Nepal //



Once-sleepy KAKARBHITTA is the municipal capital of Nepal’s easternmost district. It’s mainly a gateway, and most of those using it are Indians, hopping over from Darjeeling for some shopping, or heading to Biratnagar for business; the presence of thousands of Bhutanese refugees in camps west of here contributes to the flow. In addition, the villages situated on both sides of the border receive some perfectly legal migrants just passing by: wild elephants. Every year a few people are trampled to death and houses get destroyed by the furious pachyderms, who liberally help themselves to the grain stock.

If you have some time on your hands, you can hike out to the pleasantly green Satighata tea estate, just ten minutes’ walk south of Kakarbhitta; a Buddhist monastery run by Tamangs can be visited on the way. Don’t be afraid: the chances you’ll meet any marauding elephants are very slim.

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