Hira Bahadur Ghalan, the last surviving porter who helped carry 25 vehicles into Kathmandu up and down mountain trails in the 1950s, has died in his home in Chitlang at the age of 89.
In those days, stripped down automobile chassis used to be physically carried by up to nearly 100 porters each from Bhimphedi to Thankot, because there was no motor-able road to Kathmandu.
The journey took the porters more than a week as they maneuvered the load across steep and narrow mountain trails. After they reached Kathmandu, the cars were re-assembled and driven around the Valley’s few thoroughfares by Nepal’s Rana rulers.
Hira Bahadur Ghalan’s passing also marks the end of an era that lasted between 1922-1957 in Nepal, when vehicles did not carry people, people carried vehicles.