The first news of corona virus outbreak surfaced in the beginning of early this year. Gradually, the pandemic continues spreading rapidly worldwide. The government of Nepal imposed a nationwide lockdown on April 25 to control further spread of the pandemic in the Himalayan nation. After suspension on international fights worldwide, all tourism activities come to a standstill for over four months. Nepal's tourism sector has been badly affected due to stagnation of economic activities around the world due to virus. Tourism is the main source of foreign currency exchange in the country.
According to the tourism experts, there will be no any tourism activities for the next few years. It has led frustration among the tourism entrepreneurs and workers involved in the sectors. In this context, a study and observation tour for the trekking trail was organized to deliver positive message to Nepal's tourism, said the organizer.
In the midst of the lockdown, a week-long exploration for a revival of "Rauchuli-Gosaikunda trek" was started from capital Kathmandu to the Sacred Gosaikunda lake at an elevation of 4380m from the sea level. In a program held at Kathmandu, Balaram Neupane the Chairman of Rasuwa Nuwakot Paryatan Samaj handed over the feasibility study report to Dr. Dhananjay Regmi, CEO of Nepal Tourism Board. On recieving the report CEO Regmi thanked the exploration team for completion of the trekking route amidst unfavorable situation. " It is indeed a positive message delivered to the tourism sector affected by the corona epidemic," says Regmi.
He says active role of tourism stakeholders is essential to make the post-corona tourism sector operational. Deepak Mahat, a board member of NTB expressed his happiness over the team's visit amidst corona pandemic with minimum physical distance maintained and following covid-19 guidelines. He said that collaboration with the local government and the state government will be carried out for further infrastructure development , necessary maintenance, and promotion of trek.
It is expected that domestic tourism will increase as soon as the long-running lockdown is reopened. It will certainly give some relief to the ailing tourism sector.
"Lately, the road network has been eroding the trekking trails in many parts of the country. Finding and promoting new trails will enable tourists to taste new destinations and prolong their stay," argued Balaram Neupane, who is also a tourism entrepreuneur.
Trek for both religious and adventure seekers
As per sources, the trail from Kathmandu,Nuwakot and Gosaikunda was explored about 18 years ago. There are footpath built in many parts of the trail are destroyed due to rural road construction along the way.
Similarly, Dinesh Tamang Blon a young tourism entrepreneur who participated in the feasibility study said the program was a milestone in communicating message about Nepal's tourism sector is still alive, though weakened by pandemic . "Even in the midst of the epidemic, our enthusiasm is still alive. This study visit will surely inspire and provide new hope and energy in Nepal's tourism sector at large ," said Tamang. According to him, the trail is suitable for those who are interested in adventurous trekking and loves mountain and nature.
The trek can be traversed through mid-hilly villages, wild forests and barren hills. It is cultural rich area where Tamangs, Sherpas and Brahmin-Chhetri unblemished culture and lifestyle can also be observed' says Santaman Tamang chief of District coordination committee , Nuwakot also a tourism entrepreneur of the region.
Gagan Raj Neupane, a young tourism entrepreneur said the trail remained in the shadow due to lack of proper promotion despite being explored many years ago. "We will now focus and work on wider promotion of the trail ," he added.
Similary, Urja Tamang, a tourism entrepreneur and one of the participating members in the trip was thrilled and expressed that trek would win the trekkers' heart. He said that this destination will be packaged and promoted among the tourists soon.
In addition Shiva Lamichhane the team leader of the visiting team and vice-president of the society, pointed out the footpath needed repair, maintenance and set up signage along the trail.
Major attractions of the trek
The trek offers pristine environment, culture and lifestyle of the local villagers. It passes through Shivapuri National Park, Langtang National Park, wildlife, green forests, mountain flowers, dozens of sacred ponds which are major attractions of the trek.
The landscapes of Nuwakot, Shivpuri Danda, Gurje Bhanjyang, Kutumsang of Helambu area are seen along the trek. from Bagmara and Manebhanjyang are captivating.
From Rauchuli (3785 m) viewpoint, a panoramic view of the sunrise, sunset, and a long range of himalayan mountains from east to west.
Similarly, the highest point of the trek is Chyarkung Chuli (4587 m). The tallest peak in Nuwakot is also called Jhyakum Chuli. It offers panoramic views of 360 degrees from east to west witnessing wide himalayan ranges of Dorje Lakpa, Jugal to the world's highest Mount Everest (8848 m) in the east to Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Nayakang, Machhapuchhre, Lamjung, Gorkha, Manaslu, Ganesh, Sanjen, Paldor Peak etc.
Along with Sisapangma (8013 m) in Tibet and several dozens of other mountains including villages and towns of Tibetan Autonomous region are seen.Towards the the south, most parts of Nuwakot and Rasuwa, including the Kathmandu Valley, can be clearly observed from Chhyarkung Chuli peak.
The trek is beautiful footpath passing through Shivapuri National Park in Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu, to various rural Nepalese villages in Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Langtang National Park, the hilly terrain and mountainous region.
It is an enjoyable trek with the pristine environment, culture and lifestyle of rural villages is very fresh and attractive. It passes through Shivapuri National Park, Langtang National Park, various natural resources, wildlife, green forests, mountain flowers, dozens of sacred lakes are an added advantage while trekking through the region . The far and wide terrace field and landscapes of Bagmara, Shivapuri Dada, Gurje Bhanjyang, Kutumsang of Helambu regions are eye-captivating.
Rauchuli (3785m) viewpoint offers panoramic view of the sunset with a long ridge of mountains towards east and west can be witnessed.
The highest point of the trek is Chhyarkung peak (4587 m) from where Majestic mountain view of Machhapuchhre, Lamjung, Gorkha, Manaslu, Ganesh, Sanjen, Paldor Peak, Langtang, Nayakang, Dorje Lakpa, 360 ° panoramic view from Jugal to Sagarmatha Himal can be witnessed from west to east.
The region is rich in flora and fauna. It is the home to wildlife like Red panda, Musk deer, Tiger , Snow leopard, Danfe and several other. If luck struck there is high possibility of encountering some of the endangered wild species too.
Another highlights of the trek is traversing through dozens of lakes like Ekle kund, Rajarani Kund, Naukund, Lamo Kund, Kamikamini Kund, Saraswati Kund, Bhairav Kund and Gosaikund located at an elevation above 4000 m above the sea level.
It is 8-10 days trek that is suitable for adventure trekkers. The route can attract domestic tourists for religious purposes and international tourist who love nature, adventure and mountains. The trek elevation ranges from 1400 m to 4600 m.
The trek can be connected with other known trekking destinations like Langtang trek, Helambu Trek, Gosainkunda Trek, Tamang heritage trek, Ruby valley & Ganesh Himal trek and Helambu trek etc.
Trekking journey starts from Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu via Shivpuri, Sikre, Likhu, Nepane, Manebhanjyang, Samundratar, Bhangeri, Baghmara, Rauchuli, Khukuri Dhar, Chyarkung Chuli, Ekle Kund, Gosain Kund, Lauribina, Sing gompa, Dhunce and can be returned back to Kathmandu or interconnected with other popular treks.
The feasibility study tour was conducted from Shivapuri to Gosaikunda starting from Kathmandu was held from 26th June to 3rd July 2020.
The trip was organized by Rasuwa Nuwakot Paryatan Samaj in support with and promotion by Nepal Tourism Board.