About a third of the way down we came to the village of Meghma. It seemed very appropriately named, since it loomed out of a sea of clouds as we approached. A small forest guards’ checkpost stood on the road. They’d taken down our details when we went up, and now we had to tell them that we were on our way down. The guard was very considerate, perhaps he’d not met many walkers our age. Were we okay? How far were we planning to walk? Could we reach before sundown? Did we want to sit down? Call our vehicle for a pickup? We thanked him and walked along.

The Singalila ridge runs north to south, with Nepal lying to the west. The Family recognized a lichen encrusted stone slab as a border marker and took the photo you can see above. The villages are tiny. The whole area is a protected bioreserve, slowly recovering from the intense capitalist assault that was the British empire. People who had lived there earlier continue to have the right to live and utilize the ecosystem, but new settlements are not allowed. We saw little temples, prayer flags in plenty, and a field of chortens protected by a gate.

Tamso ma jyotirgamay

The houses were weathered and beautiful. I was intrigued by the shape of the chimney. Why is the top three branched? Perhaps an engineer who reads this blog will be kind enough to explain. There is heavy rain here, so the sloping metal roofs of the old buildings make sense. The flat concrete roofs of the more recent buildings did not seem appropriate, they probably need a lot of maintenance. As a city dweller, I always wonder about the lives of people who live in such remote and isolated places. How do you cope when you can’t just pop out to buy some eggs? What if the nearest school is thirty kilometers away? How would you deal with an emergency when the nearest doctor is four hours away? People manage, so there are ways. We walked on through the fog, as it waxed and waned.


By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


  1. That brooding sky is marvellous. Now isolation. As a teen I lived in a small country village where the nearest town was 38km on our side of the river or 13 on the other. Likewise the doctors. We traded our eggs for milk from one of the neighbours. There wasn’t a bridge to the Island which, in turn was bridged to the mainland. The river is too deep to sink a bridge for so few people. Instead there’s a ferry. The village did have a Butcher and General store come garage. There was no one else of my age in the village. I couldn’t wait until Sunday when all the farmer’s children came into the village for church.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess. For some it must be what you say. For a few it could be that they were not willing to risk changing their lives. I understand that, since I would not be willing to change from a city life to something that lonely

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Both interesting and beautiful – I especially like that last shot! I too always wonder about the lives of people living in such remote places. I pass through, take photos, admire the view and return to my comfortable city life. But for them, this IS their life – how different it is from mine, and yet how much we probably have in common too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It certainly looks like you had an interesting walk. Nice of the guard to be concerned. I would imagine some people don’t understand or aren’t prepared for what they might experience.

    The center of that chimney cap looks like it might be sealed. I would guess the design is to prevent water infiltration and perhaps to improve the draft. I’ve seen some interesting caps on old buildings here in New England, but none like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely place this tiny village is. I remember, it was all clouds when we reached here. This village also has a beautiful little monastery, and we had to make much effort to get someone with the key, open the locks and take us inside. Reliving those moments with your post.

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  5. I suspect for generations, when you are born in a remote area, you don’t know anything different. But in the modern age of communication, more and more young people leave.
    The U.S. is a nation of migrants; even the First Americans came here from somewhere else. But they almost always left someone less adventurous behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That kind of isolation is probably very rare today. At least in the remote places that I’ve been to, many people have phones, and most households have had TV for a generation at least. On the Singalila ridge, in particular, there are many trekkers, who bring something of the outside world. We were perhaps one of a half dozen that passed that way on that day.

      Liked by 1 person

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