Situated in the western region of Nepal is the ancient district of Gorkha which is regarded as the land of the brave Gorkhali soldiers. Laying at the distance of about five hour drive from Kathmandu and four hour drive from Pokhara is the district of Gorkha where the brave King Prithvi Narayan Shah was born. With headquarters in the Gorkha bazaar, there aren’t any buses going directly to Gorkha, the travelers change bus or micros from Abu Khaireni.
Nestled in the mountains at the distance of about eighteen kilometers from Kathmandu-Pokhara highway is the ancient district of Gorkha which is the ancestral home of the Shah rulers of Nepal. This small town, no matter how popular or culturally and historically rich it is, does not target the adequate facilities available here for the tourist. Most of the lodges in Gorkha are found near the bus stops and the rates are relatively cheap.
One of the best places for sightseeing in Gorkha is King Prithvi Narayan Shah’s old palace, known as Gorkha Durbar that stands on a mountain ridge overlooking the ancient capital. The road from the bus stop passes throught the town’s Tundikhel and an army camp. A pond surrounded by some temples is also there and most of the ancient buildings of Gorkha were made by Newar craftsmen who were brought by the King to Gorkha during his return from Kathmandu. A structure standing close to the town center which was built in the 18th century is known as the Tallo Durbar and is believed to be the original site of the Gorkha palace before the rule of the Shahs had started.
The palace that stands on the ridge above the town is known as Upallo Durbar and is the home of the Shah Kings. A long flight of stone stairs needs to be climbed to reach the Upallo Durbar which takes about thirty minutes. From this palace built by Ram Shah in 1600s, the views of the mountain ranges look splendid. Later the palace had been restored and much has been added to its sprawling intersections. The palace also houses the famous temple of Kali known as Gorakhkali, who is also considered as the guardian deity of Gorkha and Gorkhalis. The temple lay inside the fort and you have a feeling of standing on the Great Wall of China, only smaller.
Another great attraction of Gorkha is Manakamana temple. One of the most popular pilgrimages in Nepal, Manakamana is said to be the manifestation of the Hindu goddess Bhagwati and is believed to have the power of fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. You can reach the temple by three hour hike uphill from Abu Khaireni or can take the cable car ride and reach there in 10 minutes, both the modes of transportation have their own unique and interesting attractions.
Besides these, other major attractions here are the Budhi Gandaki River, Chepe River, Daraundi River, Marsyangdi River, Trishuli River, Pokharithok, Bhimsen Thapako Ghaderi, Gorakhnath, Mahademandir, Bishnumandir, Ganeshmandir, Hanumandhoka, Bhimsensthan, Nala Gumba, Karjuchhiling Gumba, Rinji Gumba, Manaslu Gumba, Seti Gupha, Sidha Gupha, Bakreswar Gupha, Sano Dudh Pokhari, Thulo Dudh Pokhari, Tatopani and Bhulbulekhar among others. The district is accessible via roadways from Abu Khaireni.