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August 1, 2023

Potential of Rolpa Tourism

Rolpa district is one of the remote districts of Nepal lying in the mid western part of Nepal. It came to limelight after it became the epicenter of the Maoist insurgency.

However, after the Maoists started sharing political power with other political parties in the center, provinces and local bodies, the district is emerging as one of the potential spot for tourism.

Both domestic as well as foreign tourists usually arrive here to see the ruins of the decade old Maoist insurgency. The allures of natural beauty and tranquility that we find here lures everyone.

There are several places to visit including temples of Kailu Baraha,  Kalika Temple, Baju Baraha, Sahadeve Baraha. Another captivating place to visit is Jaljala temple where the local indigenous and Kham speaking community people usually throng to offer prayers and worship according to their traditions of Bon Shamanism.

Golden waterfall (Sunchhari ) in Sulichaur, Rock garden, Gauri Lake are also worth visiting places here.

The ancient villages of Kham people including Thabang, Jelbang, Uwa, Gam and Gusbang are some of the ancient villages which can be visited to see the ancient way of life of the villagers.

Festival of Jhankris (Shamans)

Dancing Shamans nin Rolpa, Culture of Kham Tribe
Dancing Shamans in Rolpa (file photo)

The shamans of Rolpa are said to have descended from Siberia of Russia though there are no historic evidence to prove it. Yet the shamans of Rolpa are reported to have similarities with those Shamans of Siberia.

This district has a typical festival of Jhankris or festival of Shamans each years where most of the shamans (jhankaries) gather together in a public fair and dance. The local Kham people throng to the festivals to observe the dancing festival of Shamans.

The shamans of Rolpa are said to have spoken to spirits of the dead persons in the darkness of night by visiting the graveyards. These Shamans are so powerful that they are said to be able to turn themselves into various animals by casting their spells on their bodies.

Local people say that these Shamans after turning into animals like Tiger or lion visit the coldest parts of icy region in the north and bring back the most valuable herbal plants to make costly herbal medicines.

Sisne Himal (5849m) is another captivating mountain to visit here. Though Rolpa has not received much publicity abroad, yet slowly it is gaining momentum in this direction. The ancient cultures and traditions are still alive here in these villages of Kham people which can be witnessed here.

Jaljala than worshiped by Kham people (file photo)

How to reach there?

Rolpa can be reached from Kathmandu by taking flights to Nepalgunj or Bhairahwa airport from where you can take any vehicle to reach the destination in Rolpa. Usually summer season is suggested for the visit as rainy season and winter season could be very harsh to tolerate.

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