Okhaldhunga District falls in the Eastern Development Region of Nepal in the Everest Zone. There is a legend that Okhaldhunga, considered to be a hilly district in terms of geography, belonged to the kingdom of Mithila ruled by King Janak in ancient times. It is also said that during the Mahabharata period, Bhima ate paddy with the help of a musal on a deeply carved rock like Okhaldhunga.
Similarly, during the Mallaka period, King Laxminarasingh Malla of Kathmandu sent Kazi Bhim Malla to this region during the expansion of the kingdom and his army came to this place after conquering the East and killed the Kirats who were ruling the state. The name of this place is Okhaldhunga. The rock cover has been kept safe along with the Siddhicharan Park located in Ward No. 5 of Siddhicharan Municipality under the present Okhaldhunga District.
Political division of Okhaldhunga District
After the unification campaign of the then Shri 5 Prithvinarayan Shah, under the administrative division of Kazi Bhimsen Thapa, Okhaldhunga, Khotang and Solukhumbu were the same area as the 32 districts of the Middle East. At that time, the present Okhaldhunga was the former headquarters No. 3. Later in Bikram Samvat 2018 BS, King Mahendra divided 14 zones into 75 districts and moved to Okhaldhunga district in Sagarmatha zone.
It is bounded on the east by Khotang, on the west by Ramechhap, on the north by Solukhumbu and on the south by Sindhuli and Udaipur districts. Politically divided into two constituencies, the district has 10 areas including one municipality and 50 VDCs. The district headquarters Okhaldhunga Bazaar is in the present Siddhicharan municipality. Area Administration Office and other government offices will be established in Khijifalate VDC in the north-western part of the district so that the citizens of this district, which is mostly west of the district headquarters, can easily get administrative and other government services.
Occupying a total area of 107,400 hectares, the main markets of this district are Okhaldhunga, Rampur, Rumjatar, Manebhanjyang, Khijifalate, Khanibhanjyang, Koshhat, Ghorakhori etc.
Geographical location of Okhaldhunga District
Located at an altitude of about 390 m (Jotirghat) to 3627 m (Lamjedanda) above sea level, the district stretches from 27-8 ‘north to 27-32’ north and longitude 86-11 ‘east to 86-41’ east in the world map. Dandakanda, Bhirpakha, Kholsakholsi, forest, tar, basi, etc. This district has a diverse topography and can be divided into three main parts.
1. Bessie area
Occupying 15% of the area of Okhaldhunga district i.e. 161 sq km, this area consists of low lying river and river bank lands. Although agriculture is the main occupation of the people in this area, fruit farming, vegetable farming, animal husbandry, fishing etc. are also done by the people of this area.
2. Central hilly region
The central hilly region occupies 65% of the total area of the district i.e. 698 sq. Km. The district headquarters Okhaldhunga as well as Rumjatar also fall in this area. Paddy, maize, wheat, millet, fapar, zucchini, vegetables, fruits, animal husbandry etc. are cultivated in this area.
3. Lekali area
Covering 20% of the total area of the district i.e. 215 sq km, this area has a thin settlement. Most of the land here is sloping and rocky. In this area thin maize, potato, barley, wheat, uva, apple etc. are cultivated and also sheep and buffalo are reared.
Okhaldhunga district is considered rich in water resources. The rivers and waterfalls here are considered important not only for hydropower and irrigation but also for tourism.
Dudhkoshi River, Likhu River, Thotnekhola, Sernakhola, Khanekhola, Khankhola, Lanekhola, Dunekhola. .
Major waterfalls: Pokli waterfall (131 m), Ratmate waterfall (111 m), are prominent. Other waterfalls include Sepli, Dhikure, Serna, Selele, Nyaule, etc.
Cultural and tourist importance
Okhaldhunga is rich in cultural features of multi-ethnicity, language, religion, culture and mixed society. The society formed by Chhetri, Brahmin, Rai, Sunuwar, Tamang, Sherpa, Newar, Gurung, Vishwakarma, Pariyar and other castes is a symbol of “unity in diversity”. Dashain, Tihar, Hile Jatra, Lakhe Jatra, Lhosar, Sakela, Chandinach, Dhwangkumotra New Year, Udhauli, Ubhuli, Christmas etc. are the main festivals here. According to the 2068 census, the district has a population of 147,997 out of 31,741 households, of which Hindus (82.3%), Buddhists (12.5%), Christians (3.4%) and Islam ( 0.1%) and others (1.7%) are religious.
Major religious areas of Okhaldhunga District
Kakani (Shree Champadevi) temple in Bilandu VDC ward no. The temple of Goddess Pokhara in Pokhara, Bhairavasthan in Dayale VDC, Singh Devi temple in Kuibhir VDC ward no. The major religious areas of the district are Raghuvireshwar Mahadev Temple, Saraswati Sthan, Kalika Devi, Jalpadevi, Bhimsen Sthan, Vatuk Bhairav, Ganesh Temple, Thakle and Kirateshwar Jhankri Cave on the border of Manebhanjyang VDC.
Major tourist destinations:
Pokli Jharna, Thamdanda and Lagalgedanda (for scenery) in Pokli VDC of the district, Historical Okhala shaped stone (Okhaldhunga) in Siddhicharan Municipality, Birthplace of Yugakavi Siddhicharan Shrestha (Siddhicharan Park), Rumjatar (Radipakhi) Famous for) etc. are the major tourist destinations here. Similarly, Dembadanda is also a place with great potential for tourism. There is a footpath from Pokli to Pike Danda of Solukhumbu via Demba. Tourists use this route to reach Everest.
Apart from this, Okhaldhunga district is considered to be the gateway to reach the base camp of the world’s highest peak, Everest, by land. Okhaldhunga can be an excellent resting place even for those who come to visit Haleshi Mahadev of Khotang, formerly known as Pashupatinath.
Arts and Literature of Okhaldhunga District
Okhaldhunga district is rich in arts and literature. Okhaldhunga is the birthplace not only of Sant Gyan Dilwas and singer Melavadevi, but also of the famous poet Siddhicharan Shrestha (1969-2049) and Byakul Myla, the composer of the national anthem of Nepal.