Gorkha Gaun Resort with its natural elegance and rustic simplicity will give you an enchanting experience.
As a child growing up you are told many stories about how Gorkha was the place from where the seeds of modern Nepal were planted. I’d never been to Gorkha. In fact, the only thing I knew about Gorkha started and finished with Prithivi Narayan Shah. So when I had the opportunity to get there, I did not have to think twice. Having travelled a lot via bus and in order to save time and to witness the true beauty of Gorkha, we decided to get there on a bike.
The ride to Gorkha was very pleasing with numerous scenic routes along the way. As Gorkha drew closer, we started to see breath-taking views of the mountain range. It’s a place from where you start your trek to Manasalu Base Camp. As we closed in on our stop we saw the city of Gorkha from a far looking every bit as beautiful as it did in the pictures. With the mountain range in the background and lush green valley below, I had found my ultimate happy place.
Our objective to come to Gorkha was to cover Gorkha Gaun Resort, an eco-friendly resort set up on a hill opposite to the main city which is about 4 kms away. As soon as I reached the resort, I knew the next few days were going to be very good.
After reaching the resort, the guest relation officer, Roshan Kunwar showed us to our rooms which over looked the valleys to the west. The rooms were in small adjoined mud cottages looking similar to the houses within the village with a certain contemporary charm to them. The rooms don’t have TV or AC, because in Gorkha you won’t be needing them. These plain and simple rooms are as comfortable as any modern resort in the country. The rooms are spacious and bright and offers spectacular view of the valley right from your bed as you wake up.
The resort was heavily damaged during the earthquake and had to be remade from scratch. A lot of time and effort has been put to make the cottages blend in with the local traditions. Most of the materials needed to make the resort came from nearby places. What I like the most about the place is how they have set up to be an eco-friendly resort. They generate 80% electricity through solar power and used it even during the construction.
After relaxing for a moment, we go to the restaurant to indulge in a proper Nepali thali prepared by their experienced chef, Som. After the satisfying healthy and organic lunch, we decided to take a stroll around the resort. With a breath-taking view, this hilltop resort offers mountain view to the North and tremendous view of the valleys and hills in other directions.
As I sit and talk with the staff they tell me there are different trails around the resort. They consult with the guests before suggesting trails to them. They tell me that interested nature lovers could try the 5-hour trek to Gorkha Gaun Resort from Manakamana Temple which offers great views of the mountain range, but they tell me it’s a bit tough as it involves a steep downhill.
As we were already tired from the bike ride, which is why they suggested we take a shorter trail around the resort. Before going to Gorkha Gaun, we met one of the Directors who told us about the sunsets at Gorkha Gaun, and that didn’t disappoint. As dusk arrived, the shades of colours in the sky started to change. It was somehow magical as the sun went down and hills and the sky started to change colour but the mountains to the north started to turn golden. I must say, I’ve never witnessed a better sunset ever in my life. It was truly magical and the fact you can see it from your room makes it even better. Sipping a warm cuppa watching the sunset under the tall hills was just amazing.
For dinner, the chef prepared us delicious grilled chicken with fries and mushroom soup. I must say the chef here can prepare anything you like. Just name it, and if things are locally available it will be on your plate. The highly trained chef follows all health and safety regulations and meals prepared to follow international standards.
Our next day was planned while we were having our dinner. We would be going to the old fort, the museum and Gorkha city the next day. We were given a choice of hiking to the palace or driving there. I always believe that a city or a place is best discovered on foot so decided to hike to the fort.
The next day after a hearty breakfast we left for the fort. The resort is around 6 kms from the fort and after walking, on the tarmac for a kilometre we started an uphill climb where we intended to go through the jungle passing local settlements from where we could see Gorkha from a different angle. For a brief moment, I got a feeling I was floating above the clouds.
After walking for around 4 hours we reach the old fort. Regarded by many as the crowning glory of Newari architecture, the 16th-century Gorkha Durbar is a fort, palace and temple all in one. Astonishingly, the main structure survived the 2015 earthquake, but the damage was extensive and repairs were underway. The temple-palace perches high above Gorkha on a ridge, with superb views over the Trisuli Valley and magnificent panoramic view of the mighty Manaslu, Annapurna Range and the Langtang Range. As it was the day of goddess Kali, the area was full of devotees who were waiting for the sacrifices to happen. In fairness, I think we choose the wrong day to visit the palace/fort premises.
After resting for a while, we decided to go visit the museum which was around 1500 steps downhill from the fort/palace. The steps ended near an alley of the museum which is also known as Tallo Durbar (lower palace). The museum premise is spacious, with 12 different galleries inside the museum giving information about the Shah Dynasty, and many more. On the outside is a nice garden, resting space and a children park which gives the place a nice feel.
After a tiring day it was now time to go back to the resort. We hopped on a bus and got off at Laxmi Bazzar from where the resort is only a short hike. Upon reaching the resort we were welcomed to an appetizing lunch of fried noodles and chicken chilly which tasted wonderful after a tiring days walk around Gorkha.
Just as we finished lunch, the sun started to get down and it was time for the sun to set. I had always though that sunset in flatlands were a thing of beauty, but here in Gorkha Gaun I witnessed sunsets that I will remember for years to come.
As it started to get darker, I see a different side to the city. The town of Gorkha glows in the night as the sun goes down. With Manasalu in the background we sit in a tea shop putting the camera on time-lapse mode and enjoy the majestic view of the city and the mountains.
Some people like the sea whereas some of us love the mountains. One of the main reason I went to Gorkha Gaun here was to look at the mountains but I am taking back a lot more. Gorkha is a place not visited much by domestic tourist let alone international but since the earthquake, this place needs tourism more than any other place in Nepal. It gives you a different perspective to Nepal. If you’ve been to Nepal and have already been to Pokhara and Chitwan maybe, it’s time you get to Gorkha to experience something entirely different.
For more information:
Gorkha Gaun Resort, Shikhar-08,
Laxmi Bazar, Gorkha
Call: 98010-84605, 98010-7760
ext: Shashwat Pant
Photo/Video: Dibesh Manandhar