An area of verdant pastures, stunning mountain views, scintillating sunrises and sunsets, and friendly Limbu people, Tehrathum offers an excellent respite from the noise and stress of city life. The diverse landscape from terraced hillsides to the vast plains of the Tarai plains is covered in rich green vegetation, a refreshing change from the dull concrete jungle of the city.
Basantapur (2,200 m) in Tehrathum lies on the trekking route to Taplejung and further on to the Kanchenjunga region. Trekkers arrive here in the little Basantapur Bazaar surrounded by greenery and enjoy mountain views before embarking on the long trek in eastern Nepal.
The weather here is cool and temperate most times of the year, making Basantapur ideal to visit anytime. The best times to visit are spring and autumn, in February-April or between October-December. Summers are pleasant while winters are cold.
From Tin Jure Danda (3,066 m) (danda means ridge) one can enjoy spectacular sunrise and sunset views and admire the Makalu massif among other Himalayan peaks. This region is famous for the thirty-four varieties of rhododendron found here. Tin Jure Danda is only about a half-hour walk from Basantapur.
Tinjure Milke Jaljale Trail, also known as the Rhododendron Trail, spreads across Taplejung, Terathum and Sankhuwasabha districts. Hille, north of Dharan, is a good place to start out. Alternately, you can start from Phidim near the Indian border at the end of a newly built dry season dirt road that traverses Ilam’s young tea estates.
Heading northeast out of Hille, the trail climbs gradually through settlements of recent migrants from the northern Olangchung region, trans-Himalayan yak drivers who live for months on tsampa (roasted barley flour), dried yak meat, and cheese.
Gupha Pokhari is a serene lake set on a ridge looking east towards the Kanchenjunga massif and west towards Makalu and the Khumbu Himal (mountain). From here, a short trek follows the Milke Danda ridge due north, climbing to 4,700 m towards Jaljale Himal, a remote area with a scattering of lakes and inhabited by mountain people of Tibetan origin.
You can then descend east to the Mewa Khola (stream) and continue to Taplejung’s airfield and further on to the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.
On the way to Taplejung is another ridge known as Milke Danda (2,905m) which is popular for its rhododendron forest. This ridge provides a closer view of the Kanchenjunga and Kumbhakarna mountains and some amazing sunrise and sunset views when the weather is just right. It lies on the trekking route between Taplejung and Basantapur Bazaar.
Pattek Danda (2,500 m) is equally popular for sunrise and sunset spectacles and also offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas from Mt. Everest to Kanchanjungha. Pattek Danda is ideal for short treks and is also a good location for picnics. The popular Goddess Kali temple is a 2-hour walk west from Basantapur Bazaar. Pattek Danda, about 3 km from Basantapur can also be reached via Chitre calling for a 15-minute drive. From here Pattek Danda is a 30-minute hike.
Marg Pokhari (2,600 m) is yet another natural pond on the lap of the hills. The pond holds religious significance and is set in an area of scenic beauty. The pond has ensured the surroundings remain perpetually green. The Marg Pokhari watershed is a natural pond that lies on the trekking route to Taplejung from Basantapur. Picturesque views of mountains along with remarkable sunrise and sunset views can be enjoyed from here.
The Marg Pokhari watershed area has a dense forest where some popular species of rhododendron and other precious plants thrive. Marg Pokhari is on the way to Basantapur from Sindhuwa, which is 5 km from Basantapur Bazaar.
Panchakanya Pokhari is another popular tourist site. Also known as Chhathar Pokhari, it is approximately a 2-hour walk downhill from Sukrabare Bazaar. Among the many ponds here, the largest in the area is Panchakanya.
A fair known as Sukrabare Bazaar (Sukrabar means Friday) is held every Friday in the Hammarjung area, showcasing the diverse culture of the settlements. A majority of the inhabitants here are Limbu making this the ideal place to learn about and experience the rich Limbu culture. The village is popular for homespun cloth called khadi (cotton) and can be reached via Sindhuwa Bazaar, another popular place near Basantapur that has great views.