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Local visitors flock Ghalegaun

A view of mountain range from Ghalegaun in Lamjung district, on Friday, February 12, 2016. Photo: Ramji Rana

Lamjung, February 20, 2017: The number of domestic tourists visiting Ghalegaun of Lamjung has substantially increased of late.

“Though number of tourists visiting the village dropped in winter months, it has been pretty high this year,” said Ghalegaun Tourism Development Committee Office Secretary Dirgha Ghale. As per the office, over 200 domestic tourists visit the tourism hub on a daily basis. “However, the arrival of foreign tourists has declined by 15 per cent,” said Ghale.

As per data at the office, more than 25,000 tourists visited Ghalegaun this fiscal while the number was recorded at 35,000 last fiscal. Breathtaking Himalayas, local and organic food, and home stay facility have added to the beauty and value of tourism development of the village. “Of 120 households, home stay facility is provided by 33 households while construction of home stay in another five houses is underway. Two houses of the local Dalit community also offer improvised home stay facility. “Tourist arrival at those Dalit home stay facilities is also significant,” said Prem Ghale, chairperson of Ghalegaun Tourism Development Committee.

Home stay facility was started in the village in 2002. More than 200 tourists can easily be provided with all kinds of services on a daily basis. With the increment in number of tourists, socio-economic status of local people has also improved.

Ghalegaun, which is at an altitude of 2,100 metres above sea level, can be reached after a two-hour walk from district headquarters Besisahar.

The breathtaking close view of Manaslu, Annapurna, Gangapurna, Harka Gurung Peak, and Uttarkanya temple are the main attractions of the tourism hub. Besides the beautiful sights and scenery, traditional Gurung culture including Ghatu dance, Sorathi dance, Serga and Krishna charitra (drama), local and typical Gurung dishes, among others are the other attractions. Community sheep farming, botanical garden and view tower are equally important attractions of the village.

Tourism museum lures travellers

The newly constructed tourism museum also has promoted tourism in the locality. “Nearly all tourists who come to Ghalegaun visit the museum,” said Museum Conservation Committee Coordinator Purna Bahadur Gurung. The museum was built with the joint financial contribution of the locals and Annapurna Conservation Area Project. Traditional Gurung attire, weapons, musical instruments and other tools with historical importance have been kept at the museum. A sports house also is under construction in the locality. Two locals — Naba Raj Ghale and Ran Bahadur Gurung — who have been living in the UK, have offered Rs 1.3 million for the construction of the sports house.