If you are thinking for getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then visiting the rural areas of Nepal can be the best option. Travelling and staying at home-stays in Chitwan and Tanahun can be a great option, as it will not cut into your wallet much and will help you rejuvenate fully. Here, you can also get the opportunity to experience local culture first hand.
My City’s Shree Hari Poudel from Tanahau and Sabita Shrestha from Chitwan have written about the home-stay opportunities in their districts.
Enthusiastic locals in Manung Kot, Tanahun
Locals in Manung Kot, Tanahun, are enthusiastic about developing the area as a tourist destination. Seeing their enthusiasm, Myagde Rural Municipality recently organized a training session for the locals on managing home-stay for national and international tourists in order to generate income and promote tourism.
Manung Kot lies in Myagde Rural Municipality in Tanahun district, which is approximately 150 kilometers west of Kathmandu and is situated at an elevation of 1,000 meters above the sea level. It is also a host of a diverse wildlife. In other to promote natural and cultural beauty of the place, the rural municipality initiated the training session where 30 locals participated. Manung Kot is important due to its history as well, which is known as the home of Nepal's first poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya’s in-laws.
The training was conducted at Takrang in Myagde Ward 1. The participants were trained on how to welcome guests and manage food and accommodation at a home-stay.
“We organized hospitality classes to promote tourism here and locals are also keen about learning the trade,” said Maya Rana, chief of Myagde Rural Municipality. At the training session, the participants learned to cook different types of cuisines such as fermented spinach pickle, soybean, different ways to cook an egg, pork fry, bitter gourd pickle, et cetera.
One of the participants, Maya Tamang shared, “Before the training, we used to cook meal and lunch on a homely way but after receiving this training I have become a better cook and gained more knowledge about food.” According to Tamang, the training has helped to enhance the local skill and the home-stay visit at Ghalegaun has added much energy to the local operators.
Kaura, Bhaura and Nachari are few cultural dance of Magar community and the tourist at Myagde can experience these dances along with rich Magar culture. In the training session, Rana suggested locals to implement those skills to enhance the stay of tourists.
Likewise, Bal Krishna Ghimire, deputy chairperson of Myagde Rural Municipality added, “Myagde is blessed with natural and cultural beauty which can attract anyone. And Magar culture here is unique in itself.”
About the long term support for the initial phase of home-stay at Myagde, president of Tanahun Tourism Development Committee, Hari Singh Gurung expressed: “We will organize 16 different tourism promoting programs within the next five years to make Myagde one of the best tourist destinations. And we are confident about the socioeconomic growth of the region as Manung Kot is rich in cultural, traditional and natural aspects.”
Homestay changed Darai village, Chitwan
Ghorgela village of Khairehani Municipality Ward 12 has seen a boost in tourism after the locals here started offering home-stay. Majority of the people in the village belongs to Darai community. This community is traditionally dependent on agriculture, but the concept of home-stay has added a new source of income generation for them. Initially five houses started to provide home-stay but their number is increasing. Now eleven houses have started guest houses to operate home-stay.
Locals make one small hut by the side of their houses for guests. These houses are made up of concrete and then coated (plastered) with mud. The roof of these houses is made up of zinc plate. Pictures of different animals, urns (kalash), and birds are drawn in the walls of these huts.
“After noticing the improved economic status of Janajati community of Nawalparasi, we decided to conduct home-stay in our Darai community as well. Initially we were not sure whether this concept of home-stay will continue or not, but as we are getting good respond from people, we are planning to expand it to 20 houses,” Pratima Darai, president of Kumroj Darai Homestay, said. Right after the beginning of home-stay, devastating earthquake hit Nepal due to which the inflow of tourist decreased in the country. Consequently, tourists visiting Chitwan also decreased. However, after the promotion of home-stay in coordination with tourism entrepreneurs, number of tourists visiting the village has increased, according to Darai. Hotel entrepreneurs of Sauraha refer interested tourists to visit Ghorgela village for Homestay. Apart from tourists, wildlife and cultural researchers and students also visit the village for Homestay.
These days, most of the people visiting Ghorgela are Nepali nationals. According to Gobinda Darai, one of the home-stay operators, people visiting with family and friends is increasing. The village is 25 kilometers away from Bharatpur and seven kilometers from Sauraha. People can learn about the lifestyle, agriculture, culture, and tradition of the Darai community by staying in their homes. The place is near the national park, so the tourists can enjoy jeep safari and elephant safari as well.