Panchase developing into rural tourism hub

 

PANCHASE: Panchase, a place not far from Pokhara and which epitomizes natural beauty combined with cultural heritage, is located on the tri-junction of Kaski, Syangja and Parbat districts. It is developing into a rural tourism destination.

The place is famous for its biodiversity, historical and religious heritage and sight-seeing. Locals have started providing 'home-stay' services to tourists as more and more tourists are visiting the place and tourism activities have increased.

Home-stay services have started at Bhadaure Tamagi village in Kaski, Bangsing in Syangja and Chitre in Parbat. These villages are among the half a dozen villages in the three districts that are covered by Panchase circuit. "We have started home-stay services in 80 houses to provide tourists a glimpse of Gurung culture and tradition and also the taste of local cuisine," said Hitmaya Gurung, chairperson of the mothers' group at Bhadaure Deurali village.

Home-stay service for two tourists has started at Chitre village in Parbat district, according to Sushiladevi Gurung, secretary of Chitre women's group. Prominent people of both villages have taken a five-day training on hosting tourists and managing home-stay services by observing the practice in Sirubari, Syangja, that is a model village of rural tourism. Panchase, which is at an altitude of 784 metres to 2,517 metres above sea level, is spread on 5,500 hectares. "Rural tourism can be boosted if home-stay service is provided by the nearly 20,000 houses here," chairman of Machhapuchchhre Development Association, Dil Bahadur Bhattarai, said. The place is about four hours' trek from Pokhara if one goes up to Bhadaure Deurali by bus. There is another route leading to Panchase from Pokhara.

This one starts from the dam site at Phewa Lake and passes through Raniban, Stupa, Bhumdi and Bhanjyang offering splendid views of the Himalayan mountain range and Pokhara Valley. Panchase is rich in biodiversity. Some 113 species of orchids, including three species not found anywhere in the world, are found here. The place is also the source of the Aandhikhola, Setikhola, Jarekhola, Ratikhola and Harpankhola watersheds.

There is large forest cover, of which 1,500 hectares have been given to the local communities for managing it. The rest is national forest. There are 12 different kinds of trees, 589 species of flowers, 150 different species of herbs, 56 species of wild mushrooms and 98 species of ferns.

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