Five reasons you should plan for Nagarjun Trek while in Kathmandu
Nagarjun forest is a thick stretch of woods situated on the north and west of Kathmandu valley. It is protected under the Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park. The hills covered by Nagarjun forest and surrounding watershed area have long been among the top hiking and getaway destination for valley residents and tourists alike. Here are some top reasons why hiking to Nagarjun hills is a perfect one day plan if you are looking to spend a single day while in the valley:
Jamacho View Point (2128 m):
Jamacho view point is located inside the Nagarjun forests and is one of the highest points located around the Kathmandu valley. Jamacho hills has special religious significance for Buddhists and Hindus. Locals of Kathmandu Valley believe that the sage Mahamanjushree first saw Kathmandu valley as a giant lake from this place before draining all water out of the valley. Special celebrations are observed in Jamacho hill during Buddha Jayanti and Jamacho Jatra.
Wonderful Scenery and Natural Diversity: Nagarjun forests is rich in endangered flora and fauna. Giant trees of sal, fir, pine etc. give the forests its verdant green looks. Animals and birds like deer, leopard, wild boar, black bear, jungle cat, rhesus monkey are among the attractions of the national park. These animals are reclusive in nature and never attack people in groups of two or more.
The view from the top of Nagarjun forests is also spectacular. You will get an end to end view of Kathmandu valley below on one side and the other (northern) side will provide you a 360 degree view of some of the mightiest Himalayan peaks like Langtang, Jugal, Ganesh and Lakpa Dorje.
Connection with Sage Nagarjuna and Mahasiddhas: Take yourself back in time by visiting the meditating cave of ancient sage Nagarjuna, after whom the hills and national park is named. Adjacent to the cave of Nagarjuna is the cave of Mahasiddhas – Buddhist Bodhisattvas who can enter Nirvana at will.
Visit Bagdwar (Originating point of Bagmati):
The entry point of Jamacho hills in Nagarjuna forests is from Balaju. However, if you enter the Nagarjuna forest from Budhanilkantha, a place about 20 minutes east from Balaju, you can visit Bagdwar – the place from where the legendary Bagmati river originates. The area is full of water holes and sprouts. People flock here to take a bath in the pristine clear water of young Bagmati. Since Kathmandu is a civilisation based around Bagmati river – Bagdwar has also got great religious significance. There are numerous temples, shrines and monasteries around Bagdwar. The top of Shivapuri hills is also not far from Bagdwar.
Vicinity with Shivapuri hills, Chisapani and Sundarijal: While Nagarjun and Shivapuri forests are two different stretches of woods, they are naturally connected. You can complete trek to both sections if you start early and are ready to walk for a few hours more. Starting the trek from Budhanilkantha at around 8 am, you can reach the top of Shivapuri (Bagdwar) in about 4-5 hours. After reaching the top, we will walk eastwards along the rim of the Shivapuri hills for 2-3 hours until we reach Chisapani.
This place offers an even better view of the Himalayan ranges and mountains including Everest are visible on a clear day. If you are not short on time, you can enjoy a wonderful night’s stay in one of the lodges in Chisapani. However, if you wish to wrap your tour within a single day, then you can start coming downwards from Chisapani towards Sundarijal, another base point of the national park. You can board a vehicle back to your hotel from here.