Archives for category: Eastern Nepal

When I was in my hometown, Biratnagar, I had decided to go to Hile and Dhankuta. I started from Biratnagar, and the pictures below are from the road from Biratnagar to Itahari.

A Man on the Back of a Truck

A Factory in Tanki-Sinwari VDC

A Truck Loaded with Potatoes and Onions

Women Purchasing Fruits at Duhabi

Industrial Chimneys

Tea Stands along the Highway

A Water Tank Under Construction

A Scene from the Koshi Highway

Itahari Trafic Circle

Trucks in Itahari

Itahari in Sunsari District links Biratnagar to Dharan and other points on the East-West highway. If Itahari is beset by a bandh, then the whole of the East will be paralyzed. The Next Round of Pictures are from the Road from Itahari to Dharan.

The Highway from Itahari to Dharan

Southern Edge of Dharan

Dharan Tower

Dharan is a favorite place among the Purbelis as it is very clean and lies at the point where the foothills of the  lower Himalayas and Gangetic Plains meet, so one has the best of both the worlds in Dharan. Then I headed for the legendary road to Bhedetar, a Bhanjhyang. Bhedetar (also known as Charles Point) also separates Sunsari and Dhankuta districts and the road to Raja Rani and Dhankuta 6 No. which lie in western Dhankuta separates from Bhedetar.

The Road to Bhedetar

Dharan as Seen from the Road to Bhedetar

The Road to Bhedetar

A Khumbuwan Sign Near Bhedetar. Khumbuwan is the Name for a Seperate State of the Rai People and the Movement.

From Bhedetar, I went towards Dhankuta and stopped at the Bishranti temple which lies on the banks of the Tammor. The Tamor is one of the seven rivers which unite to give rise to the majestic Sapta Koshi, the biggest river of Nepal.

Bishranti Temple

People by the Banks of the Tammor River

Last Rites/Cremation on the Banks of the Tammor Near the Bishranti Temple

Then my next stop was Hile. The following pictures were taken on the way to Hile.

A Ride on the Back of a Truck

Rice Planting Season

This is what Dhankuta city looks like from far:

Dhankuta

The Streets of Hile

A Student Lama Monk Studying in a Monestary in Hile

Prayer Wheels Spinning in a Monastery in Hile

Then on the streets of Hile,  I visited some shops where they sold gold ornaments. Here is one goldsmith at work:

A Goldsmith at Hile

Goldsmiths and their Equipments

I did spend a day in Ilam. I got stuck in a bandh as elaborated on my earlier post, but later on I moved on to other parts of Ilam as well.

The Milk Horse of Ilam

The Bridge over Mai Khola

The Roads of Ilam

Milk Bottles

A Signboard Torn Apart by the Wind

A Large Tree in Ilam on the Way to Sano Pathivara Mandir

Kanyam Tea Estate

The Glory of Ilam

Kanyam Tea Estate

Tea, Tea and More Tea in Kanyam

Ilam Bazar

Pigeon Fest

Pigeon Fest on a Cluster of Wires

The Ticket Counter for Local Theater in Ilam Bazaar

The Main Chowk of Downtown Ilam Bazaar

Quote:

“We ain’t asking for shit. We takin’ it!”

-Dr. Dre

Once upon a time, somewhere in the peaceful hills of Ilam, in its scenic roads, there was a blockade. All of the cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles were suddenly rendered immobile by the forceful magic of a barricade of tree logs. When the drivers asked why they should stop their vehicles, they were told that a nice young man, a student in a local college, was brutally assaulted by a savage policemen. Then his enraged friends thirsty for justice, organized a blockade, a bandh in a place called Tinghare. Or at least that is what I was told.

“What happened? Well, a barbaric policeman inconsiderately stopped a public bus. Then all of a sudden with a drunken demeanor he raised his hand on a student in the bus. You know that its the twenty first century and you can’t raise your fist against the students of Ilam. Thus we are forced to carry out this andalon. Justice will be done and the savagery of the police will be exposed. This andalon will show the police who we are.”

That is what a female student showing her support for the bandh told me. I felt the need to ask the following question.

“Are you sure that the fellow didn’t insult the mother or wife of that policeman?”

“Nonsense! That student of our college was brutally beaten up ruthlessly and without any cause. Really pisses me off you know, the way that the dirty bastards can do whatever they want. Nobody has the right to raise their fist against anybody anywhere. We will continue our andolan against police brutality and stand up for our rights.”

I found it hard to stomach what she said. Nothing happens without a cause, you can’t light a fire without a spark.

Meanwhile, in the balcony of a restaurant in Tinghare there was a meeting between the police and the students. According to what I heard, the students were demanding to talk to the police who allegedly hit the student. This is going to be a long day, I thought. Why would the police want to deploy a sacrificial lamb to the students? No homeward bound for me.

Who’s to blame, the police or the students. Or is it God or Lady Luck behind this madness?

As an innocent outsider, it’s hard for me to say. I can only say that neither the student nor the police should have acted up. Everybody should have minded their own business. When this collision of two total strangers from the opposite ends of the universe took place, innocent passerby have to halt their vehicles and put a comma to their travels.

And a bandh seems to be good for business, all of the Robinson Crusoes, me included, in Tinghare had tea and biscuits at the local shops. The college students who came to show their support got an extra holiday.

While waiting for Man Friday, I took pictures.

A Bandh in Tinghare, Ilam

A Man Sleeping in a Bus During the Bandh

Old Men Waiting for the Bandh to Come to its End

The Meeeting

People Peering into the Meeting Between the Students and the Police in a Sekuwa Corner

People Discussing about the Bandh and Having Chatpatte

The Line

Casualities

More Casualities

Man Friday never came, the APF came instead. Armed Police Force came to the rescue with batons.

“Everybody back to their cars!  All of you students who wanna talk come here right now!

Nobody moved a finger. The APF removed the barricade in an instant by kicking away those logs. Traffic resumed. Another short bandh in a galaxy of bandha’s. Too bad, so sad for the students. Just wish I took pictures of the APF annihilating the bandh, I was already on my way to travel through Ilam.

Two kilometers from Belbari is Betana Wetland Conservation Project, a serene wetland and a laudable conservation project in addition to being a popular picnic spot. A praiseworthy effort, this place kills your stress like the way Navy SEAL killed Osama Bin Laden, and will energize you to run like a DuraCell bunny to oblivion. Maybe I am indulging in exoticism, but in kalyug when we are neck deep in ocean of feces, maybe we need places like this to remind us of our umbilical relationship with nature. Maybe if we stop ticking off Nature Mata then we can avoid 2012.

Betana Lake

Boats in the Betana Lake

Betana

Right in the neighborhood of Betana is an old Kirati cemetery that nobody seems to notice or care about. The Kirati people (Kirat is a collective term for the Tibetan origin ethnic groups in eastern Nepal like Rai, Limbu, Lepcha, Dhimal etc) bury their dead and they put large tombstones with inscriptions.

An Old Tombstone

A Collection of Tombstones

Tombstone Inscription in the Limbu Script

A Mordern Tombstone

On the other side of the road, there is a camp of tea stands loaded with junk food and cigarettes.

Tea Stands

Inside a Tea Stand

Teastands

Huge Tree nearby the Tea Stands

More pictures of the balconies of Dhankuta.

A Gumba in Hile with Tibetan Style Balcony

Tin Strikes Back