The first-ever “Yak Festival” will take place in Ruby Valley of Dhading district in autumn. The Yak Herders’ Association in the district has been collaborating with governmental, non-governmental, private and media sectors to host the festival with an aim to promote the area as a tourist destination as currently, fewer people are keeping yak.
Chairperson of Yak Herder’s Association, Dinesh Ghale informed that the one-day festival will take place at Pangsang in Tipling area of Ruby Valley Rural Municipality-1, between Dashain and Tihar, the Hindu’s major festival. Pangsang locates above 4,000 metres, at the base of Ganesh Himal.
Tipling of Dhading which borders Tibet from north and Rasuwa district from east boasts of the highest number of yak farming. The area which had only 200 yaks, a decade ago, now has become a habitat for more than 400 yaks with altogether 35 sheds. It has been reported that a total of 36 persons including 20 youths are involved in yak farming in the area.
According to local yak farmers, milk from a yak yields an annual income of Rs 40,000 to 60,000. A temporary dairy collection centre established by Dairy Development Committee and other concerned firms have eased the farmers for the sales and distribution of dairy products.
Hundreds of tourists visit Pangsang of Rubi Valley annually, Ghale said and added that the first kind of festival will exhibit more than 500 yak at the same time.
Lack of pasture and less interest among the youths has led to declining in yak farming, Ghale informed. He expressed his belief that the festival would help to protect the yak culture.
The organisers have planned to welcome 10,000 domestic as well as foreign tourists in the inhabited area where the festival is being organised.
Narchet Kharka, which is above 4,500m is regarded as the best area for yak rearing. It takes 2 days’ walk to reach Tipling area from Dhading Besi, the district headquarters.
Source: The Himalayan Times