The Ranimahal palace on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River is a major historical site in Nepal. Ranimahal was built at the end of the last century by Khagda Shamsher in memory of his wife Tej Kumari.
Governor of Palpa from 1891-1902, Khagda Shamsher was an ambitious politician exiled from Kathmandu after plotting against the then prime minister. Besides Ranimahal and his political machinations, Khada has another claim to fame. Together with the German Dr. A. Fuhrer, Shamsher started the search for and the excavation of the Ashok Pillar (erected by the great Indian emperor Ashok, a pioneer of Buddhism, in 249 BC) in Lumbini.
Back to Ranimahal, designed by a British engineer in Calcutta, the palace took four years to complete even with all the four platoons quartered in Tansen working on it. The place served as the governor’s guesthouse until Shamsher was exiled again, this time to India. The building has been neglected ever since. Though there have been recent attempts to give it a face lift, the palace remains empty and somewhat dilapidated.
It is, however, perched at a wonderful location overlooking the Kali Gandaki River, surrounded you verdant hills on all sides. The walk to the palace/river bank is scenic, though steep. While the palace itself might not awe you, the walk followed by a picnic on the river bank is well worth the effort.
From Srijana Farm-Tansen-Ranighat-Argeli-Srijana Farm or the other way around This route will lead you from Tansen to the Barangdi Khola to famous Ranighat, at the bank of Kali Gandaki River. If you continue to walk up along this holy stream, you will reach Argeli, home to a small hill called “Muslow”. If you climb the 500 stone steps on the southern side of the hill, you will get a beautiful view of Argeli and Ridi.
From Argeli, you can take the local bus back to Srijana Farm or proceed further to Ridi.
Ridi, at the confluence of the Ridi River and the Kali Gandaki, is a holy site for Hindus. Often called the ‘Benaras of Nepal’, it is located at the border of Palpa, Shyanga, and Gulmi districts. The eastern part of Ridi is home to the Galfule open caves which has wonderful views of the river and the market area.
|Walking Time||:||8 hours (For the entire circuit.)|
Tansen, the district capital of Palpa, is a mere 15 kms along good roads from the farm. The town derives its name from the Magar word Tansing, meaning northern settlement. Magars, one of the ethnic groups of Nepal, make-up about 60 percent of Palpa’s population. The majority community in Tansen, however, are the Newars who hail originally from the Kathmandu Valley. Traders and artisans, the Newar heritage can be seen in both the teeming Tansen Bazaar and the Basantapur old town.
A major point on the old trade route from Tibet to India, Tansen is a town with a long history of commercial and intellectual ferment. Many of Nepal’s current politicians, bureaucrats, and intellectuals studied in the public campus in Tansen. Sites of interest in Tansen include Amar Narayan Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Buddhist Monastery, and Srinagar Hill, a famous vantage point at 1650 meters above sea level. On clear days, you also get panoramic views of the Himalayas and can see the following peaks: Gaurga Peak, D-iv, D-V, DIII, DII Sitachhucura Tukuche, Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna , Hiuchuli, Gangapurna, Machapuchare, AIII, AIV, A II, Lamjung, Namun Pass, Manasulu peak from the hill.
For the keen shoppers, Tansen is famed for its Dhaka cloth and its brass karuwa pots.
Ribdikot: According to legend, this hilltop location was the old capital of Palpa. What is there now? We can arrange overnight camping trips here, with its wonderful views of the Himalayas. On a clear day, you see the whole topographic of Nepal from the Himalayas to the mid-hills to the flat Indo-gangetic plains near the Indian border.
Old trade route to Butwal:
There is no shortage of walks around the farm, whether you want to walk an hour, a half day, or a whole day loop bringing you back to Srijana for a warm bath and dinner at dusk. Let us know what kind of walk you like when you arrive, and we’ll guide you in the right direction.