Kathmandu is not only famous for being the capital city of Nepal but also for various cultural and traditional monuments. It is located in the central of the country surrounded by hills and mountains with breathtaking sights. Kathmandu valley is one of the best places for hiking. We can get the opportunities to explore the natural beauty, lifestyle and culture of Nepalese people along with the green hills with amazing shapes and sizes, wildlife and birds which are the major attraction of the city. The hills surrounding the valley are accessible within a short period of time from any parts of the city. Day trips or hiking is the best option to enjoy the sites and natural beauty of the city, if you don’t have much time or, could not get holidays for traveling. In the article, we are listing the top 10 places for hiking around Kathmandu valley.
1. Nagarkot Hiking
2. Phulchowki Hiking
3. Namo Buddha Hiking
4. Chandragiri Hiking
5. Sundarijal Hiking
6. Shivapuri and NagiGumba Day Hike
7. Amitabha Monastery Hiking
8. Kakani Hiking
9. Champadevi Hike
10. Bajrabarahi - Godavari Day Hike
Nagarkot hiking is one of the short and easy hiking routes in Nepal. Nagarkot is popular as a mountain viewpoint located around 32 km away from Kathmandu valley. One can see the panorama of the Himalayas ranging from the Dhaulagiri in the west to Kanchenjunga in the east including Mt Everest (you will get a more clear view of Mt Everest through binoculars. The other ranges you will see are the Langtang, Dorje Lakpa and the Gaurishankar ranges. The sunrise and sunset on the Himalayas which can be viewed from this hill can be the most mesmerizing thing you have ever seen.
Phulchowki is one the highest hill around, situated in the south of Kathmandu valley. The hill is famous for the flowers during the summer season where the name itself says ‘ Hill of Flowers’. During the winter season, the hill is filled with snowmaking it only places in the valley to experience snowfall. Phulochowki Hiking begins from the Godavari with the breathtaking view of the city on the way and the snow-laden mountain ranges like Annapurna and Gaurishankar in the background.
Namo Buddha Hiking
Namo Buddha is one of the important religious sites for Buddhists in Nepal has its own charm. Namo Buddha Hiking starts from the small village of Panauti. The way to name buddha leads through small villages and rice fields. Depending on the season, we can get the view of planting, harvesting, other crops and lifestyles of people in villages on the way. We can get the breathtaking view of the monastery and stupas sparkling in the sun along with the hundreds of religious flag hanging on the way to the monastery which helps to increase the beauty of the place.
Chandragiri hiking is one of the best hiking around Kathmandu valley. The clean environment and view from the way helps to relax your mind and offers a great peace inside. The hiking is suitable for all aged people as it is less challenging and cable-car is also available to make your trip more luxurious. From Chandragiri Hill, you can observe spectacular mountains view west to east including Mt. API, Saipal to Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal, Dorje Lakpa and Gaurishankar mountains range.
Kathmandu being a small city surrounded by mountains and hills provide various places for hiking around it. Among them, one of the famous is Sundarijal Hiking. One of the main attractions of sundarijal is the man-made reservoir in the middle of the forest and an incredible waterfall. Sundarijal is also known as a gateway for Langtang-Gosaikunda trek. The hike becomes more memorable due to its green forest on the way where we can encounter various species of birds, animals, insects and pass through beautiful sound and scene of the Bagmati river.
Shivapuri and NagiGumba Day Hike
Shivapuri situated at an altitude of the 2563m north of the Kathmandu is famous for the hiking and mesmerized scenes seen from the top of the hill. Budhanilkantha temple with the biggest statue of Lord Vishnu sleeping in the ocean bed also lies in the way to Shivapuri. This is the government reserved forest where more than 500 species can be found. Nagigumba, where various foreigners come for mediation and nuns, practice Buddhism also lies in Shivapuri. Shivapuri and NagiGumba Day hike can be started from the southern boundary of the area where the army post is located.
Amitabha Monastery Hiking
Amitabha Monastery also is known as SetoGumba in Nepali is located in the southern part of Kathmandu valley. We can start the Amitabha Monastery hiking from the Swayambhu. The architecture of the gumba and the peace environment up there simply attracts everyone. The eye-catching paintings on the walls of the Gumba are marvelous. The cool breeze on the top and the view of Kathmandu valley from there is so relaxing that people will forget all the tiredness from the hiking.
Kakani Hiking is one of the best hiking places around Kathmandu valley for excellent Himalayan viewpoints. Kakani is also famous for its strawberry farming which surely provides a great view. Hiking leads you through green paddy fields where you can view the rural life of people. Once we reach the top of the Kakani hill, we can enjoy the breathtaking view of snow-capped mountain ranges. We can also see various small monarchy built by Korean monks on the way. Kakani is a naturally beautiful place filled with pine forest trees from where we can see a fantastic view of Kathmandu city.
Champadevi which lies at 2300m high peak acts as a border separating the valley from Makwanpur district. Champadevi hike starts from Pharping which leads to Buddhist stupa where people visit especially on the day of a full moon to pay homage to the lord. The way to the stupa is covered by a pine forest that provides a relaxing environment and top of the hills offers a great view of the Himalayan range especially Langtang and Annapurna.
Bajrabarahi - Godavari Day Hike
Bajrabarahi- Godavari is one of the short and interesting hikes around Kathmandu valley. We can start hiking from the Bajrbarahi temple from Patan. On the way from Patan to the Godavari, we need to pass through the village which has its own charm through traditional life and farming. As we go, we can see a beautiful forest surrounded by high mountains, Langtang Lirung, the Ganesh Himal range, and Phulchowki hill. We can stop at the highest point at Badikhel for enjoying the view and taking photographs.