Nagarkot, located at the very edge of Kathmandu valley in the central hills of Nepal. It has one of the most aesthetically pleasing views of the snowy mountains in the North. The mountain ranges that can be seen from the comfort of your hotel's balcony are Manaslu, Jugal, Annapurna, Rolwaling, Ganesh Himal, Everest, Langtang, and Numbur.
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However, these enchanting peaks are quite notorious for their tendency to hide under cloudy skies; ergo, the timing of your visit has to be perfect. Nagarkot also provides you with a birds-eye view to Kathmandu valley along with Shivapuri National Park resting in its skyline. March to April and October to December are the best months to visit Nagarkot as the skies are clear during these months.
This little village only rose to fame in recent years; while previously it had been a quiet summer retreat for the Nepali, British and Indian royalty. According to legends, a troop of Punjabi mercenaries was the first tourist to visit Nagarkot. They were set there to defend the valley against Prithvi Narayan Shah's troops.
When the Gurkha invaders had arrived, they were incapable to protect the valley as they had succumbed to the "mountain air" and gotten drunk.
Today, the sounds of birds chirping and the wind blowing through the trees are the sounds that everyone can find and enjoy here as the village sits in the middle of nature and is the perfect quick recluse from the humdrum of Kathmandu city.
Things to do in Nagarkot
While people go to Nagarkot quite often as a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital, the town itself has very little to offer so in order to make the most of your stay it is ideal if you plan ahead of time the activities you’ll be indulging in beforehand. To make life easier for you if you ever do find yourself in the tiny village of Nagarkot, here are some places that are a must-visit alongside some really enjoyable activities:
Hiking in and around Nagarkot
For energetic, healthy and active travelers, hiking is a great way to get to and from Nagarkot. Along the way, you can enjoy the spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges and walk through beautiful hiking trails. While Kathmandu may seem like the peppy sibling bursting with life, Nagarkot dons the role of the more laid back and calm one. It offers a great chance to recharge yourself after a hectic week in town, with the soothing calmness of nature and quiet life. The hikes will take you to the skylines that fill Northern Nepal and give you the pleasure of viewing serene mountains, soothing forests and peaceful villages.
Many tourists enjoy mountain biking from Bhaktapur to Nagarkot even though the way is quite steep. It is quite an adventurous journey and the thrill of biking will be worth the sore muscles at the end of your trip. With just the right amount of adrenalin rush mixed with quaint and serene trails, a trip to Nagarkot on the bicycle won’t get you there fast, but it’ll certainly get you there happy and fulfilled.
Sitting atop a ridge at a height of 2164m is Nagarkot's lookout tower and is one of its most famous attractions. Known for the splendid 360 views of the Himalayas that can be seen from here, the lookout tower is usually rather crowded. You can also see the splendid cityscape of Kathmandu valley and its hill studded skyline from here. This place is best for seeing the sunrise and you can get there in around an hour's walk from most hotels in Nagarkot. It is situated four kilometers South of the village. Taxis and cars can easily be arranged by the hotel you're staying at or through any other hotels or tourist offices if you do not think you're up for a walk in the cold mornings.
Nagarkot Panoramic Hiking Trail
With gorgeous views of the majestic Himalayas, Nagarkot Panoramic Hiking Trail is a very rejuvenating walk. It takes around 3 to 3.5 hours approximately to complete and can be done by people of most age groups, as it is a pretty easy trail. Panoramic Hiking Trail + Nagarkot Nature Trail + Tamang Village Walk (starting from Kartike village) are included with the hike along with 180-degree views of the greenery and gorgeous landscapes.
Nagarkot Buddha Peace Garden
To reach this garden perched on the top of a shrine, you will have to go through a steep climb up the stone steps. The main attraction of the garden is a huge gold Buddha statue, but the view of the community forest is just as enthralling. There have also been plans to build a monastery, further up the mountains.
How to Reach Nagarkot
Traveling to Nagarkot takes minimal cost as the village is quite close to the capital and you can stay here without having to spend a lot of money. Nagarkot is approximately 32 km away from Kathmandu, which means that it usually takes around 2 hours to get to Nagarkot on a bus, but this usually fluctuates depending on how much traffic there is. If you have your own vehicle the chances of reaching there are significantly quicker. Here are some of the ways you can get to Nagarkot:
You can get to Nagarkot by bus that can be found in the "Bhaktapur Bus Terminal" that is situated east of Ratnapark to Bhaktapur. This is the simplest and cheapest way to get there. Although, it is important to note that the buses are usually brimming with passengers.
By Taxis and Private Car
It usually takes about 40 minutes to get to Nagarkot from the Tribhuvan International Airport if you plan to travel directly from the time you arrive in Kathmandu. From the center of the city, it usually takes an hour to get to Nagarkot if you plan to travel through privately hired vehicles. The private vehicles are much more expensive than buses but they are certainly more comfortable. You can also see Bhaktapur and tiny villages situated in the mountain on your road trip to Nagarkot.
Contact us, if you need any help regarding planning a trip to Nagarkot.