Politically located at Sangurigadhi Rural Municipality -6 of Dhankuta district and Dharan Sub Metropolitan City- 4 of Sunsari, Bhedetar is the wow-worthy hill station of Nepal.
Famous for Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism, Bhedetar is mostly loved for its beautiful and volatile weather pattern.
Natural magnetic Bhedetar was bereft of much touristic activities until couple of years ago. These days, this place, situated at an altitude starting from 1420 meter from the sea level, hosts many exciting activities in and around. Here are 10 shortlisted activities in this most popular hill station of East Nepal.
Paragliding was commercially introduced in state 1 since October 2015. The takeoff station of the pioneer adventure sport is on the southern slope of Bhedetar called 'Chhoti Morang'. Bhedetar is the only hill station in state 1 with paragliding facility. You need to preorder your flight with Dharan Sky Adventure Paragliding that costs Rs. 6000 for Nepalese and foreigners. The flight starts from 1250 meters above the sea level and lands at 390 meter height of Dharan-14, Bijayapur.
Since 7 March 2020, Zip line came into official operation in Bhedetar. This 650-meter-long zip line starts from welcome gate of Bhedetar and descends to Debhithan of Dharan-4. The thrilling 45-seconds journey is offered in three categories namely classic, superman and tandem. For Nepalese the costs for these three categories start from Rs. 1200 to 2000 respectively. For SAARC citizens and from the rest of the world, the cost varies from 15 $ to 22 $ depending upon the category.
An ancient fort named Sangurigadhi is located nearby Bhedetar. It is just 1.5 kilometer away from Bhedetar and can be reached within 25 minutes of moderate walk. This fort was a strategic point for various ancient rulers of east Nepal. It is also a natural view tower to glace Himalayas, hills and Terai plains of Nepal. The local body (Sangurigadhi Rural Municipality) is also named after this important fort. Politically located at Sanghirigadhi Rural Municipality-6 of Dhankuta and Dharan Sub Metropolitan City-4 of Sunsari, this fort works as a border point between two districts of hills and plains.
Hike to three hilltops
Bhedetar Bazar itself is a hill station. There are other three beautiful nearby hilltops namely Sailung Danda (1450 m), Okhre (1700 m) and Dhawaje Danda (2040 m). All these hilltops are reachable by roadways plus few minutes of hiking.
Sailung Danda is the nearest one and can be reached within few minutes from Bhedetar square. It is popularly called Charles Point as UK prince Charles visited this place in 1980s when a 52-kilometer-long roadway linking Dharan and Dhankuta was being constructed with an economic assistance of UK. A view town is made in this hilltop. Second must-visit hilltop with view tower is Okhre Danda which is some 6-kilometer away from Bhedetar. Likewise, the third and the tallest hilltop is Dhwaje Danda which is 14-kilometer away from Bhedetar.
From all these hilltops, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Makalu and other adjoining peaks are visible in crystal clear skies. It is said that all 16 districts of east Nepal and some parts of Bihan and West Bengal of India are also seen from these hilltops.
Namche, located at 3-kilometer away from Bhedetar bazar, was an unknown place until the first week of December 2011. On 7 December 2011, Namje was listed as one of the ''12 best places you've never heard of'' by American news channel CNN. Recommended as the best place to CNN by Stephane Odegard, founder and president of Odegard Inc, said to CNN, ''After my trip to Namje, I felt like I'd never farther from home.
The native Magar people live very close to nature, and there is an incredible amount of spiritual activity.'' After getting global fame, Namje has been evolved as a famous homestay venue in east Nepal. According to homestay operator Anilkumar Rana Magar, Namje homestay can accommodate 120 guests in a day. Magar culture, tradition and cuisines are attractions of this homestay. An individual can have a wonderful stay in less than Rs. 2000 per day.
Travel to Namaste waterfalls
Locally known as 'Simsuwa Jharana'' Namaste waterfalls is the only beautiful waterfalls nearby Bhedetar. It is just 8 kilometer away from main bazar of Bhedetar. This is more than 50 meter tall and is frequented by travellers both from Nepal and bordering states of Bihar and West Bengal of India. Previously an unknown venue, Namaste waterfalls was brought into limelight by Hotel Association of Bhedetar in 2069 BS. Of late, this has been a major touristic place of Bhedetar.
Selfies in 'Shankha' and Aatmaghar
2071 BS, Sculpture artist Rojan Rai designed a beautiful Hindu ritualistic musical instrument Sankha (conch shell) at the heart of Bhedetar. This 65-feet-height and 25-feet-width landmark sculpture spans on 1 ropani of land of Bhedetar donated by generous locals.
Likewise, at Namje (1585 m), an attractive place named 'Aatmaghar' (home of spirits) is constructed by American architect Travice Price in 2069 BS. Price assembled stones from 231 graves of this place and made a collective grave. It has been an instant attraction of the place. People frequent these two places for their memorable selfies.
Travel to Rajarani Taal
Rajarani Taal translates as 'king queen lake'. This natural lake is at an altitude of 1500 meter above the sea level. Beautiful lotus flower is seen in the middle of this lake. Locally known as 'Mayawarak' and 'Pawarak' in indigenous Limbu language, this lake contains two little ponds called 'Sude daha' and 'Kali daha'. 5-hour-long walk or 1-hour-long vehicular ride takes you to this probably the biggest lake of mid hills of state 1.
Reach to two religious shrines
Though known for its nature and adventure, Bhedetar is also a venue with religious significance. It has two religious shrines named 'Pathibhara' and 'Bishranti' temples.
20-minute-long walk from Bhedetar bazar is enough to reach Pathibhara temple revered both by Hindu and Kirati faith-followers. It is believed that devotees' wishes are fulfilled after worshiping in this famous temple originally headquartered at Taplejung, a far eastern district bordering both China and India.
Bishranti temple is another famous religious shrine located on the bank of holy and rafting river Tamor. This temple houses around 50 senior citizens with free food, housing and treatment. 1-day Tamor rafting to Chatra of Sunsari is made from the premises of this temple.
Bhedetar is also a good shopping venue for varied locally grown products. Avocado, local hilly fruits and green vegetables are loved by shoppers from Nepal and neighboring Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal. In addition to this, Churpi (hard cheese) and famed coconut biscuit of Dhankuta are among the shopping menu of Bhedetar.
(Author is Chairperson of Federation of Nepalese Tourism Journalists State 1 Committee and can be reached at email@example.com)