The unexplored lands of Mid-Western Nepal

The Karnali zone is an area of Nepal which takes its name from the majestic river that flows through it. Located in the northern part of Mid-Western region, is one of the most remote and hard to reach zones of the whole Country. The Mid-Western Nepal is part of the underdeveloped regions, and its road network has not undergone major changes over the years. This area is home of natural wonders, such as Rara Lake (the biggest lake in Nepal) and the Sinja Valley. However, the narrow gravel roads, dug into the hills that leads to this unique place, keep it outside from the classic touristic routes. Just consider that, in order to reach the region’s bigger town named Jumla, are necessary from 2 to 3 days of bus trip from the capital Kathmandu, for “only” 800km. The most of the villages located on the mountainous area, are connected between them just with small steep paths, where no vehicle is able to drive. Due to this, the majority of the people who lives here have never travel outside the region. The lack of easy connections, makes the impact of globalization less invasive on this communities, and life here seems to be trapped in a time bubble. The most of the inhabitants of this area are descendent from Chhettri caste. According to the Nepali society, the Chhetris are considered as the sacred thread bearers (Tagadhari) and are twice-born people. The bond that these people share with their territory and the environment which surround them is very deep. In fact, althought Hinduism and Buddhism are the main religions in Nepal, the ancient religion “Masto”, which worship Nature in all its form, is still highly spread. This connection with nature is represented even in their daily life, unaltered since the ancestral times. These communities lives mainly by agriculture and animal breedings. They eat what they cultivate depending on the season, they still cook with wood fire and they still collect water from the rivers. Even their houses are made by natural material present in the environment such as wood, rock slabs and mud. All habits that in this world are increasingly rare and doomed to disappear. Even thought this area is currently resisting to the modernization process that is happening in the whole Country, is not credible that this will be able to last for long. The climate change is continuosly modifying the territory, influencing negatively the agricolture. The lower abundance of the crops is not enough to satisfy the livelihood of the inhabitants anymore. This is forcing the inhabitants of these communities to move and buy other goods at local markets. Consequentely, the need of money is bringing a major change in their life style. At the same time, the Government is investing in infrastructers and roads improvements for new commercial routes, which will make this area more and more accessible. As the time passes, all these changes will inexorably modify the Karnali zone, sweeping away another piece of heaven in our world.