Ilam district is in far eastern Nepal, north of Jhapa and has West Bengal (India) in the east. A brisk walk in a tea garden, picnic in the peaceful setting and sightseeing stops, short hikes along gentle hills, or explore the nearby woods – enjoy all this and more in the greenery of Ilam. Ilam is famous for its tea. It is a district largely covered in tea bushes with a hill town right beside a plantation enjoying views of pristine landscapes made up of sloping tea gardens, mountain streams, dense natural forests.There are many hotels in the town and a few resorts a short distance away in the tea gardens. Local visitors go to Kanyam Tea Estate for horse riding, hikes and picnics.
Take the path less travelled. If you want to avoid the hordes of trekkers, trek through Taplejung in the Kanchenjunga region to enjoy remarkable views of towering Himalayan peaks, one of which is the 3rd highest mountain in the world, Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m). Walk through verdant green hilltops, through resplendent rhododendron forests, remote villages and discover cultures that are unique to this region. You will be walking in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area that covers 2,035 sq. km. including two peaks of Mt. Kanchenjunga.Taplejung is connected to the rest of Nepal by the 227-km CharAali-Ilam-Phidim-Taplejung road which meets the East-West Highway at CharAali.
Pathibhara Devi is one of the most significant temples in Nepal, located on the hill of Taplejung.The temple is located 19.4 North East from Phungling municipality at an elevation of 3,794 m (12,448 ft). Worshippers from different parts of Nepal and India flock to the temple during special occasions, as it is believed that a pilgrimage to the temple ensures fulfillment of the pilgrims’ wishes.The goddess Pathibhara is believed to possess supernatural powers and diligently answer devotees’ prayers. She is considered by her devotees as a manifestation of the Durga also known as Chandi, Kali, Maha Maya, Maha Rudri among many other of her divine forms.
It serves as a secondary route of Kanchenjunga trek. The journey to Pathibhara starts from Suketar, which is about a 20-minute drive from Phungling Bazaar, and then 1–2 hours’ drive from Suketar to Kafle Pati. Pathibhara Devi is about 3–4 hours’ walk from Kafle Pati. Suketar Airport (2,840 m [9,320 ft]) at Suketar is the only STOL airport in Taplejung district, connecting Kathmandu and Biratnagar by scheduled flights.
Sandakpur or Sandakphu is the highest peak of Ilam at an altitude of 3636 m. It is also the highest point of the Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling district on the India – Nepal border. Four of the five highest peaks in the world, Everest, Kangchenjunga range, Lhotse and Makalu can be seen from Sandakpur.The best view possible is of mountain Kanchendzonga.The trekking starts from Ilam Bazar via Mai Pokhari, Maimajhuwa, Mabu, Kala Pokhri, Bikhe Bhyanjyang to Sandakpur.Every year thousands of Indian tourists visit this area. There are more than a dozen of hotels on the Indian side while only few hotels are available on the Nepal side. Trek to the highest point on this hill station and you will get the never seen before views of the Himalayan Range. A long stretch of Himalayas starting from Bhutan till Mt. Everest is visible.