By Rup Narayan Dhakal– I had walked a section of Royal Trek for two times but trekking it again in 2012 remained very memorable. The interesting aspect about this route is the Prince Charles who had visited this route nearly 3 decades before. So the route is popularly known as Royal Trek. Prince Charles, a member of British royal family done this trek along with a jumbo team of around 90 members.
Though me and my friends didn’t walk whole the 4-day long this route, we enjoyed a section of this trek. We started trekking from the Kaseri, a village of then Arva viljay development Committee (VDC) in Kaski district in Mid Nepal. Then crossing the Vijaypur stream, we struggled with an uphill. It was a time of rice harvesting and the ripen rice was making the surrounding golden. The sunlight was still strong and uphill was going on.
At the same time, we bought some oranges in a village and had them to cool down ourselves. As we arrived at Kalikasthan of Kalika VDC, two local roosters and some broilers were bought for curry and barbeque. Our main destination was Thulakot, a historic fort in the hilltop. It was about evening as we arrived hilltop and Ram dai leaded us in installing the tents that were already brought here by a bus. Now it was a time of barbeque and we ate 8 kilo grams of chicken during that time.
Dried meat with locally brewed alcohol was really tasty. After barbeque, we took our dinner that was cooked by our friend Raman. It was cold in the camping site and we were putting the jacket on. The moments were really unforgettable and some of our friends were passing their night for the first time inside the tents. My friend Tribhuban Paudel shared many jokes with us and made the night moments funny. Since Nepal is a mountainous country, very few people know the importance of trekking and camping however we as domestic tourists experienced the moments and beauty of that area.
Some Dutch were also passing their night around the Thulakot. Next morning was superb due to striking sunrise however mountains remained covered by cloud. After breakfast, we discussed with locals and they said that the villagers were curious about tourism but they need the ideas and help from the government and respective organizations. Road construction was a major threat for Royal Trek so my friend Amrit Bhadgaonle suggested the villagers to find the alternative routes around the existing route. After sometime, we took downhill and the 1.5 hours walk was really a hard to pass.
Then we reached Begnas Lake and enjoyed boating. Having lunch with fish curry we moved Pokhara by bus from there. This trekking was organized by Surke Maidan Youth Club and coordinated by my friend Bishnu Paudel, who is originally from the Kalika VDC but currently lives and works in US. Keshav Lamichhane, Ghanashyam Lamichhane (Film Director), Raman Giri, Ghanashyam Poudel, Madhav Baral were teammates of that trekking.
The main attraction of this area is breathtaking Annapurna Mountain Range. Most of the 9 lakes in Pokhara valley also could be observed from the Thulakot. Pokhara Valley, beautiful villages, Madi River also could be observed from here. There were not any tourist standard hotel within this route so tent camping is only alternatives for the night stay. However in some areas; trekkers could stay as paying guests. The route is suitable for those people who love to trek in low altitude. The area located at the altitude of around 2,000 m from the sea level. The best season to trek here is the mid of February to first week of June and September to early December. Picture credit: Ravi Shrestha