Dhulikhel (1,550m) is yet another resort town with spectacular views of the Himalaya and is only 30km from Kathmandu. Dhulikhel and Nagarkot are the two very popular destinations for mountain and sunrise views on the outskirts of Kathmandu valley. There is nothing like a sweeping panoramic view of the mountains to make a trip worthwhile. When compared to Nagarkot, Dhulikhel has more to offer in the form of an ancient town which once enjoyed the importance of being on the trade route to Tibet.
Just off the Arniko Highway which leads on to Tibet, Dhulikhel is easily reached by bus (either local or tourist)and there are a large number of resorts (both luxury and the ordinary) with amazing views of the snowy peaks. The charming little town of Dhulikhel is distinctly Newari with its quiet ambiance and laid back lifestyle. The architecture is predominantly brick houses with intricate wood-carved windows while most of the temples are pagoda-style structures commonly seen around the valley.
From the edge of any ridge around Dhulikhel, stunning views of the mountain range are seen on clear days: Langtang Lirung (7246m), Dorje Lakpa (6966m), the dominating Gauri Shankar (7145m), neighboring Melungtse (7181m) and Numbur (5945m). The best mountain views are enjoyed in the early hours of the morning before the clouds rise up. Many enthusiasts walk right up to the Kali Temple (half an hour from the town) for a grand view. However, views from the comfort of most hotel roof-tops are nothing short of magical.
Dhulikhel has lots of surprises to offer to those who are willing to make the most out of their time here. For those who wish to step up and explore the bounties of nature and revel in her unadulterated and straightforward beauty, there can be no better place than Dhulikhel
Climbing up from the town for 30-minutes, a ridge walk leads to a viewing tower which is a better vantage point than the resorts. A short walk below along concrete steps leads on to the Shanti Ban with a large gilded statue of the Buddha. There are many routes to the ridge walk. Among them, the easiest is along the new Bardibas Highway: walk up to the Hospital on a hilltop and take the dirt road going left off the highway immediately opposite the hospital that climbs steeply. After Shanti Ban, there are different routes leading back down to Dhulikhel town.
If you take the road leading southeast from the bottom of the town square and walk for 2km, you come across a football field and the road to the Kali Temple which is about 30 minutes walk uphill avoiding the main road. Further up from this junction, a Ganesh shrine marks the path down to a small temple at the bottom of a gorge. The Shiva temple with a metal dome is built around a four-faced lingam and the dome is adorned with four nagas (serpent gods) arching down from the pinnacle.
Dhulikhel is well-placed for a hike to Namobuddha where a small stupa was built on the spot where a bodhisattva is said to have offered his flesh to a starving tigress and her cub to save their lives. There are some resorts here for those looking to spend a night in this tranquil hilltop. Not too far from here is the little village of Panauti, popular for its numerous pagoda temples with exquisite woodcarvings.
How To Reach Dhulikhel
Getting to Dhulikhel is quite easy. The town lies on the intersection of the Arniko highway and the BP Highway, only 30 kilometers to the east side of the Kathmandu Valley. One can quickly get here by a public bus, or by driving one’s own car. Buses from Kathmandu’s Ratna Park frequently ply here and will take you to your destination in only 2 hours.
Also read: Ranikot – destination near Kathmandu