Kathmandu also sometimes touted as ‘Catmandu’ is a crazy, chaotic, historic, spiritual, haphazard, enticing and vibrant city of all entire Nepal. It has many weekends escapes around Kathmandu to offer when it comes to both national as well as international wayfarers.
Kathmandu is more than just Kathmandu, it is the most happening place which hosts legions of backpackers and high-end holidaymakers yearly. I am pretty sure, it is totally unique and different from anywhere you’ll visit anywhere in the world.
Initially, known as Kantipur, it was once the main trading route between Tibet and India and gradually grew into the metropolis known today. As you all know or coming to know that, Kathmandu lies at an altitude of 1200m to 1500m, hence it offers us a handful of weekend getaways options.
As interesting as it is to spend time in Kathmandu (especially if you’re a first-time visitor), its chaotic pace can quickly cause a sensory overload. Luckily, there is a slew of attractive destinations dotted in the outskirts of the capital, it will provide a much-needed break from the mayhem of the big city. Whether you’re seeking for utmost relaxation or want to rush adrenaline pumping, one of Kathmandu Valley superb spots swill be there to welcome you with arms open.
Dear readers, to help you figure out, where to go when Kathmandu gets a bit overwhelming, I have shown up the list of 10 best winter weekend getaways in Kathmandu, in no particular order.
FYI: The places which I have mentioned here are perfect for a 2D/1N hike or an outing. If you are looking for sophisticated resorts this might not interest, you. But I am hopeful, you will be visiting at least one of them if you read till its end.
Note: All of the places can host a few travelers as a tea house type of hike. Please do not expect more as expecting leads to disappointment.
Phulchoki resides at an elevation of 2762 meters to the south-east of the valley with just 20 kilometers of distance. It is the highest hill among all surrounding hills of Kathmandu valley. Due to its location friendliness, we can see many visitors reaching this place for different purposes. Whether for a family picnic, or a biking outing point, birdwatchers’ parade, Phulchowki welcomes us all with an open heart.
Generally, in other seasons, it acts as the most visited hiking point, cyclists’ destination as well as nature lover’s hub. Offering breathtaking vistas of Himalayan ranges from the top, Phulchowki stands still as the roof of the Godavari, the nearest botanical garden and first of its kind. You can visit Godawari Botanical Garden while returning from Phulchoki. From there, we not only can see hilly ranges but also to the south we can witness sleeping beauty, the Terai (Plains).
In Winter, it tends to receive a fair amount of snow annually. [December to January] One can reach there via public bus and hours of hike, private bikes, and whole day hikes. It’s up to you in which season and by which mode to reach there. As the mercury level is dropping down these days too, you can escape to Phulchowki.
If we traverse 75 kilometers from Kathmandu valley towards its south-west via Pharping, we can reach Daman within few hours. Being positioned at an altitude of 2,322 meters, Daman is a small village in Makawanpur district. Lately, this settlement is welcoming more visitors than ever in central Nepal.
‘Snowing in winter’ beside the stunning views of hills and Himalayan stretch are the main reasons behind its quick hype. One can reach there by public buses that happen to move from Kalanki or (Balkhu). Private vehicles or reserved ones are highly recommended, due to the sorry condition of roads. Just more than snowfall in winter, one can have the best opportunity to observe the locals’ way of living, interact with the rustic souls of the hilly region and explore regional flora as well as fauna.
Of all the destinations mentioned here, Kalinchowk is the most visited winter wonderland which is also accessible from Kathmandu within one day. I must say, it is the most suitable destination for weekend getaways. Located at an elevation of 3,842 meters it lies about 148 kilometers to the east of the valley in Dolakha district. For the merrymakers, who want to experience white winter, high altitude, stunning views, and light adventures with small efforts, then this can be a good pick for your winter escape. Furthermore, Kalinchowk Bhagwati is more popular for the pilgrimage site and spiritual destination for Hindus.
Once, it is the most flocked destination in winter in recent years. Another attraction for this is Kuri village, a small settlement located at the foothills of Kalinchowk Bhagwati shrine. Kuri is apparently serving as an accommodation hub for visitors. It takes about 45 minutes to one hour of a hike to reach the top of the shrine from Kuri. Luckily, these days, there is the provision of Cable Car, being the second cable car.
Nagarkot bags the second position when talking about the altitude of hills surrounding Kathmandu valley. To reach this hill station, we have to drive about an hour. This place also receives snowfall when the mercury level drops exponentially every year. Being at eagle’s eye distance from Kathmandu Valley, this hill station is also peculiarly renowned for spectacular vistas of sunrise/sunset. Hence it has its own yet grand image among the photo enthusiasts. Nagarkot offers any visitors a multitude of the hotel as well as cozy and luxurious resorts. If you are planning to visit Nagarkot for more than two days. Cycling through the narrow trails won’t be a bad idea.
- Chandragiri Hill
Among all, it is the nearest place [7 kilometers away from Thankot] which lies to the south-west of the Kathmandu valley. Last year, interestingly, this place also witnessed accidental snowfall. It lies approximately around 2000 meters above the sea-level.
Besides, Cable Car, Chandragiri Temple along with the view of the valley and soaring peaks are the basic highlight. One can reach/visit this place via hiking, 15 minutes long cable car ride, and cycles and sometimes by private vehicles.
For more details, please contact Trekking Top Nepal. It will help you explore Nepal and its superb destinations.