Kalinchowk is a quick getaway for the travel enthusiasts who are bored with the monotony of city life. A beauty which needs to be witnessed, at least once in this lifetime.
Kalinchowk is a small slice of heaven just 150 kms away from Kathmandu. It lies in the Dolakha district at an altitude of 3842m.
On 10th of February, I embarked on a journey to the scenic village of Kuri along with a bunch of travel enthusiasts. Hike for Life is the brainchild of Peshal Bhattarai, a computer engineer by profession who believes in the health benefit of the hikes and says it’s important we witness the true beauty of the country that we live in. Along with friends, he decided to create a group and organize such activities through social networking sites. This is their third organized event and we were lucky to be a part of it as the vista that Kalinchowk had to offer was something that really needs to be witnessed in this life.
We began our journey in a reserved bus from Koteshwor to Charikot. Sure, it’s a bumpy ride but all was forgotten with one look at the panoramic view of the mountains seen there. And what’s best about Kalinchowk is that the whole trip can be completed in just two days.
Kuri village is the star attraction of Kalinchowk. It’s a new settlement, mostly inhabited by Tamang and Sherpa people. The village looked beautiful with little colorful houses with thatched roofs. Old Hindi and Nepali songs were blasting out of the speakers and the sunset was spreading a combination of beautiful colors through the gray evening sky which was alarmingly breathtaking.
The night sky from Kalinchowk is a spectacle that needs to be experienced. While we were there, enjoying our drinks and barbeque, the electricity went off for a minute, and the night sky showed its true self, vast and infinite with millions of twinkling stars that are never seen in the skies of the city. This is a must visit place for all the stargazers.
The next day, we hiked to the Kalinchowk Bhagwati Shrine. It’s an uphill climb from Kuri village. The hill has been moseyed by many travelers and devotees so the path is well made. The temple is situated at an altitude of 3842m with an extraordinary panoramic view of the great Himalayan peaks towards the North. You can enjoy a magnificent view of the Gauri-Shankar Himal, Cho-Rolpo, Ganesh Himal, and Gauri-Parbat. It is said that the mighty peak of Mt. Everest can also be seen from there.
Not only the snow-capped mountains to the North but the ever-spreading hills towards the South gives you a mystical feeling as if you have been transported to a whole different world.
The shrine of Kalinchowk Bhagwati is located on the tallest hill, clearly distinguished with prayer flags and thousands of bells and tridents tied to the railings. Devotees are always eager to pray and place offerings in the shrine. According to Hindu mythology, the goddess Kali is considered as the destroyer of the evil so people pray to get rid of bad things happening in their life. Even though it is the shrine of Kali, sacrifices are not allowed at the main temple and only milk and coconuts are offered to the goddess.
The rich myths and history of the temple is not the only thing that draws people here. The vista that surrounds you up there will leave you dumbfounded. The first rays of the sun hitting the Gauri-Shankar Himal is something you just cannot miss. Also, a cable car line is under construction to take you directly up to the shrine from Kuri village which will be up and running by October. All said, Kalinchowk is definitely a quick and easy getaway from the humdrum of the city life.
Nisha Maharjan is a content writer at nepaltraveller.com