Metropolitan Cities In Nepal – The 6 Mahanagarpalika of Nepal

A Metropolitan city is a type of local body in Nepal. Metropolitan cities in Nepal fall under the category of municipality in terms of local government in Nepal.
Currently, there are a total of 293 municipalities in Nepal among which 11 are Sub-Metropolitan cities, and 6 of them are Metropolitan cities.

There are only 6 Metropolitan cities in Nepal out of 753 local levels. The reason behind such a small number is the minimum requirements to be fulfilled to get declared as a Metropolitan city.

Minimum Requirements for Metropolitan Cities in Nepal

According to the Local Government Operation Act, 2074, the followings are the minimum criteria to be met by an area to be recognized as a metropolitan city in Nepal.

Population:

There must be a minimum of 500,000 population with permanent residents in that area.

Income/ Revenue:

The average annual internal income/revenue must be 1 billion in the last five years.

Basic Facilities and  Infrastructures:

In terms of infrastructure and facilities, the act requires the following facilities:

  • Bus park with terminal, sufficient parking, sub-ways, and footpath/walkway,
  • Urban transport facilities and disable friendly public transport systems,
  • Out of the total length of the road inside that local level, at least 75% of roads are paved or pitched.
  • Properly organized fruit and vegetable shopping,
  • Facilities of shopping malls,
  • Hotels with international facilities,
  • International-level seminar hall and international-level trade exhibition site,
  • Stadium for international sports,
  • Easy access to international airports
  • Museum,
  • Conservation of especially important heritage sites in the area,
  • Enough entertainment facilities,
  • Kindergartens/ Children park and recreation areas for senior citizens,
  • Urban greenery and beauty

Health and Education:

The following facilities are required in terms of the health and education sector

  • The facility of educational institutions that provides at least a bachelor’s degree-level education.
  • The facility of technical education institutes,
  • The facility of dance halls and creation galleries,
  • Hospital facility of at least 500 beds including at least one hospital with specialist services and one general hospital with at least a hundred beds.

Other Requirements:

Other urban facilities as prescribed.

Metropolitan Cities in Nepal

There are six Metropolitan cities in Nepal and they are given below.

#1 Pokhara Metropolitan City:

Pokhara Metropolitan City is located in Gandaki Province, Kaski district. Pokhara Metropolitan city is the largest metropolitan city in Nepal with an area of 464.2 square Kilometers. Pokhara metropolitan city was declared a Metropolitan city on March 10, 2017. Pokhara is one of the largest tourist areas in Nepal.

Being the largest Metropolitan city in Nepal, Pokhara is also the second largest city in Nepal after Kathmandu Valley. It is the major economic hub of Gandaki Province primarily based on the tourism business.

ParticularsDetailsRemarks
NamePokhara Metropolitan CityIt was declared as Pokhara – Lekhanath Metropolitan and later changed to Pokhara Metropolitan.
Establishment Date2017 March 10 Friday
(2073 Falgun 27)
It was upgraded to Metropolitan from Sub-Metropolitan after merging Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City and Lekhanath Municipality.
Area464.24 square kmLargest Local Level in Nepal among Metropolitan cities, Sub-Metropolitan cities, Municipalities, and Rural Municipality
Number of Wards33
Mayorधनराज आचार्य (Dhana Raj Acharya)Elected from the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Socialist) political party
Deputy Mayorमञ्जुदेवी गुरुङ (Manjudevi Gurung)Elected from the Communist Party of Nepal ((Unified Marxist–Leninist)) political party
Pokhara Metropolitan City Infographics
Infographics: Pokhara Metropolitan City

#2 Bharatpur Metropolitan City.

Bharatpur Metropolitan city is located in the central part of Nepal, Bagmati Province, Chitwan district by the left bank of the Narayani River. Bharatpur is the second largest Metropolitan city in Nepal with a total area of 432.95 square kilometers. It was declared a Metropolitan City on March 10, 2017.
Bharatpur is also the fifth largest city in Nepal, and it serves as the commercial and economic hub of the region. Apart from being the second largest Metropolitan city, Bharatpur is also the headquarter of the Chitwan district itself.

ParticularsDetailsRemarks
NameBharatpur Metropolitan City
Establishment Date2017 March 10 Friday
(2073 Falgun 27)
It was upgraded to Metropolitan from Sub-Metropolitan
Area432.95 square kmSecond largest Local Level in Nepal among Metropolitan cities, Sub-Metropolitan cities, Municipalities, and Rural Municipality
Number of Wards29
MayorRenu DahalElected from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) political party
Deputy MayorChitrasen AdhikariElected from the Nepali Congress
Bharatpur Metropolitan City Infographics
Infographics: Bharatpur Metropolitan City

#3 Birgunj Metropolitan city

Birgunj Metropolitan city is the only Metropolitan of located in the Parsa district of Madhesh Province. It is the third-largest metropolitan city in Nepal and the only Metropolitan city located in Madhesh province. It covers a total of 132.70 square kilometers of area in the Parsa district. Birgunj Metropolitan City was declared a Metropolitan City with the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Nepal on May 31st, 2017 (2074-02-17).

Birgunj is the entry point from Patna, Bihar to Nepal therefore, it is also known as the Gateway of Nepal and also the Commercial Capital of Nepal. It is obvious that most of the import and export with India are done through this border range as it shares the border with India.

ParticularsDetailsRemarks
NameBirgunj Metropolitan CityDuring 1945-1950 (BS) Bir Shumser established a market in order to increase trade with India. It was named Birgunj by him at this time.
Establishment Date2017 May 31 Wednesday
(2074 Jesth 17)
Reference: Declaration Decision
It was upgraded to Metropolitan from Birgunj Sub-Metropolitan City.
Area132.07 square kmThird largest Metropolitan city in Nepal.
Number of Wards32
MayorRajeshman SinghElected from the Janata Samajbadi party
Deputy MayorImtiyaj AlamElected from the Nepali Congress
Birgunj Metropolitan City Infographics
Infographics: Birgunj Metropolitan City

#4 Biratnagar Metropolitan City:

Biratnagar Metropolitan city is located in Biratnagar of Morang district, Koshi Province. It is the only metropolitan city in Koshi Province. Biratnagar is the capital of Koshi province. Biratnagar Metropolitan city covers a total of 77 square kilometers of area in Biratnagar. With this area coverage, Biratnagar Metropolitan City is the 4th largest Metropolitan city in Nepal. Biratnagar Metropolitan City was declared a Metropolitan City with the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Nepal on May 31st, 2017 (2074-02-17).

ParticularsDetailsRemarks
NameBiratnagar Metropolitan CityIt was renamed Biratnagar (from Gograha Bazaar) in BS 1976 (1919 AD) by Keshar Sumsher. It was named on the basis of the ruins found there thought to be of King Virat mentioned in Mahabharata.
Establishment Date2017 May 31 Wednesday
(2074 Jesth 17)
Reference: Declaration Decision
It was upgraded to a Metropolitan city from Biratnagar Sub-Metropolitan City after the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Nepal to upgrade Birgunj and Biratnagar to metropolitan cities.
Area77 square kmFourth largest or 3rd smaller metropolitan city in Nepal.
Number of Wards19the least number of wards in a Metropolitan City.
MayorNagesh KoiralaElected from the Nepali Congress
Deputy MayorShilpa KarkiElected from the Communist Party of Nepal ((Unified Marxist–Leninist)) political party
Biratnagar Metropolitan City Infographics
Infographics: Biratnagar Metropolitan City

#5 Kathmandu Metropolitan city:

Kathmandu Metropolitan city is the oldest Metropolitan city among all the Metropolitan cities in Nepal, located in Bagmati province, Kathmandu district of Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu is the second smallest metropolitan city in Nepal that covers a total of 49.45 square kilometers area. Kathmandu Metropolitan City was established as a Metropolitan city on 15 December 1995.

Kathmandu is the largest city in Nepal which is made of three districts including Kathmandu Metropolitan City itself and Lalit Metropolitan City and many other local levels of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur. Kathmandu is also known as the Gateway of Tourists as it was the only city to have an international Airport until 2022. Kathmandu is the richest city in terms of heritage and old historical perspective. Kathmandu Metropolitan City is the most densely populated local level in Nepal.

ParticularsDetailsRemarks
NameKathmandu Metropolitan CityKathmandu Municipality was named Kathmandu for being part of the Kathmandu Valley. It was named when it was established as a Municipality in 1947 on February 13 Thursday (Bikram Sambat: 2003 Falgun 2)
Establishment Date15 December 1995
(BS: 2052 Mangsir 29)
Originally it was established as Kathmandu Municipality in 2003 Falgun 3
It was renamed Kathmandu Nagarpalika (Nagarpalika means Municipality) in 2010 Bhadra 17
It was upgraded to Metropolitan City on 15 December 1995
(BS: 2052 Mangsir 29)
Area49.45 square kmFifth largest or 2nd smaller metropolitan city in Nepal.
Number of Wards32
MayorBalendra ShahElected among independent candidates with huge margins among the huge competition between political parties.
Deputy MayorSunita DangolElected from the Communist Party of Nepal ((Unified Marxist–Leninist)) political party
Older Metro among Metropolitan Cities in Nepal
Infographics: Kathmandu Metropolitan City

#6 Lalitpur Metropolitan City:

Lalitpur Metropolitan city is located in Bagmati province, Lalitpur district of Kathmandu valley. Lalitpur is the smallest metropolitan city in Nepal covering only 37.4 square kilometers. Lalitpur Metropolitan city was established on 23 March 2017 after upgrading the Lalitpur sub-metropolitan city which was established on BS 2052.

Among three historical cities within the Kathmandu Valley, Lalitpur is considered the oldest city among them. Lalitpur is also known as the City of Fine arts. And the name also seems to have been inspired by the Fine Arts as Fine Arts is called Lalit Kala in the Nepali Language.

ParticularsDetailsRemarks
NameLalitpur Metropolitan CityLalitpur is famous for Lalit Kala in historical sites. Lalit Kala is a Nepali term and it is called fine arts in English similarly Pur means city. This shows a close reason why it is named Lalitpur.
Establishment Date23 March 2017Originally it was established as Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan in BS 2052.
It was upgraded to Metropolitan City on 23 March 2017
Area36.12 square kmFifth largest or 2nd smaller metropolitan city in Nepal.
Number of Wards29
MayorChiribabu MaharjanElected from the Nepali Congress party.
Deputy MayorManjali Shakya BajracharyaElected from the Communist Party of Nepal ((Unified Marxist–Leninist)) political party
Lalitpur Metropolitan City Infographics
Infographics: Lalitpur Metropolitan City

These are the six metropolitan cities, bodies under the municipality category of local levels of Nepal. For more details about the local levels, please visit the portal of local government.

More Facts about Metropolitan Cities in Nepal

1. Total Number of Metropolitan Cities in Nepal – Six [Bharatpur, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Pokhara]
2. Province with the most number of Metropolitan cities – Bagmati (3), [Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bharatpur]
3. Provinces without any Metropolitan cities – 3 [Lumbini, Karnali, and Sudurpaschim]
4. Largest Metropolitan City – Pokhara
5. Smallest Metropolitan city – Lalitpur
6. Oldest Metropolitan city – Kathmandu


Do you have an idea about the provinces and districts in each province of Nepal? If you want to know about the province-wise district, you can read our other post about the List of 77 districts in Nepal.

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  1. नेपालमा यो महानगरपालिकाको बारेमा स्पस्ट रुपले व्याख्या गरिएको पाइदैन। एउटा महानगर पालिका हुनको निम्ति कति के कुन खालको कुराहरुको आवश्यक पर्छ, हुनु पर्छ भन्ने कुरा स्पस्ट छैन। नेता,कार्यकर्ताहरुको मनोमानीमा कुनै पनि साना तिना स्थान, गाउँ लाई नै प्रोमोट गर्दै सेवा सुविधा लिनको निम्ति नगरपालिका, उपमहानगर, इत्यादी बनाउछ्न अनि विभिन्न सेवा तथा वस्तुको भाउ आकश झै वृद्धि गर्छन!