Before Rocks and Mountains
“What are we before rocks and mountains?” Elizabeth Bennet, one of Jane Austen’s immortal characters, exclaims when her beloved sister suffered from heartbreak. If you too are going through a bitter breakup, defeated by the pressures of hectic life, or just want to spend some quality time away from the hustle and bustle of our over-crowded valley, Nagarkot is your perfect escape. It offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas. Our brains are wired in a way that such sweeping view of nature induces relaxation and relief to the observer. Austen was right! We feel microscopic when we behold the mighty mountains. Ego dissolves away, leaving only humility and wonder in us. All our worries seem to shrink rapidly, and eventually they disappear. The fresh air invigorates the body and mind, and if you happen to be a creative type, ideas will come flooding in.
Located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, it was just an hour drive away from my home. On the way, vibrant red rhododendrons were blooming here and there as if to welcome me. At an altitude of 2,195 meters, the wind was blowing vigorously enough to displace a healthy man from his place. But I had no trouble finding a nice restaurant. The choices were many. From Thakali to Japanese, it amazed me how cosmopolitan it had become. My order, a pizza, was brought in. I enjoyed the stupendous view with a slice of pizza in one hand and a glass of chilled beer in the other. The grand mountain range is an awe-inspiring sight in itself. Its sheer size overwhelmed me. After lunch, I climbed the famous Nagarkot tower. With clear skies and incredible luck, I caught a glimpse of the illustrious Mt. Everest. It would be quite a shame to die without ever having laid eyes on the highest peak in the world, that too, being a Nepali. Not everyone has adventure in their blood. Not everybody can trek to Solukhumbu or Everest Base Camp. Well, Nagarkot was no disappointment. The summit was visible, and I couldn’t contain my excitement when I saw it with my own two eyes for the first time.
As the evening drew closer, an artist seemed to have painted the sky red, orange, and yellow. The sun sank behind one of those mountains, which seemed to be caressing the sky, with a promise to rise again another day. It was as if nature slowly winked its eyes and all was dark. Although I could have made my return trip the same day, I decided to stay in a hotel instead. I most eagerly wanted to witness the sunrise. I was thoroughly impressed with the hotel I stayed in. I hear other nearby hotels also provide quality accommodation. I woke up at five in the morning. The sun greeted me with all its grace and beauty at 5:45 am. While beholding this phenomenon of nature, warmth, along with peace, spread throughout my body. At that moment I felt foolish. Why hadn’t I cared to watch more sunrises before? I had definitely been missing out on something unbelievably special. But then, sunrise at Nagarkot is no ordinary sunrise.