A royal surprise in Nuwakot, Nepal
A trekker admires the view over Nuwakot. Photo: Nepal Trip Planner
You won’t find Nuwakot on the main tourist trails. Even trekkers venturing into the delightful Langtang Valley by road from Kathmandu usually miss Nuwakot. A detour through fragrant pine forests on a single-track road is required to reach this idyllic, rural village.
Thus, Nuwakot, lying high above the Trisuli River Valley, was just one of those places that visitors didn’t know about. Today, it remains unspoilt and still provides an authentic Nepalese experience.
You could say that The Famous Farm has put Nuwakot on the map. In some ways this is true, but of course this traditional hill village has been here a very long time. One of the oldest Hindu temples in Nepal, a former Royal Palace and an ancient fortress are all testimony to that.
More recently, the sleepy hill village has had a royal visitor, of sorts. Former King Gyanendra of Nepal stopped by The Famous Farm. Staff and visitors alike were both surprised and delighted with this almost-royal approval.
The former King was said to be impressed both with efforts to restore this past Newari Manor House to its previous architectural splendour, but also the positive impact The Famous Farm has had on the village of Nuwakot too.
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The Famous Farm, Nuwakot. Photo: Nepal Trip Planner
Our aim was to ensure The Famous Farm wasn’t going to change too much or attract hordes of visitors. In fact, you could say (and it has been said to us many times) that we were crazy to even think about not only restoring, but also converting into tourist accommodation, a dilapidated building where tourists weren’t even visiting.
While a select number of tourists do now travel to Nuwakot, the often undesirable consequences of tourism aren’t to be found. Life in the village has by and large remained unchanged, which is the real appeal of Nuwakot.
We achieved our dream of creating a country-style inn, although it took a few years of hard graft to get there. We wanted to ensure that much of the original Newari features could be retained, while using local craftsmen to enhance the traditional architectural style. All the bedrooms are en-suite but have a cosy, rustic appeal to them with traditional Nepalese styling.
Why The Famous Farm?
The locals named ‘The Famous Farm’ during the reconstruction and we liked it. In fact, we ran with that idea; today, visitors relaxing in the colourful gardens encounter small farmyard animals mooching around. It’s even home to some very cheeky goats.
While we have our own organic garden, we also ensure that as much of the produce is local is when creating tasty Nepali cuisine in our open kitchen. To further benefit the local community many members of staff are from the area and, being unused to the demands of tourism, we fully-trained them. Then again, friendly hospitality comes naturally to the Nepalese. Needless to say, we are actively involved in other projects that benefit the local community too.
Tourists who venture to this off-the-beaten-track location are made to feel welcome by the local people. Wandering freely around Nuwakot and experiencing hill village life is the main attraction. As The Famous Farm lies in the heart of the village, the real Nepal is literally on your doorstep.
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Bedrooms are traditionally decorated at The Famous Farm. Photo: Nepal Trip Planner
An adventure for all ages
A visit to Nuwakot is an enlightening experience for families too. There’s no busy traffic and children can roam without worry, encountering many interesting aspects of Nepalese life.
As well as the only school in Nepal for deaf and mute children, Nuwakot is home to a general school that serves the greater area. The locals learn to speak English from an early age; when it comes to play time all children are readily welcomed to join in the fun and games. This provides educational and cultural experiences that are also great fun too.
Nuwakot is at a low altitude and has a southerly aspect too; meaning it’s usually a pleasant temperature all day. As the sun goes down there’s no better place to be than relaxing in the gardens of The Famous Farm, enjoying the views over the Trisuli River Valley far below.
Just make sure when you visit you set your watch to slow.
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