An emerging holiday destination, Tansen offers a relaxing respite from big city madness and a chance to absorb and appreciate Nepal’s incredible natural beauty.ugg outlets

 

There are two ways to get to Tansen by road from Kathmandu. The route from Narayanghat via Butwal is shorter and mostly straight like an arrow; replique montre the longer, windier option is a detour with a stopover in Pokhara. My group chose the latter option partly due to logistics (we left at ugg outlets mid-afternoon on a Saturday; no point arriving at Tansen at midnight) and partly because a one-night layover at Lakeside would provide a nice break to our journey.
In Pokhara we stayed at Yeti Guest House,fifa coins where a comfortable room comes at a mere Rs.880. A driveway takes you to its two-story building, tucked away from Lakeside’s hullabaloo and traffic. There is a lounge-like arrangement at Yeti’s balcony, a perfect place to enjoy its garden’s ample greenery and massive trees, which is what we did before bedtime, accompanied by Pokhara’s classic monsoon downpour. But before that, we had enough time to dine at Koto and catch the Brazil vs Chile World Cup match.


During dinner we discussed whether to go to Sarangkot or the Peace Pagoda in the morning, fifa coinsbut as we sat by the lake eating Mike’s special breakfast the following day, the majority voted for a more relaxing option - a boat ride. Not very adventurous, I know. But the ride had a surprising element. A friend noticed a path on the other side of the lake that scurried up and into the foliage. We tied our paddleboats to the shore and ventured into the wet forest. Our reward: a sparkling waterfall and a stream next to the path.


After the refreshing morning, we went to Olive Cafe for lunch, conveniently located next to Yeti. Olive is a quaint, woody cafe, one of the few places at Lakeside with an espresso machine. Friends reported that their Mojitos were worth the buck but I had an Americano instead. After buying a new set of hiking boots across the street, we packed ourselves back into the car around 2pm and headed to Tansen.


The road sure was full of curves, but the blacktop was smooth and sturdy. In less than four hours, Tansen greeted us. Our plan was to stay overnight at Srijana Farm, a relatively new farmstay about 12km from Tansen. We followed the directions to Harthok and then met Bishnuji by the roadside. As he led us down to the farm, I couldn’t help notice a litchi tree by the entrance; its branches hung low with the weight of ripe litchi clusters. Close by was a neat hangout spot with benches, cushions, and a couple of hammocks!


As promised, Bishnuji brought down a tray of banana lassis, quickly followed by chicken wings, bara rings, and oven-roasted pork! It sounded like a good deal when I had inquired about the farm in Kathmandu - Rs.1500 per head for an overnight stay and three meals. But Bishnuji’s hospitality skills and the quality of food made our time at Srijana truly remarkable. Since the appetizers were copious, we kept pushing dinner. Sipping Palpa’s deliciously smooth local aila, we somewhat lost track of time as we discussed the difference between intention and energy, but finally around 10pm, we were escorted to the kitchen. The table was replete with items to satisfy anyone’s dalbhat cravings. Dessert was rasmalai. How did you learn to make all these, we couldn’t help asking Bishnuji. His answer: YouTube.


The three rooms inside Srijana’s traditional red mud house (well, maybe four; our driver dai got his own room downstairs) were well equipped with electric outlets and lights. After a good night’s rest, we were surprised, once more, with the quality (and amount) of the breakfast - home made cheese, buckwheat pancakes, omelets prepared as well as any five-star chef might, toast and tea, coffee and juice—did I miss anything?—oh bacon! Yep, thick slices of bacon that came right from the neighborhood.


We didn’t get to walk around or explore the farm much since we had plans for the day, but I am already eager to return to Srijana Farm. I would like to know more about the three urbanites who now live almost full-time at Srijana (they have their own houses in the compound), experimenting with cheese making and farming. Their recent project—crossbreeding local goats with international species—was quite successful. The Farm is gradually expanding their business and reaching out (camping sites are under construction) and anyone interested in agriculture is welcome to get their hands dirty.


We left early because we wanted to hike down the hill to the Kali Gandaki river. Visiting Rani Mahal—a crumbling facade constructed by Khadga Shumsher Rana as a tribute to his queen Tek Kumari—was really a pretext for the hike. But walking inside its halls, amidst the weather-beaten ruins, the Palladian pillars that are finally getting a fresh layer of paint, I couldn’t help wondering about the Rana and his desire to construct this monument next to the river about a century ago. And his grief. I couldn’t help wondering about the depth of his grief and the magnitude of his loss.


After the hot afternoon walk, about three hours each way—punctuated by fresh waterfall showers—we finally reached uphill, sore and sweaty, ready for our final night. We checked into Palpali Chhen, a brand new Bed and Breakfast situated at the heart of old Tansen. The town itself is charming, crisscrossed by sloping, narrow streets barely wide enough for a big jeep.The previous day or so had been a bit rough and so we were delighted by the modern comforts at Chhen.


Sipping tea at Chhen’s rooftop is a luxurious experience. The weather, typical to Tansen, was cool and misty that summer morning. The rolling hills were right in front of us and the Madi Valley on the other side was blanketed with fluffy layers of white.


Later that morning, we descended down to Butwal, lunched at Narayanghat, and completed our loop in Mugling. It was a short, quick trip. We could have easily stayed longer; there are so many more things to do at the places we visited.


Inside the car, we entertained ourselves with some games, some gossip, and long stretches of silence. I stared ahead at the highway, somewhat ready for Kathmandu, mind filled with memories of the rain and the river, the large expansive lake and the numerous waterfalls, and the delightfully cool wispy clouds of Tansen.

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