Nepal is basically known for its altitudinal variations, ranging between 100 m above the sea level to pinnacle of the Earth, the Mt. Everest. This fact describes Nepal as the mountainous country encompassing many sky-penetrating mountains with lush green meadows, serene hills and deepest gorge. Notable among hill stations nearby in Kathmandu and nearby include: Nagarkot, Dhulikhel,Kakani amongst others.
Nagarkot, located 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu, is one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise view of the Himalaya when the weather is clear. Nagarkot has become famous as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as other snow-topped peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. Dhulikhel is a scenic and ancient town situated 30 kilometers east of Kathmandu on the Arniko Rajmarg (Kathmandu Kodari Highway). From here one has a panoramic view of the Himalayan range.
Set on a ridge northeast of Bhaktapur, NAGARKOT (1950m) has a classic panorama of the Himalayas. While the view isn’t as expansive as from Daman, and the area not as interesting as Dhulikhel, Nagarkot is easy to get to from Kathmandu and you don’t have to stay in an expensive hotel to get a fantastic vista from your window.
The first tourists to visit here are thought to have been a troop of Punjabi mercenaries recruited to defend the Valley against Prithvi Narayan’s troops. Stationed at the now-vanished ridgetop fort, they quickly succumbed to the “mountain air”, proving drunkenly incapable when the Gurkha invaders finally arrived. Since then, numerous guesthouses have sprouted along some two kilometres of ridge. Taking in the sunrise and sunset views is the standard activity, though there’s also a wealth of hiking and biking opportunities.
Dhulikhel is justly famous as a well-preserved Newari town, mountain viewpoint, and hiking and biking hub, though its popularity is waning as modernization takes its toll. Located 5km east of Banepa, just beyond the Kathmandu Valley rim, it sits at the relatively low elevation of 1550m, and is now something of a boomtown. It’s home to Kathmandu University and one of Nepal’s best public hospitals; meanwhile, its location on the new 158km route to Sindhulimadi and the eastern Terai seems likely to turn the place into one of Nepal’s principal transport junctions.
Daman (2322m) is the most comprehensive of the Himalayan viewpoints surrounding Kathmandu. Sitting below the Rajpath’s highest point, the hamlet overlooks the peaceful Palung Valley towards a magnificent spread of peaks. However, the mountains will probably be in clouds when you arrive: an overnight stay is obligatory to see them in their best morning light. The focal point of the village itself is an enclosed viewing tower that looks as if it might have been built for air traffic control.
One of Nepal’s proudest historical monuments, Prithvi Narayan Shah’s abandoned fortress looms like a forgotten shipwreck on a ridge above Trisuli, casting a poignant, almost romantic spell over the tiny village of NUWAKOT. It was from this command centre that the unifier of Nepal directed his dogged campaign on the Kathmandu Valley from 1744 to 1769. In his determination to conquer the valley, Prithvi Narayan had three other towers built in the name of the three valley capitals, perhaps hoping to bring about their downfall by a kind of voodoo; the Kathmandu and Patan towers share the main compound, while the crumbling Bhaktapur tower stands on a rise just outside. Click here for one of our tour packages with beautiful and historical Nuwakot Hill Station.
The miniature bazaar of BANDIPUR perches improbably on a ridge, beneath steep limestone peaks that rear up romantically, as if they’d tumbled out of a Chinese brush painting, and facing breathtaking views of the Himalayas. Originally a simple Magar village, it was colonized in the 1800s by Newars from Bhaktapur and became a prosperous centre for garment-making and a trading stop along the India–Tibet route. The eradication of malaria from the Terai in the 1950s, and the completion of the Prithvi Highway in 1973, strangled business, however, and today the town is little more than a single, sleepy high street where children play and unhurried locals sell imported goods. Still, the town’s nineteenth-century mansions, with their grand Neoclassical facades and shuttered windows, speak of past glories, and tourism is providing a new economic mini-boom – the town has become a popular tourist stopover between Kathmandu and Pokhara, and there are numeous boutique hotels and homestays.
Once the seat of a powerful kingdom, the hill town of TANSEN (Palpa) now seems little more than a bazaar town stranded in the hills. Tourism comes a low second to trading, yet slowly, almost reluctantly, Tansen yields its secrets: clacking dhaka looms glimpsed though doorways; the Himalayan view from Srinagar Hill; the fine day hikes and bike rides in the surrounding countryside. If you’re coming from India, Tansen makes a far more authentic introduction to Nepal than Pokhara, and at an altitude of 1370m, it’s usually pleasantly cool after the heat of the plains. From Pokhara, the 120 tortuous kilometres of the Siddhartha Highway provide a splendid show-opener.
Despite its status as the cradle of the nation, GORKHA remains strangely untouristed, even though the 24km paved road up from Abu Khaireni makes it a relatively painless half-day’s ride from Pokhara, Kathmandu or Chitwan. Conscious of its tourist potential, the government has spruced up Gorkha’s main monuments, but the lower town remains a fairly ordinary roadhead bazaar.
As the ancestral home of the Nepali royal family, Gorkha occupies a central place in Nepali history. Hunched on the hilltop above the bazaar is its link with that splendid past, the Gorkha Durbar, an architectural tour de force worthy of the flamboyant Gorkha kings and the dynasty they founded. Unless you’re setting straight off on a trek or just finishing one, you’ll have to spend the night here. The Durbar and its agreeable surroundings can easily soak up a day, and hikes around the area could keep you busy for another couple.
About 133 kilometers from Kathmandu, Charikot provides a spectacular mountain view of Gaurishankar. In the eastern upper part of Dolkha township there is a famous roofless temple of Dolkha Bhimsen. The highway to Jiri is famous for the environment friendly approach adopted during its design, construction and maintenance. Jirels, one of the unique ethnic groups of Nepal reside here. Jiri, in fact, is one of the major starting points for mountain trek to Mount Everest Region.
Kakani is another good location for viewing the mountain scenery. Only two hours north-west of Kathmandu, one can see the mountain landscape of central Nepal, a vast collection of majestic peaks stretching from Ganesh Himal to the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. There is an unusually perfect blending of the imposing mountain scenery with the more sylvan environment of the lower valleys. Rhododendrons growing wild on the mountain slopes begin to bloom in late winter and stay in bloom for several months, giving the village even more charm.
Shivapuri provides most of the water to the Kathmandu Valley and among the hills, it it closest to high Himalayas.The wildlife sighting here is also excellent as the park has access to wider lans and areas behind Kathmandu Valley.You may wish to visit the Budhhist monastery set high on the hill.
Phulchoki,a 2.79 meter hill, is a good hiking spot as it offers a spectacular view of the whole Kathmandu Valley. Rhododhendrons of different colors are found here, including pure white and dark red varieties. A jeepable road leads to the top of the hill, where there is a Buddhist Stupa.
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