Surkhet District is located in Province no. 6 (Karnali province) covering an area of 2,488.64 sq. km. Birendranagar is the administrative headquarter and commercial hub of the Karnali state of the new federal republic. It is located about 600 kilometers (373 mi) west of Kathmandu. Surkhet Valley is one of the Inner Terai Valleys of Nepal. It is bordered by Jajarkot, Dailekh, and Achham to the north, Bardiya and Kailali to the south, Salyan district to the east, and Doti to the west. Surkhet is surrounded by Bheri River in the east and Karnali in the west. The altitude of Surkhet ranges from 198 m and the highest is 2,367 m. Thus, this district witnesses a mixed type of climate. Surkhet is famous as a gateway to other popular destinations like Rara Lake and Shey Phoksundo Lake. Moreover, this district in itself is growing as a tourist destination.
Tourism in Surkhet
Tourist attractions are places like Kakrebihar temple, Bulbule Lake, Deutibajai temple, Mangalgadhi, Gothikanda, Ghantaghar, Bheri River, and others with religious as well as historic values popular all over the world. Kakrebihar is the remains of an old Buddhist Monastery (palace), which is in the list of national heritage sites in Nepal. Bheri River is a well-known destination for rafting and Paragliding has been started in Surkhet. Birendranagar is one of Nepal's few cities built under a master plan. Popularly known as "Gateway to Karnali", visitors can find hotel and restaurant which is increasing in trend. Rara (biggest lake of Nepal), Shey Phoksundo Lake, five religious sites inside Dailekh, Kubinde lake (Salyan), and several picturesque terrains can be taken into account through roadway Ratna Highway (named after Queen Ratna Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah) and Jumla Highway. Surkhet is open to Tourist connecting way to Kailash Mansarovar Tibet through Flights and helicopter charter from Nepalgunj or roadway Surkhet.
Places to visit in Surkhet
Kankrebihar is a stone temple on the top of the hillock built in the 12th century. This temple is located in the south-east of the Surkhet valley. Kakre Bihar is the second-largest and oldest Bihar in the country, after Lumbini. Enclosed by dense forests of sal and salla from all sides, it has an exotic location—a stark white monument in the wilderness of resplendent green. Kakre Bihar is just about a half-hour’s walk from Mangalgadhi in Birendranagar. Constructed by Ashok Malla, a Khas king from Jumla, Kakre Bihar was partially damaged during the earthquake of 1934. It took a long, long time for renovation to begin, and work in earnest only began recently. Kakre Bihar is a melting pot of cultures and religions, worshipped with equal ardor by Hindus, Buddhists, and people from other religions. It is one of the most famous historical and religious place of Karnali province. The temple is constructed in the shikhara style. Thousands of tourists came here for religious purposes and to experience and enjoy the atmosphere and a beautiful view of nature. We can reach there by road. This beautiful place continuously ranks as one of the most important tourist destinations in surgery. The carved stones and bronze statues reflect the images of Buddha and many Hindu gods and goddesses including Saraswati and Ganesh.
Bulbule Lake is located in the south of Surkhet Bazar, surrounded by a recreation park and a garden, which lures the movie and video makers. Water bubbles are continuously coming from the bottom of the lake making bubbles on the surface of the lake, that's why the name "Bul-bule Tal." Peoples of nearby cities and countries are greatly attracted by the beauty of the Bulbule Lake. Having natural and scenic peculiarity, the pond area covers the land with a recreational picnic spot serving great water sources to the valley. Park transforms the city into a natural feel with various flowers and plants. Boating, fishing, swimming to cultural rituals are organized inside the park area.
Deuti Bajai is a Hindu temple in Birendranagar. Its history is closely associated with the people of Raji society; historically, only the people belonging to the Raji society used to pray in this temple. Nowadays, people from near and far come every day to pray in this temple. It is a national heritage site, and the government and municipality are trying to develop and renovate this temple to attract more visitors. The shrine of Deuti Bajai was constructed by King Yash Malla.
Trapped between the dense forests, Baraha Lake is famous for a species of aquatic birds with no wings—locally called Jalchara. Though not as vast as Bulbule, the lake is expansive nonetheless, covering a total of 16 bigha area. It is just some 20 kilometers from Birendranagar.
Bheri is one of the most famous rivers in Western Nepal. This river flows around Surkhet beginning from the east, south, and then north before it reaches the confluence where it meets her big sister Karnali. Rafting in the Bheri River is becoming a popular pastime recently after the advent of a newly established company. Rafting City has the fast-flowing river half an hour drive to the east to start adventurous rafting that leads to Ranight, the western riverbank site to the southwest of the city. Accessible by bus services to the site adds touristic importance to the city.
Gothikanda offers the majestic beauty of lush vegetation and mountainous terrain going down toward the city of Birendranagar. The hilltop viewpoint area offers a view of the city, and its scenery during summertime makes it an excellent tourist attraction. Resting on a steep hill, Gothikanda is cool, lush, and vibrant. It makes for a perfect vantage point to view all of the sprawling Surkhet Valley, and almost all of the districts in the Karnali. It is popular for organic produce from vegetables to fruits. You have to make a half-hour’s trek uphill to reach Gothikanda from the district headquarters of Birendranagar. Along the trail, you will see hamlets faraway set up along the steep hills, making for a stunning view. Up north from Gothikanda, there are jungles and nothing else.
Dang district is located in province no. 5 covering an area of 2,955 sq. km western Terai of Nepal. Ghorahi is the administrative headquarter. It is bordered with Argakhachi, Kapilvastu in the east, Surkhet, Banke in the west, Pyuthan, Rolpa, and Salyan in the north, India in the south. This district consists of different geographical features extended from 213m to 2058m from the sea level. Tulsipur, the second biggest city of Dang, is a transportation hub. There are numerous temples and Gumbas in Dang district.
Tourism in Dang
Dang is also known as Dang Deukhuri which is surrounded by a valley and located in Inner Terai. Dang district is rich in ancient temples, places with immense historical importance, diverse ethnic groups, languages, landscapes, lakes and valley, biologically significant flora, fauna and wildlife, waterfalls, etc. This region is suited for hiking, trekking, and other various activities. Some parts of Banke national park are located here, so Dang is also the entrance of the national park. Dang has hot and humid weather throughout the year and the best time to visit Dang is between October to March as the climate will be pleasant.
Places to visit in Dang
Ambikeshwori Temple is the famous religious temple situated in dang. Pilgrims from Nepal and India visit this temple. The temple is known as ‘Maiko Than’ (Mother’s Place) is situated to the north of Ghorahi. Saktipeethe is supposed to have emerged due to the falling of the right ear of Satidevi according to the Swasthani Purana. Special fairs attracts more pilgrims during January and February
Pandaveshwor Mahadev Temple
The Pandeshwor Mahadev Temple is located in Dharapani with the tallest Trisul (Trident) in the world. It is 41 ft (12 m)-long trishula that weighs 6 Tons. The Trisul is made of metal, brass, copper, gold, and silver. It is taken to develop the historically religious site into a tourist destination. The local people host a 5-day festival each year on the occasion of Shivaratri.
Jakhera Lake is situated at the bottom of the Chure Hills of Lamahi, Dang. The natural scenery of Lake has attracted the attention of domestic and foreign tourists. In local (Tharu) language jakhera means the place where rainwater gets collected. The lake is surrounded by green forest and are being conserved by the local community group. This lake is the popular touristic hub for boating, fishing, and picnic.
Ganeshpur Park is situated in Tulsipur, Dang. It is a park of Ganeshpur prestige and fame. It lies near the jungle where many natural beauty can be seen. It is a peaceful place where people go for feel peaceful environment. In this park, people go to relax, enjoy nature.
Charinge Daha is situated in Rampur, Dang. It is a natural lake. The lake is said to be the origin of the Sarayu River. During Treta Yuga, Sita, the chief female character had penanced here to get Shree Rama as her husband. When God Rama visited the place they finally met each other. There is a cave called Sita Gufa. Charinge Daha is one of the famous tourist destination for village tourism, trekking, sightseeing, etc.
The Purandhara waterfall is situated in Purandhara Village of Dang. The stream of Kala Pani Khola falls off from the height of 45 meters striking the rock. It is situated at the bank of Babai River. The place is quite attractive because of the dense forest, the runoff of Babai River, chirping sounds of the birds mixing up with the sound of the falls.
Barhakune Daha (Baraha Chhetra)
Barha Kune Daha is situated in 3 km north from Ghorahi Dang. There is a pond that has twelve corners (angles); hence its name Barha Kune Daha. The Temple of God Bishnu, barah is also an important place for pilgrims in that area, and several temples of Ganesh and Shiva are there. It is also known as Baraha Chhetra. It is mainly dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. Makar Sankranti is a special festival in which people celebrate in this sacred place.
Goraksha Ratna Nath Temple
Goraksha Ratna Nath Temple is in Chaughera, Ghorahi. It is one of the major tourist and spiritual places of the Dang District.
Bijauri & Chillikot
Bijauri is the place where vulture conservation has been done as Vulture Restaurant located 5 km north of Tulsipur - Ghorahi highway in Salapani village. Few km. north of Vulture Restaurant in Chillikot, there is an ancient temple of Kalika and Malika Devi as well as there is also damaged ancient palace of a king.
Banke District is located in Province no. 5, covering an area of 2,337 sq. km. Nepalganj is the administrative headquarter. Banke is bordered by Bardiya in west, Salyan in north, Dang in the east, and India in the south. It lies in the Terai Region of western Nepal. Most of the district is drained by the Rapti, except the district's western edge is drained by the Babai. It is about 485 km far from Kathmandu. This district is the hub point to reach the Humla, Jumla and Dolpa region. Even, the trip of Kailash - Mansarovar through the private helicopter go via Nepalgunj Airport. Thus this district is the hub point of Western Nepal.
Tourism in Banke
Banke district is rich in natural and cultural resources. The tenth national park of Nepal, Banke National Park is located here. The national park is also famous for Royal Bengal Tiger. It is connected by East-West Mahendra Highway, so it is easily accessible from all parts of the country. Nepalgunj Airport (KEP) has become the transit domestic airport the various parts of western Nepal. It operates the regular flight from Kathmandu. One can witness the culture and tradition of various ethnic groups of this region.
Places to visit in Banke
Banke National Park
Banke National Park is located in the Mid-Western Region, Nepal and was established in 2010 as Nepal’s tenth national park after its recognition as a "Gift to the Earth". The protected area covers an area of 550 sq. km. (210 sq. mi) with most parts falling on the Churia range. The park is surrounded by a buffer zone of 344 sq. km (133 sq. mi) in the districts of Banke, Salyan, and Dang. The vegetation in Banke National Park is composed of at least 113 tree species, 107 herbal species, and 85 shrub and climber species. Common species include sal, axlewood, Semecarpus Anacardium, Khair, Terminalia alata. Three species of mammals (tiger, striped hyaena, four-horned antelope), four species of birds (giant hornbill, black stork, Bengal florican, and lesser florican) and two species of reptiles (gharial crocodile and python) residing in the Park are protected by the National ParksIn 2014, a ruddy mongoose was recorded for the first time in the protected area. Jungle Safari tour, Bird Watching, Tiger Tracking, Boating, Fishing, Village Tour, etc are the activities that can be done in Banke National Park.
Bageswory temple in Nepalgunj is one of the most important temples for Hindus. It is dedicated to goddess Bageshwori. Bageshwori temple is known to be one of the oldest in the region, and the oldest temple in Banke District. Every year it attracts a large number of devotees from around the country, as well as from the nearest border cities of India. Especially in the festival of Dashain, the biggest festival in the country, the temple receives a huge crowd of people wishing to pray the goddess and offer animal sacrifices. Shiva Ratri, Teej, Magh Sukla Purnima on these festivals Bageshwori temple gots crowds. The temple's image can be seen in Nepalese one-rupee coins and postal stamps. And the temple area also houses another famous temple- the temple of Lord Shiva with the mustache, which is one of the only two such temples in the country. The Lord Shiva's statue in the temple is often referred to as Junge Mahadeva.
Nepalgunj is the popular transportation and industrial hub, situated in Banke district. It is the central hub to commence the exciting treks to the Dolpo plateau and Jumla region. Besides conducting treks and visiting Nepalgunj as a transit point, many other activities could be done in Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj, being a multi-ethnic city with the people belonging to various communities residing together, it is a platform for various art and culture to flourish. The Kamaiyas (bonded labors in Nepal) living in the region can give to a chance to explore the social conditions of Terai. Shopping on the street, explore the unexplored culture, trekking preparation, visit the national parks, etc. are the activities that can be done in Nepalgunj.