Takamkot, the major holy shrine in Myagdi district, has begun drawing a considerable number of pilgrims and tourists lately, thanks to construction of physical infrastructure in and around the shrine.

Located in Dhaulagiri Rural Municipality, the 16th century shrine with Jagannath and Annapurna temples, is believed to grant devotees their wishes provided they offer prayers here or make commitments, said priest Hemnath Poudel.

The shrine wore a deserted look until two years ago.

"However, it is receiving a good number of people on a daily basis these days," added Poudel. Connected to two roadways, devotees have to walk a bit to reach the shrine.

Some devotees and tourists also prefer to fly here in helicopter. Former inspector general of police Sarbendra Khanal recently flew here with his family to offer prayers.

The shrine houses idols of Goddess Durga apart from God Jagannath and Goddess Annapurna. It was used as an arsenal for the Bagale Thapa clan from 1189 to 1488 and for the Malla Kings from 1489 and 1825.

Ancient weaponry is still preserved in Takamkot. Special fairs are organised during Dashain, the full moon day in the months of Jestha and Mangsir and in Chaitra according to the Nepali calendar, said Poudel.

For nature lovers, the place offers a panoramic view of various mountain ranges such as Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna and Machhapuchre, among others. Visitors can also soak up the beauty of the sunrise and vast expanses of verdant forests in place situated at an altitude of 2,500 metres.

The arsenal and Jagganath and Annapurna temples that had sustaining damages in the two quakes - one in 1933 and another in 2015 - were reconstructed two years ago.

Locals, people from neighbouring districts and Takam village's youths living abroad raised the fund (Rs eight million) for the reconstruction of this historical shrine. Local government and Nepal Tourism Board have also supported financially.

Reconstruction Committee Chairperson Tejindra Thapa said that a masterplan had been devised for the integrated development of Takamkot. Construction of a new temple in the vicinity is also in the offing.

A version of this article appears in the print on November 25, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.