Highlights of Chisapani Nagarkot Hike
- Great for those with less time or who want a weekend get-away
- Trek begins in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park
- Hike through forests
- Visit the hill station of Nagarkot
- Stunning sunrise view of 8 out of 13 of the Himalaya ranges from your breakfast table
- Visit the temple of Changu Narayan
This short, year-round, hike from Chisapani to Nagarkot is the perfect short hike around Kathmandu and weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whether you are a visiting tourist or living in Kathmandu, this is a great way to relax your body and mind.
Starting with a 2-hour drive to Sundarijal, the walking trail takes about 4-5 hours to reach Chisapani. Situated in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, the hike takes you through shady forests and past bubbling springs.
You can understand why this area is a famous picnic spot for city dwellers who want to get into nature. From Chisapani there are views of the Himalaya range – just a taste of the stunning views to come!
The second day of the hike takes you through more forests to reach the hill station town of Nagarkot, approximately 7 hours away. Another great escape from city life. Here the views of the Himalaya range are simply stunning!
This is a reminder to those who live and work in Kathmandu, that this is indeed a Himalaya country! Sunset and sunrise at Nagarkot are very memorable occasions and we suggest you make the effort to wake up early, even if you feel tired from the day before!
After breakfast, the trail from Nagarkot to Changu Narayan takes about 4 hours. Here we have time to explore Changu Narayan Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, before driving back to Kathmandu.
Chisapani Nagarkot Hike Itinerary
Day 01: Drive Kathmandu to Sundarijal. Hike to Chisapani (2,140m) 2 hrs drive 5-6 hrs hike
After breakfast set off to drive around 2 hours to Sundarijal. This is actually the origin of the water supply for Kathmandu with an old water pipe date stamped from the last century running alongside the road and down the stone steps.
We might want a cup of tea at Sundarijal to shrug off the last of the city stress before hiking for 5-6 hours to Chisapani. Now, being in Shivapuri Nagajun National Park, you are walking through the forest.
It is here we find the source of the watershed that provides the water for the city below. In fact, this area became protected as a watershed area in 1978 and National Park in 2002. Tonight get some good views of the surrounding hills and mountains from Chisapani.
Overnight Chisapani: Accommodation – Basic Teahouse/Lodge
Day 02: Chisapani to Nagarkot (2,170m). 7 hrs trek
Today continue walking through Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park and forest land. An abundance of wildlife has been spotted here including the Himalayan black bear and Indian leopard.
It is more likely you will see some of the smaller animals such as mongoose, porcupine, jungle cat, pangolin etc. If you are lucky of course! If you are a bird watcher, seek out the yellow-throated marten as well as dozens of other species.
We will take lunch on the way in the settlement of Chauki Bhanjyang or Jhule before pushing on to reach Nagarkot in time to watch the sunset over the Himalayas.
We can enjoy the views from the watching tower or from another location before having a good dinner in one of the many hotels, ranging from inexpensive to deluxe that is available in this famous hill station.
Overnight in Nagarkot: Accommodation- Basic to High End
Day 03: Nagarkot to Changu Narayan and drive to Kathmandu. 4 hrs trek, 2 hrs drive
This morning is one of the highlights of your trek – sunrise over 8 out of the 13 Himalayan ranges! Watch as the sun rises over the mountains to leave you awestruck. The clouds may tease you as they rise and drop, revealing and hiding and revealing again the majestic mountains. And all this while enjoying a hot breakfast in the crisp cool air!
Dragging ourselves from this feat of nature, strikeout towards Changu Narayan Temple, around 4 hours (mainly downhill) away. Changu Narayan is an ancient temple, thought to be the oldest in Nepal, dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
The Changu Narayan Monument Zone was badly affected by the 2015 earthquake but UNESCO and other organizations have been working on restoration. The interesting living museum, untouched by the earthquake, is situated near the temples and offers an insight into Nepali and Newari culture, art and history.
From here it is a short drive back to Kathmandu.