Oct 092016
 

Charikot before the town was devastated by the earthquake in 2015

Charikot before the town was devastated by the earthquake in 2015

Charikot, the capital of Dolakha, was devastated by the earthquake in 2015, but it’s coming back to life – also when it comes to the local tourism sector. Situated just five kilometres from the epicentre of the second massive tremor, most hotels and guesthouses in this scenic town collapsed and were turned into rubbles. Indeed, the massive destruction left many locals with little hope to rebuild. But tourism entrepreneurs have started to pick up the pieces and to again turn Charikot into a growing tourist destination.

Scenery from a hiking trail going up from Charikot

Scenery from a hiking trail going up from Charikot

Charikot is like a pearl of scenery on the way towards the Mount Everest region. An historic trade route between Kathmandu and Lhasa in Tibet, it was always an important transit district and a stopover for travelers, and up until the earthquake an increasing number of tourists had started to make short stays in Charikot before heading on, exploring what the area still has to offer: white-water rafting, paragliding, village homestays and breathtaking views of the Himalayas from surrounding ridges and peaks.

View from the temple at Kalinchok ridge: a popular trek in the area around Charikot

View from the temple at Kalinchok ridge: a popular trek in the area around Charikot

Herman Thapa of Charikot Panaroma Resort, a popular local guesthouse, is among those determined to make the tourism sector in Charikot bounce back, also for the sake of the town’s economic revival. “We decided to get back to business because people need jobs; also this resort is my parents’ dream”, says Thapa, whose mother is Swiss. Other tourism initiatives, including a cable car to the spectacular ridge of Kalinchok, and a new road linking another trekking area to Charikot, are boosting refound local optimism even more.

Charikot will not rebuild overnight – the destruction of the town and surrounding villages was too massive for that, above 90 percent of the buildings. But with renewed enthusiasm and tourists long-since returning after the earthquake, resurrecting the old capital of Dolakha as a growing tourist destination seems poised to continue.

See more about Charikots reviving tourism sector in the source article for this post: Putting Dolakha back on the map.

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