Bayali yearns for backpackers

Published On: August 14, 2016 10:18 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

MYAGDI, Aug 14: The Bayalikharka, which offers mesmerizing views of sunrise and sunset along with more than a dozen mountains along the Dhaulagiri stretch of the Himalayan range, is yearning for tourists' arrival. 

Located at an elevation of 3,450 meters above sea level at Shikh – 4 of Myagdi and straddling the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri community trek route, Bayali, has not been blessed with enough and due publicity and needed infrastructure. 

On a clear day, the Bayali peak verges on becoming a veritable heaven for nature lovers, offering the splendour of the Himalayan range at the north and views of various villages beneath it, local Lok Bahadur Paija said. "Tourists who arrive here take pleasure in viewing the mountain range, rhododendron forest and the pristine natural environment," he said, adding "Another feature of the region is the mountain goats in the highland grassy pastures." 

The trekkers arriving in the region usually travel through Nagi, Mahare, Tikot, Khiwang, Swant villages and through Dangkharka and Khopra before heading to Bayali and crossing into Ghandruk. Tourists arriving in Ghorepani also travel to Bayali through Swant – Dhankharka – Khopra villages while many head to Khopra highland via Bayal from Ghandruk, according to Paija. 

The locals in Swant village are running a community lodge although many trekkers choose to camp at Bayali. The proceeds from the hotel, which can accommodate 18 tourists at a time, are funnelled as donation for Shikh Primary School, Paija shared. 

"The flow of foreign tourists during the season is good, but last year's earthquake and the blockade has resulted in a decline in the arrival of tourists," Paija confided, adding that the villagers were hoping that a political stability in the country could herald a spike in the number of visitors in the upcoming tourist season. However, the arrival of domestic tourists in the region is considerably lower than the foreign tourists. 

Paija blames the lack of publicity, regular availability of drinking water, residence and trekking routes among other necessary infrastructure as hampering the villagers' bid to attract backpackers. 

Bayali lies at a walking distance of four hours' from Swant village. There are four hotels equipped with necessary facilities in Swant village, which is made up of 50 households.


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