Changunarayan witnessing fewer tourists

Kathmandu, May 27

Changunarayan temple, one of the world heritage sites in the country, has recorded decline in the number of tourists after the devastating earthquakes of 2015.

Ashakaji Maharjan, local of Changunarayan Municipality-4 said the number of tourists had significantly gone down after the earthquake. Maharjan, who used to run a painting shop in his own house, has closed his shop for want of tourists.

“Me and my son together used to sell paintings before the earthquake. After earthquake my son and daughter-in-law went to Australia for jobs as we could not earn much from the shop, he said.“ Maharjan informed that tourists visited Changunarayan temple occasionally.

Sapana Maharjan, who looks after the ticket counter of the temple, said that flow of tourists increased only after October. “This year only 20 to 30 tourists visited the temple in a day but before earthquake around 60 tourists used to visit the temple.

Local vendors, who used to sell thangka, paintings, masks, dolls and pashmina clothes adopted new business as their earning reduced after the earthquake.

Himal Tiger Lama, who has been selling thangka painting at Changunarayan for the last 20 years shared that his earning significantly dropped after the earthquake.

“I used to earn nearly 800,000 rupees per year by selling thangka but now it is nowhere around that figure,” he added. Budhilal Maharjan, chief of Ward-4 in Changunarayan Municipality, said that ward had been trying to construct the temple as soon as possible.