Saturday, December 4, 2010


Nepalgunj also spelled Nepalganj, is a municipality in Banke District, Nepal on the Terai plains near the southern border with Bahraich district, Uttar Pradesh state, India. It is 16 km south of Kohalpur and the east-west Mahendra Highway.
Nepalgunj is the administrative center of Banke District as well as Bheri Zone. It's also the main transport hub for Nepal's Mid-Western and Far-Western regions. The nearest Indian border crossing is about 8 km south and Bahraich city is about 55 km south.


The 2001 census counted 57,535 inhabitants, with 20% growth since 1991. Nepali is spoken natively by Paharis as well as by virtually everyone as the national language and lingua franca.

Culture and Religion

Nepalgunj has a diverse culture. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and Atheists all live here. Similarly people of different ethnicity have traditionally lived harmoniously together.
Mutilated statue of Tribhuvan at Tribhuvan Chowk Nepalgunj.
This tradition was badly disturbed by a riot in the last week of December 2006 causing violence between Nepal origin (people mainly from the hills) and Madhesi people of ganga river origin. At least one person was killed and dozens injured. A mob destroyed the statue of late King Tribhuvan and attempted to rename the chowk (intersection) as Kamal Madheshi Chowk after a person killed in the violence. The local administration had to impose a curfew and later formed a commission to investigate the causes of the riot.


  • A branch of Indian Railways reaches the border at Rupaidiha immediately opposite Nepalgunj. It would involve possible train changes at Gonda, Bahraich and Nanpara. It is also possible to take an express train to Lucknow, then a direct bus to Nepalgunj.
  • Long-distance buses to road destinations in Nepal depart from Dhamboji


The climate is sub-tropical. Temperatures sometimes exceed 40°C (104°F) from April to June. During the rainy season—arriving in June and lasting into September—it is less hot but sometimes very humid. Winter is usually pleasant while the sun is out. It sometimes is foggy and overcast; then it can be chilly with temperatures below 10°C (41°F) but no frost.


Dhankuta is a hill town with about 20,000 inhabitants, located in the Dhankuta District in the eastern part of Nepal. Until about 1963 Dhankuta Bazaar (the town) was the administrative headquarters for the whole of north-eastern Nepal. Located a half mile above the town were the buildings of the Bada Hakim, the feudal district governor of the whole north-eastern region, a man with enormous power. The town also had the regional jail and army post. Because of Dhankuta's isolation from the lowland Terai and from Kathamandu, it was in many ways a self-governing area.
Income to purchase items (cloth, kerosene, batteries, medicines, etc.) that could not be produced locally came from a combination of sales of hill produce (tangerines, potatoes, etc.) and funds repatriated back into the hills by Gorkha soldiers serving first in the British and then more-often in the Indian armies.
The first five (3 male; 2 female) American Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Dhankuta Bazaar in Fall, 1962 to work as teachers in the two high schools. In October, 1963 three male PCV's arrived to help establish the new Panchayat Development program.
From 1963 Nepal was divided into 75 Panchayat Districts, and the traditional Dhankuta administrative region was divided up into about six of the panchayat districts. The power of the Bada Hakim was transferred to the central government's appointed Panchayat Development Officer and each district's elected Panchayat President.
During the pre-panchayat period Dhankuta Bazaar prided itself as being in the cultural vanguard, a relatively progressive community with its own "intellectual" elite. Dhankuta Bazaar, already in the 1930s, had the only high school in Nepal to be located outside of the Kathmandu Valley. Early on it added a girl's high school and a two-year college.
Then and now there is a sharp contrast between Dhankuta Bazaar and the surrounding rural villages. The town is a commercial center and has a population that is primarily Newar. The surrounding area is agricultural and the population is made up of many caste/tribal groups, notably Rai (aathpaharias), Limbu, Tamang and Tibetan.
Dhankuta Bazaar, on the North-South Koshi Highway, is now the administrative headquarters for the Eastern Development Region, and is home to a number of offices for NGOs and aid agencies serving in the area. The large bazaar of Hile further up the road, is an important trading centre and major road head, serving the remote hinterlands of the Arun valley and Bhojpur. Villagers walk for many days from surrounding districts to trade in Hile and Dhankuta bazaars, although road building in the district may reduce the importance of these centres.
The vegetation zones in the district range from sub-tropical Sal forest along the Tamur and Arun rivers, and cooler temperate forests on some of the high ridges that mark the watershed between the two catchments. The altitude ranges from around 300m to 2500m. The majority of the population are involved in agriculture and crops include maize, rice and millet. Important cash crops include citrus fruits, cauliflower, cabbage, ginger, and in recent years, tea. A well-preserved forest (Rani Bhan - Queen's Forest) spreads along a ridge line on the northwest side of the village, with well-developed mature stands of rhododendron and pine trees.


Damak is a town and municipality in Jhapa District in the Mechi Zone of south-eastern Nepal. It is situated between the Ratuwa River in the east and the Mawa River in the west. As of 2001 census total population of city is 35,009. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 41,321 people living in 7,644 individual households.
Damak was changed to a municipality from a VDC (Village Development Committee) in the year 1982 AD. The Damak municipality consists of 19 wards which also includes the large Himalayan Tea State (हिमालय गूडरिक) where the Ex-Royal Family has also invested. The municipality covers an area of 7,513 hectares and is at an average of 100 meters above the sea level. Lakhanpur in to the east, Urlabari, Rajghat and Madhumalla in the west and Chulachuli (Ilam) and Kohabhara VDC in the north and the south, respectively.
According to the census of 2001, Damak had 7,178 households containing about 35,000 people. The total area is 7,513 hectares out of which 1406.7 hectares is covered by residential area whereas 5,586.30 hectares is used for agriculture. The market area consists of 400.00 hectares, 215 hectares as forest plant area and 265.00 hectares is used in other purposes. In 056/057 there was 1 Health post, 1 Hospital (AMDA) and 1 Nursing Home (Life Line) which contains 50 beds in total. The Population Growth Rate is 5.14 per annum as per 2047/48 census. As per 056/057 census, there were about 88 industries, 1011 shops, 244 hotels and 9 financial institutions. Black topped road were 29 km, graveled roads were 150 km and earthen road were 500 km. In addition to it, the drainage runs 3.5 km through the main highway. There are 512 street lights and 1,114 telephone lines to public.Three bhutanse refugee camp(beldangi 1, 2, and 3) was also settled in damak in 1992.
It is one of the important trade center in eastern part of Nepal. There are many international organizations such as IOM, UNHCR, OX-FARM, LWF, NRCS, AMDA,CARITAS NEPAL etc. who are working for the refugees here in Damak.


According to 2001 census literacy rate of city is 88 %.
Damak Multiple Campus is oldest campus in the city established in 1981. Its only the campus offering education up to Master's Degree. Other well known colleges include Model Campus Damak and Unique College having program up to Bachelor's Degree. Damak Multiple Campus and Model Campus Damak are affiliated to Tribhuvan University whereas Unique college is affiliated to Purbanchal University, Nepal.


Damak has three film halls namely,
  • Pathibhara Chalchitra Bhawan, Ward no 10
  • Damak Chitramandir, Ward no 11
  • Nilkantha Chitra Mandir, Ward no 12, Bazar
Pathibhara & Nilkantha most of the time shows nepali movies, & Damak chitra mandir most of the time new Hindi movies. Damak is very good market for Nepali film industries.


Nepal Telecom Damak Branch serves as the center for Telecommunication and Cellular. Whereas Spices Nepal's Ncell is also popular in the city.
Damak has two FM stations named Saptarangi FM and Pathibhara FM. But national radio station Radio Nepal and other surrounding FM stations Kanchanjungha FM, Saptakoshi FM, Kantipur FM can clearly be heard in the city.


Birganj is a sub-metropolitan municipality and border town in Parsa District in the Narayani Zone of southern Nepal. It lies 90 km south of the capital Kathmandu, 2 km north of the border of the Indian state of Bihar. As an entry point to Nepal from Patna and Calcutta it is also known as the gateway to Nepal. The town has significant economic importance for Nepal as a large part of goods enter Nepal through Birganj via Raxaul on the Indian side. Tribhuvan Highway links it to Kathmandu.
According to the 2001 census of Nepal it has a population of 112,484, there are several languages spoken in the town including Bhojpuri, Nepali, Maithili, Newari, Marwari and Hindi. It is the biggest city in Narayani Zone and is a headquarter of Parsa District.
Birganj is a major business centre of Nepal, especially for trade with India. Important industries are sugar refinery, cigarette manufacture, drugs, and fish-breeding.


Birganj was served by a station on a branch of Indian Railways which extended to Amlekhganj (Nepal).It was built in 1927 AD by the British and discontinued in early 1990s. It is also served by Tribhuvan Highway extending from the Indian border at Raxaul through Birganj and Hetauda to Kathmandu with frequent bus service. Simara Airport -- 18 km (11 mi) north near the highway in Pipara Simara, Bara district offers scheduled flights to Kathmandu.

Educational institutions

Tribhuvan University, Thakur Ram Multiple Campus is the oldest institution in the Terai. The Golden Jubilee of this campus was celebrated in 2003. It has one institute Science and Technology and three faculties Arts, Commerce and Education in one campus.
The National Medical College, affiliated to the Tribhuvan University is also there. Spread out over a huge campus and also having a 1000 bedded hospital adjacent to the medical college, it is one of the premier medical colleges in the country. It has a large number of intermediate colleges and various other professional institutions.


Biratnagar is a sub metropolitan city in south east Nepal which is named after the historical King Birat and is considered the second largest town after Kathmandu. In Nepali "Birat" means big and "Nagar" means a place or a city. Biratnagar has given many influential leaders in Nepalese politics including Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, Girija Prasad Koirala, Manmohan Adhikari and Kirtinidhi Bista. Biratnagar is an industrial power house of Nepal with most of the country's industries located in and around its suburbs. It is in Koshi Zone - one of the fourteen administrative zones of Nepal and is also the district capital of Morang district. Its geographical location is 26°28'60"N 87°16'60"E.
Since it is situated in the Terai- north-most section of the Gangetic plains of South Asia, the lands are very fertile and hence Biratnagar has traditionally been an agricultural hub and is home to many agriculture based industries of the country. It is located near the border of India and is therefore a major center for trade and commerce with India. Biratnagar is linked with Kathmandu by roadways and airways. Biratnagar Airport is the regional hub for vital air services serving the Eastern part of the country.


The major mode of transport to the city is road transport. It is well connected to other parts of the country through buses. Biratnagar is also well connected to Kathmandu and some hilly places by air transport. Biratnagar airport is one of the busiest airports in Nepal with most flights to Kathmandu.
It is also easy to travel to and from India by trains from the bordering Indian city of Jogbani. There are direct trains to the city of Kolkata and the Indian capital New Delhi from Jogbani. In 2008, a survey for a railway extension from India was done. It was completed in 2009.
The best way of getting around the city is by using cycle rickshaws. There are also auto rickshaws running short distances but they don't operate in the main market area. Actually one can easily get around the city on foot.


Biratnagar is not a typical tourist city but is a great hub to explore the interesting places in eastern Nepal. However, there are many things to do in the city. You can stroll along the unique market which is along a straight road and branches out and savor the street food. You can try your luck at the newly opened casino at Hotel Ratna, or head to the small but beautiful Complex, with swimming pool and a garden.
For the food lovers, don't miss the tasty barbecues (called "sekuwa" in Nepali) and other local delicacies or satisfy your sweet tooth with tasty sweets in one of many sweet shops in the main market.
As a hub for your travel plans in Eastern Nepal, Biratnagar is ideal. The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, is a mere 90 minute drive from the city and is famous for its wildlife, especially for bird-watching enthusiasts. It is also home to the endangered wild buffaloes called "Arna" in Nepali.
The largest rhododendron forests of Tinjure, Milke and Jaljale can be reached in about 3-4 hours. Scenic treks with views of Mt. Makalu and Kanchenjunga can be started from the small towns of Basantapur or Tumlingtar.
The beautiful tea gardens of Ilam is just 4 hours drive away. Another place of interest is the hilly district of Dhankuta with its orange orchards.


Biratnagar is the centre of education in the eastern Development Region of Nepal. People in Biratnagar give more importance to education followed by business, industry and politics although Biratnagar was politically very active in the past. The teaching medium of education is English in all the private schools, colleges and universities whereas Nepali medium in government schools up to secondary level.

Recreation and Entertainment

People of Biratnagar usually recreate during Hindu festivals. During festivals they play cards, kouda (Juwa; a local Nepali game), dice (a local game), carroms (a local game), etc. Man usually go out to drink with friends. The common drinks are Carlsberg, Tuborg, etc in beer, and Vodka, Jack Daniels, etc in liquor. But, local alcohol called "raksi" prepared locally by local people is very cheap and common among the people around the city. Young boys entertain in dance parties organized in clubs, bars or hotels during festivals although no proper discos and KTVs are in the city. Some school kids enjoy watching TV and listening to local FM at home.

Religion and Culture

The major religions of the city are Hinduism, Islam (Muslim), Om Santi , Sai Baba, Christianity and Buddhism. The main culture deeply rooted in the city people comes from Hinduism. They have 4 castes and 36 sub-castes system with upper, medium, lower and lowest caste/ class people. Untouchability still exists in huge population. There are several temples of Hindu, the famous is "kali Mandir"; several meeting places of Om Santi, one temple of Sai Baba and unclear meeting place of Christians and Buddhists.


Dharan is a major city in eastern Nepal, in the Sunsari District, situated on foothills of Himalayas with southern tip touching the edge of the Terai at an altitude of 1148 ft (349m). It serves as a trading post between the hilly region and the plains of Terai region. It was once the location of a British Gurkha recruitment center, opened in 1953. The recruitment center is closed and the campus is now the home of B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences since 1993.


Limbuwan strike at Dharan
Dharan's history can be traced back to 1584 AD, to ten kingdoms of Limbuwan which was also known as Pallo Kirat Pardesh (a collective of Ten Kirant Limbu kingdoms). Dharan-Bijaypur was the capital city of the Morang kingdom of Limbuwan region. This was prior to conquest and annexation of the Kirat Kingdom by Gorkha King, King Prithvi Narayan Shah. Dharan was known as Bijaypur until the 1950s when the settlement grew on the southern portion of Bijaypur and took its own name of Dharan.
Dharan started as a small trading settlement of Chaubis or Miklung Kingdom of Limbuwan (one of the ten kingdoms of Limbuwan). Over the last couple of decades, the population of Dharan has increased and diversified to include people from various ethnicities like Gurungs, Newar, Brahmins, Chhetris etc.
Limbuwan flag and hoarding in Tinkune, Dharan
The modern Dharan's foundation was laid in 1902 A.D. by prime minister Chandra Samsher. He established a small village at the foot of Vijayapur hillock and named it Chandranagar (now Purano Bajar). The purpose was to supply timber to East India Company, who in 1890s had expanded its North Eastern territory and was laying railway tracks. The first government official to be appointed in this small village of Chandranagar was Subba Ratna Prasad. A settlement grew steadily over the course of time. This growing settlement was named Juddha Nagar (now Naya Bazaar) after Prime minister Juddha Samsher. In 1960 Dharan was recognized as a 'municipal town'.
This transformation of Dharan was triggered by the establishment of the British Gurkha (GORKHA) recruitment center in 1953. Recruits from all over Nepal flocked to join British Gurkha, thereby drastically altering the face of Dharan. There was a surge in population with recruits bringing their families, and others who came to seek employment and exploit business opportunities. As a result, Dharan has emerged as one of the biggest towns in eastern Nepal. It is in true sense a melting pot of different ethnic groups, languages, dialects and religions.
In 1962, Nepal was divided into 14 administrative zones and 75 districts and Dharan was made the zonal headquarters of Kosi Zone. Initially, the town was divided into eleven wards, but in 1980 Banjjhogara Gaon Panchayat at the east (which is now the most developed area of Dharan) and Ghopa Gaon Panchayat at the west were added to Dharan Town Panchayat. This expansion led to the reformation of the wards. Now Dharan is divided into nineteen wards.

Games/ Sports

From the very beginning Dharan has been an arena for games and sports. Many of its players have represented Nepal in international competitions. Till now Dharan is a force to recon with in Football, Martial Arts and Cricket. The biggest and probably the best Golf Course of the country (18 hole s) is in Dharan. Buddha Subba gold cup football tournament is co-organised by the municipality every year.


Dharan is a tourist destination in its own right. Communication is mainly in Nepali and English. People who are English speakers should have no problem comprehending many signs and road maps in Nepal.
Beyond Bhedetar lies the eastern hilly district such as Dhankuta, Bhojpur,Phidim, Terathum. Dharan serves as a gateway to some of the remote tourist attractions like Kumbhakarna Himal, Kanchenjunga, Makalu Barun National Park, Arun Valley, Tinjure-Milke (Rhododendron Protection Area), Gupha Lake, Hyatrung Fall, and Sabha Pokhari. They are quite further and therefore require extended day trips.
To the south of Dharan is the city of Biratnagar and connecting towns, all within an hours drive. The towns of Tararah and Itahari are popular with the local population of Dharan.
Dharan, with its diverse population has numerous centers of worship i.e. temples, churches and a mosque. Vijayapur hill is of a particular significance, as it has several temples of importance, such as Dantakali temple, Pindeshwar temple, Budha Subbha temple and Panch Kanya. These temples are of historical and archaeological importance in as much as religious. These temples are centers for rituals, fares and events.
Different ethnic groups host their traditional cultural festivities all year around. The Dhan naach and Chyabrum naach of Limbus, Lakhe naach and Gai jatra of Newars, Sakela Sili naach of Rai people, Selo of Tamangs, Rodighar of Gurungs, Baalan and Sangini of Brahmin and Chhetris, all add to the cultural tradition of Dharan.


There is a transport network bus connecting Dharan to all major cities and local towns. The local transport consists of cars, auto-rickshaws and rickshaws. Sharing a ride with other passengers is the most economical mode of transport.


Janakpur, also known as Janakpurdham, is one of the historical and religious city of Nepal. Janakpur is the administrative headquarter of Dhanusa District of the Janakpur Zone and has a population of approximately 80,000. The city is located about 400 km south-east of Kathmandu, 20 km from the Indian border at 26° 42' 44" N, 085° 55' 18" E Janakpur has a substantial tourist industry due to its significance in the Hindu religion and is home to the only operational railway in Nepal, the Janakpur Railway.


Janakpur, historically called Mithilanchal, is the centre of the ancient Maithil culture, which has its own language and script.
The first millennium BC text Shatapatha Brahmana tells that the king Māthava Videgha, led by his priest Gotama Rahugana, first crossed the Sadānirā (Gandaka) river and founded the kingdom of Videha, whose capital city was Mithila. As Gotama Rahugana composed many hymns in the Rgveda, these events must date to the Rgvedic period.
The most important historical reference to Mithila/Janakpur is in the Hindu epic Ramayana, where Lord Rama's wife Sita Devi (also called Janaki) is said to have been the princess of Videha. Her father, King Janak, found baby Sita in a furrow of a field and raised her as his daughter. When she grew up, the king announced that she should be wed by whoever was able to string the divine bow of Shiva. Though many royal suitors tried, Lord Rama, prince of Ayodhya, alone could even lift the bow. As Rama and Sita are major figures in Hinduism, Janakpur is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus.
In addition, both the great saints Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, and Vardamana Mahavira, the 24th and final Tirthankara of the Jain religion, are said to have lived in Mithila/Janakpur. The region was an important centre of Indian history during the first millennium.


Janakpur has an airport with connections to Kathmandu. The narrow-gauge Janakpur Railway is the only operational railway in Nepal. It connects Janakpur to the Indian town of Jaynagar. Frequent bus service operates between Janakpur and other cities of Nepal. Within the city, travellers may hire manually pulled cycle rickshaws.


Janakpur has good educational facilities and several elites of the country including the first president of the Federal Republic Of Nepal, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav was schooled in Janakpur. There are many private schools, government schools and government colleges located in the metropolitan of Janakpurdham. The most popullar campus of janakpur are R.R.M. campus and Janakpur Campus of education faculty.
The Rajarshi Janak or Dhanusha University is proposed but not yet built.

Temples and festivals

Janaki Mandir, Janakpur
The centre of Janakpur is dominated by the impressive Janaki Mandir to the north and west of the bazaar. This temple, one of the biggest in Nepal, was built in 1898 (1955 in the Nepali calendar) by Queen Brisabhanu Kunwar of Tikamgarh. It is also called "Nau Lakha Mandir" after the cost of construction, said to be nine (nau) lakh. The oldest temple in Janakpur is Ram Mandir, built by the Gurkhali soldier Amar Singh Thapa. Pilgrims also visit the more than 200 sacred ponds in the city for ritual baths. The two most important, Dhanush Sagar and Ganga Sagar, are located close to the city centre. The Vivah Mandap temple is famous for its gardens.
Major religious celebrations include the major Hindu festivals such as Diwali, and Dhashara. followed by specacular Chhath Puja (worship to sun) 6 days after Diwali. On the full moon day of February/March before the festival of Holi, a one-day Parikrama (circumambulation) of the city is celebrated. Many people offer prostrated obeisances along the entire eight km route. Two other festivals honour Rama and Sita: Rama Navami, the birthday of Lord Rama, in March-April, draws over 100,000 people. And the Vivaha Panchami or Vivaha festival re-enacts the wedding of Rama and Sita in the famous Vivah Mandap temple on the fifth day of the waxing moon in November or early December(after Kartik Purnima),where Rama broke the bow of Shiva. Over 100,000 pilgrims come for a procession with elephants, horses, and decorated chariots with beating drums.
Pilgrims stay in one of the city's five good hotels or small guest houses. There are also five fully equipped dharmashalas (free lodgings for pilgrims).