Rup Narayan Dhakal

Pokhara, June 17:

The 80 km long Millennium Trekking Route at Tanahun and Syangja via Dhorphardi-Majhkot is yet to become operational fully due to growing insecurity and chaos in the country. Tek Bahadur Gurung, officiating president of rural tourism development committee of Dhorphardi-Majhkot, said that some houses near the trekking routes have already constructed bathrooms, toilets and additional kitchens for the tourists. Though four million rupees was requested from the government to prepare the necessary infrastructure along the trekking route, it has not been forthcoming, said Ganesh Gurung, advisor of the committee, at the discussion programme organised by the tourism office at Pokhara.

He said that the amount was requested to properly manage the suspension bridge, cultural building, sightseeing centre and other facilities like communication, media, electricity and health and waste disposal. Earlier, the trekking route was planned to be officially open by the beginning of 2002 AD, but lack of necessary physical infrastructure made it impossible.

With the opening of this trekking route, which has been taken as a novel idea for development of rural tourism, around a 100,000 people residing near the route would be facilitated. Villagers are still waiting to see tourists arrive on their land. Nearly five dozen villagers have already been provided with basic trainings on hospitality and cookery as well as language, presentation, tourist needs and class management by the tourism office at Pokhara. The trekking route goes through Dhorphirdi, Firfire and Raipur in Tanahun and Kolma Barahchaur, Rangbhang, Pelkachaur, Banethok Deurali, Majhkot Shivalaya and Manakamana VDCs in Syangja. Geologist Dr Krishna KC said that the trekking route, varying between 525 metres to 1,709 metres, consists of many places of tourism interest.

The route has been planned to be five days and six nights long and probability study on it was started on January 1, 2000, naming it the Millennium Trekking Route. Locals at Dhorphardi-Majhkot have even organised Dhorphardi-Majhkot Festival at Lakeside with the help of the tourism office of Pokhara. The starting point of this route is at Bansthala in Tanahun. Tourists who opt to trek on this route would not be welcomed by hi-fi hotels but would get a good taste of rural hospitality. They would also savour the taste of local food as well as songs and dances.

Committee chairman Gurung said that the Dhorbarahi temple, Millennium cave, Himalayan range at north, natural greenery, Tibetan refugee camp, Bajasthala river, local traditions and customs would be the main attractions of this trekking route. Apart from these, ancient durbars, temples, rivers, waterfalls, Majh Fort, Kolma Fort and Budha Fort are also some other attractions.