In Tibetan dialect, the term ‘Bal’ or ‘Pal’ refers to ‘Wool’ and ‘Ba’ or ‘Pa’ denotes a country. Thus upon combination, Palpa refers to a country where wool is available in abundance. Wool was prepared in large quantity in Southern Himalaya. Thus the land got its name Balba which later changed to Balpa and finally to Palpa.
Previously, the whole country which was extended from Tibet to Mongolia was named Balba or Palpa.
Khukuri– the Nepali Knife is also named Balba in Mongolian language. Since the people of Mongolia became familiar with Nepal through the amazing artifacts of these Southern People, they began calling whole country with the name- Palpa.
Palpa was the place of Sen Kingdom that ruled over the region from 16th c. for almost 300yrs.
Palpa lies in Lumbini Zone of Western Development Region. Tansen is its District Headquarter. The district varies from 250m to 2000m above sea level altitude. It lies on the way between Butwal and Pokhara.
The climate of Palpa varies from tropical to moderate type.
Palpa has diverse culture and religion and is located in the twelve Magar Regions of West Nepal. Thus it has predominantly Magar Culture but people from other Culture like Brahman, Chhetri, Newar, Tharu, Gurung, Maithili, Tamang, Limbu and Abadhi also dwell here.
Some Statistics (2001):-
Palpais extended in an area of 1373sq.km. where total268558people dwell in 49942 Houses with an Average HouseHold Size of 5.38. Total 125068Male and 143490female lives in Palpa with population density of196 persons per sq.km.
Types of Houses:-
Out of49942 Houses, 22678 Houses are Pakki18040Houses are semi- Pakki , 9082Houses are Kachchi while142 are of other types. Similarly, 45493Houses are used for private purpose, 3218houses are rented, 1109 houses are institutional types of houses while63houses are rent- free and59houses fall under other category.
Fuel Consumption for cooking purpose:-
31279 Houses use wood, 11287Houses use Kerosene, 5273 Houses use LP Gas, 1304 Houses use Biogas while173 Houses use other fuels and 625 houses are not stated in types of fuels they use for cooking purpose.
In terms of sanitation, 19058Houses are equipped with Modern Flush System of toilet, 15055Hoses have ordinary toilets while 15060 Houses have no toilets at all and770 Houses are not stated.
7659 Houses have economic activities while42283 Houses are not involved in economic activities. Of the 7659 houses who are involved in economic activities, 947houses are engaged in Manufacturing products,2257 Houses are busy with Trade,114Houses deal with Transport while 3061 Houses render their life in services and 1280Houses follow other activities to earn their livelihood.
Hinduism is the main religion here as the data shows: there are236370Hindu, 30665Buddhists, 899Muslims, 9Kirats, 5 Jains, 390Christians, 2Sikhs, 3 Bahais while 215 people follow other religions.
Out of total 226899people who are six years and above of age,18655 Males and 45078 Females cannot read and write,6021 Males and6597Females can read only, 78792Males and70875Females can read and write while286Males and595Females are not stated.
According to Survey done in 2008, there are477primary schools with 2531primary school teachers where59663students study at primary level. Likewise 22300students are taught by520lower secondary teachers at169lower secondary school.356secondary teachers teach to10849 secondary level students at 99secondary schools.
i) PalpaBhairab: The statue was named thus as it is an image of God Bhirab (dangerous manifestation of Lord Shiva) which lies in Palpa. History has it that the image of head of Bhairab was taken from the front part of chariot of Machhendranath and brought to Palpa after Mani Mukunda Sen –King of Palpa attacked the Kathmandu Valley. None can see the major image. So a duplicate image of Bhairab has been placed at the top floor of the temple. It is the EstaDevta( the family God) of Sen Kings and it is believed to have been the capital of Sen Kingdom.
ii) Purano Kot: It is the old fort lying to the west of Bhairabsthan Hill which is believed to have exist ever since kings of Sen dynasty built it in their Capital.
iii) Koilatari: The place was named thus as people used to find coal when digging the field. Another story links this place with Ram.
iv) TaksarTole: It is a tole where once existed Taksar( a place where coins were minted). A great fire had once spread from the Government Arsenal of Taksar Tole but there has been no record of even a single casualty. Local people took it for Lord Ganesh’s miracle and Ganesh Jatra is celebrated each year since then in this Tole.
v) Madi Faat: It is a Faat( plain land) where lies an Aasram( Hermitage) of Sage Mandabya. Another equally religiously significant place called Pravas lies near to Madi Faat where Sage Mandabya was declared a culprit and ordered to be hanged even though he was sinless.
vi) Ram Kuwa: It is a kuwa lying in Rampur of Palpa from where God Ram is believed to have consumed water when he was passing through the place.
Palpali Dhaka: It is a cloth weaved in Palpa.
Karuwaa: the Nepali style jug fitted with nozzle for holding and serving liquid.
How to Reach:-
There are various means of transport to reach Palpa. One can either fly or hire a car or travel through a regular bus.
If you are thinking of travelling via bus, it can easily be available from New Buspark of Kathmandu which will take you to Tansen( the district headquarter of Palpa) through Butwal after covering a distance of about 296 km and a ride of about 10 hours.
Alternatively, one can take a flight to either Pokhara or Bhairawa and take a ride of approximately 3 to 4 hour drive to reach Tansen.
Where to Stay:-
Many large and small hotels, restaurants and lodges can be found in Palpa. One can try GauriShankar Guest House for instance where it costs NRs 850(US$12) per room per night for foreign visitors other than Nepali but no facility of hot water is available here.