Nepal beyond mountains and hills

Published On: July 21, 2017 10:15 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Summer holidays in the mountains are definitely one of our favorite destinations. But what if we told you the excruciating heat in the plains will make for an unforgettable adventure? The best time to spot tigers and other wildlife in the reserves of Nepal’s Tarai is between the months of May and June. With those traditional folk dances and rich cultural heritage, Nepal beyond the mountains has a lot to offer. Here are some of the exciting holiday destinations in the southern part of Nepal that you didn’t know could be on your holiday bucket list.

If you intend to explore the far west of Nepal, this is definitely the place you must visit. Attached to the Indian boarder and having its own domestic airport, this city connects the far west Nepal to the rest of the country. The connectivity provides this place with an exciting cultural mix and a delightful experience for travelers.

Places to visit

Jokhar Lake

If you get tired from the hurly-burly of the city, Johar Lake is the place you must go to. This small yet beautiful lake is rich with lots of flora and fauna found in the region. For all those who love adventure, there is a trekking route to the adjoining jungle as well. For a remarkable rural adventure, cycling in Dhangadi is a must. The flat landscapes provide you with a favorable cycling environment. It takes around half an hour to reach Jokhar Lake from the main city. Cycling through the villages you can even experience the rural lifestyle.

Mohana Bird Watch

Mohana River Corridor is located around 1.7 kilometers away from the city. This place is definitely a delight to your eyes with more than hundred varieties of birds. The best time to go there for bird watching is from 6 to 7 in the morning.

The Tharu Villages

Tharus are the original inhabitants of Tarai who have been able to preserve their culture and their language to a large extent. You will find villages of this agricultural community around Dhangadi. Experts in their handicraft, this community will never fail to surprise you with their cultural richness. The way in which they have been able to protect and cherish their cultural dances and traditional costumes will surely make for a delightful experience.

Getting there

There are three direct flights from Kathmandu to Dhangadi every day. You can also take a bus directly from Kathmandu and you will reach your destination in approximately fourteen hours. 

National Parks and Wildlife Reserves in the Tarai region

Shuklaphanta National Park

Located in Mahakali District, the extreme southwest of Nepal, this reserve covers 305 sq kilometers. This reserved area has a huge reserve for floodplain grassland which is rare in South Asia. The grassland comprises of half of the reserves’ vegetation and this reserve has 700 species of flora. You will also spot numerous reptiles such as Indian rock python, monitor lizard, Indian cobra, mahseer mugger crocodile and Oriental rat snake. If you get lucky you might even spot a Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, and Swamp deer. The variety of birds will surely keep you rapt in this reserve with a total of 423 species of birds.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Situated in the districts of Sunsari, Saptari, and Udaipur, this wetland reserve comprises of mudflats, reed beds and freshwater marshes. Although the smallest wildlife reserve in Tarai, this is a paradise for the birdwatchers. Most travelers come to this reserve to spot endangered and rare species such as pointy-horned wild water buffalo, swamp francolin, Bengal florican and sarus crane. This wildlife may have a paucity of big species such as tigers and rhinos, nevertheless, Gangetic dolphins, blue bulls, deers, golden jacklegs, fishing cats and marsh muggers will definitely make your safari memorable. The best place to spot a Gangetic dolphin is from the bridge at Koshi barrage.

Parsa Wildlife Reserve

You know your trip is going to be exciting when you can spot the Asian elephant, Royal Bengal tiger, leopard, sloth bear, striped hyena, chittal, hog deer and jungle cat all in one place. This reserved area has more than 500 species of birds and the endangered species of the giant hornbill too can be spotted here. Rich in its natural diversity, this place is also home for numerous perilous reptiles such as the cobra, common and banded Karit, python, and the king cobra. There are very few places to stay in and around this reserve. Hence, you should either stay in Hetauda or Birgun, with the latter being just an hour’s drive away.

Blackbuck Conservation Area, Bardiya

Locally known as Krishnasar, the almost extinct population of blackbucks is found only in Khairapur of Bardiya District. The conservation area is spread across 173 hectares with 2016 blackbucks. Blackbucks are definitely one of the most graceful animals and they can be spotted in the grassland after every minute. They are famous for their jumping and it almost seems like they have springs on their feet. The best time to visit this place is from August to October. 

Janakpur is one of the most fascinating cities of Nepal. Rich in its culture and history, this place is a pilgrimage for the Hindu devotees all over the world. Known as the birth place of Sita, this place’s connection with the Hindu epic Ramayana makes this city even more captivating. According to the epics King Janak’s palace was located in the ancient city of Janakpur where he raised his daughter, Sita. The archeological evidence of such a city has however not been found. Sita was later married to Rama who is considered one of the powerful gods in the Hindu mythology.

Places to visit


Janaki Mandir: One of the finest examples of Nepali architecture, this temple is said to be built in 1912. Many believe that this temple is built in the place where King Janak found Sita in a furrow. It is a popular destination among the Hindu devotees who come to pay homage to goddess Sita. Beautifully embellished with intricate designs, the temple looks like an extravagant palace. The building with its Mughal style architecture is a truly mesmerizing piece of work.

Ram Mandir: Vibrant with vendors selling tika powder, colorful flowers and sacred threads around the place, this is a temple devoted to the Hindu god Rama. The pagoda style architecture of this temple is culturally very rich. On the opposite side of the temple there is Dhanush Sagar which is the largest ceremonial tank in Janakpur.

Ram Sita Bibaha Mandir: This temple is positioned next to the door of Janaki Mandir and signifies the place where Rama and Sita got married.

Ganga Sagar Lake

Among the numerous lakes in Janakpur, Ganga Sagar Lake is one of the most sacred lakes. Due to numerous religious connotations, this sacred lake seems to be filled with religious devotees performing their rituals during the festivals. The best time to visit this lake is in the morning or in the evening.

Villages of Janakpur

With their traditional Mithila style houses adorned with mud walls and customary art paintings of humans and animals, villages in Janakpur are rich in culture and art. The sugarcane field, and the lush green environment with their warm music and friendly nature are sure to steal your heart. Kuwa is the nearest village from the city. With its eye-catching wall arts and colorful paintings, the rural escapade is definitely waiting for you.

Getting there

You can take a flight from Kathmandu to Janakpur which will take about 25 minutes. You can even take a bus from Kathmandu and it will take around eight hours to reach Janakpur. The best time to visit this place is from August to October.   

Leave A Comment