Discover inner peace while on these favourite trails this season
There is a great joy in walking and slowly watching the world unfold around us For some people, it is a joyful escape from the monotone routine that so often plagues our life. But in the midst of nature, in the winding paths the thoughts that muddled our minds seem clear as the light of dawn. If you find yourself wondering where you might want to venture next, here are a few of the lesser known trails around Kathmandu.
Sisneri, one of the nearest hiking destinations where most people are drawn to, is located in Makwanpur. Hiking through Chobhar is an option, as is taking a bus from Balkhu to Dakshinkali or Fakhel. If one begins from Chobhar, they may be able to savor the sweeping views of Kathmandu Valley while sipping on a piping-hot tea before continuing further. The short walk that begins in Chobhar will end in Pharping and might take about 45 minutes. From there onwards you’ll find two routes, one from Dakshinkali and the other from Fakhel. The one from Dakshinkali leads you on a path where worshippers from far and wide walk alongside. After leaving Dakshinkali it’s roughly a four-hour hike to get to Sisneri bazaar. Along the way, hikers get to see the simple countryside, pass by numerous villages while the clear river gushes below. From Fakhel, it takes four to five hours to reach Sisneri bazaar.
Relax and enjoy the respite after the long hike. From here, most hikers head to the popular Sisneri natural bathing pool, which is about five to six km from the bustling bazaar. The natural pool is a sparkling turquoise body of water. The summer brings in a steady flow of locals, however, it is still a must-visit on the cooler days.
The third tallest hill in Kathmandu valley, Champadevi stands at a height of 2278 mt and is a crowd favourite this time of the year. On a clear day, unobstructed views of the stunning Himalayas, the winding rivers of the valley makes the journey worthwhile.
photo credit: Travelling Nepal Tips
There are many routes one might take to go to Champadevi, the four to six–hour hike through Dakshinkali temple-Taudaha lake route, or the other route from the north of Pharping. If you plan on using these paths, be prepared for a long walk and a map in your backpack, as they are more difficult to find. However, the most common and easiest is through Dollu Valley. Only 45 minutes by car, van, or bus from the heart of the city to the hiking trailhead, Bhanjyang.
From there after roughly a half-hour hike you will reach Hattiban Resort, where Kathmanduites come to unwind. Three hours from there and you’ve summitted the hill of Champadevi. Lo and behold, you’re greeted by scenic vistas.
For wanderers willing to immerse in culture, you can observe Champadevi’s open shrine and the Buddhist monastery nearby. Hikers are also rewarded with views of Phulchowki hill on the right. If you wish to go further, you’ll reach Bhasmasur Hill, which is higher than Chapmadevi. Bask in the sun, breathe and live in the moment.
Just outside Kathmandu valley is a modest hill station where frequenters visit this time every year. Some may even call the Chisapani hike an arduous one, but its reward comes in two-fold. To reach your destination you can opt to hike or drive, but to walk in nature is a different experience. Hiking is meditative for the body, mind and spirit.
First make your way to Sundarijal, the trailhead. Most of your hike will be an uphill battle but at least it’ll be through the lush greens of Shivapuri National Park, even connecting the Langtang-Gosainkunda trekking area. The trail is a quiet one, you will not run into eateries or rest-stops along the way. Make sure you carry your protein bars, nutritious fruits and remain hydrated. The national park area is also a bird watching hub, so make your way to the top whilst listening to the chirps and cheers.
It takes four to five hours, depending on each hiker’s pace. You might reach Chisapani exhausted but their warm hospitality and delicious food will get you back on track. Early mornings are heavenly from the Chisapani hill, one cannot miss the golden rays on the eastern himalayas.
The Shivapuri National Park's Bishnudwar is among the closest of hikes from Kathmandu. At an altitude of 1950 mt, Bishnudwar is where the Bishnumati river begins, therefore, holds religious significance too.
There are plenty of public vehicles to take you up to Budhanilkantha or drive to the Shivapuri national park entrance, where the hike begins. A nominal fee of Rs 100 is to be paid to enter the national park. Once inside you’ll come across numerous sign boards to take you in the right direction. Three to four hours through the dense foliage will go by quickly. Take in the sights and sounds of nature, enjoy the free-spirited moment in time. The destination is dotted with hollow, humid caves and beautiful rivers and waterfalls for you to explore. Take in each stride while overlooking the valley and carpe diem.