Pax Earth Nepal members, well-wishers and friends went for a splendid picnic at Changu Narayan, Bhaktapur on Saturday January 16, 2010. Last time, PEN had a picnic on November 8, 2008.

Changu Narayan is a pagoda-style Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu located near the Changu Narayan village in Kathmandu Valley. It is 22 Km away from Kathmandu. The temple is one of the oldest temples in Nepal came in existence in 4th century. The temple is adorned by some of the best specimen of stone, wood, and metal craft in the valley. The temple stands as the epitome of culture, religion, history and faith of the Kathmandu valley. The Changu Narayan Temple is one of the seven structures cited by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in the Kathmandu valley.

Though we planned to leave at 8am in the morning, some technical difficulties kept us 1.45 hours away from the scheduled time. With the special picnic banner stuck on the front of the bus, the journey began at 9.45am from the junction point Mitrapark and could reach at the destination at 10.45am. We had rented a bus for the whole day. We all were so hungry and had the breakfast at 11.30am. The distance between picnic spot and the temple is 10 minutes on foot. We had to descend from the bus-park which is situated at the middle between Changu Narayan temple and the picnic spot.

The spot is enriched with green hills, forests, landscape and a peaceful environment. However, we were not lucky enough to see any white mountains due to foggy environment. Each and every individual could breathe a pure and fresh air and relax a while far from the pollution, noise and crowd of Kathmandu valley. Load-shedding was about to hamper the musical environment but a spot keeper made the electricity available by adding generator throughout our stay. We had lunch at 3pm where we could have varieties of tasty foods.

Bingo, music, cards and foods were the major attraction of the picnic. Mr. Laxman Neupane made the moment exhilarating and thrilling with his extraordinary skill of conducting the bingo. He is equally supported by Nilambar Badal. Everyone was so involved, excited and attentive to hear their number in the lottery chit. This event had increased the nerve and heartbeat of everybody who were expecting their number to be announced. This single event had provided a breathtaking entertainment for one and half hour.  Laxman B. Pahari, Prem Shah, Bal Gopal Shrestha and Bijay Thapa were the winners of the bingo. We had lots of fun visiting cultural and religious sites, playing cards and ludo, listening to music, snapping landscapes and panoramic views and gossiping.

We could have a small formality as well. Mr. Badal who is also a PEN honorary member, handed over the Token of Love to new members Mr. Arun Khadka and Mr. Bijay Thapa who could not attend PEN 1st AGM. It was also the birthday of Joint Secretary Mr. Guna Raj Pyakurel. We celebrated his birthday cutting a cake.

Since the day was short, the venue began to turn dark little earlier. Hence, we left for Kathmandu at 5.30pm. We had an exhilarating entertainment singing, dancing, joking and caricaturing in the bus en-route to/from the picnic spot. The journey began at 9.45am came to an end at 7.00pm right after reaching the Mitrapark café.

We had several round of discussion while deciding the venue/spot of the picnic. Out of four spots: Tribhuvan Park, Bajrayogini, Nagarkot and Changu Narayan, we picked Changu Narayan on the basis of specific criteria: a) availability of water, b) electricity facility c) space availability, d) religious and cultural importance, e) distance, f) en-route traffic jam, and g) fare.

It was the initiative of Laxman Prasad Neupane and strong support from all well-wishers and friends, we could have a fabulous, entertaining and memorable picnic. Thank you Laxman. We would also like to thank Mr. Ashok Malla and his catering team for feeding us with tasty foods throughout the day. Thanks to the spot boy who made the electricity available throughout the day. This time, forty persons (including the cooking team) attended the picnic under the PEN umbrella. We expected reasonable participation from female, however, succeeded to have only two lady friends.

We had a wonderful and memorable picnic once again. The picnic has contributed a lot in enhancing friendship, cooperation and understanding among the friends and the members.

It has also brought cheers and smiles in every participant. The conclusion of the picnic is the same as last picnic: “Once is not enough.” We look forward for another exciting picnic in the near future. We recommend everyone to visit Changu Narayan at least once in a life.