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Nepal > Nepalgunj (Nepalganj) > Nepalgunj travel guide

Nepalgunj Travel Guide



Nepalgunj (or Nepalganj) is a town in Nepal near the Indian border[1] and is home to the second busiest airport in the country. Many visitors find this latter fact difficult to believe. The first impression that most people get when they step out of the airport is that Nepalgunj is too hot and dry. The town has the reputation for being the hottest and driest in the country. When a seasonal dry wind sweeps through, temperatures in Nepalgunj can reach up to 50° Celsius (112°F).[2] Nepalgunj is located about 12 miles south of Kohalpur.[3] The town is the hub in Nepal’s far west, a center for trade and transportation. It also has the largest population of Muslims in the country. In fact, about 70% of the town is Muslim.[4]

Attractions
Nepalgunj is easily mistaken for an Indian town. Hinduism is the main religion and trade takes place near the Bageshwari Mandir behind a statue of Shiva standing in the middle of a pond under a gazebo, looking like an amateur thespian.[5] This temple is one of the most important for Hindus and is the only one of its kind.[6]

You should also try to visit the Chor Bazaar (Thieves’ Market), which is a network of narrow alleys. You’ll find market stands and stalls as well as various textile traders in this area. [7]

Most tourists of Nepalgunj skip the Royal Bardiya Wildlife Reserve and head straight for the riverside tented camp run by the Tiger Mountain Group. There, visitors can enjoy fishing, bird-watching, and wildlife viewing. The all-inclusive packages, however, are all arranged and sold in Kathmandu at hefty prices.[8]

Culture
Nepalgunj is known for its diverse culture. It is home to people practicing different religions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam with the majority practicing the latter. There are also people of different ethnicities. Unfortunately, this mixture of different cultures and ethnicities has recently led to some conflicts. A riot in late 2006, for example, broke out between the Madheshi and Pahades people causing the death and injury of dozens.[9]

History
Before the war between Nepal and the British in 1814, the region of Terai which encompasses Nepalgunj belonged to the Nawab of Oudh, a principality. The British returned Terai to Nepal after it helped them out in the 1857 Indian Mutiny. Today, Nepalgunj is dominated by Muslims who continue to maintain strong business and family ties with India just four miles south.[10]

References:
Burbank, Jon, Rosha Bajracharya, and Kesang Tseten. Nepal. New York: Prentice Hall Travel, 1993. ISBN: 0671879138.

“Nepalgunj.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepalgunj>

[1] Nepalgunj
[2] Burbank, 189
[3] Nepalgunj
[4] Burbank, 189
[5] Id.
[6] Nepalgunj
[7] Burbank, 189
[8] Id.
[9] Nepalgunj
[10] Burbank, 189







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Rick
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