Indrasarobar in Makwanpur, the only man-made lake in a country, has seen an increase in domestic tourists. With the onset of summer, the number of domestic tourists visiting the reservoir of Indrasarobar, i.e. Kulekhani Hydropower Project, has increased. For the last three years, Nepal Electricity Authority and Kulekhani Project have made the area open for public viewing.
The reservoir constructed at Markhu in Makwanpur is about two hours by motorbike or car from Kathmandu. Similarly, the area, which is about an hour and a half away from Hetauda, attracts domestic tourists due to its cool climate, beautiful scenery and adequate physical facilities.
If you want to take a break from the dust, mud and noise of Kathmandu and go for a walk in solitude, then Indrasarobar of Kulekhani may be a suitable destination. Nepal’s largest man-made Indrasarobar can be reached in two hours by crossing 42 kilometers from Kathmandu. There are dozens of hotels and resorts around Indrasarobar for comfortable accommodation.
Nowadays, it is an exciting experience to climb Indrasarovar by climbing rocks. Indrasarobar Fishermen’s Association has built a beautiful house in the lake and fished in the net. The local resort serves fish from this lake to its guests. Domestic tourists frequent Kulekhani to eat the sweet fish of Kulekhani.
Local hotels and cafes around the lake cater to the needs of domestic tourists. There are hotels ranging from a simple lunch house to a three-star hotel, where lunch, food and accommodation are provided. People flock to the lake especially on Fridays and Saturdays to enjoy the beautiful view of the lake. The number of domestic tourists has also increased due to adequate parking facilities and facilities for boat (stone) for recreation.
The locals say that there is a problem for the visitors due to lack of guide. More than two dozen boats have been arranged for those who want to enjoy boat rides. The Indrasarobar Boat Dealers Association has arranged life jackets for the safety of the climbers. According to Sagar, around 2,000 tourists visit public holidays.
Itis good at changing colors according to the weather, Indrasarovar. The lake, which changes color in the rainy season, turns green in autumn when the leaves rot. With the blue sky open in winter, the lake turns blue again.
The traditional rural environment is found around Indrasarobar. Walking around the corner of the lake with stones, one can observe the life, lifestyle and dress of the villagers. Dozens of rivers flow into Indrasarobar. Not only the chirping of birds but also many wild animals can be found here.
Due to the short distance, people from urban and rural areas are eager to visit the lake. The number of people enjoying a picnic by boat has been increasing lately. School and campus students from Kathmandu and Hetauda have been choosing it as a ‘picnic spot’. Boat operator Subash Tamang said that the number of people visiting the lake on festivals or holidays would increase as compared to other days.
Swimming has been banned after the death of a person who drowns in the lake every year. Last year alone, a student on an educational trip from Kathmandu had died. Boat operators have been wearing life jackets as a safety precaution.Lake fish is popular in Kathmandu, Hetauda and other cities.
Many people come in the winter to have a picnic enjoying the local fish. They are preparing to form a committee to manage the pollution around the reservoir due to the food and junk food used by the visitors. The number of hotels and restaurants near the reservoir or lake is increasing the village municipality has made a plan to manage that as well.
The reservoir was built during the reign of the then King Birendra Shah to generate electricity. At present, the first project of 60 MW Kulekhani and the second project of 32 MW are in operation. Also, a 14 MW Kulekhani III is being prepared for operation. Construction started in 2034 BS (1977 BS) and two projects were completed in 2043 BS (1986 BS). Both projects were completed at a cost of about करोड 118 million.
Both projects were completed at a cost of about 118 million. A 114 meter high and 10 meter wide rock fill dam (stone and soil mixed dam) has been constructed to collect water. The 7 km long and about 2 km wide reservoir stores 85.3 million cubic meters of water. Out of this, only 73.3 million cubic meters of water can be used to generate electricity. The reservoir can store up to 1530 meters of water.
Indrasarovar reservoir is famous for fish. Along with the natural beauty, Indrasarobar Lake, Jharna, historical temples and Rana palaces have become destinations for tourists. The historic palace built during the reign of Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher is located in the middle of Markhu Bazaar.In the past, kings and queens used to use the palace to stay on horseback when they came to the Terai via Chitlang. At present, the palace is being used by the Electricity Authority as a ‘guest house’. After crossing the Markhu suspension bridge and walking for 45 minutes, you reach an attractive waterfall. This evergreen waterfall is 40 meters long.
Nowadays, some tourists going to Chandragiri from Kathmandu spend the night at the homestay of Chitlang village and reach Indrasarovar the next day. Those who want to extend the duration of Ghumgham travel from Chitlang to Gopali village of Kunchhal village and reach Sarovar Lake the next day.
Now the number of people going to this place for ‘hiking’ is also increasing. For those living in urban areas, this place has become a suitable option for sightseeing.An initiative is also being taken to treat Kulekhani as second and third by treating the remaining water as drinking water to the people of Hetauda.
Indrasarobar is spread over a distance of 7 km from Sisneri to Markhu. The first and second Kulekhani projects are in operation from this lake. This reservoir power project was built in the year 2043 BS.
Indrasarobar is not only the lifeline of Nepal’s hydropower but also a beautiful tourist destination. Here you can find stone for twelve months.