SINDHUPALCHOWK, MAY 27
The Himalayan Great Trail, a trekking route that is under construction in Helambu of Sindhupalchowk district, has become the centre of attraction in the district.
"The federal and provincial governments will provide budget for construction of the trail resembling China's Great Wall," said chair of Helambu Rural Municipality, Nima Gyaljen Sherpa. The project is estimated to cost over Rs 3 billion.
The trekking route will be 60 kilometres long and three metres wide.
"The project is expected to help promote religion, develop tourism and improve the living standard of the local people," he said. "Approximately 1,300 metres of the trail has been completed so far," he said. "The project has been the centre of attraction to the tourists visiting the area." Before the onset of COVID-19 in the country, many domestic and foreign tourists visited the Himalayan Trail here.
Visitors can also view dozens of monasteries and religious sites, including Aamayangri, Milarepa Cave, Bhemethang (the area where Guru Rinpoche meditated) and Palchok Jayabagishwori.
It will take nine days to trek along this trail which stretches at an altitude of 2,400 metres from sea level to 5,000 metres.
The trekkers can also get a glimpse of cultures of Tamang, Hyolmo, Gurung and other indigenous communities during the journey.
The Himalayan Great Trail can also be viewed from the mountain flight. One can see 80 per cent of Himalayan peaks along the central and eastern region of the country from this trail. The world's highest mountain Mt Everest can be viewed from Pakedanda, which lies on the trail itself.
The forests around this trail are home to pheasant, Himalayan goat, blue sheep, red panda, among various species of alpine wildlife. Sherpa said they were coordinating with Langtang National Park for construction of the trail so that it wouldn't disturb the wildlife in the national park. Langtang National Park is a habitat of the endangered red panda.
The famous pilgrimage site, Gosainkunda is just a kilometre away from Semisidhang, the last point of the trail. "A feasibility study is being conducted for operation of adventure sports such as canyoning and paragliding around the area. Construction of Bungee bridge has reached the final stage," Sherpa said.
Ambathan, which is a source for diversion of the Melamchi stream for supplying drinking water to Kathmandu valley through the Melamchi Water Supply Project, also lies in Helambu area.
A version of this article appears in the print on May 28, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.