Madi, a potential tourist hub, in need of publicity

CHITWAN: Madi area of Chitwan, which has historical, religious and cultural significance, has been left in the shadow due to lack of proper publicity.

Surrounded by forest on all sides with over a dozen rivers, including the Rapti flowing from south to north in the district and several breath taking sites, the area holds tremendous prospects for religious and tourism related travel.

The importance of religious sites in Madi has been included in various holy books including the Mahabharat and other Hindu texts.

Someshwor Kalika, Tribenidham, Balmiki Ashram, Goddhak, Parshuram Kunda, Pandavnagar, Baikuntheshwordham, Mahadev Temple, Sita cave and Bikram Baba, among others, are some of the noted sacred places of the area.

The government declared Madi a municipality comprising Gardi, Baghauda, Kalyanpur and Ayodhyapuri VDCs a couple of months back. Parsa lies to the east, Chitwan National Park to the north and west and the state of Bihar of India to the south of Madi area. Tourism expert Bishwo Raj Subedi, who is also general secretary of Chitwan Tourism Development Committee said the Madi area could be developed as a tourism hub if necessary publicity and promotional campaigns were launched with proper strategies for tourism development. “Though the area is in the vicinity of tourism destinations like Sauraha, Jagatpur, Patihani and Meghauli, Madi does not attract tourists due to lack of infrastructure development,” said Subedi.

Madi municipality Executive Officer Thaneshwor Parajui accepted that they had not been able to develop tourism in the area and said that tourism could be developed if well-facilitated hotels and other infrastructure were developed in the area. “The locally developed home-stay facility is not sufficient,” he said.

“If a ring road can be constructed in Madi area, tourism prospects can take a significant leap,” said District Development Committee Officer, Prakash Chandra Poudel. He also pledged necessary support if the locals came up with special plans.

Dilip Mainali, Chairman of Chitwan Tourism Development Committee, said that they could attract tourists who visit various parts of Chitwan to Madi if they could develop it as a tourist destination. He said organic food could be a bait to lure tourists.

Around two lakh tourists visthe district every year. “According to data, 176,000 tourists visited Chitwan National Park this fiscal,’’ said chief conservation officer Kamal Jung Kunwar. “Madi area has been losing its popularity due to lack of necessary publicity,” said Kunwar.