MAIPOKHARI, Nov 8: Maipokhari, a town in Ilam district in eastern Nepal, has attracted an unprecedented number of tourists this year as compared to previous years, according to the locals.
Unlike in the previous years, more local and international tourists are visiting the place as the water level has not receded.
“Last year, there wasn't much water in the lake during this time, so there were lesser tourists,” said Tularam Poudel, the priest of Maipohkhari temple. “Now there are so many people coming here, especially, pilgrims,” he added.
Nim Dorje Sherpa, a hotel owner at Maipokhari, is happy to see so many tourists. “Since the road leading to Maipokhari is being repaired, it has become easier to reach here from the district headquarters,” he said.
The site is situated 13 kilometers from the district headquarters Ilam bazar.
Due to the cool climate of Maipokhari, tourists from within the country and abroad love to come here to escape the heat during summer.
Also, religious congregations are frequently held at this holy site.
“Tourists love to look around the beautiful gardens maintained by the locals. They also buy flowers, potatoes, radish and other organic products from here,” said Surya Subba, a local of Maipokhari.
Since this is a holy site, there is no seasonal effect on the number of visitors.
Maipokhari has many different species of animals and herbal plants apart from a dense forest surrounding the lake. Gardens are also another attraction for the tourists.
”Water from seven holy lakes meets here at Maipokhari, so people can worship all the lakes at one place here,” said Tularam Poudel, the temple priest.
Maipokhari was declared a world heritage site during the 10th Ramsar Convention held on October 28, 2008.