RUPANDEHI, April 15: There has been a surge in number of internal tourists visit different areas of Rupandehi in the past few days.
Lumbini -- the birthplace of the Buddha and a destination popular among international tourists -- welcomed around 100,000 visitors on New Year day. Not only during special occasions like New Year, Lumbini has been seeing internal tourists almost throughout the year.
Rajan Basnet of Information Section of Lumbini Development Trust said that over 100,000 visited Lumbini on Sunday alone. LDT started levying fee on international tourists from August last year. However, they get free entry during festivals like Buddha Jayanti, Chaitra Poornima and New Year, among others.
Mani Mukunda Sen Udhyan, which is also known as Butwal Garden, also saw a huge influx of visitors on Sunday. According to Mani Mukunda Sen Udhyan Development Committee, over 20,000 Nepalis visited the garden on Sunday. Officials of the committee said that visitor's footfall increased by 5,000 this year.
The number of visitors entering the garden increases nearly 10-fold during New Year day and other special occasions. The garden is a popular destination for families and people of all age groups.
Khem Luitel, chairperson of the committee, told Republica that the number of tourists visiting Butwal Garden, which holds great natural and historical significance, is increasing with every passing year. On a normal day, the garden receives around 2,500 visitors. The garden is spread over 11 bigha of land.
The garden has also become a popular destination among picnickers. The committee charges entry fee of Rs 50 for adults and Rs 30 for students.
Shankarnagar Banbihar in Tilottama Municipality, between Butwal and Bhairahawa, was also crowded on the New Year day. "We welcomed nearly 15,000 tourists today,” Baburam Aryal, chairperson of Shankharnagar Banbihar Management Committee, told Republica.
The committee also organized a special cultural program on the day to attract tourists.Butwal Peace Park also witnessed huge footfall on Sunday. Similarly, Butwal Hill Park and Gajedi Taal area, among others, were also brimming with New Year revelers on Sunday.