The District of Martyrs; Okhaldhunga
Okhaldhunga is the administrative headquarter of Okhaldhunga district. The city gets its name from ‘Okhal’ which means a grinding stone. There are many ancient stories about how the place got its name. It is said that during the Mahabharata period, Bhim had eaten his food by beating rice in a deep holed stone like Okhal. For the evidence, a large grinding stone still lies at the district headquarters, which is also named Okhaldhunga. Similarly, it is also said that during the Malla regime, King Lakshmi Narsingh Malla of Kathmandu has sent his troops for the extension under the leadership of Bhim Malla while reaching to this place, conquering the eastern parts. They ate food by beating rice in a deep holed stone like Okhal by displacing Kiraats ruling Okhaldhunga, so this place named, Okhaldhunga.
Okhaldhunga is the birthplace of a famous poet and writer Siddhicharan Shrestha known as the 'Yug Kawi’ of Nepal. According to the census of 2011, Okhaldhunga has a population of 1,47,8984. The major cultural practices and the predominant language used here are Tamang, Rai, Nepali, Magar, Sherpa, Newari, Sunuwar, Gurung, Satar, Mathali, Limbu, Abadhi and Bhojpuri.
Some Highlights of the City
Khijee Tholedamba; Trekking to see scenic views of snow-capped mountains Sagaramatha, Kanchenjunga, Gaurishankar, Tholedemba, Taklung, Rawadelu and many others.
Ancient Forts like Okhaldhunga Gadi, Taluwa Gadhi, Chisankhukot, Chyanmakot Gadhi.
Crystle Clear springs and waterfalls like Pokali, Lipu, Patle, Sepli, Raatmate.
Gumbas like Tolu Gumba, Riyal Gumba, Dolakhark Gumba.
Chandi Devi Temple.
Rafting in the Sunkoshi River and Bhote Koshi river.
Famous for Slate stone and copper mines and Coffee, Cardamom.
Siddhicharan, Okhaldhunga is only 220km from Kathmandu and takes about 6 hours to reach. There is no direct highway connection to the city. So, it might get bumpy and also can be a chance to experience the off-road of Nepal. However, the easy option is to fly to Rumjatar Airport. This airport has been able to connect the people of Okhaldhunga with cities like Biratnagar, Kathmandu and Lukla. Nepal and Tara airlines have been providing their service through Rumjatar Airport.