The hilltop hike to Shivapuri offers an all rejuvenating experience through the age-old, preserved forest that covers the slopes of the mountains in the north of Kathmandu. We start the hike with a short drive through to Budhanilakantha where the entrance of Shivapuri National Park is located. Sitting in the concrete jungles of Thamel or other areas downtown of Kathmandu, you may not even imagine that there are wild abandons so close. The forest of Shivapuri, growing lush and growing thick in the mountain slopes that receive a greater amount of rainfall than the valley floor, can fulfill your yearning to get back into nature at least for a day.
This exciting nature hike in Kathmandu starts right at the entrance of the national park, from where we walk through a round trail arriving at the same place to conclude our hike. Entering through the gate, you can start right and climb gently as far as Bagdwar, the origin of the Bagmati river. A tiger-head-shaped stone spout marks the beginning of the Bagmati. There are small caves around. The place also exudes holy ambiance, since the Bagmati is one of the holiest rivers in the Hindu mythology. Shivapuri National Park is home to a variety of wildlife like Indian leopard, clouded leopard, Himalayan black bear,wild boar, barking deer, ghoral and others.
From Bagdwar, the trail becomes a little steeper. There are plots of open land from time to time, and we also have fabulous views of entire Kathmandu valley from our trail. The top of our destination is marked by a flat field where we have packed lunch enjoying fresh air and beautiful scenes. Then starts our descent to the entrance of the national park. This is a little unpleasant as it is hard for your legs, as you relentlessly move all the way down to the gate! All the gentle and gradual altitude gain of the ascent now ends with the straight, vertical path through the mountain. You can also do the hike the other way round, in which case the first leg to the top of the mountain consists of relentless climb.
Have breakfast in the morning and drive to Budhanilakantha
Hike to the Shivapuri hilltop either through left or right of the trail and have lunch at the top (2-3 hours)
Hike back to the Shivapuri national park entrance (2-3 hours) and drive to Kathmandu
We have breakfast in the morning and drive to Budhanilakantha,which lies in the northern part of the valley. There is an entrance to the Shivapuri National Park. We buy a ticket and enter through the gate. We can go either right or left through the trail. The leftside climbs steeply to the top of Shivapuri hill,where we have our packed lunch. After this a gentle descent through the slope brings you down to the entrance. You can also choose to do it just the other way round. (Please see the last two paragraphs of the description for more details).
This trip requires you to be in good health and physically fit.
Your familiarity with the mountainous terrain is desirable.