Travelling to Nepal in Monsoon
It is a known fact that the most notable seasons for travelling in Nepal are Spring and Autumn. These seasons are marked by exceptional clarity, mild and dry temperature and leech-free trails, which make travelling easier and pleasant. However, for an unconventional traveller Nepal offers every reason in every season to visit this land of wonders. Needless to say, Monsoon, though not a trendy time, can also be equally fascinating to travel in Nepal for those who are fanatic about greenery or who want to see rusticity at its busiest mode or who wish to explore the mystery and mystics of Trans Himalayan region. Moreover, this time also provides you better deal and quieter trail so that you can have Nature all by yourself!
Monsoon normally starts from mid June and last till mid September. During this time, its wet and fresh in hills; hot and humid in plains; and dry and mild in Trans Himalayan region. The hills and terraces glow with green luster. And most importantly, farmers get busy with plantation after the onset of the “life-giving” rain called Monsoon, which irrigates not only Nepal but almost the whole of South Asian region. Fields and terraces will be thronged with people of all ages; toiling in the swampy fields, singing the songs of pain and joy of their life and sharing smiles. Especially women in colorful dress against the backdrop of lush green field and hills provide a great spectacle. One of the major attractions of this time is the “mud-filled” fun in which people enjoy splashing mud to each other and get dirty. Everyone is smeared with mud and visitors cant just remain as a spectator!
Throughout June, farmers get busy in plantation but Ashad 15 (roughly 28/29th of June) is observed as a special day. It is said that everyone should touch mud or plant paddy sapling at least once on this day. People, regardless of age, eat “Dahi Chuira”, which is a mixture of curd and beaten rice and spend the whole day having mud-filled fun. The day is also marked as “National Paddy day” by Nepal Government. So, this time allows us to witness the endless life rituals of farmers and the inseparable ties between nature and humans. However, to enjoy this occasion, you need to stretch your comfort zone a little bit and travel either to the outskirts of Kathmandu (Bungamati, Chapagaun, Dhapakhel, Thimi, Machhegaun, Sakhu etc) or to the rural hills. So, if you are willing to witness the rustic life at the busiest time of the year, this season is the best answer for you.
Another exciting activity you can do during monsoon is travelling to Trans Himalayan regions like Mustang, Manang and Dolpo as these areas fall in rain shadow area and receive very less precipitation. These places fall above the leech line and there are regular flight shuttles to places like Jumla and Jomsom (except during worst weather condition). Since, these places are inaccessible during winter, traveling during summer/rainy is not an overrated idea. Travelling to these places will offer you a chance of vis-à-vis experience with the endless grace of Nature. These regions are the land of superlatives as the Kali Gandaki gorge, Annapurna Circuit (the deepest gorge in the world), Thorang-La pass, Manang (the highest pass in the world) and Tilicho lake, Manang (the highest lake in the world) fall in these regions. However, the beauty of these places is not limited to these landmarks. They never run out of Nature; mysterious lunar landscape, huge canyons, deep gorges, serene Himalayas, untouched valleys and turquoise freshwater lakes!
So, Nepal offers endless choices to any nature lovers regardless of time and weather. The only requirement if you are travelling during monsoon is; one should not mind getting wet a little more, walking on muddy trails a bit further and experiencing the rawness of nature a bit deeper.