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The Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail :

Most people associate trekking in Nepal with long arduous treks, high mountain passes and the need for organized expeditions. Thatís not true in all cases, this newly developed trekking route, The Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail is a moderate, no fuss trek that displays the best of Nepalís rural culture and stunning Himalayan views that can be enjoyed with simple preparation and minimal equipment, donít think of it as a trek, itís more like an extended walk that has a lot to offer, culturally, visually and physically.

The main purpose for the development of this trekking trail was firstly to introduce this pristine wilderness area and open up the rich opportunities for cultural tourism for tourists; the convenient location and ease of access make it one of the best budget treks for those with limited time in Nepal. Secondly the other reason is to bring tourism into ďeconomically improvisedĒ rural communities by helping them set up tourism business and by encouraging tourists to come along and use the facilities. Our aim here is to help spread income generated from tourism across the board to all communities of Nepal. We strongly believe by encouraging this kind of environmentally responsible tourism to rural communities we can build a bright and prosperous future for tourism within Nepalís rural communities and help to sustain a pristine environment at the same time.

Day To-From Attractions/Activities Time Duration

Day 01

Sundarijal to Chisapani

Via: Shivapuri National Park entrance gate Kolthupa, Mulkharka, Daurail, Borlang Vanzang (2500m)

From the hotel, itís a short 30 minutes drive through the city, past Bouldanath Stupa and out into the countryside. Sundarijal is a small bus park and market square located at the entrance to Shivapuri National Park. The name Sundarijal means beautiful water and once you start your trek, you will see why. Head off on a stone stair case, the trail follows the beautiful cascading waterfall and stream for about an hour in the sub tropical jungle until you reach the small settlement of Mulkarka, just before here we will pass an army check post where you need to purchase the Shivapuri entry ticket(250 rupees). Mulkarka is the last place you can get refreshments and food before Chisopani, so perhaps an early lunch is in order and make sure you take some snacks and plenty of drinking water. From here you have a long haul up the stair case, through farming villages, terraced paddy fields and open grazing fields. Once you reach the top of the stairs, the trail steadies and we pass through jungle on route to Chisopani (Cold Water). On arrival, given clear weather you will be greeted with your first tantalizing views of the Himalaya. Todayís trail is easy to follow.

6 hrs
( 16 km)

Lunch at Mulkharka Chisapani

Day 02

Chisapani to Nagarkot

via Shivapuri National Park, Jhulay, Chauki Vanzang, Naldum

From Chisopani you trek through the lush forests and through the ďDhapsĒ, (wet lands) and out into the rural hillside farming land, given clear weather you should get fantastic views through most of the day featuring Gauri Shanka, Shishapangma and Mardi Himal. The trail is a scarcely used army jeep track, though future plans could see this developed into a main road for entrance to Gosikunda, the holy pilgrimage lake. After about 7 km of walking, divert form the main trail and follow a narrow track through a short dense section of jungle, as you have to skirt around an army camp, there is a little bit of slipping and sliding involved on the steep track. The track is sign posted to Jhule, itís easy to find, on a bend at the top of a short incline, the trail will be on your right. Below the Army Camp there are a couple of simple tea shops where you can rest, get refreshments and some hot food, this place is our recommended lunch spot. Again proceed downhill on a narrow trail that passes through several farm yards before joining a simple road (currently under construction) through the terraced rice fields and then into a largish village of Sano Kaule (Chauni Bhanjyang). Turn right onto the road once you have passed the school and follow this road for around 3km until you come to another village, Jowshin Pouwa, where you may encounter some traffic. Follow the road to the left and traverse around the rim of a spectacular valley to your left. This section of road is fairly flat and passes through pockets of pine forests and small villages. After about 3.5km, join another main jeep track at Kartikki Bhanyjang. Head to the cluster of houses and shops in front of you as you join the main jeep track. This is another good place for refreshments. At the end of the village, follow the main road, not the left folk, uphill for the final 3 km climb to Nagarkot. If you are unsure of the way at any stage, once you leave Jhule, there will be plenty of people around to ask the way to ďNagarkotĒ. As you near the top of this road you will start to see a few hotels, from here to reach the main town and the budget hotels you must follow the road for another 20 minutes until you reach a tarred road and a cluster of cheaper hotels. This bustling hill station is one of the main tourist attractions for foreigners and locals alike as a viewing station for the Himalaya. You are spoilt for choice of hotels and lodges, with one to suit every budget.

Optional Day hike from here to visit Changunarayn and return to Nagarkot for the night. Itís around a 6 hour return trek, or alternatively, you can trek down to Changunarayn and return to Nagarkot by bus from Telkot.

7 hrs

Lunch at Chauki Vanzang Nagarkot-

Day 03

Nagarkot to Dhulikhel

Via through Rohini Vanzang, Jal jalay, Sashi Pani, Kashi Vanzang, O pi etc

(Additional night is recommended if you wish to hike to Namobuddha, Panauti & Nala)

Todayís walk is long and there are very few options for food and water, so we recommend that you carry enough of both with you for the trek.
Leave your hotel and head towards Club Himalaya. Below this hotel you will find a small walking trail which cuts across the hillside and takes you towards Rhonnie Bhangyang. The views of the Panckhal Valley to your left are very good, and given clear weather you should again get memorable views of the mid Himalaya, included Everest. Follow the rugged, little used jeep track until you come to a flat spot of land and a couple of farm houses. This is Rhonnie Bhangyang. Follow the road straight, do not take the left or right turnings. Climb up a short sharp hill and arrive at an intersection with another jeep track. Take the left turn and follow this road along the ridge. After about a kilometer, a small trail on the right takes you down into the next valley. Donít follow the main jeep track back down into the valley below Nagarkot, you want to keep Nagarkot over your left shoulder. Follow the track steeply downhill through the hillside which is dotted with villages. You are aiming for a vague ridge between two valleys. You will pass through the villages of Kankre and Tanchok. If you are unsure of the way just ask some locals for directions. From Tanchok, you will meet another main jeep track that you need to follow to your right and uphill for around a kilometer to Tusal. Here you need to head again right to the largish town of Opi where you cross the main jeep track and head directly to Dhulikhel. The trail meets the Arniko Highway 1km from the main town of Dhulikhel, at Himalayan Horizons Hotel. To get into town you need to turn right and head uphill.
Please note that this section of the trek can be confusing with the roads being developed and ever changing. Note the main villages mentioned in this itinerary and be sure to repeatedly ask for directions. Donít forget to take plenty of food and water, and perhaps pre book your hotel in Dhulikhel so they know you are coming. Tell them your estimated arrival time as well and that you are trekking this route from Nagarkot.

7 hrs (20km)

Packed Lunch have been advised

Extended Programme

Day 04

Dhulikhel to Balthali

Via Devisthan, Kavre Vanzung, Nama Buddha, Balthali

Dhulikhel to Balthali
Via Devisthan, Kavre Vanzung, Nama Buddha, Balthali

If you have the time this leg of the trek is highly rewarding and much worthwhile. If you want to shorten your day itís also possible to catch a lift to either Namobuddha or Karve Bhangyang in a micro, local bus or Taxi. We recommend that you do this.

On leaving Dhulikhel you need to pass through the main bazaar and head towards the picnic ground, itís easy to find and everyone knows this place, so donít be afraid to ask. From here you will see an entrance gate on your left. Here you can climb the 1000 stairs to the top or take the longer road to the left of the stairs. Both routes go to the same place. Once at the top you will emerge from the jungle to a rather barren looking army camp. Look behind you, the views should be amazing! From the stairs go straight across the jeep track, you will see on your left a gate and narrow path heading up into the army camp, feel free to go upwards for another five minutes to visit the Kali Temple and see the encompassing views of Panchkal Valley, Dhulikhel and the Himalaya. On returning to the top of the main stair case, head down the steep narrow gully and rejoin the main jeep track following it to the left. Keep on a left ward course along a short ridge and head down through the villages to Kavre Bhangyang. You will be able to see the main highway below you, if you get confused, just head for that. At the Bhangyang, stock up on water and snacks for the next 7.5km of walking. Head directly across the road and through the gate onto a dirt road. This road will take you steadily upwards to another largish village and Bhangyang. From here itís about 2 km, keeping to the road to Namobuddha, once you top a crest you will be able to see the impressive Monastery in front of you. Here you can find some places to take lunch. If you are tired itís also possible to find simple lodgings here either, up at the main Monastery or in the simple guest house at the Stupa, further back up the road you came down is Namobuddha Resort.

From Namobuddha there are several ways to get to Balthali Village; you should allow around three hours to cover the next 10 km. The easiest way is to follow the road down to the small Stupa and keep going downhill on this road (take the fork about 100 meters before the Stupa). About 2.5km of downhill and another 3 km of uphill and flat walking brings you to Sancu Village, at the bottom of a downhill section, you need to take the small track to the left hand side. Following this trail through the beautiful orange farming villages, you will come across a newly constructed road, should it fork off, take the most direct forward route, staying on the side of the hill and donít go up or down. Eventually this road will end and you will see a river and suspension bridge far below you. You must proceed carefully down the foot trail to the bridge and climb steeply up the other side for about 20 min. At the top you will come to gap in a hedge, go through the gap and turn left onto the trail. Follow this to the village. Once in the village you need to head to Balthali Resort, the only accommodation in the area. Follow the road straight for about ten minutes then take a left turn and walk steadily uphill. You should be able to see the resort on the hill top in front of you. Ask the friendly local villages for help if you get lost. The last 10 minutes climbs steeply upwards on an earthen staircase that brings you to the Resort and your well earned rest for the night.

7 hrs
(18 km)

Lunch at Namobuddha Restaurant


Day 05


Drive back to Kathmandu via Khopasi & Panauti

This section of the walk eases you out of rural Nepal and back in to the hustle and bustle of urbanized life. It is possible to take transport, but the road is rough and bumpy and itís far better to walk at least until Khopasi. You should be able to make Panutie by lunch time, so just carry some snacks and water.

Leaving the resort, head back down the way you came until the intersection with the main road at the bottom of a gentle hill, yesterday you came up this road from the right, today you must proceed to your left. The road heads down hill slightly, skirting a small vale cultivated with terraced rice fields, climb steeply up the other side of this vale and follow the right fork in the road through another village. The road undulates here and then heads steeply downhill through a pocket of forest to a bridge which crosses the river. Climb up the other side and sticking to the main road follow it to and intersection where you need to take the right hand downward fork. The road makes one last climb on a rough cobbled section before entering the village of Khopasi. When you meet the main tarred road, turn right and follow this road all the way to Panutie. Along the route, keep a look out for the spire of the temple on your right, you should be able to make your way through the rice fields to the river where you can find the bridge to cross to the temple, if not just follow the road, cross the bridge and turn right onto a small side street which will take you to the temple complex (straight on takes you to the main town, restaurants, Panutie Hotel and the Bus Park).
In the center of town is a big bus park, you should be able to find a bus going to Kathmandu, make sure you ask that it goes direct or you may have to change buses in Banepa. There is also one simple hotel here, should you wish to stay overnight. Buses also depart from the bus park to Dhulikhel, Bhaktapur and Banepa. The journey to Kathmandu takes about an hour and a half depending on traffic. The bus will terminate at the bus park, from where you can take a rickshaw or taxi to your Hotel.




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