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Bhimdatta (Nepali: भीमदत्त), formerly known as Mahendranagar (महेन्द्रनगर), is a city and municipality in far western Nepal, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the border of India and the Mahakali River. It is the headquarters of the district of Kanchanpur in Mahakali Zone.
Bhimdatta is the 9th largest city in Nepal. It is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of the Indian border and 700 kilometres (430 mi) west of Kathmandu. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census, it had a population of 62,050. According to the census of 2001, the city's population was 80,839. Bhimdatta is a hub of activity for industries running between India and Nepal. It is also a gateway to Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. The city was originally established by late Shri Ghadsi Ram Sarawagi, who hailed from Birganj in Parsa District and named it Mahendranagar in the honour of late king Mahendra of Nepal. After becoming a republic in 2008, the city name was changed to Bhimdatt
The indigenous people living here are the Rana-Tharus but people from other parts mostly from the hill districts Baitadi, Darchula and Dadeldhura find themselves at home. Bhimdatta has become a unique combination of ethnic groups which has a different way of life within an already diverse country Nepal. The festivals celebrated by the ethnic Tharu people is Teej, Holi, Maghi festival while Hill People primarily celebrate Gora (commonly called Gaura Parba). Deepawali or Diwali is a major festival which is celebrated with Laxmi Pooja, Gai Tihar, and Bhai Tika on their respective days. Dashain is also a major festival here.
Bhimdatta is the business and educational hub of the Mahakali Zone. Since it is in close proximity to the border with India, Bhimdatta plays a major role in trade in the region. Students from neighbouring districts come for education. There are reputed schools and colleges of the region. Siddhanath Science Campus is one of the popular college in Nepal, that lies in Mahendranagar so Mahendranagar is also known as destination of education. Far-western University teaching diversified disciplines ranging from Economics to Humanities to Sciences, is the only university in the city. International Public Higher Secondary School is the most reputed secondary school in far western region of Nepal. However, Radiant Higher Secondary School is well known for intermediate science faculty.Adarsha vidhya Niketan and Little Buddha Academy are also reputed college for intermediate commerce. People here are occupied by mainly agriculture as Nepal is an agrarian society. Business is another source of empowering the local economy which is concentrated in the bazaar area of Bhimdatta. Governmental Services is a significant part of the economy.
Transport and Communication
Bhimdatta is well equipped with modern forms of communication. With the rise of mobile technologies the locals are connected through voice and internet. Nepal Telecom is providing 3G facilities in the area. Bhimdatta is connected to other parts of Nepal by East-West Highway which is the only road which connects it to the rest of Nepal. There is a domestic airport in Bhimdatta which is out of service. Bus service connects Bhimdatta to all the other parts of the country. There is a customs post for goods and third country nationals, while Indian and Nepalese nationals may cross the border freely. Banbasa, Uttarakhand state, India is in the other side of the border. Bhimdatta is the nearest place in Nepal to New Delhi, capital of India. Bhimdatta is also connected by sub-highways to hill towns Dipayal, Baitadi, Amargadhi, and Darchula.
To promote local culture Bhimdatta has three community radio stations: Radio Mahakali - 96.2 MHz, Shuklaphanta FM - 94.4 MHz, and radio nagarik - FM 104.3., sudur sanchar FM