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This short trek through the Kathmandu Valley goes to rural villages, through lush green forests and past Buddhist temples, all with amazing views of snowcapped mountains!

Departure: Kathmandu
Duration:
5 days
Best Season: October to May
Trip Grade: Gentle

This 5 day trek starts just a short drive from Kathmandu city on the edge of the valley rim. It takes us past small farming villages where we get the opportunity to experience the lifestyle of local people, and through the beautiful scenery of lush green forests, ancient temples and rich terraced fields. Add to this the stunning snowy peaks visible in the distance and this is the perfect introduction to trekking in the Himalayas!

BRIEF ITINERARY


Day 1: Drive to Jhule, Trek to Nagarkot
Day 2: Trek to Dhulikhel
Day 3: Trek to Namobuddha
Day 4: Trek to Balthali
Day 5: Trek to Panauti, Drive to Kathmandu

DETAILED ITINERARY


Day 1: Drive to Jhule, trek to Nagarkot
This morning after breakfast you will meet up with your trekking guide in Kathmandu and take a jeep out to the edge of the Kathmandu Valley. At Jhule you commence your trek of the Kathmandu Valley Rim which will take you to some well known places, famous for their incredible mountain views, as well as some places not so famous but arguably more beautiful than the famous locations! Tonight you trek up to Nagarkot, a classic mountain get away from town, perched on the very rim of the Kathmandu Valley. From here you have amazing views to the north of the Himalayan Range, with the beautiful rural scenery of terrace fields and farmhouses in the foreground (weather permitting of course). Make sure your camera batteries are charged!

Accommodation: Country Villa

Day 2: Trek to Dhulikhel

Today you can enjoy breakfast with a view before packing up your bags and heading out along the ridgeline to the southeast of Nagarkot. On today’s trek you pass through community forest and open landscapes with small villages that rely not only on farming and livestock, but also on the forest for their daily needs. This is a great chance to get close to the daily life of the people of the villages. It is vastly different from Kathmandu, which is so close in terms of distance, but ‘a world away’ in terms of lifestyle.

Accommodation: Dhulikhel Lodge Resort

Day 3: Trek to Namobuddha
After another breakfast with stunning views you shoulder your day pack and head out of town, bound for Namobuddha, a beautiful location which is sacred to Buddhists, especially to the local Tamang population.

Your gorgeous mountain retreat here has incredible Himalayan views and a quirky architectural style making it a lovely place to relax and soak up being in the Himalayas. You should arrive by mid afternoon and can just relax, or head up to a lookout point close by for a stunning sunset, before you have a delicious dinner made from organic produce sourced right here from the resort grounds or close by.

Note: the resort is a sustainable, eco-friendly place and while we have toilets convenient to our rooms, some rooms have a short walk to the showers, located in the shower and sauna building, beautifully decorated with terracotta and glazed tiles locally made in Bhaktapur. Why not take the time to relax and rejuvenate the body with a hilltop sauna?!

Accommodation: Namobuddha Resort

Day 4: Trek to Balthali
After a delicious breakfast in this gorgeous setting overlooking the mountains you can take the morning to explore Tamang Buddhist culture compared with Tibetan Buddhism. Taking a short stroll down the hillside you can visit the little stupa at Namo Buddha. This stupa commemorates Siddhartha Gautam’s selfless act of offering his body to a hungry tigress, which is said to have contributed to his ability to achieve enlightenment and, ultimately, Buddha-hood. Learn about the significance of the place and its place in local Tamang culture, before climbing a short distance up to the newly built Tibetan Buddhist monastery perched on the hilltop above the Stupa.

From here we continue on through fields and orchards to the quiet village of Balthali, having a picnic lunch along the way. Here we again have amazing views to the mountains and can enjoy the charm of village life – even though it’s a steep hike back down into the village after you have dropped your pack in the hotel, it’s worth the effort.

Accommodation: Balthali Resort

Day 5: Trek to Panauti – Drive to Kathmandu
With one last breakfast with this spectacular view, you shoulder your packs for the last day on the trail. Most of today’s trail is on a dirt road, passing beautiful small villages, terraced fields and with those amazing views off to the distance in the north. You finish the trek in the lovely Newar village of Panauti where you can explore before or after a delicious local lunch, depending on how quickly you trekked down from Balthali.

In the 13th century Panauti was the capital of the autonomous kingdom of Banepa and it is still the most important historic village in the area and has retained its historic authenticity. The town is built in the signature Newar style, with pink brick and carved wood. The village is full of rural calm and only in September is the idyll disturbed by the ‘Carriage Festival’. The old town is wedged between two small rivers with a cluster of important temples at the confluence. It is regarded as an ancient power place, with an invisible third stream also connecting here. Cremations are held at the confluence and a festival is held here once a year in January with every 12 years being of major significance as the third stream is said to be seen at this time.

After lunch and exploring you can exchange your trekking boots for the four wheels of a car as you head back into Kathmandu.

 

 

 

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