By Pratima Sapkota
Devghat is an important pilgrimage site. On the day of Maghe Sankranti, a grand fair is organized here. However, not enough work has been done for setting up infrastructure and promoting tourism in the region. Since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the local administration barred people from gathering at Devghat this time, but it did not actually stop them making a crowd.
According to Manager of Galeshwor Ashram, Mahendra Pyakurel, a large number of devotees are arriving here for having bath in the river as the religious and cultural significance of Devghat is related to the Maghe Sankranti. Although there is a lot of potential to develop Devghat area as a religious tourist area, it has been overshadowed due to lack of protection of important heritage, infrastructure development and publicity, points out Pyakurel.
“Despite the potential for religious tourism, it has not been properly developed. Even though Devghat is a religiously important site, we have not been able to explain the people about its importance, “said Dr. Subedi said. Devghat is a beautiful place to attract tourists along with pilgrims, He added.
Guruprasad Subedi, former chairman of Devghat Area Development Committee, expressed the view that religious tourism can be developed in Devghat like Pashupati, Muktinath and Janaki temples.
Although various monasteries in Devghat have their own dharamsalas, the government has not been able to build any dharamsala here.
A big fair is held at Devghat on the day of Maghe Sankranti every year. Apart from this, ‘Ballbum’ has been coming on the Monday in the month of Shrawan. At other times, the number of visitors to Devghat is very low. The biggest attraction of Devghat is Beni. Beni is considered to be religiously important as it is the confluence of Trishuli river coming from Damodar Kund and Kaligandaki river passing through Muktinath. Devotees believe that their aspirations will be fulfilled if they come to Devghat and take a bath in Beni on the day of Maghe Sankranti. Experts point out that arranging a cruise in Beni could further attract tourists. Shaligram, still found on the banks of the river, is worshiped as a deity.
The Sita floating cave, the Mani Mukundasen Chakravarti Mahadev Temple, which is believed to grow rocks, and the adjoining flower garden have been attracting visitors from all over the country.
Similarly, Gurukuls run by various monasteries and peeths in Devghat are becoming places for acquiring Sanskrit language knowledge. The Mahabuddha Gumba and various monasteries on the Chitwan side are some of the choices of the tourists. The old age home of Devghat has become popular for those desirous to study history.