A view of Tea Estate in Ilam
|Motto: Hamro Ilam, Ramro Ilam|
|• Type||Ilam Municipality|
|• Ethnicities||Brahmin, Chhetri, Limbu, Rai, Gurung|
|• Religions||Hinduism, Buddhist and Kirat|
|Time zone||NST (UTC+5:45)|
Ilam (Nepali: इलाम Listen (help·info)) is a municipality of Ilam District, which is in the hilly region of Mechi zone, in the Eastern Development Region of Nepal. Ilam also acts as the headquarters of Ilam District and Mechi zone. Geographically it lies in the hill region which is mostly known as Mahabharata range. It is also one of the important town in Mechi zone and one of the major place in Nepal for tea-production. It is famous for natural scenery and landscapes, tea production, and diverse agricultural economy. It is one of the major horticultural crop production districts of Nepal. Ilam municipality is sub-divided in 9 different wards, the major governmental and district office lies in ward number 1 and ward number 2. Ilam also is a major hub for transportation and communication for VDC that lies in the upper part of the discrict.
The word ‘Ilam’ comprises two words-‘I’ and ‘Lam’. In Limbu dialect, the word ‘I’ means ‘winding’ and ‘lam’ denotes to the way. Upon looking at the topography of this land, we can actually see several winding paths crisscrossing on the way. Thus it is aptly named ‘Ilam’.
Ilam has many educational institutions. The major campus of Ilam is Mahendra Ratna Multiple Campus, a first QAA certified constituent Campus of Tribhuvan University, Nepal. It has four faculty; Science, Humanities, Education and Commerce. It provides education in undergraduation and Post graduation subjects. From 2069 BS (2012 AD) Under the affiliation from Tribhuvan University, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, MRM Campus has started Bachelor degree in Science in Horticulture. Besides from Ilam district, Students from Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Panchthar, Taplejung, Dhankuta, Kathmandu, Janakpur, Pokhara, Chitwan, Banke, Gorkha, Lamjung, Rupandehi, etc. are here to study horticulture. There are other institute which provides higher education such as Adarhsa HSS, Modern Campus, Ilam Technical college,etc.
Ilam Bazaar is located about 700 km east of Kathmandu. Regular buses are available from New Buspark, Koteshwar and Kalanki of Kathmandu which takes to Ilam after a bus ride of about 16hours. An airport is under construction at Sukilumba Danda. Daily Bus/Bolero is available from Ilam to Taplejung, Phidim, Birtamod, Chandragadhi, Kakarbhitta, Siliguri (West Bengal), Pashupatinagar, Damak, Itahari, Dharan and Biratnagar. A new buspark is being constructed at Sera. Besides these, bus/Bolero also goes to all the VDCs of Ilam district.
Ilam view tower located in Panitanki, Gadi is a good place for the majestic views of hills, tea gardens, and some part of Ilam bazar,you can also see some parts of Jhapa on a clear day. The clock tower of Ilam also known as P.P. Tower is located in Ilam chok bazar. Establishment of New hotels like Summit Hotel, Hotel Green View, Agro Organic Cafe and Lodge, Chiyabari Cottage, Tamu Guest House and Lodge, Pokhreli Hotel,etc. helps to catch the flow of toursit and provides a class service.
Tea production in Ilam (as Nepal tea) started as early as 1863, when the Chinese government offered then Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana tea saplings that were then planted in Ilam. In 1868, the Ilam tea factory was established, and tea plantations covered over 135 acres of land. In 2010, the tea factory was privatized, and is currently not under operation. However, tea production continues in Ilam in other forms. Many local people gets employment from this.
In 2010, the total tea production of Nepal is 16.23 million kilograms per annum; a majority of this amount is produced in Ilam itself As well as the organic tea transport the foreign country
New Hotels are being opened in Ilam for tourism. Ilam is known for its six "A"s: are Alu (Potato), Alan (Milk), Alainchi (Cardamom), Aduwa (Ginger), Amriso (Broom Grass), and Akabare khursani (Round Chillies),etc. although tea, bamboo, flowers and silk are also produced in Ilam. Agricultural commodities helps to increase the Agricultural Gross Development Product. Beside these, toursim sector also contributes in the economy of Ilam.
Ilam bazaar has got haat on Sundays and Thursdays every week.
It is cold and freezing in the winter,mild warm in summer and fogg in the monsoon season. Many tourists come to Ilam for sight seeing of the natural beauty. In the context of climate, It is the best district of Nepal for living.
Environmentalism in Ilam
Ilam municipality is also known for its innovations in environmentalism. In 2010, the municipality became the first one in Nepal to ban plastic bags from the market, this is the great success all over the Nepal. The district also set aside 38 ropanis (>19,000 square metres) of land in the same year for processing degradable waste. In addition, Ilam's network of microhydropower produces more reliable electricity than is available in the rest of Nepal.
Ilam has three FM radio station namely Ilam FM (93 MHz), Nepalbani FM (94.9 MHz), Chiyabari FM which are Community radio station and Fikkal FM (90.6 MHz). They aim to promote local culture by various programs of infotainment. Chiyabari Daily, Ilam Express, Ilam Post and Sandakpur are daily newspaper published from Ilam. In addition to these, several weekly newspaper like Pawanbhumi and Ilam Awaj are published in Ilam.