Gorkha is the historic birthplace of King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who unified the kingdoms of Nepal in 1769. The town was once the capital of Nepal and housed the palace of the great king Prithvi Narayan Shah. Gorkha District is a part of Gandaki Zone and is one of the seventy-five districts of Nepal. The district, with Pokharithok (Gorkha) which is known as Prithivi Narayan Nagar Palika after King Prithvi Narayan Shah covers an area of 3,610 km² and has a population (2011) of 271061. It is now known as Gorkha Nagarpalika.
Temples in Gorkha
It is the location of the Manakamana Temple. Also, the temples of great sage Gorakh Nath and goddess Gorakh Kali temple is located in district, after which the district got its name. Four major rivers run within and along it, they are Chepe, Daraudi, Marsyangdi and Budhi Gandaki. Apart from the palace and temples, the natural beauty also makes it a favourite with tourist and trekkers.
Gorkha is mostly populated by the Gurung tribesmen. They have earned enough praise in the both World Wars, including Victoria Cross. Despite of their fierce attitude in the battlefield, they are friendly people with a tradition of genuine hospitality.
The small kingdom of Gorkha was founded by king Drabya Shah in 1560 A. D. It became famous during the dynasty of Ram Shah (1604-1641 A.D.), who earned the reputation of being just to his people. There was a famous proverb in those days which said that one should go to Gorkha if he were looking for justice.
In the middle of eighteenth century, Nepal was divided into small kingdoms until when Prithvi Narayan Shah, the first king of modern Nepal had the vision to unite small kingdoms into a singular strength to build a wall against the rising force from the East, East India Company. From the Gorkha only, the vision of present-day Nepal was sketched by the first king of the modern Nepal. The Gurkha soldiers under his dynamic leadership succeeded in conquering the Kathmandu valley. The capital of Nepal was shifted to Kathmandu since then. But this beautiful township has always remained as the center of attraction for many Nepalese as well as foreign visitors. Gorkha is the foundation of Nepal and is the home to the bravest-of-the-brave troops in the world, Gurkha. There is a famous proverb also which says that one should go to Gorkha if he were looking for justice.
Places to visit
Gorkha Durbar is situated on the top of the fortified hill above the township. It is the finest example of architectural and war-strategy of the past. From the palace, one can see the 360-degree view of the Gorkha village. This makes the palace as a vantage point, for now, but it was a strategy to protect the royal families from the invading armies, in the past. From the top of the hill above Gorkha palace and from a saddle east of the bazaar, the stunning view of Manaslu and Himalchuli can be seen.
It lies ten meters down the southern side of Gorkha Palace. It is visited with great devotion by Brahmins and Chhetris considering it to be the holy pilgrimage Site. There is also a famous cave sheltering the statue of Gorakhnath Baba (sage). The cave is is carved out of the solid rock and is among the most important religious sites for mainstream Brahmins and Chhetris of Nepal. It is believed that the name of Gorkha was derived from the name of this sage, whose blessings inspired King Prithvi Narayan Shah for the unification of Nepal. Each year on the day of Baisakh Purnima (the full moon Day of Baisakh) in Gorakhnath Cave great fare is organized by the locals . On the west side of palace is the temple of Goddess Gorakhkali.
The Manakamana Temple is situated in the Gorkha district of Nepal. It is the sacred place of the Hindu Goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Parvati. The name Manakamana originates from two words, “mana” meaning heart and “kamana” meaning wish. Venerated since the 17th century, it is believed that Goddess Bhagwati grants the wishes of all those who make the pilgrimage to her shrine to worship her. One can select the old way through the hills or can select cable car connecting Kurintar to Manakamana temple to reach the temple.
It is primarily a cobbled street market place. People from neighboring hill dwellings come to trade in this market. There are a few temples near about, but not much.
Manaslu is the highest peak in the Gorkha District and is located about 64 km (40 mi) east of Annapurna. It is the eighth highest mountain in the world and offers a variety of trekking options.
Apart from these places, Liglig Kot and Lakhan Thapa Gaon are popular places in Gorkha for Hiking. Liglig has an interesting history. Dhike Dada is a new attraction for public from Gorkha,Tanahun and Lamjung. Around Gorkha, one may hike to a jungle and enjoy watching hunters collecting wild honey. Gorkha is also an alternate starting point for a few trekking routes in the region. Gorkha-Trisuli is an easy three day walk along unspoiled Nepali countryside. One can walk a long day’s walk to Besishahar, which is the usual starting point for Annapurna and Manang area treks. And also walk through Besishahar area to Pokhara in a four days.