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An impending Earthquake of 7.9 on the Richter scale finally hits NEPAL

A thousand years of rich History turns to rubble in the blink of an eye…will Nepal’s Tourism survive?…’it will’ say resilient Nepalese who promise to build our Heritage sites ‘brick by brick’…read on:

It was the 25th April, a bleak Saturday and a weekend with weak sunshine. Most folks throughout the country were probably at ease as this was the only off-day of the week for most employees and businesses. Some would later say ‘it was a blessing in disguise’. The streets of Kathmandu generally see less people on holidays but there were also those who were in the holiday mood and decided to hit the streets for shopping and visiting religious monuments. And it was exactly nearing high noon when the powerful quake hit the country at exactly 11.56 am, catching most folks unawares when the earth below Kathmandu began to rumble with an eerie whistle that generally heralds an earthquake, and residential buildings and Nepal’s most iconic symbols crashed to earth like a deck of cards and the Ministry of Home Affairs declared over 2000 residents in the valley were dead within a few hours of the striking killer quake…and by late evening news reports poured in from different districts that many more lost their lives in the upper regions of Nepal…Nepal soon became a story of devastation, overnight. Seismological experts and the United Nations had been warning for years that a big earthquake was due in Nepal since the last one that occurred in 1934, killing over a hundred thousand people in its wake. 81 years later since that fateful event, Nepal was struck again as of the 25th April, 2015; with aftershocks still occurring in the valley every other day. With almost 8000 people who’ve lost their lives and thousands more maimed and injured, and what with thousands of homes flattened throughout the country, for many who were almost over the thresh-hold of Nepal’s deep poverty redlines, its now back to absolute poverty once again…nature has taken its course; and a monster though it can be, Nepal’s fairytale landscapes still shines amidst all the darkness, and this is where mother nature can be atypical of ‘Beauty and the Beast’’…resilient in nature, many of we Nepalese still murmur words of defiance, ‘all is not lost’’, we will pick up the pieces when the dust has settled…and life will go on…besides the loss of lives and properties, perhaps, the biggest loser is Nepal’s Tourism, the primary bread earner of a country landlocked and blessed with beauty, but one of the poorest in the world. Nepal has faced a massive loss in its rich history and culture, that being its world heritage sites, a major attraction for tourists and research scholars; and even our stunning mountains have not been spared with the earthquake disturbing the ecological balances of the Himalayas, but our lovely mountains still stand strong, and its exceptional beauty will once again glimmer in the sunshine of autumn, beckoning one and all to tread its gracious, glorious paths…

Our Tourism: The aftermath

Kathmandu was complete chaos after the quake struck; our heritage sites were reduced to debris, and there was pandemonium everywhere, surely in every part of the country. The killer quake sunk the nation to an extent that created a national crisis, while hundreds witnessed our pride, our history, our heritage tumbling before our very eyes, this was tragedy happening in slow motion, and many of our citizens and even tourists who came to see these monuments of living history, were unable to do anything to prevent it from happening. The unfolding event left us helpless and forlorn as our iconic buildings crumpled to shattered brick and dust. Devastation was seen every where, even in the ancient city of Bhaktapur – known to be a ‘living museum’ of Nepal’s vibrant past. The most famous of our heritage sites destroyed by the quake are: Basantapur Durbar Square, Dharara [an iconic landmark ancient tower], Hanuman Dhoka, the old royal palace, Patan Durbar square. Kathmandu, a city with a rich history of 2000 years, was known to be vulnerable and seismological experts had warned for years that a big earthquake was due, and should it come, it would hit hard and bring much destruction in its wake…and this has come to pass. Who do we curse and blame for all of this? We can’t blame nature, for this wouldn’t make any logical sense, nature will take its course anyways, no force on earth can stop this, but with the early timely warnings, we surely could have been more prepared. Our buildings weren’t strong enough to face an earthquake of this magnitude, and we have paid the price with our rich historical monuments – and our lives. Many of our heritage sites have been destroyed and the government and local businesses, in partnership with communities will have to strive to restore these priceless monuments, and this particular area must be given first priority to regain our lost pride and rich historical past. WE ARE DEVASTATED, BUT CERTAINLY NOT DEFEATED.

Far greater earthquakes have struck other countries too, namely Japan recording 9.2 on the Richter scale, nevertheless, Japan still remains one of the world’s biggest economies. Nepal’s geography is definitively not similar to Japan’s, but where there’s a will, there’s a way…AND THE BEST WAY IS TOO REVIVE OUR TOURISM STRUCTURE WHICH IS A SOURCE OF SURVIVAL FOR MILLIONS of Nepalese…we simply have to be united and the political parties of Nepal must now unite for the compelling restoration of this beautiful landlocked nation, redefining a new Nepal that’s thoroughly tourists friendly…

Is there anything left to see in Nepal? Will tourists visit Nepal again??
Encounters Nepal reckons there is…and Nepal lovers will come what may, and visit Nepal again; despite this phenomenal disaster. We’ve seen disasters after our establishment over 2 decades, and some of them were earthquakes and a blistering insurgency, but we survived and our monuments still stood tall and our mountains are still green. But this time, we’ve been hit hard – BY MOTHER NATURE – who has also been merciful in sparing much of our beauty; a lot of the Annapurna region is safe including the southwest corners of the Himalayas…and the sun still rises with ecstatic views, and sets in an array of psychedelic colors that flash through our mighty peaks in twilight, promising a new found hope for a better tomorrow.

We will BUILD OUR HISTORIC MONUMENTS BRICK BY BRICK and the region of Langtang will once more rise from the dust and landslides that battered our homely villages, killing so many of the local folks and our cherished caring trekkers [may they R.I.P. in the friendship of God] will yet see the light of glimmering sunshine in the many more mornings to come.

ENCOUNTERS NEPAL calls upon our faithful Tourists and Trekkers to not give up hope and visit our country again. Your thoughtful visit will bring hope and solace to the people of Nepal and relieve them of this painful trauma; every dollar you spend will feed, educate and bring employment and a SMILE to the so very friendly Nepalese people you had once known to be so happy and welcoming – but are now going through heart rendering pain they had never ever experienced in their lives. Come autumn in the month of September 2015, and by then much will have been completed from all the death and destruction – you will see a new Nepal – and a mentally tortured population smiling and greeting you with open arms – welcoming you once again to a land so well known to be the ‘abode of the gods’…and in this new experience that you share with us, you will LEARN THE TRUE NEPALESE MEANING OF WHY ALL NEPALESE PEOPLE BELIEVE FIRMLY IN A THING CALLED ‘ATHITI DEVO BHAVA’ – AN ENCIENT PRACTICE OF TREATING OUR GUESTS LIKE GODS – ENCOUNTERS NEPAL WILL WELCOME YOU WITH A HEART WARMING RECEPTION YOU WILL NEVER EVER FORGET IN A WHOLE LIFETIME…



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