Solo shower in Hyatrung waterfall

Birat Anupam 

october 3,kathmandu The titular subtext of 'Solo shower in Hyatrung' itself speaks volumes about the write-up. For example, solo indicates there aren't many travelers visiting Hyatrung. Shower indicates the feeling is worth the risk standing under the Hyatrung waterfall. Accidents, especially by falling stones, are quite rampant. A waterfall enthusiast Bikram Tamang of Itahari-9 was injured and killed at Namaste waterfall, Dhankuta in 2075 BS. 

I spent my childhood in Terhathum's Morahang village. My love for Hyatrung waterfall was cultivated during my early school days. In almost every quiz competition, a question would be asked: What is the name of the tallest waterfall of Nepal? The answer was easy: Hyatrung.

 Many would also know the 365-meter height of the waterfall. People  remembered the height of Hyatrung not only because it was equal to the number of days in a year i.e. 365 but also because it was one of the very few national tourism landmarks of Terhathum.

I recently made a trip to this famed waterfall of eastern Nepal. I was there for the last time 15 year ago.  This time, however, I was riding my two-wheeler from Itahari accompanied by my pal Bikal Poudel. We clicked many pictures. We filmed some tiktok videos. We made some vlogs as well. 

My first Hyatrung trip from Morahang village, had been around five hours long walk,  this one was a three hour ride from Myanglung, the district headquarter of Terhathum. We rode on the Mid-Hill highway passing Halimela, Bhyagutte Dhunga, Batase, Sandu School to finally reach Pojajung village, which lies at the upper end of Hyatrung. 

Hyatrung borders Sandu and Ishibu. We spent our night at Sandu's side of   Poyajung village. Since there aren't any hotels available in the village, we took shelter at Pahalman Khatri's home. The 98 year old homeowner and his family were very supportive but the circumstances were unfortunate and poor. There was a power outage which was frequent since the last three days according to the locals. We couldn't charge our mobile phones. Mine was dead. Bikal switched his off to save power in order to click some Hyatrung memories the following day. I took a brief shower in the waterfall. We were the only travelers. I was heartbroken.

Since the scientific measurement of Pachal waterfall of Kalikot in 2074 BS, Hyatrung has lost its title as the tallest waterfall of Nepal. It has been reduced to the second position. It is 16 meters shorter compared to the 381-meter-tall Pachal waterfall. It is still the tallest waterfall in Province 1. Mid-Hill highway runs through the close proximity of Hyatrung waterfall. It is  now accessible by road not only from Koshi zone but also from Mechi zone.

Hyatrung has started receiving more footfall than before but not enough. Sophisticated infrastructures are constructed in Hyatrung area for the visitors. A truss bridge is constructed which is a good place to click beautiful Hyatrung-backdrop pictures and videos. A beautiful Limbu indigenous home is erected nearby Hyatrung waterfall which also acts as a perfect point to click Hyatrung waterfall from a distance.

A new foot track along with railing, some picnic places and several viewing platforms are also constructed along the vicinity of the waterfall. According to locals, a long suspension bridge is in the pipeline connecting Sandu and Ishibu putting Hyatrung in the picture-perfect background. Wooded surrounding and Limbu hinterland give another attraction to this wonderful waterfall.  

There's certainly room for improvement. It took us three long hours to cover mere 38 kilometer Myanglung-Hyatrung stretch due to ragged condition of the road. Only the first 10-kilometer section from Myanglung to Halimela is  blacktopped, Rest of the road is a muddy dirt track. We had to push and pull our two-wheeler at times.

photo: Birat Anupam
photo:Birat Anupam


 Another tragedy is the volume of water in the waterfall. Even in the rainy season it was poor. ''The waterfall looks like a waterfall only for six months, between Jestha and Kartik'', Tej Prasad Limbu, a local continues, ''In the remaining days, it does not look like waterfall at all.'' According to Nabin Chongbang, the former ward chairperson of Sandu, there are three main reasons for the decrease in water volume.

First, a 40-mm water pipe that carries significant volume of Hyatrung's water to Ishibu's households. Some parts of Sandu also use Hyatrung's water for drinking. Second, Hyatrung's water is syphoned for irrigation in the fields. Third, the water volume of Hyatrung is naturally not so rich. 

It seems the local government in collaboration with the provincial and the federal government must devise some lasting measures to retain the waterfall identity of Hyatrung. Since Hyatrung provides a strong tourism identity to Tehrathum and Province 1, they must collaborate to save the waterfall from being extinct.

Hyatrung deserves strong investment to make it a all-weather waterfall. It will not only recover the investment, it will create  fame and monetary incentive to its investors. Environmental experts in general and water experts in particular, need to make some intellectual research. The local government must take the lead so that the coming generations may witness the beauty of this iconic waterfall in eastern Nepal. 

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