Chitlang, a suburb is a border juncture from the ancient period for getting access to Kathmandu city from flat terai land when there were no roadways connections. It is one of the nearest and shortest hiking routes from Kathmandu valley offers a glorious view of Mt. Lakpa Dorje, Jugal and various mountains range as a picture-perfect background for your photograph. It often takes you to different times of yore as you enter there; you start getting rural vibes, some destructed remnants of beautiful old archival traditional houses amid massive earthquakes, monuments, temples, stone spout, arts and structure resides you in nostalgia. The place which carries historical significance has always been the prior choice for short hike especially for those who do not have sufficient time because Chitlang for a day has a lot to offer you. Though it’s nearby city area yet resources and settlements are still untouched and is situated in the southwestern side of Kathmandu likewise some parts of the Chitlang valley also lies in Makawanpur district. Continuous flowing stream along roadside maintaining natural irrigation facilities and fertile land of that place added prolific vegetation and cultivation of fresh organic vegetables which precisely reminds us of being an agrarian country.
The journey is initiated by walking Stone steps from Thankot godam. Subsequently, after covering certain paths there are two distinctive ways, preference is all yours, either you may choose a bumpy under constructed motor road or for a shortcut you may skip roadside and start walking steep uphills of jungle trails.It would take around 2-3 hrs considering the pace of hikers to reach chandragiri pass.
Hikers have options whether to hike nearly the whole day which may take around 6-7 hrs to reach Chitlang valley or 9 minutes cable car ride from thankot on the ridge of chandragiri Vhaleswor temple and walk from temple to chitlang valley will be around 2 hrs.
You will be picked up from your respective hotels around 7: 30 am. The Hikers will be taken to Thankot (Godam) and for cable car rides we can manage pre-booking facilities but it will cost you some extra amount.
Going through the Chitlang valley, hikers will be visiting Chandragiri Vhaleswor temple (2,551m) which takes around 20 minutes through a stairway walk where one can see the panoramic view of Kathmandu valley and astonishing himalayan ranges of Mt.Annapurna and Mt Everest if weather is clear. As the visitors might have an empty tummy till the time, you can enjoy the packed lunch or well facilitated, clean and hygienic eatery are also available. After the Chandragiri temple tour, we will start our journey directly towards Chitlang valley which may take around 2-3 hrs. There are several homestays and resorts where you can keep your belongings and go for a tour of Chitlang valley.
As the route has a muddy path with steep uphills and slippery grasslands, it is recommended to travel from the month of November to March as these months rarely have rainfall. However people hike at any time considering the weather.
Adventurous walk in a forest trail itself is very enjoyable, except that hikers can sit and enjoy foods and beverages in a forest grassland but make sure not to leave the remaining of your food package and plastic in the jungle. You can also take portable Bluetooth speakers so that you can enjoy melodious music while walking. The hikers can enjoy observing the lifestyle of Nepalese people in village areas, Rural livelihood and technology, art sculptures, Green serene environment during the journey.
Going through the journey of 2 days hiking it takes around 6-7 hours to reach Chitlang valley and the next day’s walk to Markhu from Chitlang is about 2 hours and then returning back to Kathmandu.
It is strongly recommended to carry water and also you can bring some snacks because at the beginning of a journey we can rarely find retail shops.
Hotels are available in Markhu, Kulekhani too but we recommend you to spend a night in Chitlang (Resorts / Homestays) and lunch in Markhu the next day would be perfect. Thus, a hiker also has an option to book a hotel for one night with all the necessary accommodations.
There are certain places where fees are charged and some are included in the package but it’s always a good idea to carry some extra amount. Also, hikers who want to go by cable car ride need to pay some more extra rupees.
One needs to carry enough water and food for themselves, as there are very few retail shops nearby. It is also better to take a guide with you in order to be aware of the routes and interesting insights. You should wear proper hiking boots, which have a proper grip on it and also need to be aware of walking alone during evening time because Chitlang’s jungle is home for Leopards.