Tansen, a small ancient bazaar and district headquarter of Palpa Nepal is the most famous for its local fabric Dhaka and Nepal’s version of the Taj Mahal, Rani Mahal. With plenty of things to do and to see, Tansen Palpa has been gaining popularity quickly, among solo and couple travelers. Tansen is a Newari trading town on the route from India to Tibet. Palpa is a lovely destination to visit for nature and culture enthusiasts, with its vibrant culture, laid-back ambiance, and stunning natural landscape. Tansen used to be the capital of Magar kingdom Tanahun and is situated between Pokhara and Lumbini, making Tansen a perfect stop-over destination on Nepal’s golden triangle tour Kathmandu – Pokhara – Lumbini -Chitwan – Kathmandu, Nepal.
In this blog post, we have compiled the best things to do in Tansen and Palpa district that will help you to experience Tansens’s laid back vibe and enjoy its cultural wonders.
1. Visit to Rani Mahal
Palpa is home to Rani Mahal (Queens Palace in Nepali), which honors General and governor of Palpa; Khadga Shamsher’s love for his young wife Tej Kumari Devi, who died a year before its construction started. Rani Mahal is a remembrance to her and therefore also called the “Taj Mahal of Nepal ”. Its surroundings and ghats beneath the palace which was constructed in 1894 are peaceful and wonderful. Located high above a single huge stone on the east bank of the confluence of the Ridi and the Kaligandaki river, a sacred bathing place for Hindus. Khadga Shamsher couldn’t enjoy it’s Rani palace very long. In 1902 he and his family flew to India, after which the palace was abandoned for a long time. Recently the Nepali government restored Rani Mahal and it is open for the public.
You can reach the Queen’s palace by car or hiking from your homestay in Palpa
2. Hiking in Palpa
Palpa is a great destination to visit if you like to hike. There are plenty of hiking possibilties, we listed here some of our favorite walks.
Hike to Rani Mahal
Hiking to the above described Rani Mahal is about a 2 hour mostly downhill walk. The trek from your Palpa homestay to Ranighat will offer you stunning natural beauty, views of mountain ranges, a tranquil waterfall, and breathtaking scenery. Hikers will enjoy the Ranigat trek, which passes through cornfields, rustic hamlets, lush forests, and tiny streams. Walking backup will take about 4 hours, alternatively, you can arrange to be brought back by car to your homestay again.
Hike to Aryabhanjyang
The ridge walk from Bagnaskot to Aryabhanjyang, offers stunning views of Palpa and beyond. Along this hike, you can interact with locals, see paddy fields and stunning landscapes with green hills and villages. You can either take a bus back from Arya Bhanjyang to your homestay or arrange a pick up.
Hike to the Bhairav Temple
The Bhairav Temple, dedicated to the fierce manifestation of Shiva is a famous temple among pilgrims, who visit the temple to worship and protect mainly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Bhairav god in this temple is so powerful that a human being can’t look directly at it. Offerings are made through a priest who worships Bhairav from behind a curtain. It takes about half a day hiking to reach the temple from your homestay. The temple which is located at a hilltop offers beautiful panoramic views of the mountains. It’s possible to order transport to bring you up so you only have to walk down.
Hike to the View tower of Srinagar Hill
To the view tower of Srinagar hill is a short walk up from Tansen Bazaar. From the tower, you have amazing views over the Himalayas, the Kali Gandaki river and Terai plains. You can also see the tops of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Langtang. When you look south you can see over the Madi valley west of Palpa and the Terai.
3. Shop for traditional Dhaka fabric
Tansen is the best place in Nepal to buy the famous Dhaka fabrics which come in nice color compositions and are great souvenirs. Dhaka is a cotton fabric made in handwoven with different complex patterns. Dhaka fabric is a traditional art form of the indigenous Limbu & Rai People. The famous colored hats Nepali men wear are made from Dhaka. Other famous Dhaka products are blankets, purses, and bags. The handwoven fabrics are a boost for employment opportunities to women of Palpa district.
4. Visit a Coffee Farm
The first coffee farms of Nepal were established in the Palpa Tansen district and are an important economic driver. Farming coffee for more than four decades, Palpa can genuinely be called Nepal’s coffee home. During a farm visit, you will get insight into how the organically grown beans are cultivated.
5. Sightseeing in the old town of Tansen Palpa
As a well-preserved ancient town, Tansen Palpa is a heaven for history and culture lovers with its many temples and old buildings to discover and explore. The old settings with streets full of cobblestones, take you back in time. The most important highlights are the Durbar Square with its massive entrance gate, and which houses a museum. The white Sittalpati, a curious octagonal pavilion in the middle of the main square of the town, was built by the same General who created the beautiful Rani palace. The oldest temple of Palpa Tansen, the Bhimsen temple, and the thee tier temple of Amar Narayan Mandir with its skilled wood carvings of deities and erotic postures. Besides being a historic town, Tansen is also a bazaar with plenty of shops and restaurants to enjoy.
Book a guide who will share the stories connected with the ancient buildings, and bring the rich history of Palpa alive.
6. Stay with locals in community homestays
Getting to know locals will make your travels in Nepal so much more fun and also informative. Stay in a homestay with a private room, basic western comfort, hot water and toilets. Your host families will make delicious meals for you, and they can help you organize your trips in and around Tansen. The homestays are located in a peaceful hilly environment. The highlight of staying in one of the six homestays of Tansen is drinking locally brewed coffee while enjoying the amazing views from the terrace.
And those were our best things to do in Tansen Palpa Nepal, Tansen is the destination for solo & couple travelers that love great views, coffee, history and culture.
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