Office building of Madyapur Thimi Municipality. (File Photo)
THIMI: The Madhyapur Thimi Municipality in Bhaktapur has launched the ‘Night Heritage Walk’ under the Destination Madhyapur Campaign. The night tour aims to promote cultural and historic heritages in this ancient city.
According to mayor Madan Sundar Shrestha, the local government has launched a campaign to restore the heritages in the city and promote the heritage areas as tourist destinations. “During the course of this campaign, heritages buried under the earth were restored.”
Cultural festivals like Jatra were revived and we want to send the message that Madhyapur Thimi offers your day as well as night walks and the city is also safe for night tourism. More, we want to deliver the message that the development of night tourism falls on the priority of Madhyapur Thimi.”
As the mayor says the city offers not only the views of tangible heritages but also the intangible heritage. The art of Madhyapur Thimi provides the meaning of life philosophy as well and one can have a different feeling while being a part of night tourism.
The city seems lively at night. A group of people is seen enjoying traditional and cultural songs, some are seen dancing, some having a chat on the pavement and in the public resting place (Pati).
“The atmosphere of Madhyapyur Thimi is soothing, it is safe for night tourism and the visitor can enjoy its sublime beauty,” he argued, adding that through the promotion of night walk, the local government wants to deliver the same message to the public.
“Madhyapur is a peaceful and safe place. We want to give the message that it is safe to take a walk around even after the evening until 9 pm,” Mayor Shrestha said. The beautiful scene of the Balkumari Temple that meets one’s eyes after the climb atop the hillock from the Shankhadhar Sakhwa area mesmerizes the beholder.
The lamps burning in every lamp-hole around the pond near the temple add to the evening-time beauty of the place. On top of this, the singing of hymns by men and women in the premises of the Bishnubir Temple highlights the cultural and religious milieu of the town.
The team with the Mayor then reached Kumari Park at Bode from there.
It was around 6.30 pm. People with families and couples could be seen chatting in the park. Not only the sight at the park but the sight of the airport and Kathmandu city from there was equally splendid.
Mayor Shrestha answered the queries of journalists as to how a previous waste dumping site was turned into a beautiful park.
The ‘evening heritage tour’ then took the team to the Kamal Pokhari pond, an ancient pond restored by the municipality, the Kalika Temple, the Pancho Ganesh, Layaku, Mahalaxmi, Bhangu, Lachhi, Nachhutol, Bishnu Takin, Nagadesh Buddha Bihar, Siddhi Ganesh, Dyoh Chhein Garcha Chowk, Bahakha Bazaar, Chapacho Ganesh and Kumanni area.
The tour concluded upon reaching the Balkumari Temple again after passing through Prachanda Bhairav, Hatti Mahankal, Bhunlakhel, Lahanani, Chode Mahalaxmi Sthan, Digutol, Shiwatol, Nigu Pukhu, Inayatol, Lokeshwor Temple, Bishnubir, and Bamunetol.
The municipality had given its attention to the preservation and restoration of the various tangible and intangible heritage found in the town in a bid to promote Madhyapur Thimi as a tourist destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.
This initiation of the municipality has breathed a new lease of life not only to the temples and shrines and cultural festivals but also to the folk musical instruments, the cultural dances, tableaus, and processions performed in the Dabalis, and the Dafa bhajan singing.
The nighttime observation of the newly constructed structures as well as the reconstructed historical heritages, ponds, temples, traditional resting places, park, and water spouts during the heritage trek was truly a marvel.
Madhyapur Thimi also boasts of its historical ancient settlement. The people in the settlement still follow a traditional way of life as per their rich cultural heritage, which gives it a tenor of a living museum.
“The heritage trek has given out the message that visitors can enjoy the sight and environment by strolling around Madhyapur Thimi in the day and night for at least three hours,” Mayor Shrestha encapsulated the purpose of the program.
The municipality has also bagged the ‘Asian Townscape Award’ for the first time in the country in recognition of its contribution to preserving its heritage.