I am Kale, a dog. People refer to me as Kalu, Kaluwa, Kukur, Kute, and more, but that doesn’t bother me. I reside in the newly popular destination “Latarambeshwor Mahadev” in Makwanpur. My daily routine consists of eating, sitting, and sleeping, just like any other day. It is often said, “कुकुरको काम पनि छैन, फुर्सद पनि छैन।”(A dog has no work, nor does it have any leisure.)
My place, Latarambeshwor Mahadev, usually gets busy during Nepali New Year (Baishak 1) and Maghe Sangkranti (Magh 1). However, since it went viral on TikTok, every Saturday feels like New Year and Sangranti here. Despite being without a job, I’ve made the decision to assist hikers in reaching their destination. Whenever I spot happy faces, I somehow join them and guide the way. They chat among themselves, saying, “Look, the dog is following us,” but they never acknowledge that the dog helped them find the path. They seem to consider themselves superior to animals.
Here We Go
On the 28th of October 2023, a Saturday, the last day of the Dashain festival, two hikers parked their bike at my restaurant. They enjoyed a cup of tea and inquired about the village and the temple. It was evident to me that these two were new to this place, so I decided to accompany them.
We commenced our journey from my restaurant to the Army Camp via the gravel road, with me following closely behind. When we arrived at the Army Camp, they approached an Army Man for information about hiking trails. The Army Man provided instructions, mentioning that the hiking trails would take approximately 3 hours uphill, and it was a challenging route. Alternatively, he stated that it would take 4 hours if they opted for the gravel road. After considering their options, they decided to take the hiking trails.
Leave the road, take the trails
The jungle trail at Latarambeshwor Mahadev offers a captivating visual spectacle. Towering trees and a rich diversity of flora will surely captivate any explorer. If you’re seeking a physical challenge, this trail will not let you down. The uphill path is steep and rugged.
Walking alongside two generations of humans, “Mama” and “Bhanja,” was a fascinating experience. This trail unquestionably tested the stamina of these two generations. As for myself, I had previously challenged my stamina by visiting this trail many times.
Mama shouted, “Look, this dog is showing us the path. We have to follow that path.”
I walk uphill, and these two human beings follow closely behind me. With every step I take, they diligently trace my footprints without raising any questions. I observe them enjoying the journey, engaging in conversations with each other along the trail.
They walk, continuously taking one step after another, and eventually, they take a break. Throughout their journey, they have fruits and water, which they generously share with me. However, I only respond with a simple ‘thank you,’ maintaining eye contact as my way of expressing gratitude.
It’s One Hour
This is the last group. Wherever they meet other people, they inquire, “How much more time to the temple?” and everyone responds with, “It’s one hour from now.”
Mama shared his experience with Bhanja, mentioning that during his previous treks, whenever he inquired about the remaining time to the destination, people would say, “Just 10 more minutes.” However, here, everyone was stating, “It’s one hour.”
And The Destination
With great excitement, we approached a very steep one-way staircase. Surprisingly, despite their fear of heights, their excitement overpowered their fear, and they recorded videos, took pictures, and savored some wai wai noodles in the chilly breeze. They created an unforgettable memory before commencing our descent. I am delighted that they had a lot of fun. What I dislike is the drama involved in taking pictures or videos.
कुकुरले बिस्कुट चोरेर खायो (The Dog Stole And Ate The Biscuit)
After seeing a packet of biscuits in the temple offered by devotees, I remembered my hunger three hours later and decided to eat them. These two individuals conversed and remarked, ‘See, this dog stole the biscuits.’ Despite their comments, I remained indifferent to their opinions and continued eating, as I was hungry. How can they say the dog stole, when they enjoyed fruits and Wai Wai (noodles)? Yes, I know they shared these things with me, which I couldn’t eat.
उकालिमा अगि अगि, ओरालिमा पछि पछि
Saying goodbye to this captivating destination, they decided to return. Now, it’s downhill time. The journey downhill followed the same trail, and the Bhanja, uncomfortable due to the pain in his joints. We didn’t have any alternatives, so we followed the trail in the jungle. Later, we took the motorable road.
They followed each step I took. At one of the junctions, confusion set in. I directed them to the left, but these two individuals followed the right side. Perhaps they believed that humans are always right. Idiots. Anger consumed my entire body as I continued on my way alone, and they went on theirs.
After 10-15 minutes, they returned to the same junction and chose the left side trail. I had distanced myself from them, and my mind was indifferent to their presence. Later, I spotted them, bringing me a sense of relief. My mission was accomplished. I hope they can discover the beauty of nature and create memories that will endure for a lifetime.
Bring Back Your Trash
While Latarambeshwor Mahadev remains a neat and clean place, I humbly request all individuals, “Please bring back your trash. You don’t need to clean this place. Simply carry your trash back with you when you leave. If everyone takes responsibility for their waste, we won’t need to worry about garbage.” I would also like to express gratitude to these two individuals who took their trash back with them.
Latarambeshwor Mahadev beckons adventurous souls seeking a mystical destination in Nepal, providing a thrilling and profoundly inspiring journey. Situated approximately 45-50 kilometers from Lagankhel in Lalitpur, Nepal, it seamlessly blends natural beauty, spiritual significance, and thrilling adventures amidst breathtaking landscapes.