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There are more than 1,200 houses in the village. There is 24-hour electricity, internet facility, basic medical service, good hotels and the village can be reached by direct bus transportation from Kathmandu except in rainy season. Barpak is situated upon the hilltop about 1,900 m (6,200 ft) above sea level of Gorkha and approximately 45 km (28 mi) away from Gorkha Bazar. There is a gravelled road from Abu Khaireney running on the bank of Darauti River to Barpak which extended to Laprak, Gumda and so on. Barpak has nearly 1200 households and nearly 15000 residents. There are small number of Kami, Damai and Sunar (Dalit tribe) in the village serving the community from generation after generation.
The village was badly affected by an earthquake on 25 April 2015.
There is a saying that there was Ghale King who ruled Barpak and surroundings. It used to be a trail for salt traded between Tibetans and Newars of Kathmandu in the early days of Baisey, Chaubesey Rajya (Twenty Two, Twenty Four States) in the early 1400 B.S. During the unification campaign led by Shah dynasty of Nepal by king Drabya Shah and Prithibi Narayan Shah they called Ghale King for a peace talk and was believed to be tricked and wiped out in Nimel on the sandy bank of Daraudi River.
Ghales were given enough wine in metal dish but Shah’s knights were served wine on tapari (hand-made plate with leaves). As Ghales got drunk with binge drinking fight broke out. Shah knights had already hidden swords under sand long before the party started and slaughtered everyone with their hidden weapons. This mass murder wiped out Ghale clan but a few survived who were still unborn, therefore even today Dangey clan of Ghale tribe never drink water at Nibel believing it was flooded with Ghale clan blood once. Those survived, now live in many parts of Nepal. They had scattered around to survive. As years go on, Ghales who lives in Gurungs community, says Gurung Ghale. But in Barpak, they say Ghales are Ghale. Everywhere else in Nepal, ghale is a subcaste of Gurung caste. Only in Barpak, ghale believes of being Ghale caste only, not Gurung. Marriage relationships are arranged within the same village.
Being close to the epicentre and lodged on a steep hillside, the village was extremely hard hit by the April 2015 Nepal earthquake. Reports say less than 10 of 1,200 homes remain standing. The devastation of the earthquake is depicted in a song by a famous singer of Nepal Mr. Ram Krishna Dhakal. The video of the song shows the ordeal aftermath the April Earthquake as well as how the community came together to deal the situations and trying to recover slowly. All photos of the video are from Barpak village. The Youtube link of the video Bhukampa "भूकम्प" is here.
Barpak has its unique historic significance despite its isolation from mainstream politics and bustling cities. It has been visited by German Chancellor Dr Roman Herzog in early 1997. Science Teacher Mr. Mickey Gordon is one of the admirers of Barpak, who has been visiting Barpak year after year for over 23 years and has helped rebuild the village school. Barpak has attracted state television which telecast a documentary about Barpak. The unique sloppy shape of the village with clustered stone tile-roofed houses believe to be the reason behind main attractions to the people wishing to visit Barpak once they have seen pictures of Barpak. Barpak is one of the stopover village routes of trekking around Manaslu.
People can go to Narad Pokhari from Barpak which believe to be one of the pilgrimages of Hindus. It is believed that if you worship after taking bath here at Shrawan Shrangti, your wish would come true. But there is a myth that you must go there once you said you want to go; nevertheless journey is believed to be very harsh through the challenging mountain path. Locals are happy to assist and accompany or guide to Narad Pokhari if you arranged with them in the village.
Barpak has its own micro-hydro power station which supplies 24/7 electricity to all households.
Road and mobility
Life is tough in Barpak where things are all carried by people themselves with Doko and Namlo. They spend a whole day to collect a Doko full of fire wood which will only last few days. This has raised further deforestation and landslide problems in Barpak and surroundings.
Barpak is once again going to change its face forever once the gravelled road reaches to Barpak this year allowing vehicles to reach Barpak during Winter and warm season apart from monsoon. It might take few more years to get paved road and proper bridges which is so significant to operate the gravelled road. It is believed that Barpak would be a business hub of the region when road connects Barpak with other cities creating more opportunities for Barpak and local economy. There is definitely a light at the end of tunnel visible for Barpakies at the moment.
School, college and hospital
There are 6 schools operating at the moment including one high school. Barpakies are hopeful that they will soon get funding for a college from the central government. Barpak needs a bank and a mini hospital to meet the healthcare needs of the community. There are few private pharmacists launching (Store and Forward) Telemedicin service, with some training to look after villagers when they get ill. There is a state funded health post providing family planning advice and basic medical treatment facilities and few complimentary medicines supplies. At the time of birth complication and serious accidents, medical surgical help is 2 days walk in reality which poor people even cannot afford that and they are forced to die without proper medical treatment; instead, they depend on readily available traditional lama Jhakri to cure their illness.
Religion, language and culture
The Gurung language is spoken in Barpak and surrounding which has different accent e.g. Khorla, Uiya, Jagat, Philim, Nyak and also quite different from the one spoken around Lamjung, Pokhara etc. This language is spoken by almost 25 thousand people around Barpak Uiya Pukri to Gumda area. Barpak is believed to be very old settlement historically in the sense that people still practice Bona religion. They seemed to have adapted Buddhism and Hinduism over the centuries and now there is small minority of Christianity. It has one monastery and one temple and one church. But in practice Barpakis go to Dhami Dorong (cemetery) on Baishak Purnima (on Buddha’s Birthday) to worship and get blessing from their ancestors. They gather especially brothers of same clan believed to be extended family from same forefather this day to remember their ancestors and get blessing from them offering food and wine following ritual puja from kul Jhakri (chosen Shaman). Barpakies celebrate maghey sangranti, push pandra dashain tihar chaitey dashain besides Biashak Purnima.
In fact they celebrate Dashain more gracefully then anywhere else when most of the families gather at their homes in this festival. The head of the village would keep Jamara and start Dashain on Ghatashthapana. Every body especially children have to put on new cloth in Dashain and every home must sacrifice a sheep or goat to celebrate Dashain. Dashain ends with putting away fulpati and Chelo competition but it is still unclear as how long Barpakies have been celebrating Dashain.
Most of Barpakies own a piece of land where they grow wheat, millet, soyabean, corn, barley and also rice which is planted only in the lower part of village called loong and Goje. Most families own a herds of sheep and animal and they cash in well at the time of Dashain and other festivals.
The majority of Barpakies live on traditional agriculture to feed their family whereas some men join the British Gurkhas, Singapore Police and Indian Army, Nepal army or go to other countries and serve there to earn their living and handful of pension to support themselves when they grow old. Few Barpakies have taken jobs in local school as teachers and there are some traders supplying groceries, hardware and clothing to the community.
- "BARPAK (Gorkha)". gorkhalionline.com. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- Kaphle, Anup (27 April 2015). "The picturesque village of Barpak was at the epicenter of Nepal's earthquake. Now it's flattened". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
- Bhonsle, Anubha; Bhardwaj, Rajesh (29 April 2015). "Barpak, the village of legendary Gorkha soldiers almost destroyed in Nepal earthquake". IBN (video). CNN-IBN. Retrieved 3 May 2015.