Former capital of the powerful Magar kingdom, Tansen (also known as Palpa) is a medieval Crowsnest town clustered on a hilltop beside the Kali Gandaki river in south-central Nepal.

The splendid architecture of its old quarter – a warren of narrow, steep streets lined with temples and old-fashioned Newari shop-houses – is the main reason to come, but you can also watch metalworkers and weavers in action, and climb to nearby villages and viewpoints for sublime panoramas of the high peaks to the north.

The Madi Valley, below the town, can look particularly picturesque in the autumn, when a pall of mist hangs over its verdant floor - which explains why to the locals it is known as ‘White Lake’.

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