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Mahendranagar

Mahendranagar

 

On the India-Nepal border and with direct road connection to the capital of both, Mahendranagar is Nepal's most westerly town, a small and bustling market town of about 65,000 inhabitants lying immediately to the south of the Mahendra Highway. Its role as a transit point means that few travelers get to see beyond its decidedly unappealing façade of shabby shops and dark eateries that line the main road made more dirty, dusty and noisy by the continuous arrival and departure of buses. 

 

From the Mahendra Highway, the town's main road heads south for 600 metres through a bazaar area and past the busy local bus stop and a 'stadium' dation is concentrated near here, in the grid of streets which make up the town's southeast quadrant. From the intersection the road heading east leads to Mahendra Chowk, duly furbished with a large statue of King Mahendra and the focal point for much local activity. There are shops here selling a variety of goods from dress material to electronic items and consumables. A thriving black market also exists. This trade comprises largely of computer chips and other components mostly heading out of Nepal, a result of protection for its own computer and hi-tech industries. Other major commodities finding their surreptitious way across the border here are said to include gold and narcotics, much of which apparently does not originate in Nepal.

 

Continuing south, the less appealing area of town comes to an abrupt halt with a turn in the main road. The delightful and well-maintained Birenda Park, on your right, has a central marble monument honouring the restoration of the authority of the monarchy in 1951. A series of paths lined with flowering trees lead through the park. In the southeast corner, the small two-tiered pagoda temple is dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of learning and wisdom. The main entrance is on the northern side.