December 2: Kalinchowk, a popular tourist destination in Dolakha district, has finally started to return back to its normal business. Domestic tourists are increasing each day in Kalinchowk, the main reason being the snowfall season. Kalinchowk is one of the major tourist destinations of Nepal during the winter season.
Bimal Ojha, the manager of Hotel Sunpati, stated that there has been an increase in hotel bookings since the onset of snowfall as well as the decline in Covid-19 infections. According to him, the occupancy of hotels in the area is almost full, especially on Fridays.
Similarly, Chandra Lama, another hotel entrepreneur based in Kuri, Kalinchowk stated that there has been an increase in the number of tourists lately. Businessmen say that the hotel occupancy reaches 80 percent on Fridays while it remains 30 to 40 percent on other days. Tourism activities were almost nil for the last one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but has now resumed after the onset of snowfall.
Acting chief of Kalinchowk Cable Car, Sandesh Shivakoti, said there has been an increase in the number of people visiting Kalinchowk temple via the cable car as well. The cable car was also closed for over a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Kalinchowk area gets crowded during the snowfall season with domestic tourists. Kalinchowk is a favoured destinations for domestic tourists from nearby areas including Kathmandu valley and neighboring districts who wish to experience snowfall.
Thousands of people visit Kalinchowk every year with the aim to see the scenery, play in the snow and visit Kalinchok Bhagwati temple. Visitors at Kalinchok, with an altitude of 3,841 meters, can enjoy a panoramic view of the Rolwaling and Jugal mountain range and the sunset as well. There are 50 hotels in Kalinchowk. Even hoteliers in the district headquarters Charikot are excited as the number of domestic tourists has started increasing at a time when business had come to a standstill due to the pandemic. The hotel business in Dolakha is estimated to have incurred a daily loss of Rs 2.5 million during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rajesh Upreti, manager of Hotel Laxmi in Charikot, says that the hotel business in the district headquarters Charikot also increases when tourists visit Kalinchowk. “The hotel business here does well during the snowy season as it is full of tourists,” he said. He suggested that domestic tourists should book hotel room in advance as they may be left stranded if they do not book hotel room during the season of snowfall when the area is overcrowded.