Ilam district is one of 14 districts of eastern Nepal which is a Hill district and covers 1,703 km2 with a population of 290,254 according to 2011. The municipality of Ilam is the district headquarters, which is about 600 km far from Kathmandu. Ilam attracts many researchers who come to study about rare birds and the Red Panda. Ilam stretches from the Terai belt to the upper hilly belt of this Himalayan nation whose name Ilam is derived from the Limbu language in which “Ii” means twisted and “Lam” means road. This place has religious importance. The Devi temples are one of the great importance attached and many people come here just for pilgrimage.
Places To Visit in Ilam:
Shriantu: Antu Hill situated in the far east of Ilam, famous for viewing the sunrise. Many of the flatlands of the Terai, Mirik, Kurseong, Darjeeling along with beautiful tea gardens can be viewed from this place.
Sandakpur: Situated in the north of Ilam, Sandakpur is the main touristic place from where Sunrise, sunset, Mount Kanchenjunga, Mount Everest, all parts of Ilam district and Darjeeling in India can be viewed from this place. Varieties of animals like musk deer and red panda and rare species of birds like pheasant can also be seen here.
Mangmalung: This is situated in the middle of the forest at the upper part of Ibhang and is the important religious place for the Kiratis which is regarded as the origin of the Kirat religion. There is also a cave of Matrika Kirateswar and a festival is observed every year with great pomp and show.
Chhintapu: Kanchenjunga along with most parts of Ilam can be viewed from here. 11 types of rhododendron, rare birds, butterflies important for a research study, important herbs like yarshagumba (aphrodisiac) and Paanch Aaulay and rare animals like red panda and musk deer are found here.
Maipokhari: This pond is situated at the top of Maipokhari and Sulubung. It is 188 sq hecter in an area with a radius of 750m which have nine corners. This pokhari is situated in the middle of the forest with rhododendron and magnolia campbelli is important from the point of view of natural scenery, religious importance, and pilgrimage to the goddess.
Pathibhara: Pathibhara situated at 10 top of Kutidanda and Haaspokhari in Mechi Highway is called as small Pathibhara regarded as the younger sister of Pathibhara in taplejung district. From this hill covered with green forest, one can have a view of Terai plains, Mahabharat Range and Mt. Kanchenjunga.
Ilam Bazaar: It is the district headquarter of Ilam and is situated at the altitude of 1208m. This is the city of houses and temples that reflect its own originality and geo-structure and old tea gardens. The oldest tea factory and tea gardens in Nepal belong to here. Small cozy and economic wooden houses which reflect their originality and rich sculptural tradition are the center of attraction for visitors.
Pashupatinagar: Pasupatinagar is adjoined with Darjeeling of India situated in the far east of the district which is one of the entry points to India. The cheese factories are very famous in this area.
Fikkal: Fikkal is situated in the east of Ilam Bazaar and lies along the Mechi Highway. It is one of the oldest marketplaces of Ilam and is being developed as the main business center for agricultural products.
Mangalbare: This is one of the main markets situated in the south of Ilam. This place is known for the collection and distribution center of all the agricultural products of Ilam.