Tansen is a village perched in the mountains between Pokhara and the Indian border, so it enjoys good temperatures all year round. Being perched in the mountains, in the morning there is often a spectacular view of the sea of clouds at the bottom of the valley, in what the locals call “the white lake”.
Traditionally and architecturally Newar, whose population is still significant, it is nevertheless a largely Magar enclave. It was a strategic point in the trade between India, Nepal and Tibet, following the route along the Kali Gandaki and across the Himalayas. Tansen has a good number of religious and commercial buildings, scattered through intricate and colourful lanes. Tansen’s highlights include Sitalpati, its market square, its temples, such as Amara Narayan or Bhagwati, its Palace or, a little further away, the Shreenagar Park. However, the best idea is to let yourself go and observe the life of its inhabitants in the streets and shops, many of them dedicated to brasswork and weaving.
The Rani Mahal, an abandoned palace by the river that retains a special atmosphere, is a very interesting place to visit. Although it is a bold comparison, some call it the Taj Mahal of Nepal. It’s possible to walk there, but it’s a long walk and you have to bear in mind that if you have to go down to the river to get there, it’s all uphill on the way back. A more reasonable option is to go by jeep, which can be arranged at any accommodation.
Getting to Tansen, on the other hand, is a long, five-hour drive on a winding road, either coming from Pokhara or from Siddharthanagar in the south on the Indian border.