Langtang valley in Rasuwa district in this recent photo. Though the valley was completely destroyed by avalanche last April, locals have rebuilt most of it. Presently its hotels and lodges are capable of accommodating as many as 500 guests. (Nirajan Poudel/Republica)
RASUWA, Nov 4: Devastating avalanches last April had buried 175 locals, 35 foreigners and 10 Nepali Army personals in the Langtang village. Once regarded as 'queen of natural beauty', it was turned lifeless in seconds due to the avalanche. Survivors had left Langtang village, the place after which the VDC itself is named, with bleak hope of ever returning. The extent of destruction was so much that even the government restricted tourists from visiting Langtang region. One and half year down the line it has made tremendous progress in regaining its fervor.
“It was very difficult to face such a catastrophe. It left people in shock for months. Everyone would show pessimism whenever we talked about reconstructing the settlement in Langtang, terming it a futile discussion,” said Subba Lama, vice president of the Langtang Management & Reconstruction Committee (LMRC). “However, this did not keep us from moving ahead. We kept on working and now around 75 percent of the perished infrastructure has been reconstructed,” he shared with excitement.
Though the pain and horror of losing loved ones to the avalanche is buried in their heart, the progress made by the LMRC has re-ignited optimism in the locals to restore Langtang's lost glory and their life.
“No matter how much the agony is hidden inside, there is no option other than to move ahead. We lost our loved ones, but unless we open our doors to those who love us, we won't be able to reconnect with our lives,” said Lama. He said the place is home to one of the most astounding places on earth and that it is their responsibility to reopen it for the nature lovers so that they could enjoy the irresistible natural bliss. He said that the Langtang village was established three centuries ago and loosing it to the avalanche is a great loss.
Comparing reconstruction of the village to other parts of the nation, he said that they have been able to reconstruct so fast because they did not rely on the government solely. “Apart from grant provided by the government, we managed everything on our own from the construction materials to physical labor to raising funds, everything,” Lama said.
Before it perished the village used to have Buddhist prayer flags fluttering all over and around it. As part of the reconstruction process, these flags are back in the town. The new settlement is powered through electricity generated from micro hydro power and now has landline phones, internet services, health post and a police station, among infrastructures.
“We were fully committed to reconstruct as soon as possible. Steadfast to our commitments we even supplied iron rod and cement through helicopters,” Lama said, adding that hotels on the trekking routes are already in operation and serving tourists. “Langtang has restored its lost glory and is now providing hospitality to nature lovers from all over the world.”
Tourism is the only income source of the village. Until and unless it restores its fame, it cannot rest, Lama said. There are 190 hotels in entire district.