Nitsun in Gyirong

“Nitsun” means “seat” in Tibetan, “the holy place blessed by divinities”, which cannot be called haphazardly as a village’s name. The terrain of the village is more featured as a royal throne. It is said that when Atiśa was invited to Tibet, he came from India to Nepal firstly, then went to Gyirong through Rasog, and lived in Nitsun for one year, Atiśa was enlightened and assigned as the host of this area. The story goes like this, when Atiśa looking from the above, he had his eyes on Nitsun, which is exactly a paradise, instead of being a human society. Though this is just a legend, it also illuminates how fascinating the landscape here is.

Located in the towering peak in the north of Gyirong Town, the village is a perfect choice to appreciate snow mountain, morning clouds, sunset and local folk customs. The Z-shaped hilly road, from the fascine dam at the foot of Simla Hills, travels 11 turns consecutively, then leads straightly to the cloud-covered hilltop. Villagers had to pass along the path up and down every day, winding through valley and forest, before the road was built in 2008. Those footpaths were the best way to hike in the village. It took always two to three hours uphill, while going downhill is more easily, taking just an hour. The hilly road stretches to the mountaintop, where there is a flat land for more than 10 km2. Two primitive villages, scatter at the western and eastern sides of the land, boast blue-green or white-red steel sheet roof, very eye-catching and orderly in this area, which is harmonious with distant snow mountain and forests. The two village, named as East Nitsun and West Nitsun, or Shang Nitsun and Xia Nitsun, is home to 68 families, almost some 400 villagers.

There are green farmlands planting barley and wheat in the neighboring, and rough roads sinuate across the fields. Outside the lands are grassplots, dotted with blossoming wild flowers and fluttering bees and butterflies. The southwestern greensward of the flatland is the fairyland for children playing. It is a green pastoral world, a heaven of peace. Pastures interlaced between these villages and fields, interspersed idle flocks and herds. When enjoying the rural idyllic scenery, the pure and hospitable villagers are willing to generously treat you with buttered tea, pancakes, home-made yogurt and barley wine in their homes.

Nitsun is the best spot to enjoy natural landscapes including icy peaks, sunrise and sunset because of its elevated land and wide vision. From this position and view, the snow mountains and glaciers seem more splendid and charming. The snow-capped Mt. Qumugula stands before your very eyes clearly across the western valley, snowy ridges stretch for miles and stone peaks stand in stalwart figure. Under a blue sky, Goddess Peak puts her hands together and sits up facing to the south, vividly and perfectly. In front of the snow hills, the thick-ink-saturated brush of Tiebi Peak points to the sky and sprinkling freely. The Snow Mount Rawobanba, lying in the northwest, with uneven peaks and sharp blades, looks like a huge white-jade screen looming over immense forests and peaks. In the northern stripes of land between mountains, the Purog Kangri glacier spans two peaks like a great wall.

It is noted that in the southeast of Nitsun, there is a stretching snowy peak across Mount Laduo which straightly pointing into the sky. It is Annapurna peaks and Lattice Rooney Peak, which can be appreciated in Pokhara, an outstanding tourism city of Nepal. Annapurna peaks, or Kutang Peak, has an altitude of 8,091 meters, ranked as the tenth highest peak on the earth. It is regarded as the hardest snow mount to climb in the world. To conquer it, the mountaineering community have paid a heavy price. While on the south of the Annapurna snow-capped mountains, there is Geluni Peak, which is 6,977 meters above sea level. Its peak is divided into two parts, just like a fishtail, so it is also called Fish Tail Peak. As one of the national signs in Nepal, it remains a bouncing silver fish end in the skyline.

The various and rapidly changing clouds make these majestic and lofty glaciers more fascinating. Sometimes, slight clouds haunt over the shiny snow mountains, neither friendly nor aloof. The outstanding and stalwart snow hills are manifested by the gentle clouds, while the forceful mountain also sets the elegant and tender clouds off to an advantage. The sunshine not only spreads warmth and bright to the lofty plateau but also bring heavenly and beautiful scenery to Gyirong. In the morning, the genial sunshine warms up the floating clouds and edges a golden halo for the eastern glaciers. The sun is unwilling to go down in the evening at eight or nine. Twilights shine upon clouds, wreathing the mountains, and sunset tints the snow mountains in spectacular glamor.