Pretty as a picture - that is how one can perfectly describe Bandipur. This living and breathing abode of Newari culture is a hilltop settlement in the Gandaki Zone at 1030 metres, some 700 metres above the Marsyangdi River. The municipality snuggles itself on the saddle of the Mahabharat Range of the Himalayas. Bandipur is a perfect weekend retreat from Kathmandu or Pokhara, now that it is connected with the highway by an access road. There isn't much to see, so hoping for an extensive session of sightseeing will meet with disappointment. The town has more of a relaxing vibe, with the laid-back ambience of a small European neighbourhood.
Distance from Kathmandu: 147 km
Situated at an altitude of 3210 m, Poon Hill is a popular short trekking destination, offering an impeccable view of sunrise and sunset. Most trekkers hike here from the village of Ghorepani to enjoy the spectacular view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. The trekking trail covered with rhododendron forest an amazing landscape is perfect for modest trekkers. The terrain is comparatively easier and leads to the Annapurna Mountain Ranges, thus allowing the trekkers to absorb the natural beauty of the location.
Located in the south-west of the capital city Kathmandu, Chandragiri Hill is one of Nepal's most loved day-trip destinations. Locals, expats and tourists alike visit this place for an exhilarating experience and some lovely memories are made in the wake. The main destination of Chandragiri Hill is the mountaintop, from where spectacular views of the great Himalayan mountain ranges can be seen. The crisp cold weather would envelop you, as only the snow-covered crests of numerous mountain massifs raise their head above the cloudy mist and the green valley of Kathmandu lies at the bottom, looking beautiful and glorious.
Distance from Kathmandu: 17 km
Towards the north of the Kathmandu valley, just from where the hustle and bustle of the urban world start to fade away, and the imaginary lines of the city get blurred into the outskirts, lies the Shivpuri National Park. The sprawling sub-tropical forest, spreading for around 160 square meters, the forested area covers the districts of districts of Kathmandu, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk. Other than being a biodiversity hotspot, this is also a favourite place of the locals for hiking, trekking and mountain biking. Tourists who love to tread the path less travelled and take the offbeat journey also should keep a day or two for a visit to these woods.
Distance from Kathmandu: 32 km
The tiny village of Nagarkot burrowed in the lap of towering peaks is a part of Nepal's Bhaktapur district. Perched at the edge of Kathmandu Valley, Nagarkot gives you one of the widest panoramas of the Himalayan ranges - you can spot 8 out of the 13 Himalayan ranges from the comfort of your hotel. The mighty Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Jugal, Everest, Numbur, Ganesh Himal and the Rolwaling ranges can be seen from Nagarkot on a clear day!
Distance from Kathmandu: 26 km
Best Time: October to March
You can never get enough of the mountains. There is something about the scenic beauty and tranquillity of the majestic peaks that just makes you want to stay there forever and breathe in the pure fresh air. Dhulikhel in the Kathmandu Valley is one such place, which offers picturesque views of the high Himalayas and the range of peaks that it comprises of, right from the Langtang Lirung in the west to the Dorje Lakpa, Gauri Shankar and Melungtse, and then Numbur in the east. You just have to be willing to climb a little over the village to enjoy these panoramic views.
Distance from Kathmandu: 31 km
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Located at 2322 metres above the sea level in the Thaha Municipality of Nepal, Daman has inarguably the best view of the Himalayan range in the entire country. On the best of days, the whole stretch from Mount Dhaulagiri in the west to Mount Everest in the east can be seen perfectly. The snow-crested tops of the greatest mountains in the world rise above the misty cloud and grace the skyline of Daman. This simple site is proof to the fact that a place does not need to be studded with attractions to be attractive.
Distance from Kathmandu: 54 km
Phulchowki is the highest hill located in Kathmandu Valley (2791 metres) known for its hike. The mountain is covered by a natural garden full of beautiful wild roses, yellow jasmine, iris and other native flowers. It takes a few hours to reach the top and return and is, therefore, much advisable to those who are travelling on a time crunch. The climb through the rough terrain covered with dense forests will be worth it after one reaches the top and gets to see the breathtaking view of the valley.
Distance from Kathmandu: 3 km
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