Nestled in the eastern reaches of Nepal, cradled by the majestic Himalayas, lies the enchanting district of Ilam. Often referred to as the “Tea Garden of Nepal,” Ilam is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by avid travelers seeking a harmonious blend of natural splendor and cultural richness. With its lush tea plantations, panoramic mountain vistas, and a tapestry of cultural heritage, Ilam unfolds as a captivating destination that promises a unique and immersive experience. This introduction sets the stage for a journey through the verdant hills, ancient monasteries, and warm hospitality that define the essence of Ilam, Nepal.

Some short information about Ilam District:

  1. Geography:
    • Eastern Nepal, bordered by India to the south.
    • Total Area : 1703 sq. km.
    • Height from sea level: from 200 to 3636m
    • Hills and mountains, part of the eastern Himalayan range.
    • Known for lush tea gardens and Himalayan vistas.
  2. Administration:
    • Ilam Municipality is the district headquarters.
    • Ilam is divided into 4 municipalities and 6 rural municipalities.
  3. Population:
    • Total population of ilam district is 290254.
    • Diverse population with Limbu, Rai, Tamang, Brahmin, Chhetri, and other ethnic groups.
  4. Economy:
    • Renowned for tea production.
    • Among Nepal’s 8 billion nrs Tea Production Ilam covers the most.
    • Agriculture includes cardamom, ginger, and vegetables.
  5. Tourist Attractions:
    • Famous for tea estates, offering scenic beauty and tea-making experiences.
    • Cultural sites include Mai Pokhari and Antu Pond with ancient monasteries.
  6. Culture:
    • Rich cultural diversity with Hindu and Buddhist influences.
    • Celebrates various festivals reflecting the cultural tapestry.
  7. Transportation:
    • Accessible by road with buses connecting to major cities.
  8. Education:
    • Home to educational institutions from schools to colleges.
  9. Climate:
    • Varied climate from subtropical to temperate, conducive to agriculture and tea cultivation.
    • Average tempreture of Ilam is 18.7 °C | 65.7 °F.

Note: Information may have changed since my last update in January 2022; for the latest details, refer to current local sources

In this article, we delve into the various reasons why Ilam should be on every traveler’s radar.

Tea Gardens: A Green Paradise

Ilam is renowned for its extensive tea gardens that sprawl across the hills, creating a mesmerizing green carpet. The district is a significant contributor to Nepal’s tea production, and visitors can explore the sprawling estates, witness the tea-plucking process, and savor freshly brewed tea. The lush tea gardens provide a tranquil escape and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Breathtaking Landscapes and Himalayan Views

Ilam is blessed with stunning natural landscapes, including rolling hills, dense forests, and pristine rivers. The district is surrounded by the majestic Himalayan range, providing panoramic views of peaks like Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world. Trekkers and nature enthusiasts can embark on trails that lead to vantage points, offering awe-inspiring vistas of the snow-capped mountains and verdant valleys.

Rich Cultural Heritage:

Monasteries and Temples Beyond its natural beauty, Ilam is steeped in cultural heritage. The district is home to several monasteries and temples, reflecting the religious diversity of the region. Travelers can explore sites like Mai Pokhari, a sacred lake with cultural and religious significance, and the Antu Pond, surrounded by ancient monasteries that exude a sense of tranquility.

Warm Hospitality and Local Cuisine

Ilam is known for its warm and welcoming locals who take pride in sharing their cultural heritage. Travelers can engage in homestays to experience the authentic hospitality of the region. The local cuisine, featuring traditional Nepali and ethnic Limbu dishes, provides a gastronomic adventure. Ilam’s unique food offerings, coupled with the warm hospitality, create a memorable experience for visitors.

Also Read: How to visit Tse Phoksundo Lake, Nepal?

Adventure Activities: Trekking and Nature Walks

For adventure enthusiasts, Ilam offers a range of activities such as trekking and nature walks. The district is dotted with trekking trails that lead through dense forests, charming villages, and picturesque landscapes. Trekkers can choose from various routes, catering to different difficulty levels, providing an opportunity to explore the region’s diverse flora and fauna.

Some must visit places in Ilam:


Famous for Ice Skating, playing with snow balls. Very much attractive views & Sceneries.

pic: Internet

Shree Antu:

Famous for the first sunlight. A beautiful view of Sunrise.

pic: Internet


Heavenly view of Tea Gardens.

pic: Internet

Mai Pokhari:

A Sacred lake/pond for the indigenous people of Ilam.

Pic: Internet, Ilam Mai pokhari

Ilam View Tower:

Capture beautiful memories from the height of the View Tower.

Pic: Internet

Total Costs to visit from Kathmandu to Ilam in details:


By plane it costs 6000-8000nrs from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur then by Bus it costs around 500-1000 nrs. Or if you want to travel by bus from Kathmandu to Ilam directly it may costs around 2000-3000 nrs.


Ilam offers a range of accommodation options, including budget guesthouses, mid-range hotels, and more upscale resorts.The hotel cost is around 1000-5000 nrs per night.


Food costs will depend on your dining preferences. Eating at local restaurants and street stalls is generally more budget-friendly, while dining at hotels or upscale restaurants may cost more. On average, you can budget around NPR 500 to NPR 1,500 per day for meals.


Costs for activities such as guided tours, trekking permits (if applicable), and entrance fees to attractions will vary. Budgeting around NPR 1,000 to NPR 3,000 or more for activities is a reasonable estimate.


Miscellaneous expenses, such as local transportation within Ilam, souvenirs, and personal expenses, will add to the overall cost. Budgeting an additional NPR 500 to NPR 1,000 per day for miscellaneous expenses is a rough estimate. It depends how desperate you are about to explore new experiences.


Ilam, Nepal, stands as a testament to the country’s rich natural and cultural diversity. With its expansive tea gardens, breathtaking landscapes, cultural treasures, and warm hospitality, Ilam offers a unique travel experience that goes beyond the typical tourist destinations. As more travelers seek authentic and offbeat experiences, Ilam emerges as a hidden gem in the Himalayas, inviting exploration and discovery. In summary ilam is a beautiful, cheap and best place to visit. Put this name on your bucket list right now.


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