Trekking Swargadwari in lesser Himalayas of Nepal.


I see the sleeping giants wrapped under red tint of blanket that covered the skyline. Birds with their beautiful chirps tries to awake them from night’s slumber. At home I never feel such peace running through my body. I kept watching at the horizon until red blanket spread by sun melted away into sparking cool blue hue.

At 2100 meters elevation above Swargadwari is located in Pyuthan District of Nepal. Swargadwari in English literally means “Door to Heaven”. In epic Mahabharata, Pandavas supposedly worshipped here before departing to heaven. This is a holy site in Hinduism and Hindu pilgrims from local and India frequently comes here every year.

It was 5 months since my Ghandruk trek and I wanted to go on another very short hiking outside the district. I read in wikipedia details of Swargadwari and trekking was mentioned. I looked for information on reaching Swargadwari site peak by hiking. In old days before introduction of roads to the site pilgrims walked all the way to top. I am a hiker looking for hiking trails as first option. This would also mark my first hiking activity in the district of Pyuthan. With limited information in internet I asked around and very rare is there the direct route of bus to Swargadwari. The ones that runs on it is mostly night time but still unreliable to run. Most reliable route information I found from bus station was to go to Bhaluwang in district Dang from where rides are available to Bhingri in district Pyuthan. We found a bus ride that was taking us further more up from Bhaluwang to Chakchake directly. From Chakchake, Bhingri is 15-20 minutes away. Bhingri lies at mouth of valley cut through by Rapti river. From Bhingri starts road and hiking trails through small villages and fields.

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We were able to book a night stay and dinner from help support desk. They have canteen that serve dinner by 7:30 PM or 8 PM. Rooms were communal with many beds in a large room. They charge 50 NPR for a bed to sleep a night. Dinner costs 100 NPR for an individual. In spare time before dinner call I explored and stumbled into “Aarti puja”, a Hindu ritual of worship where light from a flame is offered to deities. While in progress of offering the holy songs are sung in praise of that deity. Dinner call was made after 8 PM. Food is very simple vegetarian meal of rice, lentils and seasonal green vegetables. You get to have unlimited food serving. We had green leaf variant of mustard family. They grow vegetables in own garden.

Early morning I woke up to explore the temples and shoot the video to record the beautiful sunrise. It was just spectacular. After exploring and paying my prays to deities I headed towards the natural cave supposedly to be holy. Trail surrounded by red Rhododendron trees led to the cave with Lord Shiva’s shrine inside.

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