Kalinchowk is a small town located in the Dolakha District of Nepal. It is situated at an altitude of 3,810 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level and is known for its natural beauty and religious significance. The town is home to a famous temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Bhagwati and is a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists. The surrounding area is home to various flora and fauna, including rhododendrons, pines, and birds.
In addition to its natural and religious attractions, Kalinchowk is a popular destination for adventure sports such as paragliding and rock climbing.
Brief History of Kalinchowk
It needs to be clarified precisely when Kalinchowk was founded or how it developed over time. However, the town is known for its religious significance and has been a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims for centuries.
The temple dedicated to the goddess Bhagwati in Kalinchowk is said to have been built in the 19th century and is an important site of worship for Hindus in Nepal.
The steep hill’s summit is where the temple is located. The goddess Kali, associated with power and destruction, inspired Kalinchowk. It is said that Pandavas visited this location for meditation during the Dwapar Yuga.
The goddess Kali is said to have practised meditation on Sumeru Parvat, the highest point in Kalinchowk. The dark force attempted to influence Kali during the mediation. After then, goddess Kali and the baddies engaged in battle.
Lord Shiva utilised his heavenly Trishul (metal sword) in the battle, and holy water that came from the dry ground gave Goddess Kali’s lion strength. The mighty Goddess Kali slaughtered the wicked since they could not resist her strength.
The word Kuri, which means “shame disgrace,” is used to refer to the location because all the evils were slaughtered, their corpses decomposed in the village, and it was discovered that the site smelled.
The “water pond” at the summit of Kalinchowk is considered sacred and pure after being used for bathing and Kunda water.
According to the holy writings of the Durga Puran, this is where the goddess Devi’s right arm was severed. Bells, Trishul, flowers, agarbatti (incense sticks), ghee, bangles, and chunari are among the offerings made by pilgrims to Kalinchowk Bhagwati.
Visitors to this temple come to get the holy water donated by the worshipers of this temple.
In recent times, Kalinchowk has become a popular tourist destination, with many visitors coming to experience the natural beauty of the surrounding area and participate in adventure sports such as paragliding and rock climbing.
The town is also home to several hotels, restaurants, and other facilities catering to tourists.
One of the most well-known Hindu sanctuaries is Kalinchowk Bhagwati, located at an elevation of 3,842 meters above sea level in Charikot, the administrative centre of the Dolakha region.
Also included in the Gaurishankar Conservation area is the Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple. SunKoshi and TamaKoshi, originating in the Mahabharat Range, flow from this location.
Due to Kalinchowk’s religious and pilgrimage significance, most visitors go there. Kuri Village is located in the lovely valley that serves as the Kalinchowk temple’s basement and is directly beneath Kalinchowk hill.
Kuri hamlet is renowned for its picturesque surroundings, which are especially lovely when it snows in the winter and are vibrant in the spring.
In the spring, the hiking trails leading to Kalinchowk Hill resemble a garden with lush greenery and vibrant rhododendron plants.
For those who wish to enjoy winter snowfall and short hikes, Kalinchowk is the ideal option. Viewing the gorgeous mountains from a high altitude requires less effort.
All seasons of the year see visitors to Kalinchowk, but the winter and spring months notice nearly twice as many visitors as the other times of the year.
Any traveller’s heart is captured by the expansive view of the row-landing Himalayan range, which includes Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Langtang, Mt. Jugal, Sumeru Parvat, Gaurishankar, Mt. Ganesh, and Pathivara Himal, in clear weather. These Himalayas gleam like silver on a clear day in the winter and spring.
The best time to go is in the winter, from December to February, when you may hike and play in the snow to Kalinchowk.
When travelling, climbing Kalinchowk Hill can be a thrilling and mind-blowing experience.
Due to the 3 to 5 feet of snow that fall each year in Kuri Village, the roofs of the houses are often triangular, allowing the snow to fall from the top more readily.
Due to these alluring views of the Kuri Valley, it has been observed that only a small number of individuals compare Kalinchowk to a portion of Switzerland.
The Kalinchowk Bhagwati shrine appears beautiful when it snows all around in winter. Compared to other days of the week, Tuesday and Saturday see the most pilgrims visiting the temple.
People come here to tie the holy thread in its foundation during Dashain and Janai Purnima (the full moon).
How to reach Kalinchowk?
There are several ways to reach Kalinchowk from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal:
- By road: Kalinchowk is a location that is conveniently reachable by car from Kathmandu, the country’s capital. It takes roughly 4 hours to travel across the northeast of the Araniko Highway, about 150 kilometres from Tribhuvan International Airport, in a public or private vehicle. Khurkot to Manthali is another route that may be taken to go to Charikot. Even a public bus leaves from Ratnapark in Kathmandu. It is only approximately 18 kilometres off-road from Charikot Bazar. To get to Kuri village, at the foot of Kalinchowk, you can hike for around three hours via Deurali and Gaire. It will take approximately 1 or 2 hours of walking from the Kuri Village or a cable car ride to the summit of the Kalinchowk hill, where the Kalinchowk Bhagwati lives.
- By foot: Kalinchowk can also be reached by foot, with several trails leading to the town from nearby villages. Trekking to Kalinchowk can be a rewarding way to experience the region’s natural beauty and culture, and several trekking agencies offer guided tours to the town.
- By air: The nearest airport to Kalinchowk is Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, which is well-connected to major cities in Nepal and worldwide. From Kathmandu, you can reach Kalinchowk by road, as described above.
Attractions of Kalinchowk
Kalinchowk is a small town in the Dolakha District of Nepal, known for its natural beauty and religious significance. Some of the main attractions of Kalinchowk are:
- Temple of Bhagwati: This is the main temple in Kalinchowk, dedicated to the Hindu goddess Bhagwati. It is an important worship site for Hindus in Nepal and attracts thousands of pilgrims annually.
- Natural beauty: The surrounding area of Kalinchowk is home to various flora and fauna, including rhododendrons, pines, and birds. The town is 3,810 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level, offering panoramic views of the Himalayas and the surrounding landscape.
- Adventure sports: Kalinchowk is a popular destination for adventure sports such as paragliding and rock climbing. The town has several facilities and experienced guides who can help visitors try these activities.
- Trekking: Several trails lead to Kalinchowk from nearby villages, making it a popular destination. The town is also a good starting point for longer treks to the nearby Langtang National Park and the Helambu region.
- Cable car
- Magnificent landscape of Kuri village.
- Skiing During the winter season with snow.
Today, trips to Kalinchowk are trendy because of its stunning landscapes. The ideal attractions in Kalinchowk include the Bhagwati Shrine, Kuri Village, stunning vistas, and breathtaking mountain views.
Travel Itinerary to the Kalinchowk
The Kalinchowk region is a popular tourist destination in the Dolakha District of Nepal. Here is a suggested itinerary for a trip to Kalinchowk:
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel.
Spend the day exploring the city and visiting landmarks such as the Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple.
Day 2: Drive from Kathmandu to Dolakha. The journey takes around 6-7 hours by car.
Check into your hotel in Dolakha.
Day 3: Explore the Kalinchowk area, visiting the Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple, Kalinchowk Dara and the Kalinchowk View Tower.
You can also go hiking in the surrounding hills and forests.
Day 4: Head back to Kathmandu and spend the day sightseeing or shopping.
Day 5: Depart from Kathmandu.
This is a suggestion, and you can modify the itinerary to suit your interests and preferences. There are many other things to see and do in the Kalinchowk region, including visiting the Dhunche and Melamchi areas and participating in outdoor activities such as rafting and paragliding.
-By: Saru Niraula for Land Nepal