Hiking to Dhap Dam: Inside the Shivapuri National Park

The place is so beautiful that you won’t regret visiting it.

23, Feb 2023 | nepaltraveller.com

The Dhap Dam hike proves the age-old adage, “Tougher the journey, more beautiful the destination”.

Dhap Dam is a stunning man-made lake on the edge of Shivapuri National Park. It was constructed to clean the sacred Bagmati River and restore it to its original, pure, and beautiful state. The dam catches and stores rainfall throughout the monsoon season, and when the dry season arrives, the dam releases the water to keep the Bagmati flowing and clean.

The dam has grown in popularity for hiking, off-road biking, and sightseeing. Dhap Dam provides views of the lovely mountain ranges, and the journey to the destination is the greatest part. The meandering path through the forest, gloomy and moist, with rivulets running by the side and birds chirping all the way to the dam, adds to more charm to the journey.

I had arranged a hike to Dhap Dam with three of my friends. We did some research and found out that the dam can be reached by four different ways, but we picked one that was most convenient for us, which was via Sundarijal, which is 14 kilometres from Kathmandu, and reaching Dhap Dam from there is 26 kilometres.

We boarded a bus from Ratnapark to Sundarijal, a 1.5 hour bus journey. We purchased our tickets at the Shivapuri National Park gate, which cost NRS 100 per person.

We then entered the dense jungle through an off-road track. We were having a great time. We had a small speaker with us, and played music at a low volume, without disturbing nature. We chatted, laughed, and got lost in nature. The hike through the jungle was therapeutic. We arrived at Mulkharka after more than a 1.5 hour walk.

Mulkharka is a tiny village located in the heart of Shivapuri National Park. We witnessed a panoramic view of the Kathmandu valley, lush hill terraces, and people going about their daily lives. It was a Tamang settlement with a sparse population. There were goats grazing and people were engaged in earning their livelihood. The scenario was charming to watch.

We talked with a few people and even had a quick lunch in a tiny hotel nearby. The folk were quite kind and even assisted us in finding our way up to the dam.

The second part of the hike begins at Mulkharka. We continued hiking towards Haibung. It took another 1.5 hours of strenuous hill walking until we got the glimpses of the mountain, which weren’t very visible because we visited on a misty day. The valley can be seen much better from Haibung, with beautiful green hills encircling Kathmandu’s settlements.

Dhap Dam is around 20 to 30 minutes away from Haibung. The hike from Haibung to Dhap Dam was dusty and exhausting. But once we reached there, all exhaustion fled since the dam was so serene and picturesque.

The large green lake in front of us was a magnificent sight. The lake lay calmly between the hills, reflecting the green hills’ and blue sky’ shadows. It stands 24 metres high and 175 metres wide and can hold up to 850000 litres of water.

We sat for a while on the wall of the dam. We ate our lunch, which we had brought from home. We took in the breathtaking landscapes, relaxed, and snapped some pictures.

It was time to go home after a few hours. Thus, even though we didn’t want to, we packed our bags and left the wonderful place.

The descent was easy and quick. And at the end of the day, we were back home, with wonderful memories of the dam and the fun we had. I can’t wait to plan another trip with my buddies.

Compiled By: Rebika Bishokarma

Photos By: Dhapdam.gov.np

Also Read:

Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park

5 Things To Do In Shivapuri

Bagmati River

Five Hiking Destinations In And Around Kathmandu Valley

The Scenes Of Muktinath: A Journey

Sundarijal: A Perfect Getaway For Your Weekend

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