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Timber cottages and ramshackle homes cluster beneath the ridges of the Mahabharata here, while Gurkhas wander the streets and local tourHQ guides show off Shaivite temples and the views of Raja Rani.

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Dharan Tours



Strewn out between the misty valleys of the Lesser Himalaya, the charming town of Dharan sits encircled by dense banana forests, wild jungle and belts of ramshackle bamboo huts and houses. At its heart, visitors will find a surprisingly well-to-do grid of criss-crossing roadways threaded with neat cottages sporting shiny corrugated roofs, a place oddly apart from the ethereal and mist-clad Mahabharata mountain peaks that loom on the horizon. In fact, this town has been one of the most prosperous in Nepal since it was first commanded by the Limbu Kings. In the early 20th century it boomed on the timber trails of the British East India Company and later it became the prime recruiting spot for the formidable Gurkhas.

Today, that same prestigious and affluent vibe is carried on by the town’s acclaimed medical university, while more and more travellers are now arriving to seek out the Shaivite temples in recognition of its standing as a pilgrimage destination. The town is also a rising star on the adventure travel circuit and Dharan tour guides are quick to provide tips, be it on hand gliding in Bhedetar, hiking trails up Raja Rani hill for views of Kanchenjunga and Mt Everest, or the daring rafting courses of the Tamur River—perhaps all the way through to the teeming wetlands of the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve.

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