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Barpak in Gorkha is underrated as a tourism destination. These photos are the evidence

Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain, and Dumrewangra are seen. On a fine day, you can have magnificent views of the Buddha Himal (6,692m) of the Himalayas right in front of you.

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

Farming fields are seen from Saurpani in Sulikot. Around 80% of the population from the area is engaged in agriculture, and the majority of the farmers are conducting family-based, subsistence-level agricultural practices where they mainly grow paddy and millet.

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

The Hudi Khola and millet fields are seen from Saurpani.  A micro-hydropower project has been set up at Hudi Khola.

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.

A hill is shrouded in the morning mist.

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.

The staple food of the people from this part of the country is millet. They mostly make rotis or dhindo out of the millet. They also use it to make wine.
Locals of Rana Gaun head towards the Pakhure forest with a herd of goats.
Above the clouds in Dandagaun
Hudi Khola and a wooden bridge. The stream starts its course in the high hills of the area.
A view to the south of Sulikot
The Mai Bhagawati temple in Takku Kot.
This mountainous area of Gorkha used to have many picturesque sceneries of houses and streets, built with black stones, that attracted a number of tourists. However, as the traditional stone structures were not seismic resilient, unfortunately, most of the traditional houses and walls collapsed when the earthquake hit.
Sita Gufa, a famous cave in the rural municipality get crowded during the Holi festival.
A person inside the Sita Gufa.
Dusks are always magical in this part of the country. A valley below is captured from Takku Kot.
Sunset is seen from Paanch Khuwa Deurali. Almost all hilltops around Barpak treat people with jaw-dropping sunsets.
The moon rises in Rupakot

All photos by the author.

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Ale is a photojournalist at Onlinekhabar.

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