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Bhedetar where cool breeze meets art
DHARAN, May 10: Bhedetar is a popular junction for residents of the eastern Nepali towns. People from places like Dharan, Ithari, Biratnagar, and Damak come here to enjoy the cool breeze and magnificent views. Nestled at a height of 1420 meters above the sea level, this place is a natural choice for residents of the lower lands, who are looking for a respite from the scorching heat during the summer months. Accordingly, the numbers of both domestic and foreign visitors increase here around this time of the year.
In the last five years, things have changed in Bhedetar. The place that was traditionally famous for its chilly weather has now a new identity to be proud of – that of an art hub.
Rojan Rai, an artist and the owner of Mana Shanta Resort, is an aspiring game-changer of Bhetedar who has put lots of effort to covert this place into a hub of art and culture. He has already shifted his Itahari-based hotel to Bhedetar. Besides that, he is now working to make the whole area a town of art. He yearns to expand the art landscape from Bhedetar to Dharan.
“Bhedetar is a beautiful place in itself. It will be more beautiful if the local indigenous culture and art are promoted here. If we succeed to make it a hub of nature, culture and adventure, tourists will surely be lured to come here to explore its various aspects,” said Rai, adding, “For this, locals should also showcase their culture in their houses to reflect their identity. Likewise, we should also decorate the hills with sculptures and statues.”
There are few people who do not visit Mana Shanta Gallery Resort when they are in Bhedetar. People come here more to enjoy the artworks than to eat food. The picturesque surroundings of the resort can entice anybody. It showcases outstanding creative art, which includes formations made with waste bamboo and bamboo-root. Beautifully crafted bamboo chairs, tables, and beds entice anybody coming to the resort. Even the food is served in bamboo plates and beverages are served in bamboo glasses.
Statues of gods, goddesses, and some public figures are also beautifully showcased here. When visitors arrive here, the first thing they do is take selfies.
“The local government can play a vital role to make it a town of art. If the government could make effective policies and introduce appropriate programs, the whole area could be turned into a place of art,” Rai said.
Near Bhedetar, there is another popular tourist destination – Sakhaswor. There is conch-shaped temple here, which was also designed by Rai. The 18-feet-tall temple aids to the beauty of the entire area. The temple has cave inside, and the visitors can enter it from the south. Previously, the Shiva idol of the temple was open for worshipping only once a year, on the occasion of Shivaratri. But now it is open round the year. The place also hosts statues of other gods such as Shiva, Ganesh, and Buddha. Social activist Nara Bahadur Chemjong said: “We are planning to develop Bhedetar as the city of art soon. We are planning to make children’s park and rock garden here.”