Tanga ride, a light carriage pulled by one horse which has become an attraction for domestic and foreign tourists, is on the verge of extinction in Dhanusha and other districts of the Terai region.
In about four or five districts of the Terai region, Tanga, which used to provide service on unpaved roads like Balyalgada, used to be a primary means of travel for domestic and foreign tourists.
But it has been losing its charm over time. Until some years back, it used to be the interest of the tourists to reach their destination by riding a Tanga.
For three to four years, Tanga service was prominent in Siraha-Madar, Janakpur-Bhithamod, Birgunj-Raxaul and other places like Nepalgunj on Nepal-India border.
Janakpur-based Tanga operator Sitaram Mahato said that domestic and foreign tourists visiting those places used to enjoy the ride. Tanga caravan is rarely seen in the areas bordering India within Province 2 today, he said.
Ram Chandra Yadav, another Tanga owner, said that foreign tourists used to enjoy riding the Tanga as soon as they saw one. They used to transport passengers along with goods. Tanga is not found in this area these days.
At that time, tourists from India and other countries and outside the districts were taken to Janaki Temple, Sankamochan, Dhanushdham and other places by means of Tanga, he said.
Tanga is a two-wheeled cart pulled by a single horse in which the passengers of the back seat sit looking front and those in the front seat look back.
Other tourist activities in the country such as elephants and safaris have become more attractive, while Tanga can also be used as an important vehicle to visit tourist sites in the Terai, said Shivahari Prasad Bhattarai, president of Media Council in State 2.
He said that tourists can be attracted along with employment opportunities if the routes and fares of the tourist spots can be determined and managed.
According to Rajeshwar Nepali, a senior journalist, the Tanga used for transportation in the Indian subcontinent entered the border districts of Nepal via India and Bihar.
He added that before bringing the latest taxis, e-rickshaws and auto rickshaws into operation, these Tanga services were very popular. Right now, it is being used only for weddings and other social functions.
He said that the Nepali Army has also given importance to horses in the presentation of art skills as a separate Tanga race also used to happen currently.
Hotel operator Jibanath Chaudhary said that a sustainable plan needs to be made to attract tourists by conserving and promoting Tanga, which has a long history.
In the western Terai, Nepalgunj and Rupadiya, along with the practice of riding in Tanga, there is a tradition of keeping the bride and groom on Tanga during the marriage ceremony.
It was customary to bring the youth observing their Bratbandha to visit the Bageshwari Temple on Tanga. People of yesteryears used to travel to Dhambozhi, Ganeshpur, Purani, Purana and other cultural programmes and Rapti Mela by riding the Tanga. At that time, the main means of transportation was Tanga.
Source : TRN,