Patients flock to Tatopani to cure diseases

MYAGDI: After almost a decade of living with the "ignominy" of a skin disease, life for Nisar Aahamena suddenly seems to offer a new hope. The 26 year-old Indian national, who is in Myagdi to take a dip into the Tatopani pond, believes that he finally has discovered the cure for his disease.

"Medicines didn't help much to cure my disease. But after I started bathing in the holy pond, the ugly marks on my body vanished miraculously," Aahamena said.

Bishnu KC of Dang recounts a similar story. KC was tired of visiting big hospitals, when she heard of the "holy" pond. She said, "I bathed in the holy pond and now I am rid of those regular bone and joint aches."

With the same belief, a large number of patients are flocking to Tatopani to bathe in the pond, located at Singa VDC of Myagdi district. People from as far as Singapore and Delhi visit Tatopani with the belief that their diseases would be cured.

According to Tatopani Pond Management Committee, the water in the pond smells of sodium chloride and sulphur while its temperature remains 45-50 degree Celsius.

Purna Bahadur Khadka, a member of the committee, said the concoction of water and sulphur might have worked as a medicine. As many as 100 patients can take a dip into the pond at a time. "As the number of patients has increased, we have made three-shift bathing arrangement," Khadka added. The Tatopani pond is an hour bus ride away from Beni, Myagdi's headquarters.

According to the TPMC, as many as 12,000 patients had cured themselves of their diseases in 2007 while 15,000 patients had visited Myagdi to take bathe in the pond by November 2008. It is believed that bone and skin diseases, swelling, obesity and influenza can be cured by bathing in the pond. Min Bahadur Baniya, a member of the TPMC, said the healing powers of the pond could be made a subject of scientific investigation.