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Eastern Development Region (पुर्वाञ्चल - Purvāñcala)
Dhankuta in rainy season
Dhankuta in rainy season
Country  Nepal
Zones Kosi, Mechi, Sagarmatha
Headquarters Dhankuta
Highest point Mount Everest
 - elevation 8,848 m (29,029 ft)
 - coordinates 27°59′17″N 86°55′31″E / 27.98806°N 86.92528°E / 27.98806; 86.92528
Lowest point Kechana Kalan
 - elevation 60 m (197 ft)
 - coordinates 26°22′05″N 88°00′46″E / 26.36806°N 88.01278°E / 26.36806; 88.01278
Area 28,456 km² (10,987 sq mi)
Population 5,811,555 (2011)
Density 204 /km² (528 /sq mi)
Timezone NPT (UTC+5:45)
ISO 3166-2 NP-4

Eastern Development Region (Nepali:पुर्वाञ्चल विकास क्षेत्र) is one of Nepal's five development regions. It is at the eastern end of the country with headquarters at Dhankuta.


The Eastern Development Region has Sikkim and West Bengal (India) to the east, Bihar (India) to the south, the Central Development Region to the west and the Tibet Autonomous Region (People's Republic of China) to the north.

It is the third largest Development Region of Nepal with an area of 28,456 km2 (10,987 sq mi) but the second in population with 5,811,555 (21.9% of total) people living there; its population density is 204.2 persons/km2.

The region has three ecological zones: the high mountains, the hills and the Terai.

The highest mountain in the region, and in the world, is Mount Everest; it is in the Solukhumbu District, Sagarmatha Zone. The lowest point of Nepal, Kechana Kalan is also here, in the Jhapa district; it is near the Mechi river and close to the border with India.

The most important rivers in the Eastern Development Region are the Kosi (also spelled Kosi), tributary of the Ganges river; and the Mechi, tributary of the Mahananda River. Nepal's largest river system (the Kosi) and its highest waterfall (the Hyatrung in the Terhathum district) are found in this region. The Hyatrung waterfall (27°14′17″N 87°33′46″E / 27.23806°N 87.56278°E / 27.23806; 87.56278) is 365 m (1,198 ft) high.

It is rich in biodiversity, with for example 28 species of Rhododendron (out of the 31 species available in Nepal) found in the Tinjure-Milke-Jaljale area.


The major cities of this region are Biratnagar, Dharan, Dhankuta, Itahari, Rajbiraj, Birtamod Urlabari and Damak. Other notable places are Namche Bazaar (the town near the base camp of Mt. Everest), Gaighat, Lahan, Ilam, etc.

Administrative subdivisions

The Eastern Development Region has 3 Zones, parallel to each other, with a total of 16 Districts, 893 Village Development Committees (VDCs), 1 Sub-metropolitan city, and 13 Municipalities; the zones and districts are:

Zone Population
Pop. density
Number Names
Kosi 2,335,047 9,669 241.5 6 Bhojpur, Dhankuta, Morang, Sankhuwasabha, Sunsari, Terhathum
Mechi 1,422,182 8,196 173.5 4 Ilam, Jhapa, Panchthar, Taplejung
Sagarmatha 2,054,326 10,591 194.0 6 Khotang, Okhaldhunga, Saptari, Siraha, Solukhumbu, Udayapur
Total 5,811,555 28,456 204.2 16

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