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About Dhulikhel

Dhulikhel is the administrative centre of Kavrepalanchok District, Nepal. Dhulikhel lies along the B.P. Highway and Arniko Highway. Arniko Highway connects Kathmandu, Nepal's capital city with Tibet's border town of Kodari. Dhulikhel is located at the Eastern rim of Kathmandu Valley, south of the Himalayas at 1550m above sea level and is situated 30 km southeast of Kathmandu and 74 km southwest of Kodari. The people in the village are Brahmin, Newars, Chhettri, Tamang and Dalit. Drinking water in Dhulikhel is one of the best water in Nepal. It was made with the Help of the German NGO, German Technical Cooperation.

History of Dhulikhel

Dhulikhel has for many centuries been an important trading center on the ancient commercial route linking Nepal to Tibet. Since time immemorial, people of Nepal traveled to Tibet to bring home salt and gold. Tibetans every year with their groups of sheep entered Nepal during Dashain, the greatest Hindu festival. They purchased chilies and other daily necessities in Nepal and returned to their homeland. The opening of the Araniko Highway, built with the grant help of the government of China in 1965 changed the life of Dhulikhel considerably. First, the town became reachable to foreign tourists. Second, the people of Dhulikhel now found it easy to travel daily by bus, car and motorbike to Banepa and Kathmandu for shopping, education and employment. Recently, though the town has transformed itself into a tourists' paradise with an array of all modern amenities.

'Dhulikhel' is well-known for its rich cultural antiquities. The local legend has it that the place derived its name from Newari word 'Dhunkyo': 'Dhun means 'Tiger' and 'Khyo' means 'Playing Area',. - thus implying an ancient forest, where tigers used to play. Dhulikhel remains a unique repository of Newar civilization - replete with numerous art and architectural monuments with a distinct local identity.

Location and Climate of Dhulikhel

Dhulikhel is the smallest town of Nepal in terms of population. It is situated only 30 Km east of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal on the Araniko Highway in the knees of Greenwood and at an elevation of 1,550 meter above the mean sea level and along the ridge that separates the valley of Panchkhal and Banepa. It looks as if Dhulikhel is busy in conversation with the Himalayan range on the north with a beautiful smile. This might be the reason why many people call this place as the 'Queen of the hills'.

Temples in Dhulikhel

There are several temples in the town which depicts an example of traditional and old Newari craftsmanship of Dhulikhel. These are important places of worship for local people. The core area of Dhulikhel has interesting narrow cobbled streets and lanes which are surrounded with number of Hindu temples and a few Buddhist Stupa.

Harisiddhi Temple
Alongside Narayan Temple there is the Harisiddhi Temple whose God responds to the worshippers' problems and sees their right and wrong doings. Both the temples are decorated with generous wood carvings and fronted by two Garudas in quite different attitude.

Bhagwati Temple
Bhagwati Temple is situated at the top of the western part of the town, it is considered as one of the best place to see around Dhulikhel and also to enjoy the best mountain views. The Gaukhureshwor Mahadev Temple is about 20 minutes walk to the east of the town near Tundikhel Recreation Park and is located in a peaceful and quite environment. Further up hill, one reaches, within half an hour trek, the Bhagwati (Kali) Temple. This is a beautiful pagoda that one can see on the skyline as one drives into Dhulikhel.

Narayan Temple
Narayan Temple is in the centre of the old town with its yellow metal roofs. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna whose birthday is happily celebrated here in August.

Festivals celebrated in Dhulikhel

People celebrate different festivals either they are from Hindu community or Buddhist community. The prominent festivals celebrated here are Bisket Jatra, Maagh Sakranti, Dashain, Tihar, Bhagwati Jatra, Gai Jatra, Nava Durha Jatra, Lakhe Dance, Krishna Astami Jatra, Hile Jatra, Hari Siddhi Trishakti Jatra etc.

The Mountains - A Tourist Paradise

The wonderful snow fed mountains seen from Dhulikhel must be one of the supreme panoramic views in the world. When a blue mist covers the lower portion of the mountains, they seem to be floating in the air. With the snowy mountains on the backdrop, Dhulikhel is a stage of enormous beauty and a heaven for nature lovers. Green inviting hills of which still virgin and some turned into wonderfully carved agricultural terraces cater to the beholders' pleasure.

Geographically, the plains rise up steadily up to the green mountains and further into the snow capped Himalayas. The landscape offers an amazing view of the Himalayan ranges extending from Mount Annapurna in the far west to Mount Karolung in the Far East. More than twenty Himalayan peaks including Mt. Lhotse (8516 m), Mt. Phuribichyachu (6637 m), Mt. Langtang (7234 m), Mt. Gaurishanker (7134 m),Mt. Annapurna (8091 m), Mt. Ganesh Himal (7429 m), and many others can be seen in their full splendor from the different vantage points in Dhulikhel. In short, it is the leading point for the mountain-oriented sightseeing since time immemorial. The eco-himalayan atmosphere will surprise anyone a memorable experience in lifetime.

The Old Town

The oldest area of the town at the southern end is an assembly of fine old Newari houses, often occupied by 20 or more members of the local extended families. They may not all have glazed windows, hot water or modern furniture, but they have dignity and a friendly atmosphere. Their most valuable assets are the beautifully carved windows and doors, fine examples of traditional Newari craftsmanship.

As one wanders down the traffic free narrow streets, one passes through a medieval city inhabited for at least five centuries and may have a feeling that it is in the garden of cultural theme park. The plan of the city is based on ancient Hindu planning doctrine with the shape, position, scale & dominance between buildings, temples, public squares all having their own meaning and harmony. There are organically developed compact settlements around Dhulikhel. These settlements in one hand conserved heat in the cold valley, and at the same time maximized land for agricultural use. One of such old settlements is Shrikhandapur, which lies 2 km west of the core city near the Kathmandu University, and is also a centuries old Newari and Magar settlement.

Modern Dhulikhel

Its long history and natural beauty has not stopped Dhulikhel from moving rapidly into the modern technologies age. The town is now in the forefront of Nepal's efforts to improve education, health provision and public services. Dhulikhel Municipality is trying to establish its identity in three important areas:

1) Dhulikhel for quality education
2) Dhulikhel for better health service, and
3) Dhulikhel as a tourist center

As the District Headquarter of Kavre district, Dhulikhel now is well-equipped with all the modern facilities like electricity, internet services, telephone, drinking water supply etc. The Dhulikhel - Sindhuli - Bardibas road and the Information Technology (IT Park) have further added the flavor in the development of Dhulikhel.



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