Barah Kshetra is a major pilgrimage site in Nepal. It lies near Chatara in Sunsari district where the mighty Sapta Koshi River emerges from the mountains and flows into the Terai plains. The site, perched on a hillock that rises gradually up at the confluence of the Sapta Koshi and Koka Rivers, contains several temples dedicated to Lord Barah, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Hindu mythology has it that Lord Vishnu took the form of Barah (wild boar) to dig his way into the ground to rescue Mother Earth from the demon Hiranakshya and eventually killed him at this very spot in an epic battle that lasted thousands of years. Hence all the temples here are dedicated to Lord Barah, the boar-headed incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The confluence is also supposed to be the site where the great sage Vishwamitra did penance. Considering its very holy status as the confluence of the two rivers, an Ardha Kumbha mela is organised at Barah Kshetra every six years where hundreds and thousands of pilgrims come to make religious offerings and take a holy dip in the mighty Sapta Koshi River. The Ardha (meaning half) Kumbha is a miniature form of the grand Kumbha mela that is held at Sangam Prayag, Allahabad in India at the confluence of the holy Ganges and Jamuna Rivers every 12 years. It is the largest gathering of devotees in the world, running into millions. Other holy places at Barah Kshetra include Guru Barah and Indra Barah.
Access: Barah Kshetra is accessible by road from Biratnagar, a major industrial city in southeast Nepal. Biratnagar has very good air connectivity with Kathmandu.