Bhim Chapagain

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Published On: September 22, 2018 09:00 AM NPT By: Bhim Chapagain

Ilam a destination for religious tourism

Ilam a destination for religious tourism

Ilam sees a big influx of tourists, especially during September and October. The eastern province of Nepal -- notable for tea plantation -- is also renowned as a religious destination. In addition to embracing natural beauties the region holds, a large number of devotees also visit Ilam citing its religious values. 

Mai Pokhari
Mai Pokhari, located 2,121 meters above sea level is naturally gifted. Along with the breathtaking landscape, it is also a popular religious site.

Tula Ram Poudel, the priest at Mai Pokhari Temple, stated that the pond had nine angles, each with unique religious values. Mai Pokhari was said to be built by mixing water of nine different religious ponds. The vegetation of the region is another distinctive feature of Mai Pokhari. 

Pathibhara Temple
Pathibhara Temple of Kulbhung is located near the Mechi Highway. Its pleasant environment and natural beauty have helped the region gain prominence among visitors. 

Pathibhara of Taplejung is considered the elder sister of the Pathibhara Temple of Kulbhung. Therefore, people unable to visit Pathibhara of Taplejung visit the Pathibhara Temple at Kulbhung. 

Larumba Temple 
Larumba Temple of Ilam is a major religious site for the followers of the Kirat religion. The temple, situated at Mangsebung Rural Municipality, is known for discarding the culture of animal sacrifice. Also, alcohol, cigarette, tobacco, and other consumable hazards are prohibited inside the temple premises. 

Every year during November/December, a huge festival is organized to mark the birth of Kirat Guru Atmananda Lingden. Devotees attend this ceremony wearing  white dresses. 

Karthok Naamgyaaling Monastery
Karthok Naamgyaaling Monastery, situated in Sandakpur Rural Municipality-4, is known as the birthplace of various Buddhist monks in different time intervals. Their wisdom helped spread Buddhism in countries like Bhutan, Bangladesh, Korea, Sri-Lanka, and Taiwan. It is believed that these monks turned into gurus after attending classes in the monastery for three years, three months, three hours, three minute and three seconds. The monastery, built 25 years ago, lies atop one of the tallest hills of Ilam. 

Saangecholing Monastery
Saangecholing Monastery is 134 years old and is located in Maijogmai Rural Municipality. It is believed that the monastery was built in 1883 AD. The head of the monastery, Pemba Lama, teaches Buddhism to the students of the monastery. District education office, Ilam, provides funding to run the classes.

Gajurmukhi temple 
Gajurmukhi Temple is another famous religious site of Ilam. Not just in Ilam, the temple is equally famous among the devotees from Jhapa and Morang. The ease in transpiration facilities has helped its popularity increase in various other parts of Terai as well. However, the unmanaged roads have led to a decrease in the number of tourists, especially during the rainy season.

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