On the day of Lhoshar, which is one of the most celebrated festivals in Nepal, we left for a two days hike to another popular tourist destination around Kathmandu- Nagarkot. Nagarkot is located 32 KM east of Kathmandu in Bhaktapur District. It is known for a sunrise view of the Himalayas including Mount Everest as well as other peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley. The scenic beauty of the place makes it a very popular hiking route for tourists. Since the winter had just begun to step away, it was just the right time to schedule a tour. Our students had had a hectic couple of weeks and the time had come to mix learning with travel. We made preparations for organizing practical and on-field lessons for students on Long Exposure and Night photography at Nagarkot.
We left for the bus station on a breezy noon and after a 3 hours ride on the bus, got down at Telkot. From there, it was a 2 hour walk upto the top of Nagarkot, from where we got a mesmerizing view of several mountains as well as the Kathmandu Valley. The breeze at the top made us all absolutely refreshed and ready to begin our lessons. The Nagarkot View Tower proved to be an absolute spot to witness the mountains and the valley itself. On the way to the top, students got to check out the rural lifestyle of people outside Kathmandu. We helped them talk to the people living there, about their daily routine and post-earthquake status. Some were seen to be in a particularly pathetic condition, with terrible availability of food and shelter. But moving on, it was good to know that the help was coming sooner or later.
There were so many people celebrating Lhoshar in so many places, that the whole place was colorful and vivid. Pictures taken by our students in such an environment turned out to be extremely productive. People were singing in their native tongue and dancing around, the sights of which surprised interns on how diverse the culture in Nepal really is within such a small distance. As dusk began to show up, we prepared for some lessons on Long Exposure shots first. The scenic beauty at the top of Nagarkot was the perfect way to practice. Then before dinner we set out for some Night photography in the nearby hill, from where the lightings around made for a perfect sight. So, the students seemed to get much more hands-on on light exposure, shutter speed, and the depth of field in pictures while on the manual mode. After the dinner, we made a small camp fire where we all sang and set the day aside for another one.
The next day, everyone was up and ready to take a good walk around villages in Nagarkot. The essence of a good kick was felt since our feet were somewhat flaky from the walk the day ago. After a long day and a tremendous hike to recall in the coming days, we were all set to return. We had to walk the same 3 hour road down, the one that had led us to the top. They say, getting down is tougher than getting up. Well said indeed! So we booked tickets for the bus to Kathmandu and swept our way back.
A day that will totally go down as the one with fun as well as learning, a day to cherish in the days to come.