adventurous person, but given that I didn’t want to be left alone, thus decided to join the rest in paragliding in the on spur of the moment. We did paragliding from Sarangkot to the Phewa lake. With protective gear on we took off from the mountain. Did some acrobatics in the air, enjoyed the clouds kissing our faces and bless my instructor! I landed in one piece!
That afternoon Rtr. Nirmala met us again where we set off for a mini hike from the Damside to east along the river Fusre Khola. Waving at farmers harvesting their crops we walked along the village offroads, crossed the longest suspension bridge in Pokhara and arrived at the Mini Grand Canyon as the final landmark. We lost Rtr. PP Himantha several times on our trek since he stopped often to capture the scenic landscapes in his camera eye. Thanks to him we had many photographs but most of them missing the camera man himself. Hats of Mr. Photographer who missed his chance to be photogenic.That night we once again met Rtr. Prawesh the acting president of Rotaract Club of Pokhara, Rtr. Amrith and some fellow members with whom we exchanged gifts and made our farewell as we were leaving the next day.
With the dawn of the next day, it was time for us to bid adieu to the beautiful country of mountains, since we had an afternoon flight we left early to Kathmandu by road. It was a long and tiring trip, most of us slept along the way. At the airport we were sent off by our Rotaract friends in Kathmandu, we were all heartbroken to leave our new friends whom we felt as if we had known for an eternity. Farewell Friends, we will always keep you in our hearts!
However the trip was not yet over! The flights were delayed and we used that time to pose for photographs with the Dhaka Topi gifted to us by Rtr. Amrith. The Dhaka Topi is Nepal’s traditional hat which was graciously gifted to us by Rtr. Amrith and Rotaract Club of Pokhara. After some extensive shopping at the Delhi duty free we set foot on our motherland Sri Lanka. The 6 Rotaractors were back in their kingdom!
Thank you Rotaract Clubs of Kathmandu and Pokahara, and thank you the kind and helpful people in Nepal and thank you Nepal for the wonderful memories you gave us. Our hearts are filled with love and respect for your country and culture. “Namaste!!” ( May the god in me greet the god in you)
Rtr. Shenali Welikala