Manang:

Richard Thomson of the United Kingdom felt like he was in heaven after reaching Manang.

“I got a chance to see the high Himalayas from such close distance,” said Thomson eyeing the snow-capped mountains, “the Himalayas look even better when sun rays fall upon them.”

The seventh highest peak of the world Manaslu, the tenth highest Annapurna I, and other Himalayan ranges can be seen up close from Manang. Also the Tilicho lake, the highest lake in the world, Gangapurna lake, Ice lake, Marshyangdi river and different species of alpine flowers make the stay in Manang a memorable one.

Manang district starts from Taalgaun, which can be reached trekking from Bensisahar. Manang can be reached after four days of trekking following the trail of Marshyangdi river. Green forests, dry land as that of a desert, rocky mountains and sights of the highest peaks are some of the attractions that grab one’s eyes while trekking to Manang. Dozens of waterfalls, sheep and Himalayan goats grazing in pastures, herds of chauri gai and sounds of birds found in Himalayan region add to the beauty of trekking to Manang.

There are around 400 hotels for tourists to stay in Manang district, that is situated at an altitude of 3,540 metres, said local tourism entrepreneur and owner of Hotel Yeti, Binod Gurung.

Tourism entrepreneurs here suffered from the effects of conflict, which resulted in a significant decrease in the arrival of tourists. However, they are hopeful that the talks between the Maoists and the government would be successful and nation’s tourism industry would head in a new direction.

Manang does not see much rain in the monsoon as it lies in ‘rain shadow’ zone.

“The southeastern monsoon gets shadowed by the high mountains because of which Manang gets very less rain,” said professor Dr Kedar Basnet of the Geography department at the Prithvi Narayan Campus. Hence, tourism entrepreneurs are planning to bring in tourists in this season too.

Also local festivals like Ghodejatra and Yartung that are celebrated during this time, add charm to a visitor’s stay in Manang.

Local tourism entrepreneurs say in unison, “Please visit Manang, you will be welcomed here with all our love.”