The Shivapuri National park is located in the northern and north western part of Kathmandu. It is the second highest hill near the Kathmandu valley at altitude of 2563m and a paradise for bird watchers. The good thing about hiking in Shivapuri area is that there are multiple options – whether to hike for just 2, 3 hours or for an entire day – there are choices. It is ideal for people visiting Nepal who cannot go for longer treks. The Shivapuri conservation area is a protected forest with over 500 species. The hike starts from the south side of the Shivapuri area. A short walk takes you past the army check post stationed there. Nagi Gompa at 2340m is another attraction – this is famous among foreigners and locals who want to practice Buddhism and meditation. The trek above is somewhat steep through dense forest. The views of Kathmandu valley from there are magnificent!
The starting point of this day hike is Kande which you can reach by car or bus (1 hour). A gentle climb from Kande through the villages and forests will take you to Australian Camp where you will have great mountain views of the Annapurna Range. From Australian Camp you continue to Dhampus, a picturesque village, the most photographed in the Pokhara valley. Leaving Dhampus you descend to Phedi where a car or bus will take you back to Pokhara.
Champa Devi Hike
Champa Devi is a magnificent hill located to the south of Kathmandu valley, best for the short enjoyable hike. Champa Devi Hiking starts with one hour drive to the village of Pharping (19 km) on the way to Dakshinkali temple (a temple of goddess Kali). Leaving the Pharping village, the trial directs us the way through the pine forest. Champa Devi Hill is situated at an elevation of 2,285m, having Buddhist and Hindu shrine on the top. After the 3 hours motivating walk, we summit the top. Enjoy the superb view of central and western Himalayan range including Langtang, Gauri Shanker, Jugal, Dorge Lakpa and many other. Apart from that you get the chance to admire the bustling Kathmandu valley and its dense settlement.
Nagarjun is the nearest hill site of Kathmandu Valley covered by thick forest with historical as well as natural setting. Situated north-west of Kathmandu it’s a part of Shivapuri National Park. We start our hike from the Gate of Nagarjuna near Balaju Bypass. Its takes about 20 min by car to the entry gate and 2 and half hours of walking up to the hill. Nagarjuna hill hosts one of the well-known Buddhist stupa. A road passes through Raniban (Queen of Forest) to this stupa. The etymology for its name as Nagarjun is based in a mythological statement as the location where Acharya Nagarjun has meditated. Nagarjun also described as Vindya Mountain in literatures. Here one can feel peace state of mind with natural setting and it’s the best place to meditate. Buddha stupas, ancient caves and finally Jamacho view point (2128m) are the main points of attractions. Jamacho view point is famous for its setting from where spectacular Himalayan scenery can be observed and captured. Incredible Himalayan scene of Jugal, Ganesh Himal with Langtang region can be viewed from here. From the zenith of the Nagarjuna hill you can observe Kathmandu valley, Swayambhu hill with its famous Stupa, Nuwakot with Buddhist shrines and monasteries in their setting. Nagarjun with its natural setting hosts another historical place, the Nagarjun summer palace of the former Nepalese Royals.
Nagarkot Changunarayan Hike
Our Nagarkot Changunarayan day hike is an excellent walking day tour on the outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. If you have just a day in Kathmandu and looking for an easy day hike then this Nagarkot Changunarayan day hiking trip is the best option to escape from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. You will be amazed to see just how much the local villages along the trail remain unchanged and still exhibit their traditional countryside lifestyle even though they are so close to the city. We organize an early morning pick up as it is an hour drive from your hotel to Nagarkot where you start the day hike. We drive through the green fields and climb through terraced fields towards Nagarkot. The drive is scenic with the green valley views on one side and the fabulous Himalayas on the other.
Nagarkot is a hill station from which you can see a great panorama of mountains over 2100 metres. We have time to see all the glistening snowy peaks. The hiking trail from Nagarkot gradually descends through the terraced fields to the ‘Tamang Village.’ The thatched houses, painted are built by with local stone hand-hewn by local craftsmen. These houses are normally 3 storied with a kitchen on the ground floor, a bedroom on the second and a store on the top. A courtyard in front has an adjoining shed for animals. The garden next to the house supplies all the household seasonal vegetables and fruit. Spring brings color to the village with young goat kids and other young animals as well as beautiful bright blossoms everywhere. Local wine making is pretty common throughout the year. The first part of the hiking is largely a fascinating cultural encounter while the second part is more natural as the trail follows the ridge rich with deciduous forest. The Himalayas appear in the distance totally remote and undisturbed.
The walking is easy with gradual downhill and fairly level paths. It will take about 4 hours to reach Changunarayan, the oldest pagoda style Hindu temple in Nepal. After visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site and having our lunch, we drive back to Kathmandu to end our fascinating day hiking tour in Nepal.