Sindhupalchowk District is located in Bagmati Zone of the Central Development Region of Nepal. It borders with Rasuwa and Nuwakot districts in the West, Rasuwa district and Tibet of China in North, Kavrepalanchok, Kathmandu and Ramechhap district in the south and Dolakha, Ramechhap district and Tibet of China in the east. The district headquarter is Chautara, located at an altitude of 1450 m. The district has 79 VDCs, 13Ilakas and 3 constituency areas. The total land area of the district is about 2542 Sq.km. Out of the total area; agricultural land is 737.10 Sq. km (29.0%). Similarly, snow covered land, forest, grazing land, barren, bush cover land, water bodies and others are 47.00 Sq. Km (1.85%), 775.67 Sq. km. (30.51%), 118.23 Sq. km (4.65%), 456.15 Sq. km (17.94%), 2.34 Sq. km (0.10%), 322.53 Sq. km (12.69%), and 53.91 Sq. km (2.12%) respectively. The district lies partly in the Mid-Hillsand partly in the High-Hills/Mountain. The lowest point of the district is Banditar/Majhigaun Sunkoshi basin 747m in Sangachok VDC and the highest peak is Langpoghyang 7085m from mean sea level. As a result of the elevation differences, the district has three different types of climates viz. tropical up to 1,000 m (16% of area), sub-tropical from 1,000-2,000 m (69%) and temperate above 2,000 m (15%). The annual rainfall is about 2,500 mm and temperatures vary from 7.5 ºC to 32 ºC. Sindhupalchowk is basically agricultural based district. The occupation pattern of the district is approximately 77.3% of the active populations are involved in agricultural sector. Subsistence agriculture farming, mainly small scale livestock is the main source of occupation and livelihood of the majority of the population, with 79% of the population active in this sector. Due to low level of agricultural production, the majority of the households face acute food shortages for a large part of the year
Fifure 1 Map of Nepal indicating Sindhupalchowk district
According to the latest CBS census data 2011, the total population of the district is 285,770 comprising 149,107 female (51.4%) and 136,663 male (49.6%) residing in 66,635 households. Sindhupalchowk has an average population density of around 141 people per square km. The average family size is 4.32. Life expectancy of the people is 62 years. The average literacy rate is about 59.58% (51.88% female and 67.97% male). Sindhupalchowk district has a multi ethnic composition with Tamang, Chhetri, Brahman,Newar, Bishwokarma, Sanyasi, Sherpa, Darji/Pariyar, Majhi, Magar, Gurung, Hyolmo, Thami, Mijar/Sarki, Danuwar, Pahari, Ghale and others. The dominant language is Nepali (55.31%) followed by Tamang (31.26%), Newari (6.71%), Sherpa (2.86%), Hyolmo (2.11%), Thami (0.99%) and others (0.76%).
The districts' headquarter Chautara is linked with strategic road from Araniko highway at Bandeu/Dolalghat. The strategic road networks are; (1) Araniko Highway (H03), (2) Panchkhal-Helambu feederroad (F30), (3) Bandeo/Dolalghat-Chautara feeder road (F31), and (4) Lamosanghu-Tamakoshi-Manthali feeder road (F32), plays crucial role in the district for socio-economic and infrastructural development. The strategic roads are either black topped or gravel standard maintained by the DoR.The part of Mid-Hill highway (under construction) will run from Dhandkhola to Chisapani (border with Nuwakot district). The western part of the district is growing up its commercial and developmental efforts due to implementation of Melamchi Water Supply Project which targets to supply water to Kathmandu valley.
Tatopani, Barhabise, Khadichaur, Chautara, Melamchi are the main trading centres and Chaku, Lamosangu, Mude, Balephi, Jalbire, Syaule, Sangachok, Nawalpur, Talamarang, Bahunepati, Tipeni, Gyalthum, Chanaute etc. are other market centers. Tatopani is the major trading point with China/Tibet and Barhabise, Khadichaur, Lamosangu are major market centres for Chinese goods.