The northern part of Kathmandu soars to the sprawling dense forests of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. The region was upgraded to a national park status in 2002 in order to protect the Kathmandu Valley’s main water source, as well as 177 stunning species of birds and a variety of rare orchids. This region is also one of the few remaining primary woodlands left in the valley. The forests of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park are alive with lots of monkeys, and maybe even bears and leopards!
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is perfect choice for individuals looking for an easy trek around close vicinity of Kathmandu. The trek is relatively easy, but a gratifying and rich experience as we will also get the chance to explore Shivapuri watershed and conservation area along with other perks. We recommend this one-day trek to those who do not have much time or energy to allocate but are looking for a refreshing getaway with a hint of adventure.
The national park is split into two distinct regions by the roads running north from the capital. The majority of the park is located directly north of Budanilkantha, on the trekking trail to Helambu, but there is also a second forested zone called Rani Ban, uphill from Balaku on road towards the beautiful Trishuli Bazaar, encircling the 2,095m Nagarjun Hill.
If you start trek at around 7 am, you will have enough time in the evening to relax after a hard day’s trek. After a wholesome breakfast, of course, you can either drive to Budanilkantha and end the trek in Balaju. Or else, you can start from Balaju bypass and end the trek in Budanilkantha.
In this article, we will explain about the former route. Early morning, catch a bust to Budanilkantha. If you are travelling from the capital’s centre, you will most probably reach Budaniklantha in 45 minutes. Here, you can visit the holy temple of Lord Vishnu. Seeing the stunning 5 meters tall statue of a sleeping Vishnu in a recessed pool is in itself one of the main highlights of the trek. From here, you can commence your hike towards the entrance of Shivapuri Nagarjun national park. If you are more into exploring the cultural aspects of Kathmandu, en route you can also visit the historic temple of Bagdwor.
Here, we have enlisted a short itinerary detailing an outsketch of what you will be doing throughout the day and a timeline.
7:00 am: Catch a bus to Budanilkantha from old bus park in Baghbazar
7:45 am: Visit the Budanilkantha temple and indulge in some cultural sightseeing
8:15 am: Hike to Shivapuri Top (Here you can visit the Nagi monastery for females)
3:00 pm: descend to Balaju Bypass and catch a bus to your hotel
During your trek, from the ridge of the hill, we can have outstanding view of eastern and central Himalayans like Manaslu, Boudha, Langtang Lirung, Dorje Lakpa, and Ganesh Himal massif. We can also enjoy the panoramic view of the Kathmandu valley,Dhulikhel, and Chisapani from here.
One of the main highlights of the trek is we will be trekking through Shivapuri watershed and conservation area. Here, you can witness a slew of beautiful, cascading waterfalls. We will be able to explore the rich biodiversity of the region as we trek through oak and rhododendron forests and can have sighting of Rhesus monkeys, Himalayan black beer, and jungle cats, and even a red panda!
It is also a good opportunity to learn about the unique Nepalese village lifestyle without going great lengths. We will explore adjacent Tamang villages and chat with the locals to know more about their unique lifestyle and culture. Furthermore, Baghdwar, the source of Bagmati River also lies in the region. On our trial, we will come across several streams and waterfalls which further enrich the trekking experience.
Lastly, if you are keen about birdwatching, you can encapsulate this experience with this enjoyable one-day trek. If you pay enough attention, you will see the 8 species of stork, egret, wood pecker, and Black-headed shrike, 6 species of pheasant, 17 species of cuckoo, and 3 species of crow.
The best time for bird watching Trip is from March and December.
Best Season: Throughout the year
Max Altitude: 2,700 meters
Walking: 6-7 hours
Transportation: Private vehicle or local bus
Trip Type: Day hiking trip
Starts/Ends: Hotel or any other place in Kathmandu valley
Start Time: 7:00 am