The Allure of the Hills

Text by Anubhuti Poudel / Photo: ECS Media

Fikkal, with its tea estates, brilliant greenery and tranquility is one of the most visited destinations of eastern Nepal, liked by national as well as international tourists alike.

When it comes to nature, Nepal is the answer. For years now, Nepal has been the destination for nature lovers. The exotic locations, breath-taking views of the mountains, lakes large enough to resemble the sea, majestic mountains, gorges, glaciers and lush green hills have come to represent Nepal today. Though there are many locations that are a treat to the human senses, there are a few that one will immediately recall when thinking of Nepal. One such place is located in the far eastern hills of Nepal in Illam District – Fikkal.

Regarded as one of the most scenic places in eastern Nepal, Fikkal is located close to the Indo-Nepal border and is home to large tea estates, some of them a hundred years old. Sloped tea gardens stretch as far as one’s eyes can see. Fikkal is populated with Mongolian faces mostly and their unique culture makes for some amazing food. It is rather conveniently located too, some 700 kilometers away from Kathmandu by road, making for a scenic 18-hour drive. There are bus services available from Kathmandu and flights from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur or Biratnagar from where one can take a pleasant bus ride on winding roads that lead to Fikkal and Ilam past it. The picturesque beauty of the place is something that can only be experienced. The whole of Illam district is home to tea estates. What makes Fikkal special however, is its convenient location, unique culture and the endless beauty of its tea gardens. One can also partake in recreational activities such as picnics, sightseeing and short treks. The gentle slopes and fresh air ensure that you enjoy the tranquil beauty of the place.

Fikkal is linked with India via Pashupatinagar on the Indo-Nepal border and is regarded as the exit gateway to India from Nepal’s eastern border. It is also a business hub where goods from the mountainous regions of Nepal meet those from the Tarai. While Nepali and Indian tourists prefer the Pashupatinagar exit, other tourists prefer Kakkarbhitta, Jhapa, which is not very far from Fikkal either. In addition to the beautiful landscape, it falls near Mechi highway, which makes it an integral part of business in eastern Nepal.

The best part about Nepal is its cultural and geographical diversity. Fikkal is a perfect example of the combination of the two. For those who have had enough of the hustle and bustle of city life, it could be just the destination for a rejuvenating time. One of the major reasons behind Nepal being an ultimate tourist destination is its ability to offer amazing experiences to everyone. Be it wildlife or culture, everyone has something to see or experience. Nepal is the right destination for unique natural and historical heritage as well. For those who want to sit down and enjoy nature for its freshness, greenery, scenic beauty and tranquility - Fikkal beckons.