Monday Aug 8, 2022
Monday Aug 8, 2022

Local teachers leading homestay tourism in Morang

2021 Feb 28, 15:22, Itahari
A view of sky over the hills in Jefale community in Kerabari Rural Municipality-2, Mrang district in February 2020. Photo courtesy: Bhim Bahadur Thakuri

Not many years ago, Jefale was an unfamiliar name for travellers in eastern Tarai. But community homestay is now significantly drawing a large number of tourists to this northern hilly location of Morang district. 

Located at Kerabari Rural Municipality-2 of Morang district, the Jephale community homestay was inaugurated on May 18, 2017 after its formal registration at the Tourism Office of Kakarbhitta, Jhapa. The informal beginning was made during 2069 BS at the initiation of the District Development Committee. 

Jefale now has eight government-certified homestays. This can accommodate around 70 guests on a day. Interestingly, local teachers run most of these homestays. 

Six local teachers are among the eight local homestay operators. For example, Bhim Bahadur Thakuri, the teacher at the Panchayat Elementary School, is the homestay secretary and also a teacher. His fellow teachers at the same school namely Umadevi Shahi and Sharmila Khadka are also in homestay tourism. 

Likewise, Yadunidhi Adhikari of Jalkanya Elementary School and Asmita Kathayat and Raju Khadka of Phaiba Elementary School are also in the homestay business. 

According to Bhim Thakuri, the teacher and the secretary to the Jefale Community Homestay Committee, teachers are the driving force of homestay tourism at Jefale. ''We have few dozen homes here and most of the people here were not much interested in homestay tourism and we created an environment ourselves'', said Thakuri, ''These days, more people are joining homestay business.'' 

According to Thakuri, two more homes are interested to be integrated into the community homestay whose ongoing membership stands at eight households. 

Situated at an altitude of around 1800 meter from sea level, Jephale is a 24-kilometre-long drive from Kerabari, the rural municipality headquarters and 36-kilometres from Bhedetar, the popular hill station of Province 1. 

According to local homestay operators and teashop-operators, on an average day, at least 100 travellers flock to this newfound hill station of Province 1.

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