Another History in Nepal: Snowfall in Kathmandu On a Romantic Day

After witnessing so many histories created in peace process in recent months, it was time for the residents of Kathmandu to witness a history created by mother nature today.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

Wagle’s Web Log [नेपालीमा यहाँ छ: रोमान्सका दिन राजधानीमा हिउँ]


Snowfall in Patan Durbar Square. Pic by Rajesh KC

When the snow touched Kathmandu after 62 years on Wednesday, Krishna Bhakta Manandhar was among those who were caught by surprise. The senior officer at the Meteorological Forecasting Division of the Ministry of Science and Technology knew it would rain in the valley and many hilly regions across the country would experience the snowfall. But he had no hint of snowfall in Kathmandu. “This is surprising,” he said of the sudden natural development that forced many in Kathmandu to stay inside their homes. “No snowfall was expected in Kathmandu.” A measurement device of the Division installed in Kathmandu’s International Airport recorded the snowfall for about 45 minutes there where as in other parts of the city experienced it from a few minutes to half an hour depending their altitude. The snow vanished immediately after touching the soil because, Manandher said, the temperature of Kathmandu at that time was too high (4 degrees Celsius) to remain unaffected. Manandhar’s office is not older than forty years but he said that the last time Kathmandu saw snow was 62 years ago: BS 2001 Poush 23.

The drizzling rain in the morning gave many youngsters a reason to be romantic who were planning to celebrate Valentines’ Day but there was no hint of snowfall. (A Nepathya number ‘akashai bata ke udi aayo bheda ko oon jasto” that describes the snowfall just like the one that Kathmandu has also become popular in the past years in Nepal.) Mobiles started buzzing and the Short Text Message traffic suddenly increased among youths as the snow started hitting Kathmandu soil. The network circuit was too busy to handle the traffic and Nepal Telecom started giving this message: all circuits are busy, please try again. Even the voices were broken on wireless phones as if the sudden cold had some impact.

In Daman by Pratap Bista

“I am having heavenly experience,” read a message sent by a girl. “I am at the top of my house.” In an interview later, she said that that was her first experience with snow and compared the scene with that of stars falling from sky. “Romance is related to nature,” she said moments before discussing about “Snow Falling On Cedars”, a novel, in the Valentine’s evening. “I experienced three avatars of nature in a single day.” After the rain in the morning and snowfall in the afternoon, many parts of Kathmandu saw bright and sunny evening. Seizing the opportunity, many Kathmandu youngsters had gotten out on the streets while many went to restaurants that were specially decorated for the occasion.

And those who were probably not satisfied with a candle light dinner were heading towards Nagarkot where this was third time snow had fallen in the past eight years. Snow was as high as one and half feet. “It was very cold early in the morning,” said Bikash Shakya, residential manager of Club Himalaya, a resort situated at the hill. “Warmth returned after it started raining. White water started falling at around 12. Within half an hour, snowing started.” Lovebirds had booked 80 percent rooms in Nagarkot hotels for the Valentines’ Day but the snow pushed the booking to cent percent, Shakya said. The unexpected business increased in such manner that Shakya not only had to cancel the Valentines’ dinner with his wife but also couldn’t be with her to celebrate her birthday. “I sent her an email early in the morning,” he said. “Later I called her and wished happy birthday and Valentines’ Day. I also sent her an SMS.” Shakya hopes that the snow will remain for the next two days in the popular tourist destination at the altitude of 7133 feet. Terming the snowfall on the Valentines’ Day a fortunate coincidence, Shakya hoped to see a brisk business in Nagarkot because of lovebirds wishing to stay in the town to enjoy the snow. “There were no activities happening in Nagarkot recently,” he said. “Thanks to the coincidence of Valentines’ Day and snowfall, there are more guests in hotels here.”

Smile with the snow!
A foreign couple in Lumle, Pokhara. by Prem Nepali

The arrival of snow on the soil of Kathmandu that is situated at the altitude of 4500 feet definitely qualified for breaking news in Television stations but there are more than one opinion regarding the exact date of last snowfall in Kathmandu. The web site of Meteorological Forecasting Division states that snow felled in Kathmandu in BS 2001 but Mahakavi Laxmi Pradad Devkota and litterateur Shyam Das Bainswab might beg to differ. Devkota’s “Tusar Barnan”, published three years ago, states that Kathmandu experienced snow in BS 2003 Poush. “Mahakavi had sent Shyamdash to buy meat on that day,” said Dr. Padam Prasad, son of poet Devkota, about the 32-page book with 224 verses. “He started writing on that evening and finished the book on the same night.” The book, Dr. Devkota said, is all about images: cultural and political and many are in one way or the other related to the snow.

Bokchhe Kalash Barshale, Sath Baja Bajauchha
Sukha Paat Tesai Nachha, Kal Bhusha Sajauchha
Lawa Butdachha Hawale Chyata Chyat Garikana
Jhagada Gardachhan Dota Diwa-Bastra Linakana

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26 thoughts on “Another History in Nepal: Snowfall in Kathmandu On a Romantic Day”

  1. Snowfall is lovely isnt it?

    Too bad but this is not “mother nature’s wonder”, note that Wagle. Its human’s wonder – due to all the greenhouse effect and climate changes and all that. Dont encourage people to celebrate their doom.

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  2. Madhav Kumar Nepal has cautioned everone that this snowfall is extremely unusual and it could be related with the royalist and hindu fundamentalists trying to derail the peace process and constituent assembly.

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  3. Patriot: stop being such a downer man. Finally people in Nepal have something to smile about. Even if its just for a few hours let them have their fun.

    MKN: is an IDIOT by all accounts. He really should be locked up in a zoo somewhere. In fact I think the KTM zoo should double check its records to see if this MKN escaped years ago…

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  4. It was awesome. Hard to believe at first but like dream come true. Waiting for such event and now it was here. Thank god there’s snow in valley. May be weather also understood after all it’s season of love. SO it showered some snow to make it more romantic.

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  5. The snowfall is indeed a palace conspiracy Shekhar dude. I remember someone died becuase of choking at Thamel back in 1986. Akhil (Emale-wallahas) started slogan shouting at ASCOL: ” Yo Panchayati Byabastha-le Oomareko Chana Khayera, Hamro Sathi Shahid Hunubho. Yesko Jimmebar Yo Fasista Shashan ra Samayam Oopachar Nagarne Fasista Sasak ko Boot licker Doctor-Haroo le Linu Parchha” clap clap clap

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  6. Valentines Day Like Mother Day or X Mas is just a commercial event.
    What is nice about snow you all probably do not know, not ur hindi movi,
    did ani nepali ever make a snowman ?

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  7. A himalayan country and people are happy just to see traces of snow…ironic…no…i say sad…i was elated too for the firstime snow fell on my hands in my terrace and my garden…the huge pahad behind chobhar hill ( i dont know the name though i stay so close to it) was snowtopped and it looked sooooooooooooo huge and sooooooooooo beautiful…it’s a shame i was too late to take picture before the clouds engulfed it…but the sight was oh so grand… i dreamt of snowfalling in my doorstep 2yrs back and my mom said her mom had the luck of experiencing snowfall in KTM when granny was 11 ys old…back then i thot my dream meant something else but what happened yesterday got me jumping up and down like a 3yr old whose dream finally come falling down the sky…aakas bata ke udi aayo bhenda ko oon jasto…

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  8. Prachanda had already announced to make Switzerland in New Nepal….isn’t it Switzerland now??? He is the luckiest man to say…Sometime I feel there is god in his mouth…whatever he desires it fulfilled…

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  9. folks,
    its unnatural to have it snowing in Kathmandu. so something unnatural cannot be a thing to be celebrated.

    As ‘Patriot’ has pointed out, it is the effect of climate change. extreme climatic conditions are on the pipeline. Expect very very hot days next summer. and may be more rain, floods and landslides as well. Unfortunatley, we’ve got no time to worry about these issues, because we’ve got a never-ending thirst for political dramas with a hope of better Nepal.

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  10. Sorry Bhudai, snowfall is lovely I agree. I love it too. Too bad here in Delhi just been rains and winds. But couldnt help being amused by Wagle saying “creation of mother nature” 🙂

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  11. Sagarmatha ji you are so funny. I quote you:
    “Prachanda had already announced to make Switzerland in New Nepal….isn’t it Switzerland now??? He is the luckiest man to say…Sometime I feel there is god in his mouth…whatever he desires it fulfilled…”

    Prachanda said that in 10 years Nepal will be like switzerland. He addressed a mass meeting a day before and the next day the process of turning Nepal into switzerland started. I don’t know how Maoists pull such things off. They are really great. You said there is god in his mouth, I think he is a God. We all should worship him and offer our land to his party as all his other party men have already done. Hail Prachanda!

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  12. shekhar mayavi,

    He is saying that country will be republic in April, I think that is also going to happen. But I am just worried, if he says the country will become democratic maoism (in their ideology) then what SPA should do in front of people? How they will show their face infront of people although they definately go to bow their head to India and stay there. Anyway people are ready for any consequences.

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  13. Snow fall, is not a big deal, every day we in nepal are witness to something new, and nature also wants its share of the pie. The IC should be amended so that we should include the demands of mother nature,
    1. no pollution from tyre burning
    2. every day should be a band, or chakka jam, so no vehicles on the road-no pollution
    3. Should be allowed snowfall every winter
    4. every day should be a total blackout, so no more dam building, and no more damaging of the nature.
    Nagarik Samj should take out a rally for the inclusion of nature’s demand in the CA

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  14. i think its kinda scary to think about having snow fall constantly out there at ktm, cuz our houses are not built for that kinda weather… but sometimes its fun to have it like once in 62 yrs! cuz snow fall actually clears out the weather…
    it did surprise me, in a happy way, when i came to know about this news, but when i kept on thinking of it, it actually scared me… cuz’ cement house doesn’t help it. and muddy/paved road with no salt in worse… its slippery and can cause many accidents cuz they don’t have good tire for their vehicule…:(
    i don’t know… its just a lil wow!! but somehow… more like… ~~** i hope it won’t happen anymore**~~

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