Far, Far Away

By Evangeline Neve / Photo: Sulove Maharjan 2018-08-06

Once a kingdom in its own right, Jumla is where Nepali (KhasBhasa), the national language of Nepal, originated. The sprawling district of around a thousand square miles is also reputed for its red rice, which is said to be more healthy and nourishing than other kinds of rice. Located in Karnali Zone in mid-western Nepal, Jumla unfortunately is also one of the most impoverished regions in the country. As befits the rugged landscape of this remote district, its inhabitants, too, are a tough breed. The district is renowned for its many jadibutis(medicinal herbs), among which Himalayan Viagra, that is, yarsagumba, is the best known. You’ll find eager hordes scrambling all over the hillsides during the period of April-June, spending hours and hours crawling through the shrubs and digging for this precious combination of fungus and caterpillar. .