POKHARA, Nov 19: Can one reach Tilicho Lake, one of the world’s highest-altitude lakes, on a bicycle? Many may not dare. But there are some adventure-lovers who have converted the dream into a rare feat.
Jagan Bishwakarma is the managing director at Pokhara Mountain Bike Adventures. He led a team of cyclists from the tourist city of Pokhara in western Nepal to Tilicho which lies at 4919 meters a few days ago. After that adventurous trip to the lake, he is now planning to explore cycling as a tourism activity in the area.
The tourism sector has been paralysed by the coronavirus pandemic. Though it is the peak season for tourism activities, the hospitality sector has come to almost a grinding halt owing to COVID-19 fears.
“At these torrid times, we are working on exploring and promoting adventurous tourism. Cycling to Tilicho is one of the parts of the campaign,” said Bishwakarma. According to him, this is the first time that Nepali cyclists successfully made it to the high-altitude lake in Manang district. “We should make it easy for everyone to reach Tilicho on a cycle in the days to follow.”
One should walk along the Annapurna Circuit to reach the lake. The journey to the lake has been made easier in recent days due to the availability of motorable roads.
According to Bishwakarma, the journey to Tilicho on a cycle is thrilling, adventurous and challenging. “You can experience different climates, enjoy picturesque landscapes and difficult terrain and receive a warm hospitality during your whole journey from Beshisahar of Lamjung district to the lake,” he seemed quite excited while sharing his travel experiences.
“You can’t describe how thrilling the experience was when you are riding your bicycle along the scary mountainous trail.”
The 10-member team had departed for Tilicho from Pokhara on November 6. After their motor journey up to Beshisahar from Pokhara, they made the rest of the journey on bicycles. The Besisahar-Tilicho-Besisahar journey was about 220-km thrilling lifetime experience, Bishwakrama said.
Durga Adhikari from Pokhara was the only female in the squad. “Though I was discouraged by many before I set off for the risky journey, I was firmly determined to experience something new and make myself stronger.”
Here are some photos taken during the cycling journey to Tilicho Lake.