Travelling is both a profession and a passion for me. Mostly I travel to make a living, but almost every winter, I travel to new places on my own. For such occasions, I choose places that are rich in terms of natural beauty.
As a guide for foreign trekkers, I travel in western Nepal. When there are not many trekkers in the country, I take leave and go on vacation. This time I chose Olangchung Gola, a remote village in northeastern Nepal. Arguably, a very few foreigners and Nepalis have been there as trekkers. I prefer visiting rarely-visited places on my own so that I can lead my clients there in the next season.
I left Kathmandu in a foggy, cold February morning. Bikram Angdembe was accompanying me for the 20-day trip.
Olangchung Gola was not a strange place for me; I had heard about it many times. Of late, the village is associated with Nepali ophthalmologist Dr Sanduk Ruit, who was born in this tiny village 65 years ago. However, since I had never got a chance to see the place with my own eyes, I was excited about the journey.
We went there via Guphapokhari before we realised that the way via Phungling Bajaar could have been an easier route. You can take a flight from Kathmandu to Suketar of Taplejung district. There is also a road link for budget tourists.
There are two options to travel to Olangchung Gola from Phungling: trek for the entire route or hire a jeep till the halfway. If you hire the jeep, it can take you to Tapethok in the next five hours. You do not have any option except walking there onwards.
From Tapethok, walk for around two hours and have lunch at Lelep. This place is historically significant as two kings, belonging to Magar and Bhote communities, had fought a war here in the past. The Bhote king won the battle, but he also began to host a special ceremony two times a year in the respect of his opponent. The locals say the tradition still exists.
After a breather there, resume your walk. In the next four hours, you reach Ila Danda. Perhaps Ila Danda is the best option for you to stay overnight for Olangchung Gola is still far away.
Wake up early the next morning and walk for seven hours before you reach your final destination. The seven-hour walk can scare you, but you feel relief when you can find yourself in front of the mesmerising scenery. On the way, there are many waterfalls and monasteries. This route is a perfect place to get a closeup view of the third highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga (8,586 m) among other mountains of Nepal and India.
After reaching Olangchung Gola, I found that whatever I had heard about this place was not on a par with the level of beauty this place offers you. The houses in this small village are very much close to each other. The giant hills covered with silvery snow give the place a perfect backdrop.