Most Nepalis must have heard a cliche about Jiri that the place is called the Switzerland of Nepal. The name of the place also reminds some people of Mt Everest as it was called the gateway to Everest in the past.
Other than this, people know very little about this heaven, Jiri, a beautiful town in the Dolakha district situated in central Nepal. But, other than just two accolades, this place has so much to offer to free-spirited travellers. And, here is a list of some of the places one should not miss while visiting around Jiri.
1. Chyordong hill
The Chyordong hill is a common religious site for both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. As this place lies on the top of the Jiri valley, it is one of the popular viewpoints of Jiri. The views of Numbur, Gaurishankar and Rolwaling mountain ranges look stunning from here. Besides, one can also enjoy the splendid view of Lamabagar, Kalinchok, Sailung and Sindhuligadhi from this hill station.
2. Sikri valley
The Sikri valley, the place of origin of the Jirel community, lies on the bank of the Sikri river. This valley presents you with the authentic art, culture, language, costumes and lifestyle of the Jirel community. There is also Sikri Jirel Homestay in this valley.
3. Gurans park
Gurans Park, open ground in the middle of the Thulonagi community forest area, is surrounded by lush green forests. This forest is home to different species of rhododendron trees. The views of various mountain ranges from this park are just awesome to witness.
4. Stone park
Another attractive park in Jiri is situated on the eastern border of Jiri municipality, Pumpa of Shyama. There are hundreds of big stones decorated in an artistic way in this wide meadow. A two hours’ ride from Jiri Bazaar through Mali Alung takes you to this park.
5. Hanumante hill
Hanumante is the only hill in Dolakha from where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the whole district. The famous tourist destinations of the district such as Kalinchok Bhagawati, Dolakha Bhimsen, Sailung Thumka, mountainous range stretching from Number Himal on the east to Langtang on the west can be seen from the Hanumante hill station. Besides the views, there is also an imprint of hands and feet of Lord Hanuman on the centre of this cliff. On the bottom, there is a super huge cave where lies the Hanumanteswhwr temple.
6. Lauti Jharana
The Lauti jharana (waterfall) falls from the height of 50 metres. This stream is three km away from Manedada, Jiri. There is a legend behind its name. In the past, a shaman named Lauti used to bathe in this stream and used to take the children who would come near that stream for grazing the cattle. Thus, she would teach them tantrism and witchcraft.
7. Tony Hegan Ecological Park
This park was established in the memory of veteran Swiss geologist Tony Hegan. Incorporating the Gokulganga community forest area, this park features diverse flora including varieties of medicinal herbs. There is also a statue of Tony Hegan in the heart of this park.
Besides, there is also plenty of religious site inside this park such as Dhungeshwari Mahadev, Gokuleshwar Mahadev temple along with numerous caves and streams. On the top of this park, there lies Ramite Danda, from where you can enjoy the view of the whole Jiri Bazaar.
8. Panch Pokhari and Jata Pokhari
Both the ponds situated at an altitude of 4,500 m, at a one-hour walking distance from each other are significant religious sites in Jiri. A big fair is held on the day of Janai Purnima every year. These ponds (pokharis) are the origin of the Khimti river. One can trek to these pokharis passing from Stone park. It takes two days to reach here from Jiri Bazaar.