Embracing Chitlang, Markhu and Indrasarovar at once …

It was my third attempt succeeded for a trip to Chitlang. Actually, I have been planning since long time to reach that perfect gateway. I am very much fortunate enough to be blessed with the boon of natural beauty of Chitlang. Just one day before the trip, I was wondering why I was quite sleepless thinking that when I will be there to fulfill my desire for a rejuvenating journey. It was really an ice break after such a longtime when I got an opportunity to go with my students in a field trip.

It was 13th of Falgun when we left for Chilang all the way from Kathmandu to Chandragiri Hill Station to the top of the ridge and hiked to just going downhill from the top after a short ride. On the way to Chitlang, we observed tempting views of blazing red rhododendrons in the forest and finally we reached to Gurjudhara, a famous place where great poet laxmi Prasad Devkota got inspiration for famous poem ‘Yatri’.

We were feeling blessed to be in that place and after taking some more minutes on foot finally there lies a beautiful village Chitlang located in Makwanpur District of Thaha municipality ward number 9 in the lap of Chandragiri Hill.  We were very much excited to know more about Chitlang while we were welcomed by the beautiful pear garden on the sides of road hills. We were also happy to see the community library there. Chitlang hosts multiple cultures the Tamang culture is in former ward no. 1. In ward no. 2 Khas such as Newar, Tamang and Brahmin mix culture. In former wards 3, 4, 5, and 6 the Newari culture is found; wards 8, 7 and 9 have a mixed culture accordingly. The village has nice homestay, temples and Chaityas.  After having lunch and refreshment, we went to make a short visit around the village and happy to know that they are following their ancestral occupation growing crops and farming.

We had our one-night stay at the famous Chitlang Organic Village Resort which was started in 2010. Debendra Nepal, the founder of the resort also known as “Father of Chitlang Tourism”, for his contribution to start tourism in Chitlang. There were also homestays opened recently in Chitlang to provide services to guest as now Chitlang has become one of the famous tourist destinations among Nepalese and foreigners. The Chitlang Organic Village Resort is one which offers a pleasing ambiance for a relaxing stay. The premises are covered with an organic pear garden, and one can enjoy delicious local food and night campfire with friendly hospitality.

Sanjiv Nepal of the Chitlang Organic Village Resort who belongs to the owner family shares that Chitlang is famous tourist destination which is used as the main point to visit to terai during the Rana regime. Nepal also stresses on that the main attraction of the place is the organic village resort which has famous pear garden used to make pear wine and the resort has also kiwi garden used to make kiwi jam which is totally local and organic product.

Chitlang resort Pvt. Ltd. And Chitlang Organic Resort are the two famous resort providing facilities and around twenty-four homestays have been registered now in Chitlang. Road conditions are not so good though it is the process of construction and in the recent time migration rate has already been stopped from this place. Similarly, disturbance in electricity operation is likely to occur frequently. However, those who have visited Chitlang are very much satisfied. The place is gradually taking height to develop local tourism becoming famous touristic destination.

There are several ways to reach Chitlang from Kathmandu. From Chandragiri cable car and just going downhill from the top taking nearly two hours hiking, one can reach to Chitlang and we took the same way. Besides, buses and smaller vehicles leave from Kathmandu and reach Taukhel near Chitlang via Kulekhani. Chitlang is an easy one hour walk from Taukhel.

The second day which was 14th of Falgun after having breakfast, we moved from Chitlang to Markhu, a typical Newari village and then to Indrasarowar lake. The route was main ancient route with historical importance and was gateway towards the southern plain of Nepal before the opening of Prithivi highway. As we move past Chitlang, passing through the road that leads all the way to Bhimfedi, we reached Indra Sarovar, massive lake that seems to cover an area of an entire village.

The major attraction of the place is its panoramic landscapes and boating in the lake. Recently it has been around 4/5 years that boating service has resumed in the lake as we came to know it from a local skipper. The view of the lake is mesmerizing and will make one fall in love with nature. The lake has a historical fact that it was created by the Late King Birendra in the name of his mother Indra Rajya Laxmi Shah. The lake which is 7 km long ends at Kulekhani Dam which was built for the purpose of generating electricity. The dam is also near to the lake. People can also extend their trip to Kulekhani Dam.

We came to know that the lake is human made biggest lake of Nepal. It is actually a man-made reservoir meant to generate hydroelectricity. Over the years, due to its ease of accessibility, the area surrounding the reservoir has seen a growth in the number of lodges and restaurants. Apart from its function as a reservoir for generating electricity, Indra Sarovar has not only helped bring tourists to the area and given the local economy a boost.

It also offers a different utility that again benefits the villagers of the area. Similarly, with the support of the government, enterprising villagers have started using the reservoir as a commercial breeding farm for fish which has steadily found a market over the years. A visit to the sheep breeding centre in Markhu near the reservoir can also be another destination to be explored.

Thus, the drive to Chitlang is a different experience all its own, but an overnight stay makes the trip all the more ideal. Leaving Chitlang and coming to Markhu and the Indrasarovar lake and green hills resting beneath a blue sky offer solid reasons to make the journey worth.

Finally, after observing the mesmerizing view of the lake and having lunch on the same day, we were driven back to Kathmandu via Salle, Pharping, Taudaha, Chovaar, Kirtipur and Balkhu.

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