Undertake an amazing hiking trip on the outskirts of Kathmandu. The Nagarkot Changunarayan trail connects the two most popular tourist destinations near the Kathmandu valley. Lying in the vicinity of Kathmandu city, these two destinations are far from the hustles and bustles. Both places have their uniqueness and are amazing places to visit.
You will outstrip the amazing ridges, exotic terrains, beautiful villages, and artistic Temples. En-route, you will see some amazing viewpoints. Rejoice the incredible vistas of Kathmandu valley and surrounding hills from the viewpoints.
Nagarkot and Changunarayan hiking is a wonderful hike rolling through pleasant trails lush and green. Sightseeing of the historic Bhaktapur city from the amazing viewpoints is a highlight of the trek. Also, you’ll see the stunning sunrise and sunset views from the incredible destinations.
local villages remaining unchanged and still preserving their traditional culture, even though they are close to the city life.
Nagarkot to Changunaryan is a cultural exploration trip also. You will be walking along the peaceful and quiet terraces through some amazing Tamang villages. The local villages (mostly Newars and Tamangs) are basic and are preserving their traditions and culture in a unique manner.
You will see the day to day life and occupations of the people while walking through their villages. In the villages, you will see some traditional Tamang houses, painted with attractive colors. At many houses, you will see the Tamang women fermenting local grains to make local liquor and alcohol.
Nagarkot, 2175 meters is the best place for sunrise view and sightseeing of Kathmandu valley and the incredible Himalayan range. On a clear day, Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world is visible from there. Along with Everest, you can also see some incredible Himalayan range of
Ganesh Himal (7405m), Langtang, Shisha Pangma (8013m), Gang Chenpo (6397m), Dome Blanc (6830m), Dorje Lakpa (6990m), Lonpo Gang (7083m) and Purbi Chyachu (6658m), and Gauri Shankar.
Nagarkot is popular amongst the tourists for several recreational activities like Private sightseeing tours, day trips, and excursions. Most of the tourists who have a spare day in Kathmandu visit Nagarkot. I’d also say that Nagarkot is a must-visit place.
Changu Narayan Temple,
Changu Narayan Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Nepal. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Changu Narayan temple is a pagoda-styled Hindu temple, historic and immensely beautiful. It is also an amazing viewpoint of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur city.
The temple is situated at the top of a hillock called Dolagiri. Near the temple, there is a clustered Newari settlement. Likewise, you will also see the settlements of Brahmin, Chhetri, Tamang, and other ethnic groups.
Highlights of Nagarkot Changunarayan Hike
In the premises of the Changu Narayan temple, there is a Newari settlement. The houses are beautiful. The doors and windows are beautifully carved. You will see the old aged women sitting in the inns and talking.
Art and Craft Vendors in Changunarayan
On the way to Changunarayan Temple, you will see lots of stalls selling different items. Some of them are Thangka paintings, some are wood crafts, some tea stalls, and the others selling the singing bowl, precious stones, small prayer wheels, and other beautiful items.
You will see Tamang settlement while you hike from Nagarkot to Changunarayan. Near Nagarkot, there are many Tamang villages, so beautiful. In the villages, you will see the impressive lifestyles, traditions, and culture of Tamang people.
The sceneries along the trail are mesmerizing. You will see incredible views of the distant Himalayas, lush green hills, and densely populated valleys. There are also chances that you will see some flora and fauna along the route. You will have a remarkable Nagarkot Changunarayan hike through peaceful and enchanting trails.
Difficulty Level of Nagarkot Changunarayan Hike
This hike is an easy grade hike in the exotic trails on the hillocks near Kathmandu. Anyone who loves hiking can choose this trail to hike. The hiking trails are mostly flat and easy. You can also bring your children on this hike. Also, the altitude is suitable and there is nothing to worry about.
Wear comfortable clothing and a pair of good quality hiking shoes. You will have a pleasant time hiking through the scenic trails. Walking under the shades of trees like pine, magnolia, and others through a quite trail is enjoyable.
Carry some lightweight snacks. You can munch a Snickers or some potato chips, or energy bars while hiking. Do not forget to carry a bottle of water.
Duration of Nagarkot to Changunarayan Hike
Hiking from Nagarkot to Changunarayan will take around 4 hours time. You will be continuously hiking for four hours on the Nagarkot-Changunarayan trail.
This time does not include the early morning drive to Nagarkot. Neither does it involve the sunrise view time or the breakfast time at Nagarkot.
You will have an amazing time hiking on the wonderful trekking trails. Enjoy your “ remarkable four hours in Nagarkot-Changunarayan trail”.
When is the Best Time for Nagarkot Changunarayan Hike?
This hike is suitable to do in any time of the year. The trail is easy and is highly enjoyable. The hike is most popular during Autumn, Spring, and Winter. During monsoon, the trail becomes slippery. Also, the trail will be wet and there will be lots of leeches on the trail.
In winter, fog may cover the sunrise views from Nagarkot. So, in winter, you can start the hike from Changunarayan Temple to Nagarkot. If you want, you can spend a night at the hotels in Nagarkot. Doing this, you can enjoy the incredible sunset view from there.
One-day Nagarkot Changunarayan Hike
4:30 AM: Drive from Kathmandu to Nagarkot
Ou will get a wake-up call at 4 am. Get ready by 4:30 am. At sharp 4:30 am in the morning, we will drive you from Kathmandu to Nagarkot in a private vehicle. It will be still dark. You can take a nap while we drive you to Nagarkot. We aim to reach there before sunrise.
5:15 AM: Reach Nagarkot and walk to the view tower
After a 45 minutes drive, we will reach Nagarkot. The viewpoint at Nagarkot is also called as the “Nagarkot Tower”. We will drive you there. We will walk to the view tower ascending a few stone steps. Now, we will wait for the sun to peep out over the incredible Himalayas.
5:15 to 6:00 AM: Sunrise view from the view tower in Nagarkot
We will see the mesmerizing sunrise view when the sun comes out over the white-chained Himalayan peaks. The sunrise view is eye-soothing. As the sun rises, the surrounding views look even more beautiful.
From the viewpoint, we will see incredible views of Ganesh Himal (7405m), Langtang, Shisha Pangma (8013m), Gang Chenpo (6397m), Dome Blanc (6830m), Dorje Lakpa (6990m), Lonpo Gang (7083m) and Purbi Chyachu (6658m), Gauri Shankar and Mt. Everest.
6:00 Am to 8:30 AM: Breakfast time
From the view tower, we will drive back to a hotel near the public Bus Station in Nagarkot. At the hotel, we will have a scenic breakfast. You can have anything for your breakfast. Order your breakfast and wait for your delicious breakfast to cook.
8:30 AM to 11:30 AM: Hiking from Nagarkot to Changu Narayan Temple
And finally, we will begin to hike from Nagarkot. We will walk through the amazing trails along beautiful terraced fields. In the fields, we will see cultivations. They cultivate rice, wheat, mustard, maizes, and others.
The trail passes through some beautiful Tamang villages. At the traditional villages, you will see beautiful houses made of mud bricks and painted with Ocher. The pale brownish-yellow walls, blue colored windows and doors, and red muds lining the bottom of the walls, the combination looks great. You can click some amazing pictures of the typical countryside houses.
Though the villages are so close to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, life is basic there. People have been practicing and passing their beautiful traditions and culture to their off-springs.
At the Tamang villages, you will see the women distilling alcohol n a big vessel outside their house. They cook locally available grains like wheat, maize, rice, buckwheat, and others and make local breweries: Chhang and Raksi. They sell alcohol at the shops in Nagarkot and in Bhaktapur.
Walking for around half-an-hour, we will walk through Pipalbot to Jalapa Devi temple, and to a place called “Telkot”. From Telkot to Changu, the trail is highly scenic. There are no big settlements (a very few Tamang houses scattered at some places) in this part of the trail. So, this part is basically about natural hiking.
The trail is a wide road (graveled at some places) passing through a deciduous forest. Walking through the shades of amazing trees is a lovely feeling. In the forest, there are chances that you’ll see some local floral & faunal species. In Spring, you will see lots of Rhododendrons in this trail. Also, this place is popular for a Spring berry called “KAFAL”.
The trail is slightly ascending for around 20 minutes as we hike from Telkot. After that, the trail is flat up to Changunarayan. There is a place called “Trishul Danda” where there is a huge trident. There is a temple of Hanuman, the monkey god. A saint famous as “Kali Baba” lives there. He is an interesting personality. “ I am a Mechanical Engineer”, says he to the visitors. He treats them with respect and hospitality.
The amazing trail with bucolic vibes exhibits some amazing views of Bhaktapur and Kathmandu. You will see a clustered valley of Kathmandu while walking on the trail.
Before 20 minutes of arriving in Changunarayan, you will walk through a few houses of Tamangs. After the Tamang settlement begins the Newari settlement of Changunarayan.
11:30 AM to 2:00 PM: Visit Changu Narayan temple. Lunch Time
Finally, we will see the Changunarayan Temple. We will ascend the paved stone stairs to the temple. The temple is the oldest pagoda styled temple in Nepal. The temple was constructed during the reign of King Mandev. The temple is a cultural landmark.
You will see that the temple is jeweled with the ancient art and craftsmanship of the country. In the temple premise, you will see a few temples of several Hindu gods and goddesses. You will get a booklet at the counter. You can refer to that to know in detail about the place.
Near the temple, there is a museum: Changu Museum You can visit there if you want to. The museum displays ancient pieces of art and crafts.
After visiting the temple, it is time for lunch. We will walk into a hotel and will order our lunch. After lunch, the hike ends.
2:00 PM: Drive back to Kathmandu
We will walk to the bus park, five minutes from the temple. We’ll see a private vehicle waiting for us. From Changunarayan, we will drive back to Kathmandu.
If you want to go on any treks, hikes, and tours in any part of Nepal, feel free to contact us. Real Adventure Nepal is a renowned trekking agency in Nepal that organizes wonderful treks and tours in any part of the country.