Easy Trekking around Kathmandu
The challenges for the tourism sector in Nepal is very high. Due to COVID-19 tourism sector is facing financial crises. Not only problems and crises there is also an opportunity to reimagine what is possible and desirable for the future in tourism. Tourism needs support available to assist tourism businesses as they wait for the pandemic to ease and tourists to return.
The pandemic hit a world dealing with unresolved tensions – between the people and the planet and between people and technology. Many people are at home. Many have lost their job too, it may be temporary or permanent. Due to long Lockdown, you may be looking for an easy trek near Kathmandu so that you can refresh yourself. In this post, we are going to make you know about the easy trekking route around Kathmandu. In a post-COVID 19 world: you can go for a trek in the weekend.
1. Gurje Banjyang to Kakani
Just 25 kilometers north of Kathmandu, Shivapuri National Park plays host to several short hikes that provide views of various facets of Nepal’s beauty. One of the most spectacular hiking trails is one that sits on the northern edge of the forest, where one will be cloaked in greenery while receiving great views of Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Gaurishankar and Manaslu.
The walk is hardly an arduous one, so all time can be spent on absorbing the Himalayan grandeur. There’s also a chance you may stumble across some wildlife, such as goats and birds of prey, while also walking past some military checkpoints and a small Chorten on the Kakani side. The trek can take as long as you might like, depending on which side you would like to hike. There’s a choice of inside the valley, or with a view of the mountains, which are 11 and 7.5 kilometers respectively.
One can choose to start at either Gurje Banjyang or Kakani on this easy hike. Be sure to eat some trout while in Kakani, you will have earned a good bite to eat.
Also read: Top 5 Viewpoints Near Kathmandu
2. Walking around Balthali
Approximately a 45-minute (or 1.5 hours, if you’re on public vehicle) drive away from Kathmandu, is Balthali, a settlement secluded from Kathmandu’s noise, people, and pollution. Thatched houses, terraced fields, mountain views, pine forests, and clean, gurgling rivers—Balthali is the perfect place for hiking, at just the right distance from the Capital. You can start hiking from Panauti, an old Newar settlement, or from Khopasa, the last bus stop. There are no particular trails you can take: you can just walk through fields, around the village, through a jungle. But if a destination is a must, then ask locals where the confluence of the two rivers in Balthali is, and head there. The spot is great for a small picnic, and even a quick dip, where the river’s current is not too strong.
It’s best to spend the night in the village, to make the best of being amidst such beauty. For that, there are a few resorts and some local homestays you can pre-book rooms at.
3. Bungmati to the White House Hill, Taudaha
A medieval Newari town, Khokana is a charming little hamlet, just 5 kilometers from Lalitpur’s center. Much of its buildings are still not rebuilt, since they were damaged in the 2015 earthquakes, yet the sleepy village’s charm has not diminished. The trail starts at the end of the village (near the temple of Rato Machindranath, where the deity resides for six months of the year). The trail is scenic, to say the least, as it meanders through swathes of mustard fields (particularly this time of the year). Past fields, you’ll come across a suspension bridge that will take you to Pharping.
Depending on the time you have and your physical capabilities, you then have multiple options for your hike: you can go up to the picturesque forests of Hattiban, go up to Champadevi itself (which has a bird’s eye view of the neighboring Makwanpur district) or just go up to White House Hill, the small hill beside Champadevi.
This hill might look small, but it takes at least a solid 45 minutes of uphill walking. But the view from the top—which stretches from the far reaches of Godawari to the ends of the Valley till Thankot, with the entire mountain range—is worth the tough climb. There’s even a restaurant at the top from where you can get a fairly decent meal.
4. Lamatar to Godawari
This trail does not really qualify as a hike, but if what you want is a few hours of peace, walking through woods, mustard fields, and sleepy villages, then this hike could work for you. The approximately 11-km hike starts from Lamatar and can end at the Godawari Botanical Garden, Godamchaur, even Thaiba (but that’s a little extreme)—whatever you prefer. The path you should take is right before a small bridge, near the entrance of Shuvatara School. Take the left, and then the first right. Then the trail goes through a forest until it reaches a clearing, which has an interrupted view of the Valley in the South—just hills and fields as far as you can see.
To reach Lamatar, you can take a public bus from Lagankhel. It’s best you take a public bus, as after the hike you can drop by Newa Suhlee in Harisiddhi and indulge in some Newari food and chyang (traditional hard drink) to celebrate your hike. Also, there aren’t any signposts as such along the trail and you might get lost, but you’ll find villagers along the way to guide you and you’ll end up somewhere in Godawari.
Have Fun, All the best. Enjoy Post-COVID Trek.