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Alternative trails sought in wake of shortened trekking routes

Basudev Poudel, POKHARA: The stakeholders and concerned tourism agencies in western region are seeking alternative trails as the rampant construction and expansion of roads were shortening the trekking routes in the region.
Trekking routes under the Annapurna Circuit Trek were being shortened to cover by transportation system. For instance, one can cover the Tatopani-Chitre path in one or two hours in a vehicle. It takes two days to cover the same distance on foot.
Likewise, Nayapul-Ghandruk trekking route is restricted to only one hour drive while the route is one-day distance on foot.
Similarly, other routes through Thampus and Nayapur-Ghorepani have been restricted to some hours to cover with the reach of the transportation means. It takes one or two days to cover the same distances by foot.
The motorway construction in many places have abridged the trekking of several natural and tourism sites in the district, putting the trekking trade in jeopardy while trekking is has been one of the major aspects of mountain tourism in Nepal. Hence, the mountain tourism entrepreneurs have begun seeking alternative trekking trails.
A large number of foreign tourists-over 70 per cent- come to Nepal to endeavor adventurous trek in the high mountains and isolated regions of the Himalayan nation.
Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN)s’ Western Regional Association’s President Deepraj Adhikari shared that the wanton construction of the roads in the trekking routes has led to the soil erosion along the roadside, adversely affecting the trekking tourism.
“The trekking tourism is at stake due to the road expansion being carried out in various places without actual need and significance,” argued Adhikari, adding TAAN’s Western Regional Association is to identify new alternative trekking trails and promote them.
The local tourism entrepreneurs and their families along the Syatong, Jagat, Chyamse, Dharapani, Dhukir Pokhari, Chame among others solely relying on the trekking trade for their livelihood are on the verge of displacement due to the shortened trekking trails.
Among the newly identified trekking trials, one starts from Dwabip in Pokhara and stretches across Hari Gufa, Armalakot, Aatighar Mauja, Thak, Tara Hilltop, Siklesh, Hugu Goth, Hudai Kafule Lake.
The TAAN Western Regional Association in association with the Nepal Tourism Board is preparing to bring this 10-days trail into operation very soon.
Similarly, the Association has identified another 8-day long alternative trekking trail which starts from Mohoriya in Dang and spans across Tadhapani, Dobato, Hidden Lake and concludes in Chomrong in Dang district.
Annapurna Rural Municipality has forwarded the identification of new alternative trekking routes to various existing routes under the Annapurna Circuit Trek that have been shortened due to expanding road connectivity.
Annapurna Trekking Route is ranked fifth among the top 10 best trekking trials in the world.
Preparation was underway to operate a three day’s pathway to cover through Ghandruk, Tadhapani, Dobato, Muldi and Porne, according to the Rural Municipality’s Chairperson Yubaraj Kunwar.
He said that the efforts were being made to open two trekking routes, one going through Maredanda-Ghorepani while another through Biredanti, Dangsing Moria, Thamko Danda and Tadhapani.
Chief of the Nepal Tourism Board, Pokhara Surya Thapaliya said initiatives would be made to find alternative trekking routes, and protect and conserve the existing ones in coordination with the TAAN, the Annapurna Conservation Area Project and local levels.
He cited the effort being made to open a trekking route leading to Muktinath Temple through Tilicho.

Published Date: Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 | 11:07 PM

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