Dolpa District

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Dolpa District
Two mountains shrouded in clouds
Location of Dolpa District (dark yellow) in Karnali
Location of Dolpa District (dark yellow) in Karnali
Country   Nepal
ProvinceKarnali Province
Admin HQ.Dunai (Thuli Bheri)
 • TypeCoordination committee
 • BodyDCC, Dolpa
 • HeadSher Bahadur Buda (CPN-UML)
 • Parliamentary constituenciesDolpa 1
 • Provincial constituenciesDolpa 1(A) &
Dolpa 1(B)
 • Total7,889 km2 (3,046 sq mi)
 • Rank1st
 • Total36,700
 • Density4.7/km2 (12/sq mi)
 • Ethnic groupsChhetri, Magar, Dolpo, Kami, Gurung, Thakuri
 • Female 50%
Human Development Index
 • Literacy53%
Time zoneUTC+05:45 (NPT)
Main Language(s)Nepali
Major highwaysKali Gandaki Corridor

Dolpa District (Nepali: डोल्पा जिल्लाListen ), is a district, located in Karnali Province of Nepal, It is one of the seventy-seven districts of Nepal and one of ten district of Karnali. The district, with Dunai as its district headquarters, covers an area of 7,889 km2 (3,046 sq mi) and has a population (2011) of 36,700.[1] Dolpa is the largest district (by area) of Nepal.

Geography and climate[edit]

Dolpa is the largest district of Nepal covering 5.36% of the total landmass of the country, located at 28°43’N to 29°43’N latitude, and 82°23’E to 83°41’E longitude. Elevation ranges from 1,525 to 7,625 m (5,003 to 25,016 ft). The district borders Tibet on the north and northeast, Jumla and Mugu districts on the west, Myagdi, Jajarkot, Western and Eastern Rukum on the south, and Mustang on the east.

A large portion of the district is protected by Shey Phoksundo National Park. The name is derived from the 12th century Shey Monastery and the deepest lake in Nepal, the Phoksundo Lake, both of which lie in the district. The park protects endangered animals like the snow leopard, musk deer and the Tibetan wolf. Shey Phoksundo is the largest and the only trans-Himalayan National Park in Nepal.[citation needed] It is the biggest area occupying district of Nepal.

The district distances an altitudinal range of over 5,000 m (16,000 ft) from a little over 1,500 m (4,900 ft) at Tribeni in Kalika VDC to 7,381 m (24,216 ft) meters at the peak of Churen Himal. Kanjiroba (6,221 m (20,410 ft)), Mukot (6,638 m (21,778 ft)) and Putha Hiunchuli (7,246 m (23,773 ft)) are other renowned peaks.

Physiographical the smaller ranges of the Great Himalayas comprise the southern border of the district. Between these and the border mountain ranges of Gautam Himal and Kanti Himal to the north, Dolpa district is a labyrinth of often wide glacial valleys and ridges. Kanjiroba Himal and Kagmara Lekh running northwest to southeast separate the valleys of the Jagdula in the west from the rest of the district.[citation needed]

Climate Zone[2] Elevation Range % of Area
Subtropical 1,000 to 2,000 meters
3,300 to 6,600 ft.
Temperate 2,000 to 3,000 meters
6,400 to 9,800 ft.
Subalpine 3,000 to 4,000 meters
9,800 to 13,100 ft.
Alpine 4,000 to 5,000 meters
13,100 to 16,400 ft.
Nival above 5,000 meters 3.8%


3,000 to 6,400 meters
9,800 to 21,000 ft.


At the time of the 2011 Nepal census, Dolpa District had a population of 36,700. The Chhetri are the largest community making up 54.94% of the population. The second largest group are the Magar with 9.50%. The Tibetan/Dolpo are 9.06%, 7.07% are Kami, 7.09% Gurung, 2.41% Thakuri, 3.75% Sarki, 1.72% Hill Brahmin, 1.59% Damai and 1.20% Tamang.[5]

At the time of the 2011 census, 70.36% of the population spoke Nepali, 6.63% Gurung, 5.90% Sherpa, 5.18% Magar, 4.40% Tibetan/Dolpali, 3.80% Bote and 2.69% Kham as their first language.[5]

Most of the people are Hindu/Masto Shamanism (92%) Buddhist (4%). 5.05% belong to the ancient Bonpo religion. Dolpa's major occupations are agriculture (79.5%) and service (2%).

Historical population
Census yearPop.±% p.a.
1981 22,043—    
1991 25,013+1.27%
2001 29,545+1.68%
2011 36,700+2.19%
2021 42,959+1.59%
Source: Citypopulation[6]


Dolpa region is a distant region of Nepal and the central point of this area is Shey Phoksumdo National Park. The east and south of Dolpa are surrounded by the Dhaulagiri and Churen Himal ranges and to the west is the Jumla district. Trekking to Lower Dolpa offers you the remarkable and breathtaking experience of a lifetime. The notable features seen here are snowy peaks, ancient and remote villages, rich wildlife, lovely Buddhist monasteries and wonderful lakes. The people of this area are simple and warm-hearted with an enthralling culture and traditions. The cultural traditions of this area are basically linked with the Tibetan culture.

Trekking into Dolpa presents an exposure to the high and remote Himalayan valleys, resembling the Tibetan highlands. The main highlight of Dolpa trekking includes “Shey Phoksundo National Park” which is one of the major national parks of Nepal. “Shey Phoksundo Lake” is another famous feature of this region. The lake is totally free of aquatic life, which the crystal waters clearly demonstrate. Surrounded by rocks, forests, and snow-capped peaks, the area has been described as one of the world's “Natural Hidden Wonders”.


This district, despite being the largest in area in the nation, has only 1 vehicle as of November 2012, and no road links to other districts.[7] Government is trying to link roadway to Dolpa, Dunai. The road is linked to Rukum, Jajarkot districts. The road is 118 km (73 mi) long, of which 73 km (45 mi) road construction is completed and is planning to complete up to Asaar.


The district consists of 8 Municipalities, out of which two are urban municipalities and six are rural municipalities. These are as follows:[8]

Former village development committees[edit]

Prior to the restructuring of the district, Dolpa District consisted of the following municipalities and village development committees:

Map of the VDCs in Dolpa District

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Population and Housing Census 2011(National Report)" (PDF). Central Bureau of Statistics. Government of Nepal. November 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  2. ^ The Map of Potential Vegetation of Nepal – a forestry/agroecological/biodiversity classification system (PDF), . Forest & Landscape Development and Environment Series 2-2005 and CFC-TIS Document Series No.110., 2005, ISBN 87-7903-210-9, retrieved 22 November 2013
  3. ^ Shrestha, Mani R.; Rokaya, Maan B.; Ghimire, Suresh K. (2005). "Vegetation pattern of Trans-Himalayan zone in the North-West Nepal". Nepal Journal of Plant Sciences. 1: 129–135. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  4. ^ Banerji, Gargi; Basu, Sejuti. "Climate Change and Himalayan Cold Deserts: Mapping vulnerability and threat to ecology and indigenous livelihoods" (PDF). Pragya. Gurgaon, Haryana, India. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b 2011 Nepal Census, Social Characteristics Tables
  6. ^ "NEPAL: Administrative Division".
  7. ^ "Few vehicles in Karnali's district – Detail News : Nepal News Portal". The Himalayan Times. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  8. ^ "स्थानिय तह" (in Nepali). Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration. Retrieved 1 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°56′N 82°54′E / 28.933°N 82.900°E / 28.933; 82.900