Ilam- Tea Garden of Nepal
Ilam, the tea garden of Nepal, is located about 700 km east of Kathmandu. It is famous for natural scenery and landscapes, tea production, and diverse agricultural economy. It is one of the major horticultural crop production districts of Nepal. Geographically it lies in the hill region which is mostly known as Mahabharata range.
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Ilam is a municipality of Ilam District, which is in the hilly region of Mechi zone, in the Eastern Development Region of Nepal. Ilam also acts as the headquarters of Ilam District and Mechi zone. Geographically it lies in the hill region which is mostly known as Mahabharata range. It is also one of the important town in Mechi zone and one of the major place in Nepal for tea-production. It is famous for natural scenery and landscapes, tea production, and diverse agricultural economy. It is one of the major horticultural crop production districts of Nepal. It is also known as “Tea Garden of Nepal”.
The word ‘Ilam’ comprises two words-‘I’ and ‘Lam’. In Limbu Language the word ‘I’ means ‘winding’ and ‘lam’ denotes to the way. Upon looking at the topography of this land, we can actually see several winding paths crisscrossing on the way. Thus it is aptly named ‘Ilam’.
The main ethnic groups living in Ilam are the Brahmins and Chhetris. Lepcha is also the predominant ethnic group in this region. A Lepcha museum is at an initial stage in Antu and is in the process of being extended.
Ilam reflects rich social and cultural heritages of people living in harmony. Other major ethnic groups living in Ilam include Magars, Gurungs, Rais, Limbus, and Sherpas. Most parts of Ilam are hilly regions with farmers as main inhabitants along with some businessmen, officials and government employees.
Ilam Bazaar is located about 700 km east of Kathmandu. Regular buses are available from New Buspark, Koteshwar and Kalanki of Kathmandu which takes to Ilam after a bus ride of about 16hours. An airport is under construction at Sukilumba Danda. Daily Bus/Bolero is available from Ilam to Taplejung, Phidim, Birtamod, Chandragadhi, Kakarbhitta, Siliguri (West Bengal), Pashupatinagar, Damak, Itahari, Dharan and Biratnagar. A new buspark is being constructed at Sera. Besides these, Bus/Bolero also goes to all the VDCs of Ilam district.