By Rup Narayan Dhakal: Pokhara—The Annapurna Region, a world-famous trekking destination in Gandaki Province looks deserted as no foreign tourist has visited this area following the Covid-19 pandemic that also hit Nepal which had imposed more than a 6-month long lockdown.
There could be seen growing green grasses on the premises of the hotels and no renovation has been carried out by any entrepreneurs in this region. A restaurant holder Nisha Tamang from Chamche of Lamjung district expressed her sorrow as her business went down due to the Coronavirus. At the same time, another hotelier from Manag district Binod Gurung informed that they are not offering any hospitality and accommodation in his village due to the growing numbers of Covid-19 cases in Nepal.
Annapurna Circuit is very famous among the foreign tourists but the length of the trekking in this area became short due to the newly built road in the region. The trekking starts from Beshishahar of Lamjung and goes forward via Manang, Mustang, Myagdi to reach Kaski. The 3 weeks long trekking decreased to a week due to the road building. Thorang La (5,416m) is the highest pass of this route.
Road service is available from Beshi Sahar to Manang village of Manang district on one side and from Pokhara to Muktinath on the other side. Similarly, One can travel by jeep or motorbike from Beshisahar to Khangsar via Manang village to reach Tilicho Lake (4,919m).
Most of the hotels’ have been locked with padlocks in the Annapurna Region. Likewise, the Tilicho Lake trekking area is also facing the same fate. Almost all the hotels in the Tilicho area are closed due to the virus. However, the Manang district has no case of COVID 19 till the date.
According to information, the Nepal government has decided to allow foreigners to carry a negative PCR test report to travel to Nepal after the 17th of October. But now, ACAP and TAAN WRA Pokhara are not issuing any entry permit and TIMS cards to foreign tourists to visit the Annapurna Region. A total of 181,000 tourists visited the Annapurna Region last year.