Lack of motorway hurts tourism at Tatopani

Himalayan News Service

Nuwakot, February 4:

Tatopani, a hot spring situated at Chilime VDC- 5 of Rasuwa district, is yet to reap benefits of being one of major tourism attractions due to lack of a proper motorway. Though the hot spring is highly regarded for its health curing properties and also for religious purposes, only determined people can reach it by hiking for about three hours. The place is only about 20 km away from the district headquarters Dhunche. The road goes as far as Dhambochet and from there, one has no option but to walk.

Locals believe installing required facilities including transportation, telephones and hotels could boost the number of visitors dramatically. The hot spring is considered good for health. It is believed that a bath in the hot water for three consecutive days can cure skin and stomach ailments and also relieve joint pains. Namgyang Tamang, a local, said lots of foreigners have started staying for a longer period of time to enjoy the benefits of the hot spring. The place has also a religious significance, Tamang informed. Thousands of people visit Tatopani each year to worship the local deity.

Deepak Prasad Bhattarai, secretary, Chilime VDC, said that DDC Rasuwa is trying to put Tatopani on the national map of places of religious importance. In accordance with the plan, construction of separate ponds for women and men within the main pond has been completed. A temple of lord Shiva has also been constructed next to the pond. Though, the site is an all-season tourist spot for foreigners, domestic and religious tourists prefer

to visit Tatopani during Kartik and Falgun. Sharing their experiences, local hoteliers said visitors are disheartened by having to walk for hours to reach Tatopani. Though there is a road linking Dhunche and Dhambochet, the remaining six km, from Dhambochet to Tatopani, visitors have to walk on foot.

Locals have requested the Chilime Hydro Project and DDC for construction of the motorway to Tatopani. But, both institutions have not yet responded to the request. Sujita Tamang, a local of Dhambochet, said proper management of Tatopani could help promote tourism in the district.