- Basudev Poudel
Bhumdi Tunar Gharbas (Homestay) has been organized in the name of 11 houses here. Chairman Nanimaya Gurung informed that the homestays have been brought into operation with the long-term idea of bringing the diversity of nature and culture among the tourists.
He said the sudden outbreak of the coronavirus worldwide and the ensuing shutdown had affected their homestay business. Located at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level, this place offers a spectacular view of Machhapuchhre, Annapurna, and other mountains.
Ram Laxman worship place at the head of the village is being developed as another religious tourist destination, said Radha Gurung, a member of Homestay and chairperson of Bhumdi Tunar Mothers’ Group.
According to him, special worship is performed on the ninth day of Ashwin Shukla Paksha (Bada Dashain) and Chaitra Shukla Paksha (Chaite Dashain) every year. He informed that chickens were sacrificed on that day. Another originality of the ancient culture is that hunting should be done in the place of Ram Laxman on that day.
He said that due to the ancient belief that hunting must be done on that day, the locals have been gathering and hunting. He informed that they used to feed the tourists with homegrown organic vegetables as well as various dishes produced in the village according to the seasons.
Stating that 11 out of 27 houses of different castes in the village have been operating homestays, he added that even those who do not run homestays would benefit by preparing the required agricultural products for the tourists.
Sushil Raj Poudel, president of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) Western Regional Association, said that the place is an attractive destination for mountain and hilly scenery. Stating that people had to camp in this place as there was no homestay in operation in the place in the past, he said that it has become very convenient for tourists after the homestays came into operations.
Yam Bahadur Gurung (Myla Dai), the manager of Himalayan View Tea House, said that the locals have emphasized the organic agricultural products preferred by the tourists who come for trekking.
He said that he has been operating a tea shop at Payam Chautara for the last 22 years targeting pedestrians who have been camping in the past. He feels that the long-running armed conflict in the country, as well as the Corona epidemic, have had a direct impact on hiking tourism.
He said that linking Bhumdi village with hiking tourism could contribute to the overall development of the village. Dharmaraj Panthi, first vice-president of the TAAN Western Regional Association, said that a one-day hike was organized on the occasion of World Earth Day with the aim of connecting Bhumdi Tunar Gharbas(homestays) with trekking tourism.
According to him, the hiking organized with the promotion of Nepal Tourism Board and Pokhara Metropolitan City-22 was attended by 45 people including hiking tourism-related businessmen and media persons.
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