Buffalo pasture area becomes tourist destination


By Thakur Prasad Acharya, Myagdi, Sept. 5: Khopra Lake was once full of buffalo herds. As there is flat green land on the top of the hill, the locals of Annapurna Rural Municipality-5 in Paudwar used to take buffalo herds once a year to graze in the area.

Khopra Lake, which was once full of buffalo sheds, is now full of tourists. Since 1995, tourists have started visiting the area. This place emerged as a tourist spot in 1996. The number of tourists has increased since then. Khopra Lake is the choice of foreign as well as domestic tourists.

Tourists from home and abroad started increasing after Mahabir Pun, who was honoured with the Magsaysay Award, established a community lodge in this area 20 years ago and expanded the wireless internet. 

“Earlier, we used to bring buffalos here,” said Raju Pun, a local and Paudwar and Khopra Tourism Promotion activist. 

There were buffaloes, cows and sheep but no tourists at the time, he added. It is surprising to see that it has been developed as a tourist destination within a few years.

He said that Mahabir Pun made a great contribution to developing Khopra as a tourist destination. Raju Pun said that after Mahabir envisioned the Annapurna community trail and expanded the community lodge and internet, tourists started coming.

Now Khopra Lake is full of domestic and foreign tourists. For the convenience of tourists, the locals have operated a community hotel through Paudwar Tourism Cooperative. The lodge can accommodate 65 tourists.

Rajesh Tilija, chairman of Annapurna Rural Municipality Ward No. 5, said that there is a plan to expand the capacity of the lodge in the coming days as well as add infrastructure.

At the foot of the mountain, Khopra Lake looks beautiful with the green hills and the waves of the mountains. Beautiful Khopra Lake with breathtaking natural beauty is located at an altitude of 3,660 meters above sea level.

Dhaulagiri, Gurja, Churen, Nilgiri, Annapurna and other mountains can be seen from Khopra Lake. In addition, the scenic areas of Myagdi, Parbat, and Baglung districts can also be observed from the area.

Khopra Lake is really beautiful, Lakshman Sharma who reached Khopra from Beni, said, adding he reached there for the first time. “The beauty of this place has made me forget all the troubles of life,” he said.

A beautiful community footpath has been developed to reach Khopra. Khopra can be reached after seven hours of walk while observing the beautiful village on the community footpath from Paudwar village.

Adesh Tilija, an employee of the community lodge, said that domestic tourists will start coming to Khopra Lake in October. Due to COVID-19, not many tourists visited for two years, he said. “This year, the number of tourists has started to increase from the end of July,” he added.

How to reach Khopra

Khopra can be reached in five days via Dhampus - Ghandruk - Dobato - Baheli - Dandakhark of Kaski. 

In addition to this, Khopra Lake can be reached in four days from the headquarters of Myagdi, Beni-Bashkhark-Nangi-Maharedanda, Phulbari, and Swat-Dandakhark. On the other hand, Khopra can be reached within two days via Tatopani-Paundwar.

Another route can be taken from Dandakhark to Khopra via Kaski's new bridge – Ulleri – Ghodepani. Tourists who have reached Khopra Lake go via Sikh's foothills and reach Bhurung Tataponi and have fun in Tatopani Kunda.

The other way is from Khopra via the Lekgaun-Beshi village of Narachang to get to Tatopani. Some tourists go down the new bridge of Kaski via Nagi-Lespar-Purnagaun while observing Ghodepani or Mahare Danda.  

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