Chhiti Village at Lamjung.
Do you know a place just within 5 hours drive from Kathmandu where you can go hiking and see snowcapped mountains, go fishing in a lake, have organically grown vegetables, pluck seasonal fruit such as mango, Lychee and oranges, mingle with the locals and see their lifestyle up close? Well, we know just such a place located at Chhiti village in Lamjung district. For all of you who are tired of going to Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Kakani, Chisapani, godavari, Chitwan and Pokhara; Mango Tree Eco Resort located at Chhiti, 6 kilometers before Besisahar will be a refreshing change .
Gather few like minded adventurous friends , pack up your bags for couple of nights and head over to MTER and you will be pleasantly surprised to discover what awaits you at the other side of Marsyangdi river. Just recently opened for visitors, MTER is a brainchild of a local lad Devendra Babu Tiwari who spent good one third of his life in the UK. Recently he returned back to his home town(we hope for good) and started this eco project to first of all bring all that skills he learnt overseas. Along the way he is bringing in the practice of permaculture in his village and hopefully to the district. For those of you unaware lots, here is the Wiki definition of Permaculture -"Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design which develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems." So there you go, an individual is embarking on a project to educate his village on sustainable farming practice "leading by example." We believe this kind of practice is required for sustaining our rural life.
So what awaits you at the resort besides a giant signature Mango tree? Well, since the resort is still work in progress, do not expect luxury yet but all the material shortcomings will be well compensated by the superb treatment by the hosts, Devendara and his cousins who have banded together to give you a great time. One of his cousins, Ganesh also returned from the Gulf countries after spending several years working as a chef, will blow your mind with his amazing varieties of dishes such as Chicken Chili, Fried Chicken and Daal-Bhat Thali (All organic vegetables). His other cousin, Rishi is also a great sport. He will accompany you on fishing and hiking trips.
If you want to thoroughly enjoy this place, please plan for a two nights and three days trip. We didn't have the luxury of time to go there for two nights hence we settled for just one night. We feel, we need to go there again soon to fully experience all that this village has to offer. We still managed to go fishing for couple of hours in the same afternoon we arrived there and hiked for several hours the next morning before heading out to Kathmandu in the midday.
Here are a list of items you need to bring along with you for this summer season. A flip-flop, shorts and T-shirts, a sun hat, sun lotion, a fishing rod (if you have) otherwise the host will give you a home made fishing rod, a pair of comfortable walking shoes. You may want to bring some insect repellent cream or spray. Do give a call to your host, Devendra if you are heading out that way as he has capacity limit for now. You can get in touch with him at +977 9808-366-861.
A parting gift by Devendra.
Story and Photographs: Sunil C. Sharma