Ghalegaun, the first smart village in the country (2070 m) is truly a piece of heaven. Settlements at the top of a hill, houses made of stone and mud, beautifully thatched roofs and best Himalayan sight on the background, it sure lures you out of your place.
Located at the scenic place of Kholasonthar village municipality-3, Lamjung district, Gandaki. There are 125 houses of Gurung, Ghale and Dalit in the village. A village, famous for Gurung culture, mountain scenery, intimate treats and delicious food. Furthermore, the travellers feel body and mind recharged in the clean environment of the village. Here, energy increases and you feel truly wonderful to have witnessed the place.
Homestay is the main attraction of the Ghale village. Staying at a place like heaven’s, along with the Gurung, Ghale culture and hospitality, is something out of the world. In brief, 40 houses are providing the homestay service in Ghale Village. Furthermore, Our Smart village is a confluence of nature and culture. From the village, Machhapuchchre, Annapurna II, Buddha, Himalchuli, Lamjung, Dr Hark Gurung Peak, Manaslu and other mountains are visible. The view of sunrise and sunset is also fascinating. Moreover, it snows in the village in January and February.
Ghalegaun, a model destination for rural tourism, has several sites worth visiting such as Chiabari, Gurung Museum, View Tower, Uttarkanya Temple and Koivo Dhin. Neighbouring villages like Ghanpokhara, Bhujung and Baglungpani can also be hiked within a short time frame.
Tourism Board declared Ghalegaun, a Smart Village on December 3, 2010. In brief, the village has basic facilities including roads, schools, drinking water, electricity, telephone, internet, hotel and homestay.
How to reach Ghalegaun?
The tourists can visit Ghalegaon all year round. You can reach from Kathmandu to Bensishahar 172 km, 5 hours by bus. On the contrary, you can travel by flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara( 25 minutes) and by bus from Pokhara to Beshishahar( 110 km). From Bensisahar, Ghalegaon is only 24 km. Furthermore, it takes about 6 hours to reach Ghalegaon via Baglungpani from Bensisahar. Similarly, you can reach Ghalegaon by climbing uphill for 6 hours from Khudi.
Main Attractions of Ghalegaun
1. Honey Hunting
Generally, the honey of mountain honey bee is considered to be medicine. Bees live on a hill near Ghalegaun. The hunters hunt there twice a year in November / November and April / May. There is a traditional style of honey hunting. Before this, hunters worship the guardian deity, and offer a sacrifice for their safety while hunting. Hunting on the cliffs is not easy. Hunters use ropes and bamboo poles to keep bees away from the hive. Then they extract honey. Hunters first distribute hunted honey to the group involved on the hunt. The Himalayan honey is extremely potent. It will even make you unconscious if taken in high amount.
The Gurung community is considered culturally rich and prosperous. Residents give you the complete guide on Gurung Language, art, culture, tradition and ways of life. The villagers are Hindu, Buddhist or Kiratis. The villagers celebrate the Tamu Lhochhar on 15 December, which is the biggest festival. Similarly, villagers also celebrate Buddha Purnima, Saune Sankranti, Maghe Sankranti, Dasain, Tihar etc. with huge excitement and happiness. They even dance at the festivals. Nowadays, the villagers perform Krishnacharitra, Ghantu, Rodhi, Ghyapri, Serga and Pachu dances as per the demand of tourists. So, you get immersed in the hospitality and culture of the Ghalegaun.
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3. Koiwo Dhi
The Gurung community is Nature worshipper. They worship streams, forests, soil and air. They have their own culture. Pachu, Bonpo Lama and Ghyapri are their accomplices. On one side of Ghalegaon is Koivo Dhin. There are statues of Bhan Dharmavalambi Jhankri (Pachu), Bon Guru Ghyapri and King Calpo. To sum up, Koiwo Dhi is the guardian deity of the Gurungs.
4. Uttarkanya Temple
Naturally, the rivers in Nepal flows from north to other directions. But, Uttarkanya temple is an anomaly. On the contrary, in Uttarkanya temple of Ghalegaon, water has flowed from the south to the north. Although there are no stones or figures in the temple, people worship the source of water as a goddess.
During the worshipping in the temple, it is customary to stay awake all night on the last day of the month of Pus and return home on the morning of Magh after bathing in the same source of water. On the contrary, you can release pigeons wishing for world peace. It is a custom to ring the bell in the temple. Also, army recruits pray for their safety.
In the past, Ghale king ruled the Ghalegaon. According to history, the ancestor of the Ghale caste, Chedelke, was the king of Namruchyukhyalsa. In time, his descendants became the kings of Koimlinasa of Khenl, Khol (Khonl) and Poncho. The first king of Ghalegaon was Thopkuichu and the last king was Kalporejakle. In Gurung language, Ghalegaon is called ‘Koimli’, Ghale is called ‘Lke’, Raja is called ‘Mru’ and Rajya is called ‘Khyalsa’. The statue of the last king Calpo is placed in Ghale Park. The smart village, Ghalegaun has great value for history and culture.
6. Ghale Museum
There is SAARC Village Sample Museum where it displays materials, pictures and paintings reflecting the Gurung community from birth to death. Here, the museum has put agricultural tools, spades, forest weapons, body clothes and jewellery into the display. Similarly, tourists can see the kitchen utensils and other items used daily by the .
7. Tea Garden
Near the village, there is a tea plantation. We can relax on the calming tea plants all around us. The happy mountains in the background add to the beauty of the place. The local entrepreneurs started tea plantation from 2057 B.S. Tourists are allowed to roam and click pictures in the tea garden.
8. Gurung Dress
The mothers’ group in the village has provided for the facility of wearing the Gurung dress in the village. Tourists are joyed to capture the memory in the local wear. The photo becomes a memento of the beautiful village. Apart from this, you can also bring back the local Gundruk, Honey, local tea, and various products available for sale there. The smart village, Ghalegaun has taken care of the culture and religion and helped to promote it by practice.
Travel Tips for Ghalegaun
- The village should be notified about your arrival. You should book a house and state the necessary information for the preparation of your arrival.
- You should stay in the house suggested by the village committee. The price of all houses is the same.
- The tourist activities should be completed before 10 PM.
- You must respect the local culture, religion, dress. You are suggested not to discuss the politics, religion and caste with the villagers.
- The intimacy increases if you carry a small gift for the family. Also, you can help the villagers in the preparation of food.