Ghadiarwa Pokhari is a historical tourist site, which is in Birgunj. It was inaugurated by the then King Birendra Shah on the 13th of Poush, 2056 BS. Before, it was just a big and open pond and was treated normally by the locals. However, now it has become a major religious and tourist destination. It covers a total of 5 bighas of land.
The Government of Nepal has identified 100 places having strong potential for tourism and launched a program to develop them as tourist destinations. Under this, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has also selected Ghadiarwa Pokhari of Birgunj district among the 100 new tourist destinations.
One can find the largest sun statue of South Asia in Sun Temple, which is located at the corner of this pond. Likewise, the Ganga statue has also been installed in this temple. Moreover, to add the more religious value to this pond, Arati has also been started in this pond about 3 years ago. Visitors can enjoy the Arati the same as Janakpur, Ganga Sagar in Ghadiarwa Pokhari every evening.
Surrounded by the tall trees and buildings, this pond is not just rich in religious sites, but also carries the natural beauty and views. Anyone who wants to get away from the day-to-day distraction of the modern cities can explore this temple to get rid from every hustle and bustle.
In the early morning, you can enjoy nature, walk on the edge of the pond, and relax. Likewise, the chilly water of this pond makes you forget all the worries and pain. Moreover, the attractive stone statue of the Sun God in a chariot drawn by seven horses has enhanced the beauty of not only this pond but also Birgunj.
Ghadiarwa Pokhari in Chhath
The Birgunj Sub-Metropolitan Municipality has designed the Ghadiarwa pond to make it easier for the people who keep fast, especially during Chhath. A big fair is held in this pond premises every year during Chhath festival. A statue of Sun and Ganga Mata has also been placed inside the Sun Temple for Chhath.
This pond is decorated like a bride from Kartik Shukla Chaturthi to Saptami. Immediately after the ending of Dashain, locals and other workers start to decorate the Chhath Ghat of this pond by using attractive pavilions, tents, electric lights, sound, and flowers. On the third day of Chhath, there are huge crowds as devotees fast for 48 hours and end it by worshipping and adorning the Sun God from the Ghadiarwa Pokhari. Thus, the pond has been considered as an important religious site since ancient times.
Growing Business in Ghadiarwa Pokhari
Trees and plants have been planted in the edge of the pond. A shed has been constructed to accommodate the visitors. With the increase in tourism activities, the attention of investors has also started to be focused on the area around the pond. The construction of tall business complexes has increased. Global IME, Everest, Rastriya Banijya Bank etc. have chosen the area around the pond to open their branches.
Expensive restaurants, and cafes have opened in the area. Nearby are the Gita Temple and the Gopal Mandali. Groundwater is being pumped into the pond to make it fresh and give continuity. A wall has been built around the pond to protect it.
Entrance Fee and Visitors
Visitors are charged RS 25 to enter this pond. About five hundred people visit the pond daily. Visitors from Kathmandu, Janakpur, Biratnagar, Chitwan, Nawalparasi and Makwanpur of Nepal come here to visit. As it is close to the Indian border, it has become a center of attraction for Indian tourists, too. Residents of Indian cities, including Raxaul, visit here. Internal and external tourists arriving in Birgunj do not return without strolling around this pond.
Tourists can enjoy motorboats, provided by Birgunj Metropolitan City, and musical fountains.
Twelve CCTV cameras have been installed at all four gates and other places to monitor the pond premises. Even in winter, the number of visitors is around four hundred, daily. It has become a holiday destination for the family. Visitors seem to be busy taking selfies and blogging while boating in the pool area.
In order to step into this land, first you need to reach Birgunj. The total distance between Kathmandu and Birgunj is 136km. You can enjoy the full overland transportation. Numerous local buses run from Gaushala and Kalanki to Birgunj every day. It takes around 8-9 hours to reach there via local bus. However, you can also take the easy and comfortable ride in a private jeep/car and reach there within 4-5 hours.
From Birgunj, Ghadiarwa Pokhari is just 5km away. So, you can easily walk there by exploring the plain lands and local villages.
Ghadiarwa Pokhari, carrying the great possibility for tourism development, is one of the must visit places in Birgunj, Nepal. Be it for religious purposes or to spend quality moments with family members, this destination is perfect. So, I recommend everyone to help in promoting the local tourism and businesses by visiting this shrine site.
-Article Written by: Kusum Kharel for Land Nepal