20 Aug, Babiyachaur (Myagdi) : The Swargashram – a destination which has long remained elusive for tourists and pilgrims – is now facing a prospect of backsliding into the list of unknown and neglected places.
Located at 2,500 metres above the sea level at Beni municipality – 3, the Swargashram unequivocally bears the potential to become one of the prime tourist destinations in the country.
The site perched atop a hill offers panoramic view of Mt Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Nilgiri, Gurja and Mt Machchapuchre along with the opportunity to greet the dazzling sun rise.
From Beldhunga, which is located 300 metres further up from the Swargashram, visitors can view Kaski, Myagdi and Parbat districts below. During the spring season, the location is stippled with the blossoming rhododendron flowers.
A temple of Hindu God Ganesha is located at Swargashram, which is also known as the Rishi Danda. Legend has it that in the ancient period, Hindu saints used to meditate at the location.
The hill located above Swargashram resembles the seed of wood apple after which it was named Beldhunga. Visitors can reach Swargashram after travelling for two hours from Beni Bazaar to Musungdole on a four wheeler and an hour’s walk uphill.
On the day of New Year, the local residents of Jhamkila take out a chariot rally from Dandakhani area to Swargashram. It is believed that visiting this temple of Ganesha accompanied by the statue of Sanomukhi Naag, a snake god, fulfills one’s wishes.
Swargashram Management Committee Chairman, Ratna Bahadur GC, said the absence of publicity on its specialties, and the needed infrastructure has inhibited and capped the popularity of the destination.
The local villagers had formed a committee a few years ago for development of its infrastructure and publicity. The committee also held a Mahayagya – a religious ceremony of reciting hymns with continuously burning fire – around two years ago.
The proceeds generated from the Mahayagya were used to open a track route connecting Swargashram from Musung Dole area. GC believes that if the track route constructed at a cost of Rs 500,000 could be upgraded, it would facilitate the movement of tourists and pilgrims.
The location also seems to be in need of management of drinking water, modern road network, resting places, hotels and ashrams for visitors.