Will Hunting: How do you like them apples?
HoneyGuide: Apples, Apple ciders, Apple brandy, Apple juice, Dried apples,
apple pies and more apples.
It's raining apples! Ask the lodge owners of neat little lodges in Marpha for
these varieties of apples, they are really good. Also, visiting the apple
orchards should be a good idea. The apples of Marpha are famous all over Nepal
and for good reason. If you want to buy them here it will cost anywhere around
Rs 60-100 per kilo but once it reaches Kathmandu the price will have tripled,
at least. So make your decision here. The distilleries are towards the south
of the settlement where the houses are sparse.
Besides apples, Marpha is a neat little village with a charm of its own. It is
perhaps the most beautiful village in all of Paanchgaon (five villages). The
stoned pavements and white washed houses play a vital role in defining the
character of this charming village. The houses here are flat roofed like all
of the Thakali settlements. These flat roofs are meant for drying apples, wood
logs and sometimes even receiving a suntan ;) And every house here has a small
courtyard inside that provides a nice place for people to relax away from the
gale force wind that sweeps the valley after midday. Despite the whole of Kali
Gandaki valley being a very windy place, Marpha stands as an exception. The
settlement of Marpha is protected by the hills and the strong winds blow
straight against the flow of Kali Gandaki skipping the settlement of Marpha.
The locals here are very welcoming of visitors and are very proud of their
village and culture. No complaints there. The Thakalis that live here divide
themselves into four clans: Hirachan, Pannachan, Jwoharchan and Lalchan, all
names after a precious stone.
However, the current Marpha settlement that you see is a new settlement, the
old one used to be just 20 minutes north-west of the current settlement. This
is where the famous Falo Dhalo (two dead juniper trees) of Marpha is located.
Talking about walking around Marpha, there are a couple of side trips you
could do from Marpha. One of the more famous ones is a side trip to Marpha
hill. Mamti cave towards the south is another major attraction here. The three
gompas here are also worth a visit with the most notable one being a white and
ochre painted rock perched on the rocky wall north of the village. There is
also the Kawaguchi museum where a Japanese monk once stayed. There is a safe
drinking water station, money exchange and a post office too. There is even a
meditation center here if the village itself is not relaxing enough.
To sum it all up Marpha is a picturesque and neat little village which will
leave you searching for reasons to extend your stay here.