Siddhartha Ghimire aka @nepal.food

 

Nepal is a country with vastly different cultures ranging from the Himalayan region of Sagarmatha to the terai of Kapilvastu. But there is a region that is still unexplored: the Sudurpashchim region of Nepal.
Recently Imagine Nepal did a show on the unexplored regions of Nepal with some social media influencers among which was the social media food blogger Siddhartha Ghimire or more notably known as 
@nepal.food He was assigned the task to explore Sudurpashchim with his team to get as much information on this region as he could. When Siddhartha was first approached for this project he jumped at the chance as the far west was the only place in Nepal that he hadn't touched.
Sudurpashchim, the westernmost region of Nepal, consists of all of the three geographical makings of Nepal: the Himalayas, the middle hills, and the terai. The Karnali bridge stands between Sudurpashchim and the rest of Nepal. Once you cross the 500m bridge, you enter the westernmost part of our country. When Siddhartha and his team first attempted to make an itinerary for the show they were surprised to find so little information about this region on the internet. So he found Himalaya Bhatt, a local from Sudurpashchim and a photographer, and asked him if he would be interested in joining the team and he did. Siddhartha says that Sudurpashchim felt like those once-upon-a-time stories of Nepal. 
The terais of Sudurpashchim are very easy to explore for a beginner. It has hotels and all the facilities a traveler would need. The main attraction of the region is the Suklaphanta National Park which is one of the very few places where you get to experience the majestic barasingha (swamp deer). And the rich Tharu culture can be observed and experienced through their cultural dances, food, clothing, and even decor. The terai is known for their Aanadi Chamal (Sticky rice) and Ghongi (snails).

Khatti, Darchula
Cultural dance in Api Gaupalika

"With a pretty smooth ride to Darchula and a homely place to eat, Buda Bajey ko Khir Pasal was one of our destinations which I recommend everyone should visit. What’s special about this place is that every day all the households of the area come to deliver their milk here."

Only a couple of hours away from the terai are the hills of Sudurpashchim. With a pretty smooth ride to Darchula and a homely place to eat, Buda Bajey ko Khir Pasal was one of our destinations which I recommend everyone should visit. What’s special about this place is that every day all the households of the area come to deliver their milk here. This is not a place run by two or three people but run by the entire community. Continuing with the topic of food with imports being less and less, what you eat in the hills and Himalayas of Sudurpashchim is grown there itself and of these special foods is the Bhang ko achar which has become a part of the cuisine of this region. There's nothing extravagant about the food in this place but the magic lies in the hard work and effort of the farmers who work very hard.At the border of Darchula is a small village called Kshetti. And @nepal.food and his team was the first crew to cover this village; a place untouched and void of any cameras or network. This village does not even have electricity and people make do with lanterns at night. The place is inhabited mostly by old folks, the last of their families. Even with basically nothing in their area, the people of this community seem happy with what they have. Not just the food but the landscape of this region is a sight to behold. Sudurpashchim is also known as the land of the seven goddesses with seven temples ranging from the terai to the Himalayas, spread throughout this region.

Ramaroshan, Achham

Dodhara Chandani, Kanchanpur


 Ramaroshan is a lake with immense beauty throughout the year and with water so clear you could probably drink it. Siddhartha says when he saw the beauty of this lake he was shocked to find that no one knows about the region of Sudurpashchim. The lake alone is a place people should come to visit, but sadly without the proper information reaching the outside world, people are still oblivious of its beauty.
What Imagine Nepal and 
@nepal.food is trying to accomplish with this show is to find places in Nepal that we Nepalis don't as yet know. They are trying to bring awareness to the sad truth about tourism in our country. We go for vacations outside Nepal to different countries and spend a fortune there. Instead of that why don't we explore our own country first and find the hidden gems within our country.

Shuklaphanta National Park