Nepal is located in South Asia and shares territorial borders with India and China. Previously ruled as a kingdom, today it is a Federal Democratic Republic. Nepal is known for its exquisite natural beauty, with the iconic Himalayas running across the northern and western part of the country. Eight of the ten highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, reside within its borders. Although Nepal is a relatively small country in comparison with its neighbors, it has an astonishingly diverse landscape, from the rugged Himalayas in the north to the humid. Terai plains in the south. The capital and largest city is Kathmandu. The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR)
Facts & Figure
Location : Nepal is a landlocked country situated in South Asia, between China in North and India in South.
Area : 147,181 sq km.
Boundary : 2,926 km.
Land area : 52,819 sq mi (136,801 sq km)
Total area : 54,363 sq mi (140,800 sq km)
Climate : Cool summers and severe winters in north to sub-tropical summers and mild winters in south
Time : GMT + 5 hours 45 minutes
Population : 28,951,852
Religion : Hindu: 80.62%, Budhist: 10.74%, Muslim: 4.20%, Others: 4.44%
Capital : Kathmandu
Unit of Currency : Nepalese Rupee
Entry Procedures & Visa Rules :
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the air port or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph. So, Please download form from the link below an get ready while you are passing through the immigration Point.
Tourist Visa Extension
* Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
* Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).
Gratis (Free) Visa
* Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries.
* Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.
Transit Visa :
Transit visa for one day can be obtained from Nepal’s immigration offices at the entry points upon the production of departure flight ticket via Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal, by paying US $ 5 or equivalent convertible currency.
Visa Fee :
Single entry – US$ 30 for 60 days
Multiple entry – US$ 50 + US$ 30.
Visa will be extended subsequently for 30 days each upon payment of US$ 30 for a maximum period of 150 days in a visa year (Jan-Dec). Visa can be obtained either on arrival in Nepal or from Royal Nepalese Embassy or Consulate or other Mission offices abroad. Two passport size photographs required. Indians do not require visa to visit Nepal. However, they require to be in possession of any one of the following documents while travelling between the two countries.
According to a notification posted by the Nepal Tourism Board on 15th July, the new tourist visa rules will be effective from 16th July 2008. All tourists who visit Nepal must hold valid passport and visa.
Tourist entry visa can be obtained for the following duration from Nepal Embassy/ Consulate or Mission offices abroad, or at the following immigration offices in Nepal:
* Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
* Kakarvitta, Jhapa (Eastern Nepal)
* Birganj, Parsa (Central Nepal)
* Kodari, Sindhupalchowk (Northern Border)
* Belhiya, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi, Western Nepal)
* Jamuna, Nepalgunj (Banke, Mid Western Nepal)
* Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali, Far Western Nepal)
* Gaddachauki, Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur, Far Western Nepal)
Valid National Passport
Photo identity card issued by the government of India/any State Government or Union Territory/Administration in India/Identity Cards issued by the Election Commission of India. (Except Tatkal Identity Cards issued by the Ministry of Railways).
Children between 10-18 years age group are allowed to travel by air on the strength of a passport or photo identity card issued by the Principal of their school or college.
Emergency Certificate issued by Embassy of India, Kathmandu to Indian nationals in case of emergent conditions.
Children up to the age of 10 years will not require the above-mentioned documents for travelling between India and Nepal, by air.
For further information please refer:
Dept. of Immigration, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu
Tel: 00-977-1-4223681/4470650 Website: http://www.immi.gov.np
How To Reach
By Air :
The Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu is Nepal’s only international airport. The important airlines that serve Kathmandu are Indian Airlines, Thai International, Bangladesh Biman, China Southwest Airlines, Druk Air, Qatar Airways, PIA- Pakistan Airlines, Gulf Air, Sahara Ailrlines, Jet Air, and Cosmic Air.
By Land :
There are just eight entry points into Nepal by land open to foreigners, from which six are from India and two from Tibet.
Via India :
The crossing points from India include Mahendranagar, Dhangadhi and Nepalgunj in the west, Sunali, Birganj and Kakarbhitta in the east. Make sure to book your tickets through a reputed agency to avoid getting duped. Also bear in mind that everyone has to change buses at the border whether they book a through ticket or not, and that despite claims to the contrary, there are no tourist buses on either side of the border. You can board direct buses to the Nepal border from Delhi, Varanasi, Calcutta, Patna and Darjeeling. From the border, you can board Nepali buses to Kathmandu.
Via Tibet :
You can cross the border into Nepal from Tibet via Kodari.
Nepal is a land of Festivals. For the Nepalese, festivals are not merely the annual spectacles, but also are a living part of their rich cultural heritage. Festivals effectively bind together the Nepalese people of diverse cultural backgrounds and beliefs into one nation. Nepal is best expressed in the many large and small festivals that occur throughout the year Though the Nepalese have diverse beliefs and ethnic backgrounds. all unite in the celebration of the year’s major festivals. There are many kinds of festivals, some honour certain Hindu and Buddhist gods or goddesses, some recreate important events from ancient mythology and epic literature. some herald the seasons or mark important times in the agricultural calendar and others propitiate the minor that populate the spirit world of the country. Festivals as Dashain and Tihar are of national significance; such as Bisket or Red Machchhendranath Jatra, belong to the traditions of the old Valley towns and still others, such as Mani Rimdu, are celebrated only in a particular countryside community. It has been said that ‘in Nepal. every other building is a temple and every other day is a festival.” Whatever time on visits Nepal, there is certain to be a colourful and rewarding festive experience.
Maha Shiva Ratri
Nepal is the only Hindu kingdom in the world and thus the land of Lord Shiva, Lord of all Lords, for here you can feel his presence everywhere. Even in the sacred texts of the Hindus it has been stated that Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas is the abode of Lord Shiva or Mahadeva as he is also known. Shiva the Destroyer of Evil is among the most praised and worshipped of all the gods in the Hindu religion. Hindus all over the world know him through different names and forms. The country has thousands of idols and monuments, which glorify his name, the most common one being the Shiva Linga or the phallus of Shiva that represents him. For it is the Shiva linga that Hindus regard as the symbol of creation, the beginning of everything.
Shiva Ratri is the night of Lord Shiva when He himself was created by His own Divine Grace and Hindus all over the world celebrate this day with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Shiva Ratri literally means ‘ the night consecrated to Shiva’. This auspicious festival falls on the fourteenth day of the waning moon in the month of Falgun, (February – March in the Gregorian calendar ). The temple of Pashupatinath in Kathmandu which is considered as one of the holiest shrines of the Hindus, glorifying Lord Shiva, thus receives more than 100,000 worshippers during the festival of Shiva Ratri. These worshippers come from far and wide to pay their respects and homage to Mahadev on his sacred day.
One of the interesting aspects of Shiva Ratri is that on this day devotees and non-devotees alike freely indulge in smoking intoxicating substances such as marijuana and bhang as it is the only day in the annual calendar when marijuana is legal. Many people take these intoxicants in the belief that it pleases Lord Shiva for he too is said to be fond of it. Thus marijuana is taken as prasad, holy food blessed by the Gods and one can see eager tourists and faithful Nepalese flocking around the temple complex of the Ram Janaki Mandir across the Bagmati river opposite to the main temple complex of Pashupatinath lingering around sadhus and babas in the hope for some prasad from them.
Dashain During the month of Kartik in the Bikram Sambat calendar (late September and early October), the Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country.
Dashain commemorates a great victory of the gods over the wicked demons. One of the victory stories told is the Ramayan, where the lord Ram after a big struggle slaughtered Ravana, the fiendish king of demons. It is said that lord Ram was successful in the battle only when goddess Durga was evoked. The main celebration glorifies the triumph of good over evil and is symbolized by goddess Durga slaying the terrible demon Mahisasur, who terrorised the earth in the guise of a brutal water buffalo. The first nine days signify the nine days of ferrous battle between goddess Durga and the demon Mahisasur. The tenth day is the day when Mahisasur was slain and the last five days symbolise the celebration of the victory with the blessing of the goddess. Dashain is celebrated with great rejoice, and goddess Durga is worshiped throughout the kingdom as the divine mother goddess.
Buddha Jayanti The belief and the practice of Buddhism in Nepal dates back to the time of Prince Siddharth Gautam, who was born in the southern Terai region of the country in about 543 BC. Till he was 29, the young prince led a very sheltered life in the royal palace of his father.
He was completely unaware of the tragedies of everyday life. One day, he convinced his charioteer to take him outside the walls of his palace and he was shocked to see the sight of an old man, a cripple, and a corpse. The realization that there was more to life than the lavish and luxurious life he was leading, made him abandon all the worldly pleasures and search for enlightenment and the true meaning of life.
Places of Interest
The Kathmandu Valley is a major place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Around the city of Kathmandu are ancient Buddhist stupas such as the Great Boudhanath Stupa. The area surrounding the stupa which is known as “Boudha” has over sixty Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. There are many teachers and high lamas, either living in Boudha or visiting. Due to this, many students of Buddhism from all over the world come to stay in here to receive teachings.
Some monasteries provide situations for study in Higher Buddhist Philosophy. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s main monastery known as Thrangu Tashi Choling is located in Boudha close to the Boudha Stupa. In the hills nearby Boudha, Phullahari Monastery, the seat of HE Jamgon Kongrul Rinpoche is located.
In the area of Swayambunath, is the Swayambunath Stupa also known as “The Monkey Temple”. Located on top of a hill, the whole hill itself is considered to be a self arisen stupa. According to legend, Lord Manjushri cut into the lake that was once the Kathmandu Valley and as the water was set free the hill rose up simultaneously. Thrangu Tara Abbey, Thrangu Rinpoche’s nunnery for Buddhist nuns is in Swayambu. There are many monasteries in the Swayambu area including Benchen Monastery, the home of Tenga Rinpoche and Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche.
Among the many places of pilgrimage is Namo Buddha, one of the most important, where, in a previous life as a prince, the Buddha gave his body to a starving tigress and her cubs. At Namo Buddha, Thrangu Rinpoche has a temple, school for young monks and other projects.
Other pilgrimage sites include Pharping, a Guru Rinpoche place, many places where Milarepa and other yogis stayed and many Vajrayogini and Chakrasamvara places. This is the place where kingdoms rose and fell, palaces and temples are built and rebuilt, art and cultures are refined and protected. Kathmandu city is the largest city in Nepal and is surrounded by green hills all over. Scattered around the valley are hundreds of temples and shrines, traditional villages and agriculture scenes of timeless beauty. You can see all these places by taxi, cycle, bus and by foot.
The temple of Pashupatinath is Nepal’s most scared Hindu shrines and one of the subcontinent’s greatest Shiva sites, a sprawling collection of temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati river. The richly- ornamented pagoda, houses the sacred linga or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva.
Chronicles indicate the temlple’s existence prior to 400 A.D, but a shrine may have stood here nearly 1000 years before that. Legend says that Shiva once took the form of an antelope and sported unkown in the forest on Bagmati river’s east bank. The gods later caught up with him , and grabbing him by the horn, forced him to resume his divine form. The broken horn was worshipped as a linga and overtime was buried and lost. Centuries later an astonished herdsmen found one of his cows showering the earth with milk. Digging deep at the site, he discovered the divine linga of Pashupatinath.
The temple complex has been renovated and improved over the centuries. Entrance to the shrine is only restricted to Hindus, however, one can still get the good view of the sacred temple from vantage points across Bagmati river. Across the river, one can also visit the temple of Guhyeshwori and a classic 6th century ekmukhi “one-faced” linga of Shiva.
This temple is a World Heritage site that lies 5 km east of the Kathmandu city. One can reach there by bike, taxi or take a bus from the bus stop at Kathmandu city to Gaushala. The other option is to take a three-wheeler tempos to Chabhil from the city. It doesn’t take more than forty minutes to reach here from the city. Early morning and evening is the prime puja (worshipping) hours, so is the best time to visit this magnificent temple.
Pashupatinath is also Nepal’s most renowned Hindu creamtion site.
Hanuman Dhoka (Durbar Square)
The square is the complex of palaces, courtyards and temples that are built between the 12th and the 18th centuries by the ancient Malla Kings of Nepal. It is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. Taleju Temple, Kal Bhairab (God of Destruction), Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Bell, Big Drum and the Jagnnath Temple are some of the interesting things to see in this Square. An intriguing piece here is the 17 th century stone inscription that is set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages.It is believed that if anybody deciphers this entire inscription, the milk would flow from the spout, which lies just below the inscripted stone wall. Some people say that the inscription contains coded directions to a treasure King Pratap Malla has buried beneath Mohan chowk of Durbar Square.
Kumari Ghar (Temple of Kumari)
The temple or the residence of Living Goddess, Kumari, is situated in the vicinity of Hanuman Dhoka Palace. The building has beautifully carved wooden balconies and window screens. The Kumari- the living Goddess acknowledges the greetings from her balcony window. Photography is prohibited.
A grand imposing palace built on the neo-classical style. It was the private residence of Rana Prime Minister. Now it’s the Secretariat of His Majesty’s Government of Nepal.
The most ancient and enigmatic of all the Valley’s holy shrines lies 2 km west of Kathmandu city, across the Vishnumati river. The golden spire of Swayambhunath stupa crowns a wooded hillock and offers a commanding view of Kathmandu city. On clear days,one can even view a line of Himalayan peaks. The view is splendid at dusk as city lights flicker one by one, and even better when a full moon hangs in the sky.
The establishment of Swayambhunath Stupa goes back to the legendary beginning of the Kathmandu Valley.The legend says that when the bodhisattva Manjushri drained the waters of the lake to reveal the Kathmandu valley, the lotus of the lake was transformed into the hillock and the blazing light became the Swayambhu stupa.
Swayambhunath stupa is a World Heritage Site. One can get to Swayambhu by taxi or bike or have a nice short walk from the Kathmandu city, leaving the hustle and bustle of the city for the quieter neighborhood on the banks of the Vishnumati river. The main gate of the stupa leads to the steep stairs, which is indeed a traditional ancient pilgrim route. It’s really wonderful to climb up the worn stone steps, 365 in all,that leads straight up to the top, where Swayambhunath’s painted eyes peer down at all comers. If one doesn’t want to climb all these stairs, one can go around the south side of the hill where you will find a small parking area for taxis and tourist bus.
It is the biggest stupa in the Valley. The stupa, well known as Khasti, is also known as the World Heritage Site. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design. There are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries in the area. It lies about 6 km to the east of downtown Kathmandu. The Bouddha Area Preservation & Development Committee runs an information center.
The temple of Dakshinkali is situated about two kilometers south of Shekha Narayan. Dakshinkali is regarded as one of the most important Hindu Goddesses. Pilgrims visit this temple to offer their prayer and animal sacrifices to the goddess. Besides, this place has been developed as a popular picnic spot.
Patan also known as ‘Lalitpur’ literally, the City of Artisans, lies 5km southeast of Kathmandu, and is home to the valley’s finest craftsmen who preserve ancient techniques such as repoussé and the lost wax process, still producing exquisite pieces of sculpture. The city retains much of the old charm with its narrow streets, brick houses and the multitude of well-preserved Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries (Vihars). The predominant sound in Patan is not motor vehicles but the tinkering of craftsmen bent over the statuettes they are shaping. As in Kathmandu, Hinduism and Buddhism have co-existed here for ages, influencing each other and the religious harmony is exemplary.
Perched on a hill at an altitude of 1,401m, Bhaktapur or Bhadgaon, literally the City of Devotees, is a major tourist attraction taking visitors back in time. Covering an area of 4 sq. miles, this city retains the charming paved roads, red brick houses and a way of life that goes back to medieval times. The extraordinary ‘Durbar Square’ with its celebrated Golden Gate and extraordinary Palace of Fifty-Five windows reflects the glory days of the Malla Dynasty when art and architecture thrived in the three cities of the valley. Situated 14km east of Kathmandu, this ancient city is also famous for pottery and woodcarving amply displayed on the squares and windows respectively.
Pokhara valley, the ‘Jewel of the mid-west’ is a favorite of tourists from around the globe. With the magnificent Annapurna range of mountains as a backdrop and the serenity of the three lakes of Phewa, Rupa and Begnas, Pokhara is the ultimate destination for relaxation. Yet the valley has grown in recent years as the destination for adventures sports such as paragliding and ultra-light flights. With boating, bird watching, trekking and mountain biking as the other attractions, Pokhara has it all.
Pokhara’s bewitching beauty has been the subject of many travel writers. Its pristine air, the spectacular backdrop of the snowy peaks, the serene lakes and the surrounding greenery make it ‘the jewel in the Himalaya’, a place of remarkable natural beauty. Mt. Machhapuchhare (6,977 m) has a mesmerizing effect on any nature lover and the Phewa Lake creates an ambience of peace that is magical. Warmer than Kathmandu because of it lower altitude, Pokhara is pleasant in the winter and has a rich flora and fauna making it ideal for bird watching.
Asia’s most well-preserved conservation area is the Chitwan National Park, where wildlife thrives and habitats remain intact. Only a half-hour flight away from Kathmandu, the park lies in the ‘Tarai’ region (plains) and is home to a range of wildlife including endangered species like the Greater One-horned rhinoceros and the elusive Royal Bengal tiger. Enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park has a particularly rich flora and fauna boasting more than 450 species of birds. Resorts within the park facilitate safaris on elephant back, boat ride or jeep drives.
Jaunty rides on elephant back, crossing rivers on dug-out canoes and catching unsuspecting wildlife in their natural habitat; these are thrills one is not likely to forget even years after the mystical holiday in Nepal. Chitwan owes its fame to Chitwan National Park, the most well-preserved conservation area in all of Asia. The park is home to a large variety of wildlife including the endangered Greater One-horned rhinoceros and the elusive Royal Bengal tiger. Chitwan, only a 30 minute flight away in southern Nepal, has a sub-tropical climate. Resorts both inside and outside the national park cater to the needs of tourists who come down for safari adventure in the jungles.
Chitwan National Park is the favorite destination of tourists looking for an enduring safari experience. Once this large tract of land was declared a national park, illegal settlements were halted and deforestation brought under control within its boundaries. At the same time poaching was controlled to some extent. The natural habitat of wildlife was preserved and they flourished. Major Projects were initiated to save the tiger and rhinoceros with the help of friendly nations and foreign institutions. As a result rhinos are quite commonly seen in Chitwan and occasionally the Bengal tiger can be spied well camouflaged among the tall grass. The Rapti River has been dammed to create a man-made lake called Lamital where waterfowl and many other exotic birds are found in abundance. Elephant grass that are five to six feet tall, provide excellent cover for animals
Lumbini,Birthplace of Buddha
Lumbini, the place where Lord Buddha was born, is a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims as well as visitors from many different parts of the world, and also is regarded as a symbol of peace and understanding in the world community. Lumbini, like the Buddha, stands peacefully and calm, away from the crowds of the cities, on the southern plains of the country, surrounded by forests. Lord Buddha is believed to have been born in Lumbini as Prince Sidhartha, when his mother Queen Mayadevi of Kapilbastu stopped to rest on her way to her parent’s palace in a neighboring country some 2,600 years ago. People here also believe that she chose the place because of its peaceful setting. Although there are no cities or heavy population nearby, there are plans to develop the area, with gardens, trees, canal, accommodation facilities and even a library. Adequate lodging is available to the visitor and pilgrims, including a luxury hotel made by the Japanese.
Gorkha, Where Monarchy Began
Gorkha lies almost midway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. After travelling from Kathmandu towards Pokhara for 118 kilometers, the diversion to Gorkha is on the intersection at Abu Khaireni, and from there it is a short 18 kilometers drive northward to the birthplace of King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the first ruler of the Shah Dev Dynasty.
Situated on a hill overlooking the snowy peaks of the Himalaya is the beautiful Gorkha Durbar, a fort, palace and temple complex. It was built during the reign of King Ram Shah (1606-1636). It was from this very palace that King Prithivi Narayan Shah began his campaign to unify the kingdom of Nepal. The temples of Gorhakhnath and Kali within the outstanding examples of Nepali architecture. Treks to Manaslu and Annapurna Circuit Treks begin from here.
Trekking In Nepal
here are an overwhelming number of trekking trails to choose from in Nepal. Your choice depeds upon the length of time you have available, the season, as well as your personal interests. It would be adviseable to let the experts do all the preparatory work. Once in Nepal, contact one of the trekking companies. The following list was compiled by Mountain Travel Nepal (Tel: 414508 and Fax: 414075).
In January and February low level treks at elevations up to 3,000 meters (10,000 ft) offering pleasant sunny days with clear skies and good mountain views is a good choice for this time of year. Three good treks are recommended. The Royal Trek (3-4 day trek). The Kali Gandake Trek (15-18 days), and the Langtang and Helambu Treks (Higher altitude trek, so be prepared for snow, frozen waterfalls, and few other trekkers. The latter is quite a beautiful trek, yet somewhat physically demanding).
March brings some other treks to different areas. The Solu Khumbu Trek from Jiri is suggested. All Langtang, Helambu and Pokhara-based treks are feasible in early March, however, it is best to attempt these in the latter part of the month.
April is the favored season for alpine treks and for climbing. Flowers are in high bloom and in the lower altitudes temeratures are warm, although there is a likelyhood of afternoon clouds and showers in most areas. This is a superb month to spend high in the mountains around Manang and climbing is possible on Chulu and Pisang. After mid-April the Thorong La pass is usually open, critical to completing the classic Annapurna Circuit trek. Beware of avalanche danger in the Annapurna Sanctuary , though the Machhapuchhre base camp area is good for wildlife after the middle of the month. This is a good time for treks to the higher altitudes, such as in east Nepal, to the Milke Danda ridge and alpine treks to the base camps of Kangchenjunga and Makalu.
May and June bring haze and heat to all the lower areas. If you are trekking during these months, aim to get to higher altitudes quickly such as Khumbu, flying in and out of Lukla, and Rolwaling. Kathmandu Valley walks are pleasurable.
July through Mid-September are the monsoon months. Although generally not recommended for trekking, the terrain is lovely in the higher regions and rain-shadow areas, such as Muktinath, Manang and Langtang to a certain extent as well as Dolpo and the far west.
Mid-September to Mid-October the monsoon tails of and the countryside is fresh and green. Recommendations for trekking routes are much the same as for April and May, though high passes may be snowed over. Mid-October to Mid-November is the “high season” for trekking and with good reason. It is the classic time for high-altitude alpine and climbing treks and in general has the most reliable clear weather. The more popular routes are congested at this time; these include the Khumbu where the sheer weight of numbers create inevitable flight delays at Lukla. Even more crowded is the Pokhara region, especially the Kali Gandaki valley though weather-wise the Annapurna Sanctuary is at its best. This is the time to get off-the-beaten-track and enjoy trips to east or west Nepal, Jugal Himal, Ganesh Himal and Tirudanda or routes between Pokhara and Kathmandu.
Mid-November to December offers stable, winter weather as the rain and snow of true winter usually does not start in Nepal until mid-December. This period has the added advantage of avoiding the previous month’s crowds. Low level and short treks up to about 3,700 meters (12,000 ft) are at their best at this time of year. The Pokhara region is ideal as are Helambu, Lagtang and Gorkha. Remember that most high passes can not be crossed safely after mid-December.
There are three hills surrounding the Kathmandu Valley that provide worthwhile hikes for the energetic with spectacular views. The six-kilometer (four-mile) trail to the top of Phulchoki begins behind Godavari school and is particularly beautiful with the spring flowers. From Budhailkantha, it is a four hour climb to the top of Shivapuri with panoramic views of the Himalayas and the Kathmandu Valley. The summit of Champa Devi above Pharping in the south of the Valley can be reached from above Hatiban, only two or three hours of climbing.