Devotees stranded in Taplejung

Taplejung, October 12:

Insufficient public transport vehicles has left devotees visiting the Pathibhara temple stranded in Taplejung.

Devotees believe that it is good to visit the temple during the time from Dashain and Tihar and these days the temple is crowded with visitors but inadequate transport facility has forced many of them to stay in Taplejung and wait for their turn to board a vehicle to go home.

Three to four buses ferry passengers away from the district headquarters, Taplejung, everyday and people even dare to travel atop the bus roof rather than stay there for long.

It is estimated that the number of visitors soared this year by as much as three-fold as compared to previous years due to the peaceful situation in the country. But lack of adequate transport facilities is making it very difficult for them to return home.

Devotees have also found to be fighting among each others to get bus tickets. One Babita Adhikari of Kathmandu complains that she has been trying to get a bus ticket to go to Kathmandu from the past three days but in vain. Tickets are booked a week before the travelling time, she said adding that she is worried that she has almost finished the money she has. “I am worried over what to spend on my way home,” she said.

A devotee from Darjeeling, Manoj Poudel, who came to Pathibhara is also stranded in Taplejung. He said he is facing a tough time to get a bus ticket to return home.

One Pramila Shrestha said crowded buses make it very difficult for the children to travel in them.

The in-charge of Mechi Transport Bus Entrepreneurs Association, Taplejung Counter, Jung Sunuwar, said passengers fight to get bus tickets. He said as many as 70 passengers travel in the 40-seat buses everyday.

A few months ago the buses plying in and out of Taplejung had very few passengers and now it seems things are improving for the transport entrepreneurs, he said.

Priest at the Pathibhara temple, Dilli Acharya, said as many as 500 devotees visit the temple everyday to offer puja animal sacrifices. Even dharmashalas in Pathibhara are running out of capacity due to large number of devotees, he said.

The temple located at a height of 3,994 meters is also suitable for sightseeing and the weather is perfect for tourists as well, said said coordinator of Pathibhara Devi Temple Conservation and Promotion Committee, Prajapati Kaphle.