DOLPA, Oct 10: Right beneath the pristine Mt Kanjirowa lies Phoksundo Lake in all its majestic glory. The lake which is located near the Rigmo village of Dolpa district looks pure and serene, emanating tranquility in the surrounding areas. It has never failed to mesmerize the visitors with its divine beauty.
Phoksundo also changes its color from time to time. At first glance, its surface looks dark blue. But in course of time, the lake again seems light blue or even green. Despite the abundance of beauty, Phoksundo remains largely underappreciated.
Not many tourists visit the lake due to its extremely difficult geographic location. It is not easy for tourists to reach the site in Karnali Province. Lack of access has been a major hindrance in promoting tourism in the area, which also boasts of the famed Shey Monastery.
In order to reach the lake, which is 3,990 meters above the sea level, tourists have to walk for two days on foot from Dunai, the district headquarters of Dolpa. Along with the difficulties posed by the topography, there are no proper infrastructures to accommodate large number of tourists.
Apart from Dunai, Jufal and Tripurakot, there are no proper hotels for tourists in Dolpa. While the concept of home-stay is flourishing, the facility can be expanded further to benefit the region's economy.
The government has not been able to pay much attention for the promotion and conservation of the lake. Lack of concrete tourism plans has hurt the prospects.
The government charges USD 500 for 10 days to foreign tourists visiting upper Dolpa. A fee of USD 10 per day is charged to foreigners visiting lower Dolpa. Around 2,500 domestic and foreign tourists visit Shey Phoksundo National Park every year. Tourism entrepreneurs believe the numbers can be drastically increased with proper plans and management.