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Rukum

Rukum District, is a "hill" and "mountain" district some 280 km west of Kathmandu in Rapti Zone of Nepal's Mid-Western Region. Rukum covers an area of 2,877 km² with population (2001) of 188,438. Musikot (also called Jhumlikhalanga) is the district's administrative center. Rukum district has many potential tourist attractions that remain unexplored. There is 5,849 meter (19,195 ft.) Mt. Sisne, also called virgin mountain. Nobody claims to have conquered this mountain yet. Rukum is also called "the place of 52 lakes and 53 hills". Rukumkot has a beautiful pond called Rukmini Tal or locally Kamal Dhaha. Nearby are notable temples called Barah and Sibalaya, and caves such as Deurali Cave.

Geography

Rukum district is the northernmost part of Rapti Zone. It is in the basin of Bheri River, a major tributary of the Karnali. Mostly Rukum is drained by west-flowing tributaries such as Uttar Ganga draining Dhorpatan Valley and to the north of that the Sani Bheri draining southern slopes of the western Dhaulagiri Himalaya. Elevation ranges from below 800 meters along the Bheri and its lowest tributaries to about 6,000 meters in the Dhaulagiris with a range of climates from subtropical to perpetual snow and ice. Agricultural use ranges from irrigated rice cultivation through upland cultivation of maize, barley, wheat, potatoes and fruit, to subalpine and alpine pasturage reaching about 4,500 meters. Transport Rukum District is considered remote because air travel is the only modern transportation mode available. Two airports offer safe but rudimentary facilities for passenger flights, mainly from Nepalgunj, and Kathmandu. Rapti Highway is under construction (as of 2010) to connect Musikot to Salyan Khalanga, Tulstipur and Mahendra Highway to the south. Otherwise travel into Rukum requires several days of hiking. During the monsoon months it can be hazardous even for seasoned locals. The two airports in Rukum are in Chaurjahari and Salle.