Jalebi from Purano Bazaar

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It was still quite early in the morning when I started leaving Bindhyabasini Temple. Back in riding Mr. Tirtha’s daily rental taxi, I along with a trio of backpackers from hotel started down Pokhara-Baglung Street heading south. Mr. Tirtha planned to take me to an old market which was more than 250 years old. He said, this old market was called Purano Bazaar, but public often called it as Old Bazaar.

The road leads to Old Bazaar.

It was true that said by Mr. Tirtha that this temple and market are close to each other. Only 1.5 km away with 5 minutes of travel time. Quickly arrived, Mr. Tirtha dropped me off on a side of market and he threw his index finger in a corner as a sign that I should meet him there when my Purano Bazaar exploration was over. He wanted to enjoy situation in his own way. All I knew was that he hadn’t been exposed to coffee aroma since early morning.

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Starting to explore the market.

My stomach which started to feel hungry, automatically led me down market corridor to find street food as a breakfast. Before long, white smoke which rising from three furnaces caught my attention.

“Namaste”, said old merchant who was busy frying. Before answering, my heart laughed when it was the first time in my life to see Jalebi’s appearance. Yes, it is a kind of typical Indian street snacks which I got to know when Saroo and Guddu couldn’t afford to taste it because their money from stealing coal in a mining wagon was only enough to pay for a few bags of milk for their poor family in Ganesh Talai. A touching scene in a film which titled “Lion”. Since then I have been determined to taste Jalebi in India, although I was tasting faster in Nepal.

That old merchant who was initially stunned watching me when I spoke English to buy his food suddenly laughed and raised his hand while frowning. Then a young man in blue jacket who was enjoying his meal got up from his chair and with his fluent English helped that old man served me….Great.

Come on….It were sweet jalebi.

Going back down to market corridor, while munching on snacks, I enjoyed the classic Newar architecture which were shown by many old buildings. Each building always featured visual strength of red bricks which were integrated with distinctive carvings on building wood.

One of the buildings.

It was said that Newars originating from Bhaktapur in far east of Pokhara were skilled traders. Short story, King Kaski invited him to trade in Pokhara in 1752. And at that time Pokhara had also developed trading activities with Tibet as well. My mind agreed, because there was a Tibetan village in Pokhara….I would visit it later.

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Are my shoes cool?….#showingoff.

Market beauty could be felt because there were still no activity that morning. Himalayas sight was still an idol just down the road. Two bonus destinations which were well presented by Mr. Tirtha, a tall, thin Nepalese, has brown skin typical of South Asia but has slanted eyes like a Chinese.

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Nice view, right?

Come on, let’s have breakfast at hotel …

Check out the Purano Bazaar situation here: https://youtu.be/wVmGgYnTs-M

Next Story—->

Goddess Bhagwati’s Aura at Bindhyabasini Temple

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After my eyes enjoyed Himalayas view. Two hours in Sarangkot and witnessing natural drama which began when first rays of dawn shone and then noon came.

You may completely read my adventures in Sarangkot in a story which I wrote earlier.


Passing a Morning and Getting a Sunrise in Sarangkot, Nepal

I said goodbye to Mrs. Celesse, a Belgian woman who still had a beautiful face. Maybe she was a photo model when she was young. Mrs. Calesse, who had shoulder-blonde hair, using a red jacket and a white scarf, still chose to pretty sitting in Sarangkot fot watching Phewa Lake expanse which shining blue when hit by the sun.

Parking area at the bottom of hill.

Meanwhile, at the botton of hill, precisely in a car park, I had been waiting by three other backpackers who had been heading to this place since early morning with me.

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Me: “So, we returned to the hotel for breakfast and taking a bath“, I said on taxi front seat to Mr. Tirtha-our taxi driver-.

Mr. Tirtha: “Sure, but before it, can I take you to two places which are located along with our way back? “, His smile held mystery and surprise.

Me: “Oh, yeah …. Is it one of International Mountain Museum, Tashi Ling, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave or Shanti Stupa?“, I think we were still time there after breakfast.

Mr. Tirtha: “Oh No, Hahaha….These were different places…. Two places were close together, Sir“, he deliberately made me curious.

Me: “Oh yeah….Nice to hear that. How about you, bothers?“, I asked to other backpacker’s in the backseat asking for their approval. Finally we agreed to go to those place.


Main temple Building.

Heading east, the taxi slowly crept down Sarangkot Street. Riding it for 20 minutes, I arrived at a T-junction. I found several school buses which looked like have yellow colour all over the world, then the journey continued with passing the crowd of cyclists and motorbikes. The taxi was slowly uncovering their way until finally it was parked on the edge of pavement.

The trident given by Lord Shiva to Goddess Bhagwati.

Visitors were free of charge when they took turns entering temple area through stairs on a side of courtyard. Having finished climbing the stairs, the large temple courtyard was in front. Some congregants began queuing to perform rituals at a white stupa on the left, while others made offerings at a cow statue which overlooking a temple building. And right in the center of courtyard stood a main building with three levels of roof which were no less crowded with congregation. It was in this building which the statue of Goddess Bhagwati was located.

A monument in courtyard.

Goddess Bhagwati herself was believed to be the Protector of Pokhara who was purified in the temple. Congregations regularly made offerings to Goddess by slaughtering various livestock. And Pokhara people should be grateful that their king Siddhi Narayan Shah contributed to building this temple in the 17th century.

Temperature was starting to warm up to spoil anyone to linger sitting on the edge of courtyard with 900 meters high above sea level. Then while breathing the fresh air, I enjoyed residential areas view with the blue background of Himalayas.


See the situation at Bindhyabasini Temple here:

Bindhyabasini Temple, Pokhara – YouTube

Let’s go to the next place …. Follow me, OK!

Next Story—->

7 Tourist Attractions in Pokhara

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Visiting Nepal is synonymous with visiting the Himalayas. And all travelers know that the Himalayan gate is in Pokhara. It has been a long time since this city, nicknamed as “Gem of Himalaya”, has opened itself to show its beauty around the world.

This had put Pokhara on the top list in my visitation to South Asia region. Not Kathmandu, but Nepal’s second largest city which is located in northwest valley of Pokhara, this was what made me hurry for a moment to leave the capital city of Nepal even though it had only been arrive a day before.

Out of context as a solo-male traveler, I firmly believe that Pokhara is one of the best solo travel destinations for female travelers also.

Here were seven tourist attractions which I visited in Pokhara:

1 Sarangkot.

Being the closest vantage point to enjoy the Himalayas had placed Sarangkot as a special place to visit for travelers who didn’t have much time to hike that famous mountains.

Early arriving in the morning and sat at the viewpoint ahead of dawn. Enjoying colors gradation which hit ice layer at Machhapuchhare peak. Undoubtedly the golden color would fascinate you.

2. Bindhyabasini Temple

Descending from Sarangkot with its background of iconic Phewa Lake, I immediately headed to a Hindu temple where the Goddess Bhagwati worshiped, which was 7 km east of Sarangkot. Exactly at 08:14 hours. the temple was already so busy with visitors and also congregants who had come to pray.

Temple location which was on a hill made me freely gaze in observing dense residential housing with Himalayas background which turn blue with white ice at its peak.

3. Old Bazaar/Purano Bazaar

Now I was moving about 2 km southward down the road to a commercial place which dated back to the 18th century. The market was dominated by Newar architecture with red brick motifs with a lane which was only enough for two vehicles passing each other.

9:15 am….It was too early for Pokhara people to trade. As far as the eye could see, my memory was spoiled with market streets view which were flanked by classic buildings on either side of road, then at the end of road, there were dammed with Himalayas face whose timeless beauty.

Because the market was so quiet, no one bothered me in enjoying Jalebi in the middle of street.

4. International Mountain Museum

After returning to hotel for breakfast. Then, I continued visiting a museum which was dedicated to Himalayan climbers who never again safely descended.

By paying 450 Rupee, I was treated to a gallery which displayed a photos series of snowy peaks around the world which was followed by the peculiarities of various ethnic Nepalese inhabitants, then closed with several heroic stories of Himalayan climbers.

5. Tashiling Tibetan Refugee Camp.

For those who haven’t had a chance to visiting Tibet, then feel its nuance by visiting Tibetan people in Tashiling. This village was inhabited by Tibetan refugees who migrated because of political intrigue.

They made a living by trading in their new home. Many travelers shopped for souvenirs at this place. I myself took time to lunch with a bowl of noodles for 150 Rupee at one of their food stall.

6. Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave.

Located near from Tashiling, the cave which was located right on a side of Siddhartha Rajmarg road, its ticket fare about 100 Rupee. Circling down the stairs in red main building, I came to the mouth of this cave. Continuing along the curves of narrow humid alleys which lead to the main cave room with a view of swift waterfall which was peeking out from longitudinal slit on a side….Very beautiful.

7. World Peace Pagoda

Late in the afternoon, I arrived at my final destination. By another name, Shanti Stupa, this pure white pagoda was a painstaking climb on Anadu Hill. A Japanese heritage site of worship symbolized peace which uphold silence. Not allowing a slightest noise was a norm which must be obeyed during a visitation.

A natural decoration in the form of Himalayas with the ground of Phewa Lake in a view side became even more perfect with appearance of Pokhara City which was seen from above.

So, if you visit Pokhara, make sure to visit these cool places.

Next Story—->

Jalebi Keluaran Purano Bazaar

Hari masih cukup pagi ketika aku mulai meninggalkan Bindhyabasini Temple. Kembali menunggangi taksi sewa harian milik Mr. Tirtha, aku beserta trio backpacker sehotel mulai menyusuri Jalan Pokhara-Baglung menuju ke arah selatan. Mr. Tirtha berencana membawaku ke sebuah pasar tua yang berusia lebih dari 250 tahun. Tuturnya, pasar tua itu bernama Purano Bazaar, tetapi khalayak sering mengujarnya Old Bazaar.

Jalanan menuju ke Old Bazaar.

Benar tutur Mr. Tirtha bahwa kuil dan pasar ini saling berdekatan. Hanya berjarak 1,5 km dengan 5 menit waktu tempuh. Sampai dengan cepatnya, Mr. Tirtha menurunkanku di salah satu sisi pasar dan dia melemparkan telunjuknya pada salah satu sudut sebagai pertanda aku harus menemuinya di sana ketika eksplorasiku di Purano Bazaar usai. Dia ingin menikmati suasana dengan caranya sendiri. Yang aku tahu, dirinya belum terpapar aroma kopi sedari pagi buta,.

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Mulai menjelajah pasar.

Perut yang mulai berasa lapar, secara otomatis menuntunku menyusuri selasar pasar untuk menemukan jajanan kaki lima sebagai pengganjalnya. Tak lama, kepulan asap putih yang keluar dari tiga tungku menarik perhatianku.

Namaste”, ucap pedagang tua yang sedang sibuk menggoreng. Sebelum menjawab, hatiku tertawa ketika pertama kalinya seumur hidup melihat penampakan Jalebi. Benar, itu adalah salah satu jenis jajanan jalanan khas India yang ku kenal ketika Saroo dan Guddu tak kesampaian mencicipi jajanan itu karena uang dari hasil mencuri batu bara di gerbong kereta tambang hanya cukup untuk menebus beberapa kantong susu untuk keluarga miskinnya di Ganesh Talai. Kejadian mengharukan dalam adegan film bertajuk Lion. Semenjak itu aku bertekad mencicipi Jalebi di India, walau akhirnya tercicip lebih cepat di Nepal.

Pedagang tua yang awalnya terbengong mengamatiku berbicara English untuk membeli makanannya tiba-tiba tertawa dan mengangkat tangannya sambil mengernyitkan dahi. Lalu pemuda berjaket biru yang sedang menikmati makanannya beranjak dari bangku dan dengan englishnya yang fasih membantu si bapak tua itu melayaniku….Great.

Yuk….Icip jalebi !.

Kembali turun ke selasar pasar, sembari mengunyah jajanan, aku menikmati klasiknya arsitektur Newar yang dinampakkan oleh bangunan-bangunan tua itu. Setiap bangunan selalu menonjolkan kekuatan visual bata merah yang terpadu dengan ukiran-ukiran khas pada kayu bangunan.

Salah satu bangunan.

Konon, bangsa Newar yang berasal dari Bhaktapur di timur jauh Pokhara adalah para pedagang ulung. Singkat cerita Raja Kaski mengundangnya untuk berdagang di Pokhara pada tahun 1752. Dan pada masa itu Pokhara sudah membangun aktivitas perdagangan juga dengan Tibet. Fikiranku mengamini, karena ada perkampungan Tibet di Pokhara….Nanti ya kita kunjungi.

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Sepatuku keren ga?….#pamer.

Keindahan pasar sangat terasa karena masih lengangnya aktivitas pagi itu. Penampakan Himalaya masih saja menjadi idola di ujung jalan. Dua destinasi bonus yang disuguhkan dengan baik oleh Mr. Tirtha, seorang Nepal berperawakan kurus tinggi, berkulit coklat khas Asia Selatan tapi memiliki mata sipit bak orang Tiongkok.

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Nice view, kan ?.

Ayook kita sarapan dulu ke hotel…..

Lihat suasana Purano Bazaar di sini: https://youtu.be/wVmGgYnTs-M

Aura Dewi Bhagwati di Bindhyabasini Temple

Usai sudah mata telanjangku menikmati pemandangan Himalaya yang memukau. Dua jam berada di Sarangkot dan menyaksikan drama alam yang bermula saat sinar fajar pertama memancar hingga kemudian pergi tersingkap siang.

Kamu boleh membaca seksama petualanganku di Sarangkot pada kisah yang telah lebih dahulu kutulis.  


Menembus Pagi Mejemput Fajar di Sarangkot, Nepal

Aku berpamitan pada Nyonya Celesse, perempuan Belgia yang masih saja berbekas paras ayunya. Mungkin dia berprofesi sebagai foto model semasa muda. Nyonya Calesse yang berambut pirang sepundak, berjaket merah dengan syal putih masih memilih duduk manis di Sarangkot menyaksikan hamparan Phewa Lake yang biru mengkilat dihantam sinar surya.

Parkiran di bawah bukit.

Sementara di kaki bukit, tepatnya di parkiran mobil, telah menunggu 3 backpacker lain yang sejak pagi buta menuju ke tempat ini bersamaku.


Aku: ” So, we returned to the hotel for breakfast and taking a bath”, ucapku di bangku depan pada Mr. Tirtha si Pengemudi taxi.

Mr. Tirtha: “Sure, but before it, can I take you to two places which are located along with our way back? ”, senyumnya menyimpan misteri dan kejutan.

Aku: “Oh, yeah….Is it one of International Mountain Museum, Tashi Ling, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave or Shanti Stupa?”, kufikir masih ada waktu kesana setelah sarapan.

Mr. Tirtha: “Oh No, Hahaha….That are different places …. 2 places are close together, sir”, sengaja membuat penasaran.

Aku: “Oh yeah….Nice to hear that. How about you, friend?“, tanyaku ke trio backpacker di jok belakang meminta persetujuan.

Akhirnya kami sepakat menuju ke tempat yang dimaksud.


Bangunan utama kuil.

Menuju timur, taksi merangsek pelan menyusuri Sarangkot Road. Menempuhnya selama 20 menit, aku tiba di sebuah pertigaan. Berpapasan dengan bus sekolah yang sepertinya seragam berwarna kuning di seluruh benua, kemudian perjalanan berlanjut  dengan menyibak pelan kerumunan pesepeda dan pemotor hingga akhirnya taksi terparkir di sebuah tepian tanah trotoar.

Trisula pemberian Dewa Siwa untuk Dewi Bhagwati.

Pelawat tak dipungut biaya apapun ketika bergantian memasuki area kuil melalui tangga di salah satu sisi turap. Selesai menaiki tangga, pelataran kuil yang luas terpampang di depan. Beberapa jemaat mulai mengantri untuk beritual ke stupa putih di sebelah kiri, sementara yang lain memberikan sesajen di sebuah patung sapi yang menghadap ke sebuah bangunan kuil. Dan tepat di pusat pelataran berdiri bangunan utama dengan tiga tingkat atap yang tak kalah ramai dengan jemaat. Di bangunan inilah patung Dewi Bhagwati berada.

Sebuah tugu di pelataran.

Dewi Bhagwati sendiri dipercaya sebagai Pelindung Pokhara yang disucikan dalam kuil. Jemaat secara rutin memberikan persembahan kepada Sang Dewi dengan menyembelih berbagai hewan ternak. Dan rakyat Pokhara perlu berterimakasih karena raja mereka Siddhi Narayan Shah telah berjasa membangun kuil ini pada abad ke-17.

Suhu yang mulai menghangat memanjakan siapa saja untuk berlama-lama duduk di pinggiran turap berketinggian 900 meter diatas permukaan laut. Lalu sembari menghirup udara segar, aku menikmati perumahan penduduk berlatar biru Himalaya.


Lihat situasi di Bindhyabasini Temple disini:


Ayo kita ketempat berikutnya….Ikuti aku, ya!

7 Destinasi Wisata di Pokhara

Mengunjungi Nepal identik dengan mengunjungi Himalaya. Dan seluruh pelancong tahu bahwa gerbang Himalaya itu ada di Pokhara. Sudah lama kota berjuluk “Permata Himalaya” ini membuka diri untuk mempertontonkan keelokannya ke penjuru dunia.

Hal inilah yang menempatkan Pokhara menjadi top list dalam kunjunganku di kawasan Asia Selatan. Bukan Kathmandu, tapi kota terbesar kedua Nepal yang terletak di barat laut lembah Pokhara inilah yang membuatku bergegas sejenak meninggalkan ibukota Nepal walaupun baru sehari tiba.

Berikut tujuh destinasi wisata yang kukunjungi di Pokhara:

1 Sarangkot.

Menjadi titik pandang terdekat untuk menikmati pegunungan Himalaya menempatkan Sarangkot sebagai gtempat istimewa untuk dikunjungi para pelancong yang tak memiliki banyak waktu untuk mendaki pegunungan tersohor itu.

Datanglah di awal pagi  dan duduklah di viewpoint mendahului fajar. Nikmati gradasi warna yang menyiram lapisan es di puncak Machhapuchhare. Niscaya warna keemasannya akan membuatmu terpesona.

2. Bindhyabasini Temple

Menuruni Sarangkot berlatar Phewa Lake yang ikonik, aku segera menuju ke sebuah kuil Hindu tempat pemujaan Dewi Bhagwati yang terletak 7 km di sebelah timur Sarangkot. Tepat jam 08:14 kuil sudah begitu ramai dengan lalu lalang pelawat dan juga jemaat yang datang untuk bersembahyang.

Letak kuil yang berada di sebuah bukit membuatku dengan leluasa memandangi rapatnya perumahan penduduk yang berlatar pegunungan Himalaya yang membiru dengan warna putih di puncaknya.

3. Old Bazaar/Purano Bazaar

Kini aku bergerak 2 km ke arah selatan menuruni jalanan menuju sebuah tempat perniagaan yang sudah ada sejak abad ke-18. Pasar dengan dominasi arsitekur Newar bermotif bata merah dengan belahan jalur yang hanya cukup bagi dua kendaraan yang saling berpapasan.

Pukul 09:15…Masih terlalu pagi buat masyarakat Pokhara untuk berdagang. Sejauh mata memandang, memoriku dimanjakan dengan pemandangan jalanan pasar yang dihapit oleh bangunan klasik di kiri- kanan kemudia di ujung jalan sana dibendung dengan wajah Himalaya yang keelokannya abadi.

Saking lengangnya pasar, menikmati Jalebi di tengah jalanan pasar pun tak ada yang mengganggu.

4. International Mountain Museum

Sekembali dari hotel untuk menyantap sarapan. Kemudian, aku melanjutkan bertamu ke sebuah museum yang didedikasikan bagi para pendaki Himalaya yang tak pernah lagi turun dengan selamat.

Dengan membayar Rp. 55.000, aku disuguhi galeri yang menampilkan sederet foto puncak bersalju di seantero dunia disusul dengan kekhasan berbagai etnis penghuni Nepal, kemudian ditutup dengan beberapa kisah heroik para pendaki Himalaya.

5. Tashiling Tibetan Refugee Camp.

Bagi yang belum sempat mengunjugi Tibet, maka rasakan nuansanya dengan mengunjungi para Tibetan di Tashiling. Perkampungan ini ditinggali oleh pengungsi Tibet yang bermigrasi karena intrik politik.

Mereka menyambung hidup dengan cara berdagang di tempat tinggalnya yang baru. Banyak para pelancong yang berbelanja souvenir di tempat ini. Aku sendiri menyempatkan menyantap makan siang dengan menu semangkuk mie seharga Rp. 20.000 di salah satu kedai makan milik mereka.

6. Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave.

Berjarak selemparan batu dari Tashi Ling, goa yang terletak persis di tepian jalan Siddhartha Rajmarg ini berbiaya masuk Rp. 14.000. Melingkar menuruni tangga dengan bangunan utama berwarna merah, aku sampai pada mulut goa. Berlanjut menyusuri liukan lorong-lorong sempit nan lembab yang berujung pada ruangan utama gua dengan pemandangan derasnya air terjun yang terintip dari guratan celah memanjang di salah satu sisi….Indah sekali.

7. World Peace Pagoda

Menjelang sore, aku tiba di destinasi terakhirku. Dengan nama lain Shanti Stupa, pagoda putih bersih ini harus ditanjaki dengan susah payah di Bukit Anadu. Sebuag situs peribadatan peninggalan jepang perlambang perdamaian yang menjunjung kesunyian. Tak diperkenankan berisik sedikitpun adalah norma yang harus ditaati selama berkunjung.

Hiasan alam berupa Pegunungan Himalaya beralas Phewa Lake dalam satu sisi pandang menjadi semakin sempurna dengan penampakan kota Pokhara bak maket terlihat dari atas.

Jadi, jika kamu berkunjung ke Pokhara pastikan mengunjungi tempat-tempat keren ini ya.