Chandragiri is a hill in the western part of the Kathmandu. High above, seven kilometers from Thankot, in an isolated location, which now has a ton of exciting additions. With the temple, it’s now complete with restaurant looking to the mountains, children’s park for the kids to play, conference hall and plenty of places to roam about. Cable car is available to take you directly to the top of the hill with a small fee. But we are taking the hiking route through the eastern side of the hill.
For the hike, we decided to start from Matatirtha bus station. You can take a bus that has the last stop here at “Sahidgate”. The buses in the route are mainly named “Janata Yatayat” and arrive in approximately 15-minute duration at sahidgate.
As soon as you get off the bus, you will see the “dhunge dharas” (stone taps) right above the ground. The bus stops at the junction of three roads, one goes right to thankot, left one goes to kirtipur. You have to take the high road. Keep walking up through the road till you reach a construction site. It is a construction of armed police training facility. As you walk through, you will have the construction site on your left. Then you will find a pitched road ahead that goes up the hill. This path doesn’t last long, and after about 10 minutes you will have to take a forest trail.
This trail is going to take you right up to the top of the hill. The trail is filled with shade and most of the time you will see nothing else other that the trees. Once you reach an open area, however, you will see the huge mountains with Kathmandu valley at the bottom to the south. You will have to cross 2 roads and find the trail through the forest. We heard the locals say the roads will take you up on the hill, but it will take a lot of time than the trail itself. Plus the roads are dusty. The trail is small, and you’ll have to walk in a single file. When someone arrives from the opposite direction, you will have to stop and find a way to negotiate how this exchange will go through (not really).
On the top of the trail, you will find a small village, by this time you will be seeing a lot of hills down the south. You will also see abandoned rope way station that used to bring resources from Hetauda. We hear that this would bring food and other resources much faster than the current roads. And using electricity it would be cheaper as well. And yes our country abandons easier and faster routes for the giggles.
Once you’re at this spot, you will have to find stairs to the west. This is the last path to Chandragiri hill. The stairs continue halfway, but it was incredible to me that people had made this so long ago. After the trail ends, you will find the construction site. This construction is building rock walls around the Chandragiri establishment. We had to find my way around the construction site at the edge of the wall. It is not sure that it will block the trail but is a possibility. As a private establishment with a lot of investment, they might be trying to block off hikers who get in for free.
Once you’ve found your way in you will get to enjoy the beautiful view of the snow top mountains to the south. It will also replenish your energy and refresh you. And once you’re at the top, you can enjoy roaming around, sitting on the fake grass and if you are hungry, the restaurant is available west of the temple. We were expecting the food to be very expensive, but it was reasonable.
And you will have to find your way back through the same trail. We are unsure about the availability of one-way ticket to the base of the hill. We are going again soon and will make sure to ask about it.