Province No. 1

Province No. 1 (proposed names: Kirat/Kirat Limbuwan/Sagarmatha/Koshi)[6] is the easternmost of the seven provinces established by the new constitution of Nepal which was adopted on 20 September 2015.[6] The province covers an area of 25,905 km2, about 17.5% of the country's total area. With the industrial city of Biratnagar as its headquarters, the province covers other major eastern towns including Damak, Dharan, Itahari, Inaruwa and Birtamod and includes several mountains including the Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Ama Dablam. Koshi – the largest river of the nation, circumvents the province's western boundary. Adhering to the first-past-the-post voting system issued by the Constituency Delimitation Commission, the province hosts 28 parliamentary seats and 56 provincial seats.[7]

Province No. 1
प्रदेश नं० १
Mount Everest as seen from Drukair2 PLW edit.jpg
Kanchenjunga Shines as it gets first sunrays (By Saroj Pandey).jpg
Gokyo Lakes 01.jpg
Stupa at Namche Bazaar.jpg
Repuk Makalu Barun Valley Nepal.jpg
Tea Estate near Ilam Bazar, Ilam. (By Saroj Pandey).jpg
Halesi Mahadev Temple.jpg
Tengboche monastery II.JPG
Location of Province No. 1 in Nepal
Location of Province No. 1 in Nepal
Province No. 1
Coordinates: 26°27′15″N 87°16′47″E / 26.45417°N 87.27972°E / 26.45417; 87.27972Coordinates: 26°27′15″N 87°16′47″E / 26.45417°N 87.27972°E / 26.45417; 87.27972
Country   Nepal
Formation20 September 2015
Capital cityBiratnagar[1]
Largest cityBiratnagar
 • TypeSelf-governing Province
 • BodyGovernment of Province No.1
 • GovernorSomnath Adhikari Pyasi
 • Chief MinisterBhim Acharya (UML)
 • High CourtBiratnagar High Court
 • Provincial AssemblyUnicameral (93 seats)
 • Parliamentary constituency28
 • Total25,905 km2 (10,002 sq mi)
Area rank2nd
Highest elevation
8,848 m (29,029 ft)
Lowest elevation
70 m (230 ft)
 • Total4,534,943
 • Rank3rd
 • Density180/km2 (450/sq mi)
 • Density rank4th
 • Households
 • ReligionsHindus, Kirat, Buddhist
 • Ethnic groupsRai, Limbu, Chettri,Rajbanshi, Bahun, Sherpa
 • Sex ratio91.48 /100 (2011)
Human Development Index 0.553Increase (medium)
 • Poverty rate0.127[4]
 • Literacy65.30%
 • Life Expectancy69%
Time zoneUTC+5:45 (NPT)
Official languageNepali (43.07%)
Other Official language(s)1. Maithili

The province is bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north, the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal to the east, and Bihar to the south, and Bagmati Province and Province No. 2 to the west.[8][9][10] According to the 2011 census, there are around 4.5 million people in the province, with a population density of 175.6 per square kilometer.[11]


Eastern Districts of Nepal in 1942.

At the end of Rana regime, Nepal was divided into 32 districts. Eastern Nepal (Province No. 1) contained following districts:

In 1956, eastern districts of Nepal grouped in a region named "Arun Kshetra". Arun Kshetra was composed by grouping the then 5 districts. Those 5 districts are now divided into many districts. Arun Kshetra had total area of 7,000 square miles (18,000 km2) and total population was 11 Lakhs.[12] The five districts were:

  1. Biratnagar District (Sunsari, Morang)
  2. Dhankuta District (Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha)
  3. Taplejung District (Taplejung, Panchtharl)
  4. Mechi District (Ilam, Jhapa)
  5. Bhojpur District (Bhojpur, Khotang)

In 1962, administrative system restructured and the "Kshetras" system cancelled and the country restructured into 75 development districts and those districts were grouped into zones.[13] In 1972 area of the Province No. 1 named Eastern Development Region. It had 3 zones and 16 districts.

As per the cabinet meeting held on 17 January 2018, the city of Biratnagar was declared the interim capital of Province No. 1. It was later declared as the permanent capital on 6 May 2019 when two-thirds of the provincial assembly's MLAs voted in favor of Biratnagar.[1]


Topography of Province No. 1

Province No. 1 covers an area of 25,905 km2.[11] The province has three-fold geographical division: Himalayan in the north, Hilly in the middle and Terai in the southern part of Nepal, varying between an altitude of 70 m and 8,848 m. Terai, extended from east to west, is made up of alluvial soil. To the west of Koshi River, in between Mahabharat Range and Churia Range, there elongates a valley called Inner Terai. Churai Range, Mahabharat Range and other hills of various height, basins, tars and valleys form the hilly region. Some parts of this region are favorable for agriculture but some other parts are not. Himalayan region, in the north, consists of many mountains ranges. Mahalangur, Kumbhakarna, Umvek, Lumba Sumba and Janak being some of them. The highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest (8848.86 m); and the third highest mountain, Kangchenjunga (8598 m) also lie in this province.

Nepal's lowest point, Kechana Kawal at 70 m, is located in Jhapa district of this province. There are many river basins and gentle slopes as well. Chure, Mahabharat, many basins, tars and valleys form the Terai region. Between the Churia and Mahabharat a low land of inner Terai exists. The Koshi river flows through the region with its seven tributaries; Indrawati, Likhu, Tamur, Dudh Kosi, Arun, Tamakoshi and Bhote Koshi (Sunkoshi). Tundra vegetables, coniferous forest, deciduous monsoon forests and sub-tropical evergreen woods are vegetations found here. Sub-tropical, temperate, sub-temperate, and alpine and tundra types of climates are found here.

Province No. 1 also includes the snow fall capped peaks including Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga, Makalu with Solukhumbu, Sankhuwasabha, and Taplejung districts towards the north, the jungle clad hill tracts of Okhaldhunga, Khotang, Bhojpur, Tehrathum, Ilam and Panchthar in the middle and the alluvial fertile plains of Udayapur, Sunsari, Morang and Jhapa. Province No. 1 includes places like Haleshi Mahadev Temple, Pathivara Temple and Barahachhetra, which are the famous religious shrines for Hindus.


Climatic conditions of Nepal vary from one place to another in accordance with their geographical features. Province No. 1 has three geographical folds: the low-land of Terai, the hilly region and the highlands of the Himalayas. The low land altitude is 59 m, whereas the highest point is 8848 m.

In the north, summers are cool and winters severe, while in the south, summers are tropical and winters are mild. Climatically, the southern belt of the province, the Terai, experiences a warm and humid climate. Eastern Nepal receives approximately 2,500 millimeters of rain annually. Province No. 1 has five seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter.

Average temperatures and precipitation for selected communities in Province No. 1[14]
Location August









Precipitation (mm/in)

Damak 94 / 82 34 / 28 74 / 47 23 / 8 2618 /103.07
Dharan 85.1/72.3 29.5/22.4 68.4/44.4 20.2/6.9 1416/55.7
Biratnagar 83.1 28.4 60.8 16 1549.8/61
Bhadrapur 82.2 27.9 61.2 16.2 2351.9/92.6
Dhankuta 76.5 24.7 54.5 12.5 1809.5/71.2
Khandbari 74.8 23.8 52 11.1 2040.7/80.3
Ilam 71.8 22.1 50.9 10.5 2551.5/100.5
Bhojpur 69.1 20.6 46.8 8.2 2290.4/90.2
Khumbu Pasang Lhamu 56.1/38.3 13.4/3.5 33.8/-0.8 1/-18.2 645/25.4


Everest and Lhotse from the south. In the foreground are Thamserku, Kantega, and Ama Dablam
South-west (Yalung) face of Kangchenjunga seen from Nepal

Northern part of Province No. 1 has the highest mountain of the world. Here is a list of mountains in Province No. 1.

Mountain/peak metres feet Section Notes
Mount Everest 8,848.86 29,032 Khumbu Mahalangur   Earth's highest peak from sea level
Kanchenjunga 8,586 28,169 Northern Kangchenjunga   3rd highest on Earth
Lhotse 8,516 27,940 Everest Group   4th highest
Makalu 8,463 27,766 Makalu Mahalangur   5th highest
Cho Oyu 8,201 26,906 Khumbu Mahalangur   6th highest
Gyachung Kang 7,952 26,089 Khumbu Mahalangur   between Everest and Cho Oyu
Nuptse 7,861 25,791 Everest Group   319 metres prominence from Lhotse
Jannu 7,711 25,299 Kumbhakarna Kangchenjunga  
Kabru 7,412 24,318 Singalila Kangchenjunga  
Kirat Chuli 7,365 24,163 Kangchenjunga  
Nangpai Gosum 7,350 24,114 Khumbu Mahalangur  
Chamlang 7,321 24,019 Barun Mahalangur   #79 in the world
Pumori 7,161 23,494 Khumbu Mahalangur   First ascent 1962
Baruntse 7,129 23,389 Barun Mahalangur   First ascent 1954
Ama Dablam 6,812 22,349 Barun Mahalangur   "Mother and her necklace"
Kangtega 6,782 22,251 Barun Mahalangur   First ascent 1963
Cho Polu 6,735 22,096 Barun Mahalangur   First ascent 1999
Lingtren 6,714 22,028 Khumbu Mahalangur   First ascent 1935
Num Ri 6,677 21,906 Barun Mahalangur   First ascent 2002
Khumbutse 6,640 21,785 Khumbu Mahalangur   First mountain west of Everest
Thamserku 6,623 21,729 Barun Mahalangur   First ascent 1964
Pangboche 6,620 21,719 Kutang Himal  
Taboche 6,542 21,463 Khumbu Mahalangur   First ascent 1974
Mera Peak 6,476 21,247 Himalayas   Trekking peak
Cholatse 6,440 21,129 Khumbu Mahalangur   Connected to Taboche
Kusum Kangguru 6,367 20,889 Barun Mahalangur   Trekking peak (difficult)
Ombigaichan 6,340 20,801 Barun Mahalangur  
Kongde Ri 6,187 20,299 Barun Mahalangur   Trekking peak (difficult)
Imja Tse 6,160 20,210 Khumbu Mahalangur   Also known as Island Peak. Popular trekking peak.
Lobuche 6,145 20,161 Khumbu Mahalangur   Trekking peak
Nirekha 6,069 19,911 Khumbu Mahalangur   Trekking peak (difficult)
Pokalde 5,806 19,049 Khumbu Mahalangur   Trekking peak (moderate)
Mount Khumbila 5,761 18,901 Mahalangur   Unclimbed
Kala Patthar 5,545 18,192 Khumbu Mah   Popular hiking peak below Pumori
Gokyo Ri 5,357 17,575 Himalayas   Popular hiking peak
South Side: View from Mera Peak


There are many rivers in the region which flow towards south from the Himalayas which are tributaries of other large rivers which joins Ganga River (in India). Sapta Koshi or the Koshi is the main river of the region. Seven tributaries join the Koshi so it called Saptkoshi.

The major rivers in the province are:

Protected AreasEdit


There are total 137 local administrative units in this province, in which there is 1 metropolitan city, 2 sub-metropolitan cities, 46 municipalities and 88 rural municipalities.


The province is made up of the 14 following districts:


Province No. 1 (Province No. 1)

Cities and villages are governed by municipalities in Nepal. A district may have one or more municipalities. Province No. 1 has two types of municipalities.

  1. Urban Municipality (Urban Municipality has three levels):
    1. Metropolitan city
    2. Sub-metropolitan city and
    3. Municipality
  2. Rural Municipality (Gaunpalika)

The government of Nepal has set out a minimum criteria to meet city and towns. These criteria include a certain population, infrastructure and revenues.


The first provincial assembly elections in Nepal were held on 26 November and 7 December 2017.

After the results of the recent election in Province No. 1 the biggest party is CPN (UML) which won 51 of 93 seats; the second biggest party is Nepali Congress which won 21 seats; and the third biggest party is CPN (Maoist Center) which won 15 seats in first Provincial Assembly election.[15]

There are 56 FPTP and 37 PR seats in the province.

In a meeting on 17 January 2018 the Government of Nepal finalized the temporary capital of Province No. 1, and appointed Govinda Subba as the governor.[16]

Sher Dhan Rai was elected as Chief Minister of Province No. 1 on February 14, 2018.[17] He was a former Minister for Information and Communications. He was appointed as the chief minister, according to Article 168 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal.[17]

Provincial AssemblyEdit

The first meeting of the provincial assembly was held on 5 February 2018 in Biratnagar and was chaired by Om Prakash Sarbagi.[18] Pradeep Kumar Bhandari was elected unopposed as the Speaker of the Provincial Assembly on 11 February 2018.[19] Saraswoti Pokharel was also elected unopposed to the post of Deputy Speaker on 15 February 2018.[20]

Party FPTP PR Total
NCP 46 20 66
Nepali Congress 8 13 21
Federal Socialist Forum, Nepal 1 2 3
Rastriya Prajatantra Party 0 1 1
Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch 0 1 1
Independent 1 - 1
Total 56 37 93
Source: Election Commission of Nepal


All provinces of Nepal except Province No. 2 have difficult geographic features. Only three districts out of fourteen of Province No. 1 falls in Terai and one district falls in inner Terai. Elevation from lowest point of Nepal, Kechana (70 m above sea level) to the highest point of world, Everest (8848 m above sea level) lies in this province, so maintaining consistent road network is one of the most challenging. Despite of those challenges, all districts are connected via road networks. Air services are available. Rail services are under construction.


Almost all districts are connected by roads in Province No. 1, although some roads at high altitudes are not paved and conditions of those roads worsen during the rainy season. In the hills and mountain regions, the traffic is much lighter compared to Terai regions like Jhapa and Morang due to difficult terrain.

The main highways of Province No. 1 connect Terai to the high altitude regions. There are feeder roads too for inter-district and in-district travel.


Indo-Nepal border

Many domestic airports and air services are available in the region including one of the most geographically challenging airports, Lukla Airport.

Airports in Province No. 1:


There is a 13 km railway track which has been laid in Nepal by Indian Railways is connected to Bathnaha railway station. Bathnaha is a village situated at Araria district of Bihar state of India. Budhanagar is the first railway station of ForbesganjBiratnagar section in Nepal which is at distance of 18 km from Bathnaha Railway Station. The railway track is further being constructed to connect Biratnagar city.[22][23]

Economic activitiesEdit

Tourism, natural resources, industries, agriculture and foreign employment are the major sources of income for the people of Province No. 1. Similarly, there are many tourist sites: Sagarmatha National Park, Makalu Barun National Park, Barahachhetra, Damak, Itahari, Dharan, Ilam, etc. Industries are also important. In this province manly there are four transit points: i.e. Kakarbhitta, Pashupatinagar and Jogbani to India, and Olangchunggola and Kimathanka to China.


Total population of Province No. 1 (according to 2011 Nepal census) is 4,543,943 in which female comprises 52% (2,368,407) of the total population.[24] There are 992,445 households[25]


Religion in Province No. 1

  Hinduism (66.63%)
  Kirat Mundhum (17.14%)
  Buddhism (9.20%)
  Islam (3.59%)
  Christianity (1.72%)
  Prakṛti (1.33%)
  Other or not religious (0.39%)

Hinduism is the major religion of the province. Kirat Mundhum is the second major religion of the province. 67% of the total population are Hindus, 17% are Kirantis, 9% Buddhists, 4% Muslims and 1% others.


Ethnicity/caste of Province No. 1

  Chhetri (14.58%)
  Hill Brahmin (11.98%)
  Rai (11.26%)
  Limbu (8.01%)
  Tamang (4.62%)
  Magar (4.13%)
  Tharu (4.10%)
  Newar (3.68%)
  Musalman (3.55%)
  Kami (3.27%)
  Rajbanshi (2.47%)
  Other Madheshi (14.26%)
  Other Janajati (7.97%)
  Other Khas Arya (3.81%)
  Others (2.31%)

The province is very ethnically diverse. The largest group is the Chhetri, making up 14.58% of the population. Next is Hill Brahmin (11.98%). Other Khas Arya groups are the Kami (3.27%) and Damai (1.78%). The Janajati groups are the Rai (11.26%), Limbu (8.01%), Tamang (4.62%), Magar (4.13%), Newar (3.68%), Sherpa (1.40%) and Gurung (1.36%). Some Terai groups include Tharu (4.10%), Musalman (3.55%), Rajbanshi (2.47%), Musahar (1.35%), Yadav (1.30%) and Santal (1.11%).[26]


  Nepali (42.53%)
  Maithili (11.1%)
  Limbu (7.27%)
  Rai (6.56%)
  Others (39.38%)

Nepali language is lingua franca of the province and is the mother tongue of 42.53% of the population. Maithili is spoken by 11.1% of the population and is the second largest language. 7.27% of the population speaks Limbu, 3.89% Tamang, 3.87% Tharu, 3.20% Magar, 2.88% Bantawa, 2.73% Urdu, 2.66% Rajbanshi, 2.63% Rai, 1.69% Newar, 1.65% Chamling, 1.47% Sherpa, 1.07% Santali.[26]


71.22% of the total population of the province can read and write mean educated.[27]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "प्रदेश १ राजधानी: विराटनगरको पक्षमा दुईतिहाई, नाम टुंगो लागेन" [Province No. 1 Capital: Two third of MLA voated in faviour of Biratnagar]. (in Nepali). Annapurna Post. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "NID | Overview".
  4. ^ "Province Wise Multidimensional Poverty Index".
  5. ^ "Province Wise GDP of Nepal 2019".
  6. ^ a b "Nepal Provinces". Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  7. ^ "EDITORIAL: Important step". The Himalayan Times. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Biratnagar celebrates its status of provincial capital". 19 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Locals intensify protest in Dhankuta after Biratnagar named as provincial HQ". 19 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Nepal government announces Provincial Capitals and Chiefs". 17 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Province 1: Call for opportunities in land of great promise". Kantipur Publications Pvt. Ltd. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  12. ^ नेपालको जिल्ला प्रशासन पुनर्गठनको रिपोर्ट, २०१३ (PDF). Nepal: Nepal Govt. pp. 31, 32, 33.
  13. ^ "Memorial Step of King Mahendra in 1st Poush 2017 BS". 13 December 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Nepal Travel Weather Averages (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Province No. 1". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Government finalises provinces' governors and temporary headquarters". 17 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Sherdhan Rai elected CM of Province 1". 14 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  18. ^ "First Province Assembly meeting of Province 1 today". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Pradeep Bhandari named Province 1 speaker". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Province 1 endorses Saraswoti Pokhrel's candidacy for deputy speaker". Kathmandu Tribune. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Feasibility report of larger Dharan Airport ready". Nagrik News. 1 July 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Indian locomotive arrives in Biratnagar for test run". KMG. 4 November 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Railway Transit for Cargo Bound for Biratnagar, Nepal via Jogbani, India". South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation. 25 April 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  24. ^ "Province No. 1 Demographics". Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Distribution of Household and Population by Sex for Province and Type of Local Unit" (PDF). Central Bureau of Statistics (Nepal). Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  26. ^ a b "Natioanl Data Portal-Nepal". Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  27. ^ "Province-Wise Literacy Rate of 5 Years and Above Population in 2011 AD" (PDF). 30 June 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2020.