Lonely Planet Writer

End of an era as Nepal’s last car porter dies

Dhan Bahadur Gole, the last of Nepal’s legendary car porters, has died at the age of 92 in the nation’s capital, Kathmandu.

The Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.
The Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Image by Frontierofficial / CC BY 2.0

During the Rana era in the early decades of the 20th century, there were no roads linking Nepal to neighbouring countries, so the automobiles lusted after by the country’s playboy rulers had to be physically carried into the foothills of the Himalaya by teams of specially selected porters. At the height of the Rana era, a crew of more than 60 porters were employed to carry cars along perilous mountain tracks to reach Nepal’s only motorable roads in the Kathmandu Valley, which were effectively a toy racetrack for the country’s rulers. Gole was known in his village as Gadi Bokne Budha, meaning ‘car-carrying old man’, in tribute to his role bringing the first cars to Nepal.

Read more: kathmandupost.ekantipur.com