Impoverished Nepal sure knows how to throw a few surprises. One such is Nepal’s only cable car to take you to the temple of Manakamana (means Goddess who fulfils wishes). The journey of 3.02 km one way takes 10 minutes, moving 600 passengers per hour from an elevation of 258 m to 1302 m. It has 31 passenger carriers and 3 for freight including sacrificial goats. The best part of the ride were the stunning views of snow capped peaks above and green valleys and rivers – with blankets of clouds adding to the effects. Once atop the peak, go shopping for trinkets and enjoy hot dhaba food. Want some adventure? Hike up the hill from Abu Khareini – can take 4-7 hours.
Here is an intriguing believe-it-or-not legend: Gorkha King Ram Shah’s wife was a Goddess known only to her devotee Lakhan Thapa. The king happened to see her in the form of a Goddess and died instantly in 1636 A.D. aged 24. The queen committed Sati (the Hindu custom of burning oneself on the husband’s pyre). Six months later, a farmer hit a stone in his field and it started oozing blood and milk. Lakhan Thapa performed tantric rituals till the flow stopped – and he saw this as a sign from his Goddess. He laid the foundation of the present day Manakamana temple – the current priests are 17th generation descendants of Lakhan Thapa.
And do join us for a coffee at the Kunzum Travel Cafe in Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi, India.