If you are headed to Kathmandu for a long weekend and want to see as much as possible in a short time then you should seriously consider heading to a resort like the new Chandragiri Hills Cable Car in Kathmandu Valley.
This is part of a drive by Nepali Tourism to create “Destination Attractions” in which you can take part in multiple activities all in the same location. Not only does Chandragiri Hills Ltd offer a World class (Built by Dopplemeyer of Austria) Cable Car ride over a 2.5 kilometre, 12 minute ascent starting from 1500 m elevation up to 2551m but they are also building a 5 star Hotel at the summit (due to open in January 2018) and a Zipline Adventure Park (due to open in June 2018) with 2 x 900 meter ziplines reaching speeds of 70km/hr!
For the religious or cultural travelers there is the beautiful Bhaleshwor temple located at the top of the ridge where it is said that the forehead of Lord Shiva’s first wife is buried. There is also a statue of the first King who United Nepal. Historically this is where King Prithviya Narayan is said to have seen Kathmandu valley for the first time and proclaimed that; “I will make this the Capital of our new country, Nepal.”
For those wanting a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas no location above Kathmandu valley can rival the views of the whole range, from the Annapurna’s through to Everest and beyond, that is visible from the top station of the Cable Car.
For children there are a variety of playgrounds and fun activities like horse riding and for wildlife lovers there are several forest footpaths and nature trails as well as a Natural History Museum in development for 2018. The area around the Resort is known for; Leopard, Martens, Civets, Deer, Birds and Wild Boar and the Resort has a Natural History program in which they are actively photographing the different species for a diversity study.
The Cable car bottom station is just a 16km journey from the center of Kathmandu or 7km from the Ring road around Kathmandu, easily accessible by taxi, hire car or a free Chandragiri Hills bus service from the ring road and the Cable Car up and down is priced according to different regions:
• $22 – Western Foreigners
• $15 – Chinese
• $10 – SAARC Countries
• 700 NPR – Local Nepali
*Discounts are also available for students, disabled and senior citizens.
The Resort is spread over a top and bottom station with several outlets for souvenir shopping, snacks and restaurants including a Himalayan Java cafe at the bottom station. There is a reasonably priced Nepali Dhal (Lentils / Curry) Bhat (Rice) buffet at the top station for just $5 per person. The top station also has the highest bar in Kathmandu (2520m) and the various restaurants serve food grown organically in and around the resort.
There is a view tower at the top station and the resort has just been granted a license for paragliding down into the Chitlang valley that lies behind the ridge. If you don’t want to fly down then you can bring a mountain bike (easily for hire in Kathmandu) and ride down instead!
If you want to check out the resort online before visiting then have a look at these two video links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDxDRsPAEO0 – Chandragiri Hills Nepal TV Advert
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLAC8EVVaP8 – YouTube video of Chandragiri Hills ■
Words + Photos by: Dan Wright