Perched high above the Kali Gandaki River on the way between Pokhara (126 km from Tansen) and Butwal (42 km from Tansen), Tansen is a romantic medieval hill town. The name Tansen has been derived from the Magar word ‘Tansing’ – means the northern settlement. The town, located at an elevation of 1,350 m, enjoys a moderate climate with temperatures rarely exceeding 30 0C or going below freezing. The highway bypasses the town center on the west, protecting pedestrian amenities in the central maze of sheep, narrow, winding alleys lined with Newari shop-houses and temples. Besides trade, local Newars are known for traditional metalwork and producing typical Nepali caps and shawl made by Dhaka textile.
At an elevation of 1,650 m, Shrinagar Hill, a majestic ridge covered with dense pine forest in the south slope and natural vegetation with Rhododendron in the north slope, is one of the most picturesque spots in the whole Palpa region. The impressive meadow on the hilltop is an ideal spot to view the breathtaking scenes of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Machhapuchhre.
Amar Narayan Temple
The temple of Amar Narayan, built in 1806 A.D. by Amar Singh Thapa, is considered a significant landmark of Tansen. It is built in typical Nepali pagoda style for its historical and architectural connotation. The intricate works of wood carvings in the temple are simply marvelous. The temple is surrounded by 1 m wide stone wall, locally known as the ‘Great Wall of Palpa’. Inside the temple complex, there are the temple of Lord Shiva, ponds, parks, rest houses and a natural water spring.
The original Shital Pati is of octagonal shape, built by Khadga Shamsher. The square is named after the white octagonal shaped building that lies in the middle of the square. It is the most popular square in Tansen.
It was rebuilt by Ujir Singh Thapa in 1815 A.D. to mark the victory over colonial British-India forces. The large temple was damaged by the devastating earthquake in 1935 A.D. Then it was renovated in the present size which is comparatively very smaller than the original one. In the vicinity of Bhagawoti Temple, there are 3 small temples of God Shiva, God Ganesh and Goddess Saraswoti.
Amar Jang Ganesh Temple
Before building the Amar Narayan Temple in 1807 A.D., Amar Singh Thapa had built this temple. The temple bears the same style and character of the Amar Narayan Temple. The rest house of the temple that has space to shelter 1,000 people has been converted into a school.
It is another interesting place of the town, where for centuries the famous bronze and brass works of Tansen were produced. One can have a look at how the famous ancient articles such as Karuwa (Water Jug), Hukka (Water Pipe), Antee (Jug for Nepali Brandy) etc. are produced.
Ridi lies at the confluence of the Ridi Khola (Stream) and the Kali Gandaki River, around 10 km from Tansen. There are many temples of historical importance. Among them is the temple of Rishikesh built by the first King of Palpa, Mukunda Sen. At the Makar Sankranti festival in January, thousands of people visit here from various parts of Nepal as well as India and take a holy bath in the Kali Gandaki River.
Ranighat is a holy place for pilgrims, situated on the bank of Kali Gandaki River, around 7 km from Tansen. There is a palace called ‘Rani Mahal’ which was constructed by Khadka Shamsher in commemoration of his beloved wife Tej Kumari. The construction was started in 1950 A.D. and completed in 1954 A.D. There are altogether 25 rooms and 52 artistic windows in the building.
Situated on a bank of Kali Gandaki River, Ramdi is a ‘Ghat’ (cremation place) where people bring their dead relatives for their final rites. Besides this, Ramdi is famous for its cave temple, where people of surrounding villages offer milk to protect their cattle from wild animals.
The hill is the best place to view long Himalayan range and Kali Gandaki Gorge at north, plains of Terai and Madi Valley in south and Tansen City in the west. It is situated 20 minutes drive or 1 hr hike towards east from Tansen.
Madan Pokhara is a highly prosperous village. The northern part of the village is attached to Tansen Municipality and is about 7 km downhill from the main centre. The bowl shaped village encompasses the valley, mountains, farmlands and forests. This village is most popular in agricultural products and supplies such as vegetables, ginger, fruits, poultry, fish and pet products, organic coffee and forestry.
To the south of Tansen and across the beautiful fertile valley of Madi, there stands a magnificent hill, called ‘Kaude Lek’, protecting the valley from the heat of the south. In the Kaude Lek Range, near Satyawoti Village, Satyawoti Lake is at a height of 1,400 m. It is believed that the prestigious lake takes its name from Goddess Satyawoti.
Rambhapani lies 30 km to the east from Tansen. According to the Hindu religious literature, Rambha is the name of a fairy and ‘Pani’ means water. The place got its name from the perennial fountain which springs here. According to a legend, the fountain was the gift of Lord Ram, the hero of the great epic Ramayan, to his beloved wife, Sita. There is a temple of Goddess Rambha Devi. On Krishnastami, people from different places visit here to worship the Goddess and vow to sacrifice animals and birds if their wishes are fulfilled.
Tahun is an attractive village, around 32 km southeast from Tansen, having natural surroundings of mountains, forests and farmlands. The panoramic view of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Machhapuchhre mountains can be seen from this place.