The Localist

The Sacred Lake: Gosaikunda

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Many beautiful lakes exist in Nepal, often surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and majestic mountain ranges that are common in Nepal’s mountainous regions. Gosaikunda (pictured) is one of the purest holy lakes whose radiance I have been fortunate to witness. Standing steadily 4380 meters above sea level, this sacred lake is constantly spreading its divine blessing to the people of Nepal. Gosaikunda is a well-known sacred lake in Nepalese society because of a historical belief that connects the lake to Lord Shiva, the God of power and destruction in Hindu mythology. People believe that God Shiva, who meditated for several years in the Himalayas of Tibet and Nepal, took a bath in this lake and acquired purity of soul. Therefore many Nepalese visit Gaosaikunda and bathe in its waters in the hope that their sins and sorrows will fade away. On the occasion of Janai-Purnima, the full moon day that falls in the month of Shrawan (August), many people visit this sacred lake and bathe. Gosaikunda is so colorful, as devotees from several parts of Nepal visit the area on this day. This holy lake is famous among Tibetan pilgrims as well.

I am blessed as I have had the opportunity to visit this amazing gift of nature. More than for my religious beliefs, I travelled to Gosaikunda to enjoy natural beauties, landscapes and uncontaminated natural forms of water that I found throughout the trek route. It took me and my friends five days to reach to Gosaikunda from Kathmandu. We started our trek to Gosaikunda from the Kathmandu valley “Sundarijal”, and on the way we passed through several important places: Chisapani, Kutungsang, Gul Bhanjynag, Thapepati and Ghopte. During our travels, we met many trekkers also travelling the same route.

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Before starting our trek, I thought that there would be no good places to stay at night, so we went prepared with sleeping bags and other necessary materials. I was totally surprised to see many hotels with considerably good facilities in which to spend the night in such difficult terrains. The trail we used was sometimes so steep and tough (see picture below) that I kept having to stop and steady myself. Nevertheless the natural beauty and the inner feeling of satisfaction I experienced looking at the landscapes, clear blue sky and clouds swimming around, as well as the gentle touch of the breeze, made it all worthwhile and incomparable to anything I have ever experienced.

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A night spent in Thadepati provided me with an opportunity to experience the very unique culture of the Sherpa community. I saw a worship practice in a Sherpa family called ‘lama laune’ in which a Buddhist priest performed traditional processes to expel a devil soul. Through family members, I discovered that the son was attacked by a witch, and for this reason the priest had been summoned. At this point, I realized that there are still many people in remote areas who completely trust in superstition and traditional medicine. Similarly, practices of early marriage are still persistent in that community, which was also surprising to me. On other hand, the natural beauty of Thadepati was mesmerizing. At night, the moon appeared so near and clear that I barely noticed how much time I had spent just staring at the beauty of moon that night. I felt so lucky to see such natural magnificence.

On day four, it took us more than six hours to reach Ghopte from Thadepati. The hill of Ghopte looked so close yet so far. We kept on walking, climbing up hills and steep steps. We were tired, but waterfalls and natural springs kept us energized and refreshed. Yes, one can drink water directly from these natural springs. When we reached Ghopte, I was reminded of the first jet crash in Nepal (the memorial is pictured below), which happened in a nearby hill, taking the lives of 160 passengers. A small part of the jet engine is still there.

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Just inside the arms of hills, beautiful waterfalls constantly sprayed their magical sound, a natural therapy that relaxed and calmed me. It felt like the waterfalls were singing to me: “Give me all the pain and I will drain it away from you”.

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On the morning of the fifth day, we started walking towards the final destination Gosaikunda. On our way, we passed through the highest point of our destination, Laurebina-Pass, at 4600 meters above sea level. Until this point, I was worn out completely after three hours of continuous up hill walking, but suddenly all my pain was drained away when I saw the beautiful lake Surayakunda (pictured below). I felt so refreshed and energized there. The sky was so clear and blue, it had never looked more beautiful. The fresh air touching our faces and the misty haze moving around made me crazy (in a good way). I closed my eyes and let this beauty of nature sink in.

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After spending hours enjoying Suryakunda, we made our way to Gosaikunda. The lake was beyond my imagination and its beauty was incomparable. The water was so clear that you can see every little stone, and the reflection of the surrounding hills and clouds shimmered on the lake’s surface. I bathed in the lake and felt the holy lake’s beauty from inside. The shining sun, gazing upon the lake, made the lake appear shiny and shimmery, as if made of flowing diamonds.

Oh wow, that feeling after taking bath in Gosaikunda is still in my heart and soul. In the lap of lake, beautiful hotels are there to accommodate tourists.

During our journey, we travelled for around seven hours every day, and covered three districts: Kathmandu, Nuwakot and Rasuwa. There are two ways to get to Gosaikunda. The first involves going to Dhunche on bus and then hiking to Gosaikunda. The other route is the one that I described in this article. With no doubt now I can say Nepal is one of the best gifts of nature. Anyone who wants to experience the majestic beauty of hills, natural lakes, mountains, and landscapes will definitely enjoy trekking to Gosaikunda. I spent no more than 6,000 rupeeson the whole trip, but of course this money is no way compares to what I acquired in my heart and soul throughout the journey. This was an experience that will keep me young and mesmerized every time I remember it.

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MEET THE LOCAL: ANIL CHAUDHARY

Images. All photos by Anil Chaudhary.

Comments

10 Responses to The Sacred Lake: Gosaikunda

  1. Illuminati says:

    Very well described from mythology to local surroundings and those picture is cheery on the top

  2. Anil Chaudhary says:

    Thank you all for wonderful words. I am delighted to know your views and encouraged more to write in my endeavor.

  3. Julianna says:

    Beautiful descriptions of these national treasures! I want to go trekking there too now!

  4. Santosh K.C. says:

    Anil ji, you have described about beautiful & holy place of Nepal “Gosaikunda” so I am also inspired to visit in that place.


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