Annapurna Sanctuary Tourism Festival 2074 kicks off in Kaski

POKHARA: Annapurna Sanctuary Tourism Festival 2074 has begun in Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) at the height of 4,160 metres in Annapurna Rural Municipality of Kaski district from Wednesday.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Development Committee Rabindra Adhikari inaugurated the seven month long festival at the ABC.

The festival has been jointly organised by the Annapurna Sanctuary Tourism Festival Committee, National Trust For Nature Conservation (NTNC), Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and Nepal tourism Board (NTB) at the investment of around Rs 15 million, the festival coordinator Lalit Gurung informed.

The festival is being held in three phases with the aim of promoting tourism by bringing to public notice that Mount Annapurna I (8,091m) is the first peak over 8,000 metres climbed by the mountaineers in the world.

File photo shows tourism entrepreneurs having a meal on the way to Annapurna Base Camp. Photo: THT
File photo shows tourism entrepreneurs having a meal on the way to Annapurna Base Camp. Photo: THT

French mountaineers Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal became the first climbers in modern history to summit Mount Annapurna I, the 10th-highest mountain in the world in 1950. Subsequently, three years later, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary reached the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953.

A foundation stone has been laid to erect the statue of Herzog in his honour in the inaugural session of the festival.

Various programmes including Himalayan herbs stalls have been put up, observation of Annapurna region, glacier journey, photo exhibition of traditional hotels, Himalayan bird watching have been organised in the first phase of the festival, according to the festival promotion coordinator Tanka Adhikari.

On the occasion, the family members of Herzog, his liaison officer Ghana Bikram Rana, Sardar Ang Tharke Sherpa and a tourism specialist Jhalak Thapa were honoured.

The second phase of the festival will take place at Chhomrong along the ABC route December 25 this year. Tamu Lhosar inauguration, sports competition, folk songs and dance show among various cultural programmes would be organised, in the second phase.

Likewise, the third phase of the festival will take place at Ghandruk in the Annapurna region on June 1, next year 2018. The final phase would comprise Annapurna Marathon, engender of Hindu mythology, Open volleyball competition, essay competition on the topic of mountain among others.

It has been set to conclude the festival on June 3, 2018, coinciding the 68th anniversary of Mount Annapurna ascent.

The discount of 10 per cent would be offered on food dishes, the assistant coordinator Kshetra Bahadur Gurung informed.

Lawmaker Sharada Paudelm, Kaski Chief District Officer (CDO) Tara Nath Adhikari, NTNC Members; Secretary Govinda Gajurel, Executive Director Siddhartha Bajracharya, NTB Pokhara Chief Udaya Bhattarai, Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) Western Regional Association addressed the opening ceremony of the festival.