As one of the many hills encircling Kathmandu Valley, Chandragiri has long been a religious destination for Nepalis. At a height of 2,551m, it offers one of the best views of the Himalayan range from Kathmandu. The hill is easy to summit on a day trip, making it perfect for those visitors who are short on time but need to experience the best of what Nepal has to offer - adventure, hiking, and the Himalayas.
This recommended route lasts up to 3 hours and it starts from Machhegaun which is the base of Chandragiri Hill and ends at the summit. It is best to start the hike early in the morning so you can get the best views of the mountain range and the valley. The trail winds through the green forest as you leave behind the residential village. The zig-zag route quickly takes you up the hill, as the valley drops below. Throughout the jungle route, hikers are treated to the sweeping view of the valley below. The mountain ranges are known to play hide and seek with you until you reach the summit where the skies open up for glorious views.
On the top of the summit is the renovated Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple. Hindu devotees believe the temple has the power of fulfilling the wishes of the visitor. Surrounding the temple is a newly established park with a restaurant and viewing tower. The viewing tower gives you an unobstructed 360-degree view from Mount Everest in the east to Mount Dhaulagiri in the west along with the views of the high hills in between the valley.
Chandragiri has recently introduced an impressive cable car facility. The gondolas, with wide screens on all sides, commute in between the deep crevasses of the hill, which makes for an exciting ride. You can choose between taking the cable car or hiking all the way down.
THE LONGER ROUTE
The alternative longer route to Chandragiri takes around 5 hours. Like earlier, the hike would either begin or end at Machhegaun. The popular itinerary is to start your hike at Hattiban Resort in Dakshinkali and continue all the way up to Champadevi Hill and finally reach the summit of Chandragiri Hill. The longer route also promises more scenic views and the hike is relatively easier as well. The downhill hike to Machhegaun takes up to 2 hours. Then, you can take a taxi or bus back to Kathmandu.
HOW TO GET TO THE START POINT
Take a taxi or preferred vehicle from your hotel in Kathmandu to Machhegaun.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR CHANDRAGIRI HILL
- Wear comfortable clothes & good shoes.
- Carry at least a liter of water.
- Park lunch or snacks for a quick bite along the way.
- Bring sunglasses and a cap/hat.
- The best time to go is from September to October where the weather is ideal and the skies are clear for mountain viewing.
- One-way cable car ticket costs Nrs. 600 to 1,300 (differs according to nationality).
A hike to Chandragiri is perfect for a short getaway for anyone visiting Kathmandu Valley. Some even consider the view of the Himalayas better than that seen from Nagarkot! Traveling to Chandragiri gives you a taste of walking the Nepali trails and enjoying mountains.