Sunkoshi river trip

DOLALGHAT TO CHATARA

The most common put in point of a Sukoshi river trip is Dolalghat; 3 hours drive east of Kathmandu. At the outset, the river is peaceful and the first day is a leisurely introduction to river life. The gentle sloping hills are typical to this area. Rich color and varied rock formations are evident during the entire trip. The Sunkoshi traverses the Mahabarat range and follows one of the main geological fault lines of the Himalaya. Camp immediately after Koohyay Bheer (rotten cliffy)
You hit a number of rapids after ” Koohyay Bheer.” En route the second day you come across many ethnic groups , each unique and colorful . Unlike other modes of travel, the river provides an easy access to remote areas seldom seen or visited by foreigner. Tonight’s camp is above the Rosi khola, a tributary of the Sunkoshi.

The third day, after a run of a few hours, you stop at Jhunga khola, a beautiful Newar village, located on a bluff above the river. The village is a collection of white houses and grain fields. In the center of the village is a cobbled square shaded by a large peepal tree, small shops where merchants trade surround the square

In the afternoon the confluence of the Tambakoshi River is crossed. On a hill above the river is a small temple inhabited by a hermit. Temple and houses are built on the ridge to aid easy travel and catch more sunshine during the day. A visit to this temple is worthwhile. Later camps near the village of Khurkot.

The next day the canyon changes. The ridge begins to close in and the vegetation becomes thicker. You sail through an interesting geological area and encounter a number of small and medium size rapids. The Himalaya is supposed to have been formed by the enormous pressure caused during the collision process of two treat landmasses. Because of the tremendous stress during the process, several faults were forced throughout Nepal. The Sunkoshi criss crosses one of these faults and the formations visible today are extraordinary.
This afternoon lunch spot is on a beach in an oxbow section of the river.

You continue through a maze of interesting rock formation. To the observer they are a bewildering example of complex and dynamic of nature. They may seem lifeless just as other ordinary rocks, but they record untold history of the earth.

The white water picks up today. Near the village of Harkapur you encounter the largest rapids of the trip. They rate between 5 to 8 later camps near the confluence of the Dudhkoshi River.

The next day the river widens below the Dodhkoshi and flows through a broad valley. Fans of sand gravel spill into the river from side canyons. Further on the Sunkoshi bends south and cuts through the Mahabharat range. The topography wills change. The steep hills are now behind and the area is gentler. A number of small rapids rating between 3 to 5 class are encountered. Along the route many trails and suspension bridge are visible, which are indicative of the porter age still being the most important means of carrying goods. Later camp will be near the Rasuwa khola.

The seventh day you enter tropical vegetation. The river narrows into a gorge linked by thick forest. Broad leaf trees, ferns, mosses, bamboo and creepers canopy the riverbanks. During the windbreak you can shower under a beautiful waterfall. It is a photographer’s paradise.

The advantages of a long river trip if that it offers a pleasing diversity of things within a short span of time. In this trip you have 250 different species of orchids to look for , River chats, dippers, flycatcher. Sibias, wall creepers, bulbuls, fork tales, ibis bills are a few of the almost 400 species of birds available around the basin. Camp on a broach beach bordered by waterfall four hundred feet high. The beaches on the lower section are covered with deposits of mica.

The next day you pass several important ghats. A ghat is a riverbank particularly used for religious and cultural purposes by the Hindus in particular. Religious ceremonies and cremation are common activities that take place at a ghat. Relatively more Rais and Limbus are seen in this area. Tonight camp at the confluence of the three main rivers of the eastern Nepal. The junction is called Tribenighat where the Arun and Tamor join the Sunkoshi to form the giant Saptakoshi, which flows through Mahabharat range onto the Genetic plain.

Below Tribenighat is Barah kshetra, a famous Hindu pilgrimage. You stop by this temple on the ninth day. During the full moon in January, thousand of Hindus gather at the temple to worship. According to legend, a demon god who resided this during prehistoric time was such a nuisance to people that Vishnu; the Lord Preserver was forced to descend from heaven in the guise of a pig to kill him.

Every year pilgrims visit the temple to celebrate lord Vishnu’s victory over the demon god. With today’s lunch at Chatara, the Sunkoshi trip comes to an end. The crewmembers dismantle the gear. It is a 45 minutes drive through tall woods and open field to Dharan, which used to be British Gurkha Army recruiting center in Nepal for decades.

The tenth day is return to Kathmandu. You can choose either a 45 minutes flight from Biratnagar or daylong drive from Dharan or Biratnager to Kathmandu