Newly-opened cable car in Butwal draws hordes of touristsAnother cable car project in the northwest of Butwal is expected to come into operation during the Dashain festival in October.
The newly-opened cable car in Bhairahawa has been drawing hordes of people since it was inaugurated on Monday.
Many locals, including those from Gorakhpur, India have been flocking to the area which now has become a tourist hotspot.
The cable car connects Butwal in Rupandehi to Basantapur hilltop in Palpa.
Lumbini Cable Car, a privately owned company, has invested around Rs3 billion in the project.
IME Group has an investment of 75 percent and the local entrepreneurs of Butwal invested the remaining 25 percent.
Gokul Saud, project manager of Lumbini Cable Car, said that there are many facilities including, a zipline, a swimming pool, a children's park, a picnic spot and restaurants at the top station of the cable car.
The temple of Lord Durga has been redesigned as a temple of Kamakhya Devi to promote religious tourism.
“In the second phase, the project aims to construct a five-star hotel with 150 rooms and a casino,” said Saud.
Visitors can experience the view of Tarai, hills and mountains during the 10 minute cable car ride.
“We have already started to attract visitors from different Tarai districts who are coming here to escape the heat,” said Saud. “The temperature at the top station is 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. In Butwal, the temperature rises to 40 degrees.”
The cable car has a carrying capacity of 6,000 passengers a day.
There are 24 gondolas–the box that carries people in the cable car. Each gondola carries eight passengers at a time.
There are nine towers erected within a span of three kilometres to support the cable car.
The project has leased 6.27 hectares of forest land from the government for 25 years.
“The Basnatapur hilltop can be the best destination for residents of Bhairahawa and the nearby Indian cities,” said Chandra Dhakal, chairman of Lumbini Cable Car.
“The project will prolong the stay of the Indian visitors in Lumbini as they will spend at least a day in Palpa,” added Dhakal.
“From Palpa, they have the option to visit Pokhara.”
The cable car ride is priced at Rs1,000 per person. However, locals and students get a 25 percent discount.
From the top station, visitors can have a view of the neighbouring hilly districts like Gulmi, Arghakhanchi, Pyuthan, Syangja and Tanahu.
If the weather is clear, they can also view Gorakhpur city in India.
Siddha Baba Temple is also in the vicinity of the cable car station.
Dal Bahadur Gurung, president of the Siddha Baba Area Development Committee, said the development of the cable car will help promote religious and historical spots in the region. “It's important to develop Butwal as a religious and spiritual centre, which is now known as a growing business hub.”
Another cable car project in the northwest of Butwal has reached 80 percent of physical progress.
The Siddhartha cable car is 2 kilometres long and connects Butwal with Nuwakot Hill in Palpa.
Rs1 billion has been invested in the project and is entirely funded by local entrepreneurs.
The construction commenced in February 2021.
The lower station of the cable car is located in Shikhar Deurali in Butwal.
“The cable car will come into operation by mid-October,” said Rajendra Singh Gurung, president of Siddhartha Cable Car Company.
The project has been constructing a high-end hotel, children's park, tourist information centre, Buddhist monastery and a view tower on the hilltop.
According to Gurung, the top and bottom stations have historical significance.
He said that the site was once a battlefield during the Anglo-Nepal War. “We have set up the cable car to attract tourists to this place of great historical importance.”
In addition, the palace of Mani Mukunda Sen–an ancient king of Palpa, Raani Kuwa, an artillery field, a treasure house and many other historical monuments have made the spot an ideal destination to visit, he said. “It will be a new destination for tourists.”