New Bhanu-Peace Trail to Open in 2012

Nepal is well known for its spectacular trekking trails, with people travelling from all over the world to explore this picturesque country on foot. With this in mind, and in keeping with the tourism theme of “Visit Lumbini Year-2012”, the Nepalese government will be implementing plans to link the historic pilgrimage site of Lumbini in Tarai, with the district of Manang.

The new Bhanu-Peace Trekking trail will take seventeen days to complete, starting from Timang in the Manang district, crossing through six districts, and ending at Lumbini. The districts covered by the trail include Manang, Lamjung, Tanahun, Syangja, Palpa and Rupandehi, with the possibility of Gorkha being added as well. The Bhanu-Peace Trail will be a sub-trail of the Great Himalayan Trail which was opened earlier this year, and is a collaborative venture between the Tourism Development Committees of the districts it travels through.

According to Hari Singh Gurung, president of the Tanahun Tourism Development Committee, the 400 kilometer trail has been designed to offer trekkers the opportunity to experience varied terrain, such as snowy mountains and the plains of Tarai, as well as giving them access to destinations with historical and religious significance. Some of the historical sites along the trail include the birthplace of the first Nepali-language poet Bhanu Bhakta, and the palaces of former royalty, such as the king of Lamjung and the queen of Palpa. Because of its lower altitudes, the trail will be suitable for trekkers who are uncomfortable in high-altitude territories but would like to experience the unique beauty of Nepal.

The Bhanu-Peace Trail can be broken into shorter trails, with the section between Damauli and Lumbini being completed in seven days, and the section between Timang to Ghale Gaun being completed in five days. In addition to opening up some of Nepal’s most scenic areas to visitors, the Bhanu-Peace trail will also bring much needed income to isolated communities who will offer home-stay accommodation and other tourism-related services. While promoting rural tourism, the Bhanu-Peace Trail is likely to attract adherents of the Buddhist faith who would like the opportunity of visiting Lumbini – the birthplace of Lord Buddha.