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Nepal > Godavari > Godavari travel guide

Godavari Travel Guide



Godavari is a village in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, located only about 13 miles northwest of the Phulchowki mountains. The village is situated about 1,525 meters above sea level.[1] Today, Godavari is one of the main tourist destinations of the valley and one of its prettiest villages.

The main attraction of Godavari is the Phulchowki mountains. Phulchowki is the highest of the mountains in the Kathmandu valley;[2] its peak reaches 9,155 feet above sea level. Nicknamed “flower hill”, the tip of the mountain is a pilgrimage site where you’ll find broadcast antennae of a telecommunication station for Nepal Television. The gravel road up to the top is rough. You can ride a bike, drive a car, or hire a taxi to get up there. The trip only takes about half of an hour by car.[3] The mountain is covered and surrounded in the valley below by a famous subtropical forest that serves as a rich habitat for various flora and fauna, including butterflies, birds and wildlife such as the spotted leopard, the orange-bellied squirrel, and the yellow-throated Marten.[4] In fact, there are more than 300 different kinds of species that have been discovered. Many locals enjoy bird-watching in this area. And in the spring, the orchids splatter the forest like a canvas, particularly the bright red rhododendrons. All along the slopes, you’ll also enjoy some breathtaking panoramas with views of Dhaulagiri, the Annapurnas, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, the Jugals, Langtan, Gauri Shanker, as well as the Terai plains bordering India. Today, the forest of Phulchowki is one of the few left of this type of subtropical forest in Nepal.[5]

Other places to visit at Godavari include St . Xavier's, the Royal Botanical Garden, and the Godavari Kunda. St. Xavier’s is an elementary school run by Jesuits. The Royal Botanical Garden is a farm that grows various medicinal plants. Every Saturday in the noon and afternoon, the garden is crowded by gregarious families enjoying picnics. The Godavari Kunda is a Hindu pilgrimage site where a clear spring is sourced from a cave. Supposedly, a blessing is earned for those who bathe in the spring’s waters. Every 12 years, a bathing festival is held at the Kunda. The last one took place in 2004 and the next festival is scheduled for 2016.[6]

The temple of Phulchowki Mai up the hill about a few hundred meters past the St. Xavier school is worth a visit. The temple is dedicated to the deity worshipped as the supposed guardian of the forest.[7]

Also of interest is the Godavari Marble Quarry, a growing environmental problem for the valley. The quarry is an eyesore. Environmentalists complain that it has been responsible for drying up the holy Godavari Springs and for the loss of watershed in the area. The marble taken from the quarry is also subpar in quality. As a result, it is often burned with wood taken from the forests of Phulchowki to produce lime. This practice has resulted in a significant loss of trees. It hasn’t helped either that local residents have been burning the forest slopes of Phulchowki to produce charcoal for sale in Kathmandu. [8]

References: Burbank, Jon, Rosha Bajracharya, and Kesang Tseten. Nepal. New York: Prentice Hall Travel, 1993. ISBN: 0671879138.

“Destination: Phulchowki and Godawari (Kathmandu Valley).” < http://www.sanctuarytreks.com.np/nepal/bird_watching/phulchowki.php>

[1] Destination
[2] Id.
[3] Burbank, 119-120
[4] Destination
[5] Burbank, 120-21
[6] Id. at 121
[7] Id. at 120
[8] Id.







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