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Devchuli: Solo Camping In Wilderness

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Inspired by the bushcraft solo trekking videos that I watched on YouTube, I dreamt of doing a similar hike nearby my hometown. I saw a post from my friend Amod on his Instagram who recently visited the Devchuli Hill. I got all the information and details about the route and destination from him and researched little bit about the place in the internet. This is the exclusive detailed blog about my short trip and hike to Devchuli Hill.

Devchuli hill (Devchuli Dada) is one of the tallest hills in east Nawalpur district. Area around these hills is scarcely populated and are least developed. Villages around these hills lack basic infrastructures such as proper roads, hospitals and clean drinking water supply but has huge potential for tourism industry as it is one of the best places for hike and regarded as natural gems. When I visited this place on 1st October of 2020, there was ongoing construction of road which connects daldale-bulingtar road.

Night before my trip, I backpacked my essentials which included sleeping bag, tent, torch light and few other stuffs. At 4 o’clock in the morning, I started my solo journey on my splendour bike. Due to ongoing construction of Butwal-Narayanghat road expansion project, it was difficult to ride in the early morning with lots of trucks and trippers on the way.  It was chilly October morning where it took me almost an hour to reach daldale from my home (Bharatpur, Chitwan). Daldale is a small town in Devchuli municipality of Nawalpur district, which is more famous for recently built CG Shaswat Dham by Chaudhary group. At around 5:30 am, after having a cup of tea, I headed towards northern side of daldale chowk towards my next stop which is a small tea junction known as Pokhari. Pokhari is a small rest area for vehicles which is on the junction between two highways i.e., Pragatinagar-Rampur highway and Dhobadi-Bulingtar road. There are few eateries there and I parked my motorbike on one of the hotels. Road from Daldale chowk to Kumsod is black topped whereas from kumsod to pokhari, we have to go through off road which was under construction. During my journey, I had to stop few times as stones were falling off from the top and also there were lots of big stones on the road. As far as I know, the road condition is much better now.

I parked my motorbike at Samjhana Hotel and Restaurant. I inquired about the route and time to reach at the top of the devchuli with Samjhana didi (owner of the restaurant). She was surprised that I was travelling alone and wanted to stay at top of the devchuli hill. Jokingly she asked if my girlfriend broke up with me and I came alone there because of that reason. You see solo travelling is not that common in this part of the world. After having heavy breakfast at the hotel which included big bowl of thukpa and boiled eggs, I started my hike to the devchuli hill around 8:00 am. During my journey, I was all alone i.e., there were no fellow travelers and tourists on the whole route. Hiking trail is pretty much simple where there are only 1-2 places where one might get confused. If any confusion, you just have to wait for the locals passing by and ask for the direction. By the way, don’t forget to carry salt as there are lots of leeches on the way especially during rainy season. You start to go upright hill with slight change in elevation after 15-20 mins of hiking and weather also starts to change dramatically. I have to say, I have never experienced such a contrast of weather in just few minutes of time period. Most of the time it was sunny and bright but all of a sudden, clouds covered up the whole area and in no time, it was all foggy with clouds moving at high speed. 

On the way, I met a local guy and had pleasure of talking with him about the whole area. Most of the habitants of these area were Magar community and Devchuli hill is considered to be sacred and worshipped by them. This hill is supposed to have its own cultural and historical importance. He introduced me to the Devchuli Trekkers Home Stay owned by Baral Baa/Dai. After reaching his place, I settled there and ate my lunch there with his family. There were few locals at his house to taste his local home-made wine and alcohol. There were only few houses around that area and last human settlement on my journey to the top of the hill. I came to know that during peak season of the business, lots of people came there to stay at his home stay. He is living a happy life with his family and been living there for more than 40 years away from this original house which is just 2 hours from that place. Good source of drinking water and proper road are the main problem faced by the family. He rears lots of animals such as cows, chicken, goats for milk and meat for his family and customers. There were altogether 57 goats when I visited the place. I helped him feed medicines to his goats and suggested him to check the expiry date and ask for proper usage method from the vet. Baral dai and I became friends in no time and we were sharing a glass of drink before I move forward towards my destination. He was very skeptical when I told him, I was going to stay night at the top of the hill and told me how dangerous it was at the top of the hill. He was telling me horror stories of ghosts and wild animals. After realizing my passion and determination, he secretly told me that he had stayed there at the top many times and it looks wonderful especially at full moon night. 

At around 11:00 o’clock, I left Baral Dai’s house with 4 liters of water and 1 liter of his divine alcohol towards devchuli dada. Along the way I saw monkeys hoping from one tree to another as well as lots of insects and birds that I had never seen before. It took me almost 2 hours to reach the top of the hill as I was shooting and capturing the moments on the way up which included time lapses and videos which I will share with you guys. Finally, I reached the top of the hill and it was just mesmerizing. The place and view itself took all the pain and exhaustion of the journey. Beautiful surroundings with gorgeous mountains and mighty mountain ranges made me just awe. I stayed there for almost 15 minutes admiring the panoramic views of beautiful landscapes, valleys and could see faraway places which I found to be Palpa and Chitwan when asked with baral dai later on. It was a perfect spot to spend the night away from the Hubble and bubble of the city. Far away from human civilization, it was a perfect opportunity for me to get close with the nature and myself. I did mention that there was no other soul during my entire journey which let me be myself. With such eye-catchy and breathe taking views plus being all alone, I could sense true freedom to be myself. I could do anything I wanted and no body would bother and judge me. I could sing my heart out, dance like a crazy, walk around there naked, run like hell or do anything I wanted to.

After appreciating the beauty, I started to set up the tent which was difficult task with the strong wind blowing. It was exhausting task when you have to do it all alone at the top of the tower of a hill and with no shame, I tell you it took me almost 45 minutes to properly set up the tent as the space was small and my tent was too big. As soon as I reached the top, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to camp the fire at this place as the wind was too strong which made me miserable as I carried the woods collecting them on the way up to the top. There I found lots of litters with plastics and wrappers, which I collected and disposed them all.  I read for almost half an hour. I was reading Tuesdays with Morrie at that time. This book is highly recommended. I prepared my food which I had brought all the way from my home. I was munching and listening to songs and watching big hills just infront of me just like the way I imagined it to be. Weather was crazy out there, suddenly it felt like it was going to be dark and all of a sudden it would be bright and sunny. I enjoyed a lot being out there listening to the sounds of nature and just being alive at that moment. This experience has a huge impact in my life. 

When the night came crawling, it was already cold outside but there was someone to keep me warm for the night. My companion for the night was wondrously bright and yellow moon in her speckled beauty which appeared in the sky upon a Cleary and starry night which instantly elevated my souls to higher plane. I have never experienced and felt moon that close to me and as she reflected pure rays, it was like mothers blessing just to ease me. 

I slept early around 9 pm just to wake up early around half past 3 o’clock and found myself sleeping on the bed of clouds at an elevation of 1936 meters with cloud floating like a river. With full moon at its peak, I could see all the hills nearby and clouds floating and it made me realize that this must be the paradise which people used to describe.

I renewed, rebooted my system and with new energy, I left that place with amazing experience of a night that I could never forget my whole life. This is my experience at Devchuli dada. I will be sharing my other travel stories in coming days to come. Stay Tuned. Be Safe and Be healthy. 

Route and Places to Remember: 

  • Daldale chowk (around 1 km from CG temple)
  • Via Rato Bangla hotel and Kumsod upto Pokhari 
  • Pokhari to Baral Ba home stay 
  • Baral Ba home stay to Smart Tower at top of the hill.

Suggestions:

If you want to camp at the top:

1. Do camp at tower with proper gear

2. Bring lots of water as there are no water facilities

3. Pay attention to leeches

4. Enjoy your journey

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1 COMMENT

  1. Wow!!! looks like you had so much fun alone. Thank you for the details about devchuli, it was really helpful. I was trying to find info, but couldnot find so much details.

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