There are several places around Kathmandu valley that are yet untouched. One of them is the Taruka village in the Nuwakot district. Taruka village is mainly famous for the annual bullfight, which befalls on the day of Makar Sakranti that normally arrives on the 14th of January every year.
Nuwakot district headquarter is about 70 kms from Kathmandu. To get to Taruka you need to find your way to Keureni Ghat, which is 5 kms straight from Galchi. As you hit Keureni Ghat, you will see a suspension bridge and this is where you will park your vehicle.
Your adventure begins right here at the suspension bridge itself. From here onwards there is something for every adventure lover. If camping is what you like, you can set up your tent by the flowing river under the suspension bridge and spend a night under the moonlit starry sky with a bonfire by your side.
If you are a trekker, sick of wandering the trails that most people follow, here you can loose yourself in the nature, chat with the extremely warm villagers and even have a meal in one of their homes.
As you start walking from the bridge, in about 45 minutes you will come across a stream and reach Bange village. From here onwards the hike uphill becomes steeper and the panoramas become more picturesque.
Walking ahead through Gharti Banjang village, glimpses of traditional houses will be encountered with old men smoking a pipe and women sun bathing in their traditional attires.
Hardly explored by any bikers, these make perfect tracks even for mountain biking. So if you are a biking fanatic, this journey to Taruka is definitely your paradise.
The best time to visit Taruka is during Maghe Sankranti, when you can combine adventure and thrill by spectating the bullfight after a good trek or biking up to the bullfight venue.
Earlier these fights were conducted at several places around Nuwakot district. But for the past few years all the villagers bring their bulls at a single destination in Taruka for one big fight.
Further talking about the bullfight, this tradition has been on for over 250 years. Although they call it a bullfight, it is actually the ox that fights. The villagers used to bet over these fights earlier but now they have stopped betting to avoid dispute. They also arrange for a vet during the fight, just in case an ox is injured and requires treatment.
If you are interested to go visit Taruka this Maghe Sankranti, you could check out this package
Text & Images: Mithila Jariwala