The autumn nights are clear and starlit, with the Milky Way, shooting stars and satellites crossing the sky. Visitors fall asleep listening to the calls of Collared Owlets and Mountain Scops Owls nearby.
The next morning it is a climb up a steep forested slope alive with flycatchers, warblers and babblers on the trail to Kotari, and onward to Upper Kaaule where there is also a homestay.
This is where the Spiny Babbler was sighted in 2020, marking a new locality for this bird. The next morning the trail climbs through the dense rhododendron forest of Gadi-Siraichuli to Upardang Gadi village via Chisapanitar. There are plenty of homestays, and the area is a haven for birders. There are stunning mountain views, especially before sunrise.
Read also: Spiny babbler tourism, Kamal Maden
The fort at Upardang Gadi is situated at 1,275m with unsurpassed views of Chitwan Valley to the south and the mountains to the north. Birds of prey soar over the fort, with sightings of the Greater Spotted, Steppe Eagles and Pied Harriers. At dusk Lesser Kestrels hawk acrobatically for termites.
The next day it is downhill to Shaktikhor in Chitwan, where a forest was cleared for a UN-supervised camp for the demobilisation of the Maoists after the conflict ended in 2006, and then on to the highway.