When I looked for a day trip from Kathmandu, several people suggested Manakamana Temple. At 105 km from Kathmandu it was ideal location for a day outing.
|Trishuli River at Manakamana|
It took us about an hour to cross Kathmandu city. Outside Kathmandu was a check post where all vehicles need to be registered. It must have been setup due to Maoist violence. Once we crossed the check post, it was a continuous descent into the valley where we reach the base of Trishuli River. The journey henceforth was along the river. The roads were in a good shape which helped us to make quick progress.
|Manakamana cable car point|
Earlier one had to trek up for nearly half a day from the base of Trishuli River to reach Manakamana Temple. That was long back. Now there is a cable car which just takes about 10 minutes to reach the place. This 3.1 km cable car service has 31 carriers which handle 600 people every hour. There are also few carriers to carry freight. In addition to human beings, goats are allowed in the cable car!!
It was 12:30PM by the time we reached the base of Manakamana. We had to wait for another hour as the cable car is stopped between 12 noon to 1:30PM. The heat was unbearable. I always thought Nepal was completely hilly but the place I was standing was just 800ft above sea level!!
The cable car was really a great experience. It crosses Trishuli River and climbs at an unbelievable gradient!! The increase in altitude can be clearly felt. The scenery gets better and better as the car climbs. The road that we came, Trishuli river, valley are all clearly seen.
One has to walk for about 10 minutes from cable car station to reach the Temple. The road is lined with eateries and shops selling pooja items.
The Temple itself is very old and simple. It is a place where animals are sacrificed in open. Now I knew why goats were allowed inside the cable car!
I decided to skip the lunch on that day and have only fruits. The eateries there sold oily stuff which I did not want to experiment just a day before my departure to Tibet!!