Dhulikhel is the smallest municipality of Nepal in terms of population. It is situated only 30 Km east of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal on the Araniko Highway in the lap of Greenwood and at an elevation of 1,550 meter above the mean sea level and along the ridge that separates the valley of Banepa and Panchkhal. It looks as if Dhulikhel is busy in conversation with the Himalayan range on the north with a beautiful smile. This might be the reason why many people call this places as the ‘Queen of the hills‘.
Dhulikhel has for many centuries been an important trading center on the ancient commercial route linking Nepal to Tibet. Since time immemorial, people of Nepa traveled to Tibet to bring home salt and gold. Still people talk gold mines at Lhasha, the capital of then Tibet. Likewise, the Tibetans every year with their flocks of sheep entered Nepal during Dashain, the greatest Hindu festival. They purchased chilies and other daily necessities in Nepal and returned to their homeland. The opening of the Araniko Highway, built with the grant assistance of the government of China in 1965 changed the life of Dhulikhel dramatically. First, the town became accessible to foreign tourists. Second, the people of Dhulikhel now found it easy to travel daily by bus, car and motorbike to Banepa and Kathmandu for shopping, education and employment. Recently, though the town has transformed itself into a tourists’ paradise with an array of all modern amenities. ‘Dhulikhel’ is well noted for its rich cultural antiquities. The local legend has it that the place derived its name from Newari word ‘Dhunkyo‘: ‘Dhun means ‘Tiger‘ and ‘Khyo‘ means ‘Playing Area‘,. – thus implying an ancient forest, where tigers used to play. Naturally enough till today, Dhulikhel remains a unique repository of Newar civilization – replete with numerous art and architectural monuments with a distinct local identity.