Chandragiri Markhu Hiking

6 Days

This Kathmandu Valley hike takes you away from the chaos of the city and into the fresh air and stunning highlights of Chandragiri, Chitlang, Markhu & Kulekhani on the outskirts of the ancient Kathmandu valley.

The journey starts from the capital straight to Matatirtha, a famous Hindu shrine. Once we reach there, the hiking starts towards the famous Chandragiri Hilltop. The hill provides panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley and the 360 views of the Himalayan range – from Annapurna to Everest. Chandragiri Hilltops is a fascinating tourist destination where you can ride up and down the hill in a cable car while soaking up the valley views.

The next stop on the hike is Chitlang – an ancient Newari settlement in Makwanpur district. Different artistic monuments, pagoda roofs and unique craftsmanship around the place will leave you awe-stuck.

Then, we continue our hike all the way to Kulekhani and the famous Indrasarobar, the largest man-made lake in Nepal. The boating and fishing activities have attracted visitors here for years.


You will be picked up at the airport by one of the Real Journey Nepal staff and driven to your Kathmandu host family or a hotel. Here you will be welcomed into the family, be given your own room and be provided with all your meals while in Kathmandu. This will be your home during your orientation and volunteering in Nepal. With easy bus routes into town and the surrounding countryside, this quiet and safe suburb is the perfect base for your time in Nepal. Meals: Bed and Breakfast

The Boudhanath and Pashupatinath Day Tour is a journey into the spiritual heart of Kathmandu, Nepal's capital city. This cultural and religious adventure takes you to two of the most sacred and revered sites in Nepal, offering a profound and enriching experience.

Boudhanath: The Stupa of Compassion

Your day begins with a visit to Boudhanath, one of the largest stupas in Asia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you approach the stupa, you'll be captivated by its massive dome and the watchful eyes of the all-seeing Buddha painted on its pinnacle. The stupa is a center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal and a hub of spiritual activity.


1. Circumambulation: Join the devout pilgrims as they perform the kora (circumambulation) around the stupa. Walk clockwise, turning prayer wheels, and spin prayer flags to offer your prayers and good wishes.

2. Boudhanath Monasteries: Explore the monasteries surrounding the stupa, where you can witness Buddhist monks and nuns in their daily rituals. Some monasteries may allow you to participate in meditation sessions.

3. Shopping: The area around Boudhanath is renowned for Tibetan handicrafts, thangka paintings, prayer beads, and other Buddhist artifacts. Take some time to shop for souvenirs and support local artisans.

4. Tea Houses: Enjoy a traditional Nepali or Tibetan meal at one of the cozy tea houses with rooftop views of the stupa. It's a great place to relax and soak in the atmosphere.

Pashupatinath: The Abode of Lord Shiva

In the afternoon, your tour takes you to the sacred Pashupatinath Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the holiest Hindu temples in the world. The temple complex is dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts thousands of devotees and pilgrims every day.


1. Pashupatinath Temple: Explore the main temple area and its intricate pagoda-style architecture. While non-Hindus are not allowed inside the main temple, you can observe the rituals and ceremonies from outside.

2. Aryaghat: Witness the sacred cremation ghats along the Bagmati River, where Hindus perform the last rites of their loved ones. The ritualistic ceremonies provide insight into Hindu funeral traditions.

3. Sadhus (Holy Men): Encounter and engage in conversations with the colorful and ascetic Sadhus, who are devoted to Lord Shiva. They often welcome visitors and may share stories about their spiritual journey.

4. Surrounding Temples and Monuments: Explore the various temples, shrines, and ancient sculptures within the Pashupatinath complex, each with its own historical and religious significance.

Note: Please be respectful of the religious customs and traditions at both Boudhanath and Pashupatinath. Dress modestly, remove your shoes when required, and ask for permission before taking photographs, especially of people.


The Boudhanath and Pashupatinath Day Tour provides a deeply immersive experience into Nepal's rich spiritual and cultural heritage. These two iconic sites offer a glimpse into the profound devotion and rituals of both Buddhist and Hindu traditions. Whether you seek spiritual enlightenment or simply wish to explore the vibrant tapestry of Nepali culture, this day tour is a captivating and meaningful excursion that will leave a lasting impression.

We start the day after breakfast in the morning. It will take about 30-40 minutes to drive to Matatirtha, our start point of the trek. The word “Matatirtha” means the mother’s shrine. This shrine sees a lot of visitors/pilgrims who have lost their mothers on the mother’s day each year in April (Hindu people of Nepal celebrate mother’s day on new moon day in April each year).
We start hiking towards the top of Chandragiri Hills (2729m) which is an old temple site and is now a popular tourist site after the establishment of the Cable Cars. The area is full of natural greenery and it will take about 4-5 hours to hike to the top. During the hike, we’ll walk up some minor hills, through lush jungle, and a small village at Chhap Bhanjyang (you may find a local shop to have a cup of relaxing tea/coffee here).
Chandragiri Hills is a very beautiful site with Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple, restaurants, parks, etc. On a clear day, you can observe spectacular mountain views from east to west including Mt. Gaurishanker, Dorje Lakpa, Langtang mountain range, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Mt. Everest, Api, etc. After enjoying lunch together at the top of Chandragiri Hills and basking in the Himalayan views, we hike down towards Chitlang.
Chitlang is an ancient village which still has lots of evidence like ancient temples, artistically made rest houses, stone water taps, etc., that proves it was a civilized society in ancient time. There are some lodges to stay and Chitlang Village also gives you an opportunity to stay in a homestay if you want a more authentic interaction and insight into the rural life in Nepal. We will visit historical sites like Pauwa, Saat Dhara (seven water taps), Shiwalaya, and some other archeological monuments during your staying in Chitlang. Stay overnight in Chitlang (D)


Breakfast in Chitlang: Begin your day with a hearty breakfast in Chitlang. Fuel up with some local cuisine or your preferred meal to prepare for the day's hike.

Start Hiking to Markhu: Your hiking adventure for the day starts as you leave Chitlang and make your way towards Markhu. The trail may take you through scenic countryside landscapes, including terraced fields, charming villages, and lush forests. Enjoy the serenity of nature and the fresh mountain air as you trek.


Lunch Break: Along the trail, you can have a packed lunch or stop at a local teahouse or eatery in one of the villages for a delicious meal. Interact with the friendly locals and immerse yourself in the culture.

Continue Hiking: Resume your hike towards Markhu. The route may offer various viewpoints and photo opportunities as you ascend and descend through the terrain.

Arrival in Markhu: Upon reaching Markhu, you can settle into your accommodation for the night. Markhu is a beautiful lakeside village located on the shores of Indrasarovar, a serene and picturesque lake. You'll have the chance to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.


Explore Markhu: Spend your evening exploring Markhu and its surroundings. Take a leisurely walk along the lakeshore, interact with the locals, or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. You might also want to visit the nearby Indrasarovar, a sacred lake with a small temple dedicated to Lord Indra. This area is ideal for photography and relaxation.

Dinner: Enjoy a traditional Nepali dinner or your preferred meal at a local eatery or your accommodation. Savor the flavors of local cuisine while taking in the serene ambiance of Markhu.


Overnight Stay in Markhu: After a day of hiking and exploration, retire to your accommodation in Markhu for a well-deserved night's rest. You can choose from various lodging options, such as guesthouses or homestays, to experience local hospitality.
As you spend the night in Markhu, you'll have the opportunity to recharge and appreciate the natural beauty of the Indrasarovar area.


Breakfast in Markhu: Start your day with a hearty breakfast at your accommodation in Markhu. Enjoy the local flavors and a warm cup of tea or coffee before you embark on your journey back to Kathmandu.

Prepare for Departure: After breakfast, make sure you have packed all your belongings and completed the check-out process from your accommodation. Double-check that you have all your essentials and any souvenirs you may have picked up during your trip.
Drive to Kathmandu:

Drive from Markhu to Kathmandu: Your return journey to Kathmandu will be by road. Depending on traffic conditions and the specific route you take, the drive can take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. The road journey will give you a chance to enjoy more scenic views of the Nepali countryside.

Depending on your travel plans, you may be catching a flight from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to your next destination, embarking on another adventure within Nepal, or continuing your journey in the region.

Cost Includes

  • Transportation: Tthe cost of transportation from Kathmandu to Matathirtha, as well as the return trip to Kathmandu.
  • Accommodation: Accommodation may be included for the nights you spend in Chitlang and Markhu. This could range from guesthouses to basic lodges or tented camps, depending on the package.
  • Meals: Meals during the hiking portion of the trip. This usually covers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals provided are often simple Nepali cuisine.
  • Local Guides: Local guides and hiking support staff areincluded to lead you on the trek, provide information about the area, and ensure your safety.
  • Permits and Entrance Fees: The cost of necessary permits and entrance fees for the hiking areas may be included. This could include entry to Chandragiri Hills, conservation area fees, and other permits.

Cost Excludes

  • International and Domestic Flights: The cost of your international flights to Nepal and any domestic flights within Nepal is usually not included in the package.
  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance, including health and evacuation coverage, is typically not included. It's highly recommended to purchase travel insurance separately.
  • Personal Expenses: Personal expenses such as souvenirs, additional snacks, drinks, phone calls, and tips for guides and staff are not usually included.
  • Optional Activities: Any optional activities or side trips not specified in the package, as well as their associated costs, are typically excluded.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Alcoholic beverages are not included in the package. You'll need to pay separately for any alcoholic drinks you consume.
  • Additional Meals: Meals outside the hiking portion of the trip, such as meals in Kathmandu before or after the trek, are usually not included.
  • Equipment Rental: If you need to rent hiking equipment such as sleeping bags, trekking poles, or jackets, this is often an additional cost.
  • Emergency Evacuation: In the event of an emergency evacuation, the cost of rescue operations and medical expenses is typically not included and should be covered by your travel insurance.
  • Tips and Gratuities: It's customary to tip your guides and support staff for their services. This is not included in the package cost and should be budgeted separately.
What is the Chandragiri-Chitlang-Markhu hiking route?

The Chandragiri-Chitlang-Markhu hiking route is a scenic trekking journey that takes you from the Chandragiri Hills in Kathmandu to the picturesque villages of Chitlang and Markhu in Nepal.

How long does the hiking trip typically last?

The duration of the hiking trip can vary, but it often spans over several days, allowing hikers to explore the region at a comfortable pace. The exact duration depends on the specific itinerary chosen.

What is the level of difficulty for this hiking route?

The hiking route typically offers moderate difficulty, with some uphill and downhill sections. It is suitable for hikers with a moderate level of fitness and trekking experience

When is the best time to go hiking in this region?

The best time for hiking in the Chandragiri-Chitlang-Markhu area is during the post-monsoon season from September to November and the pre-monsoon season from March to May when the weather is relatively stable and views are clear.

What should I pack for the hiking trip?

You should pack essentials like comfortable hiking attire, sturdy hiking boots, a backpack, rain gear, a water bottle, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and any personal medications. Be sure to check with your tour operator for a comprehensive packing list.

Is it necessary to hire a guide for the hike?

Hiring a local guide is recommended, especially if you are not familiar with the area. Guides can provide valuable insights, ensure your safety, and navigate the trails effectively.

Is there accommodation available along the hiking route?

Yes, there are accommodation options available in Chitlang and Markhu, including guesthouses, lodges, and, in some cases, tented camps.

Can this hike be customized to suit individual preferences?

Yes, many tour operators offer customizable itineraries to cater to different preferences, including the duration of the hike and specific activities or side trips.

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