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Baglung
 
 

Nepal >> Cities >> Baglung

Baglung, NepalBaglung (28.27 N, 83.60 E, elev. 1020 m.) lies in the midhills of Nepal, 275 km West of Kathmandu. Baglung is the district headquarters of Baglung District and is also the zonal headquarters of Dhawalagiri Zone.

Geography

The town also known as Baglung Bazar is situated on a plateau overlooking the Kali Gandaki valley. It has been a quaint trading town since ancient times frequented by traders from north and south. More recently, it is visited by tourists seeking to trek to Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Dhorpatan and Dolpo. Baglung is connected to Beni Bazar of Myagdi to the north and Kusma Bazar of Parvat which are located 13 km to the north and 12 km to the south respectively. A well paved but winding highway connects the town with Pokhara, 72 km to the east. Highways to connect Jomsom, Mustang, Tibet to the north, Rukum via Burtibang and Dhorpatan to the west and Sera Bazar via airport (probably will see an extension to Palpa) to the south are under construction. Baglung airport, now defunct, is located 12 km to the south of the town.Baglung has experienced a rapid expansion after the completion of Pokhara-Baglung Highway in mid 90s.

History

The earliest notions of town are found during 15th century. King Pratapi Nayayan of Galkot married the daughter of king of Palpa. Along with his newly wed wife he brought goddess kali along with him. Nobody was able to Baglung, Nepalcarry the sword of Kali initially. One of Kunwar chhetri finally was able to carry the sword and hence was given the title of Khadka ('khadga' meaning the sword). One night when the wedding proceesion reached the spot of where present day Baglung is located, the king had a dream. In his dream goddess said she liked the place and wished to stay there. The king then ordered a temple to be built for the goddess Kali and kept the Khadka as care taker. This was around year 1590 B.S. (1530 A.D.). Hence, Khadkas were the first settlers of what is present day Baglung. The strategic location of Baglung soon helped it to grow into a trading town. Further trading was initiated by the tradition of holding an annual fair during 'Chaitre Dashain'. Trade was further enhanced after arrival of Newar merchants from Bhaktapur 200 years later. Baglung remained to stay a major trading point in Parvat kingdom, where merchants from south came to trade for salt. It was annexed to Greater Nepal under unification war led by King Prithvi Narayan Shah. Under unified Nepal, several government offices were established and the town was proclaimed as administrative headquarter of the region. Since then it has remained the most important political and economical town in the Dhaulagiri Zone. It is the headquarters of Dhaulagiri Zone and Baglung district.

Demographics

Approximately around 25,000 inhabitants (2005) live in the town of Baglung. The district has a population of 268,937 (as per statistics of HMG, 2001). Nepali (with typical accent) is the most widely spoken language of the Baglung, Nepalregion. there are populations that speak Newari, Gurung, Thakali, Tibetan and Magar.

Ethnic groups native to the region include Brahmin, Chhettri, Magar and Dalits. Smaller groups of Chantyal, Newar, Gurung and Thakali also live in the area. Natives in Baglung are mostly adherents of Hinduism, and some are Tibetan Buddhists. A small community of people following Islam are also found.

There is a Tibetan refugee camp located at Dhorpatan.

Places of interest

Very good views of Himalayas can be had from Baglung. Terraced fields, waterfalls, forests, deep gorges and caves are abundant throughout the area. The temples in and around Baglung make an excellent pilgrimage. Baglung Kalika temple (built by King Pratapi Narayan, and renovated in late 90s) is visited by thousands of pilgrims each year especially during the festivals of Dashain and Chaitre Dashain. Trekking, biking, and rafting make it an ideal location for thrill seekers. Baglung is also the vantage point for trekkers to Mustang, Dolpa and Mt. Dhaulagiri. Baglung has the only hunting reserve in Nepal. Royal Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is a prime habitat for blue sheep and snow leopard.