CHITWAN (31 October 2018)- The number of Indian devotees visiting the Manakamana Temple in Gorkha district is increasing year by year.
The famous shrine of Hindu Goddess is reachable by a cable car in 10 minutes from Kurintar of Icchakamana rural municipality in Chitwan.
Dilli Narayan Kayastha, Deputy General Manager of Manakamana Darshan Pvt Ltd that operates the Kurintar-Manakamana Temple cable car services, said in the initial years of the operation of service, a very few number of Indian tourists were visiting the temple, but this figure significantly rose in the latest years.
In the last fiscal year alone, among about one million people visiting the temple using the cable cars, 208,492 were from India. This number was more by 21.27 per cent compared to the previous year. More and more people have been arriving from India to visit the temple each year, as he said. However, tourists from other countries make up just a one per cent of the total arrivals.
Director of Manakamana Darshan Pvt Ltd, Rajesh Babu Shrestha said the number of visitors coming from Bengal, Maharastra, Gujrat, Rajstahan among other states of India is on an increasing trend.
According to him, tourists entering Nepal via air route or surface transport have kept Manakamana Temple as one of the stops in their itinerary as the fame of the shrine has spreads internationally.
Most of the Indian religious tourists coming on vehicles to Katmandu, Pokhara, Lumbini, Sauraha, among other destinations in Nepal, make it a point to pay a visit to Manakamana which lies close to their route. Shrestha said the cable car service to Manakamana is mostly dependent on Indian pilgrims during the monsoon when the number of Nepali visitors is low.
Ratan Paeen, who is one among a group of visitors coming here from Kolkata, India by two big reserved buses, said they came to pay homage to Manakamana after hearing that one can get the opportunity to worship Manakamana by crossing three hills.
“We have come here with the belief that our wishes would get fulfilled after paying homage to Goddess Manakamana. It is nice and pleasurable here,” he said.
Sunil Kumar Patel from Gujarat, who was preparing to return after visiting the Manakamana Temple, said he found the place and its environs far better than what he had heard.
The number of Indian visitors coming to various holy sites in Nepal has increased after the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Muktinath. The visitors to Manakamana can enjoy the cable car ride and the scenery besides paying homage to the ‘wish fulfilling’ goddess.
Started in November 24, 1998, the cable car service operated by the Manakamana Darshan Pvt Ltd has carried 14 million 312 thousand 486 visitors to Manakamana. The company has added three cables to its fleet of 31 cables recently. Daily 9,000 passengers travel by cable car to Manakamana, according to the Ltd.