Location: Southwestern Nepal near Lumbini
How to reach: Regular bus services are available from Kathmandu and other cities. Nearest Airport is Pokhra that has regular flights from Kathmandu.
Attraction: Tansen Durbar and Bhairabsthan
Situated at the height of 14,000 feet above the sea level, Tansen is a small ancient hill town that falls on the way from Pokhra to Lumbini. The place is famous for its cultural heritage and traditions. This all-weather destination in Nepal offers some excellent mountain views. On a clear sunny day, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Gauri Shankar and other peaks can be seen. Tansen is also famous for its Caps and other handloom items. Dhaka, situated in the outskirts of Tansen, is the hub for handicraft industry. The Newars are the people who painstakingly enriched the architecture and culture of Tansen, and this very fact can be witnessed even today.
Tansen Bazaar is the must visit place in Tansen. Rana dynasty buildings and Newari houses that have carved windows mark the Bazaar. The temples that are built in Pagoda style are the distinct feature of Tansen Bazaar. The market is usually bustling with people in the evening. Another important building is Palpa Ranighat that is set on a massive rock bed at the bank of the Kali Gandak River. The Palace Garden, Stone Walls and a small shrine are something that can be appreciated in this palace. This palace was built in 1892 by Governor Khadka Shamser in memory of his wife Tej Kumari and is popularly known as" The poor cousin of Taj Mahal".
Nevertheless, the most important architecture in Tansen is Tansen Durbar or Tansen Palace. This 64-room palace that lay in the middle of the downtown Tansen is a subtle representation of arts and crafts of the ancient city. In fact, the palace at Tansen comes second to the Royal palace in Kathmandu in terms of grandeur and splendors. The Maoist rebels, during the exchange of fire with the security personnel, destroyed some part of the palace that housed many government offices. Now, that the king has been subdued and agreements have been stuck with the Maoists, many buildings that were destroyed are in the process of restoration.
Apart from that, you have the temple of Bhairabsthan to visit. The temple is just a 5 kilometers trek from the downtown Tansen. The temple is dedicated to Bhairabnath, the Nepalese god of destruction. The place witnesses an annual fair that is very gruesome. Scores of animals are sacrificed in front of the deity in order to please him. From here you can view various Himalayan Peaks including the famous trio of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Machhapuchhare.
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