The queen of eastern Nepal ‘Illam’ has been pleasing tourist since long time and these are must visit places in Illam
Illam, the land of lush tea gardens is gem of the eastern region of Nepal. By roadways Illam is 700 km east of Kathmandu; you can easily find bus or a micro from Koteshowr or kalanki that you take you to Illam. If you wish to visit by airways a 45 minutes flight from TIA will take you to Chandraghadi Airport in Jhapa district. From chandraghadi airport you can get on a bus that will take you Illam.
Illam is not only famous for tea garden there are many other famous things that Illam produces. Aalaichi (cardamom), Amriso (a special plant used to make broom), Akabare (a special chili), Aduwaa (ginger), Pahade Aalu (hill Potato) and Chhurpi (a special preserved cheese product). All these products are sold all over the country and are also exported in the international market.
Sandakpur the famous trekking destination of the eastern region is situated at an elevation of 3,636 m. The peak of Sandakpur is also known as sandakphu which is divided by the border of Nepal and west Bengal, India. Famous among both domestic and international tourist sandakpur is famous for magnificent view of Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. The trek starts from Illam bazaar and you will pass through Mai Pokhari, Maimajhuwa, Mabu, Kala Pokhari Bikhe, and finally Bhyanjyang Sandakpur.
New road have been well maintained so, now you can easily reach Sandakpur by vehicles too.
On the lap of the world’s third tallest mountain ‘Mount Kanchenjunga’ lays Shree Antu. The hill of Shree Antu is at an elevation of 2,328 meters above sea level. A three hour ride from Illam bazaar will take you to Shree Antu ar you can trek from Illam bazaar. Mesmerizing sunrise and sunset can be seen from shree Antu which is the main attraction. Green forest and lush tea garden will surround you all the time. Siddhi Thunka and Chhintapu are the popular places to watch sunrise and sunset. From shree Antu you can see panoramic view of Everest and Kanchenjunga. Apart from mountains and sunset you can peek the hills of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Mink from Shree Antu.
Situated at an elevation of 6000ft. Kanyam is known as the queen of the eastern Nepal. Kanyam is famous for its lush green tea garden. It is the first place where massive amount tea plantation was done. Late king Birendra initiated this idea of lushy tea garden with location from where panoramic view of mountains could be seen. The area of Kanyam tea garden is 240 hectare and produces about 125 thousand kilograms of tea. The Kanyam tea factory is located at an elevation of 5500 ft. above sea level. Chilling weather and greenery have made Kanyam famous for picnic and Honeymoon.
A star shaped pond with nine corners known as Mai Pokhari another must visit place in Illam. The nine corners are dedicated to nine different gods. The Mai pokhari is in between dense forest, the pond keeps the vegetation around it alive and the vegetation adds more beauty to the pond. Reflection of mountain and blue sky creates a work of art in the surface of the pond. Mai pokhari is important religious site to both the Hindus and the Buddhists as there is temple of goddess Bhagwati by the pond. You can experience boating watching blue sky, mountain and green forest in the pond.
Sano Pathibhara Temple
The temple of Sano Pathibhara Devi is a major religious site in Illam. It has similarities to the Pathibhara in Taplejung district. These both temples are believed to be the sisters and the one on Illam is the younger sister of the Pathibhara Devi temple in Taplejung. The devotees make resolutions (Bhakkal) in the temple and offer the goddess with different things.
Eastern Nepal is less visited by tourists in compare to other region but there are many places that could easily fascinate tourist. Eastern region of Nepal is far from capital that may be the reason why tourist wouldn’t explore. Tourist need to know that eastern Nepal is the easiest location to explore and has it all Mountains, hills and terai (plain ssLands).