Archives for category: Dhankuta

On a lazy Saturday afternoon I decided to kill some time by visiting western parts of the Kathmandu valley that is not necessarily on the tourist map.  I decided to visit Mathathirtha VDC, then head south and east to Macchegaon VDC and move on to Kirtipur Municipality, which is one of the five municipalities within the Kathmandu Valley.  In order to reach Mathathirtha VDC and its waterspouts, I first reached Kalanki Chowk, and headed west on the Kalanki-Thankot Highway for some two kilometers to Sattungal.  I took a left here and headed south and west towards the famous Mathathirtha waterspouts.  These waterspouts are visited by thousands of people where they bathe during the Nepali version of “Mother’s Day” which falls in late Spring.  Then I headed south and east towards Machhegaon.  Macchegaon is a VDC that lies somewhere between Mathathirtha VDC and Kirtipur Municipality.  At Macchegaon I visited Bishnu Devi Temple and Macche Narayan Temple.  Then I headed east towards Kirtipur Municipality and spent some time at the Kirtipur Thai Pagoda and the famous Baag Bhairab Temple – a landmark easily identified in Kirtipur vicinity.

A Boy at the Gates of Matatirtha Waterspouts

Matatirtha Temple and the Waterspouts

In Macchegaon VDC lie two famous temples – Bishnu Devi Temple and Macche Narayan Temple.  Macchegaon Temple is dedicated to the first avatar of Vishnu, Matsya the fish.  Thus, the temple is fittingly placed in the middle of a pond.  Matsya helped rescue Manu, the progenitors of the human race from a great flood.  The metaphysical aspects of the temple design cannot be more obvious.

Macche Narayan Temple

The Statue of Garuda at Macche Narayan Temple


Bishnudevi Temple which lies Nextdoors to Macche Narayan Temple

In Kirtipur, there is a nice pagoda built with the assistance of Thai Airlines.

Motorbikes and Electricity Poles


Thai Pagoda at Kirtipur


The Pagoda


The Monastery with Tribhuvan University on the Background

Bagh Bhairab Temple


In the Courtyard of Bagh Bhairab Temple


The Gate of Bagh Bhairab Temple

When I was in my hometown, Biratnagar, I had decided to go to Hile and Dhankuta. I started from Biratnagar, and the pictures below are from the road from Biratnagar to Itahari.

A Man on the Back of a Truck

A Factory in Tanki-Sinwari VDC

A Truck Loaded with Potatoes and Onions

Women Purchasing Fruits at Duhabi

Industrial Chimneys

Tea Stands along the Highway

A Water Tank Under Construction

A Scene from the Koshi Highway

Itahari Trafic Circle

Trucks in Itahari

Itahari in Sunsari District links Biratnagar to Dharan and other points on the East-West highway. If Itahari is beset by a bandh, then the whole of the East will be paralyzed. The Next Round of Pictures are from the Road from Itahari to Dharan.

The Highway from Itahari to Dharan

Southern Edge of Dharan

Dharan Tower

Dharan is a favorite place among the Purbelis as it is very clean and lies at the point where the foothills of the  lower Himalayas and Gangetic Plains meet, so one has the best of both the worlds in Dharan. Then I headed for the legendary road to Bhedetar, a Bhanjhyang. Bhedetar (also known as Charles Point) also separates Sunsari and Dhankuta districts and the road to Raja Rani and Dhankuta 6 No. which lie in western Dhankuta separates from Bhedetar.

The Road to Bhedetar

Dharan as Seen from the Road to Bhedetar

The Road to Bhedetar

A Khumbuwan Sign Near Bhedetar. Khumbuwan is the Name for a Seperate State of the Rai People and the Movement.

From Bhedetar, I went towards Dhankuta and stopped at the Bishranti temple which lies on the banks of the Tammor. The Tamor is one of the seven rivers which unite to give rise to the majestic Sapta Koshi, the biggest river of Nepal.

Bishranti Temple

People by the Banks of the Tammor River

Last Rites/Cremation on the Banks of the Tammor Near the Bishranti Temple

Then my next stop was Hile. The following pictures were taken on the way to Hile.

A Ride on the Back of a Truck

Rice Planting Season

This is what Dhankuta city looks like from far:


The Streets of Hile

A Student Lama Monk Studying in a Monestary in Hile

Prayer Wheels Spinning in a Monastery in Hile

Then on the streets of Hile,  I visited some shops where they sold gold ornaments. Here is one goldsmith at work:

A Goldsmith at Hile

Goldsmiths and their Equipments

More pictures of the balconies of Dhankuta.

A Gumba in Hile with Tibetan Style Balcony

Tin Strikes Back

From Biratnagar, I wandered off to the hilly district of Dhankuta. The hill town of Dhankuta is the capital of the district that it is named after and nearby is the town of Hile, an entrepot in which traders from Dhankuta, Tehrathum, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, western parts of Taplejung and Panchthar district gather. I have always regarded Hile as the Timbuktu of Purba. The traditional houses of Dhankuta have their own flavor, they are generally made of mud or wood, are multi-storied  and narrow and have wooden balconies . The Balcony is the nevus of the Dhankuta house. With cement and concrete devouring the old mud/wood houses, the balconies are finding themselves on the path to oblivion. In the era of apathy, I decided to be empathetic to these forsaken balconies of Dhankuta and Hile. Nepal is on the road to oblivion too due to the ruthlessness of our apathy. As the clouds of modernization and urbanization gather over Dhankuta, I wonder what little will remain of our identity, as manifested in small details like the balcony of a house.

Newari style window

Newari Style Window Balcony in Dhankuta

Insidious Steel Rods Creep into This Newari Balcony

Another Newari Style House in Dhankuta, with Flower Pots

The Titular Wooden Balcony (Above Kirana Dukan)

Rarity Even in Kathmandu: A Cast Iron Balcony with Wooden Framework. Possibly Imported from Calcutta

Two Storied Balcony House (Mud and Stone House with Cement Plaster)

Double Storied Balcony with Contrasting Construction Materials (Tin and Wood)

A Balcony Influenced by Mithila Art (Mud and Stone House)

Wide Angle View of the House in the Last Picture

Deep Purple

A Balcony without Railings Used to Showcase Flowerpots

Compartmentalized Balcony, (A Manifestation of Anshabanda)

This House Has Got Them Blues (Located in Hile)

The Rise of Tin