- Basudev Poudel
Tourists and media persons from Pokhara like Kafle formally participated in the four-day trek on Mardi Himal trekking and use of trekking materials and identification organized by the Trekking Equipment Shop Association (TESA) Pokhara.
The trek that started on March 14 was a new experience for most of them. The trek to the base camp of Mardi, which has been gaining popularity in recent times, has gained fame in the country and abroad as a trek to kiss the mountains in a short time. Entrepreneur Kafle said that people of all age groups can walk on this path where one can hear and see the chirping of birds and smell the fragrance of flowers.
He feels that there is special importance of trekking by observing the mountains like Machhapuchhre, Mardi, Annapurna South, and Gangapurna which are shining like silver. Kafle, who is also the founding president of Tessa Pokhara and treasurer of the Pokhara Tourism Council, said, “I found the Mardi trek more enjoyable than I have ever heard before.” Tesa Pokhara Chairman Narayan Sapkota said that the Mardi base camp, which can be reached in two days from Pokhara without being a tourist, is an attractive destination for those who want to take a short distance trek.
Stating that the Mardi hiking has been organized in collaboration with the Nepal Tourism Board keeping in view the promotion of the footpath as well as the identification of the materials used in the trekking, he said that he has gained more experience on the indispensability of quality of the materials used in the hiking.
According to hoteliers, the beauty of Nepal is indescribable during the month of Chait Baisakh as the national flower of Nepal, Rhododendron can be seen all along the hiking trail through the jungle.
Durga Bahadur Chhetri, Ward Chairperson of Machhapuchhre Gaonpalika-9, said that the trail which has been becoming an attractive destination for domestic tourists in recent years has been brought into operation with safety measures in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Sudip Gautam, manager of Hotel Trekkers Paradise at Mardi High Camp, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, and other mountains can be seen from this hiking route.
He said that he was ridiculed for opening a hotel in Mardi High Camp in 2007. He said that the process of building well-equipped hotels and infrastructure has gained momentum in recent years. Gautam, who is also the secretary of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, Gandaki, said that the Mardi trekking is unique in that it is a short distance from Pokhara.
Starting from Kande of Kaski, this trekking route reaches Mardi High Camp via Australian Camp, Pothana, Pritam Deurali, Forest Camp, Low Camp, Badaldanda. Hotels have come into operation to stay and eat in all these places.
From the Mardi High Camp at an altitude of 3,550 meters above sea level can the viewpoint of 4,200 meters can be reached in two hours and the Mardi base camp at an altitude of 4,500 meters in two hours.
Nawaraj Adhikari, former president and advisor of Tessa Pokhara, informed that the ‘View Point’ and the base camp can be reached by crossing the narrow uphill road from the high camp. “Even if you get tired at the beginning due to the difficult path, all the fatigue is eliminated by walking along the mountain peaks,” he said, adding, “Promotion, protection, and publicity of this footpath, which is such a short distance from Pokhara, is necessary.”
Initially, the thorny trekkers return from hiking in Machhapuchhre village. According to Tikaram Sapkota, a former executive member of the Nepal Tourism Board, Mardi Hiking has become an attractive tourist destination in recent times. Stating that the natural beauty of Mardi is very important, he said that it is important to promote and protect it.
“As there are no large settlements on this footpath, it is a nature-based route,” he said. “It is necessary to stop digging in this area in the coming days as there are no settlements while preserving its natural beauty.”
Former Chairman of the Pokhara Tourism Council Chiranjeevi Pokharel said that one should be aware of the environmental pollution that may occur with the arrival of the increasing number of tourists. Stating that the Mardi trekking, which can reach the mountains in a short distance, has its own special significance and, he pointed out the need to make the trekking route systematic/RSS
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