Ever heard the song “Jomsomai bazar ma, bahra baje hawa sarara...”? The song is iconic for Jomsom, giving away the essence of the town in a single sentence. When roughly translated, it is telling about the strong wind that blows across Jomsom at 12 o’ clock ( The famous gale mellows down after 2:00 pm). But Jomsom is so much more than just the rough gust or a trekking destination. At an altitude of 2800m, Jomsom is a whole new world waiting to be discovered.
My friend described this place as a ‘picture perfect location’, something that could go on a postcard. In my head, she was exaggerating, but I was proved wrong. Located two hours of walking away from Jomsom, the turquoise lake exudes of serenity. Railed by a thick alpine forest, on one side, and splendid views of the magnificent snow-covered mountain, Nilgiri on the other, it is crystal clear and icy cold (even in mid-summer). The locals consider it sacred, hence I suggest you do no more than clicking photos and dipping your feet in the water. We learned it the hard way and we got an earful for taking a swim.
A motorbike ride all the way to Jomsom is extremely fun but risky too. Chances of your bike breaking down is high and finding a mechanic in the middle of nowhere is low. So, skip the fuss yet enjoy getting downright nasty in the dirt while you ride a motorbike in and around Jomsom. There are a few motorbike rentals in town where you can hire a bike for a few hours or a day and take a tour to nearby villages for as little as Rs. 480. They usually send a guide along as well.
Apple Orchards and Distillery
Although Marpha is a common apple-orchard destination, you can also find plenty of them in Jomsom. Take them home for less then Rs. 20 per kilogram or opt for dried apples that are easier to carry but will cost you from Rs. 25 to Rs. 50, depending on the packet size. When here, don’t forget to get your hands on the famous Marpha Brandy, made of apples. A premium bottle will cost you Rs. 650 while local brandy will come for Rs. 250 to Rs. 350.
Jomsom Eco Musuem
The museum is an ethnographical collection of the area, which gives you a sneak peek of the local lifestyle. A full trip to the musuem takes around two hours, suitable for those who would like to avoid the wind in the afternoon.
Imagine galloping away on a pony or a horse in an arid valley with the wind in your hair, splashing water while you cross rivers. For many of us it is the thing of eras past, but it could become a reality for you at Jomsom. Almost every household in Jomsom owns a horse; getting on it is just a request and a few bucks away.
Mountain biking is one of the coolest things to do in Jomsom. The natural rugged terrain makes this location the perfect candidate for this type of adventure. While there are mountain bike rentals in the town, those who are interested can also contact Epic Rides Nepal since they are organizing a 5-day biking tour in Jomsom region for the end of June this year.
Buzz them up at 555502 for further information.
To miss the night sky at Jomsom is sinful, and you will curse yourself all your life to have missed it, or until you are back there again. I understand perfectly that the rigorous journey will have you drop dead in the bed, but resist that urge for a while. I bet you have never seen so many stars blanket the night sky. The view is glorious and will make you want to drop to your knees and thank God for it.