A hike to Shivapuri, the northern hill surrounding Kathmandu valley is a blissful experience with excellent views of the valley below during the walk and the Himalayan ranges once you reach the top. Shivapuri stands 2563m tall, the second-highest hill surrounding the valley and is also the most preferred destination for bird watchers. Bagdwar, the source of the Bagmati River is another attraction during the hike.
We begin our journey with a 20-minute drive to BudhanilKantha which is the starting point of the hike. The temple of BudhanilKantha is a holy site of Lord Bishnu, a large statue laying on a pond. Above lies the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park which protects over 500 species of animals. The army checkpoint is a short walk passing which dense forests along steep slopes begin to appear at places. Most of the route consists of stone-paved steps, making up for an easy and relaxed walk. Views of the valley get clearer as we ascend higher. NagiGompa(2340m), a Buddhist monastery offering Buddhism practices to nuns passes along the way. The Gompa is famous among locals as well as foreigners for meditation. The trail gets steep and narrow as it approaches the top of Shivapuri. Past Bagdwar, the start of the Bagmati River, the lush vegetation gives a feeling of relaxation. Finally, the top bestows excellent views to relish. Descending Kapan is an easy walk and takes around two hours. A short drive gets us back to Kathmandu.
Ideal for bird watching, Shivapuri also forms a great nature walk and a viewpoint. Views of Kathmandu valley and Himalayan ranges are exquisite. Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is well protected and contains varied forms of flora and fauna. The temple of BudhanilKantha and NagiGompa give an insight into Hinduism and Buddhism being practised in Nepal.