Nepal- A fragment of culture
Nepal is a small country between China and India. It has a diverse geography with mountains and plains, subalpine forested hills, forest filled with different vegetations, plants, animals and insects. Eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains including Mount Everest which is the highest point on Earth lie in Nepal. It is a multi ethnic country and the official and common language is Nepali.
Kathmandu valley is the capital of Nepal which is 1,300 m above the sea level measuring an area of 665 square kilometer in which Kathmandu city lies in the east bank of Vishnumati River. The city is located in the northwestern part of Kathmandu valley which covers an area of 50.67 square kilometer. The valley had been ruled by different kings from different dynasties; Gopala, Mahispala, Kiratas, Licchavi, Malla and lastly by Shah. About Gopala, Mahispala and Kirata, only literary sources can be found. Licchavi period is known as ancient period. There is a lot of evidence like inscriptions, coins and sculptures which reveals the proofs about the settlement and rules by the Licchavi dynasties.
After Licchavi, Malla ruler ruled the Kathmandu valley from Jayasthiti Malla to Prithivi Narayana Shah which is known as medieval history of Nepal. The valley was divided into three separate independent kingdoms: Bhadgaun or Bhaktapur, Kathmandu and Patan by the end of 15th century till the unification of Nepal by Prithivi Narayan Shah. Due to the political rivalries of three Kingdoms, as a completion numerous artistic, cultural and religious developments were made. So most of the architectural remain and art objects within the valley or these three kingdoms are the contribution of Malla dynasties. The heritages from Kathmandu valley are listed in ‘World Heritage Sites’ by UNESCO where seven Heritages lie here out of eight from Nepal. That is why Kathmandu is the main place for tourist to visit.
Every year there is the huge flow of tourist in Nepal. Tourist visits various parts of Nepal as their interest. They visit here for hiking, trekking, climbing, river rafting, research, vacations and for many propose. But due to the lack of publicity and promotion, still the various parts of Nepal are unveiled. One place which is still under the shade for touristic activities is Tanahun.
Tanahun is about 153 km far from Kathmandu in the west and about 47 km far from Pokhara in the east. Since Kathmandu and Pokhara is very famous for the tourist and many tourist visits these place as their purpose. Because of lack of publicity, tourists are missing the wonderful and important places to visit.
Tanahun is surrounded by numerous cultural heritages and most by the beautiful nature with outstanding views of mountain peaks. This area is much more connected with the religious beliefs, social life and traditional norms and values. People are now concentrating on historical, archaeological, religious, architectural objects and natural heritages as their interest, so that they are researching about the ancient civilization and their importance. But also at the same time, it is very hard to have deep study and research in a huge habitation site with diverse geographical area like Tanahun which is now over going with modernization. Although many of the scholars or related sectors have researched the area but they have not highlighted about the socio-cultural aspects of the heritages. For this purpose a depth study is needed. Especially to prevent these heritages from disappearance depth study and research is therefore realized.
The national and international tourism is the main base to promote the different places of Tanahun. There are so many natural sports, religious temples and caves with pilgrimage sites which should be visited by tourist once. Most of the temples are situated at the natural place surrounded by the hills, forests and rivers. Such temples are as follows: Vyash Cave, Pancha Temple, Thanithan, Teen Khole Devi Temple, Chabdi Varahi, Nirjala MaiTemple, Akala Mai Temple, Aadhi Mul Temple, Dhorvarahi, Khadga Devi Temple, Devghat pilgrimage spot, Chhimkeshwori Mai Temple, Siddha Cave, Kalika Sthan and many more.
Despite full of natural heritages, cultural and religious sites no strong research and exploration has been done for this place. No any related sectors or institute have concentrated on the preservation, conservation, restoration and promotion of these heritages. The problems are listed below due to which Tanahun is still not famous among national and international level.
- The cultural and natural heritages are not located and clearly identified.
- The historical and cultural aspects of this area are not studied and researched properly in depth.
iii. The natural heritage such as water activities, hiking, rock climbing, caving are still not promoted.
Contributions of Tanahun’s Heritage in the National Integration of Nepal
Tanahun is a repository of illustrious of natural beauty with religious aspects. Our ancestors, both the rulers and the ruled are all religious minded people. The temple and shrines which they have built reflects the civilization of the glorious past of Nepal. There are numerous sculptures, temples and natural spots which are scattered all over Tanahun. It was the traditional practices that these heritages were not only worshipped but also preserved and maintained by the inhabitants. But such practices have been disappeared due to the modernization. So in order to conserve and preserve the national heritages everyone should be responsible. Some points which are useful for further research about history of whole Tanahun.
The earliest settlement had left the little remains such as Tahanunshur, Mirlung, Siddha cave, Vyash cave and Devghat. The main source of history can be found from the tangible and intangible heritages which are discovered in different periods of Tanahun District. So these heritages needs to be conserved and should be given priority from national level.
The place is suitable to live as being the part of it with other locals and ethnic people. So it is true that the place is melting point for all the people from different groups and different religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and other cults have flourished equally in this area. It can be said that the heritage from Tanahun has contributed in the national integration of Nepal. The heritage of the places is making us proud from the national level. But due to the lack of deep study, the great numbers of tangible heritages are still in the dark.
Tanahun is the place which consists of numerous natural heritages. So for the development of tourism at Tanahun, this place must be developed as tourist destination centre. Since this place possesses a number of attractions, the potential of tourist are high here. Tourism is one of the important sources to develop the place which is very rich in cultural and natural resources. As we know tourism is an importance source for its development.
In order to promote the scope of tourism sector of Tanahun district, an organization named as Tanahun Tourism Promotion Society (TTPS) has been established in 2070 V.S. Tourism reveals a kind of richness which preserves the properties which are handover by ancestors and nature. So the goal and the aim of TTPS are the promotion and development of this place as a touristic destination.
The objectives of Tanahun Tourism Promotion society are listed below:
- To locate and identify the historical, archaeological, Religious and cultural heritages along with touristic destination of Tanahun.
- To study, research and promotion about social, natural adventurous sports like rafting, trekking, hiking, paragliding, rock climbing, caving and many more with proper home stay in depth.
- To expose the multi ethnic groups and their traditions with their importance.
As a conclusion, tourism is one of the main sources of National income, it is one of the major potentials for the sustainability of the economy and such historic sites associated with culture religious and natural activities which are the most responsible elements for the promotion of Tourism. There still exists the fragment of rich cultural past with its beautiful nature.