BIRATNAGAR, Nepal’s second largest city, is an industrial place close to the border and pretty much devoid of any charm. Industry here was deeply shaken by the Madhesi movement; in 2009, protests and bandhs (strikes) by various minorities and political groups reached such an extreme that industrialists reacted by conducting their own bandhs against the bandhs; Biratnagar was eventually declared a “bandh-free” area. The main reason visitors pass through is in order to catch a flight to Kathmandu or anywhere in the eastern hills. Aside from a small but lively Hanuman temple, around 500m northeast of the bus station on Main Road, there is nothing really to see or do.

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