Close to the heart

Getaway Issue 139 Aug, 2013
Text by Anubhuti Poudel

It doesn’t take much to appreciate. It takes immense generosity however, to allow something to be close to your heart. This is a story of a place which  does that and more.

I always knew I liked nature. When someone asked me which part of it I liked the best, I couldn’t choose.
Mountains allure me but so do the plains. What about these places interest me the most? I discovered a few answers
within myself when I visited the Chahari, an eco-lodge in the Shivapuri hills that is run by a family devoted to nature.

Chhahari is close to the heart ofnature. Its proximity to the city is easily forgotten when you make the quick 15-minute hike or a short drive uphill from the ISKCON temple. Officially open since 2009, Chahari is built on nearly 20 ropanis of land. Chhahari also has conference halls, a yoga place and a chimney lounge; but its core is still nature. From the use of solar panels for the electricity to the organic farm where seasonal vegetables and fruits are grown, it ensures natural eating from the ground to your plate. It is close to the heart of its owners. Mingma Dorji Sherpa of Last Frontiers Trekking opened this place. “I love nature.

That is the reason I came here in 2004 searching for a place where I can  spend time in peace. Chhahari opened to my family long before we decided to share  it with visitors. It is a place that is a part of our heart,” shares Mingma. His sons Nima and Tenzing look after his interests in coffee, trekking and now hospitality.

It is close to the heart of the visitors. You fall in love with the place for its simplicity. “It is like your home. We do not restrict our guests. You are welcome to cook in the kitchen,” shares Mingma Sherpa. Its proximity to Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park with the latter’s 140 varieties of birds makes it great for birdwatchers. The once barren slopes are now lush with trees as rare as olives and Macedonia. Even the artifacts on  display are hand chosen and blend in easily with the décor. “We want families to come who can fall in love with this place as much as  we have. We have gone back to basics,
accentuating hospitality and nature. We  aim to take you away from the crowd and  to a world of sounds usually silenced by the city; to a place of rare sights. We do not sell the place; we aim to sell the experience,” shares Tenzing.

 I love nature for  its experience and people for the same. Chahari blends the two quite beautifully. It served to me an experience that is and will remain, close to my heart.