The Wayfarer Diaries: Good Morning From Mudkilla, Nepal

11-02-2018, 1500 hours, Mudkilla, Galyang municipal corporation, District Syangja, Gandki zone, Nepal:

We reached our friend’s house at around 2300 hours just before midnight yesterday. Just as we were getting off the cab, we felt the gentle cold wind brushing against our skin as it blew down the valley. It was refreshing to breathe in the clean mountain air after coming from a metropolis like Delhi!

Tired from the journey everybody went straight to bed in the silence of the night.
The next morning we woke up to the sounds of birds chirping in the nearby forests and fields. As much of our travel into Nepal had been through the night, we were amazed to see what a beautiful place we had reached! The house is located mid hill and it is surrounded by fields. Walking about the place we came across various varieties of trees – mangoes, Lichi, Plum, orange, guava, peach, Amla, Lemons, Japani Fal etc. The forest is occupied by wild varieties of trees such as Sal, Khair, Peepel, Jungle fire, Bargad and numerous varieties of figs, Bamboo and Bananas being the most abundant which can be seen growing in the wild itself.

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Lichi tree around the house where we are staying; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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Banana trees in the nearby forest; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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A Bamboo grove in the nearby forest; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

It is very much winter here and so most of the foliage has changed colour, but there is plenty of greenery around us apart from in the fields and the gardens. Most of the jungle has dense vegetation consisting of numerous bushes, shrubs, creepers and trees. Various varieties of flowers also caught our attention as we wandered around the village. I can well imagine how beautiful it must get in rainy season when everything is in full bloom!

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A trail going through the thick forest towards the river; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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View of the river as we walk down from the hillside; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

We are now at the river that flows down the valley floor named ‘Aandhi Khola’. It took us about 20 minutes to reach the river after hiking down the mountain face along a thin trail. The face of the mountain is steep and requires one to be careful while walking. All along the trail we could see the river whose waters had been stopped by a dam built on it, thus making a big reservoir of water. The river, with its calm greenish waters gelling rather well with surroundings, is simply beautiful. We even spotted a few geese (that being my best hunch) sitting along the river. They must have migrated to these parts as many birds do from far and wide, such as Siberia during winters. Some even cross over the high Himalayan mountains to lay eggs.

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Aandhi Khola river, Nepal; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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Moss growing in the shape of a human being in the river water; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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A rapid in the Aandhi Kola river formed by rocks and boulders; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

Sitting on the banks of the river I am reminded about the similarities the geography of this place has with parts like Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. But Mudkilla has an aura of its own…