Trained tourist guide has been arranged at Halesi in Khotang, a famous tri-religious place Halesi. Local guides are available for the trinity of Kirat, Buddhist and Hindu religions; those trained guides will explain the importance of Halesi.
Halesi Tuwachung Municipality has listed 25 official tourist guides by giving eight days of training. Mayor of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality Bimala Rai said that the Municipality has organized the training with the aim of providing official information about the importance of Halesi tourist spots. The local tourist guide has been arranged to describe the tourist places like Halesi, Tarakhase, Tuwachung, Jayajum etc. Only trained guides will be available as tourist guides in Halesi. The training held in the auditorium of Halesi Temple Management Committee for eight days.
The municipality organized the training in collaboration with Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM). NATHM’s 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. Local people’s representatives, Chief Dristrict officer Surya Prasad Sedai and tourism entrepreneurs observed the training.
After the training, the guides will be registered as a tourist guide for Halesi, the municipality said. Halesi is considered by Hindus as the Pashupatinath, by Buddhists as the second Lumbini and by the Kirats as a historical place. Ram Navami festival in May, Balachaturdashi festival in November, Shivratri fesival in February and Teej festival in August are being held in Halesi.
The Halesi is situated at elevation of 1400m from the sea level in Khotang district, Province no 1. Hindu, Buddhist and Kirat have their own belief about Halesi; has importance in natural, cultural and historical terms. Halesi is a popular destination for religious and cultural tourism. According to the temple management committee, there has been a significant increase in the number of tourists and devotees coming to visit Halesi.
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Kirat Mundhum, folk stories and other historical documents data back the Kirati civilization in Halesi to the pre-historic time.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.