Dhankuta is located in Dhankuta District of Eastern Nepal. It is a hill town and the headquarters of Koshi Zone. It is a large town with good views and mild climate. Dhankuta is popularly known as ‘Queen of Hills’ for its scenic beauty.
The best way to experience the wilderness of Dhankuta is to take a walk through the forest of salla (pine) trees that surround it on all sides. The serene greenery, chatter of monkeys and hum of birds will work their magic and take away your tiredness. Make sure you visit the haat bazaar (local market), a feast of goodies.
It lies at an altitude of 1,200 meters above the sea level and is famous for its orange groves and leafy scenery with the backdrop of the mountain streams, their crystal clear waters and the green pine and oak forests. It also serves as the base for trekking in the Kanchenjunga region.
Newari, Kiranti and Indo-Aryan groups mainly constitute the population of the area.
Dhankuta is linked by excellent highway from Dharan. Regular bus services are available. Dhankuta is easily accessible via motors and also a trek of about five hours uphill from Bijaypur takes you to this ancient town. Moreover, you can trek off the road through the many small wayside villages with tea houses and bazaars which takes about two days to reach here.
Dhankuta is a wonderful place to visit in the summer and monsoons. The aura is instantly cooler, fresher, and greener as soon as your bus moves upwards from the foothills of Dharan. The wandering roads leading from Dharan to Dhankuta are very delightful. Don’t miss these places if you are planning to travel Dhankuta.
Sailung Danda or Bhedetar, an ever misty place, lies halfway between Dharan and Dhankuta. It is named after the sheep (bheda) that were grazed in the plains (tar). As you go up the Charles View Tower located a little further from the bus stop, you can actually feel the fog seeping in on you. Prince Charles stopped by this point in the 1980s, leading to the tower’s English name. The tower allows a breathtaking view of Saptakoshi and serpentine roads.
It’s a good idea to stay overnight in Bhedetar to enjoy the awesome sunrise next morning from Dhaje Danda, 13 km ahead. You can also walk ahead to the Namaste waterfall. The paths are a bit slippery, hence quite adventurous. It is absolutely worth it when you reach the pristine waterfall that washes off all your worries.
Once you reach the sturdily built Tamor Bridge at Mulghat, you know that Dhankuta has arrived. This is the best place to spend a day with friends, as you can watch the raging Tamor River from the banks, and also sign up for rafting. If you want to go for a swim, rush to the nearby Leuti stream. Another place to visit in Mulghat is the Vishranti temple, with an old-age home fashioned commendably around it.
The peaceful surroundings, where elders give out their blessings and sing hymns, could inspire you to volunteer and do your bit for society! Shivaratri is extra special in Bishranti.
Once you’ve had your fill of the market, it is time to visit another beautiful hill station -Hile, the entry point of trekking trips to Kanchanjunga and Makalu. Thirteen kms upwards of Dhankuta, Hile is immediately recognised by the huge structure of tongba (a millet-based alcoholic beverage) jar constructed right at the crossroads. And indeed, Hile’s tongba and sukuti (jerky) are to die for. Hile is to be visited for its panoramic views, and an amalgamation of religions can be seen in the presence of numerous churches, temples and monasteries existing side by side. From Hile, you can drive five more km to reach Pakhribas, which offers you a chance to visit temples and observe tea plantation.