Home Features Exploring Uwagaun: Living museum of Rolpa
February 1, 2023

Exploring Uwagaun: Living museum of Rolpa

  • HB Kham

Although, Rolpa has a well recorded history of a decade long armed insurgency triggered by the underground forces of Maoist in the past, who initiated so called “Peoples War” in Nepal under the leadership of current Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachand), the then supreme commander of Maoist forces and Maoist party.

The Maoist insurgency attained its heights because of one factor that was the bravery and valor of the people of Rolpa who have the culture of working in groups. The habit of working in groups is called commune system according to the communist terminology and ideology.

However, the people of Rolpa have been practicing this commune work since ages ever since the inception of civilized settlement of Kham people there.

Despite, memories of Maoist insurgency being recorded and retained here in Rolpa district for upcoming generations to know, much efforts have not been made to explore these regions of Rolpa from tourism point of view.

There are few places not yet explored and undescribed in tourism sector in Rolpa such as the rustic village of Uwa and Thabang. Thabang being the center of Thabang Rural Municipality of Rolpa district has come to limelight in media and tourism sector already.

Sunchahara waterfall (file copy)

However, the most ancient, rustic village of Uwa has not yet come to limelight so far. So, we can explore the new trail of trekking to Uwa village of Rolpa and a tour to this ancient village which a living museum of Rolpa in fact.

The village of Uwa is located at an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level. The village lies on sloppy terrain of big rocky hill. There are nearly 300 houses roofed together and it looks like Ghale gaun of Gurungs.

But it is the village of Kham people who are known as Kham Magars of Rolpa. The houses are clustered in one place and one house roof is connected to another house. Some houses are made up of woods while others are made up of stone clay. Roofs are generally made up of stone clay while some roofs can be found made of straw.

This village looks almost like a living museum which has not been visited by many foreign tourists so far. A groups of Magyars could only visit this village in 1996-97.

The Kham people usually look like Tibetanis in nature and culture. They practice Bon Shamanism in their daily rituals. They perform all kinds of birth, death and marriage rituals with the support of Shamans. Their Kham language is not understood by the Magar people of eastern Nepal.

Bhume and Singaro are the main traditional dances that these village people usually perform during festivals.

How to Reach Uwa village:

To reach this village, the trekkers or visitors should take a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj or Tulsipur Dang.

Then take a hired vehicle from Nepalgunj to Dang from where you can move to Silichaur located in Rolpa. From Silichaur you can get vehicle on hire or take a direct hired vehicle from Nepagunj or Dang district to the last destination of Uva village.

You may have to stay two nights on the way. One night in Dang and anther night in Silichaur for comfortable trip to reach this village. On reaching this village, one can feel the experience of having reached the village of Mustang or Manang or Dolpa or Ghale gaun in fact.

What to eat?

To eat you need to depend on the local foods that the villagers eat usually such as wheat, corn, rice or nettle curry including other organic foods.

Where to stay?

Though, the facilities like tea houses are not yet developed, small cottage restaurants and hotels are coming up these days which will accommodate few tourists.

The roads are also not very good, but it would be adventurous to trek to this village to enjoy the sight of ancient village still not influenced by the modernity in the post modern era. The village will give you an aura of the medieval era  and living museum ancient tribes, which the modern man has left far behind.

The cost of Visit:

It may cost around Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 per day if you want to enjoy the beer, meat and foods in small hotels. In other words if you are ready to spend around 1000 US dollar, you can enjoy a two week long trek and visit to this village by travelling from Kathmandu to Uva village.

Needless to say, anyone looking for an experience of medieval age and living museum would not feel anything to spend such a small amount to enjoy the experience what is not experienced by all.

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