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Popular Cities in Nepal

Bhairahawa - Bhairawa

Bhairahawa (Bhairawa) and also known as Siddharthanagar is a pleasant city of about 70,000 people on the Terai plains of Nepal. It is 265 km. (165 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu and three kilometers north of the Indian border at Sunauli.

Bhairahawa is the main travel gateway to the Buddhist pilgrim's circuit of Lumbini, Kapilvastu and Kathmandu). Hindu pilgrims also enter Nepal here on pilgrimages to Kathmandu's Pashupatinath. Bhairahawa is also a gateway to Nepal for overland travelers and backpackers heading for jungle and mountain treks, river rafting and other adventures.

Climate: Summer temperatures reach 35 to 38 Celsius (95-100 fahrenheit). Winter temperatures are 9 to 23 Celsius (48-73 fahrenheit). Monsoon rains usually start in June and continue into September.

Lumbini Garden

22 klometers from Bhairahawa, the sacred birthplace of Lord Buddha. The garden extends one kilometer east-west and 4 kilometers north-south with monasteries representing over twenty nations. There are abundant birds and even some wildlife.

Devedaha

Just 15 km. northeast of Bhairahawa near the village of Khairhani, has archeological mounds associated with the Koliyas, the maternal tribe of the Buddha.

Ramagram

20 kilometers due east from Bhairahawa and 4 km south of the town of Parasi in Nawalparasi district. The remains of a stupa and monastery lie on the banks of the Jahari river near Kerwani village. The large stupa mound is about 30 ft high and 70 ft in diameter. Some have suggested that this was the center of the the Koliya Kingdom. The Koliyas of Ramagram are listed among the eight tribes that received the corporeal relics of the Buddha at Kushinagar. A Japanese funded memorial is located just to the west of the oxbow lake and a monastery is also planned. The all weather road to Ramgram is mostly unpaved and bumpy but passes through wonderful rural village scenes.

Kapilvastu

Kapilvastu is the name of an ancient Kingdom of the Shakyas -- the royal family of of Lord Buddha. It is an important part of the Buddhist Pilgrimage Circuit. Taulihawa -- administrative center of modern Kapilvastu District -- lies 40 kilometers west of Bhairahawa or 18 kilometers from Lumbini. Many ancient archaeological sites are situated within 10 kilometers of Taulihawa. Local roads are in good condition.Tribeni Ghat

a small and picturesque village by the Narayani River (known as the Gandak in India) and just across from Chitwan National Park. An important historical, religious and cultural area due to the presence of the ancient Valmiki Ashram across the river and the auspiciousness of bathing at the ghats on the first day of Magh (approximately 15 January). Hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to bathe on this holiday. Cross the river here to visit Valmiki which is believed to be where Prince Siddhartha got down from his horse Kantaka and strode off on foot and into the jungles in his search for answers.

Biratnagar

Biratnagar is Nepals second biggest city which is located near the south-eastern border to India. It is known by agriculture, commerce and industry. Countrys most manufacturing industries are located in this region. Tourists discover Biratnagar on their way to the Himalayan states of India, known as Sikkim and Darjeeling. Visitors also arrive Biratnagar by air to begin their trekking to mountains such as Kanchanjunga. In recent days, a day or two is also spent at Biratnagar city by tourists adventuring into Nepals tea growing regions like Illam and Dhankuta.

What is Biratnagar known for?

Nepal's first large scale industry was setup in Biratnagar, the Biratnagar Jute Mills in 1936. Today, the city has some of the largest industrial undertakings in the country. It is Nepal's second biggest city which is believed to be the capital of language, culture and politics of the country. Biratnagar Jute Mills, was set up here in 1936. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (90-minute drive) is a bird watching spot. The Koshi Barrage on the Koshi river (two-hour drive) is an impressive sight. Biratnagar is the hub of air routes in eastern Nepal. (Temperature 8-39 degrees Celsius.)

Places to Visit in Biratnagar:

Baraha Chhetra : Take an hour's splendid scenic drive away from Biratnagar to Baraha Cheetra, an important Hindu pilgrimage site located at the confluence of Koka and Sapta Kosh rivers. Walk for 15 minutes from the nearby surroding area to reach the temple. Temple offers magnificiant view of the surrounding view of the riverside. Reach the temple by local bus for less Rupees or by hired taxi for Rupees 2000 to Rupees 2500. On the banks of the river, view devotees taking holy baths. According to Hindu Legand, Lord Vishnu came down to earth and destroyed Hirayankashyapu, an evil demon at this very spot.

Biratnagar Haat Haat Bazaar : Open Market (Haat Bazaar) takes place every Wednesday in a field east of Biratnagar. Make sure to visit the Haat when you get to this place.

The Koshi Tappu : Visit this wet wonderland in Nepal for bird watching expeditions. It rests along the flood plains of Sapta Koshi river in the Terai belt of Saptari and Sunsari districts of eastern Nepal. It is belived to be one of the best wild life rich wetlands of Asia. Two hours drive from Biratnagar is all it takes to discover a hidden wetland in Asia.

Getting to Biratnagar :  Biratnagar is linked with Kathmandu by Road and Air. Fly from Kathmandu to Biratnagar for 40 minutes, or take a bus for about 8 hours.

Butwal

Lying at the very foot of Chure Pahad (Fragile Hills) in Nepal, Butwal  is a large town in southern Nepal on the banks of Tinau river in Rupandehi District, in Lumbini Zone of which it is the adminisrative center Butwal is also connection and center point for western hilly district. It is 240 kilometers west of Kathmandu and 22 kilometers north of Bhairahawa. Through highway and air links, Butwal connects western Nepal to the capital Kathmandu. It also has a highway connection to the Indian Border at Sunauli via towns Manigram, Bhalwari and Kotihawa. Butwal is one of the major gateways to Nepal. We can drive out shortcut way to Pokhara from Bhutwal

Economy condition of Butwal centers on education, trade and transportation. Butwal has always been a major trading centre for Pahari (hill people) from districts to the north, as is evident from the establishment of Batauli Bazar at the edge of the hills in old Butwal. Presently the main trading centres are near Traffic Chowk and Puspalal Park. Numerous shops sell Chinese and Indian goods. Butwal also has small and medium scale manufacturers of woodwork, ironsheet, metalware and aluminium sheet. There are rice mills including Siddhababa Rice mill,Aryal Rice Mill(Jharbaira-Murgiya) and Sita rice mill. Butwal is also famous for gharelu udyog.

An influx of students from nearby hilly regions contributes to Butwal's economy. Additional income is remitted by expatriate Nepalis and from Gurkha Soldiers employed by the Indian and British Armies.

Janakpur

Janakpur city is the birth place of Goddess Sita, and is the home of the unique Mithila culture in Nepal.  Janakpur city, the Headquarter of Dhanusha district of Nepal, is about 84 miles (135 km) from Kathmandu. This is a popular city in the terai region. (Terai = lower part of Nepal having Flat-Land). Janakpur is also known as Janakpurdham (Dham in Nepali means a scared region) It has a temple named Janaki, which is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Sita. This region also offers an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn about Mithila culture, and people from in and around this peaceful region of Nepal. Hindu pilgrims from India and Nepal visit this region to pay their respect to the Goddess, while many foreigners make a side-trip to the region to learn about the unique Janakpur-life!

Places to visit in Janakpur

Janaki Temple

Janakpur has the Janaki Temple (Mandir in Nepali) which is dedicated to Goddess Sita, and also has a Ram and Sita Marriage Mandhir (or also known as Ram and Sita Bibaha Mandhir in Nepali) which is said to have been built in the spot where they got married. Marriage anniversary of Ram and Sita is observed every year here through a festival which is also observed throughout Nepal.

In the Janakpur region, one of such festival is the enactment of the wedding ceremony, decorating temples and monuments, burning of oil-lamps surrounding the temple and other historical sites in the region. Throughout the festival there are dramas in theaters and in open streets re-making the marriage ceremony of Ram and Sita. According to Hindu, Ram and Sita took birth to free the earth from the cruelty and sins of the demon King Ravana (Ravan). To learn more about the Hindu Goddess, see web link at the end of this page.

Rama Mandir

Visit the Rama Mandhir, a pagoda-style temple built in 1882, which is located south-east of the Janaki Mandhir. On the Rama Nawami or also written as Ram Navami festival (the celebration of Lord Ram's Birthday), this temple gets thousands of visitors. Ram Nawami is also called as Chaitay Dashain, and it falls on Chaitra 13 2063 (Nepali Calendar) or April 27 2007 (English Calendar)

Mithila Culture of Janakpur

Mithila culture is found in the Terai region of Nepal such as the Janakpur region and also found all the way upto the Northern Bihar state of India. Legend has it that Janakpur was the capital of Mithila, and the palace of King Janak, Goddess Sita's father. Often Sita is known by many names such as Janaki or Mythili. Mithila culture is rich with its own language known as Maithili, and with its own traditions, customs, arts and music. Many Mithila arts and paintings have historical and religious meanings, such arts are produced by many villagers specifically women's draw paintings having colorful and thought provoking objects such as animals, Gods and Goddess which are painted on the walls of homes using simple colors such as clays and mud

Ramayan

Ram and SitaOne of the greatest epics of all time is Ramayan, which is a Hindu story of God Ram and his wife Goddess Sita, their marriage, their struggle, sacrifice, and many facets of life. Ram marries Sita, then has to live for years in isolation from her before returning back to his royal palace. Sita is captured by Demon named Rawan. In the end, Sita disappears under the ground, and she is regarded as the Goddess of the Earth. Sita, the incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi, is regarded as the perfect daughter, wife, and mother, and the most beloved diety in Hindu countries like Nepal and India.

Kathmandu

Kathmandu is the largest city and capital of Nepal and the namesake of the Kathmandu Valley. Once thought to be the fabled and inaccessible Shangri-La, Kathmandu is now a hub for independent travelers as well as a growing vacation spot catering to all budgets. As a result of considerable urban growth in recent decades, it is now part of one continuous urban area together with Patan to the south.

Kathmandu city itself has limited activities for visitors beyond the amazing sightseeing and general experience of being there, but it is the starting point for numerous adventures in the rest of the country including trekking, rafting, jungle adventures, and more extreme sports.

Patan

Located about 5 km south of Kathmandu in the Kathmandu Valley, on the southern side of the Bagmati River, Patan is one of 3 royal cities in the valley. The others are Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.

A destination for connoisseurs of fine arts, Patan is filled with wood and stone carvings, metal statues, ornate architecture, including dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples, and over 1200 monuments.

The city is known for its rich tradition of arts and handicrafts and as the birthplace of master craftsmen and artists such as Arniko and Kuber Singh Shakya.

Pokhara

Pokhara is a remarkable place of natural beauty. Situated at an altitude of 827m from the sea level and 200km west of Kathmandu valley, the city is known as a center of adventure. The enchanting city with a population of around 95,000 has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panaromic views of Himalayan peaks.

The serenity of lakes and the magnificence of the Himalayas rising behind them create an ambience of peace and magic. So today the city has not only become the starting point for most popular trekking and rafting destinations but also a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Pokhara is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. This is the land of Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship.

The climate of Pokhara is slightly warmer than Kathmandu with daytime temperature hovering around 15 degrees Celsius in winter and 35 degrees in summer. The monsoon season which lasts from mid-June to mid-September is very wet; in fact Pokhara records the

highest rainfall in the country. Best time to visit is between October and April.

The activities of foreign visitors to Pokhara focus around two districts known as Damside and Lakeside (or Pardi and Baidam, in Nepali, respectively). These two areas, with their strips of hotels and restaurants, are a few kilometers south-west of the main Pokhara bazaar. 

Thamel

Thamel is a popular tourist destination in Kathmandu, Nepal. Thamel has been the centre of the tourist industry in Kathmandu for over two decades, growing up between two of the original hotels, the Kathmandu Guesthouse and Hotel Utse. Even though Thamel has been referred to as the "ghetto" by some, most low-budget travelers consider it a tourist haven.citation needed

Its concentration of narrow streets are lined with small shops selling everything from food and provisions to clothes, walking gear, cakes, pastries, music, DVDs (mostly pirated), handicrafts, travel agents and budget hotels.

The area has some very good restaurants. Although prices tend to be significantly higher than non-tourist areas, food hygiene is generally a lot better too.

Thamel also acts as the pre-base camp for mountaineers. It boasts a wide range of mountaineering gear shops, foreign money exchange booths, pubs, clubs and nightlife along with the numerous travel agents,and guest houses. All in all, Thamel is home to a wide range of audience of the nepalese population for entertainment and employment purposes.