Palpa District is not far from Pokhara and easily reached by bus. The ancient hill town of Tansen in this district offers a more tranquil atmosphere where time moves slowly and the laid back lifestyle is infectious. Walk down the cobbled streets in the old bazaar to discover a way of life quite different from modern Pokhara's Lakeside. Explore the Shreenagar Hills or do a day hike to the Rani Mahal, once a vibrant palace on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River.
Midway between Pokhara and the Indian border, Tansen showcases old artistic Newari houses and cobbled streets. Centuries ago, Newar businessmen from Kathmandu arrived in Tansen to trade, bringing with them their art and architecture. Palpa was the seat of the Sen kingdom that ruled over this region from 16th century for almost 300 years.
Lying on the lap of the Shreenagar Hills, the picturesque town of Tansen is the headquarters of Palpa District and the hub of the culture of the mid-west. The landscape rises from 250 to 2,000 m in elevation and is home to diverse flaura and fauna.
Although Tansen is dominated by traditional Newari architecture, the district is home to the Magar people, and the name "Tansen" has its origin in the Magar language, meaning "northern settlement." Palpa is one of the twelve Magar regions of West Nepal and enjoys a rich, diverse culture and religion..
Tansen can be visited at any time of the year with temperatures ranging from a maximum of 28 degree Celsius in summer to a minimum of 8 degree Celsius in winter. The region gets its fair share of monsoon rain during the months of June and July.
The Magar and the Newar people make up a larger percentage of the population in the district. The other iethnic groups residing in Palpa are the Brahmin, Chhetri, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Gurung, Tamang, and Limbu.
Newars, originally from the Kathmandu valley, followed opportunities of trade and craft and migrated to different parts of the country. In Tansen they found an excellent opportunity to trade in the crossroads of trade routes and the administrative headquarters.
Though today's migration movement due to urbanization and decrease in agriculture brings people from all ethnic groups to Tansen, the Newari people still make up a high percentage of the population in the core area. The Magars however are dominant in some parts of Palpa district and they are assumed to be the first settlers of this area.
Tansen is in Palpa district.
There are regular buses from Kathmandu to Tansen - 296 km from Kathmandu via Butwal and about 324 km from Kathmandu via Pokhara. You can take a daily-scheduled flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara or Bhairahawa. Tansen is conveniently near Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, and the ever popular tourist hangout of Pokhara. It is about 3-4 hours drive from either of these cities.
There are a number of good to moderate hotels and lodges in Tansen to suit everyone's budget and requirements. They are clean and the staff are welcoming. Excellent Nepali meals are served in the modern looking restaurants and some also serve continental cuisine.