I, along with four of my friends, decided to trek to Gosainkunda. We set the date for October 19 and planned to complete the trip within a week.
Deciding to leave early in the morning, we planned to stay at a friend’s place on the eve of our tour. But one of our friends couldn’t join us that evening because of his late night job and promised to meet us the next morning.
There are two routes to Gosainkunda and we had a tough time settling on the route to our destination. The first and common route is to take a 5-6 hours bus trip up to Dhunche and trek for two days to Gosainkunda and return the same way. The second is a tougher and less popular route starting from Sundarijal. It takes 3-4 days on foot to reach Gosainkunda depending on the speed of the trekker. The return trip usually takes two days of trek.
Choosing the second route, we decided to set off at 7 am, and informed our friend to meet us at Chabahil from where we would take a bus to Sundarijal. Everything looked perfect until our friend arrived and told us that he needed to be at his office on Wednesday evening.
For obvious reasons, he proposed to opt for the first route so we could complete the tour within five days, but we decided to stick to our plan, determined to speed up our trek and try to cover as much distance in a day as possible.
Usually trekkers stay at Chisapani on the first night, but we stopped at Thankune Bhanjyang which is two villages further from Chisapani. Due to the excitement and encounters with tourists and villagers we weren’t really tired on the first day.
As expected, the second day was definitely tough. The exhaustion from the previous day and the altitude made it difficult for us. Heavy rainfall during the day worsened everything, but we had raincoats, and torches to walk in the dark jungles.
We reached Thadepati at 8 pm and stayed at an expensive hotel as we didn’t have any alternative. We paid a total of Rs 4500 for dinner with potatoes mixed with meat, ten cups of tea, a couple of biscuits and a tiny room with one large bed for the five of us. A single bowl of Rara soup cost us Rs 250!
The third day brought different experiences. The route was at a high altitude, and the weather changed every ten minutes. Plus, expensive hotels, limited budget and exhaustion…it took us forever to reach the foot of a beautiful mountain.
Climbing the mountain was extremely difficult and we lost count of the number of times we fell on our knees. But when we finally reached the Surya Kunda surrounded by ice, we forgot all our pain. The view was jaw dropping.
We finally reached Gosainkunda after two hours of walking on snow. There we only settled on a hotel after enquiring around for rates as we were almost out of money. We had to spend wisely to reach Dhunche from where we could get a bus to Kathmandu.
Next day, we woke up early to see the beautiful sights of Gosainkunda. We had planned to fill a bottle of water from the holy pond, but one of our crazy friends challenged us to take a dip in the cold water. We accepted his challenge and managed to plunge into the icy cold water. Some tourists even applauded for us. The funniest part of the challenge was that the challenger himself couldn’t do it.
We reached Dhunche after six hours of walking. After an overnight stay, we rode back to Kathmandu and reached the Balaju bus park after a tough six hours on the road.
We finished the Gosainkunda trek within five days, after all, and our friend made it to his job. Mission Gosainkunda accomplished!
The writer is a final year undergraduate student of Business Studies at Nepal Commerce Campus, Min Bhawan in Kathmandu