Ravi M Singh is 65. After college, he got into business, all sorts—from chicken feed, furniture, catering to real estate. It worked for some time, but eventually, he gave it up all.

“Looking back, it seems I’ve always been an outdoors man, lost in his own little adventures.  My interests?  It used to be hunting; it stopped during the Maoist insurgency. Then came fishing followed by mountain biking. So, my passions are writing, mountain biking and fishing.”

“Ambition?  Ride my mountain bike from Beni, Baglung, to Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang.”

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Chitlang: The historical valley on the Rolls Royce trail (Part II)

The next day, the Chitlang valley appeared verdant green in the early April morning with a glorious sun to match the country landscape. From where we stood, thick forests blanketed the hills to the North, East and the West, while to our South the view spread out into expanses of terraced field and a dirt […]

Why green vegetables are a neglected gold mine, especially during Dashain

“Go vegetable heavy. Reverse the psychology of your plate by making meat the side dish and vegetables the main course.”– Bobby Flay We have an expression in Nepali: what are you, a “bhat bahadur” or a “sag bahadur”? Good-humoredly, it questions what type of a person are you: the one who prefers rice and cares […]

Chitlang-the historical valley on Nepal’s Rolls Royce Trail

Yes, curiously, it also came to be known as the ‘Rolls Royce’ trail as the first ever automobile (in 1934), and subsequently, others owned by the Kathmandu’s royalties, foreign dignitaries and aristocrats were transported by this route–not on wheels but shoulder-borne by porters. The villagers thronged to watch the spectacular sight as the porters carried […]

Chisapani: Nepal’s untamed far west

I could not believe my eyes! It was a pure work of art! At Bunghat, the Karnali water had scoured the big boulders eroding them into an exquisite piece of sculpture–as if, an artist had taken great pains to carve them with his chisel and hammer. The fast flowing turquoise waters of Karnali and the […]

From cauliflowers to goat milk: The story of Nepal’s pioneering cheese factory

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In search for the ‘water tiger’ in eastern Nepal

Our team finally arrived at Mai Beni after a five hours hike. The last stretch included a stiff climb on a steep hill with a scary knife’s edge trail hardly a foot wide with Sun Koshi on one side and Arun to the other. In all honesty, with no head for heights, I literally crawled […]

In eastern Nepal, a quest for the ‘water tiger’

The golden mahseer of the Himalayan Rivers, with its streamlined body and resplendent hues of olive green, silver, and yellow with a golden tinge, is a beautiful creature to behold, and a formidable challenge to bag. This little adventure of mine meant a lot to me because it successfully motivated a group of veteran anglers […]

Turmeric: Know this golden healer from your kitchen

We all know about ground turmeric, besar in Nepali and haldi in Hindi, simply because it is a mainstay of Nepali as well as Indian cookery. Needless to say, the vivid orange coloured condiment adds colour to curries and pickle–but did you know it has a distinct flavour and aroma? Some say this aromatic herb is ‘gingery bitter’; others […]

Shiitake: The crème de la crème among mushrooms

“Ravi,” someone called. I looked back to find a familiar face smiling at me.  That was Pawan and we had met after some six years. Pawan Kumar Ghimire, now a resident of Dhapashi of Tokha in Kathmandu, was into shiitake mushroom growing when we were neighbours then. Curious, I asked him if he was still […]

From great struggle to emotional victory: 16th Nepal National Mountain Bike Championship

March 2018 marked a special day for the dedicated aficionados among the mountain biking fraternity in Kathmandu. The day heralded the most eagerly anticipated the 16th Nepal National Mountain Bike Championships (Trek 16th Nepal National Mountain Bike Championship XCO, March 25 ) and the 8th National Downhill  Mountain Bike Championship (March 27) organised by the Nepal […]

Mushrooms: Five reasons why they are called gift of god

From a creamy soup and an Italian risotto to simply stir-fried, grilled, sautéed or used as a topping for that pizza you love to sink your teeth into, there is nothing like the succulent edible mushrooms as a culinary wonder. They go superbly well with just about any foodstuff: meat, vegetables, pasta, spaghetti and . […]

Steeped in history and legend: Palanchok Bhagwati

The Palanchok Bhagwati temple lay swathed in bamboo scaffoldings when I visited the famed pilgrimage site in the first week of March 2018. Obviously, the structure was undergoing repair and restoration in the aftermath of the damage caused by the massive April 2015 earthquake. This incidentally was the second quake the structure miraculously pulled through […]

From the hills of Kavresthali to Goa, Manali and Bristol: the ‘Pandy’ story

It goes without saying that you meet a lot of people in your daily life. You find most of them no different than the mundane tasks like shopping for food and doing house chores or as commonplace as the quotidian traffic of the Kathmandu Metropolis–but some stand out from the rest. You are more interested […]

Meeting ‘Mr Pandy’ on Kathmandu’s picturesque cycling trail

We were riding on the Mudkhu-Teen Piple-Jitpur-Phedi-Kavresthali-Sangla circuit, a 25km round-trip which happened to be one of my frequent spins on my mountain bike. This route is also favored by many riders of Kathmandu. Ours was an odd bunch. There was Lisa, a British lady from East London. She came to Kathmandu to do a […]

Own a mountain bike in Nepal? Here’s how you ought to take care of it

  Beginners, let me first congratulate you for launching yourselves into the sport of mountain biking. Take my word for it, you will never regret it. The benefits of mountain biking are much more than you can imagine.  It challenges both your body and the mind to keep you in good trim, physically and mentally. […]

Fishing for a cause in Roshi: How we saw a river depleted, degraded and violated

Fishing has always been an abiding passion for me. So, I jumped at the idea of a fishing trip (some seven years back) to Roshi Khola (river) when my teammates planned it. It was, however, a different kind of fishing–electro-fishing to be more exact. And it was more a mission than a fun trip. Electro-fishing […]

Four destinations to start out mountain biking in Kathmandu

Hey guys, I expect my previous three-story series on mountain biking (mtb in short) has helped you get the hang of the basic bike skills and handling; and you must have pulled off quite some off-road short rides to the backcountry. Maybe you would now like to try some challenging rides.  Let me help you […]

Got yourself a new bike? Eight tips to hit the trail

Hello beginners, you followed me through the last two series with basic info on mountain bikes, gears, outfits and tips on how to use the brakes, shift gears as well as mounting,  dismounting and a few others.  I presume you have had some practice rides done around your neighborhood during this time.  Now, it’s time […]

Mountain Biking in Nepal: Know when to brake, how high to saddle

Hey, guys, I am back again to share with you the basic tips on mountain biking, which every beginner should master before doing some serious riding. They worked for me and I strongly believe they will for you to make you a better and safer rider. Consider yourself lucky because I and my co-riders did […]

Taking up mountain biking in Nepal: The first steps

If you are keen on taking on mountain biking in 2018, there is nothing more fun and exciting than pedaling your bike to the countryside, the distant hills and the woods connecting yourself with nature. The rides will whisk you off the maddening crowd and the din of the metropolis, something we have been denied […]

Why cooking should top your list of New Year resolutions

Do you enjoy cooking? You don’t have to be a chef de cuisine or a master chef to enjoy cooking tasty meals. You may be a doctor, a painter, an engineer–or simply a retired guy like me, but if you wish and try, you can concoct culinary delights, and the New Year can be the […]

How good is dal-bhat for your health?

My fixation with our traditional Nepali staple food, dal-bhat is nothing short of phenomenal. I am, in truth, obsessed with it. No less than one meal of dal-bhat each day is a ‘sine qua non’ for me.  Call it my ‘monomania’, it went through the ceilings and I was virtually driven to a point of […]

Mystery yet to be cracked: Know secrets of human brain

Once my car broke down and I had to visit an auto-repair shop. As the mechanic worked under the open bonnet twiddling around with the maze of wires and conduits, my attention was drawn to a small black box. Just to satisfy my curiosity, I asked the mechanic what it was. “That’s the brain of […]

Watch out! The veggies, fruits in your kitchen may be contaminated

On Nov 24, 2017, a news report published on caught my attention. It referred to the widespread use of pesticides on vegetables and fruits we buy from the market. Unaware of this startling truth, the information made me recoil instinctively. Then suddenly it hit me hard that we at home (I believe in most […]

The tree of life: Moringa Oleifera

Yes, it is a tree highly spoken of as the Tree of Life or the Miracle Tree. The Nepali word for it is Sheetal Chini and Shobhaanjan or more commonly Sahijan in Hindi. Curiously, this plant seems to have won more acclaims in the recent years than any other species of green perennial plants. “It’s […]

Amala: Here comes the widely available ‘superfood’

While surfing the net trying to uncover the myths surrounding so-called superfoods, also widely marketed as internet-hyped ‘miracle foods’–from açaí berry, sumac, quinoa to cocoa and Ceylon cinnamon, which they claim can make you “live longer and cure and prevent all kinds of diseases”, I stumbled upon the name of a commonly known  wild berry […]

A Nepali man’s encounter with an American ghost train

I literally stumbled upon the story when I visited the town of Republic, in Seneca County, Ohio during my brief stay in the United States of America. The story, it turned out, had an eerie history. I visited the United States in 2015 and during my five-and-a-half month’s stay in the big country, I hopped around […]

Mata Syaeema Pass: The lamp that kept burning

It’s no secret that male dominance has been a norm in Nepali or for that matter Asian culture from days of yore.  Women have had a miserable time coping with this social stigma. Some fought their way through; most just bowed down to it. This story speaks for itself. “Mata syaeema pass, mata chyakeema fail”. […]

Dehydration: Know the fatal condition which you can prevent with just a bottle of water

Some two years ago, I was participating in a mountain bike race in Kathmandu. The day was hot, the race grueling. No sooner I finished the race than words got around that a mishap had taken place–a 22- year-old young contestant collapsed during the race. Next thing I heard–he died on the way to a […]

Bethe ko sag: Love it or curse it, it’s a wild weedy wonder

I could hardly believe the green leafy vegetable curry I had for lunch was, in fact, a weed, bought from the local market though. The taste was closely similar to the commercially grown spinach (palungo), but with an earthy, sharper, piquant savour—and more succulent, hands down. I fell for it. Yes, it is regarded as […]

Changa chait: A Kathmandu boy’s memories of a worthy adversary

  “Chait!” It is Dashain show time and such outbursts of battle-drawn cries can be heard all through the metropolis–Kathmandu. In a small neighbourhood of Kathmandu, a teenage scraggy little boy twirls on his wooden reel, his eyes glued to his red kite weaving and swaying in the seamless blue sky in the scorching midday […]

Trip to Gadhimai: A profound experience evoking awe and wonder

The year: 2014. The day: November 24. Despite a massive global media furor and campaigns including stage protests, impassioned pleas, urgent petitioning, vocal dissents and vehement denunciations–the day marked the beginning of a month-long—the ‘largest’, ‘bloodiest’, ‘cruelest’, ‘goriest’, and ‘most barbaric’ animal sacrifice in the world at a Hindu shrine called Gadhimai in a small […]

History of mountain biking in Nepal: Meet the pioneers

After looking at the early days of mountain biking in Nepal last week , I look at the big names behind the glorious years of the sport in Nepal. I also continue the saga where I left off. Sonam Gurung: ‘A cross between a Buddhist monk with a kick boxer’ If looks were anything to go […]

History of mountain biking in Nepal: How the wheels were set in motion

The history of mountain biking in Nepal, surprisingly, can be traced back to less than 25 years, a quarter of a century after it started in the West in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when, in Marin County California, USA, a handful of crazy bikers began hurtling down the slopes of Mount Tamalpais (Mt […]

At Koshi Tappu: Experiencing animals’ fear of humans firsthand

  “Because we invade their natural habitat and kill them. Because for sport, we kill them. Because we have gun power, we kill them. Basically, we kill for fun. For money. For greed. All animals ever do, is kill if they need.”         —Mohona Mukherjee The lives of humans and animals have […]

With this root, run faster, pedal harder and work out longer!

Inevitably the big decision came—the international games banned taking of performance enhancing drugs or doping in sports. Endurance athletes all around the world hunted for a natural food that helped boost their performance—food that contained high concentration of nitrates that enhanced vasodilation, or the capacity of blood vessels to dilate and heighten blood flow enabling […]

Tracking down the nocturnal marauders of Bhirkot

For close to four hours I had crouched on the machan with a shotgun on my lap and a flashlight in my hand, keeping the night vigil for my quarry–the wild boar. I got more and more uncomfortable with each passing minute. The late July night after the rains was relatively cool; but, to my […]

Avocado: Are you missing out on this amazing fruit?

It has stolen the hearts of celebrities—the likes of Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Victoria Beckham, Tom Selleck, to name a few. In like manner, world fashionistas, socialites and “wellness bloggers” rave about it and what’s more, it has turned into an instagram art food. Amazing as it may sound, it is no more than just […]

Why you shouldn’t feel guilty when eating chocolates

There is nothing like sinking your teeth into a chocolate bar, taking a bite, rolling it in your mouth and letting its silky-smooth rich taste melt in your tongue—it’s a sensory delight par excellence—a total bliss! It’s no secret that everyone loves chocolates—no matter, old or young. And it goes without saying that kids hanker […]

Hypertension: A silent killer is on the prowl. Are your defences ready?

Do you fall in 20-35 age group? If yes, when was the last time you had your blood pressure checked? In all likelihood, you either shrugged the idea off as unnecessary because you feel you are in fine fettle, put it off to some other day, or just have not given a thought to it […]

Zucchini: Mother Nature’s legacy for life

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. — Hippocrates, father of medicine, 431 BC As a green vegetable, zucchini (also called courgette in France and vegetable marrow in UK) or hariyao pharsi in Nepal is a very common vegetable eaten worldwide. Zucchinis can be eaten: raw, boiled, sautéed, grilled, baked, stuffed, you name […]

Are you missing out on the benefits of this wonder seed?

Do you know about ‘flaxseed’ (‘alas’ in Nepali), and its enormous nutrient value? Most probably, you don’t. Until two years back, I, too, was ignorant of this substance that comes from the plant linum usitatissimum. Said to have originated in ancient Egypt and China, flaxseed is also known as linseed and widely grown in Europe, […]

Monsoon madness: Hard-earned grandmaster’s championship

I began wondering as I sweated my guts out pedalling my mountain bike up the steep hill. The tires spun slimy mud all over me, my lungs felt like they would burst and my knees buckle from the strain. “What on earth am I doing on this godforsaken track?” Curiously enough, I kept it up […]

Seven reasons why you should take up mountain biking

 “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.” H.G. Wells Are you in your late thirties, or early forties?  Are exercising or working out to keep fit and healthy? In the majority of cases, the answer is probably a plain ‘no’. In a report […]

Why never, ever go near a mama bear when she’s with her cub

We did not even imagine that our casual elephant safari ride would turn into a hot pursuit. It all started when our elephant, Laxmikali, passed by a freshly-stirred mud wallow followed by equally fresh footprints. Apparently, after a refreshing mud bath, the animal had sauntered into the woods, leaving behind a hot trail.  Thus began […]

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1 Comment
  • Dipesh Lamichhane says: | December 24 2017 12:24am

    I love your articles, specially articles about nutritional values of common food around us. Keep writing , all the best.


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