Biratnagar, the second largest city in Nepal
Everyone venturing to Nepal will most likely know that Kathmandu is the country’s largest city. What many won’t know is that Biratnagar is Nepal’s second largest city. Located in the Koshi Zone to the southeast of the country near the border, Biratnager has more than 160,000 inhabitants. The city is sub-metropolitan and acts as the ‘administrative center’ for the Morang district.
Biratnagar in Nepal enjoys a very warm - even hot - climate with temperatures ranging from between 8°C to 40°C. The locals like to think of their city as experiencing six different seasons each year instead of just four. These are Basanta, Grishma, Barsha, Sharad, Hemanta and Sishir. Basanta is their equivalent of spring and it covers the months of March and April. The weather around this time of year is hot, averaging between 25-30°C. Grishma is Biratnagar’s summer and takes place in May and June. This is the hottest time of year with temperatures soaring as high as 40°. Barsha is the Monsoon season which takes place between July and August. It is a hot, humid and rainy time of the year. Sharad is Autumn, where the temperatures start to become milder and this arrives September and lasts until October. Hemanta (November/December) is seen as a pre-winter period with very pleasant temperatures and weather conditions, while Sishir is winter with cold weather and occasional sunshine. Each of these six ‘seasons’ are clearly different from the other so the locals are quite right to give them each a different name.
Biratnagar is known mainly for its agricultural yields, commerce and industry. Perhaps its largest agricultural yield is that of rice. Rice paddies consume most of the countryside. The city also serves an important role in trade and transport as it serves as a central point for farmers to sell their goods and is linked to Kathmandu by road and by air. However, visitors are more likely to be interested in Biratnagar’s role in tourism. Biratnagar is the main access point for the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve which is a prime bird watching destination. Baraha Kshetra is a great Hindu pilgrimage site and the Biratnagar Haat Bazaar is the perfect place to do a bit of shopping. There are also plenty of places for picnicking and swimming and a number of other activities to enjoy. Biratnagar also serves as a great starting position for mountain treks and as a lovely access point to India. So visit Biratnagar and discover a whole new side of Nepal.