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