More than 250 Tibetan refugees live on this hamlet on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River, just beyond Mt. Dhaulagiri in the world’s deepest gorge. They have stayed back there since they came from Tibet more than 60 years ago growing potatoes, barley, buckwheat and, more recently, organic apples on their small stretch of land. Trailside souvenir shops are also another source of sustenance for the struggling inhabitants of this small camp.
But the strong current of the southwest flowing river and the fierce wind coming from the south has been eroding the narrow trail leading to the camp, thus making it very dangerous for the refugees here to walk in and out of the camp.
After the monsoons, men and women collected stones and helped build stone cages to protect the land and trail. I spent three days in the camp last week and saw how much the wall cages meant to everyone in the settlement. Simple iron cages filled with rock bundles on the wall along the river have saved the camp from isolation. Another piece of good news is the new Annapurna trek route that is being developed (to avoid the Pokhara-Jomson road) will pass through the camp. We hope this will bring tourists to the settlement, which is already ready with a guest house and a café!