Shivapuri National Park is the ninth national park in Nepal and was established in 2002. Shivapuri peak (2,732 m) is the nearest and the second-highest hill situated in the country’s mid-hills on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu valley. It’s a verdant and well-preserved national park that is protected from watersheds and wildlife reserves.
The park shelters diverse flora and fauna, and besides this area is the religious significance to Hindus and Buddhists. The park comprises 177 species of birds of which 9 are enlisted as endangered, 19 species of mammals, and 150 species of butterflies, some endemic and rare. In addition, you will visit Baghdwar- the source of the sacred Bagmati River and Nagi Gompa (monastery), the only monastery for nuns who practice Buddhism. You will come across monasteries, Shivapuri Baba Shrine-the well-known holy man along the hiking trail. The entire hill seems vibrant in the spring months, mostly covered with rhododendron flowers.
The hike also offers a marvelous view of the Himalayan range and goes through a number of destinations like Helambu, Sundarijal, and Chisapani.
- Day 1: Drive to Muhan Pokhari (30 minutes approx.)-Hike to Shivapuri Peak(approx. 3 hours)-Baghdwar(1.5 hour approx.)-Nagigompa (1 hour approx.)- Muhan Pokhari (1 hour approx.)
In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel by our representative. You take a short drive to Budhanilkantha, the holy site for Hindus which pays homage to the sleeping statue of Hindu deity Lord Vishnu, floating on the surface of the pond on a bed of serpent. From here you take an uphill drive to Muhan Pokhari- the starting point of the hike. From here, you will find the main entrance gate of the Shivapuri National Park. As you enter the park, you are greeted with tranquil and lush greenery. You hike through the sprawling forest, following the well-maintained, serene trekking trail. During the hike, you cross multiple small rivers and streams. You can hear the serene sound of bubbling streams long before you see them.
Shortly after, you reached a small shelter where you can take a short break. Thereafter, continue along the trail while taking in the intermittent views of the emerging mountain peaks. The trail leads you through the thick forest of oak and pine trees all the way to the summit. As you take an ascent trail, the air became noticeably colder, and the vegetation starts to become more verdant. The trail consists of stone steps, leading you gradually but gently to the Shivapuri peak. Before reaching the summit, you will find a prominent rock jutting from the mountain. A thin use trail takes you to the top of the rock, offering 270-degree views of Mt. Everest, Annapurna Range, Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Mt. Dorjeelakpa, Mt. Shisapangma, Mt. Gaurishankar, and Manaslu. After savoring the mountain views, we hiked up to the Shivapuri peak.
On the east side of the summit plateau, you can see the famous Shivapuri Baba Statue known for his spiritual knowledge and the famous figure of high intellect. After spending time at the Shivapuri summit, you take a decent trail to Baghdwar– the place from where the holy river of Bagmati originates. On the way, you come across a hollowed-out tree that Shivapuri Baba used to live in, with a monastery just below that.
Once you reach Baghdwar, you will witness water flowing out from a small gargoyle shaped like a tiger. Near the tiger-faced spout, there is a small green and stagnant pond with a Shiva linga at its center. From Baghdwar, continue your hike steeply down to Nagi Gompa. It’s a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery that is almost fifty years old. Witness a glimpse of a simple life lived here by the nuns who are in the service of the monastery. Further, you return to Shivapuri National Park entrance gate and take a short drive to your hotel.