Discover the charming village of Khokana
Nepal is littered with little towns and villages which are seldom visited by tourists. Some may feel that a particular town or village has little or nothing to offer, but what some find boring – others find fascinating. Those that visit Nepal for the sheer experience of learning more about the lives and cultures of the local peoples will usually enjoy visiting even the simplest little farming village and getting to know the local inhabitants better. Khokana is a simple place, but it is filled with life, history and culture. If you have a real appreciation for such things, this little village is definitely worth a visit.
Khokana in Nepal is situated just north of Bungamati. It is a tiny Newari village with a reputation for two things – mustard oil and the local temple. The Newari who live here eke out a simple living off the land. Much of their daily activities take place outside of their dwellings and they really do seem to embrace nature. Thus, as you make your way down the main street of the village, you will see woman sitting outside spinning, men crushing seeds, and other daily activities. The village is famous for its unusual mustard oil harvesting process in which a heavy wooden beam is used to crush the mustard seeds in order to extract the oil. This oil can be eaten if desired but it can also be used for therapeutic massage. Even if you are not a fan of the mustard plant, you simply have to enjoy the local mustard oil in whatever way appeals to you the most.
In the center of town you will find that the main street is particularly wide – especially for a village of such diminutive size. The street was widened significantly during the rebuilding process after an earthquake shook the village in 1934. You will also find that no matter where you go in this tiny village, a large three-storied temple will catch your eye. This massive building certainly dominates the ‘skyline’ of the village and can be seen from virtually anywhere in the area. The temple is dedicated to the local mother goddess, Shikali Mai, and it is regularly used by the local people. A similar temple to the northeast of the village is mainly only used during times of epidemic. Clearly, Khokana does have something to offer – even if it will only keep you busy for a few hours. So make an effort to stop here during your travels and enrich your stay in Nepal.