Touristic Siurung village to witness 11th annual festival

LAMJUNG: The touristic village of Siurung that is situated on the walking trail to Annapurna is going to witness 11th Siurung Festival in the last week of May.

The festival, which is going to be organised from May 25 to 27, will focus on the preservation of local art and culture, promotion of home-stay service in the village and of locally produced goods, according to coordinator of the main organising committee, Nanda Ghale.

With a motto that focuses on the advancement of local aspects and participation in tourism sector to boost the economic development of the area, the festival will put on display the various items that would reflect the local art and culture of the area.

Organic food items, agricultural products, medicinal herbs, handcrafted items, spinning wheel, wool, handmade bags, and shawls among other things would be exhibited at the festival, said Secretary at the Siurung Rural Tourism Development Committee, Umar Bahadur Gurung.

The major aim of the festival is to publicise Siurung village as a tourist destination, promote the village as a stopping point on an alternate trekking route to Annapurna, preserve and promote the culture and lifestyle of the Gurung community residing in the village, and reduce unemployment and poverty by boosting local skills and agricultural produces, as stated by coordinator Ghale.

On the first day of the festival, there will be a cultural programme, ward-level dance competition, performances by national-level artists, among others.

Likewise, on the second day, there will be sight-seeing and observation of various local sites such as monastery, Tamu museum and temples among others.  There will be local food tasting, Gurung community-specific cultural programme, and exhibition of handicrafts and medicinal herbs. It has been learnt that the third day of the festival will witness performances by local and national artists.

As many as 17 households in Siurung village have been operating home-stay services to facilitate the visitors. This service began in the village from 2065 BS. The attraction of the village, which has 120 households, is further enhanced by the breath-taking view of Manaslu mountain range.

Tourists and visitors can reach Siurung village from the district headquarters Besisahar after travelling 24 kilometres in a jeep. Otherwise, it takes about one day to reach Siurung from Besisahar. The locals as well as visitors have been facing difficulties to reach the village on vehicles for lack of quality roads.

The village that is situated at around 1,854 m above sea level has a heavy settlement of the Gurung community. In addition to its natural beauty, the village is known for its culture and hospitality of the locals.

The festival is being organised in Siurung village since 2062 BS.