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Jan 12-18 2012

With a job to carry out field survey work, i got chance to visit Kenya. This was my first trip in an international flight. Sabin, Dr. Subarna Shrestha and Ajoy Karki were also traveling together with me during this trip. To reach Kenya from Nepal, a transit at Doha was required. (Un)Fortunately, we missed our flight at Doha and we were stranded for whole night in the Airport but the airlines authority provided free meal.The next morning we boarded the plane to Nairobi and reached there after 6 hours.

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We reached Nairobi after 6 hrs of flight. A hotel was booked for us (Methodist Guest House, a service of church). There we took rest for the night. We were scheduled to travel from the next day.

The visit to Kipsonoi

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The first destination was Kipsonoi river in the north-western side of Kenya. To reach the place, we had to cross the Rift valley. In the first day, we traveled and met with authorities of Kenyan Tea Development Agency (KDTA) and we briefly visited the headworks site and powerhouse site with the authorities. That day, we stayed in the nearest town called Kerenga . From next day on we would be going to visit the Kipsonoi river from the same town and return back. On the next morning, we traveled to the headworks site. We made inspections almost half of the waterway alignment and rest was scheduled to be completed for the next day. We returned back to Kerenga and had our dinner in a hotel and drinks at a club house.

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With KDTA people

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The guest house

Next day was same as the first day. We traveled to the Kipsonoi and then made inspection of remaining part of the alignment. That afternoon we had feast of Beef and Potato’s prepared by Mr. John, our driver. We then returned back to the town. That day we had our dinner at a sports club.

Next day we were scheduled to reach Nairobi. In the way, we visited two power plants. One of them was almost 80 years old named Kerenga power station. The powerhouse was maintained clean and neat. It was impressive to see the managed powerplant. Similarly, we visited Taghabi power plant which has gone in renovation and up gradation recently. After inspections, we traveled back to Nairobi.

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Kereng power station ESTD 1932

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Tagabi Power plant

The visit to North Mathiyoa

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The next destination of the visit was North Mathiyoa. We spent two days there traversing the alignment of waterways for development of hydropower project. We had meeting with officials. We also visited the tea factory and the guys there gifted us Kenyan tea. Kenya is world’s largest producer and exporter of tea. For this site Muranga town was our base station.

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Later we returned to Nairobi and stayed in a sports club. The hotel was grand but only few people were there. The next day we traveled to Nairobi and had meeting with Graeme Watson. On the same night we had dinner at Man Bdr. Rai. Tusker was the obvious beer in Kenya. We had same beer at Man Bdr. On the next day, we had flight back to Kathmandu. In the Nairobi airport we bought some African wine.

In Doha airport, Dr. Subarna was so drauzy that he left his newly bought DSLR camera in the airport while boarding the plane. Fortunately, the airport guys brought it back to plane.

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Rift valley in the background

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Standing on Igneous Rock

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Wetland African

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Clouds over tea

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Tea garden along kipsonoi river

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The kipsonoi river

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African school children’s

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Nairobi

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Taking rest in church

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Thikka road

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African banana

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Tusker!!

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The white crow

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Lunch

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Janakpur was the capital of

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Illam


Bajeko peda pasal

Mithila when Janak ruled as the King. Janaki (or Sita), daughter of Janak was married by Ram, the son of King Dasratha. For the marriage king wanted his son in law to be brave enough to handle the bow of lord Shiva. Janak arranged a festival calling the entire prince of neighboring countries and announced that anyone who could lift the bow he Janaki would marry the price. Nobody could lift the bow. At last prince Ram tried, surprisingly not only did he lift the bow, he broke the bow while putting an arrow on it. The bow was broken into three pieces, one piece went to heaven, second fell to the hell from where water started to come out and third one (the middle part) landed on the Dhanushadham.

The journey to these historic places started from Illam after finishing the works (16hrs per day) at the field office of Mai hydropower project. On the next day after staying at Mirchaiya (at Nishant’s) we planned the circuit tour of Dhanush temple- Janakpur- Jaleshwor. Haat bazzar at Mirchaiya was as colourful as the rainbow while the reflection of setting sun on the pond was amazing.

Dhanush Mandir (the bow temple) located at Dhanushadham still preserves the bow of lord Shiva that Ram broke. Scientifically, there is a tree at the temple whose root is growing in the shape of Dhanush (the bow). Dhanush temple is about 20km from Dhalkebar, and about 123 km south east of Kathmandu.

The temple lies in the mid of terai village of Nepal. Beside Dhanush temple there is Ram-Janaki temple which has beautiful carvings on its wall. Mithila is also famous for art and culture. And a glipse of this beautiful art could be seen at this temple.

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Panpasal and hat bazzar at Mirchaiya


Ram-Janaki Mandir at Dhanushadham


Dhanush Mandir


The bow shaped Dhanush tree

After Dhanush temple, next spot was the capital of Mithila, Janakpur. Janakpur is about half hour ride from Dhanush temple. Janakpur is filled with ponds and fishes and temples. Sankata temple, Das Vigha (open field), Ram Mandir and many other temples beautifies this place. However the center of attraction is the Janaki Temple. This temple is the evidence of richness of Mithila art. It also signifies the glory of this historic kingdom. Bibah mandap where Janaki and Ram were declared husband and wife is also located on the side of Janaki temple. A garden is maintained and idols of Ram, Janaki, Janak and other people are put in this temple. During Bibha Panchami (the anniversary of Ram- Janaki wedding) a big festival is organized in this city by the devoted Hindu pilgrims.

We left Janakpur and headed towards Jaleshwor where lord Shiva was supposed to rest inside the water. Jaleshwor is about 45 minutes ride from Janakpur with narrow road. Jaleshwor is a small town with people of terai origin. Jaleshower got its name from the name of temple itself. The temple is surrounded by ponds.

From Jaleshwor there is shortcut route to meet the Mahendra Higway at Lalbandi. We followed this route while returning back.

As observed during the tour, the whole circuit area lacks sanitation measure. People were seen in the fields to empty their stomach and children were on the street. There seemed no proper toilets in this area.


Janaki Temple


Bibaha Mandap


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Flowers at Janaki temple


Janaki Temple

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Ram Mandir

With Sajan, this time I had to travel to Siprin Khola for field verification of project works, but there was some extra stuffs stored for us in this journey.

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On the way

After forgetting to have breakfast at Sharmila’s hotel (the popular hotel of this route at zero kilo) we had fried fish at Khadichaur.

The real thing to share is the ice fight at Mude and Khari Dhunga. There was snow fall the day before and road was filled with snow while sun was still shining. Beautiful combination. And with Sherpa girls around, it was awesome 😉

Sajan, Pawan Yadav, Yam ji and Naresh were our (not so brave) fighters to defend against a experienced troops of Sherpa girls and school children. The school was closed that day to let children to enjoy and play snow!

Slippery was snow, but the grip was strong enough to fight. While escaping the cannon balls of cold snow, body was became sweaty.

With silver color on the background, even the ugly face becomes beautiful. See photographs for proof!

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The real work…

As usual the trip ended with inspection of the project and returning back.

However…….there was still more to come on the way back…

Returning back……

On the way back, we had launch at Singati Bazaar and then travelled towards Kathmandu.

On the way, snow was still left on the road at Khari Dhunga. This time, Rabin Nepal was with us and he had missed the fight when we had shown him the photographs. However, this time, there were no troops attacking us. So we could relax and enjoy the beauty of the place.

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