Day Trips: Cycling in Kathmandu

Nepal is a country that offers unparalleled adventure options with abundance in flora and fauna. The rich tapestry of the cultural heritage of Nepal is synthesized in the Kathmandu valley, the living museum of Nepali civilization and culture.

Embark on a bicycling tour to explore the city with exquisite treats along the way that will keep you mesmerized. It gives you an exhilarating view of Nepal’s varied landscape and culture.

Distance: 45km approx.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 5-6 hours

Starting from your hotel, you head south of Kathmandu Valley towards Chovar.

Chovar is a small town on a hilltop, 8 km southwest of the Kathmandu City. Chovar is famous for its gorge – carved out of a hillside; it is the only water outlet in the Kathmandu valley. Legend has it that the Kathmandu valley was once a primordial lake ringed by verdant mountains. In this pristine lake lived giant serpents until one fine day, Saint Manjushree, the Bodhisatva, raised a mighty sword and in one slash, cut open the side of a mountain at this very place. The voluminous waters of the lake gushed out, leaving behind a fertile valley.

There is a small but picturesque temple of Adinath on the top of the hill with a magnificent view of the snow capped peaks. Just beyond the gorge is a temple of lord Ganesh. The main image of the shrine is a massive rock, naturally carved.

After descending on to a short single track section is a very spectacular suspension bridge which takes you to the traditional Newari town of Khokana.

Khokana is a small Newari village located about 8 km from the Kathmandu city. A village of its own, Khokana is unique in many ways. Khokana has its own history and over the years it is less affected by modern civilization and has managed to retain its own culture and tradition. The village is famous for its unusual mustard-oil harvesting process which till date is done in a traditional way using a heavy wooden beam to crush the mustard seeds in order to extract the oil. This oil is rich in therapeutic benefits.

Khokana is the first habitation to be electrified, even before the Kathmandu city. Nominated to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khokana represents itself as a vernacular village and for its industrial heritage of mustard-oil seed.

The village has suffered huge loss from the April 2015 earthquake and damaged properties are currently being restored.

From here, you get to Tika Bhairab via an easy paved track. Tika Bhairab is the southernmost point in our route. From here our trail forks north towards the old town of Chapagaun and heads back to the city.

Distance: 40km approx.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 6 hours

This route explores the northwestern rim of the Kathmandu Valley. You start from Balaju and head northwest towards Mudkhu which is a gentle uphill of about 4 km on a paved highway. Mudkhu is a famous tea stop where you can meet and chat with other cyclists. From Mudhku a combination of jeep track and single track takes you to Teenpiple from where a jeep track descends back into the valley towards Tokha. This section will have beautiful views of the valley as well as gives you the taste of rural lifestyles and Nepalese style farming. Tokha is an old town in the Northern edge of the valley. Another hour of cycling along the base of the Northern hills of Shivapuri takes you to Budhanilkantha.

After a relaxing lunch break at a hotel, ride back to the city is a fun downhill experience.

Distance: 40 km approx.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 6 hours

Changu Narayan is the highlight of this ride which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is an easy ride via paved roads and jeep tracks that take you into the quiet country side. You start at your hotel in Kathmandu and head east via Sano Thimi where you will have ample views of farmlands and traditional Newari houses. Gentle downhill trials and single tracks take you to another ancient Newari settlement of Sankhu where lunch is served. After some rest time we head towards the city. On our way back we will stop at the famous Boudhanath Stupa which is recently renovated.

Distance: 65km approx.
Difficulty: Moderate
Duration: 8 hours

Nagarkot is a hill station towards the east side of Kathmandu. The route goes past the old city of Bhaktapur where we will have a short guided tour. The newly constructed highway starts at Kamal Vinayak where it climbs up hill on a paved road. Good views of the valley and the cooling effect of the lush green pine forests on the way is worth the climb. Our cycling trail offshoots from the main highway into a mix of single tracks and back country roads. Once we reach the top at 2195m you are at one of the highest points around the valley rim. The road down is paved and steep at times. We will stop at Bhaktapur for lunch and a short cycle city tour before we head back to Kathmandu.



Destination Nepal
Trip Duration 1 Day
Arrival In Kathmandu
Departure From Kathmandu
Meals Lunch
Best Season September – April
Activity Cycling
Grade Easy  – Moderate