In Nepal, wherever we go, we are surrounded by hills. Being such a common sighting, we rarely tend to give it much attention or thought. But if we were to look closely, we would see that we have missed quite a bit there. The reason I’m saying this is because I recently visited Tansen in Palpa which changed the way I look at hill and the hilly region completely.
A day long drive from Pokhara or a few hours’ drive away from Bhairahawa can take you to this small hilly town. Situated in the lap of lush green pine forests, Tansen used to be the capital of the Magar kingdom before the Shah dynasty. Situated on top of the hill, a mesmerizing view of the Annapurna Mountain can be seen on the north seen while flat green land can be seen on the south.
Walking through the steep narrow winding alleys, you will feel like you have turned back time and are reliving history. A part of the town ‘Taksaar’ still has old houses and people here follow the traditional method of making ‘karuwa’. Karuwa is a traditional utensil for drinking water and a famous souvenir from Palpa. Another souvenir is the traditionally woven fabric called ‘dhaka’ – the same fabric that is used to make the ‘dhaka topi’.
A must visit place in Palpa is Rani Mahal in Ranighat. Rani Mahal is a palace built by Khadga SJB Rana in 1893. Build on the banks of Kali Gandaki River, the palace was built in the memory of one of his wives whom he loved the most. Thus the palace is also taken as a symbol of love. You have to see Rani Mahal and experience its grandeur at least once in your lifetime as no description will do justice to it.
For those who seek holy places wherever they go there are temples like Rishikesh in Ridi, and Kal Bhairab temple near Tansen which has the largest ‘Trishul’ in Asia. Palpa can be a good tourist destination for both Nepalis and foreigners. It just needs to be put on the map of touristic destinations so as to attract those who go to Pokhara and Lumbini.