Biking Around Kathmandu Valley
If you enjoy Mountain Biking and wish to experience as much of Nepal as possible in a week holiday this ‘Around Kathmandu Mountain Biking’ tour is an excellent option. This is a 5-day biking trip on the ridge-top trails which encircle the Valley’s rim. We travel along little-used dirt roads away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Only a short bike ride away lies a delightful world of wooded slopes, small villages, hidden temples and the views which include all of the principal peaks of the Nepal Himalaya – from Makalu to the Annapurnas providing some excellent, easy to semi – technical single track riding along old jeep roads. During these five days we will experience all of the sights, sounds, tastes and smells that make up life in Nepal’s ‘Middle Hills’. We will visit the historic cities of Patan and Bhaktpur, hill resort of Nagarkot with its sunrise view of the entire Nepal Himalaya and the temples, monasteries and picturesque villages tucked away in the forests along the way. We are so close to the bustle of Kathmandu, but so far off the beaten tourist trail.
With the mornings spent cycling above a sea of clouds, it would not be an exaggeration to call this a heaven for mountain bikers! Throughout the trip, support vehicles carrying all our gear will either follow behind us or be with us at the end of the day. Whether you ride for fun, or take it more seriously, challenges lie around every corner.
Flying to Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is itself an unforgettable experience, with the entire Nepali Himalaya sprawling below you. You will be met at airport by our company representative to escort you to your hotel. Look out for Explore Himalaya signboard with your name on it. .
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to Boudhnath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and after that to Pashupatinath, the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. We take a tour to Patan also called as Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square. .
We begin with a classic 50 km mountain bike trail, at first on roads through Patan to Lubhu, climbing up the deteriorating track to the quiet Newari village of Sisneri. So near to Kathmandu, but away from the beaten tourist track, it is a photographer's paradise, with the contrast of richly colored villages against a backdrop of snow capped mountains. After a steep 500 meter climb, it is wild trail downhill to Panauti, home of the oldest temple in Nepal, the Indreshwar Mahadev. Reunited with our support vehicle, which could not follow us for the whole route, we camp beside the river at this idyllic settlement. .
We have a choice of the road climb up to Dhulikhel, or a more adventurous track, which goes more steeply up through terraced fields to the Buddhist pilgrimage temple of Namo Buddha and then down to Dhulikhel. This involves a ride of about 35 km. Our overnight at Dhulikhel offers fantastic sunset views of the great chain of the Himalaya. .
It is downhill on a little-used tarmac road towards the mediaeval town of Bhaktapur, where we will spend a long lunch exploring a wealth of his historic temples and courtyards. The afternoon is a steady series of switch-backs up onto the main ridge, where we find another spectacular campsite at the hill-station of Nagarkot. .
Himalayan mountain biking does not get much better than today's ride. Early morning usually creates a sea of cloud in the valley beneath us, and we can look beyond this to a mountain panorama which stretches from Makalu to the Annapurnas. The riding terrain is also superb as we slowly make our way along an old jeep track, traversing the ridges of Kattike, Manichup and Chipu Dara. We must be very careful not to take a wrong turning on this part of the route, as the false descent will only mean a long carry back up to the ridge! After about 40 kms, we stay in a local lodge at Chisapani, just to the north of the main ridge. We have magnificent views of the Annapurnas from Chisapani. Support vehicles cannot follow us along this part of the route and porters will carry our essentials. .
Fit and well-acclimatized after the exercise of the last few days, we take the opportunity on our final day of biking to climb the valley's second highest mountain Shivapuri 2732m, before plunging back to Kathmandu on one of the best downhill rides in the area, via the reclining Vishnu Temple at Budhanalikantha. A hot bath awaits us at the Hotel before we re-box our bikes and start the celebrations of completing a memorable ride. .
Transfer to the airport in time to catch you flight home. .
We find it very important that our travelling contributes to the preservation of Nepal’s fragile and beautiful nature. We encourage Kipling Travels and Explore Himalaya to start working with different tea-houses / lodges and hotels on sustainability initiatives- like waste recycling, solar heating etc.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.