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Champadevi-Chandragiri Hike: Best 1-day Hike in Kathmandu

March 12, 2024


The Champadevi-Chandragiri hike is one of the best hiking trails in Kathmandu. Located in the south-western hills surrounding Kathmandu Valley, the invigorating hike takes you on a journey through lush forests, monasteries, villages, ancient temples and panoramic viewpoints, providing a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply seeking a rejuvenating outdoor experience, this trail along the Champadevi to Chandragiri ridge will captivate your senses and leave you with lasting memories.

Hiking Champadevi-Chandragiri Trail: At a Glance

  • Starting Point: Dudjom Namdrom Choling Monastery
  • Ending Point: Chandragiri Hills
  • Distance: Approximately 3 km
  • Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Max Altitude: 2,551 meters (8,370 feet)
  • Difficulty: Moderate. The trail consists of a combination of gradual ascents, steep sections, and steps, making it suitable for hikers with a moderate level of fitness.
  • Experience Level: Intermediate. While the hike is not overly challenging, it does require a certain level of endurance and a good pair of hiking shoes or boots.
  • Nature: 5/5. The trail passes through lush forests, offering glimpses of diverse flora and fauna.
  • Wildlife: 3/5. Hikers may encounter various bird species, butterflies, and small mammals along the way.

How to Get to the Start Point

The starting point of the Champadevi-Chandragiri hike is the Dudjom Namdrom Choling Monastery, located in the Hattiban Jungle of Nepal. To reach the monastery, you can take a local bus from the city center towards Dakshinkali. Get off at Bhanjyang and start a hike there or hire a private 4X4 to drop you off at the nearest foot of the hiking trail, which is around Dudjom Namdrom Choling Monastery. From Kathmandu’s center, Bhanjyang is about a 30-minute drive, depending on traffic conditions. From Bhanjyang the trailhead is a 15-minute off-road journey. The trailhead is clearly marked, making it easy to start your hike.

You can request Chandragiri Hills Resort to assist you with the transportation till the trailhead.

Best Time to Hike Champadevi-Chandragiri Trail

The Champadevi-Chandragiri hike is best experienced during the dry seasons spanning from October to November and March to April. These periods offer ideal hiking conditions with minimal rainfall, stable weather patterns, and pleasant temperatures averaging around 15°C (59°F). The months of October, November, February, March, and April are particularly favorable, gracing hikers with clear blue skies, unobstructed vistas, and a warm, inviting sun.

Winter months of December and January are good too considering the chilly temperature for the long hike, but visibility can be affected, potentially diminishing the overall hiking experience. While the monsoon season, stretching from June to September, might seem like an unconventional time for hiking, it’s not entirely off-limits for adventurous souls. However, be prepared for a muddy and slippery trail, as well as the possibility of encountering pesky leeches along the way. Proper gear, including waterproof hiking boots and protective clothing, is essential if you choose to tackle the Champadevi-Chandragiri hike during the rainy season.

Highlights of Champadevi-Chandragiri Trail

  • Dudjom Namdrom Choling Monastery: The Buddhist monastery situated at the start of the trail, provides a serene and spiritual beginning to your hike. Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere and marvel at the intricate architecture and vibrant prayer flags adorning the premises.
  • Lush Forests and Diverse Flora: As you ascend, you’ll be surrounded by lush forests teeming with a rich variety of plant life, including rhododendrons, oak trees, and vibrant wildflowers. The cool canopy and the scent of nature will rejuvenate your senses and provide a peaceful escape from the city.
  • Panoramic Viewpoints: Along the way, you’ll encounter several vantage points offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley, the mighty Himalayas, and the surrounding hills. These stunning vistas are sure to leave you in awe and provide ample opportunities for capturing unforgettable photographs.
  • Champadevi Temple: The first stop of this trail is the Champadevi Temple. From the trail head, one can reach the temple at around the 2-hour mark. The open shrine is dedicated to Goddess Champa Devi. From here, the trail forks out. They are well-marked and one of them leads to Chandragiri.
  • The trail to Chandragiri: From Champadevi the trail ahead begins with a flat 15-minute walk before ascending the Bhasmasur ridge for 2.5 hours. At 2,460m, Bhasmasur ridge offers captivating panoramas of the Kathmandu and Kulekhani valleys, framed by the Himalayan range. After enjoying these vistas, descend for 1.5 hours through dense forests to a tea shop. From here, an easy flat trail gives way to undulating paths meandering towards Chandragiri hills. The varying terrain, from ridges to forests and meadows, culminates in a rewarding journey amidst nature’s splendor.
  • Chandragiri Resort: Perched atop the Chandragiri Hills, this luxurious resort offers a well-deserved respite after the long hike. Check into one of their excellent rooms, enjoy the amenities and services, take a dip in the pool while taking in the stunning views around, indulge in delectable cuisine, or simply relax and soak in the tranquil ambiance.
  • Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple: Situated on the summit of Chandragiri Hills, Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple is a pagoda-style shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Himvatakhanda texts state that Bhaleshwor Mahadev appeared where Satidevi’s forehead fell. Historically, it was from here that Prithvi Narayan Shah first saw and aspired to conquer Kathmandu, aided by Bhaleshwor’s blessings. Local lore recounts farmers hiking to Bhaleshwor during droughts and receiving rain before returning home, highlighting the site’s sacred significance. It is a deity that is believed to fulfill one wish. When here, make that wish!