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. The natural beauty of Daman is charming enough to draw crowds from all-over Nepal as well as from other parts of the world.
Shree Rikheshwar Mahadev Temple
Shree Rikheshwar Mahadev Temple is a shrine situated atop Daman, dedicated to the Hindu God of Destruction Shiva. The local people consider this temple to be very sacred and awakened, which means their wishes get granted once it is spoken to the lingam here. A common practice in Shivalinga temples is to whisper the prayers and wishes into the ear of the Nandi bull that sits guarding the sanctum.
The reason why this temple is so revered is the legend behind it. People believe that when Lord Shiva was doing his leap of grief, mourning and lamenting his dead wife Goddess Sati, and carrying her corpse all around the universe, he got tired and decided to rest in the place where the temple now stands. To quench his thirst, Lord Shiva hit the rocks of the hills here with his trident and pristine water came flowing out of the earth. The many small jhoras or multiple thin strips of water coming down the mountain rocks are owed to this legend.
The road leading up to the Rikheshwar Mahadev Temple is even more interesting. Visitors need to hike for a short distance of 1 kilometre on a trail covered with dense green woods. In the quaint town of Daman, if you want to find some exciting thing to do, this is one of the best options.
Mountain Botanical Gardens
For the lovers of everything green, the Mountain Botanical Gardens is a must-visit place in Daman. The lawn of the garden is very well-curated and beautifully maintained. The forested area has a great collection of flora - one that you do not possibly expect in a place so secluded. During springtime, the botanical gardens get decked up in ravishing red blooms of the rhododendron - Himalaya's most exotic blossom.
Activities in Daman - Hiking & Biking
The best thing to do in Daman is to explore the town to your heart's content. Not every place in Nepal can be wandered about with as much freedom as Daman offers. There are multiple hiking routes already. And you can find newer ones if you are an adventurer at heart - just keep the map handy since there are not many established places around once get deeper into the woods. There are villagers though, who are very helpful and friendly.
Unless you are carrying a bike of your own, you have to rely on your feet. Take off for the day and explore the lush greens of Daman. Feast your eyes on some of the best Himalayan landscapes and breathe in air free from all the pollution and noise of city life. This is probably why people come to Daman - not to indulge in extensive sightseeing or adventure activities, but to spend a couple of days away from the mundane life and soak in the beauty of the mountains.
Best time to visit Daman
Every season has its own appeal in Daman. The springs have red rhododendrons spread all-over the mountains and in the botanical gardens as well. Autumns bring in the clearest sky of the year and perfect view of the mountains. Summers are pleasantly warm and ideal for all the hiking and biking trails. Winters here in Daman are quite magical, with bone-chilling cold and snowfall - a perfect setting for Christmas.
People often choose weekends to go to Daman and get away from the busy schedule for two days. During festivals like Diwali or Christmas, it stays quite crowded. Nevertheless, there can never be enough people to lessen the magnetic ambience that Daman has in its very air.
How to Reach Daman
Despite having the vibe of being at the end-of-the-world, reaching Daman is quite easy. It can be driven to from Kathmandu along the Tribhuvan Highway, around 77 kilometres from the capital city, halfway to Hetauda.