Here are some of the best weekend getaways to take a break from the hectic city life.
ife in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu Valley can at times, be quite stressful and tedious. Sometimes the best remedy is a quick getaway; a place where you can relax whether it’s with your friends, family or solitary. Well, the best part of Nepal’s capital region is that one doesn't always have to go all the way to the lake city of Pokhara or the lush green expanses of Chitwan for a quick break; the valley is dotted with scenic destinations all over that could prove to be great getaways. Here is a list of popular close weekend getaways that are most sought after by both locals and tourists alike:
A 32-kilometre drive Kathmandu, the Newari town of Dhulikhel is a great destination for getting a sight of the panoramic views of the mountains. Some of the notable peaks that are visible from Dhulikhel are Langtang Lirung (7227m) in the west, Dorje Lakpa (6966m), Gauri Shankar (7134m) and Melungtse (7181m) in the centre, and Numbur (5945m) in the east. The city is also dotted with numerous shrines, and the most important being the Namo Buddha stupa, which is a 12 km drive or a three-hour walk south from Dhulikhel.
The town is home to numerous hotels and resorts that accommodates just everyone’s budget. If you are interested in hiking, there are many sites around Dhulikhel—including Namobuddha trail—that happen to be great hiking destinations as one gets to pass through the evergreen pine forests and rocky pathways to land upon places that offer scenic vistas of the Kathmandu Valley and the dunes beyond.
Nagarkot, located 32km east of Kathmandu, is the perfect destination to breakout from the busy life of the capital. A popular site for both Nepalese and foreigners, Nagarkot is known for the evergreen arresting view. Watching the sunrise and sunset from Nagarkot is absolutely heartwarming. A wide scenery of the mountain ranges is exquisitely revealed as the sun gradually makes its appearance. If the weather is ideal, then the panorama before you will mesmerize your eyes, keeping you staring at the view for hours.
The town of Kakani sits in the bottom of the Kathmandu valley and offers a great view of the Himalayan snowscape consisting of peaks like Ganesh Himal, Gaurishankar, Dorje Lakpa and Shishapangma. A quaint destination in comparison to Dhulikhel and Nagarkot, while at Kakani, one can visit the Shivapuri National Park and experience nature at its finest as the park is a home to pristine wilderness, and promises a great hike with small waterfalls hidden along the path.
Kakani is also a great place to start your cycling and mountain biking ventures along the hilly terrains of Kathmandu suburbs.
On the banks of the mighty Trishuli River, Kuritar features exotic resorts where one can unwind and repose. Along with relaxing beside the riverside, seek the thrill through adventurous sports like rafting, kayaking and horse riding. The town is also the gateway to the sacred temple of Manakamana, home to the goddess Bhagwati. Bhagwati is said to be the fulfiller of wishes, and her abode Manakamana is a shrine that every Nepali Hindu is encouraged to visit in their lifetime.
A 40 kilometres drive from Kathmandu, Balthali is a great getaway destination that may not give you a sight of the snow-capped mountains, but you will get a great view of the nearby hills that surround the valley, and one can also experience enchanting sunrises and sunsets that are worth getting a sight of.
To get to Balthali, one must first reach Panauti, one of Nepal’s oldest towns and home to numerous temples dating back to the fifteenth century. From here, a hike of half an hour leads to the beautiful village of Balthali. The route to Balthali has many rivers, terraced farms, and one can get a glimpse of the agricultural life of the hilly regions of Nepal. The route to the village is a great place to have a picnic by the riverside, have some of the local fruits, and bask in the sun.
Shravya Singh Karki is a Content Writer at Nepal Traveller.