Jajarkot has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. But the Nepal Tourism Board and locals are gearing up to give this hilly district a new brand. With Nepal Tourism Year 2011 just around the corner, Jajarkot is hoping that its dramatic topography, cultural heritage and historic monuments will be able to attract tourists its way.
A view of the district from the top of Jajarkot Bajar reveals the mighty Bheri River that bounds the district winding its way around the base of a hill. Once a part of the Baise Rajya, Jajarkot is one of the few places that has a palace from that era that compares to the Malla palaces in Kathmandu. There are also two other smaller palaces well worth a visit. With mountains soaring to 5412 metres above sea level, Jajarkot is also ideal for Himalayan vistas, including Mt. Sisne and Jaljala.
Jajarkot is dotted with temples but the one that gets the most attention is the Shiva temple, located in a cave three hours walk from Jajarkot bajar. A colony of bats awaits devotees in the 'bat cave'. Jajarkot also shares the rich mid-western heritage of deuda and tappa dances.
Facilities for room and board are a little rudimentary at present. But Suman Ghimire of the Nepal Tourism Board claims this could soon change. "We are developing new facilities for tourists and exploring the possibility of home stay," he says.
It's possible to get to Jajarkot by road but an easier option is to take a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalganj and then a flight to Chaurjhari. Jajarkot Bajar is about three hours trek from Chaurjhari.
Sher Bahadur Adhikari, a local, says: "Jajarkot has never been noticed as a tourist destination but we will do what it takes to change that."
PICS: NHUCHHE MAN DANGOL