Sindhuligadhi is a historical fort where the Nepali Army fought a victorious war against the East India Company. It is famous for the gallantry shown by Nepali forces against the much strong, resourceful and trained army of the British. The battle was fought at a time when the British empire was expanding and the British were able to colonize large powers like India.
The second edition of the annual cycle ride was organized to mark 250th anniversary of Sindhuli Gadhi Victory Festival from Kathmandu to SindhuliGadhi. A total of 162 people participated in the ride, covering a total distance of 153 kilometers. The event was jointly organized by Sambridhha Sindhuli Abhiyan and Story Cycle and led by world cyclist Pushkar Shah. The event was flagged off from Kathmandu on November 9th morning by the Right Honorable Vice President of Nepal, Nanda Bahadur Pun.
The project will help preserve the Sindhuligadhi fort and increase it’s visibility to a wider audience of prospective domestic and international tourists. It will also help the local community to develop their capacity to set up tourism infrastructures, develop tourist activities, and respond better to tourists, which will ultimately help improve tourist experience in the area.
The Sindhuli Gadhi festival is held every year on November 10th at Sindhuli Fort to commemorate the victory of the Nepali troops, led by Kinloch in the year 1770 AD, over the East India Company Army. It was the first defeat the British troops suffered in South Asia. This year completed 250 years of this victory.
The riders rode along the Bardibas-SindhuliGadhi highway, which featured great curves and lay in the midst of picturesque hilly surroundings. According to one of the riders, Devendra Basnet, the undulating landscape and the view of Sunkoshi River along the Nagbeli highway provided a perfect backdrop for the ride. World cyclist Pushkar Shah, who led the ride, entertained the participants with folk songs and dance throughout the ride.
This year, the riders visited SindhuliMaadi after attending the victory festival at SindhuliGadhi. The regional Chamber of Commerce organized a cultural program there. More than 55 local actors from Pragatisheel Prativa Centre showcased their performances at the program to the delight of the weary riders. The riders were also provided with dinner after cultural program.
Right Honorable President of Nepal, Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari honored Sambriddha Sindhuli Abhiyan team for their contribution towards promoting SindhuliGadhi across the country and the world by organizing the annual cycle ride. Coordinator of Sambriddha Sindhuli Abhiyan, Lila Nath Ghimire received the honor from President Bhandari on the behalf of the organizing team. According to Saurav Dhakal, the coordinator of Ride to SindhuliGadhi, the victory ride was organized with the motive of connecting the country’s capital to SindhuliGadhi and promoting SindhuliGadhi to the world. He said that efforts were being made to transform the event to an international standard by improving every year. He added that more foreign tourists would be invited to the event next year.
Various local and government bodies along the route in Bhaktapur and Kavre districts welcomed the riders with garlands, snacks, juice and water among others. This included Bhaktapur Tourism Development Committee, Press Chautari, Banepa Municipality, Himal Terai Yatayat, Dhulikhel Chamber of Commerce, Kavre Cycle Association, Namobuddha Municipality, Hanuman Higher Secondary School, Sunkoshi Rural Municipality, Kamalamai Municipality, Sweet Orange Producers Cooperative Association. Similarly, Nepal Army also gave a surprise welcome to the riders in Bhaktapur’s Jagati, Kavre’s Dhulikhel and Bhakundebesi.
This year’s ride saw the participation of some nationals from Japan and the US, including a 12 year old attraction American Seann Newman who successfully completed the 153 kilometer ride. Similarly, this year also saw an enthusiastic turnout of 11 women riders who also completed the ride successfully. Safety wise, there were only 3 or 4 injuries during the overall event . The Red Cross Sindhuli has helped us massively by providing 4 ambulance for 2 days with all the equipments (ORS), sprays, band-aids and so on.
The riders were provided with food, accommodation, insurance, medical support and mechanics throughout the three day ride. On the morning of the third day, the riders visited Raktamala temple and Root Art Gallery (a gallery collection of art made out of plant roots) in SindhuliMaadi. The ride came to a conclusion after the riders safely packed their bicycles on trucks and took the bus back to Kathmandu. Upon their arrival in Kathmandu, the riders expressed their thanks to the organizing team for successfully organizing the three day ride.