Travelers increase on Guerilla Trekking Routes

8th Dec, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Dec 08 : The influx of tourists has increased in past guerrilla trekking routes. The trekking routes used by guerrillas in the 10-year armed conflict are seeing an increasing use by tourists. Locals report increasing activity and presence of tourists in guerrilla trekking routes which until recently used to be completely abandoned. Bhim Bahadur Khadka, inhabitant of Tribeni Village Municipality, says that in recent days, the flow of domestic as well as foreign tourists have increased in these paths. He reports seeing more than a dozen tourists walking along the path daily.

The guerilla trekking route has been constructed across Rukum, Myagdi, Baglung, and Rolpa districts. The guerilla trekking route was constructed in the regions affected by the 10-year Maoist insurgency in order to promote tourism in those areas. The guerrilla trekking routes were constructed focusing on the rural settlements in districts like Rukum, Rolpa, Myagdi and Baglung, made popular by the conflict between the government and the former Maoist conflict, by the Nepal Tourism Board, Nature Conservation Fund, and District Cooperation Committee Rukum. The construction of these routes has increased the flow of tourists in the area, according to locals.

The guerrilla trekking routes were constructed with the given name in order to improve the economic state of the areas affected by the conflict, and to allow foreign tourists to experience the wartime routines, lifestyle in the rural communities and the Magar culture, said the President of the District Tourism Board and Local Coordination Officer Madhav Prasad Sharma. According to him, “the flow of tourists in the walking routes used by guerrillas in the conflict era has increased.”

The guerrilla trekking route involves the West Merchant Center Door of Myagdi, Takam, Dharapani, Muna, onto Baglung border, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, to Taksera of Rukum district, Sisnehimal, Chunwang, and finally to Sulichaur of Rolpa. The trekking route includes many Magar communities. The main attractions of the trekking route include the culture of Magar and other communities, natural heritage, mountain ranges, rural lifestyle, and the experience of conflict era of the locals. Most of the regions in which the route falls are believed to be former shelters of Maoists.

The formation of the guerrilla trekking route has allowed the local citizens who suffered through the Maoist insurgency to share their lifestyle and days with domestic as well as foreign guests. The trekking route, which was constructed by the government to ease the pain and issues caused by the conflict, will allow the locals to experience peace and relief, said Bhime Oli of Tribeni Village Municipality-8, Khara. According to him, “Tourists have begun walking the way where soldiers walked.” Even though the guerrilla trekking route has already been established, the locals are unaware of its significance, Oli reports. The related government body should pay special attention to it to make people aware. It appears necessary to conduct trainings about the importance and value of the trekking route, and on tourism culture and skill development, alongside development of the concept of homestay in villages.

The guerrilla trekking route can be travelled in time-appropriate packages of 14, 19, and 27 days. Maps and guidebooks have been produced for the promotion of this trekking route which has strong potential of rural tourism.

The guerrilla trekking route allows the sightseeing of mountains, forests, rivers, waterfalls, rural settlements, wild animals and birds. The route allows views of mountains like Dhaulagiri, Sisne Himal, Annapurna, Chure Range, and Putha.

The trekking route also includes the Falgune Lake, which is situated at a height of 4060 meters in the only hunting reserve of Nepal, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve. Since the trekking route goes through the Dhorpatan Hunting Range, one can also see animals like the Himalayan blue sheep, Himalayan goral, Himalayan tahr, snow leopard, and the danphe. Tourists can also see firsthand the effect of the 12-year armed conflict upon the local communities. The trekking route, which starts at Khola Bazaar between Rukum and Salyan, allows trekkers to observe the long-term