Kalapani is a 35 square kilometre area located in the State of Uttarakhand, India. India has control over the Kalapani area, but, because of historical and cartographic reasons, Nepal always tries to claim that region. So basically, it is a region, which both countries claim to be theirs.

In November 2019, when India released the updated political map incorporating the newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, it also incorporated Kalapani as a part of the Pithoragarh district that is in the State of Uttarakhand, India. After this incident, Nepal started protesting. Nepal also showed infuriation by calling off Indian Ambassador to Nepal when India on May 8, 2020, opened Parchula- Lipulikh passes link road, which passes through the Kalapani area. This route was opened in order to make it easy for Indian pilgrims to reach Mansarovar which is in Tibet China, easily.

Now Nepal is trying to retaliate by giving constitutional status by amending the official map of its own. Now, they are trying to incorporate the territory from the Limpiyadhura. It’s a source of Kali to Kalapani and Lipulikh pass in North East of the triangular region of its own.

Some sources claim that India states that this reaction or move of Nepal will make any further future problems relating to Kalapani difficult to sort as a Constitutional guarantee will make Kathmandu’s position inflexible.

Treaty of Sugauli (1816)

Nepal contemplates River Kali as its boundaries from the time when the Treaty of Sagauli was signed in 1860.  The Gurkha rulers of Kathmandu and East India Company signs the Treaty after the Gurkha war (1814 – 16), the Anglo Nepal war.

Origin of River: Two theories

The core of the dispute between the two countries is basically the source of River Kali. According to India, there are several tributaries of river Kali which altogether merges at Kalapani. So, India claims that the river starts in Kalapani as that is the place where all its tributaries merge. While Nepal states that the river starts from Lipu Lekh pass, which is the source of many tributaries. Now Nepal professes the territory east of Kali based on Limpiyadhura origin. India maintains that the river actually takes the name Kali near Kala Pani


The present scenario is where both countries maintain that Kalapani is there an integral part of the territory. The boundary depiction exercise with Nepal is an ongoing process under the existing mechanisms. The revised map of India has shown no conclusion with the boundary of Nepal.


kalapani issue Riya Agarwal


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