Tansen is a picturesque hill town lying on the lap of the well-known Shrinagar Hills, headquarters of Palpa district. Tansen is also the hub of Midwest culture of Nepal. The charming natural setting combines with its rich cultural heritage to give visitors a wholesome holiday.
Tansen offers enchanting walks leading to interesting sites, whether it is a day of traverse around Shrinagar Hills or few-days backpacking along River Kaligandaki. In addition Tansen qualifies as a pilgrim's choice, give its several Hindu temples.
Palpa was the seat of the Sen kingdom that ruled over this region from 16th century for almost 300 years, which gives it a historical touch. A specialty of the region is the much popular Palpali Dhaka, weaved here. The district varies from 250 to 2000 meters of elevation, while Tansen is situated at 1372 meters. Palpa is also near Lumbini, birthplace of Lord Buddha, and the popular city of Pokhara.
Tansen is in Palpa district, Lumbini zone. Tansen is approximately 296 kilometers and about 10-hrs drive from Kathmandu via Butwal. It is approximately 324 km from Kathmandu via Pokhara. Buses to Tansen ply from the central bus station, Gongabu, in Kathmandu. It is also possible to take a flight to either Pokhara or Bhairawa from where Tansen is approximately 3 to 4 hrs drive. It can be entered from India via Bhairahawa.
Good to moderate accommodation facilities are available in Tansen. There are also modern restaurants here that serve excellent Nepali and some even continental cuisines. Other tourist facilities are also available in Tansen
When to Visit
Tansen can be visited at any time of the year. While the climate of Palpa varies from tropical to moderate, Tansen is moderate to warm and lies between 28 degree Celsius as the maximum during summer and 8 degree Celsius minimum in the winter. The months of June and July have maximum rain.
Palpa has diverse culture and religion. It falls in the twelve Magar regions of West Nepal. Therefore, there are still predominant Magar settlements in some parts of Palpa district. Other inhabitants of Palpa are Brahmin, Chhetri, Newars, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Gurung, Maithili, Tamang, Limbu & Abadhi.
Places to visit:
Shrinagar Hill provides excellent views of the Himalayas Annapurn, Dhaulagiri range and the surrounding valley. Tansen Bazaar to the summit of Shrinagar Hill is a short, pleasant hike across forest and passing through several
Ranighat is adorned by a marvelous building on the banks of River Kaligandaki, built by the then Rana governor of Palpa, Khadga Shumsher, in memory of his wife Tej Kumari. The 7 km trail from Tansen to Ranighat is a steady slope passing through a narrow gorge. There are bird watching and fishing opportunities on the trekking trail from Tansen to Ranighat.
River Kaligandaki, one of the main tributaries of Gandaki, is regarded sacred by Hindus. The fountainhead of Kaligandaki is at Muktinath in Jomsom. From Muktinath it flows southwards creating the deepest gorge in the world between the famous mountains Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. Tourists can boat, raft in the river or trek along the shore enjoying landscapes.
There are several holy and historical sites on the banks of Kaligandaki, including the well-known Ranighat. Other popular sites to visit are: Ridi where a historical Rishikesh temple built by the first Palpa King Mukund Sen is situated; Ramdighat where religious Hindu ceremonies are held by people in the region; and Achammeshor where a deep gorge cut by River Kaligandaki separates Gulmi and Syangja districts.
Madam Pokhara is a highly prosperous village near Tansen. This beautiful valley is also culturally rich and has many temples that pilgrims can visit. The popular temples are Kalanki Devi, Devisthan and Mandabya. Madan Pokhara is linked to Siddhartha Highway.
Tanhu is another attractive village with mixed culture and beautiful natural surroundings of mountains, forests and farmlands. One can also see beautiful views of mountains from here. There are also temples of Rambha Devi and Jalpa Devi in Tanhu. It is 32 km from Tansen and can be entered from Siddhartha Highway.
Arghali is considered the Banares of Nepal. This is where Rana Prime Minister Juddha Shumsher spent the last days of his life. The remains of the place can still be seen in Arghali. Other nearby places to visit are Rishikesh, Gayatri & Devisthan, the popular temples of Arghali. a village of mountains, forests and farmlands, Arghali is situated close to the rivers Kaligandaki and Ridi. It is 38 km from Tansen.
Bhairabsthan is the famous temple dedicated to Bhairab. The Bhairab Statue of the temple is hidden away for special reasons. Hundreds of pilgrims visit this temple every year. Beautiful views of mountains can also be seen from this area. Bhairabsthan is only 10 kilometers from the district headquarters Tansen.
Satwawati Lake at 1400 m takes it name from Goddess Satyawati from the Hindu mythology and is a popular pilgrimage site in the area. It is equally attractive for other tourists considering that the trek is enjoyable and the destination worth visit. Migratory birds can be seen here several times of the year. One can enjoy beautiful views of Himalayas on the way to the lake. The trek starts at Siddhartha Highway, about 19km from Tansen, from where it is 2 hrs uphill to Lake Satyawati.
Deule Archale is believed to be a holy pond. Pilgrims come to this place to take a holy dip during festivals. There are several temples here. Siddheshwar Gupha (the cave) is a popular pilgrim spot at Siddheshwar VDC on the bank of Ridi Khola. There are also temples of Radha Krishna and Bhagabati. To reach Deule Archale, one can go to Ridi from where it takes 3 hrs. However, a trail from Harthok is a more conventional route from Tansen.
Chilangdi a typical Magar village offers cultural taste of the area. The people of Chilangdi have simple and charming lifestyle. Singing and dancing are the main part their lives. They speak Tibeto-Burman language. Chilangdi is situated at the southern lap of Shrinagar Hills.