Last weekend, I took the most awaited trip of the last three years or so…to GULARIYA, in the west of Nepal. Gulariya is the headquarter of Bardiya district which lies in Bheri zone. I had been wanting to visit our family friends in Gulariya for many many many years but my plans always failed (well, my ‘plans’ never really work anyways). Despite the heat and other circumstances, we decided to buy our night bus tickets and head over, no matter what. This time nothing was going to come in our way but oh boy, did we choose such a bad time to go to Gulariya! The heat almost evaporated me. Nope, not kidding.
The night bus to gulariya leaves from new bus park (which is not new anymore) at around 3:30 pm. And it’s a long ride to Gulariya. We stopped at Narayanghat for dinner at around 9 pm, where we ended up waiting for THREEE!! hours. Another bus from Baglung was coming with passengers that needed to be transferred into our bus. That particular bus was having some problems…I don’t remember what time we made a move because I just went and slept on the seat. We had seats in 1 and 2, right next to the door and the conductor, who was very funny. hahahaha…
The bus ride was fun for most part, except that we had to watch a horrible Nepali movie called MISSION PAISA! oh my goodness, it was major torture. Video coach buses! ugh! and since we were right in front of the TV, we couldn’t even close our eyes or shut our ears and sleep. Mission Paisa was right in my face and seriously, it is such a stupid movie. No further comments. I mean, who walks in the sand with 3-inch-heels on? I think that part summarizes the entire silliness of the movie.
Gulariya is a small bazaar/town (everyone knows everyone) but as the headquarters it has all the major district offices and banks and other ngos, ingo offices too. It is very close to the Indian border and on the second day, we went on bikes over to the Indian side. There is a train station which takes you to nearby Indian cities like Lucknow. I wanted to go too but it was too hot and we were only there for four days..not enough time. I’ve heard that Lucknow has changed a lot and has become a beautiful city. I was there in 2004 I think..and I don’t remember it being that pretty.
What did I do? Hmmm….i ate (a lot), slept (a lot), attempted to converse in Hindi (a little), watched tv (more than a little) and took baths in between with buckets of cool tube well water. It was quite an experience I must say! hahahaha…I don’t have the luxury to do all of that in Kathmandu.
I did go to Krishnasar to check out the black bucks…it’s an open protected area for krishnasars (or black bucks). It was really nice. They just sit around, graze and run here and there. They are still hunted for their horns even though it is illegal. During my stay, I saw a snake (garden type), black bucks, wild rooster, the common looking brown monkeys and big langurs. They looked big and scary – they were just sitting in the middle of the road while we were driving through a forested area in the Indian side. Too bad, we didn’t see any tigers. My aunt did see one many years ago when she passed through the same road. We were on our way to Girijapuri Barrage. It is a huge barrage where major rivers in Western Nepal end up at too. I am not sure what the names of the rivers are but it seems that the Barrage is a controversial construction. I don’t know the details, but it’s of course to do with flooding downstream when water is released at this Barrage, which is in India by the way.
Other places to see in the area are Bardiya National Park and Chisapani on the Nepal side and Bahraich, on the Indian side. Unfortunately, they were all over two hours of drive from Gulariya and with the excruciating heat, we didn’t even attempt to go on bikes. I got sun burnt even though I was hardly out of the house. Inside the house, you need the fans and coolers ON always – all day and night. Imagine the amount of electricity that goes into that!
Heat or no heat, it is the company that makes all the difference and I wish I had more time to spend in Gulariya. Next time, next time. Next time, I’ll pack a duffle bag of clothes and stay for at least a week. I mean, you have to make the 30 hours of bus ride (to and back) worth it. :-)