Kaskikot sits in the foothills of the Annapurna region of the great Himalayan Mountains. It is surrounded by world-famous snowcapped peaks, but Kaskikot itself is only a few thousand feet in altitude, and a two hour bus-ride from the city of Pokhara.
Before the unification of Nepal in the mid 1700s, Kaski was one of its major feudal capitals. ”Kot” means a high-point or small peak, so “Kaski-kot” is literally the high place of the Kaski region. To this day, evidence of this royal heritage can be found along the striking hilltop that climbs to the actual “kot,” and at the very highest place is the gem of the region, a temple devoted to the Goddess Kali. During the major harvest festival of Dashain, people come from near and far to pay respects at Kaski-kot.
Kaskikot is a traditional subsistence farming village, but it has changed dramatically in the last decade. With the influx of cell phones and exodus of educated youth to cities and nearby countries in search of work, many aspects of rural life have been forced to reinvent themselves.
One member of our Hand Over Matter team has been visiting Kaskikot every year since 2002. You can listen to a handful of short radio features about life in Kaskikot here.