Jan 17, 2016 – We cancelled all our classes for the rest of the week and then decided to make a trip to Kalinchowk, Dolakha. We weren’t planned and it was already half past noon but still, we decided to leave the next day. we had absolutely no idea about the itinerary and yes the very obvious thing happened – we didn’t leave the next day. But yes the trip did happened. Anyways, I’ll be writing all the details and try to very informative to all the people interested to visit this beautiful place.
How To Reach Kalinchowk
Basically there are four different ways you can reach kalinchowk
- Reserved Vehicle
- Local Bus
- Express Bus
- Private Vehicles
We tried to hire a tata sumo but it was quite costly- around 13000 for round trip with one night stay and around 17000 for two nights stay. Basically, for a group of 10 the fare seems to be reasonable considering the comfort and freedom but for our group of 6, it put quite a pressure on our wallets.
Another way is to travel on your own vehicle of course. However, I have to warn you that the roads are very bumpy and extremely dusty.
We chose to take the express bus to Kuri that departs everyday at 9:30 from Purano Buspark. You can get one way tickets for Rs.565/person from one of the counters at Purano Buspark. The bus reaches Charikot by 4 pm however it stays the night at Charikot and leaves for Kuri at 7 am the next day. After about 2 hours of uphill dusty road you reach Kuri Village.
PS: You should go to charikot counter and show them your tickets to confirm your seats early.
But if you’re energetic enough, you can hike your way to kuri village from Charikot the same day. The uphill walk can take about 5-6 hours according to the locals. I personally don’t recommend it especially if you are not in the habit of walking long distances. Also, there are no signboards along the way for guidance and it can be disastrous to get lost considering the cold weather.
However, like most people, if you decide to spend the night at Charikot Bazaar, the guest houses are pretty cheap. You can get a decent room for 5 people for as low as Rs. 500.
Finally, the last but the not the least way, is to go by a local vehicle. You catch a bus in KTM early morning, reach Charikot and then the rest is the same. The downside of choosing this way is you might not get seats or vehicle from Charikot to Kuri village and reserving a vehicle there is astoundingly expensive !
The best way is to make a group of 10 or more and reserve a vehicle.
The Night at Charikot Bazar
We booked a room at View Tower hotel for 600. A decent room with two beds, TV, safe locker and with wifi facility. We freshened up and then went for a walk to Charikot Bazar.
To be honest, the place had nothing worth praising beside the close up views of the mighty mountains. We stopped by a restaurant to have snacks and I have to say that the spicy thukpa with the cool breeze of charikot was one the best I have ever had.
After about an hour of walk and sightseeing we went back to the hotel. We had our dinner and went up to the room. Then the chitchat began. We were the noisiest of all the guests but luckily the owner didn’t seem to be bothered. We were having so much fun until Anil went to the bathroom!
Although, all of us had noticed the creepy red crosses on the back of the toilet’s door, but nobody had given it much thought until Anil came running out of the washroom complaining his hands had suddenly become cold and sweaty. Then, Biplab reminded us of the crosses! All of a sudden, scary thoughts started to cross our minds. We freaked out to the point that we went to washroom in group. Sounds childish right? Seriously, I didn’t believe in these paranormal ideas but I have to admit that night I was scared like a little girl. Maybe it was just the wine (teehee)!
Anyways, that was one of the best nights I have had with these guys.
The Next Morning – Day II
We left for Kuri Village at around 7:30. Just 17kms and it took us around 2 and a half hours to reach the village. Along the way we had expected to see snow but there was no snow in sight for about the entire journey but from about a kilometer to Kuri, it was a completely different SNOW WORLD!
It was my first snow experience and the view was just spectacular!
A few seconds ago everything was pretty normal. Just the forest and the usual dusty road you know. And after one single turn you enter into a completely different SNOW WORLD!
Now the first thing to do was obviously to get a room. It was weekend which made it harder to get one. Most hotels were fully booked. Usually one should book in advance but luckily we got a decent room. It was among the good ones but in terms of quality and service it was “meh”. Also, some of the big Nepali stars (namely: Priyanka Karki, Nikhil upreti, Nischal basnet and so on) were also staying in the same hotel which convinced us it was a good option. They charged us 1,200 per person with dinner, breakfast and camp fire. But if you’re on a budget rooms are also available at 1000. The food usually costs around 200 (veg) / 300(non-veg).
Then after a nice cup of tea, we went off to play SNOW.
We took loads and loads of photographs and at 1 we had our lunch. Then, after an hour of rest we started our journey to the Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple.
On your way climbing up, you get to see some of the best views. At the top there’s just a temple and pretty much nothing besides that. By the way, if you happen to visit the temple, be sure to check out the little bridge that connects two Hills. Although it’s not as exciting as it sounds.
The sun had started to set and we had to make our way down to the hotel. Took us pretty much about 45 minutes.
The Day Of Return
We hadn’t decided how we’re returning back. The only options we had were to either
- wait till 1:30pm and catch a bus to Kathmandu
- or find a returning vehicle early in the morning
- or hike down to Charikot and then catch a bus to Kathmandu
None of them sounded good to us because hiking down was not really an option since most of us were sick and waiting till 1:30 would mean reaching Kathmandu at around 9 or 10. The only feasible option was to try our luck to find a returning vehicle. Few minutes of search and we did find one. He asked us 2,500! We’re already out of budget and had to try finding another vehicle.
Just seconds later we found a bus heading straight towards Kathmandu! Lucky Us ! They charged us Rs 550 which was actually cheaper than what we paid earlier.
Here’s a little footage of our visit. It’s not edited or anything fancy, I just wanted to share it …