The Switzerland of Nepal witnessed all the early expeditions to Everest pass through it
RINA KUMARI MANDAL
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you mention Jiri?
Most probably the Switzerland of Nepal or gateway to Mount Everest. However, Jiri has much more than these to offer the open minded traveller.
Jiri is popularly known as the Switzerland of Nepal as it is a small town located in the Dolakha district. Known as the classic route to Mount Everest almost all the Everest expeditions in the past, including those led by famous climbers John Hunt, Edmund Hillary and others passed through Jiri. Jiri is the trailhead for many treks into the Mount Everest region.
But Jiri has many other attractions to fascinate and attract visitors:
1. Jiri Bazar
Jiri is regarded as one of the best tourist destinations in Nepal. When in Jiri you must definitely go to the bazar to see the market place and explore the local setting and meet the local people are passionate about their slogan, “Clean Jiri, Green Jiri, and Organic Jiri".
2. Agricultural Development Centre
Jiri was the first settlement to receive Swiss aid in Nepal the Agricultural Development Centre is the first and oldest Agricultural Centre. Developed and maintained by the Swiss Government this center provides training and employment to local villagers in order to self-develop and improve earnings from agriculture
3. The Shailung Hills
A cluster of 100 hills of Nepal, the Shailung Hills should certainly not be missed. Spectacularly beautiful this place was named Sailung as it has some 100 small hillocks and rolling meadows that make it a heaven on earth. After climbing up to a certain altitude, the only thing you can can see is the green hillocks all around and also the mighty mountains in the backdrop.
4. Churpi and Cheese Factory
Churpi is the ultimate souvenir of Jiri. With the delicious smell of yak cheese in the air of Jiri, it is impossible to stop yourself from indulging in this local churpi. You can visit the cheese factory, see that process and investigate the quality of cheese while witnessing the traditional churpi making process.
Experience the warm hospitality of the Jirels or people of Jiri and get to know their unique culture and traditions.
Jirels are the original inhabitants of these areas around Dolakha. Jirels have their own language, culture, traditions, and lifestyle. While their religious identity is Buddhism their priest are known as Lamas.
6. Explore the surroundings
It is said that when in Jiri go "Firi firi" which liteally means explore nearby areas. Famed for its natural beauty Jiri is an ideal place to just stroll around and take in everything.
Enjoy splendid views of Langtang Himal, Ganesh Himal, Shisha Pangma, Dorje Lakpa, Jugal Himal, Gauri Shankar. Visit nearby attractions like Buddha Park, Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple, Tenzing Hillary Park or just relax and immerse in this natural setting.