- Kiran Poudyal
Ilam: As recent as three years back, even the people within Ilam district were unaware about Panitar of Deumai Municipality here.
One used to remember Kanyam and Shreeantu when it comes to ‘tea estate’ in the district.
Except visits to the tea estate and Jasbire, Panitar was unknown. With sheer ignorance of local bodies and tourism sectors for long, Panitar remained uncharted and shadowed.
But, for some time, it has become a new destination for tourists. The topography is luring- not so high not steep but suitable slope for tea plantation.
The tea estate here has been centre of attraction. Whether it is for picnic spot or for video shooting, Panitar has made people forget Shreeantu. It is located some 30 km away from Ilam district headquarters.
It can be reached via Biblyate bazaar, Nepaltar and Gagrebhanjyang. There is a pitch road from district headquarters to Gagrebhanjyang. From there, one needs to walk for a while to reach the destination.
There is a shorter route to reach Panitar from neighbouring Jhapa district- from Birtamod to Mangalbare via Shanischare.
In the recent time, the number of tourists coming from Jhapa is more than those coming via district headquarters. Mangalbare is reached by walking over 53km distance. “Panitar is a suitable destination for recreation during winter,” said a local tourism entrepreneur Pasang Sherpa.
He argued that it is also because the media spread information on Panitar, it became popular destination lately. “For long, no sector showed interest and concern to boost tourism here, but media did.
Once the road is blacktopped from Gagrebhanjyang to Panitar, the tourist influx will rise sharply here,” he hoped. Several Youtubers throng here. Even the film shooting has occurred.
It has scenic beauty for music video shooting as well. To this, film director Kewal Tamang observed, “The virgin land with mesmerizing natural beauty has obviously attracted people.
Peaceful atmosphere is another asset here.” However, unavailability of well-managed hotels is discouraging factor. For lack of hotels, the tourists do not stay here for long.
Sherpa informed that the tourism entrepreneurs were planning the accommodation of tourists here. Nearly 200 tourists visit Panitar every Friday and Saturday. Local level’s attention to promote Panitar is equally essential. If the local levels paid attention, tourism activities would boost here, according to film director Tamang (RSS).
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