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  • Monday, January, 2023| Today's Market | Current Time: 12:08:59
  • Will Nepal see an increase in tourists coming from neighboring India?  With the release of the new Bollywood film, Uunchai (which translates to Height), the tourism industry in Nepal is optimistic. While there has always been a great deal of business done across the open Nepal/ India border, it is only relatively recently that Nepal saw adventure seekers coming from India. 

    Pilgrimages to Nepal

    Hindu pilgrims from all stratum of society have for generations made the journey across the border to visit Pashupatinath Temple. The exact date of construction is unknown, but recordings of the temple are seen as early as 400 CE.  Legend has it that Shiva, the main Hindu god, in disguise as a deer, had one of his horns broken by other gods, which was subsequently worshipped as a linga (representation of god visible at all Hindu shrines). Pashupatinath is a temple that all Hindus try to visit once in their lives, almost like a Mecca for Hindus.

    Other places on the Hindu pilgrimage map in Nepal are Muktinath in the Annapurna mountains and Mount Kailash.  Although Mount Kailash is situated in China, the main route takes pilgrims through the mountainous district of Humla in Nepal.

    With both these second sites located in the mountains, these pilgrimages could be called “treks.”

    New Generation of Indian Trekkers

    But now Nepal is seeing many adventure seekers who come for trekking, rafting, and thrills like bungy jumping and zip lining.  This is likely to increase as more well-known personalities come to Nepal. Just some of the Indian names that made a huge impact when visiting are Shah Rukh Khan, who visited for a promotional tour; Aamir Khan, who participated in a UNICEF-initiated nutrition program and also visited Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha; Akshay Kumar and Arshad Warsi, for film shooting, and many others who come for promotion, shooting or performing. 

    Therefore, it was not just the film industry who were not the only ones who watched closely as photography commenced in October 2021 on a new film, Uunchai.  The Nepal trekking fraternity was watching too.  Much press surrounded this film as it stars the biggest and most popular actor in Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan.  The storyline takes the characters on an  Everest Base Camp hike in Nepal.  Directed by Sooraj R. Barjatya,  limited showings from 11 November 2022 have given positive feedback.  It is anticipated that when the general release happens, it will focus on the Everest Region and encourage many more Indian trekkers, adventure seekers, and film buffs to the area. With a trickle-down effect to the Nepal economy.

    The Future

    India, with its huge population and its considerable wealth, is geographically in the right place to revive Nepal’s tourism sector, which has suffered over the past two years due to COVID restrictions.  As Europe enters into winter and is seeing an economic downturn, it is unsure whether many Europeans will travel to Nepal this spring.  

    So Indians might just be the right people to bolster this sector in Nepal.

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