Monthly Archives: November 2014

Kanyam, Ilam

Ilam and Jhapa - Map of Nepal

Map of Nepal with Ilam and Jhapa districts highlighted

I discovered Kanyam by accident. I had heard of Ilam’s beauty. However, I had zero knowledge of this district and the places I must visit. I was supposed to catch a flight to Kathmandu the next day from Bhadrapur, Jhapa. So, the plan was to stay somewhere in Ilam where I could do some exploring. Journey to Kanyam started from Pashupatinagar, Ilam (bordered to Darjeeling, India). From there you can take a local bus all the way to Fikkal (another famous town of Ilam). There was nothing much there, took another local bus from Fikkal towards Jhapa. On the way I witnessed a long stretch of tea estate, and was absolutely awestruck. That’s when I decided this is where I’ll stay. The place was called Kanyam.

Later found out, Kanyam is a very popular tourist destination in Ilam. Tourists on their way to Kanchanjanga base camp also have a night-stay in this beautiful town. I haven’t captured much of this place. I just went down to this tea farm, it was so romantic just couldn’t leave that place and captured whatever I saw in that moment. There’s more to Kanyam than what you see in the video given below. If you ever visit Ilam – do make it a point to visit Kanyam. This place is not at all crowded, the very fact that it is such an underrated tourist destination. For someone who just came from Darjeeling to Ilam, this place is impeccably clean with zero pollution and lush green tea garden stretched as far as you can see.  As cliche as it may sound, this place is nothing less than a heaven on earth. If there ever was one, it would be Kanyam.

P.S: Story behind the music I used in this video:
For a long time I had been wanting to use hindi film song as a background music to my video, primarily cause I’m a total sucker for hindi movie songs. Also, this particular one that I came across is a love song that you would sing to the one you love. It’s titled “Pakeezah” released this week I think (2nd week of Nov 2014). It just so happened that I wanted to sort of write a love letter to Kanyam. It was a place I had never heard of, it was neither in my plan nor my head space. But it was such a wonderful discovery. This is my way of thanking this place for somehow being there on my way and allowing me to explore. It seemed to fit perfectly as my ode to Kanyam.

Find my video on YouTube:

Find my video on Vimeo:

Kanyam, Ilam from Shailiza Manandhar on Vimeo.

How to Get Nepali Machine Readable Passport (MRP)?

(Updated: Feb 21, 2016) When I had applied for passport, government website didn’t have any relevant information. Since then Department of Passport’s website has improved leaps and bounds. I recommend you to visit their site for the most accurate information:

However, information given below is still relevant to get an idea on how to apply for passport in general.

This page has information on all your general inquiries.
If above link doesn’t work, access the same document here [Latest version: Jan 19, 2016] .

(Information below was posted Nov 6, 2014)

* This blog post contains information relevant to those born in Kathmandu district. If you were born outside of this district, this information may not be valid for you.

Office: Baneshwor/Anamnagar (The same office where we get our Citizenship card)
Office operation hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Pre-requisites (Required Documents/Items – applies to Kathmandu office) :

  • Rs 5000 – this is for a regular processing fee, this will get you the passport in about 2 months (or less).
    Rs 15 thousand to get it the same day.
    Rs 12 thousand to get it the next day after the submission of the application.
    Rs 10 thousand to get it in 3 days.
  • Special MRP photos: at least 3 [Please keep in mind this is not your traditional passport size photo. Make sure you get this taken from true professionals and save yourself some time and money]
  • Original Citizenship card and its copy: 2
  • Old passport copy (of the page that has your personal contact information): 2
  • Print out of Passport application with all the required fields filled.
    Citizenship verification document (Although I had this document printed out, it wasn’t used)

While I was researching about the process I realized, there are people who help you fill up the form as well outside the passport office in return for a couple 100 bucks. I didn’t do any of that. I filled out the form all by myself and printed it appropriately. They have this information for you on how to printIt didn’t apply to my OS. Regardless of whatever option you see, the point is to print 100% with no modification to the layout.

First of all make sure to fill up the form provided here and print it out.
They’ve also provided the link to a sample form if you need help.

Before you head to Baneshwor/Anamnagar office make sure you have a copy of all the documents mentioned in the Pre-requisites section above (keep multiple copies just in case). Please keep in mind the steps given below may not match precisely. I’m just giving you an idea of the process and what I went through:

Step 1: Get to Baneshwor/Anamnagar office of the DOP with all the required documents.

Step 2: Citizenship verification: room no. 105. Located on the extreme right-hand-side area of the compound.
The actual process begins by submitting your original citizenship card and its copy to room no. 105. Funny thing was on this site , it says we need to print out this document as well.
And submit it to the concerned person/department along with an original and a  copy of your citizenship card. But that document was never used. I don’t know why.
Depending on the volume of requests, you will have to queue up.

By god’s grace if your citizenship information is still available in their office and the person manages to find it. Your document will be verified. The concerned officer will sign a copy of the citizenship card. Then you go to room no. 107

Step 3: Take all your documents to room no. 107 and get those signed from the concerned officer.

Step 4: Take all your documents to room no. 106 and get those signed from the concerned officer.

Step 5: Take those documents to room no. 303. This is a different building within the same compound. Get your document(s) signed again.

Step 6: Go to the bank right next to the DOP office (on the left). You need to fill out the voucher with required information then pay Rs 5000 to the bank. If you’re lost, asks the guard for the voucher. Bank will give you one of three vouchers you fill out.

Step 7: Keep that voucher with you, you will need that to collect your machine readable passport. Now go to room no. 107. They’ll ask you for one more photo, make sure you give copies of all the required documents incase they forget. They’ll then tell you to come after 50 days (or 2 months).

Passport collection:

Office: The same office in Baneshwor/Anamnagar
Sunday to Thursday: 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Friday: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

— Post 50 days —

Must carry: Your old passport if you have one, citizenship card (or driver’s license would work too)

  1. Head back to Baneshwor/Anamnagar office.
  2. Before you queue up, you need to first find your serial no. It will be on a sheet of paper littered on the table. You find the no. based on the date you submitted your application. Refer to your voucher for information.
  3. Get the no. Queue-up.
  4. Give your voucher, also your old passport if you have one, so they can cancel the crap out of it. Get your brand new passport.
  5. Go to room no. 106 to get your passport signed and you are officially done!

Now you can go wherever you want in this world provided you have valid visas.

Happy Travels! 🙂