Kathmandu, with each passing day, is turning into a dustbowl. Not just the pollution but with the crowd and the traffic and the fast-paced life and the day to day works, sometimes one starts wondering about an escape from this city. With family and friends, and basically bumping into people we know the time and again, one long for a getaway. But getting a getaway from Kathmandu is tough. The nearest popular destinations are both around 4-5 hours drive away. Oh yes Pokhara and Chitwan, we are looking at you. But don’t worry, in this article, we bring you lists of places you can go for a quick weekend trip so that you can unwind without worrying about the distance.
Around an hour or so away from Kathmandu, Banepa is a small Newar town just in Kavrepalanchowk. A historical town in its own sense, Banepa is known as Bhonta in Newar language, as it was one of the routes to Tibet. According to legends, King Ananda Dev Malla founded seven cities after receiving various favors and directions from Goddess Chandeswori, and among these cities is Banepa.
Chandeshwori Temple is one of the highlights of Banepa in the old town. The mural of Bhairav in the back of the temple is not to be missed. You can also check out the nearby town like Nala, Sanga, Dhulikhel and even Panauti, through hiking.
Where to Stay: Banepa Stay
Nuwakot is a paradise if you love hills, it is after all known as the city of nine hills. Also a historic town, this place was a capital of Gorkha Empire before King Prithivi Narayan Shah conquered Kathmandu Valley and shifted the capital to Kathmandu. Before Prithivi Narayan Shah, the place was one of the trade routes for India-Tibet trade, looked over by the Newars of the valley, making it one of the important trade hubs.
The Nuwakot Durbar, built by Prithivi Narayan Shah is one of the sites to see in Nuwakot. You can also hike around the town, walking up and down the hill. The Nuwakot Bhairabi and Taleju Temple are also one of the important temples in the town.
Where to Stay: Famous Farm
Kulekhani, situated in Makwanpur District, is home to Indra Sarovar, a reservoir for Kulekhani Hydropower Projects. Perfect for a relaxing weekend, this place is the one for you if all you want to do is chill. Roaming around the reservoir, boating around and fishing are few of the activities you can do here. This place is also ideal for those who miss the lake city but can’t afford to travel for more than a day or two.
On the other hand, you can also visit nearby Newar bazaars of Chitlang, Chaimale, and Markhu, if you want to explore more. These villages, along with Kulekhani, are also excellent places for bird watching and hiking.
Where to Stay: Local hotels in Markhu and Chitlang are recommended.
Bhotekoshi and Sunkoshi
Bhotekoshi and SunKoshi rivers are part of the Koshi River basins, known for their whitewater currents. Both of them are popular destinations for people who love aquatic adventures. From rafting and kayaking to canoeing and bungee, the bank of this river has various adventure spots and resorts.
Besides the river based sports, you can also hike around the forest towards the small villages surrounding the places you are staying. The resorts are also perfect for team building activities with your friends and colleagues and are popular destinations for office retreats.
Where To Stay: The Last Resort or Sukute Beach Resort.
You might have passed by Malekhu each time you have gone for a trip towards western Nepal. You might also have taken a break or two in this small settlement during those trips, for snacks or just to stretch your legs. Located on the bank of Trishuli river, Malekhu is a popular destination for water-based adventure sports like rafting and kayaking as well as for the famous Malekhu ko Machha, the fishes from this area. You can also go hike around the villages and settlements or just play on the beach with your friends. Malekhu is situated around two hours drive from Kathmandu.
Where To Stay: Camp out at the river bank.