By Rup Narayan Dhakal– As a professional journalist, traveling sometime might be my compulsion but more than that it is my hobby rather than compulsion. In a series of traveling, without any vital reason, few years ago, I arrived in Dhampus, a touristic village in the north of resort town Pokhara. I was there just for the enjoyment and short time emancipation from the crowd and noisy Pokhara.
It was not my first visit to Dhampus however every visit of here makes me feel energetic and romantic. Ram dai, Krishna Mani and Bashu were also with me during this traveling which we enjoyed very much in Dhampus. The hotel in Dhampus welcomed us with the glasses of tasty hot milk that made us to feel warm in that cold environment.
Panoramic view of the Annapurna Range, seasonable rhododendron, forest, wildlife, typical village life, Gurung culture, Deurali Temple, Nhegu Baraha pool, Bhumi Than, Kot Danda, Chakre Danda and Chihan Danda (tomb) are the major attractions of this village. One of the trekking routes to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) goes through this village, which is also suitable for one night stay. We, this time as well, staid in the Nice View Guest House and enjoyed the verities of things. There were two little kids Susmita and Mamta who were very lovely for everybody who visits s there in Dhampus.
They played and enjoyed with us. Sometime they ate with us and played our cell phone. We usually eat local rooster as we arrive here but this time we missed that opportunity however the hotel owner Tek Bahadur Gurung managed buff (dry meat) for us. The taste of Mohi drink was unforgettable. I like mohi very much. We had arrived Dhampus driving the motorbikes but unfortunately our one bike got flat, as we were about to back to Pokhara. Later my two friends as well as that bike were carried to Pokhara by a jeep. I think it happens sometime and should be taken as a normal case during traveling.
Dhampus is situated at an altitude of 1750 m in the north of Pokhara. This village can be reached via Phedi, which is 18 km northwest of Pokhara, along the Pokhara-Baglung Highway. The village is one and half-hour trek from Phedi. A gravel road from Phedi has been built leading to the village. Vehicle going to Dhampus leaves from Harichowk Pokhara. As per the census 2001, there are 620 households and 2950 people within Dhampus Village Development Committee. In proper Dhampus village, some two dozen hotels have been providing the services.
Destination Dhampus Rhododendron Festival also has been organizing since 2034 BS in this village that includes especially sports and cultural shows. Such festival has been organizing formally since 2055 BS on the occasion of Visit Nepal Year. Lhosar and Holi are the other major festivals in this village. Since the village is in Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), tourists excluding South Asian have to pay 2,000 Rs as an entry fee to go to Dhampus.