Trip Facts

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Trip Duration 8 Days
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Trip Difficulty Easy & Enjoyable
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Maximum Altitude 2,040 m
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Best Season To Visit All year round
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Average Group Size Min. 2 pax

Trip Overview

Kathmandu Valley Rim Trek is an easy trek offering distant views of snowy mountains, and an idea of the typical Nepali countryside life and ethnic culture. This trekking is best suited for those who are traveling with children, Families, and students. It is also ideal for the trekker who has limited time for longer treks into the high mountains. Our Valley Ridge Trek starts just an hour’s drive from Kathmandu City. The trek leads through the hills facing the northeast of Langtang Himalayan Range.

The whole trail offers the best mountain views during the trek. Nagarkot and Dhulikhel are the best vantage point for Valley Ridge trekking where you will enjoy panoramic Himalayan scenery including Mt. Everest, Mt. Ganesh Himal, Mt. Gaurishanker, Mt. Dorje Lakpa, Langtang Himalayan range, Rolwaling Himalayan range.

Kathmandu Valley Rim Trek is the Shangri-La route and a novelty destination. The trekking route is surrounded by hills and is the cradle of Nepalese civilization and culture. Other interesting sites such as Namo Buddha and Panauti Villages. You will get an opportunity to stay with a host family at Panauti. Also, you get to immerse yourself in the local culture and explore the ancient, unexploited village.

Trip Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu airport (1,302m/4,270ft)

Upon arrival at Tribhuwan International airport, our representative will be awaiting you to cordially welcome you with great hospitality. The representative will be displaying the “Nepal Sanctuary Treks” placard outside the airport terminal.

You will be then escorted and transferred to the hotel in our private vehicle. Our staff will accompany you and help you with the check-in at your accommodation. Further, you will be given a brief description of the activities that will take place during the upcoming trip and a preliminary briefing on hygiene and safety by our representative.

Day 02: Local Market Tour and Explore Cultural Heritage Sites

9:00 AM: After breakfast, you start a guided cultural tour around Kathmandu Valley. Experience the numerous colors, sounds, and tastes of authentic Kathmandu and its surroundings. Our experienced tour guides will tell you all you need to know and answer all your curiosities regarding those sites.

Local Market Tour

Take a short drive to Ason. Then, start wandering Ason and Indrachowk marketplaces to get a glimpse of traditional Nepalese life. Witness the bustle of the market, see how locals purchase the products, and haggle for a bargain. Whilst walking around, enjoy the lively and vibrant atmosphere this local market has to offer. Observe firsthand the local produce people from Nepal actually purchase. You will also take in the sights and smells of the market. Your friendly tour guide will explain in full detail all the products and procedures you will see. There are lots of photo opportunities to capture with your camera.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Next, head towards Kathmandu Durbar Square, also called Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. This ancient site used to be the residence of the Nepali royal family and administrators. It incorporates an architecturally extraordinary complex of ancient palaces, temples, courtyards, and shrines dating from the 15th to the 18th century.

The prominent sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square are Kumari Ghar or the house of the living goddess.  Kasthamandap is a huge rest house that is said to have been built with the wood from a single tree and is the source of which Kathmandu valley got its name. Other sites around Kathmandu Square are the ferocious Kal Bhairab – the red monkey God- Hanuman, hundreds of erotic carvings, temples, and statues dedicated to different deities.

Swayambhunath

Swayambhunath (monkey temple), is the magnificent ancient religious architecture and center of faith of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its lofty white dome and dazzling golden spire are visible from far and wide. Swayambhunath is the ideal place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. In the shadows of the imposing structure and besides the integrated architecture can be found the daily surge of devotees faithfully offering their prayers to the gods. Upon arriving at the top, you can hear the Buddhist song “Om Mani Padme Hum” resounds everywhere. The candles and the aromatic fragrance of incense that burns constantly create a serene vibe and enormous prayer wheels which encircle the stupa.

PM: Boudhanath

Thereafter, take a short drive towards Boudhanath.  From the moment you step into the sanctuary, you’ll immediately feel the spiritual energy that comes from the place. Boudhanath is one of the biggest stupa in Nepal built in the 5th century and listed on the world heritage list by UNESCO in 1979. The surrounding area is a central spiritual hub of Tibetan life and culture in Nepal. Observe a beautiful dome-shaped structure stupa surrounded by brilliant colorful prayer flags. It is believed that prayer flags convey mantras and prayers into the universe while fluttering in the wind. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.

Witness monks draped in maroon robes rolling the prayer wheels, burning incense, and flickering butter candles. Moreover, it’s fascinating to see the people feeding grains and maize to hundreds of pigeons around stupa areas. The devotees turn the prayer wheels & chant, which is humbling to see such dedication to their beliefs.

Delight in the serenity as you hear the Buddhist mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ being chanted by devotees, alongside the echo of music streaming out from the nearby shops.

Pashupatinath

Moving on, visit Pashupatinath temple, a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the bank of Bagmati River. The word Pashupati means “the king of animals” and the temple is famous for its monkeys. You will be visiting the Pashupatinath area to indulge in a spiritual journey.

Pashupatinath is more than just a religious destination. It is a combination of religion, art, and culture. The temple, spread across 246 hectares of land, abounds in temples and monuments. Hundreds of rituals are performed here every day. Witness people performing the religious ritual and funeral pyres burning at open-air cremation. Also, see elaborately dressed holy men meditating outside the temple and pilgrims placing offerings at the shrines. After touring around prominent sites, you will be transferred safely back to your hotel.

Day 03: Drive Changu Narayan (1,500m)- Hike Nagarkot (2,040m)- 5 hours approx.

After having an early breakfast, take a drive to the Changu Narayan Temple. The ancient temple, in Kathmandu valley, came into existence in the early 4th century. The temple is elaborated with some of the best rarest kinds of stone, wood, and metal, crafted in the valley. It stands as the epicenter of culture, religion, history, and faith of the entire Kathmandu valley. You will admire the intricate work of art and carving done on the woods and stone sculptures of the temple.  En route, you can witness the lifestyles and tradition that is untouched by modern Kathmandu.

Three and half hours of trekking from the Changu Narayan Temple brings you up to the picturesque Nagarkot. Nagarkot is a hill station at 2,100 m and a popular destination of its kind to capture the majestic Himalayan backdrop of all the glistening snowy peaks. On a clear day, you can witness several beautiful peaks like Mt. Manaslu, Ganesh Himal. Gauri Shanker and Everest from this very spot.

The place is also a popular vantage point for beautiful sunrise and sunset, and visitors take delight in the layout of the Kathmandu Valley below.

Day 04: Hike Dhulikhel (1,600 m)- 7 hours approx.

Wake up early morning with a beautiful sunrise from Nagarkot with spectacular mountain views of  Ganesh Himal, Gaurishankar and Langtang, Everest, and several other peaks. After having a hearty breakfast, you start hiking down through a pine forest, then through paddy fields and small villages where you witness the local village people going about their daily chores.

Reaching Dhulikhel, this Newar town offers a traditional ambiance along with remarkable views of the Himalayas. The magnificent panoramic undisturbed views of mountains in the Langtang range, Jugal Himalayan range, and other snow-capped peaks can be seen from the different vantage points in Dhulikhel.

Wandering around the ancient town, witness some fine old Nepalese buildings and several interesting temples, and the traditional Newari culture. The trek reveals the religious atmosphere in the region.

Day 05: Hike Namo Buddha (1,800 m)- 3 -4 hours approx.

After having breakfast, you leave for Namobuddha. The trail passes through the blanketed forest of pine and a few temples until Namobuddha. It is a well-known ancient pilgrimage site for Buddhists, where it is believed that the ancient Buddha was born here as a Prince.

The Buddha Shakyamuni selfishness sacrifices to feed a starving tiger by offering his own flesh. The trek takes you to these delightfully spiritual places as well as through a variety of local cultures. The surrounding location is full of green terraced farmlands and forest

You can see a magnificent view of Gaurishanker and many other Himalayas. Back to Balthali through beautiful typical villages and terraces.

Day 06: Trek to Khopasi (3 - 4 hours approx.) -Drive Panauti Village (20 minutes approx.)

After breakfast, you walk towards the monastery. From here, the trail starts from the lower stupa, passing through traditional villages with ochre-colored farmhouses surrounded by orange trees. The area comprises numerous flora, colorful rhododendron forests, and magnolia & Sal trees. As you continue, you will come across people working in the field, children playing around and domestic animals running while searching for food. You will get to explore the actual life of a Nepalese village.

Once you reach Khopasi, drive towards Panauti located at the auspicious confluence of Roshi Khola & Punyamata Khola which hosts the sacred Indreswor temple and Mahadev temple. Panauti is believed to stand on a single huge rock, which is the reason that no earthquake to date has been able to inflict any damage on the town.

Upon arrival at Panauti, the host welcome you with garland and vermilion with a great smile followed by a briefing. Then a host family takes you to their home for the authentic local experience. After a typical Nepali lunch with the host family, get ready for a wonderful tour of the town. Witness the finest arts and culture with a brief tour of the old part of the town, which preserves and depicts Panauti’s history and wellness. Visit the community museum and walk along the narrow cobbled alleyways, and observe Newari lifestyles.

One of the more stunning temples (a classic example of Newari craftsmanship) is the three-tiered Indreshowr Mahadev Temple, which stands in the center of a huge brick-paved courtyard. Its decoratively carved wooden windows, doors, struts, and beams are evidence of the skills of the valley’s Newari artisans, and these are also very much marked in the other temples situated in the same courtyard, that is, Unmata Bhairav, Krishna, and Ahilya Temples. Across the Punyamati River are still more temples, two of which, Brahmayani and Krishna Narayan, are specifically significant.  Every 12 years, there happens a Fair (Mela) in the temple and the devotees from almost every part come here. They take a bath in the river, which flows in between the temple.

Additionally, Panauti has added the charm of being bounded by many lush paddy fields. Panauti is also well-known for its 40 temples and 28 festivals. Affluent in Newari culture, numerous of the town’s festivals are similar to those of Kathmandu, whereas some are exceptional with a completely local character.

In the evening, try out cooking some Nepali recipes during the cooking class in your host’s kitchen. Stay overnight in Community Homestay.

Day 07: Drive back to Kathmandu (2 hours approx.)

Start your day with a typical Nepali breakfast prepared by the host. After breakfast, the host family bid you farewell. Thereafter, take a drive back to Kathmandu. Check-in at the hotel and spend some time at leisure. You can spend your leisure time shopping for souvenirs for your beloved ones or simply relax after an exhausting but momentous trip.

Day 08: Final Departure

It is time to fly back home, keeping all the terrific experiences of Nepal in mind. Make sure you reach TIA airport on time, as you should check in 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight. If you wish to stay a few more days, there are still plenty more places to explore around Kathmandu valley.

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Affiliations & Recommendations

Kathmandu Rim Trek with Classical Panauti Village Tour