I’ve been hiking in the Shivapuri Hills for the last three Saturdays – should I go again tomorrow? Wouldn’t making it regular diminish my interest for Shivapuri? But it’s rained yesterday after a long spell of dry winter this year. There are news of widespread forest fires in Nepal jungles including Langtang and Kanchenjunga mountain area. Some say they had not witnessed the winter drought of this year’s scale for the last forty years, and the wild fires are of the largest ever in record. Not only in forest area, but most parts of Nepal including Kathmandu and Pokhara sky is covered with haze, which the experts call a mixture of the smoke from wild fire and Asian Brown Cloud dusts. Perhaps, because of the haze, Kathmandu city was not visible from Nagi Gompa during my last visit. And the norther side of the Peak was also covered with haze.
More than anything else, the rains are necessary not only for wildlife and vegetation, but for the village people depending on seasonal crops. Some villagers in Dolakha even married two frogs from different rivers believing that it’d bring the rains. The news of frog marriage itself is interesting. For the purpose, locals had brought agroom frog from Siple stream while the bride was brought to the marriage ceremony from Chukepani stream. Later, the two amphibian couple, donning marriage capes, was held on a plate for a ceremony as prayers were recited to bind them in matrimony. seven priests performed the the wedding rituals – and the locals also enjoyed a feast afterwards. Normally, you don’t believe that marrying frogs would draw the rains…but where things go hard, you’d like to believe anything.
Shivapuri Environment Pollution
During my last visit to Shivapuri, I’d also noticed that most of the creeks have gone dry, two or three remaining were just a trickle of water. The leaves and grasses have gone so dry that a spark might create an immense wild fire. What annoyed me most were the Plastics strewn everywhere – even below the creek at the Baghdwar. And at the top, i saw the half burnt Plastic bottles left from bon fires. Certainly you don’t enjoy seeing plastics everywhere inside a National Park conserved with the help of national army. In my all three visits, i saw wild parties with bellowing loud speakers inside the Park. There were also villagers collecting firewood. I also met a foreigner with his dog roaming inside the Park. The notice at the Park gate prohibits all these activities.
It should be made mandatory for every visitor to bring back what they take into the Park, and making Picnics inside the Park should not be allowed. Vehicles are allowed inside the Park buy taking some charges. But why do you allow private vehicles inside a National Park? Motorbikes and other vehicles should not be allowed inside the Park. The number of visitors in a day also needs to be controlled.
Although it didn’t rain that much in Kathmandu, i’m interested to see the changes the first showers of the rains that might have brought in the life of the flora and fauna. The Google map showed some clouds yesterday in the Shivapuri region.