Perfect to travelers looking to enjoy the full extent of Nepalese culture, be amongst the distinctive natural environment and the spectacle of mighty mountains, Kathmandu is the place to be for all this. As one takes a hike around the valley, one can experience untouched nature away from the crowd of the capital. Kathmandu valley has to offer hiking routes passing through steep hills, forests, and antique villages of people practicing various cultures and having differing beliefs. Even people with no prior hiking experience or remarkable stamina can easily complete hiking around the valley. Age is also not a barrier as the paths are suitable for all ages, from kids to old people. Champadevi, Shivapuri, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Namobuddha, and Sundarijal are some famous one-day hiking sites in the valley.
Namobuddha Dhulikhel Day Hiking Tour
The Namobuddha Dhulikhel Day hiking tour commences from Dhulikhel, after an hour drive from Kathmandu. Namobuddha and Dhulikhel are separated by a hiking route of around 20 kilometers and can be easily completed by a hiker with average physical fitness. The hikers can enjoy their journey from start to finish as the route passes through villages with terraced farmlands, typical Nepalese mud houses, and so on. Newars are the dominant inhabitants of the area covering the hike between the start and end points.
Namobuddha is a Buddhist stupa and holds a popular fable about a young prince who sacrificed his life to save the life of tiger cubs. Initially, the hike heads to Panauti, a small Newar village, which offers a taste of old-fashioned Nepalese cultures and foods. The short route includes a walk-via Batase-Sankhu Road or the Namobuddha road, both just less than 12 kilometers and entails mesmerizing hiking trails filled with sublime sceneries. The view towers in both Namobuddha and Dhulikhel are the window to mountain ranges of Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Jugal, Rolwaling, Everest (Mahalangur) and Numbur, which are 8 of the 13 ranges in the Nepalese Himalayan Ranges. With the panorama of Himalayas, the views of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur is also for a treat to curious eyes.
The price of the Namobuddha Dhulikhel Day Hiking Tour is USD 120 and you will be accompanied by an experienced hiking guide for the trip.
Nagarkot Day Hiking
Nagarkot is one of the most famous hills to the east of Kathmandu Valley. With an altitude of 2,175 meters above sea level, it is visited by local and foreigners alike for picnic, hiking, or simply to relish the breathtakingly beautiful views seen from the hill surrounded by breezy forests.
The trip begins when the hikers take a drive from Kathmandu to Changunarayan. Here, the hikers can explore the ancient temple of Changunarayan dedicated to the Hindu deity Bishnu. After exploring the temple which dates back to the 5th century, the actual hike begins along the forested route with views of Sankhu village and Bhaktapur accompanying the hikers. Playing hide and seek with the Himalayas to the north, the hike heads to the quaint town of Nagarkot. Here, the diverse arrays of inhabitants welcome you with mesmerizing hospitality. The routes around Nagarkot can be a little busy given the popularity of the destination. A short hike from the Bazaar in Nagarkot takes you to the viewpoint. On a clear day, the summits spanning from Kanchenjunga in the east to Dhaulagiri in the west; including Mt Everest (8848m), Mt Manaslu (8163m), Ganesh Himal (7422m), Langtang (7227m), and even Mt Annapurna (8091m) can be witnessed from the vantage point. The orange shades of the setting sun make up for an even enchanting affair. With the Himalayas offering their majesty to the hikers, the return entails a downhill route to reach the Nagarkot Bazaar. A nerve-settling drive back to Kathmandu completes the trip.
Accessible all round the year, the Nagarkot Hiking Tour can be done at a cost of USD 90. Such a surreal journey in such a reasonable price is a catch for any nature lover.
Mostly famous for the Heritage sites and as the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu obviously has a lot more to offer to the visiting public that most people are unaware of. Not only the natural desirability, but the socio-cultural aspects of the outskirts of the valley add a much stronger attraction. The cost-effectiveness, attractive hiking features, vast ethnicity, diverse heritage sites and the view of the mountains from each and every hiking route, day hiking around Kathmandu valley is one journey everyone must take, whether in short of time and budget or just to enjoy a spare day in the valley.