Sardu riverside: A new tourist destination in Dharan
July 28, 2019 04:00 AM NPT
By: Rohit Rai
Rohit Rai/Republica Domestic tourists at the Flower Bridge over the Sardu River in Fusre, Dharan Metropolitan City, in these recent pictures.
DHARAN, July 28: Until a few years ago, an Osho Ashram located on the border of ward number 13 and 20 of Dharan Metropolis, near the Sardu River would have very few visitors. Most of them would be Osho followers. Of late, the ashram looks overcrowded. Be it any season, tourists are seen around it. On holidays, this spot receives an even greater crowd that includes elderlies and small children.
The ashram is just one of the attractions the Sardu riverbank offers. The bridge over the river amuses many. Similarly, there is BP Memorial Park and Wildlife Diversity Park. Art and sculptures look no less engaging.
After the completion of the Wildlife Diversity Park, people have found it not just exciting but also valuable for learning activities too. Children and elderlies throng the area for recreational activities also.
Chakra Khadka, the chairperson of BP Park Construction Consumers Committee, said that earlier people would come to the area just to enjoy the serene environment and have a look at the Osho Ashram. "That was the only attraction then," he said. "Now, there are too many things to grab people's attention. Both domestic and international tourists like this place."
After the completion of the Wildlife Diversity Park, people have found it not just exciting but also valuable for learning activities too. Children and elderly throng the area for recreational activities also.
The bridge over the river is called Flower Bridge due to the way it has been decorated. Young people spend hours in here 'though it is not an official dating spot', Khadka noted. "They love to enjoy the environment around here. The bridge decorated with flowers gives them a different feel," he said.
A few months ago, Flying Fox, a zip-line, was also installed here. Despite a successful experiment with the sport, it is not in operation right now, however. "For now, it is being used for video shoots. Soon, maybe Flying Fox will come in operation," said Khadka.
Children's park is another massive pull for the families. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the park steals the attention of children and their parents. Dharan Metropolis – 13 invested Rs 500,000 to build children's park here.
Another attraction for visitors here is the remnants of the ropeway. Around six decades ago, the ropeway was used to carry stones while Koshi Bridge was under construction. People love to capture the remains of the ropeway. For those who want to go up to see the remains closely, there is a staircase.
For the construction of BP Memorial Park, Rs two million was invested from Constituency Development Fund of Provincial lawmaker Jay Kumar Rai. Before that, former lawmaker Krishna Kumar Rai had also contributed Rs one million from similar sort of fund for the project. According to Netra Kafle, the chairperson of Dharan Sub metropolis - 13, Rs three million has been allocated for infrastructural development at this new tourist zone. "Since we aim to develop this place into a major tourist destination, we are well prepared to develop it accordingly," Kafle said.
Bhedetar, Namje and Namaste Stream were considered the only tourist sites in Dharan until some time ago. Now, Sardu is going to top them all, Khadka remarked. "The economy of this place has already boomed due to the flow of the tourists. Small and big eateries are mushrooming, and there's room to open more shops and restaurants," Khadka narrated. "The transport sector has boomed too. Taxi, auto-rickshaw drivers are happy," he added.
Despite tourism growth, stakeholders are divided on naming it as BP Memorial Park here. In its planning, the sub-metropolis has named it Biodiversity Park. However, Nepali Congress has taken a stand for naming it, BP Memorial Park. When he was arrested from Biratnagar and taken to Kathmandu back then in 1946, the late leader was kept at Fusre overnight. Next day, he was forced to walk through the area. Due to the historical incident, the Nepali Congress has remained adamant on building BP Park here. The party had even laid foundation stone naming it as BP Memorial Park a few years ago.
"The Nepali Congress party named it BP Memorial Park. Nearby there is a meditation center of Osho. It's a place of historical importance," said Tilak Rai, a local Nepali Congress leader.