Print Edition - 2015-07-26 | MONEY
‘Visit Rukum Year’ promotes Guerrilla Trek, Yarsa trails
Jul 25, 2015-
The Mid-western district of Rukum is celebrating this financial year as “Visit Rukum Year”, especially aimed at promoting the Guerrilla Trek.
Home to the famous Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, the district is also famous for Yarshagumba, a high-value Himalayan herb, and study centre of the Magar culture.
Known as “the place of 52 lakes and 53 hills”, Rukum has an immense potential to promote “war tourism” with the Guerrilla Trek. Rukum was one of the worst-affected districts by the Maoist insurgency that ended in 2006.
The “Guerrilla Trek” features base areas, camps and remains of the decade-long conflict between the state and the Maoists, and several other tourist sites.
The trek was developed in coordination with the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). US-based author Alonzo Lyons has also prepared a guide book.
According to the District Development Committee, Rukum has been witnessing a surge in the number of visitors. So far 25 trekking teams from within the country and abroad have mapped this trail.
There are tourist activities available throughout the year. During this time of the year, the trekkers can enjoy sightseeing of places where Yarshagumba is available. From Sept to Oct, visitors can experience hunting in the Dhorpatan Hunting Reservce, and in March-April, they can participate in local fares and Magar cultural activities.
According to the District Tourism Development Committee, there are three Guerrilla Trek routes. The first one can be explored in 19 days, and the second and third routes can be covered in 14 and 27 days, respectively.
All the routes start from Pokhara and ends in Rukum through places like Beni, Dhorpatan, Thawang, Syafru Daha, Mushi Kot, Rukum Kot, Sukul Bang, Jel Bang, Khara, Maikot, Kyam, Pelma, Lackam and Bafikot, among others. “Locals have made arrangements for home stay at their own initiation at number of places, which has made it easier for operating the trek,” said Bharat Kumar Sharma, Local Development Officer and president of the Tourism Development Committee.
The locals say the visitors are especially interested in places that sustained major impact due to the conflict. They include Bajar Khaula, Khara Basti, Chunbang, Thawang, Mahat, Rukumkot and Mushikot. Other places of interest are Taksera, Rukumkot, Syapru Daha, Mushikot and Khara.
Most of the areas captured by the Maoists during the insurgency have been converted into tourist destinations. Two police stations -- Holeri and Aath Bish Kot -- the first two sites attacked by the Maoists fall along this route.
The trek also features a number of lakes, rivers, streams and temples, among others. Another attraction is the Dhaulagiri Mountain Range that the trekkers can enjoy. The tourists can also observe the hardships of the war-hit people and devastated physical infrastructure.
For foreign tourists and those from Kathmandu, the route from Pokhara has been opened. For others, a route has been opened from Dang, which leads to Salyan and Rolpa.
Published: 26-07-2015 08:27