Kathmandu | Walks with Locals
Kathmandu Valley is full of vibrant stories and a rich history. The whole valley is a declared Living Heritage, and there is mystique around each corner and the surrounds of the valley has pure nature. Walking with an informed trained local can give memorable experiences. Book one today!
Kathmandu Valley is full of vibrant stories and a rich history. The whole valley is a declared Living Heritage, and there is mystique around each corner and the surrounds of the valley has pure nature. Walking with an informed trained local can give memorable experiences, whether it be to a locality, a market, the hills around, monasteries or heritage sites. Agreed, its easy enough to travel on your own in the city, but without guidance you will not be able to penetrate the culture and relate to it. Use this handy guide to choose an experience or combine a few into a short break.
INNER CITY WALK | Splice of Kathmandu & the Kumari Trail
The inner city walks focus on Kathmandu, the capital and right in the heart of it, around Ason, Indrachowk, the Kathmandu Durbar Square and Lagan area. It highlights the vibrancy of the capital and how alive life is. From a more modern perspective, it also showcases the Newar lifestyle from a modern smart city concept.
Splice of Kathmandu: 2. 5 hours. Daily 1030 hrs and 1400hrs or on demand
The markets of Ason, south of Thamel, are the oldest, vibrant and varied. Walk unguided and you are only dodging two wheelers and human traffic. Guided, you start seeing a pattern through the various markets. Highlights include markets for vegetables, spices, herbs, salts, utensils, wedding supplies, jewellery, beads, dental supplies etc… , the top lassi in town and a hidden stupa.
Kumari Trail. 3 hours. Daily 1100 hrs
The Living Goddess comes out of her temple in the Kathmandu Durbar Square on three different routes publicly, considered the edge of Kathmandu in the 14th Century or so. The southern route is rarely visited by travellers and offers an unparalleled look at life in the inner city and the daily life of the Newars, the original inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley
SUBURBAN WALKS | The Working Nepali & Temples and Lake
As Kathmandu Valley urbanises, the suburbs are slowly getting into the city. Life here is changing from an agrarian sustainability based economy to a more modern lifestyle supplemented by the agro economy. Its a great way to see how modernisation starts happening in this part of the world, and also a chance to see how similar suburbs can be.
The Working Nepali. 5 hours. Daily at 1000 hrs
The south of the valley has two villages now turned into small townships - Bungamati and Khokana, both historic for its cultural and agricultural significances. These two townships were also severely affected by the 2015 earthquake, and is changing rapidly as reconstruction happens. They are also surrounded by beautiful agricultural land, rapidly being eaten up by urbanisation. A perfect setting for the walks through the township and agricultural lands, while understanding how life is changing in these localities.
Temples & Lakes. 5 hours. Daily at 1030 hrs
We start this walk with a drive to Kirtipur, secretly the hilltop with the most historic significance in the Valley, as conquering this led to the unification of Nepal. We walk the inner lanes of this township and enjoy a local Newar lunch at the famous Lahana Kitchen Museum, where the whole set of delicacies are made in front of you. Later we walk the fields to get to Taudaha, a lake where migratory birds come all the way from Siberia during winter, and also visit a biodynamic agricultural project and bottle houses. A great way to see another side of the valley.
HERITAGE WALKS | Patan Heritage and Dawn @ Bhaktapur
Kathmandu Valley is a cultural plethora of about 150 ethnic groups coming together in one place, and is slowly melting into a single identity. Our heritage walks try to understand the ancient ethos of the valley, and showcase how the people used to live in earlier times, and explain why people do what they do. The focus, the two heritage sites of Patan and Bhaktapur, where this is relatively preserved.
Patan Heritage Walk. 4 hours. Daily 1100hrs and 1350 hrs
Patan is a maze of inner lanes, little walkways between wide ‘bahals’, which makes for a great walk through the inner lanes. The walk starts at the historic Patan Dhaka (doorway) and walks the inner lanes right to the Patan Durbar Square, with explanations on how the social system functions in this city of crafts! You also see artisans in action of course.
Dawn @ Bhaktapur. 3 hours. Daily at 0600 hrs
Dawn is the best time to walk in an ancient heritage, the time when people are going about doing things they always used to do through the centuries. Its also the golden hour for photography, making it perfect on all counts, except the fact you have to wake up early. Bhaktapur of course is the most well preserved heritage city and a must visit. You end this walk with a sumptuous breakfast.
NATURE & CULTURE | Lunch with Nuns & Monastery Walk
In the early 90’s the realisation that communities could play an important role in maintaining the forest cover in Nepal came about. This led to community led reforestation initiatives, many of them via the very strong mothers groups. This has resulted in Nepal becoming a world leader in this technique, and the results are there all around Kathmandu valley - most of the hills are green, offering a great opportunity to combine nature and culture into the walks.
Lunch with Nuns. 5 hours. Daily 0900hrs
The Nagi Gompa nunnery is inside the Shivapuri National Park, known as one of the closest national parks to an international airport in the world. Its green lush and offers a variety of natural recreation possibilities. We drive to its base, and walk 2 hours to the nunnery for a local lunch prepared by the nuns. The service payment mechanism is also something that we are promoting as opposed to donations at religious sites. A great easy walk through nature and a wonderful immersion into monastic lifestyle and Buddhism.
Monastery Walk. 5 hours. Daily 0800hrs
The community from the far western region of Humla have a small monastery right at the northern foothills of Kathmandu. We drive to this monastery and after a look around, understanding how the monastery works, what the principles are behind the teachings of the particular Rimpoche who leads the monastery, we walk to a sumptuous lunch prepared lovingly at the Shivapuri Heights Cottage, a place from where we might have to drag you back to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu.
IMMERSION WALKS | Soyambhunath Sunset Walk
Sunset Walk. 3 hours. Daily 0430hrs
Legend has it that when the lake that was in Kathmandu Valley emptied out of the gorge, a lotus in the middle of lake settled on the hill where the locals built the oldest Stupa in the Valley. Every inhabitant of the valley has to be visit this site at least once a year, and it is said that if you have not visited Soyambhunath, you have not visited the valley. On this walk, you learn about the heritage that is Soyambhunath and the community of artisans and priests that form the guardians of this space. It also offers a great view of the city, and the hills beyond, enhanced by sunset!
NATURE WALKS | Southern Ridge Walk & Champa Devi Climb
The Hills around Kathmandu are green and offer great walks. While these walks can take place all around the valley, the two walks we promote focus on the southern hills, because it offers a great line of sight to the Himalayas, weather permitting of course.
Southern Ridge Walk. 6 hours. Daily 0800hrs
About 11 kilometres and walking from a high ridge at 2540 meters in Chandragiri to Hattiban forests at 1800meter, this undulating walk is probably one of the most beautiful nature walks you can do in the valley. At it highest point, on a clear day, one can see all the way from the Annapurnas to the Everest Range, covering most of the 8000+m peaks in the Nepal Himalaya. One starts by climbing the ridge using a cable car, and then after a picnic and a walk, the walk ends with a car picking you up.
Champa Devi Climb. 6 hours. Daily 0730 hrs
This walk starts in the beautiful pine forests of Haitian and gradually ascend to the top of ChampaDevi for a nature picnic, before descending and then branching off from the saddle down to the bottle house and biodynamic agriculture project at the foothills, where a car picks you up after a sumptuous lunch. This is a good training hike for a trek, and fantastic for families.
OVERNIGHTERS & MULTIDAY WALKS | Valley Rim Walks
Most of the walks that we have can be converted into overnighters or even unto three nights, specially the ones going into the hills around the valley, with overnights in locations like Nagarkot, Namaboudha, Chisopani, Chitlang etc. or in resorts like Shivapuri Heights Cottage, Haittiban Resort, Namaboudha Resort etc. These are all done custom tailored depending on the requirements.
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