- Basudev Poudel
Kathmandu: The entire Gandaki province is a region famous for some of the world’s best trekking routes. It boasts of the Round-Annapurna Trekking Route, one of the best 10 trekking routes in the world, the Dhawalagiri Trekking Route, the Mardi Trekking route and the Millennium Trekking Route.
These are some of the famous trekking routes apart from several lesser-known ones in Gandaki province. The Royal Trek is another famous enjoyable trekking route. It gets its name as the British Crown Prince Charles trekked along this route 37 years back. As the government’s preparation for celebrating the Visit Nepal Year 2020 reaches the final phase, Rupa rural municipality in Kaski district is all geared up for the promotion of the Royal Trekking Route.
It is fully involved in the development of the infrastructures on this route. Rural municipality chairman Nawaraj Ojha said they were involved in the promotion and development of the Royal Trek by incorporating the areas where the British royal had trekked and stayed during his journey, beginning from the stream near the rural municipality-6.
“We are trying to develop the Royal Trek linking it to the historic places and cultures that lie along the trekking area along with the places from where the visitors can observe the enchanting Himalayan scenery,” he said, adding that many programs related to tourism promotion and development would be operated during the Visit Year by identifying the route taken by Prince Charles.
He said that the rural municipality will also focus on the development of tourism infrastructures along the Royal Trek. The federal government has allocated Rs 5 million and the rural municipality Rs 2 million this fiscal year for the development of Royal Trek.
On the first day of his trek, Prince Charles had started the trek from Chanpko Chaur at Bijayapur and had trekked up to the Chinte hill above Bijayapur and spent the night there. On the second day, he halted at Syaklung hill and stayed for the night thereafter trekking through Kalika, Saure, Lipayani, and Ramche along the way.
Prince Charles who had stayed overnight at Chisapani of Rupakot on the third day of his trek returned to Kathmandu after spending the fourth night in the forest near the Begnas Lake. Although some tourists visited and trekked along the Royal Trek before the start of the conflict in Nepal in 1994, it remained almost anonymous during the decade-long conflict.
But it is now frequented by some trekkers after peace was restored. According to locals, this area has gradually started getting attention and interest after trekkers, curious to explore the route once taken by Prince Charles, have started trekking in this route sporadically.
Motels have been operated at few places along the trekking route and the local products have also got market with the resumption of this trekking route at present (RSS).
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