BAJHANG, Dec 7: A team from the Siddhartha Bank in Baglung was on a tour of the Khaptad region last week. Though the team had planned to spend a week in Khaptad, the decision changed upon reaching the historic place, leading to a shortened trip. The members of the team could hardly spend two days there.
As team member Kamal Poudel said the reason behind shortening the trip duration was none but the lack of good facilities for food and accommodation.
They had gathered abundant information about Khaptad through social sites. Pictures and video clips available in the virtual space were enough to catch their attention and capture hearts, encouraging them to plan a trip to Khaptad. “We were thinking of visiting Khaptad for the past two years and it finally happened,” he said.
As the team reached Khaptad, they found it nature-gifted and mesmerizing. They did not find a point to get disappointed in regard with the natural beauty of Khaptad. But one thing was unexpected that made them upset and forced the team to shorten the trip.
“Khaptad is more beautiful than you can imagine, but one could hardly stay here for a day. Its beauty is not sufficient to make one have courage to resist the chilling cold and food needs here,” he said.
Upon reaching Khaptad, the team struggled hard to find a place for food and accommodation. The guest house operated by the Khaptad Area Tourism Development and Management Committee can accommodate only 20 to 25 people a day. Later, a local trader helped the team to find a guest house with the help of the Nepali Army.
Raj Narayan Chaudhary from Morang reached Khaptad after the Dashain festival. He had been there with a six-member team. Once they reached there, they started suffering high-altitude sickness and they finally sought the help of Nepal Army to recover. “We faced a lot of trouble on the way to Khaptad. The route lacks clear directions. We were lost for four hours. We would not have to face such troubles if the route was well managed.”
He stressed that the state should better invest in Khaptad for its development. He found the team still lucky to get a room in Khaptad and those who arrived late were seen searching for it till 8:00 PM, according to him.
Similarly, Rupesh KC from Morang who was in Khaptad a month ago faced accommodation problems there. “I wanted to explore spirituality in Khaptad as I heard that it would be relaxing to meditate in Khaptad, but the reality is different. The heaven-like place has no eateries and lodges.
However, the trip of Jeevan Nepal from Panchakhal of Kavrepalanchowk to Khaptad was a memorable one. He spent four days in Khaptad. Most of those who reached Khaptad along with him left the place on the second day of the arrival, but he was lucky to book a room on time and make a trip to the entire Khaptad.
The Chief of Nepal Army’s Shree Singh Sardul Company, Binod Bahadur Silwal, said they had to provide humanitarian assistance to the Khaptad visitors during emergencies. “We are here for the security of Khaptad and its visitors, but we have to cooperate with them for food, accommodation and medical assistance in need.”
The Committee Chair Bhim Bahadur Khadka admits that Khaptad lacks even sufficient basic facilities for visitors. He said the services are limited but the number of tourists is on the rise. “We could make some arrangements for the convenience of visitors provided that we are pre-informed about their arrival. But those who arrive without informing the Committee are highly likely to face many issues here.”
However, the Committee urges all aspiring visitors not to change their mind just over the reports about availability of limited facilities in the area. “The reconstruction of old structures is going on. We have recently renovated some structures. We are fully ready to cooperate with visitors if we are pre–informed. Let’s visit Khaptad to experience its heavenly beauty,” Khadka concluded.