Top 10 Biggest Cities in Nepal-Location, Demographics & Lifestyle

Top 10 Biggest Cities in Nepal-Location, Demographics & Lifestyle

This particular article covers the Top 10 Biggest Cities in Nepal based on Location, Demographics, Infrastructures, Cost of Living, and Lifestyle of the people living in there. Nepal is one of the top 50 most populated nations in the world and ranks 94th in terms of size. Over 31 million people live in Nepal’s largest cities, which together make up the majority of the country’s population. The biggest city in the nation is by far Kathmandu. With a population of 1.4 million, it is not only the largest but also the only city in Nepal with a population that exceeds 1,000,000. Pokhara, the second biggest city, with barely 200,000 residents, is a tiny fraction of the population of Nepal.

Five other cities have populations that are greater than 100,000. Some tiny cities nevertheless retain sizable populations, with more than 10,000 people living there. There are 32 of these cities in total, in addition to several smaller settlements with populations under 10,000. According to data from 2015, 81% of the population of Nepal lives in rural regions. While still a sizable number, this is a significant drop from 1960, when data indicate that 97% of the population resided in rural regions.

This demonstrates how rapidly several of Nepal’s largest cities have been growing over the past few decades. It will be fascinating to watch if the country’s development pattern persists and how much it will influence both the population of its main cities and the general population of the nation.

The cities in Nepal stand out as little modernized centers where trekkers and visitors travel to get a flavor of the cultural component of the country. Nepal is a nation loaded with the biggest peaks and jaw-dropping raw nature. The city life in Nepal offers tourists an experience unlike any other with its stunning architecture, vibrant marketplaces, and amazing restaurants.

List of the top 10 Biggest Cities in Nepal

1. Kathmandu, Nepal

Top 10 Biggest Cities in Nepal-Location, Demographics & Lifestyle
Bouddhanath Stupa, Kathmandu

With a population of 1,003,285 people, Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is the city with the greatest population in the nation. The city is situated in the Central Development region’s Bagmati Zone, which is in turn situated in the Kathmandu District, which is in the Bagmati Zone. In addition to serving as the country’s capital, Kathmandu serves as both the district’s and the Central Development area’s administrative center. The city is situated to the north of the Bagmati River in the northwest portion of the Kathmandu Valley.

One of the oldest towns on Earth, Kathmandu’s early history is obscured by local myths and tales. Despite the city’s supposed 900 BC founding, the oldest artifact ever discovered dates to 185 AD. There have been discovered Brahmi stone writings from the third century BC, although there aren’t many historical accounts of the city from before the Licchavi Kingdom. The Licchavi king Gunakamadeva created the city that exists today in 723 AD. Following the Battle of Kathmandu in 1768, the city joined the Empire of Nepal and later served as its capital.

With the stock market, national bank, and corporate headquarters all headquartered in Kathmandu, this city serves as Nepal’s most significant and central hub for business and industry. Trade in paper, handicrafts, and the arts are among the principal industries, along with industry, agriculture, and education. The Old Hanuman Dhoka Palace, whose earliest portions date to the Middle of the 1500s, is located in Durbar Square, a complex of two quadrangles that has numerous ancient heritage structures that reflect that of the four kingdoms of the nation.

2. Pokhara, Kaski

Top 10 Biggest Cities in Nepal-Location, Demographics & Lifestyle
Paragliding in Pokhara

Pokhara, which has a population of 353,841 people, is the second-largest city in Nepal. The city is situated in the Kaski District, which is part of the Gandaki Zone, which is itself a part of the country’s Western Development Region. The Kaski District and the Western Development Region are headquartered in the city of Pokhara. Due to its location in the northwest part of the Pokhara Valley, the city’s elevation dramatically varies over the course of about 30 kilometers, going from 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) to nearly 7,500 meters (24,606 feet).

The Seti Gandaki River flows through the city, and as a result of this river and its tributaries, the city and its surroundings are home to gorges and canyons. The northern portion of the city is located not far from the base of the Annapurna mountain range, while the southern portion is located on Phewa Lake. The city was a part of the Kingdom of Kaski in the 17th century until it was captured by the Kingdom of Nepal in 1786. Before and after annexation, the city was a significant commerce hub, and since the late 1950s, it has been a crucial transit point for Tibetan refugees entering Nepal.

Since the first road to the town was finished in 1968, the city has expanded quickly and is now Nepal’s tourism hub. The city’s tourism and hospitality sectors employ a large portion of the town’s workforce. Numerous temples from the Middle Ages, as well as Buddhist and Hindu Bahals from more recent times, may be found in that town. The 1999-built Pokhara Shanti Stupa World Peace Pagoda and the two-story Tal Barahi Temple are two noteworthy structures.

3. Lalitpur, Nepal

Top 10 Biggest Cities in Nepal-Location, Demographics & Lifestyle
Patan Durbar Square, Lalitpur [Pexels]

With a population of 226,728, Lalitpur, formerly known as Patan and formerly known as Manigal, is the third-largest city in Nepal. The city is situated in the Bagmati Zone of the Lalitpur District, which is in turn situated in the Central Development Region of the nation. The Lalitpur District’s administrative center is located in the city of Lalitpur. The Nakkhu Khola stream flows south of the city, which is situated in the south-central region of the Kathmandu Valley close to the south bank of the Bagmati River.

Although historians and experts agree that the city was a sophisticated settlement before this, as it is recorded in other historical documents and many stories, the city is believed to have been created in 299 AD at the very end of the Kirat Dynasty (about 900 BC-300 AD). The Licchavi Kingdom ruled over the city from around 400 AD until 750 AD, and afterward, the Malla Dynasty brought about even further growth (1201-1769). Under the leadership of Prithvi Narayan Shah (1723-1775), who would eventually unite what became the Kingdom of Nepal, also known as the Kingdom of Gorkha, the city was captured by the Principality of Gorkha in 1768. (1768-2008).

Today, the majority of the city’s workforce is employed in small-scale trade sectors including the production of traditional handicrafts and individuals operating out of their homes to perform household-level manufacturing like sewing and lacing. Some locals in the suburbs of the city also work in agriculture. Due to its rich history of illustrious artists and craftsmen and the impending fast urbanization, the city has made an effort to preserve its culture of handiwork.

The four Ashoka Stupas, which are located on the city’s cardinal points and are said to have been constructed at some point in the 4th Century AD, are just a few of the historical landmarks that the city has to offer. Additionally, there is Patan Durbar Square, a historic location that is home to several Hindu and Buddhist temples and Bahals and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

4. Biratnagar, Morang

Biratnagar, the capital of Nepal’s Province No. 1, is a major metropolis close to the Indian border. Both the famed Kali Mandir, which is of paramount religious significance to Hinduism in the nation, and the Jute Mills, the first significant large-scale enterprise in Nepal, are located in Biratnagar. The city, which bears the name of King Virat, acts as a gateway to a number of locations in Eastern Nepal, including Baraha Chhetri and Ilam. In several parts of Biratnagar, crowded weekly markets are conducted where spices and handicrafts are sold, making them a popular destination for tourists.

Biratnagar, which serves as the main jumping-off point for visiting eastern Nepal, is well connected by bus and train to much of the nation. After Pokhara, Biratnagar Airport serves as Nepal’s busiest domestic airport. The transportation options in Biratnagar include rickshaws, taxis, and automobiles. Electric rickshaws are the most popular form of local transportation in Biratnagar, while auto rickshaws (known as Tempos) are also available for longer commutes. Out of all the cities outside of the Kathmandu Valley, it has the highest population density.

The Biratnagar Jute Mills, Nepal’s first significant industrial complex, is located in the city. The city, which is regarded as Nepal’s industrial center, has also made a significant contribution to the campaign for Nepalese democracy by serving as the birthplace of five of the country’s democratic prime ministers. The second assertion is further supported by the fact that the anti-Rana movement’s first labor strike originated in Biratnagar. Today’s Biratnagar acts as a gateway between northeastern India and eastern Nepal. It is the only city in Nepal other than Birgunj to run an integrated check post (ICP) on the Indian border, and it is the second Nepalese city after Janakpur to have a link with the Indian Railways.

5. Birgunj, Parsa

A city in Nepal named Birgunj is located not far from the Bihar state line in India. It is a significant entry point for Indian commerce in products. The merchandise arriving at the port of Kolkata is also received at Birgunj. After Biratnagar, Birgunj is Nepal’s second-largest city and sixth-most populous metropolis. It is situated in the Terai area.

In Province No. 2 in southern Nepal, in the Parsa District, is the metropolitan city of Birgunj. Although not a prominent stop on tourist itineraries, it is 135 kilometers south of the capital Kathmandu and close to Raxaul. People who are trekking in Nepal, such as to the Annapurna Base Camp and nearby mountains, frequently use it as a layover.

Nepal’s border is marked by the Shankaracharya Gate in Birgunj. Therefore, visitors from India, as well as Nepal, visit this place. This city is home to several tourist attractions. One of the well-known holy places in Birgunj is Ghadiarwa Pokhari, which is dressed up for the Chhath celebration like a bride. The musical fountain and boating are both available here. In addition, you may visit the stupa-shaped Vishwa Vihar Buddhist Chaitya, which serves as the neighborhood’s primary site of worship for Buddhists. It also goes by the name “resting place” since in the past, on their way between Lumbini and Bodh Gaya, pilgrims would stop at this stupa to relax (India).

6. Bharatpur, Chitwan

Many people travel to Nepal to see its wilderness, namely Chitwan National Park. The city of Bharatpur is situated near the entrance to the forest. Bharatpur, one of Nepal’s four metro cities, is situated in the central south of the country and serves as the administrative center for the Chitwan district. In essence, urbanization is the fundamental theme of Bharatpur. The majority of the shopping and dining options are in the nearby town of Narayangarh, while all of the government offices, colleges, and hospitals are located here.

The town of Bharatpur is close to the Chitwan Forest on the one hand and the crucial transit route of Mahendra Highway on the other, despite the fact that there aren’t many tourist attractions or places of interest in or near the town.

Additionally, it has a local airport with frequent flights to Pokhara and Kathmandu. The Bharatpur Metropolitan City has established a reputation as one of the top cities in the nation in terms of history, society, economy, politics, religion, and culture. It is situated on the banks of the revered Narayani River and in close proximity to the well-known religious destination Devghat Dham. Bharatpur Nagar Panchayat was created in 2035 BS by combining the then-existing Bharatpur Village Panchayat and Narayangarh Village Panchayat. On the banks of the Narayani River sits the Bharatpur Metropolitan City, which is well-known for its historical, social, economic, cultural, and religious aspects. It serves as the administrative and economic hub for the Chitwan district.

7. Janakpur. Dhanusha

Early in the 18th century, Janakpur, often referred to as Janakpurdham, was established. It is a sub-metropolitan city located in Nepal’s Dhanusa District. This city is around 225 kilometers southeast of Kathmandu. After Biratnagar and Birgunj, Janakpur is the third-largest city in the Terai region and the seventh-largest city in Nepal. The Dudhmati, Jalad, Rato, Balan, and Kamala are the five principal rivers around Janakpur.

It has a humid subtropical climate. It is one of the cities in Nepal that is growing the quickest. The district of Dhanusha is home to a variety of ethnic groups, including the Yadavs, Brahmins, Kayastha, Tharu, Musahar, Rajput, and Chhetris. There are many excellent schools, universities, medical facilities, and parks in this city. For the most part, local economies, agriculture, and tourism support the population. Women from Janakpur’s Maithili community create the world-famous Mithila Art. The impressive Ram Janaki Temple, which lies in the heart of the city, receives a lot of tourists each year.

Since Janakpur is associated with the Ramayana, a Hindu epic, it is a significant place of pilgrimage for Hindus. Goddess Sita is said to have been born here, and this is also where she wed Lord Ram. More than 70 Ponds may be found in Janakpur, which is also known as the City of Ponds. Every year, thousands of people flock to this sacred city.

Tourists love Janakpur because of the nice weather, the large and colorful festivals held throughout the year, the gorgeous temple architecture, and the welcoming residents. But Janakpur is not just home to temples and historic buildings. The city is renowned for its rich literary, linguistic, and artistic heritage. It is the center of the Mithila civilization and a hive of opportunities and other cultures.

8. Butwal, Rupandehi

The region of Lumbini is home to Butwal City, one of Nepal’s major cities. It is also referred to as one of the key critical intersections for market and trade. It has simple access to India’s open borders. It serves as Nepal’s main commerce route. Highways link it to Nepal’s Northern and Southern regions. It has developed into a commercial hub with several marketplaces, supermarkets, and business prospects. Similar to that, it oversees all financial and real estate transactions in the city and is the third-largest financial estate after Kathmandu.

Between Chitwan to Butwal, there are around 119 kilometers. When compared to other tiny townships in the nation, the city of Butwal, whose population increased from a meager 26,824 in 1991 to a startling 3,71,884 in 2008, has advanced in many different ways. Like other businesses, Butwal makes money off of the booming tourism sector.

The hill park, the Siddha Baba shrine, and the museum are among Butwal’s top sights. The primary tourist attraction in Butwal is Butwal Hill Park, which serves as a garden of legacy for the Gurung tribe (mostly businesspeople). This garden, which lies beyond the actual city borders in Deepnagar, offers a stunning perspective of Butwal city as a whole. In addition to the temples, Butwal has a Chaitya Vihar, a number of mosques, and churches that represent the community’s oneness. You must pass through this city when visiting Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.

9. Dharan, Sunsari

The city of Dharan, which is close to India’s southeast border, is modeled after Indian culture and customs. Dharan, one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in Nepal, serves as the entrance to the Mahabharat highlands. This low-lying hills area is nicknamed “mini-Brazil” because it is so clean, colorful, and culturally varied and serves as Nepal’s football capital. The city, which is located in Eastern Nepal’s Sunsari District, does not experience harsh weather, making it a suitable vacation spot all year round.

In addition to playing golf, driving to Bhedetar Hill Station, trekking to Namche, picnicking at Raja Rani Lake, and visiting Tamar Khola, Yalamber Park, and Bhanu Chowk, tourists come to this location primarily for its natural beauty. The Budha Subba Temple, Pindeshwor Temple, Panchakanya Temple, Shiv Jatta, Vijaypur Hill, and Dantakali Temple are a few of the historical and religious landmarks in Dharan. In addition to this, Dharan has a large number of neighborhood bars and pubs, making it a popular tourist destination in Nepal.

 10. Dhangadi, Kailali

The tenth largest city in Nepal, Dhangadhi is one of the important hubs in the far western region. The administrative center of the Kailali region is located in the sub-metropolitan city of Dhangadhi. It provides a border to Kanchanpur District in the west, Godawari and Gauriganga Municipality in the north, Uttar Pradesh, India in the south, and Kailari Rural Municipality in the east. The area around the city is 262 square kilometers.

There were 1,47,181 people living there at the time of the 2011 census in Nepal. The majority of people in this region speak Tharu as their mother tongue, followed by Nepali, Doteli, Acchami, Magar, Maithili, and furthermore Hindi. The Terai area can experience extremely stifling summer temperatures. The highest temperature ever registered in Dhangadhi was 46.4°C. After Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi city is the place with the highest humidity. The terrain is easy and ready for flooding. In this way, a sizable portion of the population works in horticulture, while others work in government or in commerce.

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