Hike to Chisapani – best hike around Kathmandu

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The place was ‘cold and dark’; not the gothic type but the normal one, as it was past 6 pm on a winter day. Anyways, we were exhausted because of the 6 hour long hike and ‘so hungry that we were not hungry’- u know the hunger that disappears when you have not eaten for like more than seven hours! Despite all, the most important thing was, we were there, finally!

I had heard a lot about how awesome the hike to Chisapani was and so wanted to give it a shot. And now, since I’ve claimed it, I can proudly enlighten my fellow hikers. Let me share it with you guys first, my friends can wait.

This is How It Started

After about 30 minutes on a bus from Chabahil, we reached Sundarijal- the starting point of our hike. Towards the beginning, the path ascends with a river flowing alongside. The landscape was pretty much the same in most parts of the route. I will be talking about this later. There was also a huge water pipeline beside us.

After a short rocky walk for about 30 minutes, we reached the ticket counter. From this point onwards, we were officially inside the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park.

We went on and just after around 15 minutes, we were warned by a descending hiker that there was a snake on the trail. Quite opposite to what’s normal, the news made me feel pretty excited about being in a National park.

We ascended further and got to this dam, nearby; there was a beautiful water fall, felt like staying there but had no time! Again, after covering some distance, we reached Mulkharka village. The Tamang village was incredible- stair steps in the middle with houses on both sides.

tamang_village

The ‘Right’ Turn

The walk through the village is a shorter route and pretty much the same- walking the endless stairs upwards and then downwards. We went half way through the village and got to a road. It was meant for bikes and vehicles.

Now, we could either go through the village or take the longer way i.e. the road.

So, few of us, mainly the extreme ones, decided to go right- the longer way while the others chose the stair steps (I was among the extremists, yay!). We had heard that there’s a lake towards the end of the trail.

We headed in search of the plain old lake but, what we got was more than what we had expected! You should TOTALLY go through the longer way but stay focused on the main road; you don’t want to get lost, do you?

We moved on, asking directions from the people we met, to make sure that we were on the right path. This route was so hipster that we literally saw only 6 people, a couple of motor bikes and no shops or houses at all. It’s better to have some snacks with you so that the hunger doesn’t kill you, something we didn’t do and later, repented!

It would also be better if you can find someone who knows the way; on second thoughts, you could just follow the road, use the general rule of thumb and you will be fine- well, we made it!

We walked through beautiful forests with the river on the right side almost all the time. The sound of the flowing river was just so audibly peaceful.

Things to take with you: a Camera!

I felt like I could make a documentary for the National Geographic Channel if only I had a camera with me. I could have won some photography competitions too and I am not kidding! I am not a professional photographer and you don’t need to be one when you have such magnificent sights in front of you.

I would have flooded this blog with pictures otherwise.

The Lake

After around 5 hours of walk, we finally got to ‘the lake’.

Maybe it was the long walk through the green forests or the sunset painting the lake pink, the clear water making it a perfect mirror or all of these combined, I was having the best time of my life. The place was like those beautiful locations in animated movies where fairies live.

chisapani_lake

The beautiful forests, the small streams meeting the river, the pond where buffaloes were sunbathing, the short cigarette breaks beside the river when we admired the nature, the rocks in the river, the trees, the plants, the landscape, and everything we just passed through in the last five hours were beautiful, but this, this was amazing.

Now, we would have loved to spend some time their and admire the sunset over the lake, following a camp fire- a totally perfect place for camp fires! But the setting sun meant that it would be getting dark soon and we still had around 40 minutes of walk left to get to Chisapani.

The Birds

After just five minutes of walk, we got to the ‘Capital of Shivapuri Birds’. I came up with the name because I had never heard so many birds chirping in the same place before- just too soothing for the ears and eyes! I especially liked a group of long-tailed birds in blue and white.

Towards the End

I knew that they named this place ‘Chisapani’ (literal meaning: ‘cold water’) for a reason. Well, I was not sure about water but the air got colder, the higher we rose. Now, it was almost dark and we could barely see the road. Rest? Ain’t no body got time for that!

Finally, after walking on what seemed to be a never ending road, we saw 3 light bulbs glowing at a distance. I had never been so relieved because now, we didn’t have to sleep on the road or beneath a tree waiting for a hungry tiger to eat us for dinner! Although, it seemed near, it took us another 10 long minutes to get there.

(It was the common area for both the routes. The other group was here early and had already booked rooms for all us in a lodge)

Finally there

Our friends were chilling, relaxed and full after a lovely dinner, Masu-bhat (meat and rice) but we reached there exhausted and hungry. They showed concern towards us, sarcastically of course, but I was actually feeling pity on them because we had an experience that will be with us forever, something that they couldn’t have. Who is the one laughing now, huh?

The morning

The previous day was pretty much cloudy so we couldn’t see the entire mountain range but in the morning, the view got simply marvelous. We were at such a height that the clouds and the morning fog were below us. The view of the Himalayas was so clear with the sunrise making it further vivid, sugar icing on a chocolate cake!

chisapani_sunrise

For breakfast, we had the Tibetian Roti (bread) – it’s the specialty of the place and you should totally have that too when you go there. I would say that the hike was totally worth our tired bodies and aching legs.

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Hike to Chisapani – best hike around Kathmandu
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