Darchula District

Darchula District (Nepali: दार्चुला जिल्ला pronounced [ˈdaɾt͡sula] (listen), a part of Sudurpashchim Province, is one of the nine districts of province and one of seventy-seven districts of Nepal. The district, with Khalanga (Mahakali Municipality) as its district headquarters, covers an area of 2,322 km2 (897 sq mi) and has a population (2011) of 133,274.[1] Darchula Lies in the west-north corner of the country.

Darchula District of nepal
दार्चुला जिल्ला
Sunrise view from Lekam, Darchula
Sunrise view from Lekam, Darchula
Location of Darchula District
Location of Darchula District
Country   Nepal
ProvinceSudurpashchim Province
Admin HQ.Khalanga (Mahakali Municipality)
 • TypeCoordination committee
 • BodyDCC, Darchula
 • HeadMr. Karbir Singh Karki
 • Deputy-HeadMr. Krishna Singh Dhami
 • Parliamentary constituencies1
 • Provincial constituencies2
 • Total2,322 km2 (897 sq mi)
Highest elevation
7,132 m (23,399 ft)
Lowest elevation
518 m (1,699 ft)
 • Total133,274
 • Density57/km2 (150/sq mi)
 • Households
 • Ethnic groupsHindus (99%)
Buddhist (1%)
 • Female 52%
 • Male /100 female91.30
Human Development Index
 • Income per capicta627 USD
 • Poverty rate33.06
 • Literacy65%
 • Life Expectancy69.05
Time zoneUTC+05:45 (NPT)
Postal Codes
10100..., 10116
Telephone Code093
Main Language(s)Dotiyali, Kumauni, Rung/Shauka, Nepali and others[citation needed]
Major highwaysMahakali Highway


Darchula is made of two words "Dar" (ne:दार) and "Chula" (ne:चुला). Dar means edge (peak) in Dotyali and Chula means fire stove, literally meaning a fire stove made of three stones (or peaks of three hills/mountains). Almost all people in this place used to cook on a fire stove made of three stones. Also, there are mountain peaks here which look like a three-stone fire stove. The legend says that sage Vyasa cooked his food here on a fire stove of three peaks.[4]


Darchula was part of Kumaon during Katyuri rule after fall of Katyuris and disintegration of the kingdom, kumaon was divided into numerous small principalities and this region came under the one of the katyuri principality knows as Doti Kingdom,[5][6] Gorkha annexed Doti in 1790[7] and made it part of Doti District until 1885. After 1885 it became part of Baitadi District. Baitadi and Dadeldhura had same "Bada-Hakim" (District Administrators) so those two districts used to be jointly called Baitadi-Dadeldhura district, which was formed into a proper Mahakali District after 1956. In 1956 four counties (Thums) of Baitadi were separated and made a sub-district of Mahakali district. From 1956 to 1962 the Mahakali district had three sub-districts: Dadeldhura, Bitadi and Chamba.[8][9][10]

In 1962, Chamba separately upgraded to a district and named "Darchula District".

Geography and climateEdit

Geographic landscape near Kharkada, Darchula

The district is surrounded by Bajhang District in the east, Baitadi District in the east and the south, Ngari Prefecture of TAR of China in the North and Pithoragarh district of India in the West.

The Himalayan region between two rivers Kali River to Seti River calls Gurans Himal.[11] Darchula district falls in the Gurans Himal zone. Api Himal (7,132 metres (23,399 ft)) and Jethi Bahurani (6,850 metres (22,470 ft)) are main mountain peaks of the area. There is a protected area named Api Nampa Conservation Area which ranges in elevation from 532 metres (1,745 ft) to 7,132 metres (23,399 ft). Mahakali, Chalune, Tinkar, Nampa and Kalagad are the rivers in the area.

The climate of the area is generally characterized by high rainfall and humidity. The climatic condition varies along with the elevation gradient. The climate of Darchula District varies widely from subtropical to alpine. In the north, most of the parts, having an alpine climate, remain under snow. In the southern part and valleys, the climate is subtropical. Mid- hills have a temperate climate. The average maximum temperature is 18.6 °C and the minimum temperature is 7.7 °C. The average rainfall is 2129mm. Most precipitation falls between May and September. About eighty percent of the total annual rainfall occurs during the monsoon season (June to September). All areas experience very high rainfall intensities, ranging between estimates of 125–350 mm (4.9–13.8 in) for a 24-hour period. Within its elevation range of 1,800 m (5,900 ft) to 6,500 m (21,300 ft), there are limited subtropical valleys in the southern margin although most of the area is ecologically temperate or highland. A cold, generally dry climate exists in the high alpine valleys just north of the southern arm of the Himalayan mountain range which cuts across the bottom of Darchula.[citation needed]

Climate Zone[12] Elevation Range % of Area
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.
Alpine 4,000 to 5,000 meters
13,100 to 16,400 ft.
Nival above 5,000 meters 17.5%

Major riversEdit


Darchula District is administered by Darchula District Coordination Committee (Darchula DCC). The Darchula DCC is elected by Darchula District Assembly. The head of Darchula DCC is Mr. Karbir Singh Karki and Mr. Krishna Singh Dhami is deputy head of Darchula DCC.

Darchula District Administration Office under Ministry of Home Affairs co-operate with Darchula DCC to maintain peace, order and security in the district. The officer of District Administration office called CDO and current CDO of Darchula DAO is Sharad Kumar Pokharel

Darchula District Court is a Judicial court to see the cases of people on district level.

Administration Name Head Website
Legislative District Coordination Committee Mr. Karbir Singh Karki ddcdarchula.gov.np
Executive District Administration Office Mr. Dirgha Raj Upadhyay daodarchula.moha.gov.np
Judicial District Court Mr. Komal Prasad Aacharya supremecourt.gov.np/court/darchuladc


The district consists of nine municipalities, out of which two are urban municipalities and seven are rural municipalities. These are as follows:[13]

SN Local level unit Type Population Area No. of wards Website
1 Mahakali Urban 21231 135.11 9 mahakalimundarchula.gov.np
2 Shailyasikhar Urban 22060 117.81 9 shailyashikharmun.gov.np
3 Malikarjun Rural 15581 100.82 8 malikarjunmun.gov.np
4 Apihimal Rural 6779 613.95 6 apihimalmun.gov.np
5 Duhun Rural 10818 65.35 5 duhunmun.gov.np
6 Naugad Rural 15874 180.27 6 naugadmun.gov.np
7 Marma Rural 14956 208.06 6 marmamun.gov.np
8 Lekam Rural 14838 83.98 6 lekammun.gov.np
9 Vyans Rural 10347 839.26 6 vyansmun.gov.np
Darchula District 132484 2344.61 61 ddcdarchula.gov.np

Former administrative divisionsEdit

Formerly, Darchula had one municipality and many VDCs. VDCs were the local administrative units for villages.

Fulfilling the requirement of the new constitution of Nepal 2015, on 10 March 2017 all VDCs were nullified and formed new units after grouping VDCs.


Darchula District consists 1 Parliamentary constituency and 2 Provincial constituencies:

Constituencies Type Area MP/MLA Party
Darchula 1 Parliamentary whole Darchula district Ganesh Singh Thagunna NCP
Darchula 1(A) Provincial Lekam, Malikarjun, Mahakali, Duhun and byans) Gelbu Singh Bohara NCP
Darchula 1(B) Provincial Shailyashikhar, Naugad, Marma, Apihimal Man Bahadur Dhami NCP


At the time of the 2011 Nepal census, Darchula District had a population of 133,274. Of these, 96.1% spoke Doteli, 2.4% Nepali, 0.5% Lepcha, 0.3% Byangsi, 0.3% Darchuleli, 0.1% Magar and 0.2% other languages.[14]

In terms of ethnicity/caste, 64.6% were Chhetri, 16.7% Hill Brahmin, 5.3% Kami, 4.9% Thakuri, 3.1% other Dalit, 1.3% Lohar, 1.3% Sanyasi/Dasnami, 0.7% Byasi/Sauka, 0.7% Damai/Dholi, 0.7% Sarki, 0.1% Badi, 0.1% Magar, 0.1% Tamang, 0.1% Thami and 0.2% others.[15]

In terms of religion, 98.9% were Hindu, 0.9% Buddhist, 0.2% Prakriti and 0.1% Christian.[16]

In terms of literacy, 65.2% could read and write, 2.4% could only read and 32.4% could neither read nor write.[17]

The number of male 63,609 and female 69,855. Decadal change(%) 9.40, annual growth rate 0.90%, sex ratio (males per 100 females) 91, absent (abroad) population 6,867, where number of male 5,880 and female 987. Total number of house 22,948. Total number of household 25,802. Average household size 5.17. Population density 57 km2 (22 sq mi). The town has an Indian counterpart to its northwest, named Dharchula. The split between the two towns is just virtual as the traditions, culture, and lifestyle of the people living across both the regions are quite similar.[citation needed]

Castes in Darchula District

  Chhetri (63.55%)
  Hill Brahmin (17.15%)
  Thakuri (7.01%)
  Others (12.39%)

Religion in Darchula district as of 2011.

  Hinduism (98.88%)
  Buddhism (0.87%)
  Prakṛti (0.15%)
  Christianity (0.05%)
  Islam (0.02%)
  Other or not religious (0.01%)

More than 56,000 people live in 8,989 households. About 58.4 percent of the population falls below the poverty line.[1]

Historical population
Census yearPop.±% p.a.
1981 90,218—    
1991 101,683+1.20%
2001 121,996+1.84%
2011 133,274+0.89%
2021 135,056+0.13%
Source: Citypopulation[18]

Economic developmentEdit

Darchula is one of the least developed districts of the country. The major socioeconomic indicator of Darchula District is still very poor. Life expectancy of these people was about 52 in 1996. About 89.90% of the total population depends upon agriculture. Substance agriculture, lack of basic infrastructure, difficult geophysical condition, traditional agricultural practice, low literacy rate and population growth are the root causes for deeply rooted poverty.[1]

Trade and businessEdit

Trade is one of the most important means of livelihood. Every year, people from the hills come with NTFP, ghee, and herbs to sell. Agriculture related commodities are sold in local bazaars (markets). People of Byans, Rapla go to Tibet to fill their needs for clothes and other commodities. Local carpets and wool products, handmade clothes, and NTFP bring in huge amounts of money to the VDCs. However, each and every respondent indicated that their income is invested in domestic use.


Api Nampa Conservation Area is a famous gateway to Kailash Mansarobar's holy region located in Tibet. Many pilgrims pass through this Conservation Area to get to Kailash Pravat. Not only Nepalese but also foreigners visit Api Nampa Conservation Area to acquire satisfaction, spirituality and the boons of nature. The first European, A. H. Savage Landor entered Nampa valley in 1899 and explored the glacier system. He travelled across the Tinkar valley and entered Tibet via the Lipu pass. In 1905, Dr. Longstaff visited this region. Then Swiss geologists A. Heim and A. Gansser visited the Api Himal area in 1936. The elevation of Api Himal at the top is calculated to be 23,399 ft. John Tyson and W. H. Murray explored this region in 1953. An Api group has been created to lure tourists wanting to see the geological features blending with nature and other natural assets. Sauka culture is also an attraction for tourist. Api Himal can be visited by going via Darchula Bazar, Huti, Sunsera, Rapla to base camp. It takes five days to reach there or travelers may go via Bitule, Makari Gad, Ghusa Village, Domilla, to Lolu at the base camp. Panoramic views of Himalayas are created by several peaks like Nampa, Jethi Bahurani and others.[citation needed]

Media/radio partnersEdit

To Promote local culture there are few FM radio stations: Radio Samad FM 102.6 MHz,[19] Radio Naya Nepal FM 104.5 MHz,[20] Darchula FM, which are Community radio Stations.


Colleges and schoolsEdit

  • Darchula Multiple Campus
  • Gokuleshwar Higher Secondary School
  • Himalaya Higher Secondary School
  • Gokuleswar Multiple Campus
  • Sri Krishna Snatak Campus
  • Rastriya Campus
  • Mahendra Higher Secondary School
  • Shankarpur Higher Secondary School
  • Latinath Higher Secondary School
  • Srikrishana Higher Secondary School
  • Rastiya Higher Secondary School
  • Latinatha Higher Secondary School
  • Hunainath Secondary School Baaj (Mahara Village)
  • Hunainath Higher Secondary School
  • Janabikasa Higher Secondary School
  • Ganesh Binayak Higher Secondary School
  • Malikarjun Higher Secondary School
  • Krishana Higher Secondary School
  • Sarswati Higher Secondary School
  • Gurilamandu Higher Secondary School
  • Galainath Higher Secondary School
  • Satya Parkash Higher Secondary School
  • Sri Krishana Higher Secondary School
  • Apinampa Campus



  1. ^ a b c d "National Population and Housing Census 2011(National Report)" (PDF). Central Bureau of Statistics. Government of Nepal. November 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  2. ^ "NepalMap profile: Darchula".
  3. ^ http://www.npc.gov.np/human_development_indicators_by_district/
  4. ^ "दार्चुला जिल्लाको संक्षिप्त परिचय". ddcdarchula.gov.np (in Nepali). DDC Darchula. n.d. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  5. ^ Alter, Andrew. (2014). Mountainous Sound Spaces : Listening to History and Music in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. ISBN 978-93-84463-06-9. OCLC 899733017.
  6. ^ Pande, Badri Datt (1993). History of Kumaun (English version of "Kumaun ka itihas"). Shyam Prakashan. ISBN 81-900209-4-3. OCLC 833063116.
  7. ^ "M. Gaborieau on 7 Bharats recorded in Nepal (1969)". n.d. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Government of Nepal Act 1948" (PDF).
  9. ^ "प्रशासकीय पुनर्गठन समिति (बुच कमिशन) को प्रतिवेदन, २००९" (PDF).
  10. ^ "नेपालको जिल्ला प्रशासन पुनर्गठनको रिपोर्ट, २०१३" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Himalaya". yetitrailadventure.com. n.d. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  12. ^ 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 87-7903-210-9, retrieved 22 November 2013
  13. ^ "स्थानिय तह" (in Nepali). Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  14. ^ NepalMap Language [1]
  15. ^ NepalMap Caste [2]
  16. ^ NepalMap Religion [3]
  17. ^ NepalMap Literacy [4]
  18. ^ "NEPAL: Administrative Division". www.citypopulation.de.
  19. ^ "50.Radio Samad FM 102.6 MHz".
  20. ^ "Radio Naya Nepal FM 104.5 MHz".

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit

Coordinates: 29°50′54″N 80°32′36″E / 29.848464°N 80.543391°E / 29.848464; 80.543391