Ilam District

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Ilam District
इलाम जिल्ला
Mechi districts.png
Country Nepal
Region Eastern (Purwanchal)
Zone Mechi
Headquarters Ilam
 • Total 1,703 km2 (658 sq mi)
Elevation(maximum) 3,636 m (11,929 ft)
Population (2011[1])
 • Total 290,254
 • Density 170/km2 (440/sq mi)
Time zone NPT (UTC+5:45)
Main language(s) Limbu, Nepali

Ilam district (Nepali: इलाम जिल्लाAbout this sound Listen ) is a Hill district of Mechi Zone in Nepal's Eastern Development Region. The district covers 1,703 km2 (658 sq mi). The 2011 census counted 290,254 population..[1] Ilam is the district headquarters, about 600 km (370 mi) from Kathmandu.


Illam attracts many researchers who come to study rare birds and the red panda. Ilam stretches from the Terai belt to the upper hilly belt of this Himalayan nation.

The name Ilam is derived from the Limbu language in which "Ii" means twisted and "Lam" means road. Illam was one of the ten self ruling states of Limbuwan before the reunification of Nepal. Its ruler King Hangshu Phuba Lingdom of Lingdom dynasty ruled Illam as a confederate state of Limbuwan until 1813 AD. The treaty between the other Limbuwan states and the King of Gorkha (Gorkha-Limbuwan Treaty of 1774 AD) and the conflict of Gorkha and Sikkim led to the unification of Illam with Gorkha. Illam was the last of the ten kingdoms of Limbuwan to be reunified into Nepal. The King of Gorkha gave the ruler of Illam full autonomy to rule and the right of Kipat. Illam was an independent Limbu kingdom until 1813 CE/1869 BS.

Ilam is today one of the most developed places in Nepal. Its ILAM TEA is very famous and is exported to many parts of Europe. The main source of income in this district is tea, cardamom, milk, ginger, potato, orlon, and broom production on a large scale.

This place also has a religious importance. The devi temples have a great importance attached to them and many people come here just for pilgrimage.

The major attraction of Ilam is the 9-cornered Mai Pokhari lake. Also known as the abode of the goddess lots of tourists as well as Nepalese people come to visit this place.Mai river and its four tributaries also emerge in Ilam district. The famous Mane Bhanjyang (Mane pass) connects Ilam with Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India.

Ilam was much in the news in the past during the Maoist insurgency, from here the Maoists launched massive attacks frequently.

Tourists going to Ilam can expect to pay around 1000 rupees a week for accommodation and food.

Geography and climate[edit]

Climate Zone[2] Elevation Range  % of Area
Lower Tropical below 300 meters (1,000 ft) 15.5%
Upper Tropical 300 to 1,000 meters
1,000 to 3,300 ft.
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.

Towns & Villages[edit]

Map of the VDCls in Ilam District

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Population and Housing Census 2011(National Report)" (PDF). Central Bureau of Statistics. Government of Nepal. November 2012. Retrieved 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 87-7803-210-9, retrieved Nov 22, 2013 

Coordinates: 26°54′N 87°56′E / 26.900°N 87.933°E / 26.900; 87.933

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