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Hike within Kathmandu: Just keep climbing

hiking around kathmandu

Hiking Destinations within Kathmandu

Working five to six days a week and just getting one day off to sit back, relax and indulge in leisure activities seems rather unfair, but alas, it is what happens every time. Some people stay in all weekend and watch their favorite TV shows, but there are people who need to keep moving and get some exercise out in nature. There are many hiking destinations within Kathmandu that offer great views, amazing surroundings and the best way to spend your short weekend. So, get on your walking shoes, and get started to make the most out of the weekend.

1. Nagarkot Hiking
A quiet little hilltop just about 32 km from Kathmandu, Nagarkot is a widely popular and loved destination for the residents of Kathmandu. Anyone craving for a quiet weekend and wanting to be tucked in a cocoon of nature, Nagarkot is always the first destination that comes to mind. And for those who want to make the most of their short weekend by hiking up the hill, what better destination than Nagarkot could you ask for? Starting the hike from a small town of Sankhu, the uphill trail takes you through several villages, pine forests and terraced farmlands where you will see the rural lifestyle that still prevails even in the Capital. After a four-hour hike, you will reach Nagarkot and will instantly be greeted by the chirping of various birds and panoramic views of the mountains that will take your breath away.

2. Namo Buddha Hiking
One of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal, Namo Buddha is a mythical place that holds a lot of stories and legends. It is said a young Lord Buddha once encountered a starving tigress lying still while her cubs roamed around for food. Seeing the distress, he couldn’t help but cut his own flesh to feed the cubs and the tigress. Hence, Namo Buddha is also regarded as a great symbol of sacrifice and compassion. Keeping this myth alive, a statue of Buddha and the tigress with her cubs are kept inside one of the temples. As for hiking your way up to the peaceful hill, you will pass through traditional Tamang and Newar settlements, going through vast rhododendron forests and finally reaching the stupas with colourful prayer flags swaying in the wind. The peaceful environment and the cool air is enough to get you revitalised and have a moment of observation in this religious hiking destination.

3. Champadevi Hiking
A hiking trail that takes you into the countryside just a few hours of drive far from Kathmandu, Champadevi has a lot to offer. A not so frequented hiking destination, Champadevi is pretty untouched by modernity, and the traditional lifestyle is still eminent. A couple hours of hiking from Pharping, you will be amazed at the out-dated routine people still follow. With narrow gravel filled lanes where you will be greeted by locals and several smiling faces of the children, you can ask them you show you the way and have a chat while you embark upon the destination together. Upon reaching the top of the Champadevi hill at 2285 m, you will spot small Hindu and Buddhist shrines and a great spot to chill and look down on the Valley below.

4. Kakani Hiking
Kakani is an all-time favourite when it comes to hiking spots. Be it beginners or even experienced hikers, there is something different about hiking up to Kakani that is just better than anywhere else. Just over 25 km northeast to Kathmandu, Kakani is blessed with some of the best nature and surrounding that makes it such a beloved destination for a short hike. The picturesque view of the massive hills, the green forests and foggy mornings is what makes Kakani wonderful. Hiking to Kakani really makes you appreciate nature and its beauty, and Kakani promises a wonderful environment with spectacular views of mountains surrounding from all sides.

5. Sundarijal Hiking
Starting the journey from Budhanilkantha, Sundarijal is just 15 km away from Kathmandu. Just a couple of minutes away from the Budhanilkantha temple, you will reach Shivapuri Conservation Area, and going further up from there making your way to Sundarijal, you will come across many waterfalls, springs and vast jungles. The white pristine waterfalls come thrashing down and is a great opportunity to freshen up. Exploring the forest while being surrounded by great views of the mountains, you will find yourself amidst highly diverse vegetation that ranges from pine trees to oak trees to rhododendron shrubs. Sundarijal is a complete package of amazing landscapes and perfect hiking trails, and if you want to hike further, you can carry on walking till you reach Chisapani which is another captivating spot for a great hike within Kathmandu.

Smriti Bajracharya

smritii.bajra@gmail.com

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