Outside Kathmandu Valley

Outside Kathmandu Valley

It would be a serious oversight for any traveller to Nepal to neglect visiting at least some of the fascinating and beautiful places of interest, most of them lying only a short distance away by plane and bus. Nagarkot, Dhulikhel and Kakani are only a short distance outside the Valley; the first two, in fact, offer excellent views of the Valley and its various landmarks. Situated in other parts of the country are Pokhara, Tansen, Lumbini, Janakpur, Gorkha and Daman. Also of major interest are Nepal's National Parks and Wildlife Reserves along with some other destinations best reached by trekking.

Nagarkot-Nagarkot, located 32 kilometres east of Kathmandu, is one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise when the weather is clear. Visitors often travel to Nagarkot from Katmandu to spend the night there so that they can then get up early and observe the breathtaking sunrise.

Nagarkot has acquired the fame as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as other snow- topped peaks of the Himalayan range in the eastern Nepal. It also offers an excellent view of the lndrawati river valley lying to the east.

With an elevation of 2195 metres, Nagarkot also offers a panaromic view of the Valley and is generally described by visitors as a place whose beauty endures all year round with a harmonious blending of the changing scenery.

Many visitors prefer to visit Nagarkot in the spring when the valleys and dales of the surrounding area break out in a rich kaleidoscope of differently coloured flowers. The flowers stand in stark beauty against the serene backdrop of the snow-covered mountains on the horizon.

Ever popular among the tourists are the less-exacting treks and picnics which Nagarkot offers. Treksfrorn Nagarkot are unique and delightful. For anyone who may want to have an adventure without exerting much effort, a hike to Nagarkot's surrounding areas would be the best option. One can always traverse short distances on trekking trails and come close to nature's wonders such as the outer fringe of verdent forests, flower- covered Himalayan meadows and unusual rock formations.

Dhulikhel-Dhulikhel is a scenic and ancient town situated 30 kilometres east of Kathmandu of the Arniko Rajmarg (Kathmandu-Kodari Highway). From here one has a panaromic view of the whole Himalayan range, from west to east. From the main town a short visit to Namobouddha, an old Buddhist monastery, is highly recommended. Panauti, a village noted for its numerous temples with magnificent woodcarvings, is a short distance from Dhulikhel.

Kakani-Kakani is another good location near Kathmandu for viewing the mountain scenery. From this location one can see the mountain landscape of the central and western Nepal, a vast collection of majestic peaks stretching from Ganesh Himal to the peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Kakani is unique in the sense that there is an unusually perfect blending of the imposing mountain scenery with the more sylvan environment of the lower valley. Trees growing wild on the mountain slopes begin to bloom in late winter and stay in bloom for several months, giving the village even more charm.
(Picture # 117, panorama of Central Himalaya from Nagarkot)