Rukum was a single district before the Nepal government divided it into East and West while federating the country. Now Rukum East is a mountain district of Lumbini Province situated along the Dhaulagiri mountain range.
On October 5, 2017, Rukum East was classified as a category ‘A’ mountainous district in Nepal Gazette. As mentioned in the Gazette, there are 20 mountainous districts across Nepal. A district is rerquired to meet various criteria to be classified as mountainous. Due to many mountains and snow-covered ranges found in Rukum East, the Nepal government had categorized it in the category ‘A’. It is said that about half a dozen mountains higher than 5,000 metres are in the district with the highest being 7,246-metre-high Putha Hiunchuli.
Similarly, 6,536-metre-high Dogali, 5,924-metre Samjang, 5,911-metre Sisne and 5,833-metre Nimku are situated in the district. Sisne mountain is located in Sisne Rural Municipality-1 and the rest in Putha Uttarganga Rural Municipality-1 and 2. Sine and Putha mountains have gained popularity after the two rural municipalities were named after them. But, rest of the mountains have lost admiration and have remained unknown to many. Even the people in the neighbouring districts are unknown about these mountains. Puni Raj Gharti Magar, chairman of Putha Uttarganga Rural Municipality, maintained that the district has not been able to push tourism introducing packages for the promotion of these mountains, though it has been conducting some regular programmes.
The mountains located in Putha Uttarganga Rural Municipality lie in one mountain range. It is learnt that Sisne Rural Municipality is also lagging behind in coming up with the proper packages and programmes for the promotion of the mountains.