Among the 18 tourism sector of Nepal, Birat Tourism Area is one of them consisting three district of eastern Nepal that lies on the fertile Terai Plain, namely Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari. It is bordered by Mechi Hill Tourism Area and Arun Tourism Area in the north, Salahes tourism Sector in the west, India in the east and south. In general, this tourism area is connected with the roadways via East-West Highway and Airways. Bhadrapur Airport (BDP) and Biratnagar Airport (BIR) are two airports lies in this region and operates regular flight from Kathmandu. Here, the major tourist destinations are mentioned with the information about the places.
Jhapa is a district of Province No. 1 in eastern Nepal covering an area of 1,606 sq. km. Bhadrapur is the headquarters of Jhapa. It is the easternmost district of Nepal and lies in the fertile Terai plains. It borders with Ilam in the north, Morang in the west, the Indian state of Bihar in the south, and the Indian state of West Bengal to the southeast and east. Jhapa is one of the most ethnically diverse districts of the country, and is home to 110 ethnic groups. Bhadrapur Domestic Airport is the airport of Jhapa, which operates the daily flight to Kathmandu regularly.
Tourism in Jhapa
Jhapa is also known as the grain glossary of Nepal. Jhapa is rich in natural as well as cultural and religious heritages. There are lots of places which have their importance and can be considered as the best place to visit. There are lots of cultural and religious places in this district. Kankai Mai, Kichakbadh, Satasidham, Arjundhara are few of them. Kechanakalan also lies here which is at a height of only 60 m from sea-level and is consider as the place of Nepal situated in lowest altitude. Chandragadi fort can be found which was made during the Anglo Nepal war reminds of the gallant Gurkhas. We can reach to Jhapa via Bus or air from Kathmandu. It takes around one hour to reach Jhapa from Kathmandu on the flight while on the bus it takes around twelve hours.
Places to visit in Jhapa
Satakshi Dham is often called the “second Janakpurdham”. This religious site comes most alive during the Hindu festival of Bala Chaturdashi wherein people pay homage to their family members and relatives who’ve died the preceding year. The site has ponds, gardens, and caves—Pandav Bagaicha, Pandav Yagyakunda, Draupadi Talau, and Parbati Gufa. Satakshi Dham lies in Shivasatakshi Municipality, 38km northwest of Bhadrapur Airport in Chandragadi.
Locally this place is also referred to as the Pashupatinath of the east. Arjun is the name of lord who is worshipped in Hinduism and is considered the greatest talent in the bow and the arrow art, and 'Dhara' means a source of water a tap. There is also a gurukul for the Brahmins to read. And also a cow farm. There are also the statues of different gods such as Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman as it is believed that Lord Shiva changed into Lord Hanuman to help Lord Ram to find Goddess Sita. It is 45 minutes on a flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur and 30 minutes car ride from Bhadrapur to Arjundhara. It is 6 km north of the business center Birtamode.
Dhanuskoti Dham is one of the famous religious places of Jhapa District. It lies in the Eastern Bank of the holy Kankai River. Dhanuskoti Dham Lies in the lap of Siwalik range and the grandiose view can be seen from this place. It lies around a four-kilometer north of the Mahendra Highway. Due to the tranquility and panoramic view, this place receives a significant amount of Tourist traffic.
Biratpokhar is a historical tourism destination in Jhapa. There are seven ponds of various sizes here. Legend has it that these ponds have been in place since the time of the Mahabharata. Legend has it that King Birat would come to the ponds here to quench his thirst. This place is also equally important to maintain the ecology of the region. It lies just about 4km away from the town of Birtamod.
The Jamunkhadi Simsar or Jamunkhadi Wetlands is a wetlands conservation project that was created to be developed as a tourist destination within the community forest. Originally, it included two ponds named after the rivers Ganga (Ganges) and Jamuna, but due to lack of protection, Ganga no longer exists and currently only Jamuna remains. Wild animals such as the python, deer, leopards, pangolins, bear, sambar, and porcupine are protected in this area. The wetland with different types of birds, sky blue water ponds with boats for visitors, and a dense forest make this place attractive. It is the best place for viewing wetland flora and fauna.
Kichakavadh is one of the popular tourist destinations carrying religious and historical importance. There are famous ponds, temples, and statues of various gods and goddesses in the Kichakavadh area. A demon named Kichak was killed here, that’s why this place has been named Kichakavadh. The archaeologists had found 2,000 years old artifacts and the remaining of the building which was believed as it is constructed by King Birat as Natya Ghar (House for Drama Presentation).
The Kankai River in Jhapa is a famous pilgrimage site. Devotees from various parts of the country and even from India throng the Kankai. People worship this river as Kankai Mai, the goddess Kankai. The western bank of this river is known as Maidhar and the eastern one is known as Kotihom. Kankai Mela, probably the biggest mela of the eastern region, is held here every Maghe Sankranti, the first day of the tenth month Magh of the Nepali calendar.
Krishnathumki is enveloped in rich enticing legends. It is believed that Lord Krishna grazed his cows here, and so is named as “Krishna Thumki.” There are vast heaps of land in the plain surrounding, which in Nepal is said ‘Thumki.’ All together Six (6) Thumki are there. On the proper Krishna Thumki, there are footmarks of a cow and human on a rectangular stone that convinces the visitors about the old belief. The rest five Thumkis are the symbol of five Pandavas.
There are 17 ponds (with more than 1.7 million fish) in Hiledhap Wetland. There are also flocks of turkeys, roosters, and ducks here.
Jhill, Mini Mountain
Mini Mountain is an iconic local attraction in Bahundangi, Jhapa. The naturally formed structure resembles an actual sedimentary rock mountain.
Domukha is the famous place of the Jhapa District. Due to the tranquility and natural beauty innate numerous domestic tourists visit Domukha daily. This is also one of the extremely praised picnic spot by the visitors. It lies on the bank of Kankai River and connected with Dhanuskoti Dham by a suspension bridge.
Morang District is located in Province No. 1 in the eastern part of Nepal covering an area of 1,855 sq. km. Biratnagar is the administrative headquarter which is 540 km far from Kathmandu. It is an outer Terai district. It borders with Bihar, India to the South, Jhapa to the East, Dhankuta and Panchthar to the North, and Sunsari to the west. Biratnagar is one of the most important industrial zones. Ratuwa, Bakraha, Lhandra, Singia, and Budhi are the major rivers of the district. The district is fully facilitated with medical, clinical, communication, and transportation facilities.
Tourism in Morang
The green paddy fields, jute fields, flood plains, and marshes along the Koshi Dam are what make the district rich with natural resources and beauty. The dam also created new wetlands that formed the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. At present, there are few resorts and lodges nearby to the wildlife reserve providing lodging and fooding. Tourists visiting here also stay at Biratnagar as it is closest to proper accommodation. The domestic airport is situated at Biratnagar and it is also a border district with Jogbani of India.
Places to visit in Morang
Jefale View Tower
Jefale View Tower is situated at the elevation of 1,970 m in the Jefale Hill of the Northern part of Morang. We can reach this view tower from Singhadevi Bihibare Bazar. Walking 300 m from this Bazar and climbing 1,000 steps, we can reach Jefale View Tower. We can observe the view of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,516 m) and Mt Everest (8,848 m). From the top, we can see the places of Sunsari, Morang, Dhankuta, Terhathum, Sankhuwasabha, Panchthar, and Ilam. This place is famous for the sunrise and sunset view. This place also attracts people because of its unique feature that we can see Mountains, Hills, and Terai region from here.
Hasina Wetland Area
Hasina Simsar is a natural wetland located in Sundarpur of Morang district at an altitude of 125m. The wetland extends approx. 48 hectares along with swamp, marsh, pond and streams. It feeds by 4-5 ground springs (Jaruwa). The Hasina wetland is located in the foothills of Churiya hill. It is a natural wetland within the forest. The wetland was rich with rattan plants (Calamus spp.) before 2 decades. The Hasina Simsar Conservation Committee is actively working for the restoration and sustainable conservation of this wetland.
Betani Wetland Area
Betani Daha is a natural wetland located in Urlabari of Morang district at an altitude of 120m. It extends about 3.3 hectares inside the Sal forest. It has both inflow and outflow. Betani Daha and its surrounding forests are home to ten species of mammals. One of the “endangered” species on the IUCN Red List that is Asian elephant also visited this area. The lake and nearby forested areas have housed several species of residential and breeding birds. Sal (Shorea robusta) is the dominant forest species in this area.
Betana Wetland Area
Betana Wetland Area also called Betana Simsar, is a tourist area that lies on Charkose Jhadi at Belbari municipality north of Mahendra Highway. It spreads over 4.2 hectares covering some Saal forest and lake. The wetland is home to several species of turtles, fish, birds, and a collection of flora and fauna. It is known for the peaceful environment. This place is most popular among the local tourist as a picnic spot. Betana Simsar is a great place to enjoy the day with nature. We can do boating on the lake, nature walking inside the forest to watch animals.
Bitareshwor (Palace of King Birat)
The ruins of the buildings and deep wells are to be found in many areas. The ruins of temples, palaces, and ponds are scattered in a vast area of Vedhyari, Buddhanagar VDC. The ruins of the palace along with stone carved tools, idols, and household objects can be seen protected in the southern part of Biratnagar, close to the border. The old name of Biratnagar was Gograha Bazaar. Biratnagar got its present name in 1919 AD (around 1976 BS) from Keshar Shamsher Rana after objects of historical importance, believed to be of King Virata's time, were found in the place. The region is believed to be a part of the kingdom of Virata, mentioned in the Mahabharata. In Nepali birat means huge and Nagar means city.
Shree Kali Mandir
The Kali Temple at Biratnagar is situated in the center of the city. It is built in the traditional Nepalese style, with a pagoda consisting of three beautiful roofs. The temple was originally built in the 1900s. At that time it was a very small structure with a single tin roof. Later on, after a devotee donated a bronze idol of the goddess, the temple was rebuilt in its present form. While devotees visit the temple and offer sacrifices all year-round, it is particularly popular as a place of pilgrimage during the festival of Navaratra.
Sunsari District is located in Province No. 1 of Nepal covering an area of 1,257 sq. km. The district is located in the eastern part of the Outer Terai. The district headquarters is located in Inaruwa. It borders with Bihar, India to the South, Biratnagar to the East, Dhankuta to the North, and Udayapur to the west.
The area was originally part of the Morang District but became its district in 1962 when Nepal was divided into 14 zones and 75 districts. Major cities in the Sunsari district are Inaruwa, Itahari, Jhumka and Dharan, and Duhabi. Some religious places of this district are Budha Subba Temple, Ramdhuni, Chataradham, Baraha Kshetra, Bishnupaduka, Dantakali, and Pindeshor Babadham.
Tourism in Sunsari
Dharan Bazaar is the center of attention of this region, lying at the bottom of the evergreen Bijaypur Hills. Bijayapur is a flat Churiya hill which uninterruptedly overlooking the flat green Tarai on its south. It lies at a distance of about 3 kilometers north-east of the main Dharan city. Clustered and enshrined with several vital temples of the region like Pindeshwor, Dantakali, Panchakanya Budhasubba, Sitaladevi, Shiddhivinatak, and Bhimesensthan. This is often one of the British Army Gurkha recruiting centers in Nepal. Dharan is additionally the base for trekking the Makalu region. One amongst the toughest treks within the world takes you from Dharan through the semitropical floor of the Arun valley and over the Shipton Pass to the slopes of the 3 great peaks of Makalu, Everest, and Lhotse. This district is rich in religious and cultural sites. Rasa Lake is a new tourist destination in Eastern Nepal.
Places to visit in Sunsari
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in the Terai of eastern Nepal covering 175 sq. km. of wetlands. It comprises extensive mudflats, reed beds, and freshwater marshes in the floodplain of the Sapta Kosi River, and ranges in altitude from 75 to 81 m (246 to 266 ft.). Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve was established in 1976 to conserve the last remaining population of Wild Water Buffalo (Bubalus arnee), locally known as Arna. It was designated as a Ramsar site in December 1987. The major activities in the reserve are Bird Watching, Jeep Safari, Rafting, and Village/Nature walk. The visits of 2 nights 3 days to this reserve is ideal for guests with time constraints but still would like to enjoy all the wildlife and culture the area has to offer. The main attractions include Wild Water Buffaloes, Blue Bulls, Gangetic Dolphins, and Golden Jackals along with over 400 species of birds as we explore the marshes on foot, inaccessible sandbanks, and islands of the mighty Koshi River.
Buda Subba Temple
Budha Subba Temple is a famous religious shrine of the eastern people of Nepal which is located at Bijayapur of Dharan. The site is located on the top of the Seti river bank, to a small distance east of the Dantakali temple. It is taken as an important place for religious people. Within the temple, two earthen piles have been raised which have the tradition of worshiping as the Budha Subba. The place has uniquely tip-less bamboo plants. The tips of these bamboos are believed to be broken by shots of slingshot used by Budha Subba. Budhasubba is famous for bamboos that don't have shoots and no crow flies around. Couples script their names on these bamboos believing that they will have a long-lasting and inseparable relationship. It is regarded as "The Most important cultural site of Eastern Nepal." The temple is crowded by people on Saturdays. The temple is systematically handled since the 2015 BS (1958-59 AD).
Dantakali Temple is a Hindu temple situated in a mountainous terrain of Bijayapur in Dharan, Nepal. Dantakali is famous among the Hindus as the place where the sacred teeth of the goddess Satidevi lie. "Danta" means teeth and "Kali" is a Hindu God. Thousands of devotees come here to worship; mainly for the first nine days of Dashain, a great crowd of people can be seen. It lies nearby to the Buda Subba Temple.
The Koshi Barrage is a sluice across the Koshi River that carries vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Saptari district and the Sunsari district of Nepal. It is near the international border with India. It was built between 1958 and 1962 and has 56 gates. It was constructed after the Koshi Agreement was signed between the Government of Nepal and India on April 25, 1954. The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is roughly 3–4 miles north of the barrage. This river the home for Gangetic Dolphin and other different species of freshwater fishes. Siberian birds can be seen there easily during the month of August-October. People usually visit there to have the variety of fish dishes in the nearby riverside restaurants and see the scenic view from the barrage. The sunrise and the sunset view catch people' eyes there. Rowing or a motorboat is available there for extra adventure which carries people to the islets.
Dharan is a municipal city located in the Sunsari district of eastern Nepal. It is also known as the city of football or mini-Brazil. Dharan is south to the hill station Bhedetar of Dhankuta district and north of Itahari. It is also the gateway to the hills of the Mahabharat range. Therefore it seems a mild summer and a mild winter. Not too hot not too cold. Temples like Dantakali, Budhasubba, Chataradham, Pindeshwori and Bishnu Paduka are the shrines nearby to Dharan. We can start rafting at Dharan on Tamor River up to Koshi. We can visit many greenery parks like the Hariyali Park, Yalambar Park and Saptarangi Park. We can also see many wild animals wandering around in these parks. Dharan is only 20 minutes bus journey from Itahari and Itahari is well connected to all the other cities of Nepal. The main bus station is situated at Bhanu Chowk, near the clock tower. All the long-distance buses and city bus/micro-vans/tempos start from this point. Bhanu Chowk is the city center.
Barahachhetra is a Hindu pilgrimage site that remains between the confluence of Koka and Koshi rivers in Barahakshetra, Sunsari. This place is one of Nepal's oldest shrines mentioned in Puranas including Brahma Purana, Varaha Purana, and Skanda Purana and even mentioned and glorified in the Mahabharata epic. In Barahachhetra, the Varah, an incarnation of Vishnu is worshiped. Barahachhetra is taken as the most important pilgrimage site in the eastern region of Nepal. This place is located at about 5 km northwest from Dharan. There are 9 temples including that of Laxmi, Panchayan, Guruvarah, Suryavarah, Kokawarah, and Nageshwar and many hospices in Barahachhetra. Statues of more than 1500 years old have been found in this place.
Furthermore, this region lies at the Terai plain and connected with the East-West Highway, so it is more convenient and easily accessible to visit the places of this region at a low budget too. The places mentioned here are somehow popular and yet to be explored more to the national and international markets. The new touristic destination is in the introduction phase.