Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park stands 2,732 m tall and is the 9th National Park in Nepal. Located in the country’s mid-hills on the northern part of Kathmandu Valley it covers an area of 159 km.
It is an excellent choice for a day’s hike in Kathmandu. It offers great views of Kathmandu and some magnificent mountains.
This park is home to an important water catchment which supplies water to Kathmandu Valley.
The main function of this park is to protect the valleys main water source. And it is also the home of 318 species of birds along with numerous rare orchids and wild animals.
This park also has a hiking route which is famous not only among the tourists but also the locals. It is a great place for hiking, cycling, bird watching, picnic etc.
The starting point of this hike is the National Park entrance at Budhanilkantha. From here, it is a 3-4 hour hike up and 2-3 hours hike down.
The hike starts with a walk along a dirt road to Nagi Gompa and passes through the forest to Bagdwar and finally reaching the Shivapuri hilltop.
It is a bit strenuous hike. But the amazing experience of tranquillity on this hike will make it worthwhile.
With its natural beauty and wilderness, this hike is a must do when in Kathmandu. Especially if you are an avid bird watcher you should not miss this hike.
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- Easy access from Kathmandu
- Spectacular views of the Valley along with Manaslu, Ganesh Himal etc from the hilltop.
- Experience cultures of both Hindus and Buddhists locals dwelling around the Shivapuri National Park.
- Witness the daily lives of the people living in this area.
- Encounter amazing variety of flora and fauna of the National Park.
Day 1: Drive to Budhanilkantha (20 minutes)- Hike to Shivapuri Hill(3-4 hours)- Hike down to Sundarijal(2-3 hours)- Drive back to Thamel(45 minutes).
1-Day Hike: Drive to Budhanilkantha (20 minutes)
After breakfast, you should get ready for the hike. Wear comfortable clothes and comfortable hiking shoes to avoid any problems during the hike. You can carry water and some light snacks to munch on during the hike.
Once you are ready, our representative will pick you up from your respective hotels. He will drive you to the starting point of the trek, Budhanilkantha.
Budhanilkantha is not only the starting point of this hike but is also a holy site of both Buddhists and Hindus.
It is the home to a very unique temple featuring a five-meter-long sleeping Vishnu in a pond, within the coils of a snake.
This magnificent giant stone idol dates to the 7th century. It was a hidden treasure and remained buried for centuries until uncovered by some farmers. You can visit this temple and observe the Hindu religious culture. And the magnificently carved stone idol.
Hike to Shivapuri Hill (3-4 hours)
The entrance to the Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park is a two-kilometer uphill walk from the bus stop.
Since the park is big, there are several options available for a day hike. You will take the one via Baghdwar.
Once inside the park, the first hour of the route is a long dusty road. You will then reach the route of steep stairs leading to the Nagi Gompa.
This gompa is a Tibetan nunnery and from here you will also get excellent views of the Kathmandu valley. And one a clear day, you may be able to see some snow-capped mountains.
The route to Baghdwar or the Shivapuri Summit is the stone steps out the back of the monastery and to the left. There are a lot of stone steps and can take up to 2 hours to climb them.
As you go higher the surrounding becomes more humid and greener. You will start to feel the crisp fresh air and hear nothing but the chirping of birds. You will feel at peace to get away from the noise and pollution of Kathmandu.
After some time you will reach the Baghdwar, the origin of the Bagmati river. There is a tap from which the water flows towards the valley. This water later turns into a large river down the hill.
From here it takes about an hours hike to get to the summit of Shivapuri hill. Once at the summit you can rest awhile and enjoy your time taking pictures. Or just admire the beautiful scenery of the valley below and of the surrounding mountains.
Hike Down to Sundarijal (2-3 hours)
You will then continue your trek down to Sundarijal. The trail runs parallel to the creek and eventually turn into a rough dirt road. As you descend down the hill, you will pass by open fields growing a variety of crops.
The trail then slowly reaches a village. From houses made of stones and mortar to the quiet almost empty surrounding, you will witness a very simple way of life here.
Further down you will pass by breathtaking views of Kathmandu and also some beautiful waterfalls. Near the end of the trail, it’s a steep descend via concrete steps.
You will finally reach the local bazaar at Sundarijal, the ending point of the hike.
Drive Back to Thamel (45 minutes)
From here our representative will drive you back to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day relaxing or enjoy the nightlife of Thamel.