That’s wonderful to hear that trained tourist guides have been arranged in Halesi, Khotang. Halesi is a famous tri-religious place, and having knowledgeable local guides to explain its importance is a great initiative.
The Halesi Tuwachung Municipality has listed 25 official tourist guides who have undergone eight days of training. The aim of the training is to provide official information about the significance of Halesi’s tourist spots. The trained guides will be able to describe various tourist places in Halesi, such as Halesi itself, Tarakhase, Tuwachung, Jayajum, and more. It’s important to note that only these trained guides will be available as tourist guides in Halesi.
The training was organized by the municipality in collaboration with the Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM). Experts from NATHM, including department head Ajay Kumar Dhakal, senior administration officer Naresh Dangol, associate professor and cultural expert Dr. Loknath Dulal, Buddhist analyst Dr. Punya Prasad Parajuli, and Kirat Mundhum analyst Bhogiraj Chamling Rai, facilitated the training. The training was observed by local people’s representatives, the Chief District Officer Surya Prasad Sedai, and tourism entrepreneurs.
After completing the training, the guides will be registered as official tourist guides for Halesi. Halesi holds great significance for Hindus, who consider it as the Pashupatinath, for Buddhists, who see it as the second Lumbini, and for the Kirats, who view it as a historical place. Various festivals are celebrated in Halesi, including Ram Navami in May, Balachaturdashi in November, Shivratri in February, and Teej in August.
Halesi is located at an elevation of 1400m above sea level in the Khotang district of Province No. 1. It holds importance in terms of nature, culture, and history. It has become a popular destination for religious and cultural tourism, with a significant increase in the number of tourists and devotees visiting the area, according to the temple management committee.
The historical fact about Halesi
Kirat Mundhum, folk stories and other historical documents data back the Kirati civilization in Halesi to the pre-historic time. The ancient Mudhumi word for Halesi is ‘Khuwalung’. The Kirati ancestors Toyama, Khiyama and Raichhakule (Khokchilipa/Hechchhakupa) are supposed to have transformed their civilization into agricultural era. In Tuwachung hill, people have found ancient remnants of archeological importance like pottery, igniting stone and weaver. This justifies the aforementioned claim that Kirat civilization in Halesi really ancient.
Naga’s ancient graves with Pulik garland have recently been found in the site. It is said that a great famine drove them away from Halesi. The great Chinese traveler of seventh century Hwen Sang has mentioned about it in his travelogue. Naga Kirats might have abandoned the around the same time.
According to the latest history, the King Holesung was the first tribal chieftain/ruler of Halesi area. He was entrusted as a subordinated ruler by the Sen Dynasty. Holesung Honchha had participated on behalf of Sen Dynasty in a battle between Sen and Makwan in 1728 and 1729 AD. The remnants of his palace are still in Khimle of Durchhim VDC, Khotang. The nomenclature Halesi might have been derived from the King Holesung. King Prithivi Narayan Shah defeated Bhwanram, the grandson of Holesung, making is a part of greater Nepal. The location of his palace is in Kotdada of Durchhim VDC, Khotang.
According to the Buddhist, the 8th Monk Padmasambhava had meditated in Halesi while he was in route to Tibet during reign of Tibetan king Thrisang (742-797 AD). Mesmerized by the sublimity of the cave he exclaimed the word ‘Halesu’. In Tibetan language it means something that is amazing. According to the Buddhist, this is how the name Halesi is derived.
Hindus claim the word Halesi with the myth of Mahadev and Bhasmasur. According to the myth Bhasmasur was blessed Mahadev with the power to kill anyone just by placing his hand over the head. This myth too is related to Halesi. They believe that Halesi comes from Hari and Iswor. Halesi is called ‘Eastern Pashupati’. During the time of the King Gyanendra Shah, Halesi Mahadev was given ‘Birta’ and later on Giris were appointed as a head priest in Halesi.