Restricted areas in Nepal are defined by the protected status levied by the government on certain geographic regions which require protection and regulation for the various cultural, artistic and geographical reasons. The inflow of international tourists or foreigners in such area is highly regulated.
The Department of Immigration of Nepal issued total of only 10,560 trekking permits for the restricted areas in the year 2012, whereas, popular trek routes of Annapurna and Everest received almost 70,000 and 50,000 trekkers, respectively.
People in restricted area are very poor compared to other areas in the Country (Nepal). We can provide them alternative source for income [...] For that to happen, the government should open restricted area.
~Ang Tshering Sherpa, Former President (NMA)
Advantages of Opening the Restricted Areas
- Increase in Inflow of Tourists -The unrestricted access of such areas will ensure higher inflow of international tourists. The increase in tourists will help increase the annual inflow of tourists in Nepal, therefore, helping the nation gain economic advantage.
- Increase in Local Income -Local population of the area can engage in economic activities with the incoming tourists, therefore, helping them earn more money and invest in development of the local economy.
- Promotion of Tourism -There are many geographic regions in Nepal which are yet unseen or inexperienced by the tourists. Opening such areas for unrestricted trekking can promote tourism in the national and international market, hence, increasing the inflow of tourists.
- Development of Tourism Industry & Increase in State’s Income -Development of tourism sector in Nepal depends on the annual inflow of tourists and receipts from tourism industry. Opening restricted areas can help promote new holiday destinations and allure foreign tourists as well as receipts. The income generated by the state can be used in various promotional activities.
- Development of Local Regions -Increase in tourism leads to higher economic activities and access of infrastructures required for development. The construction of roadways, electric lines, trek routes etc can help develop the local scenario and generate income for the locals through direct trade with the tourists.
~List of Restricted Areas~
#1 Manaslu Circuit
It is one of the popular trek circuits located in the Himalaya. Primarily, located in the historical Gorkha district, the sightings of high mountains, snow and ice, exotic flora and fauna and ethnic villages and monasteries are common. >>Read complete article
Ethnic Tamang village in Manaslu Conservation Area
Manaslu Circuit is one of the restricted regions of Nepal
#2 Upper and Lower Dolpo
Dolpo is a high-altitude region located in the western Himalaya of Nepal. The inhabitants of Dolpo are mainly Tibetans, therefore, the region is rich in ethnic Buddhist culture and arts. The abundance of Himalayan wildlife, including; Musk Deer, Himalayan Blue Sheep and endangered species of Snow Leopard, makes trek an unforgettable experience. >>Read complete article
#3 Upper Mustang
Chorten in Upper Dolpo
Yak Caravan leaving Saldang, Dolpo
Upper Mustang was once an independent kingdom ruled by a monarch. It was annexed to mainland Nepal only in the 18th Century. Also known as “The Forbidden City,” access for foreigners in the region was permitted only in 1992. >>Read complete article
#4 Kanchenjunga Base Camp
Upper Mustang is a restricted region, requiring at least 2 trekkers
Riding a horse is common in the isolated region of mustang
The rudimentary campsite of Kanchenjunga 8,586 m (28,169 ft), 3rd highest mountain in the world, concurs in an adventure trek leading up to the far eastern mountain range of Nepal and up to the elevation of 5,100 m (16,732 ft).
#5 Makalu Base Camp
Endangered species of Snow Leopard found in North-eastern region of Nepal
Kanchenjunga as seen from Pathibhara Temple during the morning
The trek offers outstanding scenery of lush tropical greens of Arun Valley and high-altitude ice fields of Makalu, including Kumbhakarna mountain range. >>Read complete article
#6 Tsum Valley
Makalu Base Camp during pre-monsoon season
Makalu Barun National Park
Tsum valley in Gorkha district was opened for International tourists only in 2007, making it one of the recent places to be opened for commercial treks in Nepal. The valley comprises two remote villages, Chumchet and Chhekampar. >>Read complete article
Tsum Valley, Gorkha
Buddhist monks at a festival in Tsum valley