Yellow paddy, clear skies and warm people: Gorkha welcomed me warmly this autumn. The weather was great as was the food. I like the pace at which the village life moves and that is what took me to my home – Rana Gaun.
I like living in Kathmandu. But, there is something special about coming back home especially during the autumn. The mountains usually open up, the fields are painted in a yellow hue and there is a fresh breeze around. Not many people go to Gorkha, but I firmly believe they should as there are so many underrated places in the district. One of them is Barpak.
More than earthquake epicentre
Many people know Barpak due to the 2015 earthquake as it was the epicentre. The earthquake did a lot of damage to the village. Many died as most of its traditional houses were reduced to rubble.
But, that was six years ago.
Things are getting a lot better. The reconstruction drive that took place in the village has been positive, but it needs support from local tourists.
That is what took me to Barpak. I had been there before, but I wanted to see what had changed. So with a friend, I embarked on the journey to Barpak and its surrounding.
The trip this time
Walking out of Rana Gaun and into Barpak was fun. There were children playing tag and posing for photographs as they saw me approaching with a camera over my neck. Men and women were busy harvesting paddy as old men sat outside the house, smoking cigarettes. The weather was clear and the air was crisp. It was as if the weather wanted me to go there.
The view from Barpak is quite magical too. There was a yellow hue around due to fall colours and ripening paddy. Behind them were the houses with the majestic Manaslu as its backdrop. That was to the north; to the south, you can see a sea of hills, one higher than the other.
That is not all. Before Barpak comes Sulikot, a village that has so much to offer. Viewpoints, temples and even a cave. There were times I felt I would not go back.
The place has changed. The earthquake changed the face of Gorkha. But, despite that, the place still has its essence and I have tried to capture them for you.
All photos by the author.