"Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it" ~ Rabindranath Tagore


Nepal: Peek At More Peaks

Shalini Kathuria is mesmerised by a 45 minute flight over Everest.

Nepal, India's mountain neighbor, is a land with the outstanding advantage of possessing eight of the fourteen peaks above 8,000 m in the world. Besides the highest peak, i.e. Sagarmatha or Mount Everest at 8,848 m, Nepal has a total of 1,310 mountain peaks.

While there are many who like to undertake the treacherous and rigorous adventure of mountain climbing in the unparalleled and legendary Himalayas, for those unable to do so due to health, age or lack of time, the Royal Nepal Airlines and some private air taxis have a viable alternative in the form of a mountain flight. This 45 minute sojourn is a soul enriching, spell-binding experience, which is likely to remain etched as an unforgettable memory.

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One can select a flight either along the great Himalayan range to Everest in the east or across Mount Dhaulagiri (8,167m) and past the giant Annapurna massif in the West. There is also a complete Himalayan panorama flight which takes one on an enchanting tour of the entire Nepal Himalayan ranges.
There is also a complete Himalayan panorama flight which takes one on an enchanting tour of the entire Nepal Himalayan ranges.

The Royal Nepal Airlines operates a specially pressurized Boeing daily, except in extreme weather conditions, and one can see and admire the breathtaking range of the eastern Himalayas from a distance of less than 14 miles. Beginning from Langtanglirung peak at 7,234 m, a spectacular show of 20 fabled peaks is indeed an enriching experience. At $100 for a 45 minute ride the cost is steep, yet at the end of the ride one feels one has been given every penny's worth.

The reputed travel agencies organizing trips to Nepal from US and India undertake the bookings for the mountain flights from the place of departure but arrangements can be made in Kathmandu and other cities of Nepal too. The sky trail is very popular among foreign tourists.

A Korean artist among us could not restrain his tears at the sight of such splendid beauty and kneeling on the floor of the craft, he paid obeisance in spontaneous worship. There was an air of bonhomie on the plane: a sort of serendipity and a non verbal communication of delight.

While the pyramid shaped rock of Mount Everest, the highest point of the world, is the star attraction of the flight, the myriad shapes and sizes of other mountain peaks are no less beautiful. While many peaks were snow capped in the cold month of January, some like Mount Everest were easily distinguishable. The Everest has a black, uncovered dome, as if denying the presence even of snow on it's pinnacle. The other snow laden peaks were also truly enchanting and seemed to beckon one into their embrace.

NNo words can adequately describe the magic, the mystique and the mystery of these towering peaks. The flight leaves one with a feeling of sheer awe.

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.