- Jiwan Lama
Short introduction of Journey
Monastery Name: Choraghefiling, Lapchi
Place: Bigu Rural Municipality, Lamabagar
Duration: 3 days to reach Charikot to Lamabagar by bus (68km)
Stay: First day at Lamabagar, Second day at Lumnang, third day at Lapchi
Main attractions: Meditation center for foreigners (3 months, 6 months and 1 year)
Foods available: Potatoes, Barley and other organic foods.
Village: 26 households of Sherpa
Profession: Sheep, horses and Yak rearing
Lamabagar can be reached straight away on a bus from Charikot town of Dolkha which is just 68 km from Charikot. Lamabagar is the embankment of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project. Upper Tamakoshi hydropower project is a 456-megawatt hydropower project of national pride. Plentiful hotels and lodges are available to stay at Lamabagar. Small and bigger hotels have opened due to this hydropower. Domestic and international tourists visit this place for excursions and researches.
One can continue the further journey the next morning after staying one night at this place. The journey looks like as if you are going to a battlefield. You need to follow the route along the edge of the Upper Tamakoshi dam. Nothing more than the sights of streams, jungles, and open space can be seen along this route.
Your whole trail is sweetened by the sweet chirping musical sound of the bird along this route. The route is not so comfortable. Now, various agencies are at work to improve the condition of this route. You finally reach the place called Lumnang for night halt. Many of the glimpses of icy mountain peaks can be seen from here. You also have to carry out foods for you as you can’t find foods to eat on the way. However, you forget your hunger and thirst due to a romantic view of the jungle.
You can reach Lumnang in 30 minutes after a daylong romantic journey. Lumnang is a famous name for everyone. There are a total of 20/22 houses at Lumnang. There is one old monastery which is the center of faith for Sherpas as Sherpas are more tilted towards religious activities.
The remotely located monasteries are constructed with a lot of perspiration because the main beauty of this region is the monasteries and temples. However, the last earthquake has caused one part of the monastery destroyed. So nobody stays here. Caves are mostly found here. People stay in the caves in winter when they have to move to and from Charikot.
At Thangshhem, 3-4, there are houses without windows and doors but people inside these houses. The best place to stay is Lumnang. There are several cowsheds found at Thangshhem where the people usually stay at night, which can give you the feeling of staying in a most comfortable lodge including the delicious local organic food.
Lapchi from here can be reached in 3 hours. So, you need to walk early at around 6 a.m. from here. The ensuing journey will make you meet people and yaks. At two people walk together perhaps due to the fear of bear because the bear is sprawling everywhere around these jungles. We come across Yak shed after this. Locals hardly understand the Nepali language here because they use only Sherpa language in this small place.
Rearing Yak, producing potatoes are the main occupations of the people here. The visitors here are usually offered with Shu tea which can be drunk by asking for an additional cup of tea. The locals are vegetarians here. They are non-violent people. They would rather donate yaks and cows once in a year. Even the dead animals are not eaten by them. Only two or one hours will be taken from here to reach Lapchi.
One person generally keeps around 60 -70 yaks, horses, and other cattle because cattle rearing is the main occupation of the residents of Lapchi local people here. They make their living by selling yaks and butter in Tibet.
Previously the residents of Lapchi used to marry Tibetan women. But now this tradition has stopped. Bear and Yeti are scared here because bears have attacked many people here and Yeti in recent times is also being seen here. In the night time, their cowsheds are destroyed by someone and their foods are also eaten or stolen in the night time. So, the locals stay together at night time also.
Once you are at the monastery, the Lamas tell you everything. The people believe in Lamas very much. They all perform rituals from the lamas. It is due to Lamas that various development works have been initiated.
The local people even complain that Tibetan police visit this place once or twice a year while the Nepali police do not visit this place at all. Although people call the monastery by the name of Lapchi yet the monastery’s ancient name is Choraghefiring.
Situated at an altitude of 4200 meters above the sea level, the Lapchi monastery was built around 845 years ago. The monastery is older enough. But the government of Nepal can’t facilitate anything regarding renovations. There are only 18 households in this Lapchi village. There are not NGOs and INGOs. There is neither a school to read nor a medical health post. There are no facilities as per our expectations.
The monastery is built on a steep rocky hill. It is said that around 800 years ago, Milarepa had stayed here to construct the monastery. That’s why the monastery of Rekcheng has a footprint of Milarepa here. Once in 12 years, a fair is celebrated at this site. The food is free throughout the fair held.
Similarly, the monastery of Dyangyong has an imprint of the ear. This land was initially captured by Tibet and Milarepa had fought for the freedom of this land. Despite being a Tibetan by birth Milareppa fled to Nepal and constructed monastery for meditation here.
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