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Horse trading



KIRAN PANDAY
BAGLUNG - Dhara Gurung used to own horses and mules, now he has a motorcycle, tractor and two jeeps.

After the road from Mustang to Korala was build, he traded his horses in for vehicles and there's now a parking lot in the place where there used to be stables. "We used to have 30 mountain ponies and 100 mules," he says adding that he now has just 20 horses and 40 mules, which he is planning to sell.

"Animals need to be fed and looked after when they fall sick " Gurung says, "Motorcycles are so much easier". But horses do have their benefits in terms of carrying tourists and generating manure. Tourists are willing to pay Rs 900 a day for pony trekking. "We had a very unique culture," he says, "Tourists would ride on horses and mules to take pictures, while yaks would carry their belongings."

Dhara is one of many in Mustang, replacing horses and mules with vehicles. And, while inhabitants are happy about the development, they are also worried that old traditions are being lost forever. The biggest concern, however, is that the loss will have a negative impact on tourism.

READ ALSO:
ROADSHOW - FROM ISSUE #455 (12 JUNE 2009 - 18 JUNE 2009)



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