Visit To Nepal

NEPAL

My first visit abroad was to Nepal. The Himalayan Kingdom always becons Indian tourists. I chose this journey for convenience. In 1976 I took the journey by steamer from Mahendru Ghat in Patna and reached Pahleza Ghat, Sonepur, for the northern bank of Ganga. From there I went to Muzaffarpur and from there I took bus to Raxaul. In the evening I crossed over the Nepal border and stayed overnight at Birganj. After entering Nepal I found a different life together. The Nepal policemen wore different uniforms. At every office and at every public place or even in homes I saw the photographs of the King and the Queen. The Nepalese loved them and revered them. The fate of Nepal was changed when a prince massacred his entire family for love of a girl from India.

From Birganj I took bus to Kathmandu. As it was my first visit to a foreign country the journey was exciting and memorable. The journey through the hilly terrain was tiring but enjoyable panoramic view.  In the bus I became friendly to a fellow passenger who advised me to stay at Marwari Basa. Staying at Marwari Basa was good from the security point of view and also for its cleanliness and affordable vegetarian food. It was perhaps most inexpensive but most rewarding travel I had in my life. Before my visit to Nepal a film Johny Mera Nam was released which portrayed life in Nepal. So I decided to visit all these places, which were shown in the film. I visited Patan also. In Kathmandu I met the editor of Gorkha Patra English newspaper. The local newspaper is always useful and interesting to any tourist. When I visited the office of the editor I found that the editor was a handsome and articulate man. He showed much courtesy to me. He took me in his car and showed me Kathmandu as an expert guide. He was also useful as a photographer for me. I found that Kathmandu was full of consumer items from China, Korea, Japan and even Europe and America. I went to a people‚Äôs store, a departmental store, run by the government of China. I purchased few inexpensive items besides some clothes. I traveled on an electric bus also whichconnectedKatmandu with some small towns. In those days discos were uncommon in India but tourists used to visit disco in Kathmandu. I visited one such disco also. I found that shops and business were owned or run mostly by Indians.  Besides Nepali rupee the Indian rupee currency was equally acceptable. Indian rupee was stronger than the Nepali currency.

I visited the famous Darbar Square, later devastated in earthquake of 2014. It is a cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets. This is the centre of social and religious activities. The heritage site reminded me of Kathmandu of 12th century AD. I found large number of boys and girls and men and women thronging the place.

I also visited Patan, an ancient city which is also referred, as Lalitpur. The whole city is full of Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples.

It is a great privilege for Nepal to have in its territory Mt. Everest of the Himalayan mountain range.

After few days stay I undertook the return journey. While crossing from Birganj to Raxaul my luggage was checked by customs. I had got pants and shirts stiched in Kathmandu itself thus the customs personnel had no choice but clear my luggage. From Raxaul I returned to Patna. Nepal is the first country I could visit during my early days. India and Nepal have open borders and people from Bihar visit the country easily. I wish India-Nepal have always friendly relations and open borders for people of both sides.

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