16 09 2010
Sundarijal on the Bagmati River

Sundarijal on the Bagmati River

Last time I visited Nepal, I was dying to see a place called Sundarijal, but we never made it for various reasons. The name Sundarijal means “beautiful waters” and if you’ve seen my artwork, you’d understand why I wanted to go there. Located in Shivapuri National Park, Sundarijal is a watershed for Kathmandu Valley where several tributaries of the Bagmati River converge and cascade down the hills and mountains into raging waterfalls that are especially forceful right now because of the monsoon rains. I finally went this week! Through a Facebook chat session, I recruited my bhanja (nephew) Bharat to be my guide, translator and body guard. Bharat’s older brother Dilip is currently an art major at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa. Bharat had never been to Sundarijal so he was just as excited as I was.

The trailhead was an hour from downtown by bus and the official park entrance was another hour walk (uphill). Nepali citizens pay an entrance fee of 10 rupees and foreigners pay 250 rupees – a pretty steep markup! Still, that only translates to about $3.50 for me, so I can’t complain. Bharat talked to one man who told him about a place on the trail called Chisopani where we’d have a view of the entire Kathmandu Valley. He said it wasn’t far. Everyone we talked to along the way said, Yeah, yeah, keep walking and you’ll get there, it’s not far. The problem is that Nepali people don’t like to give  “I don’t know” answers because they lose face. They were telling the truth when they said we’d get there if we kept walking. But it turns out that Chisopani is a full day’s hike. In Nepali, Chisopani means “cold water” and we didn’t have enough chiso pani to get to Chisopani! Bharat was crestfallen, but I was secretly glad to find out we’d have to turn back because my poor knees were dying after walking 2+ hours uphill. Plus, it was about 80 degrees that day.

But I have to say, the pain was worth it because the sights were amazing! We walked beyond the riverbank to terraced rice fields. Bharat, originally from rural Nepal, decided we could shortcut through the rice paddies on farmer’s footpaths and along farmhouses where we’d occasionally stop for directions. Corn cobs hung from balconies. Corn kernels dried on blankets in the sun. Cute little goats were everywhere. We didn’t make it to Chisopani but there was still a valley view from our highest point. I’ll shut up now and share some images.

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16 responses

10 10 2010
Ndage

It sad that you didn’t get to Chisopani, after walking for 2 hour uphill. What do you mean by, “We didn’t have enough Chiso pani To get to Chisopani”.

11 10 2010
Kathryn Hagy

Hi Ndage,

You might have missed it in the post, but ‘chiso’ means cold, and ‘pani’ means water in Nepali. So, I was walking to Chisopani (cold water) without any cold water!

30 09 2010
Michelle Fiester

Hi Kathryn,
I am an Intro to Art student as well. I enjoy reading your blogs. You sound like you are enjoying it very much. Your passion shows through in your words.
I got a chuckle out of seeing the goat on the 2nd floor of the house, looking out like he owned the place. Be safe. 🙂

30 09 2010
Kathryn Hagy

Thanks!

29 09 2010
Amanda Walker

Kathryn,
I am in the Intro to Art Class at MMU, and I have been enjoying reading your blog. I also looked at some of the pictures of the splashes on your website. Have you always been inspired by the art in nature?

3 10 2010
Kathryn Hagy

Hi Amanda,

It’s funny to think of being inspired by nature in the romantic sense because I originally came to my subject through the sciences in a more analytical way, but there always has been a mystical quality to my work that I can’t deny.

Kathryn

29 09 2010
Anna

Hi Kathryn!

My name is Anna and I am a student at Mount Mercy University. Right now I am taking Intro to Art, and I am quite interested in your art and what you think about art. I see that you do art related to water, which sounds very interesting. I have seen some of your works and I really like the pictures. Do you only take pictures or do you paint too? In class we have spoken much about the components of a work of art, and I am wondering what you think about while making art. Do you focus on balance, rhythm, scale, color, light or line for example? And at last, which types of paintings do you like better: representational paintings, abstract paintings or non-objective paintings?

Thank you,
Anna

6 10 2010
Kathryn Hagy

Hi Anna,

Sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner. Thanks for taking a look at my work. Right now, I primarily work in photography and printmaking because the ideas within my work are best expressed through those media. I have degrees in painting, I enjoy painting and use it as a way to sketch ideas but haven’t utilized painting as my primary means of expression for a while. Artists learn and re-learn the elements and principles so often in their initial training that after a while (hopefully) those questions about whether the work is needs a line or more color in a certain areas, etc become intuitive. That process takes a while. Occasionally, questions about elements and principles come to the surface and artists dwell on them before making decisions. Artists that only think about elements/principles and not meaning (as much) are considered formalists. I am not a formalist, but strike a balance between conceptualism and formalism. The idea or concept is most important. The form that idea takes is also important, but the form follows the idea (and not the other ways around). This means I can appreciate and enjoy a lot of art, including representational, abstract and non-objective work.

23 09 2010
crgardenjoe

Cool gallery–have not tried adding a slide show to a WordPress post. Do you upload the images into a gallery and then place a slideshow?

23 09 2010
Kathryn Hagy

Hi Joe!

Yes, add your images one after another and then click on the gallery (or media library) tab. You’ll see options for creating either a slideshow or an actual gallery page. The image captions will automatically appear over your image in white text (as in mine) so keep that in mind. You can order the appearance of the images, too by listing a number in the boxes to right of filenames. Good luck!

Kathryn

17 09 2010
Joshua Tompkins

Do the people eat their goats and use them for milk? Are there allot of people missing from that area, is that why you need a bodyguard? It sounds as if there is a beautiful scenery every step you take.

17 09 2010
Kathryn Hagy

Hi Joshua!

Some people use the milk, but cow milk is more popular. And yes, many people eat goats, depending on the traditions of their ethnic group and caste.
To answer your bodyguard question, I wasn’t particularly fearful but I take precautions when I’m out by myself, especially as a woman in a country where women don’t just go out hiking by themselves in the jungle. Plus, it’s always a good idea to have a hiking buddy no matter where you are. And yes, there is definitely beautiful scenery everywhere. And if it’s not beautiful, it’s still interesting.

Kathryn

17 09 2010
April Hageman

Such beautiful scenery!!!

16 09 2010
yer sister

Goats!

16 09 2010
Jim Hagy

OK, what kind of fish were in the pretty stream? AND what fly pattern are used there – ho ho

17 09 2010
Kathryn Hagy

You’re just going to have to come to Nepal with your fishing pole to find out!

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