Sodhu Pokhari : Far away from the bazaar and the densely populated area, there is a lonely settlement with a series of wooden houses in the lap of the mountains, a settlement with wooden thatched houses often smells of sunshine, gold leaf, bhairungpati, the flags in each house are fluttering in the gentle breeze. Nearby, springs and streams splash with crystal clear water, as well as the chirping of mountain birds. This environment is not the end but the mountain settlement of Tokpegola of Taplejung. Anyone who arrives says – ‘WoWTokpegola.’
Once you reach there, you can climb 10 minutes uphill from Tokpegola settlement, which seems to be a place to stay. After moving a few steps from there, you can see the tops of the high mountains around, somewhere it looks like Bhanjyang and somewhere it looks like a mountain peak. Sodhu Pokhari, which shines like a mirror in the land that looks like a field in the middle of the Takurako of these hills, is showing its face to everyone.
Everyone is thrilled to see the lazy yak and chauri walking along the road to Tibet and Sankhuwasabha in China from around the pond. Probably due to this beauty, when you reach the area, which is a two-day journey from the district headquarters Fungling, your tired body suddenly heals. Who enjoy the natural beauty.
The pond, which turns black with snow in winter, is adorned with flowers of the Lekali species that bloom with the onset of rains. It is very easy to visit the pond from June to October. Apart from that, it is very cold and difficult to reach and visit. The Sodhu Pokhari at an altitude of about 42 meters is completely covered with snow during the months of December, January and February. During the rainy season, a pair of tastes can be seen in the pond.
The locals estimate that the semi-circular pond is about 300 meters long. According to the locals, the area of the pond will increase if a high dam is built on the south side of the pond. There are dozens of ponds near Sodhu Pokhari including Bhutpokhari, Chyajung Pond, Choila Pond, Rupa Pond, Sanokhola Pond, Lampokheri, Three Pond, Five Pond, Saune Pond, Yumikma Pond and Jalam Pond.
When you reach Sodhu Pokhari, you can return by visiting even those small ponds. As the ghost pond has its own specialty, it is rare to return to Sodhu Pokhari without visiting the ghost pond. It is very different from other ponds as there is no drainage in the circular ghost pond and there is water only in the middle part surrounded by the leaves of plants. There is a legend that the name of the pond was changed to Bhoot Pokhari after the animals that used to come near the pond were dragged away and disappeared.
Sodhu Pokhari is considered to be as beautiful as it is naturally and religiously important. Because according to the calendar of the followers of Buddhism, Dhukpachesi festival is celebrated on the fourth day of Aunsi, i.e. Chartudashi, which is completed after the completion of 6 months of each year. On the first day of the festival, the deity (Chyode Gabu) is worshiped in Sodu Pokhari and (Lapso) is also worshiped. Worship of (Chyode Gabu) has been believed to prevent diseases and epidemics, divine and natural calamities.
Similarly, on the second day, worship is done in Chyotengo, i.e. Gumba, Tripitaka (Dhomang) books are placed on the head and the settlement is circumambulated. Doing so is believed to be auspicious in the village home. On the third day, the idol, named after Baje and Boju, is taken from the flour of millet and wheat and taken to the north-south direction of the settlement. As this festival is celebrated during Nag Panchami, snakes are also worshiped.
Although it is not known when the Tokpegola settlement existed, its inhabitants have been worshiping it every year since time immemorial. Hundreds of devotees from Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, Terhathum, Panchthar, Kathmandu, Sikkim, Darjeeling and other places have been arriving at this time. This festival is attended not only by Buddhists but also by followers of other religions. Since the Dhukpachesi festival falls in Saun, Bhadau, many tourists visit there at the same time. Even at other times, tourists go to see the natural beauty. People are eager to go to the area as there is a waterfall on the way.
Preparations to celebrate Dhukpachesi festival from July 19 this year
According to Gyanje Sherpa, coordinator of the Dhukpachesi Festival and Tokpegola Jatra Organizing Committee, they are preparing to celebrate the Dhukpachesi Festival with various sports and cultural programs from July 5 to 6 this year as well. The organizers are preparing to bring high-ranking government officials to Tokpegola by helicopter if the weather helps in this festival.
Tokpegola serves local dishes such as tongba, yak sukuti, mountain greens (longma) kenjo (chyoma) as well as jimbu, chimping, khanakpa pickles, yak mahi sergem, flour, meat and various local spices (sabale). Similarly, bhote tea (sojya) made from ghee, flour, salt and tea is also available. It is customary to feed the guests at home by adding soybeans several times.
Food and beverages imported from China’s Tibet are also plentiful. To observe the traditional sabru dance of Bhote castes during such festivals
Is found Sabru is danced by holding hands and singing songs of Bhote caste language. The same is done with Dhunjyang. In the Bhote community, it is called Dhunjyang to entertain the guests who come during various festivals, fairs and celebrations without eating sabru and dancing and eating various dishes. Sodu pokhari-taplejung-pradeshportal (6)
It takes two days from Taplejung district headquarters to reach Tokpegola i.e. Sodu pond in Papung of Mikwakhola. From the district headquarters to Sakrante in Meringden, you can reach by car and then on foot. To reach there, one has to go from Taplejung district headquarters to Handrung, Phungphunge waterfall in Mikwakhola and various settlements of Papung. Sodhu Pokhari
You can also reach here from the cave, Sankhuwasabha’s Bhotkhola and other places. Tokpegola is a trading center near the border with China. People from Sankhuwasabha, Gufa, Taplejung and other places go to Tibet of China for trade through Tokpegola. Sankhuwasabha district is located northwest of Tokpegola. To reach Bhotkhola and Thudam of Sankhuwasabha, one has to walk about 5 hours from Tokpegola settlement. After reaching the settlement, it is fun to have a warm welcome of the people there, observe their language, dress, lifestyle and have a good time. Sodhu Pokhari
Dandu Sherpa, ward chairman of Papung, said that they are working with special interest for the promotion of the area and development of physical infrastructure, which has good potential in terms of tourism promotion. According to him, work has been done in the last fiscal year to upgrade footpaths and build bridges in different places. He said that various programs have been conducted in the area to promote tourism in the area. Sodhu Pokhari
He stressed that the state and federal governments should provide assistance as a large budget is required for the construction of roads to reach the area geographically. “Everyone should be able to pay attention to this as it has a lot of potential in terms of tourism promotion,” he said. Sodhu Pokhari