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|— District —|
|• Total||3,646 km2 (1,408 sq mi)|
|• Density||35/km2 ( 91/sq mi)|
|Time zone||NPT (UTC+5:45)|
Taplejung District (Nepali: ताप्लेजुङ जिल्ला Listen (help·info), a part of Mechi Zone, is one of 75 districts of Nepal, a landlocked country of South Asia. The district, with Taplejung as its district headquarters, covers an area of 3,646 km² and has a population (2001) of 134,698.
The name Taplejung is derived from the words "Taple" and "jung". Taple was the medieval Limbu king who used to rule the area and "jung" in the Limbu language means fort. Literally, Taplejung means Fort of King Taple.
Taplejung has an airstrip with commercial flights to Biratnagar and Kathmandu. A road connects the district headquarters with the Tarai plains. Most of the population are involved in agriculture, and the vegetation zones range from sub-tropical to temperate forests, alpine meadows, and snow, and ice.
Taplejung is one of the most beautiful areas in eastern Nepal, with a spectacular landscape, Himalayan peaks of heights above 7000 meters and a wide range of flora and fauna. Alpine grassland, rocky out crops, dense temperate and subtropical forests, and no river valleys make up the region. Taplejung occupies an area ranging from 670 meters to 8586 meters (Mt. Kanchanjunga) above sea level.
One of the major attractions is the Pathibhara Devi Temple. This little known region attracts tourists seeking spiritual fulfillment and blessings from the powerful Pathibhara Devi. Hindus and Buddhists reach the temple for celebrations during special occasions. The trek to Pathibhara Devi (3794 m) combined with the natural and cultural experiences of the region make the visit a unique exhilarating experience. It takes a day to reach the temple on foot from Taplejung Bazaar. On the way to the temple one can find many species of rhododendron.
The shrine of the Pathibhara Devi temple is on a mountain at 3794 meters in the east of Nepal. The temple is holy for Hindus and Buddhists.
The goddesses Pathibhara is said to make dreams come true. The myth is that shepherds suddenly lost a lot of sheep in this area and that Pathibara appeared in their dreams. She promised that the sheep would return if they would offer a few to her. And so they did.
Pathibhara lies in the junction of three VDCs: Tapethok, Limkhim and PhawaKhola VDCs 19 km distance from Taplejung Bazaar (Phungling). The journey to Pathibhara starts from Suketar Airport (2840 m) which is about 1.5 hours walk from Phungling Bazaar. Pathibhara Devi is about 5–6-hour walk from Suketar.
Suketar is only STOL airstrip in Taplejung district and is connected to Kathmandu and Biratnagar by scheduled flights. From Suketar the Pathivara trial passes through Deurali, Ramitedanda, Chhatedhunga, Bhalugaunda, Phedi and finally reaches Pathibhara Devi temple. The trial offers food and lodging facilities. Basic accommodation facilities are also available for pilgrims near the shrine.
The best time to visit is from March to June and September to November.
To reach the Pathibara temple you have to walk for around 10 hours from Suketar. In Suketar is a small airport that can be reached from Kathmandu or Biratnagar.
A good idea is to visit Pathibara Devi temple in combination with the Limbu cultural heritage trekking or on your way to Kanchanjunga base camp.
- Olangchung Gola
For those wanting to travel Taplejung by road there are two options:
- From Kathmandu to Birtamod (about 500 km, which takes approximately 14 hours), and then from Birtamod to Taplejung Bajar (about 300 km, the road from Birtamod to Phidim, the district headquarters of Panchthar district is a metallic one and from there on, some sections are metallic while others are being black-topped).
- Travel from Kathmandu to Dharan (about 450 km) and from Dhran to Dhankuta, Hiley, Sindha, and Basantapur. After Basantapur travelers have to walk. Walking through the jungle of Gufaa is exciting.
The airport in Suketar (under renovation) can only accommodate aircraft Short Take-off and Landing (STOL).
- Districts of Guam at statoids.com