Panchthar district is one of 14 districts of Province No. 1 of eastern hilly region Nepal. It is a Hill district of eastern Nepal. The district covers 1,241 km2 (479 sq mi). The 2011 census counted 191,817 population. Phidim is the district headquarters.

Climate Zone Elevation Range % of Area
Upper Tropical 300 to 1,000 meters
1,000 to 3,300 ft.
Subtropical 1,000 to 2,000 meters
3,300 to 6,600 ft.
Temperate 2,000 to 3,000 meters
6,400 to 9,800 ft.
Subalpine 3,000 to 4,000 meters
9,800 to 13,100 ft.
Alpine 4,000 to 5,000 meters
13,100 to 16,400 ft.


At the time of the 2011 Nepal census, Panchthar District had a population of 191,817. Of these, 40.1% spoke Limbu, 34.1% Nepali, 6.5% Tamang, 5.5% Bantawa, 5.2% Rai, 2.9% Magar, 1.1% Gurung, 0.7% Sunuwar, 0.7% Chamling, and 0.5% Newari as their first language. 62.0% of the population in the district spoke Nepali and 0.8% Limbu as their second language.

Phidim: The headquarters of Panchthar

Phidim Municipality is the headquarters of the Panchthar District in the Mechi Zone of eastern Nepal. Phidim was upgraded to a ‘municipality’ from a ‘village’, when a development committee merged with other VDCs (village development committees) – including the Phidim, Chokmagu and Siwa villages – on May 18, 2014. It offers a route for trekkers and locals, who travel to and from the Taplejung district bordering with the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. It is also a commercial hub for the rural surroundings.

Phidim is connected to the rest of the country through the Mechi Highway, a 268 kilometres (167 mi) road which begins in Kechana of Jhapa district and ends in Phungling. Passenger buses and jeeps to Phidim are available at Birtamod and Ilam. A new gravel road connects Phidim to the Sakranti VDC of Terhathum district, which is linked to Koshi Highway in Myanglung (headquarters of Terhathum District). Madhya Pahadi Rajmargha, one of the roads linking east and west Nepal through hilly areas, starts from the Panchthar district and is connected to Phidim. Phidim has hotels and inns for accommodation and food.

Phidim is within a valley in the foothills of the Himalayas in eastern Nepal. It is a hill township. Phidim is a six-hour drive from Birtamod through a winding road via Ilam. Phidim offers views of the Himalaya and other hills. Phidim is characterized by tin-roofed houses and small concrete buildings. Two rivers —Phewa and Hewa— surround the hill where the town is located.

At the time of the 2001 Nepal census, Phidim had a population of 13,652 people. The inhabitants are Limbu, Magar, Yakha, Gurung, Rai, Tamang, so-called Dalit, Brahmin and Newar, which makes it one of the most culturally diverse places in eastern Nepal.

The climate of Phidim remains mild during the summer and is cold and misty in the winter. Maximum temperature in the summer is 25°C, whereas in winter, it falls to 2°C.

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By Satyal

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