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Unknown Shivapuri

Shivapuri Hills

If ever the phrase, "close enough to, far enough from" was applicable then without doubt it applies to beautiful Shivapuri Hills. From downtown Kathmandu it's only around 30mins drive into the Shivapuri Hills, but essentially a world apart from Kathmandu. The forested hills and the Shivapuri National Park lie at around 2000m, so are above the Kathmandu smog and considering their proximity to Kathmandu are surprisingly overlooked by the masses. That's not a bad thing, as up here in the tranquil hills you can enjoy a much more relaxed and authentically natural  environment.


The Shivapuri Hills are very much a bird watchers delight. Arguably the best location in the Kathmandu Valley. Wildlife in the park includes the Himalayan black bear, leopard, jungle cats, and Rhesus monkey. The park is also home to 177 species of birds - including the Kalij Pheasant, Common hill partridge, booted eagle, black eagle, sunbirds and more including a large variety of colourful butterflies.


You can also enjoy many delightful easy and moderate day walks in the park, meet the locals, mountain bike or just enjoy the views. If you fancy a little trek then you could walk from here to Nagarkot in around 5 hours (or the other way around too of course).


Located approximately 30 minutes walk from Shivapuri Heights Cottage is NAMKHA KHYUNG DZONG RIGDIN CHOLING MONASTERY. This lovely Monastery  is well worth a visit and the walk itself passes through a few quaint traditional Tamang Village houses.


There are approximately 50 monks in residence. The best time to visit is around 3:00 pm since often the monks will be in prayer. With permission visitors are welcome to enter the Monastery building and sit quietly for a while to soak up the beauty and energy of the place.


The main town of Budhanilkantha is situated approximately 20-30 minutes walk from Shivapuri heights Cottage and this is where you will find the splendid carved stone idol of the sleeping Vishnu. Carved from a single block of black basalt stone of unknown origin, the statue measures 5 meters in length and lies in a reclining position inside a recessed tank of water. Only Hindus can approach the statue to leave offerings but other visitors can view the statue through the fence that surrounds the sacred tank.


Particularly if you don't fancy staying in Kathmandu, then staying up in the Shivapuri Hills is a great way to avoid the hustle and bustle and soak up the peace and quiet, fresh air and do absolutely nothing if you like. You're only 45 mins from Kathmandu International Airport, so staying in the Shivapuri Hills is a relaxing way to end your Nepal holiday.

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