Bhujung is a beautiful and probably the largest village (Gurung Community) in Nepal. It lies in Lamjung district of Western Nepal at an altitude of 1696 M. The village has around 500 houses where the majority (90%) of people are Gurungs (Nepali indigenious people) followed by Dalits (10%).
In Gurung Language Bhujung is called “Facho”, where “Fa” Means Deer and Cho means “Place involved in business”. And it is believed that Bhujung was a place where Deers were traded, so it got the name “Facho”.
It is a village rich in culture just below the mountains. Most of the houses here are made of stones, mud and wood. And they even have roofs paved with stone slates but the newer ones have steel roofs.
Exploring the Bhujung village and interacting with the locals will make you like your own home, not a new place.
If you’re looking for a place to see real authentic Nepal and want to explore traditional cuisine (food) made of organic vegetables and fruits, then this is the place to be.
What you’ll know from this article
Why you should visit Bhujung, Ghalegaun and Ghanpokhara in Lamjung? (Watch this Video)
People of Bhujung
They Said “Guests are Gods”. But I found “They are Gods themselves”.
People in Bhujung are friendly, kind, loving, hard working and united. Not only are their houses close, their love and respect for each other is closer. They work together, share joy and sorrow together.
In the fields, they do not work for money. They exchange work for work (called “Parma”). It works like this, If 25 people come to help me on rice harvesting or rice planting or anything else. Then I will have to go to those 25 peoples houses to help them with similar work.
And when there is any event in the village, then everyone unites, comes together and helps the family who is organizing the event. Like if you’re marrying, then everyone in the village will gather to make preparations. You won’t need a tent house, won’t need catering or chef, won’t need entertainment performers.
They will even share their homestays (which are meant for guests) with people in need if the place on hosts house is not enough. And they won’t even charge for the stay, it’s free.
Everything will be done by the villagers themselves. This is the power of unity and also helps them to have strong relationships among them.
They not only share the auspicious moment together, they’ll also be together if there are any hard times on any family and try to solve it together.
In Bhujung you’re not human, you’re a God
Not only among themselves, they treat the same with the guest. They believe in “Gods in Guests”. So, they feel auspicious and happy to see new guests in their village.
They will take care of the guests as their own family members. And it can be felt on their kind, loving, caring and friendly behavior.
You’ll feel like your own home there. They will serve you their own local foods, culture and traditions. And you can see the simple yet happy lifestyle of the locals.
I’ll say the people are still following and continuing their own traditions, culture and customs. And hope to see in the coming days as well.
Because without these cultures, traditions and rituals, we won’t have our unique identity as a “unity in diversity”.
How to reach Bhujung?
Kathmandu (New Buspark, near BG Mall) – Besisahar (Buddha Chowk, Purano Bank Chowk) – NPR 460 per person on local micro bus
Besisahar – Bhujung
Besisahar – Ghalegaun (on Jeep) – NPR 350 per person
Ghalegaun – Bhujung (3 hrs Hike)
Click Here for Google Maps of Bhujung from Kathmandu
- Kathmandu to Dumre – Black Topped or Pitched Road
- Dumre to Besisahar – Black Topped or Pitched Road (Most Parts)
- Besisahar to Ghalegaun to Bhujung – Muddy Off Road
What to do in Bhujung?
A. If you have at least 2 nights/3days stay
Day 1 (Kathmandu to Bhujung)
- Get a Bus to Besisahar from Kathmandu as early as possible (Bus leaves from 5:30 A.M.). Try to reach at least around 1:00 P.M.
- Try to Leave Besisahar and move towards Bhujung at around 2:00 P.M. You’ll reach Bhujung at around 4:30 – 5:00 P.M.
- Manage a place to stay (better if you made an arrangement prior to arrival).
- Have some local snacks offered by Homestay.
- Then you can roam around the village if you want or rest in Homestay and interact with locals.
- If you want to see the local cultural dance (Ghatu, Chudka and Jhyaurey) and song performance, then ask the homestay owner to manage for you. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Note: They might not ask you for money to show their cultural dance. But if you respect others valuable time then you should pay what you can. Just think of it as a money worth a couple of beers at a pub or a cup of coffee at Himalayan Java.
Day 2 (Bhujung to Ghalegaun)
- Wake up early to see the sunrise up in the himalayas
- Visit the Tea garden near school and a tea factory.
- Have breakfast at Homestay. And ask them to book a homestay at Ghalegaun.
- Then Roam around the village (there are more than 400 houses in that village). And the best thing is interacting with the locals. Ask about the history, their daily life or anything you like. They really love talking with you.
You’ll see people making Bakkhu (multipurpose blanket like cloth used to wear as a jacket, or a blanket or a cushion to carry weight) from Sheep wool, Chitra (Matt or Net out of Bamboo), Wooden Plough, or daily life like ploughing fields, carrying firewoods and fodders, working in fields, etc.
- Checkout the electric ropeway used to bring crops from the fields down below the village.
- Visit Montessori and play with childrens if you want. It is located at the bottom of the village.
- Then have your lunch at your homestay, rest for awhile and prepare to move towards Ghalegaun.
- It’s better if you leave Bhujung at around 1-2:00 P.M. It’ll take 2-3 hours for you to reach Ghalegaun (Walking).
- Enjoy the Forest of Annapurna Conservation Area (if you get lucky, you’ll get to see varieties of animals and birds), surrounding villages and hills, etc. on the way to Ghalegaun. It’s better to hike than travel on a vehicle.
- Once you reach Ghalegaun, confirm your stay at one of the homestays. Then have Brunch (snacks) provided by them.
- Then, roam around the village or rest. Here you can enjoy either with your friends with a campfire, dancing and singing.
Day 3 (Ghalegaun to Besisahar to Your Destination)
- Wake up Early at around 4:30 – 5:00 A.M. in the morning.
- Go to the View Tower to see the sunrise. If the View Tower is crowded then go to the nearby hill in front of Jeep Parking.
- Take photos, make videos/vlogs/tiktoks and have fun.
- You can also visit Uttarkanya Temple and Tea Garden as well.
- Then Have Breakfast at the Homestay.
- And plan to return to Besisahar. If you’re in a small group then take a local jeep that leaves at around 8-9. After that, the chances to get a public vehicle is less.
- If you’re in a large group then you can reserve a Jeep and go to Besisahar. So, why don’t you visit Ghanpokhara as well? Ghanapokhara is also a beautiful village at a walking distance
- If you reach Besisahar at 1:00 P.M. then you can get Buses to anywhere (Kathmandu, Pokhara or Chitwan). But if you’re late and couldn’t get any vehicle then you can stay the night at Besisahar and Leave the next day.
B. If you are just for an overnight
Day 1 (Kathmandu to Bhujung)
- Take a bus to Besisahar from Kathmandu Bus Park.
- Reach Bhujung on a Jeep from Besisahar.
- Have Snacks and Confirm the stay at Homestay in Bhujung.
- Ask the Homestay owner to arrange a cultural programme at night if you want (And don’t forget to contribute to the society/Aama Samuha).
- And then roam around the village and interact with locals.
- Have Dinner and prepare to see the cultural programme and participate (dance and sing with locals. Trust me, it’s fun).
- Good Night, Sleep Tight.
Day 2 (Bhujung to Ghalegaun to Besisahar to Your Destination)
- Wake Up as early as possible (around 4:00 – 5:00 A.M.)
- Then walk towards Ghalegaun (It’ll take you around 2-3 hours depending on your speed of walking)
- Go straight to the view Tower or go to a nearby hill if the view tower is crowded. Enjoy the view of Mountain ranges.
- Then have breakfast at one of the hotels or homestays at Ghalegaun.
- Then prepare to return to Besisahar. If you’re in a smaller group then better to go on a public Jeep that leaves at around 8-9 A.M. in the morning. But larger group have an option to reserve a Jeep.
- If you can reach Besisahar at 1:00 P.M. then you can get buses to anywhere (Kathmandu, Pokhara or Chitwan)
Faces of Bhujung
Experience of My Solo Trip to Bhujung Village
Frist Day: Kathmandu to Bhujung
I woke up early in the morning at around 5:30 A.M. Then, I cleaned myself up and got ready to move. I carried my backpack which was packed the day before and moved out of the house to the chowk to catch a bus to Buspark.
I took a local bus from the chowk towards New Buspark and my fare was 10 Nepali Rupees (After Showing my Student ID Card).
And from there, I had to find the bus station for Besisahar. After asking the people around I found out that the bus to Besisahar leaves from BG Mall (near new buspark, Gongabu).
BG mall was familiar to me (you can ask people if you are new), so I went directly to the ticket counter and bought a ticket for myself. Then I moved towards the microbus to check my seat.
There I met a guy who was also traveling Besisahar. After talking with him for a while, I found out that he has joined Nepal Police recently and was on training period. Fortunately, after training for 3 months he got a week leave, so he was going home to meet his family.
I also told him about my journey (Solo Travel to Bhujung), then he told me more about the Lamjung, Ghalegaun and Bhujung. And also recommended visiting Lamjung Durbar (Palace).
Afraid, Nervous and Curious me, Left Kathmandu
Finally, at 6:21 the bus left Kathmandu and moved towards Besisahar. Since I had to take the same road to go to my hometown, I was familiar with the roads and places (Nagdhunga, Thankot, Naubise, Kurintar, Mugling, Aanboo Khaireni and Dumre).
So, instead of looking outside of the window, I decided to sleep since the bus ride’s gonna be long (around 5-6 hours to reach Besisahar).
Later, I woke up when the micro bus stopped. When I looked around, everyone was getting off the bus at a place called Chumlingtar. When I looked in front of the bus I saw a hotel and realized that it was the time for lunch (9:35 A.M.).
So, I entered the hotel (restaurant) and then went to the restroom to pee. Then came to the dining hall and ordered Nepali Khana (Rice, Lentil Gravy, Veg Curry, Pickle, Spinach, Fries and Salad) with Chicken (300 Nepalese Rupees for the food).
After everyone had lunch, we continued our journey to Besisahar. From there, it was supposed to take another 3 hours to reach Besisahar.
It was raining lightly and cold. And the places were familiar and nothing new to see outside for me. So, I went back to sleep on the bus as it moved forward.
After around 1.5 hours we reached a place called Dumre from where we leave the primary highway (Pokhara – Kathmandu road) and move towards Besisahar. From there, it’s around 45 KM to Besisahar and can take upto 2 hours, depending upon the road condition.
Found my 80 years old Grandma
Finally, at around 12:45 we reached Besisahar. Then I asked the driver to stop at the Bus Counter of Ghalegaun.
There I bought a ticket to Ghalegaun (350 NPR/person). And since the Jeep was leaving at 1:30, I went to buy some snacks. There I bought a packet of cookies, biscuits and a fruit cake and paid 100 NPR.
And then returned to the bus counter (where the Jeep was supposed to come). While I was waiting there, I met a grandma who was also going to Ghalegaun on the same vehicle.
She also shared her oranges with me. And as I talked with her, I found out that she was in her 80s and is going to attend the marriage of her brother’s son (nephew).
While we were talking, our Jeep arrived and then we got on the bus and moved towards Ghalegaun at 1:40 P.M..
Roller Coaster Ride, Not for faint hearted
The road from Besisahar to Ghalegaun is not black topped or pitched. It’s a dirt road and graveled in some places. So expect the road to be dusty or muddy depending upon the weather conditions.
The Jeep ride to Ghalegaun gave me the feeling of a real life Roller Coaster. As it was raining lightly, we moved on slowly and steadily.
The Jeep ride was around 3 hours long. So we took a break at a place called Puma gaun (at 2:25 P.M.). There, we went to the toilet to pee and then had a coffee (local made coffee, no americano or cappuccino) in a nearby tea shop and paid 20 NPR/coffee.
After resting for about 15-20 mins we continued our journey to Ghalegaun. As we went up, it started to get foggy and colder. And the view from the top was really astonishing. You could see lots of surrounding hills, and Besisahar city. On a clear sunny day, you can also see the range of mountains.
But I couldn’t see the view of mountains as it was cloudy. I hoped to see it while I’m returning because it’s going to be sunny from the next day (I checked the weather the day before).
Learned Gurung Language with my New Family
Inside the Jeep, I talked with locals about the places they were from. And they were really happy to share their knowledge and gave me detailed information about the Ghalegaun, Bhujung and surrounding villages.
And after talking with them, I found out that most of the people were going to Ghalegaun to attend the marriage ceremony. Tomorrow was an auspicious day, so there were lots of marriages in the village.
While we were moving, an elderly gentleman kept me updated about the villages on the way. They also taught me some of their Gurung language on the way.
Though Nepali is our national language and everybody speaks and understands it. There are around 129 different languages spoken in Nepal by different ethnic groups and castes.
From the back seat of the Jeep, I enjoyed the view of the roads, surrounding hills and villages. Finally, we reached Ghalegaun. And most of the passengers got off here. I was also going to start walking from here.
But one of the passengers said that the vehicle will go a little ahead and from there I can walk to Bhujung. I decided to follow suggestions and stayed inside the Jeep.
Yahoo! Invited to Marriage
But the grandma who was with us called me and showed the house she was staying at (brother’s house) and told me to come tomorrow if I return.
It was so kind to invite me to the marriage though I was a new person to her. I felt so glad to make the decision to come here. Then I replied that I would visit her if I return tomorrow and then said goodbye to her. And we also continued our journey.
Now on the Jeep, I was with the driver and another passenger. I shared my travel stories with them, and the driver appreciated that even Nepali people are interested in traveling and thanked me for visiting Bhujung and sharing the experience internet.
Now Time to Walk alone through the forest to Bhujung
Finally, in a couple of minutes we reached the place called Nayi where I have to get off and walk to Bhujung. The driver gave me the direction to go to Bhujung and then I thanked both of them for the company and for safe ride, then I continued to walk towards Bhujung.
It was raining lightly, foggy and cold. It was not raining heavily, so I did not bother opening an umbrella. I continued to walk by wearing a waterproof jacket and also made a vlog on the way.
The path was muddy as it was raining and silent. I saw no one on the way. And while I was walking alone I had a lot of things going on in my head. Like Whom will I meet at Bhujung, where will I stay, where will I go, What will I do if there’s no place to stay, etc.
I was kind of scared, afraid and curious to reach Bhujung. But I calmed myself and assured myself that I will be okay, this is my country, my people why should I worry. This thought helped me to relax and travel confidently.
Are they Kingsmen?
While I was moving towards Bhujung I found a couple of elders on the way. When I asked where they were going they said they were going to attend the marriage and asked me to go with them as well.
But I was not sure if I should go with them or not, So I smiled back and said ok. And then we continued to walk together. After walking for a couple of minutes we found a large group of people who were also part of the marriage ceremony.
As I was alone and not so confident on whether to talk or not, I walked quickly and moved ahead of the group.
Here, I met my real family in Bhujung
By this time I had already turned on my camera and started taking photos of nature. Also after I reached a little further I met a couple of people.
I greeted them and said namaste, and started to talk with them. I told them that I was traveling solo to Bhujung and will spend a couple of days in this area (Bhujung, Ghalegaun and Ghanpokhara).
As I talked with them, I found out that they were from the bride’s family and going to the groom’s home at Bhujung. And they have come from Kathmandu and Dehradun (India) to attend this marriage.
While we were walking together we found a small waterfall. And they wanted to rest for a while and take photographs. So I took their photos. And as we were resting for a while one lady came towards us.
And she was also from the bride’s family and she also had come from Siliguri (India) to attend this marriage. As we talked about each other, I found out that they were 3 sisters, one came from Kathmandu and two of them from India (Dehradun and Siliguri). And the bride was their brother’s daughter. And as per the wish of the bride, the marriage was happening traditionally (which is rare these days).
We walked together to Bhujung. And on the way the younger sister who came later after I met the group told me that I reminded her of her son. So she followed me as soon as I stopped and started to talk with her sisters.
And she said that she had to leave her son with her husband in India as he was taking exams. And my visual appearance reminded her of her son.
Everyone is a Family in Bhujung
We shared a lot of things about each other, like where I belong to , what I do and why I am here. When she heard of me that I was traveling solo for sometime, they started to worry about me and told me that her son also loves to travel and take lots of photographs.
On the way we talked about our families as well. I don’t know how I became so close to them that we felt like we were from the same family. And they even treated me like their own son and also told me to walk with them. They also invited me to attend marriage with them.
It was so kind of them to invite a stranger to participate on their auspicious occasion and live with them as a family.
And it was also an once in a lifetime opportunity for me to participate in a traditional Gurung marriage and understand it. So I gladly accepted the offer and started to follow them.
Met my new Buddy
After walking for sometime, the whole marriage group decided to rest for a while and there my new family introduced the son of the elder sister. Though he was a couple of years younger than me he became my friend and her aunt (younger one) ordered him to take care of me. He he.
Few minutes rest gave everyone the energy to walk to Bhujung and continue our journey. With my new buddy I started to talk with him and introduced myself formally. Then talked about our life and studies.
While we were walking I wanted to know more about the marriage and asked my buddy about it. So he told me that they were from the bride’s family (from Ghanpokhara village) and the bride was being taken to the grooms (Bhujung Village).
And I found a little bit different in the marriage system from other cultures in Nepal.
Marriage in Gurung Culture of Nepal
Here’s a little bit about the marriage in Gurung Culture.
First the fathers and elders of the groom’s family (groom stays at home) go to the bride’s family. Once both families agree for the marriage, the groom’s family takes the bride to their house. With the bride, her family members go to the groom’s house.
When the bride is taken to the grooms, she is carried on back by her brother (all the way to the groom’s house). At the groom’s house, she has to perform some rituals to enter the house.
And on the next day, the bride and groom are blessed by villagers. Whole day is celebrated by singing, dancing and feasting.
Later in the afternoon, the bride, groom and the villagers (well wishers) from the groom’s side and bride’s family come to the bride’s house.
Now, at the bride’s house, elders from both sides sit and talk with each other. Here the groom’s family offers gifts to the bride’s family as a means of saying thank you for taking care of their daughter which is being taken by them (grooms family). And then they feast at night.
The next day, villagers (well wishers) from the bride’s family come to give blessing to the newly weds. And they sing, dance and feast.
Finally the groom’s family returns with the bride in the evening.
Groom is waiting for his Bride
Since it was getting dark, we started to walk a little bit quickly. By this time I had known many new things about the Gurung culture and became closer to my new family as well.
Finally at around 6:30 P.M. We reached Bhujung (grooms family). Rested there for a while and my buddy kept my bag in a safe place. Then we were given snacks as welcome. On snacks we got to eat Selroti, Pickle and curry. They were also serving local wine but we went with water.
While we were eating, there was a welcome ceremony for the bride. It is also an auspicious occasion when the bride enters the house for the first time (there is a special celebration).
Time for Celebration: Feast, Sing and Dance
After snacks we rested for a while and after an hour we were served lunch. It was a feast. Everyone sat on a mat (made of hay and bamboo) and food was served to all. They served us rice, lentil gravy, veg curry, pickle, spinach and meat curry. It was really delicious to taste local and organic food.
After lunch we rested in a room for a while and then music started to play in the courtyard (Aangan). Now is the time to have fun by singing and dancing on this auspicious occasion of marriage. The youngsters (boys and girls) started to dance to traditional gurung songs..
Dance like Noones watching you
Though I didn’t understand the meaning of the song, it was really interesting to see the performance. And the melody of the song was soothing and cheerful that it made me move as well.
While we were watching the dance, we were invited to dance by the young girls from there. And we couldn’t say no. So we went on the dance floor and tried to dance. To be honest I’m the worst dancer and I didn’t understand the meaning of the song as well. But anyway, I wanted to enjoy it so I tried to dance with them.
It didn’t matter how worst I danced, but it taught me to be fearless and enjoy as much as possible. And also taught me to leave my shyness behind for a while and be carefree as no one is watching.
We enjoyed the dance performance for a while and at around 10, our mothers (new family) arranged a place to sleep. So we went to sleep with one of the uncles from Bhujungg. He took us to his house and showed us the room to sleep.
And as we were tired of a long walk, we slept as soon as we reached the room. The room was pretty nice with two beds, so we made ourselves comfortable and warm, then slept soundly.
Second Day: To Ghanpokhara from Bhujung
I woke up early in the morning (6:00 A.M.) and went out to see the early morning view. By this time, the mountain on the north was shining brightly. It was white, clear and bright.
It felt like we were living just under the hood of the big mountain. As I looked around, people were already awake and had started their daily activities. Some were feeding their cattle and goats. Some were going to the fields with oxes to plough.
The village becomes lively before the sun rises. The chirping of birds was so mesmerizing and soothing that I wanted to stand outside and listen for a while though it was cold outside.
By this time my buddy (Megh) woke up and we were served tea by the homestay owner. After having tea we left the house and moved towards Megh’s parents (mine as well).
Meeting relatives in Bhujung
It was the house of one of the aunts (who came from Kathmandu). There, we were invited inside the house. It was warm and cozy. Here, we met their relatives and served tea to us.
I did not have to introduce myself because my family (new Bhujung family) told everything about me (like where I was from, how they meet me and why I’m here, etc.).
As we were talking (most of the time I was listening as they were talking in their Gurung Language), we were served sel roti and curry. It was really delicious.
Bhujung Village tour with Grandpa
After having a family chat for a while and eating the delicious food, grandpa from that house took us for a tour of the village.
He led the way and we (me and Megh) followed him. We walked on the gullys of Bhujung village, and he took us to the best place for the view. On the way we saw lots of people working on handicrafts.
Eco Friendly Handicrafts
Some were making mats called Chitra out of bamboo, Some were making plough from wood, some were making Bakkhu (It’s a blanket like cloth which can be used to wear as a jacket or quilt or a cushion to carry loads on back) from sheep wool.
It was really amazing to see such talented people and making really useful things out of anything they could get.
And I think we all should follow this practice in order to be independent or less dependent of foreign products.
On the way, grandpa also showed us the place where local hydropower was located and the place where new hydropower is planned to be constructed.
He also showed us the farms and temporary cowshed of the locals. And informed us that there were around 500 houses in Bhujung villages (which is really awesome).
And all the products, agro based like rice, barley, wheat, potato, etc. or dairy products or tea or hand made clothes like Bakkhu, etc. are consumed or used locally only. They are not for sale. People of bhujung either use these things for themselves or give as a gift to relatives. And very few things are sold out of the village.
I think if we could commercialize the local products and sell them on the international market, it could help locals to spread and protect their art and culture and it would support the people of Bhujung financially as well.
Food becomes delicious when people serving are happy by heart
After the tour of the village, we returned to our home (grandpa’s house) where our family were. And from there we went to another relative’s house.
Here, we stayed for a while, had a family chat and the host served us sel roti, curry and tea. I don’t know whether they make such delicious food daily or they found out we were coming and made for us. But the food was really delicious.
And the thing I knew from bhujung is that, any food becomes delicious if the people serving are happy by heart and glad to have a guest.
After having a great family time here, we said goodbye to the host and moved towards the groom’s house.
It’s a cheerful environment at the groom’s house. People were singing and dancing in typical Gurung culture. Bride and Groom were being blessed by the elders of the village. People would put white tika on the forehead of Bride and Groom and give gifts as a best wishes.
By this time, it was already noon and lunch was ready. So we were called to have lunch. We went towards the place where the food was served. There we had rice, daal (lentil gravy), veg curry, meat curry, spinach and pickle.
After having lunch, people from the bride’s side started to leave as they had to make preparations at the bride’s house. But we stayed there and decided to return with the bride and the family in the evening.
The Disappearing Art
While people were singing and dancing, I wanted to roam around the village. So we went to the nearby fields and while we were returning, we met a local elderly man.
And it was fascinating to see a namlo (rope that is kept on forehead to carry the load on back) made of bamboo. So I asked him whether he made it or not.
And he said that, it was made by him and probably he is the only one who uses this type of namlo, everyone else uses namlo made of plastic. He learned to make from his father and since then he’s using and will use until he dies.
And was worried that it will disappear after he dies as no youths want to learn making it.
I think we should encourage people to use eco-friendly products like this, which can promote local products and is good for the environment as well.
People in the past made everything they needed from nature and it also went back to nature after it’s being used, which kept earth clean and green.
And he also shared his life when he was young, like he used to go for deer hunting, used to walk without slippers or shoes. They even went up the mountains without shoes. Used to catch special types of frogs to eat, etc.
It was really amazing to hear all the things they used to do. It was lots of fun back then. They used to interact with people more and nature was the best friend.
You can listen to the talk in the podcast below (in Nepali).
Returning to Bride’s House at Ghanpokhara
After talking about the past times with them for an hour, it was the time to say goodbye. I thanked them for their time to talk and share with us and we parted ways.
Then we returned to the groom’s house, now it’s time for farewell. So after a while everybody, bride, groom, our family and more than 60 villagers moved towards the bride’s house (Ghanpokhara) from Bhujung.
From there, it took us around 2.5 hours to reach Ghanpokhara (brides house). It was already getting dark and started to get cold.
Now, at the bride’s house everyone was welcomed with Tika on forehead and Khaada (long piece of cloth for good wishes) on neck.
Everyone seated on chairs and tea was served among all. It’s a choice if you want wine (alcohol) then you can get it and for the rest tea is served.
The unusual ritual: Gifts to Bride’s Family
Later a ritual started between the two families (bride and grooms). Here, the groom’s family presents the gifts and foods for the bride’s family as a means of saying thank you for taking good care of their daughter. And from tomorrow, their daughter will be taken by the grooms.
While they were performing rituals, the rest of the people were served with Selroti, curry and pickle.
And after the ritual ended, it was time for lunch. So we went to the place where the lunch was served. There we had rice, daal (lentil gravy), veg curry, meat curry, spinach, salad and pickle.
After lunch there was an entertainment program (singing and dancing) performed by the local youth club. We enjoyed the program till morning (3 – 4 A.M.)
The girls, boys and adults were really talented, they danced really well in their cultural song and dance. And the really cool part is that, people used to give instant prizes of money to every performer on every dance they performed. It encourages the performer to show their best performance.
After the program, everyone went to sleep. Since there were lots of people, the family had managed a sleeping place in their neighbourhood.
And we also went to one of the neighbors and spent the night.
Third Day: Ghanpokhara, Ghalegaun and back Home (Kathmandu)
Today I woke up at around 7:00 A.M. then went towards the house. As it was cold I went near the fireplace where people were heating water to wash face and utensils (dish).
Then aunty asked me whether I had tea or not. In reply I said I will wash up first and then have tea. So I stayed near the fire for a while and then went to the tap to wash my face.
Now, megh called me to have tea. Today he woke earlier than me as he was an important member of the family and had to help his family.
So, I went inside the house where he gave me a cup of tea and lots of selroti.
I don’t want to stay here anymore
At that time I decided to return to Kathmandu the same day because I was eager to share my journey with all of you on this blog and on social media.
On this trip I did not bring my laptop with me because it would be heavier to carry around and walk. So, I was unable to write anything except some words on my mobile phone notes.
So, I told Megh about my decision to return to Kathmandu and then told my family (Meghs Mum and aunts). And they said I should stay that day as well but I promised them to visit again but have to return today.
Then, Megh took me to the kitchen and served me lunch. And then Meghs family gave me a proper farewell.
I’m the Luckiest One
To be honest, this trip became special because of this family. If I hadn’t met the family then I would have simply become any other visitor who would have come and stayed and returned.
But the family gave me a special experience at Bhujung and Ghanpokhara. Because of them,I got to know a lot about the people of Bhujung, about the Gurung Culture and typical traditional Gurung Culture Marriage.
And only the luckiest ones can get to feel such a beautiful experience. Because no one is going to marry in this way just because you or I want to see.
So, I thanked the Megh and the family for inviting me to stay with them, taking care of me as their own child and making my trip memorable with the best experience of my life.
Off to Ghalegaun
I took a group photo with the family and said goodbye to everyone. Then Megh took me a little ahead and gave me directions to Ghalegaun.
And from there I started walking alone towards Ghalegaun but with full of happiness. After walking for about an hour I reached Ghalegaun. First I visited Uttarkanya temple, and then went to have a coffee in a nearby shop and asked about the vehicle going to Besisahar.
And I found out that all the local vehicles have already left (local vehicles leave at around 8-10 A.M.) and there is a minimum chance of getting another one. Otherwise I’ll have to ask for a lift on a reserved one or anyone going down.
So, I explored the place for a while. Went to the view tower to see the beautiful mountain ranges and the Ghalegaun village.
Where to Stay? Bhujung or Ghalegaun?
Ghalegaun was really beautiful to see the sunrise over the Mountain ranges. But for me Bhujung Village felt more beautiful and authentic than Ghalegaun. Because the houses on Ghalegaun were more modern and felt commercialized (made to run tourism business).
Whereas in Bhujung village, the houses felt more homely (built for personal use not for business).
So my recommendation is, stay in Bhujung if you want to experience authentic traditional lifestyle and originality with people. But if you want modern comfort and mountain views are more important than people then stay in Ghalegaun. The choice is yours.
No Jeep to Ghalegaun. Walk or Stay?
After roaming around Ghalegaun for a while, I decided to walk down to Besisahar. So I asked the shopkeeper how long would it take me to reach Besisahar. And in reply he said, I could reach there in 3-4 hours.
And it was around 11:00 A.M. in the morning, so I calculated that based on his time duration I could reach Besisahar by 2-3 P.M. Then I bought 2 bottles of water and started walking down Ghalegaun to Besisahar.
My plan was to walk as much as I can, take shortcuts and if I find a vehicle on the way then take the vehicle to Besisahar.
On the way I asked for the shortcuts with anyone I met. And took as many shortcuts as possible.
Quicker way to Besisahar
Finally, After walking for about 1.5 hours, I saw a Jeep coming from Ghalegaun. So I stopped and hopped in and then went to the Besisahar on that Jeep. At around 1:30 P.M., I reached Besisahar.
And from there I bought a ticket to Kathmandu. But the micro bus was not sure whether to go or not. They said if they get enough passengers then only they will leave for Kathmandu (so try to get to Besisahar as early as possible if you plan to go to the next city).
Since I had leisure time, I called a friend to meet. And he came in minutes. So we had coffee and talked for a while.
Then, finally at around 3:30, I left Besisahar till next time and moved towards Kathmandu.
Should you travel Solo in Nepal?
It was supposed to be a Solo Trip and I was supposed to be Scared, Afraid and Nervous. Instead I felt like I was in my own hometown with my own family and attending the marriage of my childhood friends.
This is how friendly and kind people in Bhujung are. They took care of me as their own child and never let me feel sad or lonely. Everyone (childrens, youth and elderly) treats you as their own brother/sister, son/daughter.
I don’t know if it’s the same with you when you are traveling Solo (alone) or not. But I really had memorable: once in a lifetime experience from my first Solo Travel.
Where is Bhujung?
Bhujung lies in Lamjung district of Western Nepal at an altitude of 1696 M. It is the largest Gurung Village with around 500 houses.
How to go Bhujung?
Take a Bus to Besisahar, Lamjung from anywhere in Nepal. Then take another Jeep to Bhujung from Besisahar. You can also hike to Bhujung from Ghalegaun.
Things to do in Bhujung
1. Explore the traditional and typical Gurung Village.
2. Interact with Locals. They love you.
3. Try local and organic Cuisine (Foods like Kodoko Dhido, Selroti, Sisnu, etc.)
4. Experience Gurung Culture (Ghaatu, Chudka, Jhyaure, etc.)
5. Visit Local Tea garden
6. Go to local Hydropower
7. Local Handicrafts awesome awesome (Making Bakkhu from Sheep Wool, Plough from woods, Chitra, Namlo and Doko from Bamboo, etc.)
Should I go to Bhujung or Ghalegaun?
Go to Bhujung if you want to experience authentic traditional lifestyle and originality with people. But if you want modern comfort and mountain views are more important than people then Go to Ghalegaun. The choice is yours.