Have you ever admire the beauty of Ilam? There’re lots of beautiful places to visit in Ilam, go through this detailed journal.
Ilam is one of the hill districts that lie in the eastern development region of Nepal. The hill station is best known for its tea gardens and is one of the most developed areas of Nepal. The places’ unique culture and bio-diversity attract a lot of tourists every year.
It is one of the visited tourist destinations for vacationers travelling to the eastern part of Nepal. It lies in between the Himalayan ranges and offers a wide variety of places which attracts a lot of visitors in the summer season. Today in this article, we have enlisted the ten must-visit areas of Ilam in 2020.
Where is Ilam in Nepal?
Ilam lies in the eastern side of Nepal in Province No. 1. It is one of the famous hill stations in Nepal and covers an area of 1,703 km sq.
The altitude of Ilam ranges from 3,636 m to 140 m and is bordered by Darjeeling, India in the east, Morang and Dhankuta in the west, Jhapa in south and Panchthar in the north.
Where Does Ilam get its Name?
The name of the place is taken from the Kiranti language where Il stands for twisted whereas Lam stands for the road. In general, Ilam means a twisting highway which can be experienced while travelling to this place.
It is also sometimes referred to as Charkhol, meaning the junction of four rivers; Jogmai, Mai, Puwamai, and Deaumai.
Is Ilam famous for Tea Farming?
Ilam is mostly known for its tea gardens and tea, which are of export quality. The most excellent tea from Ilam is exported to several countries in Europe. Besides tea, the place is also known for being the leading producer of cardamom, ginger, potato, and broom.
The climate in Ilam is tropical, subtropical, and temperate, which attracts a lot of vacationers to this place.
The hill station is home to rare birds and animals like red panda, black bear, thar and trees like rhododendron, Chimal, chaap, and sal.
Ilam is also known for its cultural diversity and is home to Nepal’s ethnic groups like Limbu, Rai, Taman, Magar. Gurung, Newari, Sherpa, Chamlingg, Bantawa, Lepcha, Sunuwar, Kulung, Sampang, and Yakkha.
Which are the 10 Best Places to Visit in Ilam in 2020?
The district of Ilam is separated into 6 rural municipalities and 4 urban municiplaities, amongst which Ilam, Deumai, Mai Municipality, and Suryodaya are the major ones. As per the cenus of 2011, the tea capital of Nepal has a population of 290,254 people which might have increased by 2020.
List of 10 Best Places to Visit in Ilam
- Antu Danda
- Mai Pokhari
- Sandakpur (Sandakphu)
- Kanyam and Fikkal (Phikkal Bazaar)
- Siddhi Thumka
- Gajur Mukhi (Gajurmukhi Devisthan)
- Pathibhara Devi
- Mai Beni
- Todke Falls
- Hangetham and Choyatar Forest
As mentioned above, today in this article,
We have listed the 10 Most visited Sites in Ilam You Mustn’t Miss in 2020.
1. Antu Danda
While in Ilam, Antu Danda is one of the places you can’t miss. The site offers spectacular views of sunrise and sunset in the Himalayas. Danda in Nepali means hill and the area is located at the height of 2,328 m from where you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Terai region, witness terraced paddy farming, thick pine and conifer forests, and tea gardens that lie down below Antu.
On a bright sunny day, one can also enjoy the spectacular views of hill stations in India like Kurseong, Darjeeling, and Mirik from Antu.
It takes about an hour’s drive to reach Antu Danda from Pashupatinagar and 3 hrs (approx) from Ilam Bazaar. Once in Antu, you can stay in the popular local resorts/lodges or at a cozy home-stay.
2. Mai Pokhari
Another major attraction of Ilam is Mai-Pokhari (pond) which has nine corners. The beautiful lake is amidst a thick jungle of juniper, fir, pine, and birch.
The place boasts of flowers like rhododendrons and orchids, and if you are lucky enough you’ll get to some rare species of animals like red panda, musk deer (Kasturi), porcupine, leopard, jackal, and many others.
Mai-Pokhari also has a religious significance and is considered a holy pond dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati. Annually a fair is held between October and November which is attended by Hindus and other religious groups from Nepal, India, and Bhutan.
Mai Pokhari lies at a distance of 18 km from Ilam Bazaar and can be reached within 30 mins drive in a private cab.
3. Sandakpur (Sandakphu)
Sandakpur is located at an elevation of 3,665 m in the Nepal-India border. In India, it stretches in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal.
We can reach Sandakpur from Ilam by taking a car to Maimajhuwa Khorsanitar. From there, after a trek for 5 hours we can finally arrive at Sandakphu.
Once at Sandakpur, we can enjoy the majestic views of the world’s highest mountains like Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Mt. Kangchenjunga (8,586 m), Mt. Makalu (8,485 m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516 m), and Mt. Kumbakarna (7,710 m).
The place is best known for bird watching, and you can see Nepal’s national bird Danfe (Himalayan monal) in the area. Sandakpur is also home to rare animals like musk deer and red panda.
4. Kanyam and Fikkal (Phikkal Bazaar)
Ilam is famous for its tea gardens, and Kanyam and Fikkal have shrubs that have been planted more than 140 years ago.
Kanyam is famous amongst both inbound and outbound tourists who come to take photos, sightseeing, and picnic.
Fikkal is one of the business centres of Ilam and the hub for tourists arriving from Darjeeling, India. There’s a weekly haat held on Thursdays where local farmers and vendors come to sell their products.
5. Siddhi Thumka
Lying at the height of 1,693 m, Siddhi Thumka is situated about 18 km away from Ilam’s Ajambare Danda. The place is famous for sunrise and sunset and spectacular views of mountains Everest and Kangchenjunga and ranges like Mahabharat range and Churia range.
Besides these some other popular destinations in Siddhi Thumka are Khandrung cave, Fulbari, Pankhelung falls, Namthala, Ratopani, Singhadevisthan, and Falgunanda Manghim temple.
The rice paddy fields and orange farming on the south-eastern side of Siddhi Thumpka is a significant attraction for agricultural tourism.
6. Gajur Mukhi (Gajurmukhi Devisthan)
Gajur Mukhi is a famous Hindu religious site in the eastern region of Nepal. This sacred place lies at the height of 500 m near the river banks of the Deumai Khola.
Rumour has it that devotees who visit this holy place will be blessed with a child, whereas speechless will be granted a voice.
Gajur Mukhi Devisthan lies about 40 km away from the main Ilam Bazaar. There is huge Mela (fair) held annually on the day of Kartik Purnima (November).
7. Pathibhara Devi
This temple of Goddess Pathibhara is the most visited holy places in the eastern part of Nepal. It is regarded as a sister temple to the original Pathibhar Devi in
Taplejung, and those who can’t afford to visit the original one at 3,794 m can visit this one which lies just above Sunmai.
The religious site is located in Hanspokhari and lies just above the Ilam-Mechi highway.
8. Mai Beni
Mai Beni lies in the foothills of Ilam and is the junction of two holy rivers Mai Khola and Jogmai Khola. Its located about 3 km away from the main market and is famous for the temple of Lord Shiva.
Thousands of worshippers visit Mai Beni to take a dip in the holy waters on Manghe Sankranti which falls in January.
9. Todke Jharna(Falls)
It is the second-longest waterfall of Nepal with a height of 85 m. Todke Falls lies at an elevation of 1,600 m about 40 m west from Mai Khola or Mai Beni.
The place is a major attraction for tourists who come here to take photos of the majestic waterfall which looks like its pouring out from the heavens.
Another waterfall in the area is Dhappar Todke falls which lies in the Dhappar area of Mai Majhuwa.
10. Hangetham and Choyatar Forest
For forest conservation activists and nature lovers, Hangetham is the place to be. Located on the north-eastern side of Ilam, Hangetham lies in the Jamuna VDC at the height of 2,170 m.
The place is known for its varying weather conditions, dense fog, which green forests, and the incredible views of Ilam.
Hangetham and Choyatar forest are best known for housing animals like red panda, leopard, thar, charibag, black bear, thakthake, and rajpankhi. It is home to birds like munal, eagle, kandevaccur, and many others.
The forests are full of rhododendron, chap, sunakhari, bante, katush, chiraito and other species of trees.
While in Hangetham you can also visit a Buddhist monastery located nearby, Naya Bazaar and Thumke.
Besides these places, there are also many tourist destinations in Ilam. Some honorary mentions are:
- Sati Devi Mandir
- Singha Bahini