September 19, 2005
A hotel in Pokhara-Kathmandu highway junction, 50 NRs
There is also Durbar square in Gorkha, but this Durbar is quite different from its Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur counterparts. The temple-palace is located on the top of a mountain, probably about 1-2 hours of hiking, and is militarily sensitive area. Photography is strictly prohibited, and they are really serious about this. You can see many armed guards around the temple area, and you have to leave your camera on the gate. There is no entrance ticket, but everyone has to write down passport detail in the guestbook of the temple. From the temple, you can see spectacular panorama of the area, dozens of hills queueing, and some small villages dotting the green thick forests.
There are several different ethnic groups living in Gorkha, and they are quite distinctive from the Newaris in Kathmandu. Many of Gorkha hill people wear sarong, and guess what, the sarongs are imported from Indonesia (95% of sarong in textile shops are from Yogyakarta, the rest are Singapore and Malaysia). The price is also not so bad, around 300 NRs each, comparable to what you would pay to obtain one in Java.
We tried to get a bus back to Kathmandu, but after 4 pm, there is no more public transport due to curfew in some paths of the highway. We only managed to reach Abu Karim in the junction of the highway, and stayed overnight here. The owner of the hotel is an ex-Gurkha soldier in Singapore, and he speaks Malay also (would Malay be national language of Nepal in the future?). The village of Abu Karim becomes completely a ghost town after 8 pm. Silent, silent, silent night.