- Devraj Subedi
The Himalayan Great Trail, a trekking route that is under construction in Helambu in Sindhupalchok district, has been the attraction of the district.
The federal and provincial government would provide budget to construct the trail resembling China’s 60 kilometers Great Wall, said Nima Gyaljen Sherpa, chair of Helambu Rural Municipality. The three meters in width and 60 kilometers long project costs over Rs 3 billion.
The project is expected to help promote religion and develop tourism and bring reforms in the living standards of the local people, he said. So far approximately 1,300 meters trail has been completed, he said.
As he said, now the project has been the attraction to tourists visiting the area. Before the onset of COVID-19 in the country, many domestic and foreign tourists visited the Himalayan Trail here.
Visitors to the area can also view dozens monasteries and religious places including Aamayangri, Milarepa Cave, Bhemethang, the area where Guru Rinpoche meditated and Palchok Jayabagishwori.
It will take nine days to trek along this trail which stretches from an altitude of 2,400 metres from the sea level to 5,000 metres. The trekker can get a glimpse of the Tamang, Hyolmo, Gurung and other indigenous communities’ culture during this duration.
This trail can also be viewed from mountain flight. One can see 80 per cent of the Himalayan peaks in the central to the eastern region of the country from this trail. The world’s highest mountain, Sagarmatha (Mt Everest), can be viewed from Pakedanda which lies on the trail itself.
The forests around this trail are home to the kalij pheasant, Himalayan goat, the blue sheep, red panda and many other alpine wildlife. Sherpa said they are coordinating with the Langtang National Park for the construction of the Trail so that it doesn’t disturb the wildlife in the national park. Langtang National Park is the habitat of the endangered red panda.
The famous pilgrimage site Gosainkunda is just one kilometres away from Semisidhang, the last point of the Trail. The feasibility study is being conducted for operating canyoning and paragliding adventure sports around the area while the construction of a Bungee bridge has reached final stages, Sherpa said.
Ambathan, which is the source for diversion of the Melamchi stream for supplying drining water to Kathmandu Valley through the Melamchi Water Supply Project, also lies in Helambu area. Ambathan is 50 kilometres from Jorpati, Kathmandu.
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