It was a passing conversation with a friend about Purba (Eastern) Nepal that steered the conversation to Dhankuta. “Let’s all go to Dhankuta” she said. Without a thought I replied “Yes, let’s make it happen”. Two months later, Parakram, Seetashma and I were on our way to Dhankuta! While I’ve been to Bhedetar before, which is in Dhankuta District, I’ve simply not been beyond. I was excited!


During our long weekend in Dhankuta, we based ourselves in Dhankuta Bazaar. We travelled to different locations within the district and beyond and returned to spend the night. This meant that we didn’t have to pack and unpack every night and it also offered us more time to see the bazaar at its different moments. Slow travelling is something I am trying to push myself to do more… to take it easy and enjoy the pace of the place itself rather than arriving and moving around like a hurricane.

So a little quick history about Dhankuta! Yay? Up until the early 1960s, Dhankuta Bazaar was the administrative headquarters for the whole of North-Eastern Nepal. Arguably, you can call it the heydays of the bazaar then. If we go further back to the 1930s, Dhankuta Bazaar was the only place in Nepal outside of Kathmandu valley that had a high school! Soon after, the district opened a girl’s high school and a college. Pretty good start for Dhankuta! Dhankuta has produced many people of interest who have gone onto do well politically such as Surya Bahadur Thapa and Narendra Prasad Rijal or in the literary scene of Nepal such as Jhamak Kumari Ghimire.

Orange City


The traditional houses along the narrow road in Mathillo Kopche is where you will find majority of the houses painted in the colour orange. Historically, Dhankuta is known for producing oranges. Unfortunately that that has decreased over the years, yet locals decided to come together to honour the orange association by painting their homes in the colour (with their own money). Today, the stretch of road that meanders along the orange homes make for a beautiful walk! You will see some homes that have probably been there for many years and seen a few generations of a families. Annually, the Orange City also hosts a mela during the Nepali New Year! Perfect time to plan your visit.

Chintang Devi Temple


Chintang Devi Temple is a Kirati and Hindu temple located in the district, in the Chintang locality. The drive to the temple offers beautiful views of the district and will take just over ninety minutes. The temple is visited by many people from all over Dhankuta and beyond. If you’re planning a religious trip then you can go further to Barahakshetra from Chintang Devi aswell. An interesting thing about the temple is that women, usually 10 or older, are not allowed to enter the temple. Even though I am not religious, it was nice to see a temple right in the middle of so much greenery! There are very old trees that shoot right up from the temple block. Another fascinating thing is that the temple’s priest is a Kirati man. The name Chintang comes from one of the seven daughters of Budhahang and if you’re wondering who Budhahang is… he was a Kirat Rai King of Khalsa territory of Eastern Nepal. Want another interesting fact about Chingtang? This was also the place where local farmers led an uprising against Nepal’s monarchic state in 1979 where 15 people unfortunately died.


If you fancy a nice coffee straight from the machine then head over to this cosy little café called Roduwa Coffee Ghar. It’s right by the bus park in bazaar and offers a nice range of coffee, cookies and cake! I think there may be more on the menu. The coffee ghar was started by a lovely gent who was working in Kathmandu and later returned to do something in his own home district. Stories of fellow Nepalis like this are quite nice to hear and it’s always nice to support their ventures. Every new day, it seems that more and more people are leaving to go overseas or to shift their base to Kathmandu, so our visit to Roduwa offered a nice coffee and a story.


Hotel Talle Ghar in Kurmitar is a spot where you can get mouth-watering local dishes. From sukuti, tongba, pork sekuwa to chicken bbq items, you can get it all here! Evening is when the hotel comes to life with people and visitors stopping by to try out the delicious food and enjoy the cool breeze of Dhankuta.


This small concrete park in the heart of Dhankuta seems to be the spot where locals gather for chit-chats whilst enjoying a cup of tea! If you happen to walk around Dhankuta Bazaar then it’s worth stopping by and checking out the tree that is surrounded by the aquarium! I was rather impressed that no one had attempted to crack open the aquarium. You’ll also see a stunning mural of writer and Madan Purashkar winner Jhamak Kumari Ghimire. Ghimire was born with Cerebral Palsy and writes with her left feet. She also comes from Dhankuta!


In recent years production of avocado has been on the rise in Dhankuta. The district has honoured this by creating an avocado park and having a statue of an avocado right in the middle. The park offers beautiful views and is well kept and maintained. It’s a nice spot to enjoy some peace or simply observe all the life around you.

While we’re on the topic of statues and fruits, you will find that the district (and probably neighbouring ones too) has many chowks and bazaars with unique statues of fruits and things! Hile Bazaar has the iconic tongba statue in its main roundabout and there’s a place called Kagatay with a ‘kagati’ statue. There’s also a cauliflower and laliguras statue which I spotted on our drive to Terhathaum. Of course there’s the Sankha statue in Bhedetar, start of Dhankuta District.


From Dhankuta Bazaar you can enjoy a day trip to Terhathum and visit the popular Cholung (or Chotlung) Park in Basantapur. The park is a stunning space where Limbu heritage, village home and artefacts are kept.  

Cholung Park – Limbu heritage village


The drive to Tinjure is a little bumpy and requires the right vehicle. If you come during the right season, then you will be surrounded by over 30 varieties of rhododendron. We visited at the end of May and due to weather this spring season, the rhododendron flowers were not as rich or blooming as usual. I believe April is the ideal time! Make sure you pack a nice jacket for your trip to Tinjure as it can get quite chilly! We got as high as 2400-2500m and it was pretty cool! Some people go higher than this so prepare well – especially if you are staying over.


We took a flight from Kathmandu to Biratnagar which took a cool 40 minutes or so and got a vehicle that drove us all the way to Dhankuta Bazaar. The roads along this entire belt make the drive a pleasant experience and the views gradually get better after you leave Dharan and start the uphill. The 50km (approx.) Dharan Dhankuta road is a popular route and was quite an example for its engineering back when it was made in the late seventies/early eighties by the UK Government.

For people travelling from Purba (Eastern) Nepal itself, Dhankuta is next door to Dharan. It’s ideal to hire a car/jeep for a day or two to visit all that Dhankuta has to offer and also its neighbouring districts.


While we did not stay at Hotel Murchunga in Dhankuta Bazaar, it is by far the most comfortable option that I can recommend. We had a quick tour of the hotel and this is the perfect spot for your visit. It’s located right in the Orange City part of the bazaar! So, it’s a visual treat! The hotel comes with its own gym, sauna and steam – ideal! After all the tongba, sukuti, sungur (pork) ko masu, your body will definitely needs a bit of shake up. It also offers a nice view from a height of the bazaar and Tundikhel.

Keep up with the posts… I’ll be sharing more about Dhankuta soon. Of course, follow my social channels over on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Search lexlimbu and it should be fairly easy to see me. My Dhankuta posts will be supported with more photos and videos on the social platforms.

Happy Planning and Happy Travelling!

Lex Limbuhttps://lexlimbu.com
Lex Limbu is a non-resident Nepali blogger based in the UK. YouTube videos is where he started initially followed by blogging. Join him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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