Hiking is a way to indulge in nature, get some fresh air and recharge your batteries at its simplest. Walking outside and taking steps one ahead of another might appear to be the simplest thing one can do. However, if you are not used to being out in nature and walking is not your cup of tea, then the idea of hiking can be pretty intimidating for you.
Some people feel discouraged because they believe they need to be in their peak physical condition to hike. Hiking is an excellent way to spend time in nature, burn some energy, and rejuvenate. According to research, hiking has numerous physical and mental benefits. It is an outdoor activity that provides benefits beyond scenic and fun, such as anxiety reduction and osteoporosis prevention, and that’s what my friends and I did on one of the past Saturdays.
What is the Shivapuri Hill trail like?
One of Kathmandu Valley’s most well-known and well-maintained short hikes is the hike up Shivapuri Hill. Staircases are located throughout the trekking route to help you walk easily even if the terrain is slippery. The trail is consistently clear and recognisable despite being entirely within the national park. Initially established for hunting conservation, a refreshing area for royals was eventually transformed into a national park. Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is a coalition of two separate conservation areas Shivapuri and Nagarjun.
The Hiking Day
Our hike to Shivapuri Hills began after a brief drive to Budhanilkantha, a sacred location that is home to one of the largest statues of Lord Vishnu. Within 15 minutes of walking upward, we arrived at the entrance of Shivapuri National Park, where we obtained all the necessary permits and permissions to enter the National park after thorough checking.
We then entered the forested area where we followed the peaceful, well-maintained trekking route through the expansive forest to Shivapuri. After reaching the 'Helipad,' we had two routes we could follow to reach Shivapuri peak—Nagi Gompa and Deurali route. You can take the slightly more difficult, longer route through Nagi Gompa if you want to see nuns, and monasteries, and hear religious chants. However, we wanted to reach the peak as early as possible, so we took the shorter trail—the Deurali route—which was a well-fermented route and featured numerous stone steeps.
Once we reach Deurali, the trails merged and formed a single path that leads to Baghdwar, the source of the Holy River Bagmati, which flows near the Holy Place Pashupatinath and is said to have originated from the mouth of a Tiger. Our legs were giving up on us but the breathtaking scenery of Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal, and Gaurishankar Himal gave us that extra push to keep going.
Since Shivapuri Hill is located within a national park, the trail is devoid of any individual teahouses. So we had brought packed lunch with us. We almost followed the same ascent trail back to Budhanilkantha after having lunch at the summit. This journey took us approximately 7 hours to complete.
If you don't want to start and end your trip in the same location, you can sum up in either Kapan Gompa or Sundarijal as this trail is connected to a few optional hiking routes.
Overall, we had a fantastic trip. It was an excellent way to prepare for a longer hiking trail we have planned for the coming month. Although it has an altitude of lesser than 3,000 meters, it's a perfect way to acclimate before moving to higher altitudes. I'd suggest taking this trip for those who want to enjoy nature without committing to a lengthy trek.