My friend Amulya told me about a city called ‘Shravasti’ which is close to his home town Gonda. He mentioned it as an interesting place and worth exploring. On the weekend, Amulya and I geared up to start our interesting trip. We first reached Gonda.
Sunday morning, Amulya's mom packed food for us and Amulya being very particular about the comfort took pillows and placed them on the seats of the car, and we began our journey to Shravasti! Shravasti is one of the district of Uttar Pradesh, India. A place associated with the life of lord Buddha, it is 175km from Lucknow. From 6th Century BC to 6th Century AD, it was the capital of Kosala Kingdom. People say mythological king Sravast founded this town.
While exploring Shravasti the beautiful town, we met a guy who started talking to us and told us a little about the place and then he casually mentioned that Nepal border was very near. Amulya the navigator immediately opened the google maps and found out that Nepal was just 231km from Shravasti (5hrs drive). We looked at each other and smiled, and soon we were on our expedition to Nepal border.
While driving to Nepal we both realized that travelling to a destination is very similar to our life. It's not about the end (destination) you reach, it is very important to enjoy the journey. This travelling fills our life with pleasure and sweetness. During our travel to Nepal, we met people on the way, found kids playing in the bayou... I was enthralled and hardly noticed how much time it took to reach Nepal. I asked Amulya how much time it took, he took out his watch and said within four hours.
Now the trip which was to Shravasti in the morning was converted into trip to Nepal. On the border, done with the bhansar(paperwork) for the car we entered into Nepal. If you enter Nepal from Krishnanagar, after the border check post there is left turn into the market. On the first Chauraha( crossroad) there is a beer shop on the left. If you have not exchanged currency(INR to NPR) till now you can do it at the beer shop.. We were told at the custom office that we could do anything in Nepal except ‘driving when drunk’.
In the evening we reached Butwal, booked a room in a hotel called "Hotel Hariyali". Butwal, a large town situated at the bank of river Tinau, 240 km west from Kathmandu. It is also a gateway to Pokhara, another beautiful tourist place in Nepal. After having dinner, we took a stroll in the Batauli bazaar (market) before sleep.
Early morning, we started for Pokhara another city in Nepal. The journey was beautiful, we were driving on a road surrounded by the mountains. I was so lost in the beauty of Nepal that I almost forgot where I belong to. I enjoyed walking barefoot too in Nepal. Nobody was there to tell what to do and what not to. I was a free soul wandering and breathing the unfettered air of Nepal. No matter that small country which recently got struck by earthquake, might be once called the hub for drug smuggling... with poor education system..., Nepal knows well how to live and accept things in the present. People were so patient and confident. They could tolerate delays, problems and sufferings without becoming annoyed or anxious. It looked like nobody was in a hurry. They might not look ambitious enough but they have that patience and appreciation for small things in life.
On the way to Pokhara, we reached Madan Pokhara where we trekked to FM radio station. Established in 1998, was the first community radio station in Nepal.
As we had no time, we couldn't make it to Pokhara. We had to reach back to our office on Tuesday morning... So, we left our incomplete journey to start again in future. We came back with beautiful memories packed in our hearts.
Nepal ... TO BE CONTINUED...