|Nickname(s): Hetauda (हेटौडा)|
|• Type||Sub-metropolitan City|
|Time zone||Nepal Time (UTC+5:45)|
|Post code||44100, 44107|
Hetauda (Nepali: हेटौडा) is a Sub-Metropolitan City in Makwanpur District of the Narayani Zone in southern Nepal. It is also the administrative headquarters of the Makwanpur district. The city has 84,671 inhabitants. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 53,836 people living in 10,420 individual households.
It is 132 km from the capital Kathmandu via the old Tribhuvan Highway. There are now two alternate roads that are less than 80 km. They are, however, not black topped completely yet. The city is surrounded by three rivers, the Rapti to the west, the Samari to the north and the Karra to the south. It is one of the important industrial regions of Nepal. The settlement started due to its location at Tribhuvan Highway, and later was the meeting point of another major national highway, the East-West Highway.
Hetauda is the cleanliest city of Nepal according to data and reports conducted among more than 150 municipalities in Nepal. Due to its geographical features and its climate, it has been a popular choice for people migrating from the northern hilly regions to the south and from the southern Terai region, hence its causing increase in the population every year. Hetauda is situated in a unique geographical structure called Doon, which means that it has a geography like a valley. It is surrounded by hills: the Mahabharata range in the north and the Siwalik range in the south. The rivers Rapti, Samari and Karra run through the city and flow southwest to meet Narayani, one of the bigger and popular rivers of Nepal.
It is an hour drive from the Nepalese border city of Birgunj, which is adjacent to its Indian counterpart, Raxaul. Both the existing highways to the capital city Kathmandu – Tribhuvan Highway and the East-West Highway, Mahendra Highway that trails the length of the nation – traverse through this city. With so many entry and exit points leading in and out of this town, Hetauda is set to grow into a commercial powerhouse if only the country realized its potential.
Forest (flora and fauna)
The major forest species in the city is Sal(Shorea robusta). The city is all surrounded by beautiful Sal forest hill. In the banks of Rapti and Karra river Sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo)can also be found mixed up with Sal and other tropical species. Being greenery as the well known indicator of this city, most of the community forest are found proudly aware to conserve protect and use of the forest resources in a sustainable way. Ashok tree is plying absolute role to show the main city area green and nice. No doubt Community Forests are the backbone of the city for its greenery. Among all the Community Forest User Groups, the Rani Community Forest User Group is well known in the country for its intensive sustainable forest management as well as for the good governance in a very short history of its scientific management. Besides that all the community forests seem to follow the path of sustainable management for the fulfillment of this generation's demand as well as for insuring the rights of future generation demands.
As the government body; District Forest Office Makwanpur, District Soil Conservation Office Makwanpur and District Plant Resources Office Makwanpur, under the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, are situated in the district headquarters Hetauda. Some I/NGOs are also giving some support in the sustainable development of the forest resources in the area.
Hetauda is also known for its industries. Hetauda Industrial District (HID) is the one of the biggest industrial districts in the nation. Not only it houses some of the biggest industries in the nation, but also shelters the cottage and medium scale industries. However, due to the political events in the past ten years and present, HID is shrinking year after year. Industries have either moved to other countries or just shut down. Few of the most notable manufactures that have either been shut down or moved to a different country include Hetauda Textile Industry and a few others.
Hetauda is mostly a working-class residential town, and therefore a sizable portion of the population here are either employed by the industries or the government. Besides the industrial and governmental employment, individual entrepreneurship is another source of livelihood for the population which mostly tends to favor investment into transportation sector. Trucking is thus a popular business proposition as majority of goods plying to Kathmandu goes through this city. Recently, passenger service plying to Kathmandu using Indian Tata "Sumo" SUVs has taken hold in the city. The city meets most of the agricultural product demand from India. These days most of the youth from the city are working overseas, they work there and send money to their family for the living. The recent trend of economic dependency in foreign employment is undoubtedly high which seems also affecting the behavior of the city people and change their existing culture as well.
Among the popular attractions of Hetauda is the unique Martyr Memorial ParkSahid Smarak (शहीद स्मारक) that was constructed to honor the martyrs of Nepal, including the ones who lost their lives since the time of British colonial wars to the ones who overthrew the autocratic Panchayat System in 1989. The Park has become a tourist spot since its completion in 1994. The main attraction of the park are the sculptures of these martyrs that are sculpted on one big boulder. The sculpting of the faces was accomplished by the student volunteers of Nepal Lalit Kala Campus. The park is mostly famous as a picnic spot among younger generations as there are not any alternatives in town other than the popular Nepalese custom of going on a picnic on the bank of a river. The park is considered by many as a popular escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Now the park has zoo which consists some of the endangered and some common wild animals from Common Monkey to Leopard. Also has swimming pool which is popular among youth during summer days. Some game activities in the weekends are also a major attraction for the kids and some other interested people as well.
Similarly, Makwanpur Gadhi is another site east of the city, a fort of historic importance dating back to the unification process of Nepal. Prithvi Narayan Shah, the king that led the unification of the country into a greater Nepal, was married to the princess of Makwanpur whose father was a king of the Sen dynasty that ruled Makwanpur. Historians observe that this marriage, in fact, was a political strategy by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who saw the strategic benefit of an alliance with Makwanpur to encircle Kathmandu Valley.
It is an hour drive from the Nepalese border city of Birgunj, which is adjacent to its Indian counterpart, Raxaul. Both the existing highways to the capital city Kathmandu – Tribhuwan Highway and the East-West Highway, Mahendra Highway that trails the length of the nation – traverse through this city. With so many entry and exit points leading in and out of this town, Hetauda is set to grow into a commercial powerhouse if only the country realized its potential.
Hetauda's commercial prominence started with the construction of Tribhuvan Highway, the first highway built in the country. The eradication of malaria from its tropical forest paved the way for a settlement to grow. Its future depends on a second highway link that has been discussed for over a decade. The proposed link to Kathmandu through a series of tunnels will reduce the present length of 133 km via Tribhuwan Highway and 224 km via Mugling to a length of less than 60 km. Considering the need for a shorter route from Kathmandu to India and a transit point to sustain trade between the two fastest growing economies of India and China, the importance of Hetauda as a trade route is set to receive a big leap, if this proposed tunnel comes into existence. Recently, two shorter unpaved roads are being used for light vehicles to carry people. One can go through Fakhel Village to Pharping and proceed to Kathmandu, or in the event of its blockage, vehicles also go from Markhu and Sisneri villages towards Kathmandu. Black topping of Fakhel-Pharping and Madan Bhandari Road way (Sisneri) has completed.
Nearest airport from Hetauda is Simara Airport which is about 30 minutes drive from the city.
Education in Hetauda started with the establishment of Shree Bhutan Devi Secondary School (now Shree Bhutan Devi Higher Secondary School). Now there are various education institutions providing education. The institutions providing bachelors/master's degree in Hetauda are:
- Makwanpur Multiple Campus
- Hetauda School of Management and Social Sciences
- Hetauda Campus
- Hetauda City College
- Institute Of Forestry, Hetauda
- Narayani College
- Nawodit Nepal College
There are numerous schools in Hetauda providing educations in different levels (Higher Secondary, Secondary, Lower Secondary, Primary Levels).
To promote local culture Hetauda has one FM radio stations Shakti FM – 103.4 MHz which is a Community Radio Station. Beside this there are other FM radio stations in the private sector including Radio Makwanpur - 101.3 MHz, Hetauda FM - 96.6 MHz, and Radio Thaha Sanchar - 99.6.
There are some local newspapers and a single TV channel known as TeamTV.
2015 Nepal earthquake
According to Colin Stark at Columbia University, during the earthquake on 25 April 2015, "A part of India slid about one [foot] to 10 feet northwards and underneath Nepal in a matter of seconds. The part below Bihar slid under Nepal along a zone from Bharatpur, through Hetauda, to Janakpur."