Nagarkot has developed on it’s own ! Dhan Bh Lama-Secretary, Nagarkot Naldum Tourism Development Committee

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How long has this Committee been in existence?

-Approximately around 25 years now. Earlier after registration it had been inactive for 12 years.

Why is it’s purpose?

-Obviously for the promotion of tourism in this region. It’s aim is to find new tourism destinations, building capacity of local people, training staffs, developing entrepreneurship, discovering new activities, create co-operation between hotel owners, staffs and local people etc.

What is the difference from other destinations around?

-It is one of the closest destination from Kathmandu. Though it is a hill station, it is within the valley. One can view the beautiful snow-capped mountains, sun rise and sun set from here. We can still find the place pollution free. It also has historical importance.

What were the historical part of Nagarkot?

-Prithvi Narayan Shah had drafted strategy here before conquering Kathmandu valley. Also, it is believed Maha Manjushree stayed one night here before draining the water from Chobar. It was once called ‘Mandapgiri’. Similarly, there has been another legend that lord Shiva had passed through Nagarkot while on his way to Himal; with the poisonous snakes around his neck. Before the Araniko highway was built, Nagarkot was trade-route between Tibet. The Mahankaal temple at New road in Kathmandu was actually shifted from here. The older shrine still exists here in Nagarkot. Earlier history says the Tamang king once ruled this place. Hreng Zen Dorje is one of the famous Tamang King. Also, this land was once ruled by a woman warrior before king Dorje. Though she is said to be a Tamang queen, little is known about her. The old folks say that she was very strategical and intelligent, expert at war techniques. She would direct her troops to throw as many green plates( made of leaves) by mixing rice and curry in it. This was simply to psychologically convince the enemies that their troop was a mightier one. She was once seen by a spy of Prithvi Narayan Shah, washing her face. The style of her washing the face revealed that she was a woman warrior. This led to Shah make a determination to conquer Nagarkot.  

So what are the tasks accomplished?

-When it was our turn to run the committee, we didn’t even have the documents. Our first job was to secure the papers. Then we started working. Our next task was to pacify the relation between the hotel owners and the local people. This was because most of the entrepreneurs are outsiders. Earlier there remained a gap between them. Now with the co-ordination of the local Government we have been active in cleanliness; trainings for cook, guides, food and hygiene etc. We have approached all the stakeholders. Tourist Information Centre has been set up. We have been working for clean drinking water, finding new trails and trekking routes. We had organized the first Nagarkot festival in 2066. The then Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai had inaugurated the second Nagarkot festival in 2068. New trails have been found with the support of Nepal Environment Tourism Initiative Foundation.

What other programs in the pipeline?

-Nagarkot falls in three districts; Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Kabre. So the condition is that none takes the responsibility seriously. We had demanded to Dr. Bhattarai for a High Powered Committee for Integrated Development of Nagarkot. But nothing has been done till the date.

What are other problems in Nagarkot ?

-We are facing the tourist tax problem for tourists at different points. Instead of collecting tax at many junctures from the tourist, it would be better if done at a single point alone. It leaves a bad impression. Some solution should be applied to tackle the problem.

What the Government should do?

-First of all the Government should declare tourism destinations in Nagarkot. To be frank Nagarkot has developed on it’s own without any effort. It’s location and beauty has attracted people. And as said earlier, the double tourist tax should be managed carefully.