Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Trisuli & Tea

Just a short distance from Kathmandu is Trisuli. The place takes its name from Trisuli River which flows in a south west direction to meet Kali Gandaki to become Narayani in Chitwan. 

As a tea person Trisuli touches me through history. It was here at Trisuli at Betrawati, that The Treaty of Betrawati was signed by China and Nepal during the Qing 清朝 period (1644-1912).  

The Treaty of Betrawati ended the Sino Nepali wars (1788-1792). These wars are considered to be one of the Ten Great Campaigns of Qianlong Emperor 乾隆帝 (reign 1735 -1796). The upshot of the treaty was that about 70 years later in 1861 tea seeds from China, gifted by the Emperor of China, possibly Emperor Xianfeng 咸豐帝,  to Nepal literally seeded the tea industry in Nepal.

The surprising thing about the drive from Kathmandu to Trisuli is the amount of forest cover that is still intact despite the proximity to Kathmandu and its huge appetite for resources. After the love hotels near Tapoban and the dumping site at Okharpauwa, the drive becomes more relaxed despite the potholes. Rice fields give way to dense forest cover and the volume of water increases giving rise to a multitude of Rainbow Trout farms cum restaurants perched precariously to the hill sides. 

That is not to say that the terraced rice fields ever go away. Those terraces can make one emotional if one cherishes the centuries of toil of Nepalis: a metaphor of the hard work of our forebears to keep this country united and independent. Some of the terraces extend vertically perhaps 300 metres or more and all the way down to the Trisuli valley. 

Again on the valley floor one is met by the green rice fields reminiscent of the Kathmandu valley of yesteryear. The future of this emerald valley, hopefully will be better. Perhaps its connection to tea in Nepal will ensure that!

Images: (24 September 2013)
Top - Looking back to the hills of Kathmandu Valley with the clouds overflowing onto the next valley.
Second from Top - Rice fields well before Kakani
Middle & Second from Bottom - Rice terraces and dense (mostly Chestnut) forest cover after Ranipauwa
Bottom - Bidur ko phat - the valley floor at Trisuli


  1. Nice pictures and thanks for a short history to the tea empire! How we tend to miss the beauty that lies so close to our hearts!

  2. Glad you liked it. One can make this direct connection between what happened in 1792 at Trisuli and tea in Nepal. Soon or later there would have been a tea industry here, but the fact is that it was a gift that started it. How precious the tea trees from those seeds now growing in Ilam are! They ought to be declared a national treasure.

  3. Great photographs as usual. I like how you've kept it simple and precise. Rainbow trout also started as a gift by Japan.

  4. Thank you. You are right. Like tea was the gift from China Rainbow trout in Nepal is a gift from Japan. I had some on this journey in one farm-restaurant the owner of which had been trained in Japan. The Japanese gentleman along with me Nepali Asala (local trout) and not Rainbow Trout though!

  5. As for rainbow trouts, it was my father who bought it for the second time from Miyazaki. He said Nepali asala are known as "Snow trout". Lots of Rainbow trouts restaurants are found in Kakani as you might have known.

  6. Wow! What a fascinating story. Snow Trout. Nice name.