March 4th: It was a relatively short trekking day today. We started off from Aaru Ghat at around 8 in the morning and entered Gorkha district as we crossed the Budhi Gandaki River bridge. We had lunch at Than Chowk. Then we walked through Aankla Bhanjyang to Kalikasthan. Now we are camping close to Gorkha Palace. More than 300 years ago, Prithvi Narayan Shah, the king of Gorkha, conquered the small states and principalities around him to form the kingdom of Nepal – the Gorkha palace is the birthplace of Prithvi Narayan Shah.
From Tamang communities, now we started to see Muslim communities after Aankla, and even saw some mosques. The Muslim communities had come to Nepal during Prithvi Narayan Shah’s reign, in search of work.
Because of the haze, the view of the mountains from here was not so clear. Also, while the forest cover is quite dense, there were certain places where there has been heavy deforestation. Roads are being built on trails through these forests. We also saw man made forest fire to clear the forest. The forests are home to much wildlife, including leopards. While we didn’t see any leopards, we did see some Langurs.