Located just a stone’s throw from Nepal’s border with India, Nepalgunj is a vibrant city on the Terai Plains. It’s home to one of the most important Hindu temples in Nepal and within easy access of wildlife-filled Bardiya National Park, as well as the traditional Tharu villages of the Deukhuri Valley.
Things to do
In the heart of Nepalgunj stands the Bageshwori Temple, which is depicted on Nepal’s one rupee coin. Dedicated to the Hindu goddess of war, strength and protection, the temple complex features a statue of Lord Ganesha and a pond temple honouring Lord Shiva with a moustache, which is one of only two such temples in Nepal. Coincide your visit with the morning and evening prayers or experience the family bonding atmosphere of the annual Dashain Festival.
To the north of Nepalgunj sprawls Bardiya National Park, a 968-square-kilometre tract of alluvial grasslands and subtropical deciduous forests that’s an important habitat for Bengal tigers. Join a guided jungle walk or jeep safari to spot the park’s resident Indian elephants, swamp deers and one-horned rhinoceros, then embark on a scenic rafting expedition down the Karnali River.
If you’re interested in Nepal’s cultural heritage, you can spend a day visiting the Tharu villages that dot the Deukhuri Valley. Indigenous to the Terai, the Tharu people have inhabited the lowland forests for hundreds of years, with village visits offering a fascinating insight into their fallow shifting cultivation and spiritual beliefs that are intertwined with the natural environment.
Nepalgunj Airport is around 15 minutes' drive north of Nepalgunj’s city centre and has regular flights to destinations across Nepal. Buses and mini-buses connect to nearby Kohalpur while the closest train station is just across the Indian border in Rupaidiha. Rickshaws are available for getting around Nepalgunj.
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