Nepal is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural beauty due to its unique geographical position and latitudinal variation. The elevation of the country is 60 m to 8848 m, all within a distance of 150 km with climatic condition ranging from sub tropical to arctic.
This wild variation provides an incredible variety of eco-system, the greatest mountain ranges on earth, tropical jungle teeming with a wealth of wild life, thundering rivers, forested hills and frozen valleys.
Tourism is the recent phenomenon of Nepal, which has more than 101 ethnic groups and 92 different spoken languages. The people inhabiting the rural parts of Nepal have its own particular and unique culture, which allure the international tourists and make them visit and stay with the rural community again and again.
Chitlang is located to the south west of Kathmandu valley in mid-hills called Mahabharat range. This region reflects its heritage – it was an ancient Newar settlement. The main ethnic population are Newar, Tamang, Khas etc. Inscriptions dating back to Lichchavi era have been found in this place. According to 2001 census of Nepal, there were 1170 houses in Chitlang and 5830 people.
In connection with the Nepal Tourism Year 2011, the ministry of tourism has come up with Home Stay Operating Procedure 2067 and already 7 households have registered as home stays from Chitlang at the tourism ministry division, Brikuti Mandap. More and more people are interested to provide their houses as home stays in Chitlang.
The people living in the scenic Chitlang Valley in Nepal are very friendly to the travelers who come to explore local way of living. The villagers are very frank in nature, they are eager to share their knowledge with the guests and dine together. Entire families including children and women participate to show their guests around.
There are various castes, tribes and ethnic groups, who live together in the same village within a short span of open land without any communal conflict. The mixed cultural society shares their cultural ceremonies as well and lives harmoniously and in peace with the neighboring villages. Villagers always heartily welcome the visitors and are known for their hospitality.
Basically, rural tourism is the major income of the villagers. Travelers have the opportunity to experience the life styles of particular ethnic groups and to participate in their daily chores.
Culture is the main focus of Nepali tourism business. People’s hospitality, response and intimacy are the essence of the particular community, which is dependent upon tourism promotion.
Photos: Bijaya Pradhan
By Bijaya Pradhan