Embark on a mesmerizing journey as we discover the 25 captivating places to visit near Bhaktapur, Nepal. From sacred pilgrimage sites to tranquil retreats, this article will take you on a virtual tour of the hidden gems that lie in the vicinity of Bhaktapur. Experience the rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural beauty, and spiritual significance of these destinations. Whether you are a history enthusiast, nature lover, or seeker of serenity, these places offer something unique for everyone. So, let’s dive into the wonders that await you near Bhaktapur.
1. Changu Narayan Temple: A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Explore the magnificent Changu Narayan Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Bhaktapur. This ancient temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, showcases exquisite Nepalese art and architecture. Marvel at the intricate wood carvings, stone sculptures, and the peaceful ambiance that surrounds the temple.
2. Dhulikhel: A Picturesque Hill Station
Visit Dhulikhel, a picturesque hill station located just a short distance from Bhaktapur. Surrounded by lush green hills and panoramic views of the Himalayas, Dhulikhel offers a serene escape from bustling city life. Enjoy the tranquility, take leisurely walks, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings.
3. Nagarkot: Witness Spectacular Sunrise and Sunset
Experience the breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset from Nagarkot, a popular hilltop destination near Bhaktapur. The panoramic vistas of the Himalayan range, including Mount Everest, are a sight to behold. Indulge in hiking trails, capture stunning photographs, and savor the beauty of nature at its best.
4. Namo Buddha: A Pilgrimage Site with Scenic Beauty
Namo Buddha, a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists, offers mesmerizing views of the surrounding landscapes. Legend has it that Lord Buddha, in one of his previous lives, sacrificed his body to feed a hungry tigress and her cubs at this very spot. The monastery and stupa here are significant religious sites, and the tranquility of the place will leave you spellbound.
5. Nagi Gompa: A Haven for Buddhist Nuns
Discover Nagi Gompa, a peaceful haven for Buddhist nuns located on the outskirts of Kathmandu Valley. Witness the nuns engage in their daily rituals and participate in meditation sessions. The panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley from Nagi Gompa are an added bonus.
6. Kirtipur: A Town Steeped in History
Step back in time as you explore Kirtipur, an ancient town perched on a hill near Bhaktapur. Admire impressive architectural wonders such as the Bagh Bhairav Temple and the Chilancho Stupa. Take a stroll through the narrow streets lined with traditional Newari houses and soak in the old-world charm of this historical town.
7. Budhanilkantha: The Sleeping Vishnu
Pay a visit to Budhanilkantha, a sacred site housing the magnificent stone idol of Lord Vishnu reclining on a bed of serpents. The intricate carvings and the sheer size of the idol are awe-inspiring. Explore the peaceful surroundings and experience the spiritual significance of this revered site.
8. Pharping: A Spiritual Retreat
Pharping, a spiritual retreat nestled in the hills near Bhaktapur, is home to several monasteries and holy sites. Visit the sacred caves where great Buddhist masters meditated, and feel the serene atmosphere enveloping you. Take part in meditation and discover inner peace in this spiritual haven.
9. Taudaha Lake: Tranquility Amidst Wetlands
Escape the city’s chaos and visit Taudaha Lake, a serene lake surrounded by lush greenery and wetlands. This peaceful oasis is home to a variety of migratory and resident bird species, making it a paradise for bird watchers. Take a boat ride or simply relax by the lake, enjoying the serenity of nature.
10. Phulchoki: Hiking Adventure Amidst Nature
Embark on a hiking adventure to Phulchoki, the highest hill in the Kathmandu Valley. The lush forests and diverse flora and fauna make it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers. Trek to the summit and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Himalayan range and the sprawling Kathmandu Valley.
11. Godavari: A Botanical Paradise
Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Godavari, a serene suburb of Lalitpur district. Visit the Godavari Botanical Garden, a paradise for nature lovers, boasting a diverse collection of plant species. Take a leisurely stroll through the well-maintained trails, breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at the beauty of nature.
12. Bungamati: A Quaint Newari Village
Explore Bungamati, a traditional Newari village near Bhaktapur, and get a glimpse into the traditional way of life. Admire the intricate wood carving and pottery traditions passed down through generations. Visit the Rato Machhindranath Temple and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Newar community.
13. Suryavinayak: Seek Blessings at the Sacred Temple
Seek blessings at Suryavinayak, a sacred site near Bhaktapur dedicated to Lord Ganesh. The temple, located on a hilltop, offers panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley. Experience the peaceful surroundings and spiritual vibes, making Suryavinayak a must-visit place for devotees and tourists alike.
14. Lubhu: A Tranquil Escape
Escape to Lubhu, a peaceful village near Bhaktapur, and indulge in the tranquility of nature. Surrounded by lush green hills, Lubhu offers a serene environment for relaxation and rejuvenation. Take a leisurely walk through the terraced fields, visit local monasteries, and interact with the warm and friendly villagers.
15. Balthali: Nature’s Beauty Meets Cultural Heritage
Discover the picturesque village of Balthali, nestled in the Mahabharat Range. Balthali is known for its natural beauty, terraced rice fields, dense forests, and traditional Newari settlements. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature, go for a hike to nearby viewpoints, or engage in cultural activities with the locals.
16. Shankha Park: A Relaxing Retreat
Unwind at Shankha Park, a serene and well-maintained park offering a peaceful retreat. Enjoy lush green gardens, a large pond, and beautifully landscaped surroundings. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll, a picnic with family and friends, or simply a moment of relaxation, Shankha Park provides a serene ambiance for all.
17. Siddha Gufa: Exploring Mystical Caves
Embark on an adventure to Siddha Gufa, one of the largest caves in Nepal. Traverse the dark and winding passages adorned with mesmerizing stalactites and stalagmites. The mystical atmosphere and the sense of exploration make Siddha Gufa an exciting destination for spelunking enthusiasts.
18. Kali Temple: Embrace Spiritual Vibes
Visit the Kali Temple, a sacred Hindu shrine dedicated to Goddess Kali. Located in the heart of Bhaktapur, the temple attracts devotees seeking blessings and spiritual solace. Experience the vibrant energy and immerse yourself in the religious fervor surrounding this ancient temple.
19. Bagmati River: A Sacred Waterway
Explore the sacred Bagmati River, flowing through the Kathmandu Valley. This holy river holds great significance in Hinduism, and its banks are dotted with temples and cremation ghats. Take a peaceful stroll along the river, witness religious ceremonies, and observe the cultural practices associated with the river.
20. Dakshinkali Temple: A Shrine to the Goddess Kali
Pay homage to Goddess Kali at the Dakshinkali Temple, a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site near Bhaktapur. This ancient temple, dedicated to the fierce form of Goddess Kali, attracts devotees from far and wide. Witness traditional rituals and immerse yourself in the spiritual aura of this revered temple.
21. The Last Resort: Thrilling Adventures Await
For adrenaline junkies, The Last Resort is the ultimate destination. Located on the Bhote Koshi River, this adventure resort offers thrilling activities like bungee jumping, canyon swing, and white-water rafting. Experience the exhilaration of these adventurous pursuits amidst the breathtaking natural beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
22. Dhulikhel Hospital: Medical Volunteering Experience
Make a difference by volunteering at Dhulikhel Hospital, a renowned medical institution serving the community. Engage in meaningful work, gain valuable experience, and contribute to the welfare of the local people. This volunteering opportunity allows you to combine service with exploration.
23. Indrayani Temple: A Spiritual Retreat
Seek spiritual solace at the Indrayani Temple, a serene retreat nestled in the hills near Bhaktapur. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Indrayani, and its peaceful ambiance provides a perfect setting for meditation and introspection. Experience the serenity and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.
24. Banepa: Exploring Newari Culture
Immerse yourself in the vibrant Newari culture as you explore Banepa, a historic town near Bhaktapur. Admire the traditional architecture, visit ancient temples, and savor authentic Newari cuisine. The town’s rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality make it a delightful destination for cultural enthusiasts.
25. Kavrepalanchok: Gateway to Natural Splendors
Discover the natural splendors of Kavrepalanchok, a district known for its scenic beauty. From lush forests to cascading waterfalls, this region offers an abundance of natural wonders to explore. Engage in outdoor activities like hiking, bird-watching, and photography, and immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of Kavrepalanchok.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. How far is Nagarkot from Bhaktapur?
Nagarkot is approximately 20 kilometers away from Bhaktapur. It takes around one hour by road to reach Nagarkot from Bhaktapur.
2. Are there any accommodation options in Dhulikhel?
Yes, Dhulikhel offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, resorts, and guesthouses. You can choose from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts, depending on your preferences.
3. What is the best time to visit Bhaktapur and its nearby places?
The best time to visit Bhaktapur and its nearby places is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. The weather during these months is pleasant, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures.
4. Is photography allowed inside Changu Narayan Temple?
Yes, photography is allowed inside Changu Narayan Temple. However, it is advisable to be respectful of the religious significance of the temple and avoid any disruptive behavior while capturing photographs.
5. How can I reach Godavari Botanical Garden?
Godavari Botanical Garden is located approximately 14 kilometers away from Bhaktapur. You can hire a taxi or take a local bus from Bhaktapur to reach the garden. The journey takes around 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions.
6. Are there any entry fees for Siddha Gufa?
Yes, there is an entry fee for visiting Siddha Gufa. The fee contributes to the maintenance and preservation of the cave. The exact fee may vary, so it’s recommended to check the current rates before your visit.
The 25 places to visit near Bhaktapur offer a diverse range of experiences, from spiritual enlightenment to thrilling adventures and cultural exploration. Each destination has its unique charm and significance, inviting you to embark on an unforgettable journey. Whether you seek tranquility, natural beauty, or a deeper connection with spirituality, these hidden gems will leave you mesmerized. Plan your trip, pack your bags, and get ready to explore the wonders that await you near Bhaktapur.