Tourism and its possibilities holiday destinations

Illustration: Ratna Sagar Shrestha/ THT
 Panauti — the name itself defines how safe, beautiful and peaceful place it is for a beautiful journey. As believed to be built on a single stone, the valley of Panauti is a completely safe destination. Indreshwor Temple, Gorakhnath Temple and gateway to Namo Buddha are some of the many attractions of the place which can really lure anyone. Makar Mela, held every 12 years, is another way to define the beauty of the place. So if anyone is looking for such destination, pack your bags and head towards Panauti municipality of Kavrepalanchok District. — Pritam Basnet, Panauti, Kavrepalanchok  Nepal is still recuperating from the devastating earthquake of 2015. The tourism sector had been almost frozen for sometime. But Nepal is still a paradise for its natural beauty and cultural attractions. Many of the cultural heritage sites inside and outside the Valley need reconstruction but there are many other destinations which can attract tourists undoubtedly. Mustang is the place I want to visit. I am attracted to its natural beauty. It is situated in the Himalayas where the temperature is low. And I love that climate. It will be great to explore the prosperous culture and language of the people of that place. The world’s deepest gorge — Kali Gandaki Gorge, Mount Dhaulagiri, Mount Niligiri and Lake Damodar are the attractions there. I want to visit the place for the adventurous trekking and natural vegetation. I have heard that Mustang is one of the places of Nepal where Tibetan culture still flourishes. The valleys and desert vegetation around the Himalayas, the Himalayan range and its existing culture fascinate everyone, not only me. — Lalita Dulal, Maitidevi-32, Kathmandu  We have been talking about the quake and its effects in our lives pretty much the whole year. The quake had its impact on tourism as well. Our country is a very beautiful place but despite the beauty Mother Nature has bestowed upon us, our admirers are still in doubt and fear due to the quake. This has led to a decrease in the number of tourists visiting our country. Reconstruction works have been going on but there are also destinations unaffected by the quake. And I refer  Pokhara (well known as the Switzerland of Nepal) and Manang, the exotic creation of nature away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. With its thrilling trials, exotic sceneries and beautiful Tilicho Lake standing at the highest altitude, snow-capped mountain and rivers, Manang does quench the thirst of adrenaline rush. And obviously I don’t have to describe the beauty of Pokhara. Amazingly these two destinations are among the least affected places by the earthquake. Manang being my birthplace and Pokhara being on top of my bucket list, I personally went to these two amazing places post the quake and saw almost no damages. So these places are safe, awesome and a must for tourists or any other travellers out there. — Lhakpa Choedon Lama  I was in conversation with a foreign friend, who seems to love this city (Kathmandu Valley) more than his own. And a question arose in my mind. Why? And through his eyes I see the beauty of my own city. Besides the natural beauty, the place is more beautiful because of the people who live here. The cultural aspect, the colourful festivals and tea from tea stalls among others, this place is memorable. Therefore I believe Nepal is not just naturally beautiful by being culturally rich for travellers, it is the country and cities of diversity for those who are in search of adventure. About safety, I think it’s better to stay home for once because anything can happen while travelling. It’s a choice if you want to take a risk or not. But travelling definitely has more risk and more unsafe circumstances than an earthquake. — Anuska  Earthquake is a natural disaster. There is no safest place on this earth where we can escape the earthquake. Nepal is a Himalayan country which is blissful and boon of natural resources. Lots of tourists come here to visit and enjoy the scenery of Nepal. And the safest and beautiful destinations here, of all the places is Mustang. The name itself paints the picture of clear water, mountain and the peaceful environment. Mustang is the safest place to visit because the earthquake has not done any damage to this place. The mesmerising scenes make everyone to forget about pain and trouble and bind them together with the environment. People of Mustang are welcoming, and make visitors feel like they are god to them. Mustang is a piece of heaven on earth and one should visit this place once in their lifetime. — Sonika Lamichhane  Pokhara is the most sought after destination of Nepal for both domestic and foreign tourists. But the latter are much more attracted to the second most developed city of the country which is known for its natural beauty. There are many places to visit like Devi’s Falls, Bat Cave, Mahendra Cave, Phewa Lake, Rupa Lake, Begnas Lake, Tal Barahi Temple, World Peace Pagoda et cetera. I have visited the city many times and I have relatives from Pokhara too. Even my mother has connection to this city and she takes pride in taking its name. Despite of the fact that Nepal experienced earthquake of April 25, 2015 followed by five-month long Indian economic blockade, the Himalayan country is still strong in tourism industry as arrival of tourists has seen risen of late. I love to visit this city again in the near future. Time has come for the present Government to promote and enhance Pokhara so that the tourists’ visit will be doubled in another year. — Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor  I think Pokhara is the most beautiful place as a tourist destination in Nepal. Its overwhelming natural scenery of huge green hills and magnificent view of Phewa Lake grabs anyone’s attention. It is very different unlike other places among the most popular tourist destination places such as Kathmandu, Dharan et cetera. It is not that much congested and polluted than other cities. Due to its calm and clean environment I feel that I am in a foreign country when I visit there. Also it is a safe place to visit, for it is safe from the trauma of natural calamities like earthquake, landslide, flood et cetera. Even though 7.8 magnitude earthquakes struck the country on April 25, 2015, it had not encountered great devastation in comparison with other places. Also, so far I haven’t seen and heard much about news of natural calamities occurring in Pokhara. Hence, I feel Pokhara is a safe place. — Anonymous  My favourite part of Nepal as a tourist destination is the capital city of Kathmandu. Although some of the famous sights that stood before the tragic 2015 earthquake no longer stand, Kathmandu remains a lively city where a young western tourist like myself can come experience the beautiful and friendly Nepali culture and lifestyle. Living in Dhapasi in Kathmandu for several months has allowed me to truly experience what the normal day-to-day life of a Nepali would be! — Justin Riele, California, USA  Nepal is a naturally blessed country surrounded by many flora and faunas, rich in cultural diversity, having multi-ethnic group of people. In this regard there are many beautiful places where a person can explore themselves as a tourist destination in Nepal. For me there are many places which I like the most as a tourist destination but choosing one out of all will be Lumbini. Gautam Buddha who was born in Nepal’s Lumbini is known throughout the world as the “Apostle of Peace” and “The light of Asia”. He enlightened people to spread love, peace and harmony. Recently, to mark the 2560 Birth Anniversary of Gautam Buddha there was an International Buddhist Conference held in Lumbini to give people a message of love, peace, non- violence and tolerance when the world currently has been suffering from all the political, economic and social upheavals. This conference was considered as a wonderful opportunity for tourism stakeholders as well as the Government of Nepal to promote and highlight the significance which Lumbini holds in itself. Not only this, Lumbini is also one of the famous tourist destinations mainly popular among Buddhist Community throughout the globe. Moreover, there are other places nearby Lumbini like — Tilaurakot, Devdaha and Ramgram where people can visit while they visit Lumbini as these places falls under the Buddhist circuit. So, both national as well as international tourists can visit this place to rejuvenate themselves with all the positivity which Lumbini has to offer. Also as Lumbini lies in the tarai region of Nepal where there has been less effects of the earthquake as compared to other regions like hills and mountain, Lumbini can be considered as one of the safest tourism destinations as well. — Tejaswi Pahari, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur  The best tourist destination would be Pokhara. It’s because, even though earthquake had brought lots of damages to this place, its natural beauty remains the same. This place has remained well known for its natural beauty and as an adventurous spot. The cool and fresh breeze blowing from the high mountains and thick forest blows my mind towards the natural environment. The scenic beauty of the place is inspiring and memorable. At last, this place is still a safe for tourists unless they are vigilant about themselves during the journey. As a matter of fact, there is no such place where catastrophe doesn’t occur. — Lobsang Choegyal, Kopan Monastery  Palpa, which is traditionally famous for ‘Palpali  Dhaka topi’ and ‘Palpali Karuwa’ is a must-visit place for the tourists and adventure lovers. Tansen is the district headquarter of Palpa. Tansen is a safe spot for the nature lovers and aspiring travellers. Tansen has marvellous climatic condition. Its eye-catching scenic beauty can easily melt the heart of the visitors. Tansen is not less than heaven as it is a naturally blessed town with green environment of forests, amazing views of himalayas and ancient temples of historical importance. The powerful earthquake of April 25, 2015 and its subsequent aftershocks crippled the human lives and infrastructures of most eastern parts but Tansen was amongst the safe-zones. Needless to say, Tansen is still a safe tourist destination. Anyone can freely visit this peaceful and beautiful town with an immense joy and pleasure. Till date, no such threats of catastrophes have been reported. Even during the monsoon seasons, one doesn’t have to fear of landslides except in few or minor cases. Since, Tansen is a small town, it takes you maximum two days to visit the entire counterparts of this famous tourist-site if you prefer trekking to vehicular transportation. You don’t have to worry about the accommodation and transportation facility here. I would like to welcome every travellers and tourists to once visit this beautiful town enriched with natural beauty and favourable climatic condition. I would like to recommend them to make their travelling experience memorable and fantastic one by visiting this amazing town. — Sanjog Karki, Tansen-6, Basantapur, Palpa  The devastating earthquake not only destroyed the livelihood of many Nepalis but also shattered many hopes and dreams. It also had a great impact on the tourism industry. Many roads, highways as well as tourism industry had a downfall. One year has passed and we Nepalis have risen from the rubbles but we are still facing heavy loss in the tourism sector. In the present context, I think eastern part of Nepal is the safest among all because it was less affected by earthquake than other places. Infrastructures and other services haven’t been destroyed that much but there may be problems on the highways due to landslide. Moreover, the places of eastern parts of Nepal — Dharan, Ilam, Jhapa, Mechi which are very popular for its serenity and tranquility would be great places to visit for their beauty. Thanks to the unique culture and tradition of the ethnic groups of this region, it will act as remedies to the visitors. — Anish Manandhar, Pako  Devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015 was disastrous. It was tumultuous period for us and had to deal with its aftermath for a pretty long time. Obviously it took time to keep our sanity. However with time, everything now has turned back to normal, which took its own pace. Nepal is one of richest countries in the world in terms of biodiversity due to its unique geographical position and latitudinal variation, which is the reason we have many tourist destinations. Among the various tourist destinations of Nepal I personally like Pokhara the most. Pokhara is one of most beautiful places of Nepal from the geographical point of view. Once you are surrounded by vitality of this city, I am sure anyone will surely have something to remember and cherish about for their lifetime. Because of the earthquake, there may have been delusion regarding safety for many people but we can assure this city is truly safe and is well facilitated for the visitors. Besides, the earthquake didn’t have much of an impact in Pokhara compared to other parts of Nepal. So without an inch of doubt/fear you can visit this place and enjoy the natural beauty of Pokhara. — Shristina Shrestha, Sinamangal, Kathmandu  It has been a year since Nepal faced the huge disaster of earthquake. Many people lost their lives. Parents lost their children and children lost their parents. Lots of people lost their relatives. Numerous houses were destroyed because of which people were forced to live under the open sky without water, food et cetera. Most of the countries supported Nepal financially, emotionally and some helped us by sending their rescue teams. The Government from Nepal also reached out to most of the affected areas and their people to provide support by food, clothes, water and shelter. In the earthquake, Kathmandu Valley which is one of the historical places, unfortunately became the victim. The historical sites like Bhaktapur Dubar Square, Patan Dubar Square, Dharahara, Ranipokhari and many other popular temples were destroyed. These places have not been constructed and this has had impact on the tourism sector which is evident. The number of tourist visiting Kathmandu and other effected places is decreasing. But I think Pokhara is the place which is still safe as it was not affected by the earthquake. As we know, Pokhara is beautiful and one of the popular tourist destinations in Nepal. There are many attractions like green hills, mountains, Phewa Lake, Begnas Lake, Bindabasini Temple, Chinese Gumba, Tal Barahi Temple, Devi’s Fall et cetera which are still risk-free and I think this city is a secure destination for tourism sector. Tourists can visit this place without any fear for relaxation, refreshment and enjoy their holidays or trip by doing different adventurous activities like bunjee jumping, boating, paragliding et cetera. Even though the place is safe, the government is still trying their best to keep it away from risk and for its conservation. — Sumi Gautam  I think Nepal is still a safe destination for tourism because the mostly affected area by earthquake is Kathmandu which is the capital of our country. Besides the capital, there are lots of other places to visit. For example, Chitwan is a better choice as a tourist destination as it’s located in the Tarai region which was less affected by the earthquake. The attraction of this place is Chitwan National Park, Sauraha and many more. So I think Chitwan is a safe place to visit. — Sujan Gautam
QUESTION OF THE WEEK The SLC results are out, and those who have passed the ‘Iron Gate’ are now preparing to pursue higher education. With the number of educational institutions offering diverse subjects, it is quite difficult for students to decide where to study and what. And many students may not be sure what subject best suits them. How can students know which subjects is best suited for them? What things should be considered before joining an educational institution? Give your suggestions. ­Send your replies in not more than 200 words by Friday, June 24 by 2:00 pm to Features, The Himalayan Times, e-mail: features@thehimalayantimes.com