Kalapani territory

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1893's hand atlas of area near Kali River

Kalapani is a territory disputed between India and Nepal, however administrated as part of Pithoragarh district in the Uttarakhand state of India. It is situated on the Kailash Manasarovar route, at an altitude of 3600 meters. It is said that the Great Sage Vyasa meditated at this place, giving the region its name - Vyas Valley. A pool by the temple of the Goddess Kali is considered to by some to be the source of the Kali River. A verdant valley covered with Pine, Bhojpatra and Juniper trees, it offers stunning views of some of the lesser known peaks like Om Parvat in the Central Himalayas. Lipulekh Pass leading into Tibet is 17 kilometers from Kalapani.

Although claimed by Nepal as part of Darchula District,[1][2] Kalapani is controlled by India's Indo-Tibetan border police(ITBP) [2] since the 1962 border war with China. Nepal claims that the river to the west of Kalapani is main Kali, hence it belongs to Nepal. But India claims that ridgeline to the east of Kalapani is the border, hence the Kalapani area belongs to India. The Kalapani area borders the Nepalese province of Province No. 7 and the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Sugauli Treaty signed by Nepal and British East India Company in 1816 locates the Kali River as Nepal's western boundary with India and makes no mention of ridgelines.[2] Subsequent maps drawn by British surveyors show the source of the boundary river at different places. This discrepancy in locating the source of the river led to boundary disputes between India and Nepal, with each country producing maps supporting their own claims. The Kalapani River runs through an area that includes a disputed area of about 400 km² [3] around the source of the river although the exact size of the disputed area varies from source to source.[4]


  1. ^ "Field Listing - Disputes - international". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  2. ^ a b c "Defining Himalayan borders an uphill battle". thefreelibrary.com. 2000-01-03. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  3. ^ "Field Listing - Disputes - international". CIA World Factbook. Archived from the original on 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  4. ^ "Long and unsolved Indo-Nepal border dispute" (PDF). Rivers are used as boundary markers between Nepal and India for 595 Km of the border. Mechi in the East, Mahakali in the West and Narayani in the Susta area are used as boundary markers. Rivers are not very reliable as boundary markers because they tend to change course especially when they pass through plain lands such as in the case of Narayani river. The problem is further complicated because of the lack of old maps and documents. 

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