Ghalan’s father used to be a car porter too, and he followed his footsteps in 1949. In the next decade till the Tribhuvan Highway was built, Ghalan had carried 25 vehicles. The bigger cars used to be stripped off their tyres and other movable parts, which were carried separately. Even the petrol needed as a fuel for the cars used to be hauled up to Kathmandu by porters.
There were 48 people from Thaha rural municipality who worked as porters, and Ghalan was the last surviving one. Another porter, Jukta Bahadur Waiba, died two years ago.
The first car to be driven in Nepal was in 1922, when Britain’s King Edward VIII (then crown prince) rode one on a hunting trip in the Tarai. After the Ranas saw that, they also wanted cars, but since there were no roads to Kathmandu, the vehicles had to be physically transported on porter back to the Valley.