Chandragiri Hills day tour takes you to a viewpoint at the fringe of Kathmandu Valley. It is one of the four major passes to enter into the valley. The other three being Fulchoki (or Phulchoki), Nagarjun, and Shivapuri. The sub-tropical jungle is home to a number of birds and a few sparsely populated wild animals. Located at the south-western edge of the valley, it is at an altitude of about 2547 meters. Just 16 kilometers from central Kathmandu, the actual drive to the base of the hill takes about an hour to reach. From the base, you have options to take a cable car, do a trek, or drive to the top of the hill.
The Chandragiri Hills cable car is around 2.5 km in length, taking about 10 minutes depending on the wind direction. As the gondolas pass over forests and hills, you can have stunning panoramic views of the mountain range from Annapurna (8,091m) to Everest region on a clear day above the valley crammed with houses. Notably visible are the Langtang (7,227m) and Ganesh Himal (7,422m) mountain ranges with peaks such as Langtang Ri (7,205m), Dorje Lhakpa (6,966m), GauriShankar (7,134m), and as far as Mt. Everest (8,848m) Himalayan Range.
This is why, a legend says that Prithvi Narayan Shah, the builder of the modern Nepal, annexed the Kathmandu Valley. The legend states that once PN Shah was on the way to Makawanpur. As Chandragiri Hills was an important pass, he happened to take a short rest here. The appearance of the large fertile valley cultivated with different crops and vegetables allured him the most. Then, he decided to merge this heavenly valley surrounded by the green hills into his kingdom.
Easy as it is, most people choose the cable car to go up and down Chandragiri Hill. However, there are some who choose to drive the broken trail. On an off-road vehicle, driving up the hill is a test of your skills behind the wheels; and once on top, you are guaranteed to celebrate the day’s accomplishment in Bar@2520.
Another option is to trek up the hill. Popular among hikers, climbing Chandragiri is an easy walk that takes about four hours with multiple stopovers for photography, drinks, and snacks. For extended trek, Orbit Alpine recommends the Matatirtha – Chandragiri – Thankot hiking route with Chandragiri-Chitlang hiking option. Hiking to Chandragiri is surely a good trekking option in less challenging terrain.
A trip to Chandragiri is a popular day tour in Kathmandu Valley. The pollution-free environment and the surroundings (with bells ringing on the temple of Lord Shiva) will immediately invigorate you, and will literally make you feel like you’re on the top of the world! You can visit alone by hiring a private car, or join a group travelling to Chandragiri Hill.
1. Can I hike to Chandragiri Hills from Kathmandu?
Yes, you can. If you want to walk along the windy trail along the sub-tropical forests, you can watch different species of birds. The common birds seen during the hiking are grey wagtail, steppe eagle, common myna (mynah), Indian Pond Heron, Red-vented Bulbul and many more. To start this hike, you need to drive to Machchhegaun, Kirtipur from Thamel. It takes nearly an hour to reach the base of Chandragiri Hills. You can drive in a private jeep or travel by local bus as well.
2. Can I drive to Chandragiri Hills?
Yes, you can. The Government of Nepal has recently constructed the roadway up to the summit of the hillock. You should travel along the 11-km-long off-road to reach the zenith of this hill.
3. Can I spend night at Chandragiri Hills?
Yes, you can. There are a few quality hotels and resorts at the top of Chandragiri Hills to provide you food and accommodation facilities. Alternatively, you can also spend the night at a tented camp experiencing camping trekking or tour in Nepal.
4. What are the rewards of Chandragiri Hills tour?
Once you are on the top of this legendary hillock, you can have the majestic scenery of the lush valleys and the glittering Himalayas. The entire Kathmandu Valley, the valleys and hills of Dhading district are visible from here. On the clear days, you can see the mountains from Annapurna (8,091m) to as far as Everest (8,0848m) region. The green forests of Champadevi Hill and Shivapuri National Park are equally mesmerizing from here.