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|• Total||1,606 km2 (620 sq mi)|
|Elevation(maximum)||506 m (1,660 ft)|
|• Density||510/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||NPT (UTC+5:45)|
Jhapa District (Nepali: झापा जिल्ला Listen (help·info)) is the Terai plains district of Mechi Zone in Nepal's Eastern Development Region. The district covers 1,606 km2 (620 sq mi). The 2011 census counted 812,650 population. Bhadrapur is the district headquarters.
Jhapa is the easternmost district of Nepal and lies in the fertile Terai plains. It borders Ilam district in the north, Morang district in the west, the Indian state of Bihar in the south and east, and the Indian state of West Bengal in the east.
The district is divided into 47 Village Development Committees (VDC) and three municipalities, namely Bhadrapur, in the south, Mechinagar in the east and Damak in the west. In 2012, Birtamod was slated for municipality status, however, has not yet been functioning as a municipality . Other major centers are Dhulabari, Budhabare, Surunga, Charali, Baniyani, Kechana, Patharia, Balubadi, Gherabari, Pathamari, Prithvinagar, Halddibari, Maharanijhora, Lakhanpur, Gauradaha, Topgachhi, Gauradaha, Rajgadh, Ghailadubba, Charpane, Laxmipur[disambiguation needed].
Village Development Committees (VDCs)
Not much is known about its early settlements. A few scattered and small villages used to be in the vast and dense forest area of Jhapa. In the 60's and early 70's landscape of Jhapa began to change forever as people from the hills came there to own and cultivate the land under the 'resettlement program'. The eradication of malaria helped change its old name and perception of 'kalapani' into an attractive and fertile place. Fertile land, beautiful landscape, proximity to Nepali speaking part of India, attracted many people there for settlement. No indigenous ethnicity are known to have settled there. Small number of Rajbansi population and some other even smaller in numbers were found to have lived there before the mass migration from various parts of the country and North-eastern part of India and Burma.
Jhapa is home to many indigenous ethnic nationalities such as the rajbanshi, Bengali people, Gangai (ethnic group)|Tajpuriya ]], and Dhimal . Other ethnic groups such as Dhangad, Koche, Satar, Meche, Tamang, Uraon, Magar, Gurung, Sunuwar/सुऩुवाऱ/मुखीय, Gangain and many others came to Jhapa in the late 19th century, so did the hill/mountain castes Bahun, Chhettri, and Newar.
Jhapa is diverse and rich in culture and traditions due to the influences of its different tribes. All the tribes/ethnic groups have their own languages, customs and traditions, and they celebrate their festivals every year.
Geography and Climate
|Climate Zone||Elevation Range||% of Area|
|Lower Tropical||below 300 meters (1,000 ft)||98.8%|
|Upper Tropical||300 to 1,000 meters
1,000 to 3,300 ft.
Jhapa receives 250 to 300 cm of rainfall a year, mostly during the summer monsoon season. Its hilly northern area receives more rainfall than the south. Its major rivers, like the Mechi, Kankai Mai, Ratuwa, Biring, Deuniya,(Aduwa), (Bhuteni), (Dhangri), Hadiya, Ninda, Krishne Khola, Gauriya, Ramchandre etc. provide water for irrigation.
Due to its alluvial soil best suited for agriculture, Jhapa has been the largest producer of rice and is therefore known as the Grain Grocery of Nepal. Besides cereal crops like rice and wheat, it is also one of the largest producers of jute, tea, betel nut, rubber and other cash crops.
Jhapa also has vast areas of forests, such as Deonia, Charali, Charkose Jhaadi, Hadiya, Sukhani, Jalthal, and others. Its name itself is derived from the Rajbanshi word "jhapa" meaning "canopy", which suggests that the area was a dense forest in the past. It was once such a dense and dangerous forest that it was called Kaalapaani and prisoners were sent here to die of malaria and other diseases in the jungle.
Attractions and sites
Jhapa also has several religious and historical sites of great importance like Kankai Mai, Kichakbadh, Satasidham, Arjundhara, Chillagadh, Biratpokhar, and Krishnathumki among others. It is believed that Pandu's son Bhim had killed Kichak in Kichakbadh (near Kechana in the south border) in the time of the Mahabharata and a great festival is observed on that day every year. There is also the historical fort of Chandragadh which gave its name to Chandragadhi. Other sites too have their own religious and historical values. It is also the gateway to Darjeeling and Sikkim and the rest of north-east India from Nepal.
Recently, Jhapa is gaining popularity in the medical field especially in eye treatment. Each day hundreds of patient from adjoining distract of Nepal and India visits Mechi Eye Hospital for eye treatment.The other major centers of attractions are Jhamunkhadi Simsar Tourism Area in Surunga and Domukha as well.
Jhapa is one of the most developed districts of the country. Almost all the villages and towns are linked by roads. There are schools and colleges in many parts of the district. There is also an airport and a hospital in Bhadrapur. It has the highest literacy rate in the country after Kathmandu, Kaski and Chitwan districts. Airport is domestic and you can get regular flights from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur to Kathmandu. It takes forty five minutes flight. There is a hundred bedded Zonal hospital. It has different departments as Medicine, Surgery, Gynaecology & obstetrics, Paediatrics, and the 24 hours emergency facilities. AMDA Hospital Damak,established in 1992 as AMDA referral center of 15-bed capacity with the help of AMDA International, and Damak Municipality. There are some private hospitals like Life Line Hospital,Damak, Mechi Model Hospital, Kanchunga Hospital, Pathivara Hospital & Research Center Pvt.Ltd.Birtamod etc.It also has Mechi eye Hospital which is supposed to be one of the biggest eye hospital in Nepal. The government hospital also provides the plastic surgery services occasionally.
Jhapa has a literacy rate of 66.93 percent. Chulla Chulli English Boarding School,Emerald Academy, Siddhartha Sishu Sadan and Little Flowers School are some of the best schools in the country. There are also some good private schools like East Horizon English School, Shree Harikul Model Higher Secondary School(+2), Suryodaya English School, Siddhartha Boarding School, Newtons Education Academy, Shree Pashupati Secondary School, Balmiki Academy, Gyanjyoti Higher Secondary School, Dipjan English Boarding School, Divya Jyoti Secondary School, Purwanchal Academy etc. The number of Colleges providing opportunity of higher studies has been increasing in Jhapa. Mechi Multiple Campus Bhadrapur and Damak Multiple Campus are the wings of Tribhuvan University. Kankai Adarsh Campus Birtamode, College for Higher Education (COHED) and Kanakai Multiple Campus Surunga are the other main Colleges Providing higher education up to Master's Degree in Management, Education and Humanities Stream. Mechi Multiple Campus is one of the most Known Campus in Jhapa which provides better education qualities. It provide education in different faculties like Science, Management and Humanities.
Role in national politics
It plays the main role in national politics. The Communist revolution was started from the Jhapa, which led to formation of one the most prominent party of nation CPN-UML. Many national political figures are from Jhapa such as Late C.K. Prasai(Bharat Babu), R.K Mainali, K.P Oli, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Chakra Bastola,Late Gauri Shankar Khadka, C.P Mainali. Recently during JanaAndolan 2063 (April Revolution) Jhapa played a significant role in the agitation against Royal takeover. Around 5 peoples were killed by the Royal Army in Bhadrapur and many more deaths weren't disclosed.
Agriculture and industry
Jhapa is also famous for microcredit development. The Small Farmer Development Programme (SFDP) was the first rural and micro-financing program in Jhapa. The Agricultural Development Bank started this Small Farmer Development Programm in 1988. It started in a few VDCs and spread. After lifted many people out of poverty, the SFDP was handed over to the local people and the new institution was named Small Farmer Cooperative Ltd (SFCL). There are currently 13 SFCLs in Jhapa, each of which covers a single VDC.
It is one of the major districts for the Production of Tea and Rice. Budhabare situated on the northern side of the Mahendra Highway is one of the most fertile lands of Nepal. Jhapa as a district is also popular for the bittle nuts (Supari). Several large Tea Estate are also located in Jhapa. Giri Bandhu Tea Estate, Burne tea state, Tokla Tea Estate,Himalaya Tea State,Damak, Sattighatta Tea Estate are the Major ones.
Jhapa has been equipped with different sorts of communication medium. The internet provided by different ISP link Jhapa with the rest of the world.
- Household and population by districts, Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) Nepal
- The Map of Potential Vegetation of Nepal - a forestry/agroecological/biodiversity classification system, . Forest & Landscape Development and Environment Series 2-2005 and CFC-TIS Document Series No.110., 2005, ISBN 87-7803-210-9, retrieved Nov 22, 2013
- "Census 2001". Census. central bureau of statistics, Nepal. 2001. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
- Emerald Academy
- Districts of Nepal at statoids.com