Hiking In Nepal
Nepal is one of the top tourist destinations in Asia, famous for its diversity, natural beauty and rich history and culture. Nepal has been catering to all kinds of tourists with a variety of options from hair-raising adventures like paragliding, skydiving, and peak climbing to peaceful tours of tranquil places. One of such short and easy experiences is – hiking in Nepal.
While the treks are long, tedious and exciting adventures, most hikes in Nepal only last a few days and allow you to experience the same kind of beauty, diversity and excitement. While the Himalayas are perfect for trekking and peak climbing, Pokhara and Kathmandu Valley are favorites for short hikes and sightseeing tours.
Hiking in Kathmandu
Kathmandu, the capital city, is famous as the city of temples as one can find a shrine or a small temple in every nook and corner. The surrounding hills of the valley are perfect for hikes and short tours with their natural beauty and cultural diversity. All the hiking destinations are reachable within hours and have some kind of history and rich culture to entertain you with. Here are some of the most famous hiking trips.
Phulchowki is the highest hill point around Kathmandu valley. After a ride to Godavari Botanical Garden, you take one of the many gravel trails. During spring, the trail is adorned with rhododendrons and orchids and once you reach the top you will feel calm and rested with the stupas and colorful prayer flags. During good weather conditions, one can enjoy the majestic views of Everest and Annapurna and also bird-watching along the trail. The descend takes about 3 hours to Godavari where you can again explore the botanical garden.
It is the second highest point in the valley which is accessible through Budhanilkantha. The hilltop at 2732 meters (8,963 feet) is a protected area to the north of the city. The trail is steep and rough in some parts and easy and leveled in others. You pass through Tamang villages and get a look into their unique lives and culture. The hills are famous for bird watching and one can also visit the stupas and Bihars here. Budhanilkantha is also a sacred site for Hindus with a large, sleeping statue of Lord Bishnu.
It is another sacred Hindu site that can be reached from Bhaktapur. It is an easy walk that leads up to the temple with great woodcraft and architecture believed to have been built during the Lichchhavi period. One can enjoy the scenic view of Kathmandu valley from the old monument area and can also include sightseeing tour of Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
It is an authentic Newari town 5 kilometers (3 miles) southwest of Kathmandu that is famous for its traditional houses and culture. Dakshinkali temple, 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Kirtipur is a perfect short hike from Tribhuwan University premises. It is a revered temple of Goddess Durga that is famous for the tantric rituals and animal sacrifices.
Other famous hikes include Nagarkot-Dhulikhel-Namobuddha, Khokana – Bungmati, Kathmandu-Kakani, Kathmandu- Chisapani-Nagarkot hikes that are 2 – 3 days long. While Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Chisapani are vantage points with beautiful, scenic views of the valley and the mountains, Namo Buddha is famous as a Buddhist site with its beautiful temples, Bihars and stupas adorned with prayer flags.
Hiking in Pokhara
Famous as the city of lakes, Pokhara is the perfect vacation spot with scenic mountain views, vantage points and many sites to explore from waterfalls to caves.
World Peace Pagoda
It is a beautiful pagoda built by the Japanese in collaboration with the locals. It lies atop a hill in the southern shore of Phewa lake. The boat across Phewa takes 25 minutes and then you ascend on stone steps for one and half hours to finally reach the hilltop. It is a peaceful sanctuary to enjoy the splendid views of the mountains above and the tranquil lake below.
Sarangkot, a vantage point in Pokhara is another great hike in the foothills of Annapurna. The trail passes through charming villages with breathtaking views of the Himalayas. A day’s hike can end in Naudanda but can be extended with a 3 hours walk to the Australian Base camp. At 2,060 meters (6,759 feet), the camp provides a perfect overnight stay with spell binding Himalayan views. The next day, you can walk down to Dhampus, a beautiful village and gateway to Annapurna base camp, and finally return to Pokhara.
Begnas lake, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the tourist hub, is a more serene and unaffected lake with its countryside lifestyle intact. Begnaskot is a ridge to the northeast of the lake. It is a superb vantage point for mountain views and a feel of the authentic mountain lifestyle and culture. The community is venturing into agricultural tourism with an organic coffee farm.