KATHMANDU, Jan 13: People in the capital need not have to spend hours to go to Kurintar of Chitwan to ride on a cable car, they could soon enjoy the service in the Kathmandu Valley itself.
They would enjoy the service in the Kathmandu Valley within two years of the start of construction of the project to connect Chandragiri Hill (Mahabharat Hill) with Thankot VDC near Godam as it has been already started.
As per the project, Thankot VDC in the Kathmandu Valley would be connected with the historical hill, Chandragiri, above Kirtipur Municipality through a short trip of around 10 minutes.
The little-known Chandragiri (2540 meters from sea level) lies on the south west of Kathmandu Valley though the area itself has abundant natural resources including flora and fauna for developing tourism activities, but has been left behind from being a popular tourist destination because of lack of promotion.
The single length of the cable car project would be of around two and half kilometers beginning from near Godam at Thankot. It is the fact that a visitor has to make the three hours trekking to reach to Chandragiri, from where the then king Prithvi Narayan Shah was said to have made a plan to attack Kathmandu during the unification campaign.
It is said that Shah was attracted with the beautiful valley while he was walking through this hill on his way to maternal uncle´s home in Nuwakot from Makawanpur and developed the concept of unifying the three cities Kantipur (Kathmandu), Bhadgaon (Bhaktapur), and Patan (Lalitpur) with the then Gurkha state. He later entered with his Gorkha Army in Kirtipur via the same hill. The king then attacked and got victory over the Kathmandu Valley.
A drive on a car or other vehicles has to pass the distance of around seven kilometers to reach the top of Chandragiri hill from Godam. The journey on such vehicles is not very comfortable due to rough road. There is another option to reach to the hill but the visitors need to have three-hour long tough trek, so, the potential of cable car project is justified.
It is the highest hill in Kathmandu Valley vicinity from the top of which, Mt. Everest, other snow clad mountains, beautiful cities in the Kathmandu Valley, and green highlands including Kulekhani of Makawanpur, Chitlang village and Simbhanjyang of Makwanpur could be seen.
The construction of cable car atop the Chandragiri Hill from Thankot, an outskirt of the Kathmandu Valley, would bring tremendous tourism potentials in Nepal.
The hill is very attractive from the tourism point view and is at the nearest highland to pass time, entertain, and view the mountains but the people in the Valley are to go to Nagarkot and other places just because the place does not have a good facility of road, that is why the concept of the cable car project was made, informed various groups that are ready for investment for the project.
The investors have a plan of constructing star hotels, resorts, fun parks, among others. For this, the groups have registered Kathmandu Fun Park Private Limited by acquiring 700 ropanis of land on lease for 80 years.
The infrastructure construction for the fun park and the cable car will be concluded within the two years, by the time when cable car project would start construction works.
One of the main investor of the company and chief of the IME Group Chandraraj Dhakal said they would not only operate the cable car at the area, but various other businesses and Chandragiri hill would be developed as a major destination for internal and external tourists.
The fun park would be constructed near the cable car station at Thankot VDC where the visitors get hotels and restaurant services.
Another investor of the company, Ambika Prasad Paudel, said the preliminary cost of the project is Rs. two billion and Mahindra Consulting Group has been holding the preliminary talks. The company is holding talks with different Swiss and Australian companies to install cable car service, he added.
It is reported that the one-way trip in the cable car takes around 10 minutes but the investors have not fixed the fare rate right now.
Hemraj Dhakal of IME Group, Min Bahadur Gurung of Bhatbhateni Super Market, Paudel of Hathway Investment Company, Uttam Nepal of Uttam London Company, and Gyan Bahadur GC of Elite Capital are other members investing for the cable car and other projects.
Paudel said they have a plan of constructing a temple of Bhaleshower Mahadev, also known as Ichheshwor Mahadev, before the construction of the cable car. The then king Shah started attack in the Kathmandu valley by praying to be blessed from the god Bhaleshwor which is one of the avatars of Lord Shiva.
A large number of people from different parts of the country thronged here to worship the Trishul (trident) believed to be of Lord Shiva. A big fair is observed here on Baisakh Purnima night (a full moon night in May), every year. There is no temple so the Company has a plan to begin the project by constructing a temple here.
After the construction of the cable car and modern hotels, Chandragiri is believed to become an attractive tourism destination.
Fewer people reached at the top for lack of good road facility and hotel services till date though Chitlang, one of the nearest village of Chandragiri receives a large number of tourists as it has developed the concept of home stay of late.
Besides the cable car ride, all the proposed projects are expected to attract Kathmanduites and other internal and external tourists to spend their holidays and organize various entertaining programmes like picnic as an alternative to Nagarkot, one of the famous tourism destinations near the valley.