The truth about Bhaktapur tourism; Based on Bhaktapur trip and travelling
Bhaktapur has its own originality, identity, uniqueness, and independence from a very long period of time.
It has always been the centre of attraction for both domestic and international visitors. Not only its core places that include heritage sites but its surrounding areas like Suryabinayak, Changu Narayan, Nagarkot has attracted more domestic tourism.
People enjoy the places for bird watching, butterfly excursions, hiking and enjoying the enchanting mountain view, terraces, agriculture farmings and obviously beautiful green forest. More and more domestic tourists nowadays are attracted to biking around the city.
Bhaktapur has become a popular destination to hang out in their daily life. Experiencing the local tea and coffee shops talk has become a regular activity and walking around the Kamalpokhari and Siddhapokhari among the youths is increasing.
There is a saying that “ gold always glitters like Bhaktapur always charms with its culture and it is charming day by day with its responsible locals and authorities.
There has always been a question for the common man in the past – Why are tourists visiting and what are their attractions in Bhaktapur? Now the people of Bhaktapur have realised that we have been handed glorious art and architecture by our ancestors.
We are rich and independent from the very beginning as we had enough agricultural production for our living and clean water resources.
Many world-famous personalities have described Bhaktapur in their own wording. They have captured Bhaktapur beauty in their heart and define Bhaktapur as one of the most precious places to be preserved.
The brick-carved gullies and narrow paths of Bhaktapur are compared with Banaras city, Rome city and the capital of Music and Dances by the visitors. People wearing the traditional Daura Surwal, Bhadgaule topi, enjoying the taste of JUJU Dhau, Pustakari and Gudpak along with the locals’ teas have been captured as a beautiful memory.
Besides visiting the main or regular path, it is advisable to explore many hidden gallies and narrow paths comprising many chowks that capture the various local employment like making pottery, yogurt processing, Dying clothes, and many more.
Profession-based exploration has become an essential part of tourism development. Time availability should be determined when you intend to visit Bhaktapur either briefly or detail. A surface visit to Bhaktapur is not enough. One should have adequate time to learn Bhaktapur in a true manner.
It is hard to believe that visiting inside the Golden Gate takes 3 to 4 hrs if it is guided by the masters of Bhaktapur.
The old town of Bhaktapur is composed of several traditional chowks and unfortunately, our tours don’t talk about it. Most of the young generation can hardly define the chowks and this is the fact of today’s generation.
Naini, Chukka and Jyasle are three different chowks that can be found inside the Bhaktapur. Naini is one that is surrounded by houses and in the middle, there might be a small temple or sacred tusi or trees.
Likewise, Chukka is used for drying grains/ food and Jyasle are open areas where they can work and continue their profession. These should be included as part of the Bhaktapur tours. Experiencing local activities can enhance tourism in a productive way.
Sustainable tourism is not only about the preservation of temples and monuments, analysing from different perspectives may help for sustainability. Such as Bhaktapur lacks educational resources as we have to travel to KTM in order to find good books.
Though Bhaktapur Municipality is running the Library in such a good location the function is not satisfactory and there is the possibility of running this library full of life or active participation of domestic tourism.
An embedded system can be implemented for accessing the multipurpose function, targeting the young to old aged people will definitely help. Tourism is not only about counting the tourist arrival in Bhaktapur, its importance lies in the engagement of the local tourist in this educational platform seeking their knowledge.
Many people mightn’t know the real meaning of Sakotha i.e Safu Kotha which means a large library in the ancient period. Before Prithivi Narayan Shah conquered Bhaktapur, there used to be this Library but unfortunately, after Shah conquered Bhaktapur he destroyed this library by firing it and there is still hearsay that the library kept burning for a couple of weeks which was considered as a cruel activity of him.
Enriched Digital content like Bhaktapur.com can definitely set an example for the knowledge and information that people are looking for from national and international. Moreover, the documented film of our senior citizens talk about their experiences, group of people singing devotional songs in patis, enchanting musical instruments capture has been lacking, missing or uninterpreted.
These daily activities of the local people are the true identity of Bhaktapur that should be interpreted and requires good capture for the tourism prospect.
Bhaktapur is only such a place where we can find the live activities every day going on, so whenever you visit, you happen to see something going on and it’s all because of the people’s faith and belief towards the culture and festivals.
During the Malla Period, there is a saying that Kathmandu is for Kings, Patan is for ministries and Bhaktapur is for people. So, the people of Bhaktapur are the real asset of Bhaktapur that contributes towards the development of tourism sustainability with the preservation and maintenance of our cultural values, norms and beliefs.
Besides heritage sites, local government running institutes like colleges, schools, kindergartens, hospitals are other attractions that can attract domestic and international tourists to learn about our municipalities dedication and devotion to the people’s welfare in terms of education and health. Encouragement of this kind of tour can bring positive changes in the tourism sector.
Guide directions are equally important in tourism management, without proper direction, one cannot reach its destination, So the proper trails/path guide sign should be located in each galley and alleys so people can have easy access signifying every nook and corner of Bhaktapur. Due to lack of this, people mislead the wrong address to the people.
Restrooms are very much important during the tours, and there are several traditionally built washrooms/toilets built by the municipality in different locations but the lack of appropriate direction in maps or signs has suffered people ending with the restaurants and cafes.
Every monument and temple lacks identification. It should be identified with a short description so that the simple layman also knows the name of the temple easily. Since we already have advanced technology, the idea of inserting the QR code in the heritage sites can enhance the information flow quickly and smoothly. Moreover, the proper lighting system will enhance the tourism flow during the night also.
We all know that international tourists pay a certain entrance ticket to see Bhaktapur and this is the main economic source of Bhaktapur. Likewise, the local people living here are highly dependent on tourist consumption during their visit or stay.
Our local products like handicrafts, pashminas, enjoying our Juju dhau, Bhadgaule topi and many more have always benefited from the economic rise. Appropriate marketing has always been a challenge for selling our tourism products and services so the advanced technology embedded system should be approached in Bhaktapur for tourism sustainability.
Photography has always been a priority for everyone during the tours. Bhaktapur is best for its photography as it always encourages us to capture our glorious history. Morning is the best time to be in Bhaktapur for photography as it gives you the perfect sunlight and a peaceful ambience.
Tourism in Bhaktapur has always been connected with art and architecture but we have to focus on educational tours based on history, festivals, professions and the live activities of the people. An idea of building a real-time app indicating the Bhaktapur everyday activities and festivals can promote tourism to the next level. It will encourage domestic and international tourists to visit Bhaktapur.