Birgunj diaries

Published On: March 31, 2017 12:04 PM NPT By: Rabik Upadhyaya

It is said that every city has a life and personality of its own. If that is so, then Birgunj is like a vibrant and a little eccentric nomad who doesn’t live life by any set rules. Apart from its proximity to Raxaul, a major border transit point with India, and being a bustling metropolis for trade and business, the city is undoubtedly culturally rich and aesthetically pleasing as well. After the economic blockade last year, Nepalis probably have come to understand how important towns like Birgunj are to the country’s overall supply system.

I had always known Birgunj as an industrial city before I visited it for the first time. But it is much more than that. It’s a sort of an enticing mix much like the ‘chatpate’ that the city is famous for. I was there on an assignment and realized that it’s completely different from all the places I have traveled to so far. One should definitely try the variety of street food here and also take a ‘tanga’ ride to Raxaul, or one to the countryside in the evening to witness a glorious Tarai sunset. Contrary to popular belief these days, I didn’t find the place unsafe or mismanaged at all. Rather, I believe, it’s a place you must definitely visit to understand life in Tarai better. 

When you are in Birgunj, you might think the city could be so much better with a proper sanitation system especially when you see a street side open drainage. The city can also definitely do with less honking by the vehicles on the streets. But apart from these flaws, Birgunj can be delightful place to explore. Being a photographer, I found the place to be very well suited for street photography, its graffiti walls and colorful doors and alleys making for beautiful backdrops. And I clicked away to my heart’s delight, with every corner providing me another opportunity for a better photograph. The photos I present here showcase Birgunj at its vibrant best.

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