Tourism is gaining momentum at Aanbu Khaireni, the eastern gateway of Gandaki province. Locals in the Aanbu Khaireni village municipality, which possesses natural tourism infrastructure, have recently expressed interest in the development of tourism, and the state and federal governments have expressed interest as well.
The Aanbu Khaireni village municipality is prosperous both naturally and culturally, according to Gir Bahadur Thapa, chairman of Aanbu Khaireni Village Municipality. Aanbu Khaireni’s tourism potential has been highlighted, and the promotion and development of tourism have been given top attention, according to Thapa.
“This fiscal year, the village municipality has committed roughly NPR 20 million for tourism development,” he stated. He stated that the plan was developed with the goal of promoting Chimkeshwari and Hilekharka.
Its renown and prestige were reinforced in ancient times as the residence of sages, together with different lovely shades of nature. According to Thapa, the village municipality has given tourist development in Aanbu Khaireni, which is rich in religious, cultural, natural, and ecological diversity, a high priority.
Chimkeshwari is a religious tourism destination that spans 128 square kilometers and is located at an elevation of 2,134 meters above sea level.
This area is home to people of several castes and languages, including Magar, Gurung, Chhetri, Brahmin, Newar, Dalit, Chepang, Bhujel, Tamang, and others. Aanbu Khaireni is irrigated by the Trishuli, Marshyangdi, and Seti rivers, which flow through the village on three sides. It is also regarded as fertile ground for agriculture and animal husbandry.
Locals are excited about the area’s tourism development as a full project report for Andhimul, a religious tourist destination 15 minutes from the village municipality, is being produced. Every year, devotees from nearby districts such as Tanahu, Kaski, Syangja, and others travel to Andhimul. It is a religious belief that those who make a visit to the temple will have their wishes granted to them.
The temple is constructed in pagoda style and features a lovely lawn, two ponds, and 23 fish-shaped taps. The vast number of fish playing in the pond with fresh water is the major attraction of this pilgrimage destination. The habit of performing rituals on a dead fish, which is said to be a water deity, has added to the area’s cultural significance.
According to Yuvaraj Maskey Magar, the temple’s priest, the number of visitors from all parts of the country has increased in recent years. Andhimul is one of the 110 tourism spots in the state, indicating that the Gandaki state government is interested in its growth.
Chimkeshwari of Aanbu Khaireni is another tourist attraction in the area, with 110 state-designated tourist places. Chimkeshwari’s tourism promotion has been prioritized by the village municipality.
Chimkeshwari has been a hallowed location of pilgrimage since ancient times and is known as a religious and cultural pilgrimage path. The Budhi Devimai shrine is located 500 meters above Chimkeshwari.
The stunning mountain scenery from Dhaulagiri to Lamtang Himal, as well as the hilly scenery, can be seen from here. Budhi Devimai is the oldest of the seven goddesses, according to tradition, while Mahili (sixth) Chimkeshwarimai is the youngest.
Similarly, Sahili (fifth) is Gorakhkalimai, Manakamanamai (fourth) is Kahili, Ichchakamanamai (third) is Antari, Jantari (second) is Annapurnamai, and Kanchi (youngest) is Akalamai. All of these goddesses’ temples are regarded as particularly significant.
There is a belief that if one does not visit Chimkeshwari, even if one visits six other goddesses, one’s desires will not be fulfilled. On Phagu Purni, Tamu Lhosar, New Year, Shri Panchami, and each Purnima (Full-moon) and Sankranti, special worship is held in Chimkeshwari.
Chimkeshwari is accessible by vehicle and then on foot from Aanbu Khaireni to Thulodhunga through a 16-kilometer unpaved road that runs parallel to the Prithvi Highway. It can also be reached through 23 kilometers of dirt route from Bandipur to Thulodhunga.
According to Gir Bahadur Thapa, the road connecting Dobhan Puljip of the Trishuli and Masyangdi rivers to Chimkeshwari might be used for trekking tourism. “The road from Puljip to Bandipur via Chimkeshwari might be transformed into a three-day, two-night trekking trail,” he remarked. Some areas near the Marsyangdi Dam, he noted, may be used for water sports, as well as the promotion and development of Aanbu Khaireni and Andhimul.
According to Thapa, Ramshahghat, located at the junction of the Daraundi and Marsyangdi rivers in Aanbu Khaireni, might be developed as a religious tourist attraction, with mountain riding available till it turns around via Bandipur-Chimkeshwari. Another religious tourism spot here is Akalathan in Ward No. 1 Baradi, where the village municipality is preparing a DPR.
Tourists come here for a picnic and to see the Marshyangdi Dam in addition to seeing the temple. In the future days, the local municipality wants to develop Aina Pahar and other locations as tourist destinations.
The goal, according to Thapa, is to boost citizens’ income by showcasing the numerous tourism potentials inside the village municipality. “There are many tourist potentials in Aanbu Khaireni, and we want to emphasize them in order to promote and develop them,” he stated.