What you might not know about Kalinchowk !
"2023, May 31rnrnKalinchowk temple is located in Kalinchowk Rural Municipality in the Dolakha district, about 132 km from the capital, Kathmandu. It is situated at an altitude of 3842m from sea level. It is a part of Gaurishankar Conservation Area. Kalinchowk is one of the most visited winter destinations in Nepal.rnrnKalinchowk is located at the top of a treacherous hill. Before 2018, hiking up the hill used to be the only way to reach the temple. Since 2018, the addition of cable cars has made arriving at the temple much easier and more enticing.rnrnStory behind KalinchowkrnrnKalinchowk is named after the Hindu goddess Kali. According to a myth, the goddess used to meditate on top of the Sumeru Parvat, the highest point in Kalinchowk. A group of Rakshases tried to persuade her to marry their king. Kali agreed to marry under one condition – that the suitor would have to win over her in a battle. So, a war took place between the goddess and the evil force. Amidst the long battle, the goddesses’ lion was parched so Lord Shiva used his divine Trishul (trident, Shiva’s weapon) to produce water from the ground. Drinking the holy water that gushed out of the ground gave Kali’s thirsty lion strength. Then the goddess annihilated the evil with her overwhelming strength. To this day, it is believed that the water from the pond is sacred and pure.rnrnrnrnThere are several other stories about the Kalinchowk region that enhance its significance. It is said that in the Dwapar Yuga, the Pandavs came to Kalinchowk to meditate. According to Durga Puran, the goddesses’ right arm was severed here. Famous sage Bishwamitra also did his spiritual austerities and attained enlightenment in this region.rnrn rnrnBefore coming into the limelightrnrnGoing to Kalinchowk before it became such a popular tourist destination and pilgrimage site used to be an arduous task. Not as many people knew about the Bhagwati temple or the beauty of the landscape or the trekking potential. So, only a few pilgrims and trekking tourists used to make a visit to Kalinchowk in those days. Going to Kalinchowk was not as easy as it is today. The pilgrims had to walk 17 km from Makaibari, Charikot to reach Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple. During their visit, they did not have much choice in where and how to spend the night either. People used to have to stay in caves and cattle sheds. If they wanted to avoid spending the night in such conditions, they had to make the trip and return back the same day. The trekkers and hikers would camp in open spaces in their tents.rnrnrnrnWhen Mr Nabin Khadka visited Kalinchowk and saw the panoramic view he was mesmerized by the area. He realized that the combination of religious significance and endowment of natural beauty carried massive touristic potential and needed to be promoted. Hence, he was inspired to establish Kalinchowk Country Villa which, in 2009, with the objective of providing proper hospitality to the devotees and travellers. It was the first resort to be established at Kuri village. Due to the lack of proper road transport for vehicles, it was built completely on manual labour. Thus, it was constructed with as many local resources, such as rocks and timber, as possible. Only those materials that were not available locally were brought in. Then it was carried up by porters and on animal backs. Mr Khadka’s initiative and promotional activities have played an integral role in drawing out Kalinchowk’s latent touristic potential.rnrnWith gradual improvement in lodging and other hospitality services, Kalinchowk started gaining popularity. The need for better infrastructure grew with the influx of tourists; consequently, access to infrastructures like electricity, road transport, drinking water and telecommunication started getting developed. Then, domestic and foreign tourists started rushing to Kalinchowk to worship at the Bhagwati temple, look at the beautiful landscapes and most of all enjoy the snow.rnrnThe sheds people used to stay in got transformed to provide basic lodging and food services. More hotels were established with even better facilities. Now, hundreds of thousands of people visit Kalinchowk each year. Kalinchowk is not just popular for the Bhagwati temple but also as a getaway place for the nearby city dwellers. Now, Kuri Bazaar alone has 70 - 80 hotels with different levels of facilities on offer.rnrnrnrnFurthermore, the cable car network has added a different charm to Kalinchowk. Many people visit Kalinchowk to enjoy the fun ride on the ropeway. And it has made the trip from Kuri to Kalinchowk temple very fast and easy. For those unwilling or unable to hike up from Kuri to the temple, the ropeway takes them up in just 6 minutes, saving them an hour walk uphill.rnrnCaptivating all year roundrnrnKalinchowk is most popular for the snow. As winter progresses, thick snow blankets the region creating a picturesque view. People from various parts of the country visit Kalinchowk to enjoy the snow. However, the attraction of Kalinchowk is not limited to the winter and snow.rnrnAt the start of spring, from March onwards, the snow starts melting. Various variants of Guras) and Chimal flowers (both Rhododendrons) of different colours blossom until May. The natural beauty and attractiveness of Kalinchowk are greatly enhanced at this time of year. rnrnIn June, greenery envelops the place. Yaks and sheep migrate down from higher altitudes to graze. During these months, along with the greenery, varieties of mushrooms and herbs (Panchaulem, Sunpati) also grow abundantly. Kalinchowk can be a suitable station for students to learn about and study local medicinal herbs. The flora and fauna are the major attractions of Kalinchowk in these months. rnrnTowards the end of August, the rain stops and the skies clear up. Magnificent vistas of mountains can be seen while birds like Danphe (Himalayan Monal, or Lophophorus) and Munal (Monal) can also be seen foraging and heard singing. Around September and October, when Dashain is celebrated, the importance of Kalinchowk grows exponentially. Various Jatras are celebrated and devotees from around the country visit the Devi’s temple in hordes.rnrnKalinchowk is a suitable spot for different types of adventure sports too. The terrain is suitable for rock climbing, cycling and horse riding among many others. Skiing events are already being conducted around Kalinchowk in the winter when there is ample snowfall.rnrnNightlife in KalinchowkrnrnOne of the most popular activities to do in Kalinchowk is recreational camping. Visitors can stay outdoors in huts or tents, participate in a campfire and carry out enjoyable group activities like singing, dancing and playing games in the company of friends and other visitors. Many visitors from cities come to Kalinchowk to get away from the humdrum of work life and be in the presence of nature. The villagers have set up beautiful lights on their rooftops which gives continuity to the beautiful view of Kalinchowk even at night."

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