With the onset of Dashain, the air within the city of Kathmandu has started changing colors.
The streets are overcrowded with masses of people going in and out of every other shop in search of perfect new outfits to flaunt during the Tika, the markets are getting busier selling supplies for the feasts that are pending due to Dashain and the households are busy in their annual scrubbing schedules to welcome the Goddess Durga with clean houses. Brand new cars and motors are rolling off onto the roads from the showrooms while the kids have started running or bicycling in their alleys and the skies are slowly seeing an increase in the number of colorful dots under the Sun.
As the schools and offices are switching from work mode to vacation mode, a majority of the city is also making arrangements to leave for home to celebrate Dashain with their families back in the cities or villages that they hail from. When Dashain actually sets in from the day of Phulpati (Saptami), we can expect the roads to be emptier than it has been during the rest of the year. The air is going to be just a tad bit fresher and we will be able to occasionally spot bunches of kids running through the streets rolling spare tires with sticks.
The mostly rented houses in Kathmandu will be locked up and a certain kind of silence will set in the hearts of Kathmandu dwellers as we watch our friends leaving for their homes. Deep in our hearts, we will envy our friends who are leaving the city as we too wish to get away from the familiar scenery of Kathmandu and experience a getaway with our families or loved ones.
Even if we might not have time or the energy to follow our city-leaving counterparts and go on long trips to celebrate Dashain, we still have a few travel options near the Kathmandu area that will let us enjoy Dashain with our families through a short trip or getaway to these beautiful places.
So if you are looking into leaving the city during this Dashain with your family members or friends to see the greener and more naturalistic side of Nepal without travelling very far, the following five destinations are the perfect spots for you to go. Check them out:
The first destination on our list is the beautiful traditional village of Bandipur. Lying somewhere on the Prithvi Highway between Kathmandu and Pokhara, the village flaunts its authentic Newari culture through its infrastructure as well as the way of living practiced there. At a height of 1030 m, it is a natural tower that provides a panoramic view of the mountain ranges of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu.
You can drive to the destination with your family members or can hike/bicycle through the trails. It’s a four and a half hour drive from Kathmandu. Bandipur provides a spectacular experience of visiting the unaltered landscapes, caves and of course, the history and culture of the settlement. Also known for adventure sports such as paragliding, rock climbing, caving, hiking and rafting, it is the most recommended nearby travel spot that will help you relax from the stress built up and enjoy Dashain with your family quite peacefully this year.
The tourist attraction and marketplace of Makwanpur District lying 77km southwest of Kathmandu, Daman is another destination on our list of places for a quick getaway with family. You can get to Daman by a four hour ride to enjoy the most breathtaking scene of the mountain ranges of Nepal from its view tower and experience the local lifestyle of the village.
At an altitude of 2400 m on the Tribhuwan Highway, Daman is known to provide one of the greatest views of the mountains from Mt. Dhaulagiri in the West to Mt. Everest in the East. Telescopes have been fitted on its view tower for a closer experience of the mountainous beauty of Nepal. A Tibetan monastery and a temple is located at about a 30-minute walk through the trails. Activities available in Daman are hiking, bicycling, fishing trip to Kulekhani and rock climbing which might help you refresh your mind and body through some exercise this holiday season.
One of the most beautiful hill stations in a close proximity of 28 km from Kathmandu, Kakani makes for the best day trip plans with family or friends. The uphill road to Kakani from Balaju can be covered by either cycling or an hour bike trip. The village, at an altitude of 2073 m, shows you the best views of mountain ranges starting from Mt. Annapurna to Mt. Everest, with Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Gaurishankar, Dorje Lekpa and Shishapangma in between.
Among the various adventures available in this peaceful village, one of the most popular and sought after adventures is its trout fishing activities. There are various restaurants situated in the area that allow customers to fish for their own food from ponds, which are then cooked and served by the finest chefs you can find there. Along with this, you will also be able to catch a glimpse of the Tamang ethnic community settled in that side of the Kathmandu valley rim. And, all this within a single day of your vacation such that you can come back home for the much needed rest you deserve from all the fun you had in Kakani.
Boasting the name of the highest hill in the south of Kathmandu, Phulchowki is a one day hiking destination from Godavari for families that have more adventurous members by their side. At a height of 2782 m, Phulchowki is a sight known for bird watching with over 250 species of birds inhabiting the area. Certain wild animals such as barking deer, leopard or bears are also said to be present in the dense forests surrounding the trail.
With the total hiking hours of 7.5 hours for both ways, Phulchowki will test your patience as well as strength and will then let you experience the most blissful panoramic view of the Kathmandu city amidst its flag laden hill top. This destination would be perfect for a group of cousins looking to spend a day in the woods making memories during this Dashain.
20 km from the Kathmandu Valley and past the Bhaktapur city, Sanga is the home to Kailashnath Mahadev Statue, which is claimed to be the tallest statue of Lord Shiva in the world. If looked at closely, you can find an imprint of Lord Buddha’s face on the chest of the statue which reflects upon the co-existence of diverse religions in the country.
During your visit to Sanga, you will be able to enjoy the leisure provided by several resorts that are located in and around the Sanga statue complex. This destination is the best option if you have kids along with you. The complex also has a children’s’ park which will keep the children engaged throughout the trip. Facilities of spa, steam and sauna bath are also available to help you soothe your body and mind during this Dashain vacation.
There are no official entrance fees for the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue but if you enter the area through Hilltake Spa and Resort, which is an easier route, you will be charged NPR 100/-.You can take a short taxi ride from Bhaktapur to Sanga or catch a bus from Kathmandu’s Ratna Bus Park.