Saturday Features

Marpha magnificent

- Merit Maharjan

Oct 6, 2018-

In Marpha, the winds are sharp and the landscape is rocky but the views are breathtaking and the brandy is strong. This is the land of the hardworking people, quite literally as ‘Mar’ means hardworking and ‘Pha’ translates to people. Marpha residents are a contradictory lot, laidback and easy-going but at the same time, hardworking and diligent.

Famous for its apples and the resulting gut-searing brandy, Marpha has flourished as a tourist destination. If it once primarily hosted foreigners, the past five years has seen a steady rise in domestic tourists who’ve come to trek the Annapurna Circuit and witness the uniquely awe-inspiring landscape that is Mustang.

Jomsom is a stone’s throw from Marpha, as trekking routes go, and from there on, the arid desert rainshadow visage of Mustang beckons all comers. In between, Marpha is nestled in a nook, not quite Jomsom and not quite Tatopani. Though small, it is a world all its own. I traveled to Marpha a few weeks ago and got a chance to mingle with the people and be a part of their everyday lives, albeit for only two days. These photographs are an attempt at capturing the essence of the village and beauty of its people.


 Looking over.


 From farm to market.


 A bucketful of vitamins.


 The grass is greener where you water it.


 Unlocking happiness?


 Tug of war.


 Childhood is a short season.


 There’s a whole different world outside, there’s a whole different world inside.

Published: 06-10-2018 08:14

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