Wildfire at Shivapuri?
Seems like it’d rain this evening…the sky is getting darker with clouds and occasional thunders…nothing is more welcome these days than the rains …The news reports say that Nepal’s jungles are seeing the largest wild fire in history. The Terai jungles see wildfires every year, but never before were there wildfires of this scale in the Himalayan regions. They say even the Shivapuri region is facing the wildfire. Why not, after all? While walking though the parched dry grasses & heaps of fallen dry leaves, the first thought that came to my mind was that a single spark can create a wildfire there. I saw several empty packets of PILOT cigarette. The villagers & low income people use the PILOT brand cigarette for its low cost, & I’d seen villagers gathering firewood in my both last visits. I also found a lighter at a grass opening chaur before reaching Baghdwar.
Environment: Whose Responsibility?
I feel like accusing the authorities at Shivapuri for its environmental degradation & wildfire. The army personnel, people at Nagi Gompa, and the Babas staying there may also be responsible. However, conserving a national forest near a heavy human settlement is easier said than done. And looking at the number of visitors and easy accessibility, the conservation efforts are certainly admirable.
Acrophobia at Shivapuri Height
I was really overwhelmed by the views seen from the Top toward the other side of Shivapuri. The Kathmandu side looks familiar from the Top, but the northern side appears & sounds really wild – except for a winding road seen far away. I climbed a huge cliff near the top, and when i looked at the views below it, a sort of dizziness swept over me…this was a place for testing one’s acrophobia…and I was really afraid to stand on the rock and look down…so i stepped back and crouched on my front…still, looking down from the rock sent shivers thru my body…I also realized that its more difficult to climb down a rock than climbing it up… so i crouched & crept down to the ground… I find it hard to keep a balance while standing when I know that there’s a possibility of falling down…is it an evolutionary instinct or my lack of experience in climbing mountains?
Dangers of Wild Mountains
Last night when I was wondering over the supposedly brief showers on Wednesday evening, i suddenly realized that it’d be dangerous to walk on wet & slippery trails…a village woman i met on my first hike warned me against walking alone or off the main trail, for encountering a wild bear or leopard… and a staff at the gompa said that besides wild animals, being attacked by miscreants was also possible…the notice also warns against walking alone…when a wild monkey threatened me, or when i was lost near the top, or when I was looking at the other side of the cliff, i was really frightened for my life…I was even thinking if I would return & write my next episode on the blog…
I’m thinking of sitting with the Babas for some time at Baghdwar in my hike tomorrow…last time, during my return a friendly looking Baba asked me to have some tea after I did namaste to him……later while reading other’s experience on the net, i learned that he was either one of the two famous Babas there – Kopche, or Todke Baba. I also found his picture posted on the net.
i was touched by Baba’s hospitality, but i was also getting late, so told him that i’d come often & would talk to them next time…