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Chandragiri – Champa Devi – Hattiban Resort / day hike

Posted on Jan 12, 2017 by NepalTravel under Hiking

Tags: chandragiri,champadevi, hattiban, Hiking

We reached the bottom of Chandragiri cable car at 9am. Even from here the views are nice on the Himalayas and we saw Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and Langtang ranges from the station ground. There was almost nobody so we didn’t wait to get the tickets. For a round trip (going up and down) rates are 700 NRS for Nepali, 700 INR for SAARC countries and 22 US$ for foreigners. We were planning to hike down to Pharping from the top, so we bought only a one way ticket. For one way, rates are 415 NRS for Nepali, 415 INR for SAARC countries and 13 US$ for foreigners. Note that the place is disabled friendly for wheelchair.

There was absolutely no queue to board the cabin so we just jumped in and enjoy the way up. In one cabin, eight people can fit. The ride is splendid! While going up for about ten minutes, we enjoyed the views over Himalayas, Kathmandu and the hills surrounding the city.

We were at the top at 9:30am.There is a nice place to take photos, benches to rest and panorama board to explain which mountains you are able to see from here. Close by restrooms are available and small shops to buy biscuits, noodles, water, juices… Hike little up and you reach Bhaleshwara Mahadev Mandir, a two-storey temple where you can worship and enter for offerings. Close by is an amphitheater made from grass and a restaurant with view tower. Continue the hike further down and cross two children playground. Finally you reach a second restaurant. We were disappointed because the place has opened at 8am in the morning and two hours later restaurants were not able to serve anything, not even a cup of tea. On top of that, the staff was not friendly at all!

Finally we started our hike at 10am heading down in direction of the future hotel under construction (2500m) on east side of the cable car station. From here the trail is easy, going down through a forest before reaching stairs. At the bottom comes Chakhel Deurali (2200m). From the cable car it takes less than one hour to reach the place. Here stand 4-5 houses with local people. We finally got our cup of tea at a local tea shop. The main attraction of this village is the ropeway which is now not working but which used to carry loads from Hetauda to Teku when there was no road connected to Kathmandu.

From Chakhel Deurali, you can descend on Kathmandu side to the north, or on Chakhel side to the south. We followed our way straight to the east on the trail, frozen at some time (come on, it’s December 30th!). The hike is really clean, peaceful and quiet then. You walk on the crest and can enjoy all the way, the views surrounding you, especially the great Himalayas. After another hour or so is an opened ground (2300m) with a local restaurant (they also provide beds, but very basic!). By chance it was opened and we had another cup of tea. If you want to check in advance if it is opened or not, here are mobile numbers of the owner: 9741332611 / 9840023765. From that place you can come down to Machhegaon, Kirtipur from the trail to the north. We headed to our next destination, Champa Devi, by the path along the restaurant.

From here the trail goes up to the top of Simpani Danda (2400m). At the back, look at all the way you already walked from the cable car station. In front of you the hill of Champa Devi, covered by jungle. Then the path goes steep down on rocky steps and finally up to reach the top of Champa Devi and its temple (and the soooo dirty place around). From the last cup of tea, it takes 1h30 to 2hours walking time.

After having our packed lunch (and carrying our rubbish down with us!), we continue our way down on a nice trail all along the Taukhani Danda until Hattiban pine forest and the Hattiban Resort (1750m), 1h15-1h30 from Champa Devi top. We had our third and last cup of tea of the day before making our final way down the highway (20-30minutes) from where we caught a bus back to Kathmandu.

With a maximum of 6 hours walking, we climbed up 485m and 1410m down. A great day with fresh air!

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