Places to visit in Ilam
Ilam is a beautiful hill station in eastern Nepal. It is popular for tea with many beautiful and lush tea gardens in the hills of Ilam. Besides the spectacular views of the tea gardens, there are many other places to visit in Ilam. Some of the famous and popular places for visit in Ilam are as follows:
The beautiful hill in the district, Antu Danda is one of the best places in Ilam to view the spectacular sight of sunrise, sunset and the Himalayas. This 2,328m high hill overlooks the Terai flatlands, terraced hills of cash crops, tea gardens and thick pine forests. One can also enjoy the views of Mirik, Kurseong and Darjeeling on a bright and clear day. About an hour drive from Pashupatinagar and about three hour drive from Ilam Bazaar takes you to Antu Danda where one can stay at the local homes that offer home-stay facilities in the area.
The pristine lake amidst the natural forest is surrounded by the thick forest of fir, juniper, birch and pine and accommodates various species of flora and fauna that includes different species of orchids, rhododendron, herbs and rare animals like musk deer, leopard, porcupine and jackal and various birds and rare insects. An annual fair is held every year around the month of October or November as it is considered as the holy abode of Goddess Bhagawati. Mai Pokhari is about half an hour drive from Illam Bazaar about 18km.
Sadakpur is located at the height of 3,636m on the international Nepal-India borderline and provides panoramic views of the Himalayas like Mt. Kanchanjunga, Mt. Kumbhakarna, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Everest. The forest in this area provides shelter to the rare wildlife like red panda, musk deer and Danphe. To reach Sadakpur one has to go to Maimajhua Khorsanitar through Mai Pokhari first and then trek for about five hours from here.
Kanyam and Fikkal
The places with large tea estates in Ilam which has been famous for the last hundred and forty years are Kanyam and Fikkal. These estates are famous among the national and international tourists as a great place for picnic, sightseeing and taking photographs. Fikkal is also the business center in the area and falls on the Mechi highway on the way to Ilam.
One of the wonderful places to enjoy the views of sunrise and sunset in Ilam, Siddhi Thumka is located at an altitude of 1800m. The three hour trek from the Ilam Bazaar takes you to this places which provides spectacular views of Terai flatland, the Mahabharat range and the Churia Mountain range.
The second highest peak in Ilam district, Chhintapu stands proudly at the height of 3,400m. The area is rich with natural forests rhododendron that has around eleven species of rhododendron, herbal plants and various species of birds. Also available here are the rare herb Yarshagumba, wild animals like musk deer and red panda. The peak can be reached by three hours trek from Ilam Bazaar.
Besides these, there are many religious places to visit in Ilam as well. They are:
A stone tunnel on the bank of Deumai Khola carved with images of the Hindu deities in the west of Ilam Bazzar. It is at the distance of four hour drive from the center.
This temple of Devi in Ilam is believed to be the younger sister of Pathibhara Devi in Taplejung. The temple is in Hanspokhari on the southeast of Kolbung VDC, on the way to Illam on Mechi highway.
In Mai Beni at the confluence of rivers Mai Khola and Jogma Khola is the temple of Lord Shiva. It is about 3 km away from Illam Bazaar where thousands of devotees gather on Maghe Sangrati in January.
Narayansthan, Bhimsensthan, Singha Bahini and Sati Devi Temple are other places in Ilam that seeks visitor’s presence. Ilam is a beautiful place that could also be called as heaven in Nepal. For those who love nature and greenery Ilam definitely is a place to visit. It is one of the famous as well as favorite hill-stations in Nepal with the hills accommodating tea gardens. Also, Ilam is considered as the biggest industrial area for tea production in Nepal as the tea from here are not only famous in Nepal but worldwide.