Print Edition - 2017-09-24 | MONEY
Baglung benefits from Muktinath tourism
Sep 24, 2017-
The number of tourists travelling to Mustang, home to one of the most revered temple in Nepal, Muktinath has surged recently. This has boosted the tourism industry in Baglung district as tourists stop in the district on the way to Mustang.
Majority of the hotels in Baglung district can been seen teeming with tourist activity as they prepare to visit the temple. Tourists choose the district as a first day stopover as one can get a direct bus to Jomsom in Mustang. From there, tourists can reach the temple in an hour.
Muktinath temple is located at an altitude of 3,800 metres above sea-level and is one of the major attractions of Mustang district. It is a sacred place for both Buddhists and Hindus.
Hindus believe that the temple is associated with Lord Vishnu while Buddhists consider the place to be linked with Buddhist master Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava.
“After daily bus service from Baglung to Jomsom started, the number of tourist visiting Muktinath via Baglung has increased significantly,” said Nilesh Rajbhandari, chairman of hotel association of the district. “However, the majority of them are domestic tourists from all over Nepal.” As there is no popular trekking trail form Baglung, the number of foreigners visiting the district is low. They prefer Pokhara-Ghorepani trekking trail instead of Muktinath.
Rajbhandari who owns Hotel Peace Palace in the district said, “The increased number of tourists to Mustang has benefitted the tourism industry of Baglung.” Around half a dozen good hotels in the district are under full occupancy these days.
Currently, around 500 domestic tourists visit the district daily in order to travel to Mustang, according to the hotel association,. The number is low considering the large number of tourists that visit the temple every year. More than 200,000 thousand people visit the temple every year. However, this year’s number is high compared to last year’s figure of around 200 daily tourists. The number of domestic tourists travelling to Mustang via Baglung, according to Rajbhandari, will increase significantly in the near future as hundreds of them are scheduled to arrive after Dashain festival.
Abolition of the transport syndicate a few years ago also contributed in increasing the number of tourists choosing Baglung as a stopover destination. “As we can hire the vehicle of our choice to travel to Muktinath, we opted for Baglung as stopover,” said Ram Krishna Ghimire of Chitwan. “On the second day we might be able to return home after visiting the temple.”
Similarly, upgradation of the road to Muktinath which is happening currently has also helped in increasing number of tourists.
Published: 24-09-2017 08:12