Sunrise on a mountain top with the Himalayas glistening in the morning light behind you. Could anyone ask for a more spectacular view? At Nagarkot mountaintop just outside of Kathmandu you can see this spectacular sight.
The day starts at 4.30am in Kathmandu. Either by private tour guide, tour bus or by your own transportation (Taxi’s are relatively cheap) you can take the journey. It’s a 32Km drive east of Kathmandu, reaching the picturesque district of Bhaktapur.
A slow and steady climb up the mountain path in the darkness is an intriguing journey as you strain your eyes to see what is happening in the quiet, early morning world around you.
Reaching the top of the Mountain at approximately 6am, you have plenty of time to choose the best point for viewing. There are 3 options. The lovely little Tea house to the far left is a small and quaint little place with a stunning view of the sunrise to the east. The other option is to stand on one of the outdoor terraces of the Club Himalaya Nagarkot. The views from this lovely hotel are stunning and if you can’t stand the cold on the winter mornings, go inside for a nice hot breakfast and incredible view.
If you are looking for the complete package, you should head to the Tower view, the highest point at Nagarkot. From here there is a stunning view of the Indrawati river valley to the east. The area has an elevation of 2,195 meters, so you are sure to see all of the amazing surrounds of this valley and the villages that are nestled within the hills. The tower is a simple structure with coloured flags flowing from the tip to the ground, reminding you that you are in the Buddhist following country of Nepal. Apart from the tower, you have an unspoiled 360 degree panoramic view.
I must warn, that it’s not always sunshine and clear views. The morning I went up we unfortuantely were surrounded by a thick fog and the clouds were continuously rolling in and out obstructing our view. Despite the cloudy weather, we had glimpses of the famous Himalayas behind us and were able to sneak a peak at the tip of Everest. As the light begins to cover the area and it seemed as though the sun had risen, we began considering heading back to the restaurant. Then all of a sudden a little ball of red pops out from the clouds and for 5 minutes slowly rises to its heavenly position looking over the earth. Some will get a better view than this and be able to see clearly for miles around, others won’t even get to see the suns glory. On that day though, we were lucky enough to be guests at one of Nature’s most stunning shows.
The fog quickly took over and you realise that thegrand spectacle is over. With freezing fingers and cheeks we shuffled off the mountain top and took the short drive back down to the hotel for a steaming hot buffet breakfast.
A lovely idea is to reach Nagarkot the afternoon before and this way you will get both the Sunset and the sunrise. The Club Himalya Hotel is a little piece of luxury in this natural setting with a pool, spa and spacious rooms decorated in Nepali style. There are also other hotels dotted down the hill but for the full experience, I recommend this one. It’s also possible to walk to the Tower from here.
On your way back down you will see the Nepalese Army training and it’s no wonder the Gurkha army were known as the best in the world. These guys are extremely fit. For example, running up the mountain with a fellow soldier sitting on their shoulders. Look at the picture! You have to see it to believe it.
Nagarkot is a must see when in Nepal and it can be very cheap if you drive up on the same day and come back. You can also make the most of your journey by stopping the Ancient City of Bhaktapur, one of Nepal’s 4 remaining kingdoms.
If you need a guide, contact the wonderful Shadev Panday. We met this delightful gentlemen on top of the mountain. Speaking English, Spanish and Nepali and with a deep knowledge of Nepal, he is the perfect guide.
Mob: 977 9841 348750
Sunrise is generally around 6.30am in the winter months, so make sure you are there nice and early.
VISIT NEPAL 2011. NEPAL TOURISM YEAR 2011!