Halesi Mahadev flocked with tourists on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri

27th Feb, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KHOTANG,Feb 27: A large number of pilgrims thronged to Halesi Mahadev Temple in Khotang district of Nepal on the occasion of Shivaratri last week.

The Halesi Mahadev Development Committee (HMDC) also proved that the number of visitors rose significantly this year in comparison to previous years with the operation of Bailey Bridge over the Dudh Koshi River in Jayamara, bordering Khotang and Okhaldhunga districts. The bridge links the area directly to the tarai attracting people from the plains to the temple.

“Halesi Temple was packed with pilgrims from early on Friday morning,” informed Sambar Bhujel, executive director of HMDC. Pilgrims from far and wide had already started journey to the district days prior to the festival. Local hotels and eateries were full from days before the main festival.

Pilgrims from Capital Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Dharan, Janakpur and Pokhara along with other districts have been visiting Halesi Temple by chartering vehicles. Many pilgrims said they came by air. The Lamidanda airport is not too far from the temple area.

Apart from domestic tourists from various districts of Nepal, thousands of tourists from neighboring India, China and Bhutan have also been visiting the temple throughout the year. Mahadev Gufa [cave], Bhairav Gufa and Dungdelo Gufa among others are the major tourist attractions in Halesi.

“We have not kept record of the numbers of pilgrims visiting the temple. But we can say that the visitor numbers this year were significantly higher compared to previous year,” added Bhujel.

Situated at 4,736 feet above the sea level, Halesi Temple sees large numbers of pilgrims during Ram Nawami, Shivaratri, Balachaturdarshi and Teej festivals.

Likewise, the area also holds economic significance. Various trade fairs are organized on special occasions. Locals and tourists attend the fair to purchase various local products, according to the local market management committee.