When to visit
The subtropical climate of Illam ensures good weather throughout the year. The best time to visit Illam is between October-December, or from April- February. People from different parts of Nepal visit Maipokhari in Illam for an annual festival on Kartik Ekadasi which falls in October or November. Thousand visit Mai Beni in Illam during Maghe sankranti which falls in January.
Place to visit
Antu Danda offers spectacular sunrise, sunset and views of Himalayas .From 2,328 meters ,Antu overlooks terai flatlands, terraced hills of cash crops , tea gardens and thick forests of pine trees. On a clear day one can even see views as far as mirik, Kurseong and Darjeeling in the adjoining Indian part. Antu Danda is an hour drive from pashupathinagar and about 3-hour drive from Illam bazar.Home-stay facilities are available at Antu Danda area.
Mai pokhari is a pristine lake amid natural forest. The pond surrounded by thick forest of fir, juniper, birch and pine is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Various species of orchids, rhododendron, herbs; rare animals like musk deer, leopard, porcupine, jackal; numerous migratory birds and rare insects, are found in the region. The lake is also considered holy as the every autumn around the month of October or November. Mai pokhari is about 18 kilometer from Illam bazaar, which is about 30-minute drive.
Sandakpur at 3,636 meters on the international Nepal- India borderline provides majestic view of the Himalayas, mt.kanchenjunga, mt.kumbhakarna, mt. Makalu, and even mt. Everest. Rare wildlife like red panda, musk deer, and wild bird danphe can be seen in the forests of this area. From Illam bazaar one can go up to maimajhua Khorsanitar via mai pokhari in a vehicle. From here one has to trek for about 5 hours to reach sandakpur.
Kanyam and fikkal have largest tea estates for which Ilam has been famous for the last 140 years. These tea plantation areas are popular among tourist for picnicking, sightseeing, and taking photographs. Fikkal is a business center in the area. It falls on the way to Illam
Siddhi thumka offers good views of sunrises and sunset from its elevation of 1,800 meter. One can also see the terai flatlands, the mahabharat range and the churai mountain range from this area.siddhi thumka is 3-hour trek away from Illam bazaar.
Chhintapu at 3,400 meters is the second highest peak in Illam district. The area has natural rich forests if rhododendron, herbal plants and various species of birds. About 11 varieties of rhododendron are found in the area. In addition are rare herb Yarcha Gumba, and wild animals like musk deer and the rare red panda. Good views of the mountains can seen from different points of the three hours from Illam bazaar.