Exploring the Serenity: Light Hiking in the Hills of Kathmandu Valley May 28, 2023

Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, Nepal is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature lovers. While the towering peaks of the Everest region and Annapurna Circuit steal the limelight, there’s another hidden gem that lies closer to the heart of Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu. The hills surrounding the Kathmandu Valley offer an enchanting escape for those seeking a light hiking experience. In this blog, we’ll unveil some of the mesmerizing hiking trails within the Kathmandu Valley and their unique characteristics.

Nagarjun Forest Hike:

Located on the northwestern side of Kathmandu, Nagarjun Forest Reserve presents a serene setting for a refreshing hiking experience. The trail winds through dense forests of pine and oak trees, offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding hills. At the top, the ancient Buddhist monastery, Jamacho Gumba, welcomes you with its spiritual ambiance, making it an ideal spot for meditation and reflection.

Champadevi Hiking Trail:

Situated to the south of Kathmandu, Champadevi Hill is a perfect destination for a light yet invigorating hike. The trail takes you through lush forests, charming villages, and terraced fields, immersing you in the rural beauty of Nepal. As you reach the top, the majestic Himalayan range unveils itself, offering breathtaking vistas of snow-capped peaks. The renowned Champadevi Temple, perched atop the hill, is a sacred site where locals and visitors alike pay homage to the deity.

Shivapuri Hiking Experience:

Shivapuri National Park, located to the north of Kathmandu, is an idyllic retreat for nature enthusiasts. The hiking trail in Shivapuri leads you through diverse flora and fauna, including rhododendron forests, oak trees, and colorful bird species. The highlight of this trail is the Shivapuri peak, which rewards hikers with awe-inspiring views of the Langtang and Ganesh Himalayan ranges. The pristine waters of Nagi Gumba, a Buddhist monastery nestled in the park, offer a serene spot for reflection.

Phulchowki Hike:

Phulchowki, meaning “Hill of Flowers,” lives up to its name by showcasing a vibrant display of flora and fauna. As you embark on this trail, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a plethora of rhododendron and wild orchid species. The hike gradually ascends to the summit, where a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley awaits. With its diverse avian population, Phulchowki is a haven for birdwatchers, providing ample opportunities to spot rare species in their natural habitat.

Changunarayan Telkot Hike:

The Changunarayan Telkot Hike takes you through the charming countryside on the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu. The trail starts from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Changunarayan Temple, an ancient Hindu temple known for its intricate architecture. As you hike towards Telkot, you’ll pass through terraced fields, traditional Nepali villages, and verdant landscapes. The hike offers a glimpse into the rural lifestyle of Nepal while offering picturesque views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Lakuri Bhanjyang Hiking Trail:

Situated south of the Kathmandu Valley, Lakuri Bhanjyang offers a delightful hiking experience. The trail takes you through dense forests, passing by streams and waterfalls along the way. As you ascend, you’ll witness stunning vistas of the Himalayan range and the Kathmandu Valley. The highlight of this hike is reaching the viewpoint at Lakuri Bhanjyang, which provides a panoramic view of the entire valley, dotted with ancient temples and terraced fields.

Sanga to Namobuddha Hike:

Embark on a spiritual journey with the Sanga to Namobuddha hike, starting from Sanga, famous for its towering Shakyamuni Buddha statue. The trail winds through peaceful rural landscapes, passing through small villages and rice fields. After a couple of hours of hiking, you’ll reach Namobuddha, a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site. This serene hilltop location is adorned with prayer flags and stupas, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and the Kathmandu Valley.

Taudaha Lake Flat Hike:

For a more leisurely hiking experience, the flat hike around Taudaha Lake is an ideal choice. Located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Taudaha Lake is a serene oasis with a tranquil atmosphere. The trail takes you around the lake, offering a chance to observe the local flora and fauna, including migratory birds. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings and take in the scenic beauty of the lake, surrounded by lush greenery and distant hills.

Khokana and Bungmati Exploration:

Take a break from traditional hiking trails and explore the cultural and historical wonders of Khokana and Bungmati. These two traditional Newari villages are located in the southern part of the Kathmandu Valley. Wander through the narrow streets, observe the traditional Newari architecture, and visit ancient temples and shrines. The villages offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life, and you can immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Newar community.

Tips for Hiking in Kathmandu Valley


While the Kathmandu Valley is renowned for its cultural heritage and historic sites, the hills surrounding the valley offer an equally captivating experience for nature enthusiasts. From the spiritual ambience of Champadevi and Nagarjun Forest to the biodiversity of Shivapuri and Phulchowki, each hiking trail presents a unique opportunity to connect with nature and rejuvenate your spirit. Additionally, the Changunarayan Telkot Hike, Lakuri Bhanjyang, Sanga to Namobuddha Hike, Taudaha Lake, Khokana, and Bungmati offer diverse experiences that showcase the natural beauty, rural lifestyle, spirituality, and cultural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley. So, the next time you find yourself in Kathmandu, don’t miss out on exploring these hidden gems and letting the hills weave their magic on your soul. Happy hiking!