Sindhuli (Nepali: सिन्धुली जिल्ला) is one of 75 districts of Nepal. It is around 100km from the country’s capital, Kathmandu and sits just a couple of hours away from the Indian border to its South.
Sindhuli district is part of province no. 3 and sits within the ‘Janakpur’ zone of districts. It has an area of 2,491 square kilometres and a total population of 296,192 according to the census 2011. The district itself has many provinces and you can read more about those here.
Although it is not a well-known district – and sometimes altogether confused for its headquarters Sindhulimadhi – it has a beautiful landscape, a peaceful community and an important history.
Before it came into existence as a district, Sindhuli played an important part of Nepal’s history. It was fully covered with jungles and wild animals, such as elephants, rhinos, tigers and leopards. Some of the areas were part of the King Makwanpur and Udaypuer before the unification of Nepal.
When King Prithivi Narayan Shah attacked and conquered Kirtipur, the King of Kathmandu was terrified and asked help from General Kinloch: the British army’s East India Company.
When King Prithivi knew about it, he considered where the British army would come from. Sindhuli was the way through which people travelled from India, to Kathandu to Tibet. With the British soldiers confused and in a new territory, Gorkhali soldiers raided them from the fort of Sindhuli Ghadi and inflicted a heavy defeat on the incoming army.
It’s said that if Gorkha soldiers were defeated, Nepal would not be the independent country it is today. As such, Sindhuli’s significance in the history of Nepal cannot be overstated, and people of the district are incredibly proud of this.
After King there was the Rana dynasty and a palace was built on the site of Sindhuli Ghadi. In this palace an administrator of the wider region lived. When the Rana dynasty ended in AD1950 after this King Mahendra formed 75 districts around AD1961, Sindhuli district was one of them.
Places of Interest
This famous fort where the fight between the Gorkhali and British army. Located close to Khaniya Kharka along the now BP Highway. There are a few monuments of the palace and fort which can be seen. The temperature here is much cooler than other areas of Sindhuli.
Sindhuli is home to many important religious temples in beautiful locations. These include:
Kamalamai Temple – A famous temple with huge religious value amongst Hindus. This is the temple of Goddesses. It is situated between Kamalamai river and Gaumati river. It Is 9km away from the highway.
Siddhababa Temple – This is another major religious place of worship where Hindu priests previously lived. It is situated 5km away from Sindhulimadhi and is over 1030 metres above sea level.
Lendreng Chulithum – This temple sits on top of a hill 18km to the east of Sindhulimadhi. It sits almost 1900 metres above sea level and the cool temperatures add to atmosphere of this deeply religious location.
There are many caves in Sindhuli if visitors would like to explore!
Madru Ganga Babadham Cave – A very beautiful cave which contains images of many Hindu gods. According to local legend, it is believed that the statue of the goddess inside was not built by any person. It is located east of Sindhulimhadi and to get there you travel through Jarayo market towards Tilgenge.
Sarbesiddreswor Mahadev Cave – This cave is great to visit anytime apart from Monsoon (June – August). Go East from Sindhulimadhi through Gadaula from there you walk around 9km towards Analekhel Dovan and from there walk uphill where you will reach Pipal Bhanjyang School. From there walk again 7km towards Simale where you will reach the cave. The cave has religious significance.
B.P. Koirala Highway (BP Highway)
The incredible structural feat of the BP Highway was built in stages between the years 1996 and 2015 It spans over 98 miles and connects Kathmandu to Bardibas. This great road is a real joy to drive in a car, bike, or even the local public bus. Just make sure you are prepared for a windy journey!
As well as a smooth ride, you’ll experience beautiful views and will be sure to be welcomed with a smile if you need to stop off for food or tea along the way.
Things to Do
Beautiful Scenery – Take in the views of mountains, rivers, valleys, streams, caves, temples and loads more!
Drive the BP Highway – Enjoy the views and the ride of this amazing road. You’ll see many bikers travelling this road and stopping along the way to take in the views.
Experience Authentic Nepal – The people of Sindhuli will always welcome visitors with a heartfelt Namaste. Enjoy delicious local food and open hearts across the whole of this district.
Travel to Everest Base Camp – Whether you want to avoid the flight to Lukla, or simply want to enjoy the scenery along the way, you can travel to Everest Base Camp through Sindhuli. You can stop off at one of the many hotels along the way for food or an overnight stay and not worry about any flights! Take the bus or local vehicles from Kathmandu, Sindhulimadhi or Khurkot.
Rafting – If you’re feeling adventurous, the Sunkoshi River running throughout Sindhuli is one of the best places to go rafting. However, it is not yet as big as other areas. If you’d like to enquire, head to Khurkot or Sindhulimadhi and ask if there are any trips being planned.
If you’d like to read more about areas of Sindhuli, click here.
This page is deeply indebted to Mr. Dilip Kumar Thapa’s ‘Cultural, Touristic & Historical Mirror of Sindhuli’, originally printed in Nepali. Parts of this page have been taken and adapted from this book, especially the History and Places of Interest sections.