Day three of Dasain: you are exhausted from the house hopping, the children are getting cranky, and the masu, bhat, raksi overload is starting to take its toll. Or maybe you feel like ditching your obnoxious relatives and the 'eat, drink, gamble' schedule all together.
It's the longest paid holiday of the year, the monsoon has subsided, and the countryside is lush green, there just couldn't be a better time to see Nepal. So dust off those cycles in your backyard, pack your bags, and get ready to recharge your batteries. To help you decide where to escape to, Nepali Times brings you a list of excellent destinations, some very close to home and others a few hours' drive away:
(315km – Kathmandu to Pokhara to Besisahar)
Ever wondered what it is like living with someone else's family? Gurung families in Ghalegaun, Ghanpokhara, Bhujung, Pasgaun, and other VDCs in Lamjung district have opened up their doors and hearts to guests as part of a home stay program and you are cordially invited. Many of these villages are untouched by modernity and most of the traditional architecture and lifestyle are still intact.The route known as 'Gurung Heritage Trail' starts at Besisahar and ends in Thumsikot and is helping Lamjung residents make a living through hospitality.
Located at an altitude of 2,070m Ghalegaun offers breath-taking views of the Manaslu range in the east, Lamjung Himal and Annapurna II in the north, and Machapuchhare in the west. Relish traditional Gurung food and hear grannies and grandpas reminisce about a bygone era. With a satisfied tummy, venture out into the bazar. In the evenings, watch women perform song and dance routines depicting Ghantu (celebrating Lord Buddha's birthday), Sorathi, and Krishna Charitra.
Contact the Tourism Management Sub Committee (TMsC) which manages all the home stays in the region for more information.
Adventure enthusiasts take your bikes to the nearest shop for repairs and then drive down to Lifecycle Farm in Hetauda where there is something for everyone to enjoy whether you are an amateur cyclist or a seasoned pro. Whizz past quiet sal forests and lush rice fields on your two-wheeler or cycle along the banks of the Rapti River while enjoying the gentle breeze. The dare devils can try out the more challenging off-road tracks as well.
Not a cyclist? Not a problem. The farm also offers running and hiking trails, a fresh water swimming pool and other outdoor activities. So sit back, relax and enjoy the comfortable accommodations and fresh home cooked meals.
The Famous Farm is a traditional Nepali farm on the terraced hillsides of Nuwakot. The property was converted into a family-oriented hotel with 11 bedrooms with traditional windows, low beds, and low-ceilinged bedrooms. It also has a barn and a garden where children can help pick fruits and vegetables. The view of the mountain ranges is spectacular and the town is in close proximity if you want to shop or mingle with the locals. There is even a quaint temple 15 minutes walk from the farm. This is the place to be especially if you have young children. You can let them play and run around the farm as you lounge lazily and sip on hot tea.
What better way to detox your body (and soul) than through yoga and meditation? Pranayam Yoga is offering classes at the Neydo Monastery Resort in Pharping: two before the festivities from 15 to 17 October and 22 to 24 October and one right after Dasain from 29 to 31 October. Gurus Shannon Rose Chmelar (Sati) and Lisa Alessandra (Yogatara) will combine relaxation techniques, Buddhist teachings along with a healthy diet to increase your energy levels and leave you refreshed. The premises of the Monastery which is home to around 200 monks is an ideal setting for the three day getaway and your accommodation fees will help support the monks' education.
While in Pharping, travel around the neighbourhood and see how the community has been uniquely shaped by both Hindu and Buddhist influences. There are two main Shiva caves in the area which are worth exploring and also numerous Buddhist monasteries and centres that you can visit.
9851002920 (Sam Voolstra)
PATALEBAN VILLAGE RESORT
For those desperately seeking some well-deserved downtime close to home, Pataleban Vineyard Resort is the ideal getaway. A half an hour drive from central Kathmandu, you can make a short day trip to the resort or spend the remainder of your holidays here. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful vineyards or just sit back, enjoy a glass or two of Pataleban wine and revel in the jaw-dropping views of Ganesh Himal and Manaslu Himal. If you want to recover from the Dasain food coma, join other holiday-makers on a half-day hike to Indradaha or explore the surrounding villages with a local guide. At 1,600m the resort fuses tradition, simplicity, and modern comfort with ease and promises to leave you rejuvenated just in time for Tihar.
4316377 or 9841679364