Chandragiri Hills is a great destination to escape from the busy life of the capital.
The most exotic site for a day trip, Chandragiri Hills is a great destination to escape from the busy life of the capital. About an hour drive from Kathmandu, Chandragiri Hills offers you a pleasant experience with a little bit of thrill atop. Comprising of natural beauty, cultural significance, and electrifying experiences, this place is overflowing with enthusiasm.
You will relish every single moment of your journey at Chandragiri. As you drive through their entrance you feel a burst of freshness. The well-maintained lawn and opulent infrastructure is praiseworthy. Right before you enter their main building, you will come across the famous 'I Love Chandragiri' frame where you have to contest to take a good picture in. As you turn around, a scenic view of the mountains grabs your attention. The endless carpet of grassland curls over the hills and the spectacular view of the Kathmandu valley takes your breath away. However do not be much engrossed by this scenery, as what awaits further higher will boggle your eyes.
To progress upwards in itself is rousing. Travelling uphill in a floating box sustained by wires is as thrilling as it seems. This 9 minutes cable car journey amidst the hills narrates the beauty of the terrain. As the cable car moves further up, the afar hills unfold themselves to form a dramatic landscape. Parts of the mountain ranges that were obstructed by the hills gradually emerge. The ground below you is a boundless forest and, surrounded by colossal hills, you glide upwards like a reversed river.
When you reach the other end, the first thing that seizes your eyes is the magnificent panorama of the mountain ranges. The entire Kathmandu valley is visible, enveloped by endless waves of hills. You can view this beauty from a height of 2547 meters above sea level from the view tower. Through a pair of powerful binoculars, you are able to see an up-close view of the great mountains. Starting at the very left stretches the glorious Annapurna Range. Standing a small gap away is the kingly Manaslu Himal. Though second in terms of height in the scenery, this peak is probably the most magnificent landscape to view from Chandragiri Hills. At the very north lies the timeless Ganesh Himal Range, and further east, extends the Langtang Himal range, following the splendid Gaurishankar Himal. If you observe closely, you will get a glance of the tip of the renowned Mt. Everest or Sagarmatha Himal, standing at a height of 8848 meters. Chandragiri Hills is the closest spot from Kathmandu where you can get a peek of this peak. As you get engrossed in this enchanting scenery, you will go adrift in the track of time.
In addition to the vista, the Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple adds mythological and historical significance to Chandragiri Hills.This temple of Lord Shiva was erected at the site where Bhaleshwor Mahadev appeared. As described in Himvarakhanda, Mahadev arrived at this spot where Sati Devi's forehead fell off from her dead body. It is deduced that Sati Devi, Shiva's spouse, ended her life by jumping into fire at her father's funeral, who insulted her husband in front of the Gods and Goddesses. As furious Shiva carried her decaying body and travelled across the world, several body parts of Sati Devi's body, including her forehead, fell off in the process of his mourning. This is one of the myths behind the story of this monument. It is believed that people who worship this temple attain what they wished for, and will be blessed into Lord Shiva's world, Shivaloka, in their afterlife.
The historical relevance of this location further amplifies its symbolic prestige. It is said that from these hills, Late King Prithvi Narayan Shah got his first glance of the entire Kathmandu Valley, and resolved to conquer the valley as his kingdom. Prithvi Narayan Shah is believed to have gathered immense spiritual powers to unify the country through extreme meditation at these hills. It has been told that it was Bhaleshwor Mahadev that blessed Prithvi Narayan Shah with powers to fulfill his wishes of annexing the valley.
Besides its anachronistic depiction, the first thing you will notice, as in any other temple, is its architectural elements. A beauty from all angles, this temple has two levels of roof with wooden grid windows. If you observe the temple all around, you will be amazed by the countless figures of Gods and Goddesses carved into the walls, pillars and frames. The entrances at each side is protected by statues of lions. At the sides of the main entrance rests statues of Lord Ganesh and Lord Hanuman. At the very front of the entrance, sits a beautiful statue of Nandi, Lord Shiva's mount, represented as a bull. After you pray to the statue of Shiva Linga inside the temple, a pandit gives you blessings as he puts tika on your forehead.
Chandragiri Hills is one of the best representation of this country- breathtaking landscapes, and cultural significance. To makes this site more welcoming and appealing, Chandragiri Hills has added some extra features to entertain yourselves on your trip. Including the highest bar in the valley at 2520 meters, there are cafés and food stalls, as well as a beer garden to enjoy yourselves for lunch or a relaxing drink break. If you are visiting with children, there is a refreshing playground equipped with swings, slides, seesaws and everything your child could wish for. There is also a conference hall if you want to take corporate events a few miles away from the capital into a rejuvenating location. Further behind the conference hall, there are ponies which will take you around on its back.
Chandragiri Hills will soon make available a zip-lining and paragliding to further expand its activities. They are also building an amusement park suitable for all ages as well as an eco-friendly boutique resort.
In conclusion, Chandragiri Hills is one of the best destinations for a day-trip with your family or group of friends, whether it be to enjoy the scenery, attain blessings from Bhaleshwor Mahadev, or just to experience a cable car journey. No matter what your age is, all will enjoy a trip to Chandragiri Hills.
Chandragiri Hills Ltd.
Thankot, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: (+977) 01-4312515 / 01-4312195 / 01-4310576
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm (Monday to Friday) 7:00am – 6:00pm (Weekends and Public Holidays)
Pranit Shrestha is a Content Writer at Nepal Traveller.
Photographs by: Sijal Bachracharya