By LB THAPA FOR ONTOTHEROAD.COM
In order to pull people’s attention towards Karnali, a group of four Nepali youths Prem KC, Diwas Lamichhane, Amrit Pahari and Manish Pahari have done a praiseworthy work at their own expense. Since all four of them are from the trekking profession, they decided to promote Karnali for tourism. It was definitely a daunting task indeed, but having been motivated with the spirit of doing something unique, they were hell-bent to traverse Karnali and beyond.
‘The journey to Karnali turned out to be more difficult than it was thought earlier’, said Prem KC the group leader. After having faced mountain of difficulties, the young men eventually reached the destination, where live the Karnali people in desperate condition. Their greatest enemies were scarcity and diseases.
“The local people of Karnali were completely unknown about the presence of any government in the country. They had no interest in Nepali politics either…their prime concern was two times of meal instead. However, literarily speaking Karnali is the treasure trove. It is therefore our effort is to draw people’s attention towards Karnali. Hopefully, we will be successful to pull more tourists to Karnali in days to come” vouched KC.
In fact Mother Nature has endowed Karnali with amazing stock of nature; in spite of this the people of Karnali are virtually living in absolute poverty. The possibility of tourism is abundance in the region, but due to lackluster attitude of the government, almost no efforts have ever been made to explore new vistas in the Karnali region. This is really so unfortunate that the government and tourism board of the country have put no effort to develop this region.
When asked if these young men received any financial assistance from any organizations, they said ‘NO’. “Had we waited to receive financial aid, we would never be able to initiate the mission for Karnali. Nepal Tourism Board does not have money for the people like us. We know corruption is so rampant in the country. Whatever budget is allocated for the promotion of tourism does always vanish as water disappears into sand” complained Diwas Lamichhane.
Those people who are interested to go to Karnali, there are two ways. The first is by air until Dolpa. The second is by bus. It is Karnali highway that goes through Surkhet, Dailekh, Kalikot to Jumla. But the young trekkers’ team opted to walk so that they could learn more about the lifestyle of the people. That’s why the rest of the journey from Kalikot was on foot. They found the entire Kalikot region quite sloppy. Even after walking for miles and miles, they found no flat piece of land. It took two days to reach Jumla, the district headquarters.
“We had a different picture of Jumla. A backward Jumla but the Jumla we saw was entirely different. There was mobile, internet, laptop, banks and luxury hotels and what not! We also met the local farmers who used no fertilizers in their lands till date. We continued walking until Rara Lake. Looking at Rara Lake was like dream come true. It was magnificent indeed. Its water was still and crystal-clear” eulogized Amrit Pahari.
While trekking, weather was not friendly at all, informed KC. Constant rainfall made their journey more difficult and full of hazardous. They had to walk most of the time along the river. It was more like a cliff. A single wrong step could end their lives.
They continued walking with great care and in the end, they successfully reached Rara Lake. Catching the first glimpse of Rara Lake was amazing. Aquamarine water of Rara Lake looked glorious. The special thing about Rara Lake is that there is no visible source of water that formed Rara Lake. However, it is believed that the source of water is right beneath the lake.
After having left Rara Lake behind, the team reached Sinja village. This is a historical village but left in oblivion. It is said the Nepali language had originated from this place. Still some ruins can be found toady. Most unfortunately, our government has paid no attention to preserve this place and artifacts left unnoticed.
There are plenty of places in Karnali, which can be developed for tourism. But until now no efforts have been made of worth mentioning. The government must be serious about the development of tourism in Karnali. Promotion of tourism will uplift the living standard of the local people of Karnali as well.
It is very nice to see the enthusiasm of the young men who have vowed to continue various activities to draw people’s attention towards Karnali. Their only purpose is to promote internal and external tourism in Karnali. Emboldened by commitment and determination, the team is sure about receiving people’s support to popularize ‘Karnali for Tourism’.
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