Saturday, January 16, 2010

Go west?

Heading further west in Nepal, one comes to what one would consider the less travelled part of the country. This automatically translates in less info on hot springs, though no doubt they do exist. Let's have a look.

The high mountains of Dolpa district
apparently contain 2 hot springs, one called Sahartara (the more well-known, sometimes known as Shahartara), the other Rupghad:
'The waters are believed to have healing properties and that a bath in these waters cures arthritis'.
Continuing further west there's the district of Jumla, though again little info on hot springs. There is though a village called Tatopani. The Kathmandu Post (01 October 2003) has an article on Jumla's Tatopani mentioning that it was in need of repairs. It also highlights a not so-often occurrence:
'"Mostly the visitors flock here during the dry and winter seasons. Sometimes the daily turn out is around 500. People at times even fight for their turn to take a bath," said Rawal [a local villager]'.
Others mention Tila Nadi and Dhanachauri (Luma), though I suspect these are possible alts for the aforementioned Tatopani. There is also Unnapani (source).

Elsewhere in Jumla the publication Water and Culture (Shaphlaya, 2003) mentions Sanar village:
'Hot water is collected in three ponds. The bottom of two ponds is of clay while the main pond has paved stones. Women can use the hot water in Wednesday and Thursday'.

More fighting
Further west is Humla. Many treks originating from remote Humla head for the Tibetan holy peak of Kailash. This makes it pretty unclear whether or not Humla has a hot spring as is the case with a town near Kailash itself, Tirthapura. But it does:
'we had a welcome surprise above town: an amazing sulfur hot spring. Now, I have seen lots of hot springs in the Southwest, the Himalaya, and elsewhere, but nothing ever like this. Spring in this case is a misnomer: The Kermi Hot Springs are more of a river than anything else. Steaming water courses down the mountainside, slowing slightly in small pools built by the locals, and leaving a vivid coloring on all rock it touches. But, easy to get to? No. We had to fight through the most evil stinging nettle bushes in the hot, humid, post-monsoon afternoon. But, it was well worth it. The springs were just the right temperature, soothing our feet and offering spectacular views of the Humla region'.
Another source mentions Kermi as well, including a picture of the shallow soak.

Flickr there is a photo of Limi valley with a hot spring. From Notes from the Emerald Valley it is mentioned that there is a hot spring named Jang (or Jhang), high (4000m +) up in the valley, near the village of Limi.
Stumpy's Blog mentions:
'We are now in a wider valley area where the river has taken the opportunity to spread into several channels. Fortuitously we are also close to a hot spring, not sulphurous at all, so after a beer chilled in one of the river channels, a good wash was enjoyed at the spring outlet itself, and a shower tent erected for everyone to give themselves the first good clean in days'.

Shaphalya (2003) mentions Agnikunda, Dudhkunda and Raktakunda.

At a lower altitude
South of these districts, are amongst others Surkhet district where another administrative unit is mentioned as being
Tatopani, according to Wikipedia. ECS Nepal also mention this hot spring.

If read well, Bajhang district contains a hot spring (Tapoban) at an elevation of 4000m according to this dutch language site. It's only 3 days walk from the district capital, Chainpur, though this website used to mention a Tatopani, just a 3 hours walk:
'a pilgrimage site with an environment conducive to meditation. There are hot springs located on both banks of the river'.
Ask before setting off ... Maybe there are two separate soaks ...

Darchula, the most western of Nepal's districts finally has at least three hot springs: Srikaar (Shrivar, Sribagar), Chamlaiya and Sina (Seena). Or Barpata (Warpata) which is just 5 days walk from Darchula! And / or Tapoban.

I hardly know what to make of the suggestions of the possible (but unverifiable) hot springs of Riar, Saghu Khola and Sarai Khola which though are cited as such, but could be anywhere in the 'Middle Development Region of Nepal'...Finally, Shaphalya (2003) once more mentions that the district of Mugu has
hot water sources. Again, verifiable?
[updated May 2013]

Shaphalya, A (2003) Water and Culture. Jalasrot Vikas Sanstha, Kathmandu, Nepal

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