Day flat hike of Taudaha Lake, Khokana and BungmatiExtermly Popular ||
Easy Flat Hike | Short 2-4 hours hiking/trekking near Kathmandu covering Chobhar, Taudaha (Nagdaha), Suspension bridge, Khokana & Bungmati (World Heritage Site)
The southern end of the Kathmandu valley mightn’t be the most hyped places here, but it’s certainly gifted with destinations of cultural and natural bounties. Our journey focuses some amazing and culturally preserved destinations this region has to offer within a day’s hike. With a bliss of nature, this hike will give us a time-lapse of places with culture and art from the 6th century to date. The local art of living, trading systems and unit, stone and wooden art, flatlands with rice fields, and the family-like people here makes your day stuffed with magnificent treats in Kathmandu. With Everest Vacation discover the best-preserved art and traditional lifestyle of Kathmandu valley.
Our hike starts at Taudaha Lake, but first, we will pick you from your hotel and drive you there. Leaving the hustle and bustle behind, we will take a scenic road to Chovar. We will make a brief stop in the 15th-century temple of Adinath Lokeshor here and enjoy the view of Kathmandu and beyond from here. With both Hindu and Buddhist devotees visiting this temple dedicated to Rato Macchindranath deity, we will also explore some related local legends here. A short drive from the temple will take us to the starting point of our trek, the Taudaha Lake.
Taudaha lake or locally known as ‘Nagdaha’ translates as ‘the lake of snakes’ is a small lake with historical and religious significance about 12kms south of Kathmandu. It is locally believed that the original lake was the one which constituted the valley of today and a mythical Buddhist character Manjushree drained the water with his sword to make the land liveable. During this process to prevent the nagas from, leaving the areas as they were the divine creatures protecting it, this lake was created. To respect the nagas and avoid the disruption of water here, you aren’t allowed to swim or fish in the lake.
Apart from religious legends, Taudaha is also an ecological paradise for nature lovers. More than 40 different species of birds are found in the lake and the premises here. The lake is one of the significant places to view over 23 different varieties of Migratory birds some traveling from as far as Mongolia and Siberia in winter. There is also frequent spotting of Golden Jackal, Grey mongoose and many different species of rodent here. Checkered keelback snakes and garden lizards are also frequent spotting alongside numerous different species of fishes in the lake. The view of the surrounding hills and green fields from the lake is also pristine. You can also feed the fishes here in the lake. After a calm time here, we will start the first part of our trek to Khokana.
Khokana village is about one and half hours of pleasant trek from Taudaha passing by small settlements in the way. Khokana is a lovely settlement of local Newari people with significant population involved in farming. Also on the tentative list for the UNESCO world heritage site, this village is a living reflection of medieval art and history of the valley. We will witness a unique experience of local mustard oil cultivation here. The fresh air and lovely people are the major reasons to visit the village. The local cuisine and family-like atmosphere will make you feel at home. In the tour of Khokana, you will discover the medieval art, beautiful monuments, traditional lifestyle, and way of housing. The Rudrayani temple (a place where Rudrayani traditional RudrayaniJatra takes place), De Pukhu (pond), JitapurMandap or ‘Gaa-cha,’ Sikhli Temple of Sikhil Buddha, and the other small 6 ponds in Khokana are the major attractions here. We will head towards Bungamati village after Khokana visit.
Bungamati is a historical town about an hour of walk from Khokana and is believed to be the birthplace of the Rato Macchindranath deity. Also called befoe as Bunga or Amarpur and also Bungapattan in the Malla period of the valley, this village is one of the most sacred communities of the Newari people. Overlooking the holy Bagmati river, each year a chariot carrying the sculpture of Rato Machindranath is pulled by the locals to Patan named as ‘Rato Machindranath Jatra’ which is one of the most significant occasions in Newari communities. The only living goddess of the world ‘Kumari’ is also chosen from a community here, and you can visit the home of present Kumari goddess with the guide here. Alongside numerous shrines and monuments constituting this village, we will make our way to the Temple of Macchindranath which is a Shikhara style temple in the center of the village. You can also witness the reconstruction works from the 2015 earthquake here. Exploring the village, we can also try some local cuisine here.
Making yourself here in times of local festivals will give you bonus experiences of the culture, traditional dance and music, Jatras, and overall unity of the people living in these areas. After a majestic bliss of tradition and culture here we will drive you to your hotel in Kathmandu. Prepare to explore the lesser-seen side of Kathmandu valley with Everest Vacation.