A Refreshing Interlude

Features Issue 211 Jun, 2019
Text by Ishaan Rijal

As the weather gets hotter and hotter each day, everyone’s looking for a way to stay cool. One great suggestion is the Chandragiri Hills—its close by the valley, and as the temperature is generally cooler there, it’s a great way to beat the heat. The travel time is not too long, about two hours by car if the traffic is light. For those who do not have a car, or prefer not to drive, shuttle buses are available from four different locations, the Bhatbhateni outlets in Balaju, Maharajgunj, Koteshwor, and Kalanki. The bus drops guests off at the entrance of the cable car. This is perfect, as people can go up, spend the day, and then come back home in the evening.

I was lucky enough to take a trip there recently: it was my first time in the Chandragiri Hills, and I also spent a night in the resort up there. The main attractions in Chandragiri are the cable cars and the spectacular view of the mountain ranges. From the spot where you get off the cable car, you can see the Sagarmatha, Manaslu, Gaurishankar, Annapurna, and Ganesh Himal ranges. I was extremely blessed, as the day I got there, the weather was super pleasant. The mountain ranges were spectacular, and I believe it is something everyone should see. Along with these ranges, you can also get get a panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley.

There’s also a bar up there called “bar@2520,” so named because 2025 m is the bar’s altitude. It has a balcony, which is a perfect place to enjoy a drink with great views of the mountain ranges, as well as the panoramic view of the valley. As you walk higher up, you come across Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple. This is an upcoming popular spot for the people of the valley—Chandragiri now gets approximately 2500 visitors per weekday, a figure that goes up to 3000-4000 on the weekends. Next to the temple, there is also a statue of Prithvi Varayan Shah, placed in the same spot where he got his first glimpse of the prosperous Kathmandu Valley and made up his mind to annex it into his kingdom. Since it was my first time up there, it was a great occasion to see this aspect of Nepali history in action, so to speak.

Near the temple, there’s also a fine dining restaurant with a viewing tower at the top. Although one has to pay to go up the viewing tower, it is worth the money: from there, you can see some truly amazing vistas of the Kathmandu valley and the previously mentioned mountain ranges.

However, my experience in the resort was something else. The fact that they had a 5-star resort so high up was a completely new concept to me—it’s really a great option for anyone looking to get out of the city for the weekend and spend some nice quality time up in the hills. The weather up there is cool, and since the resort has multiple open spaces, you feel the great fresh breezes hitting your face. The way they have arranged the rooms is pretty cool: they have four room blocks, which are named after mountain ranges: Sagarmatha, Manaslu, Gaurishankar, and Ganesh Himal.

Each room has its own balcony, which was a part of the rooms I really loved. Standing at the balcony, I was able to witness the amazing view of the cable cars going up and down the Chandragiri Hills. There’s also a swimming pool, which is located towards the end of the resort, so guests can see the hills on one side and Kathmandu Valley from the other side. The resort also has an all-day restaurant and coffee shop, which serves a tasty selection of Nepali, Indian, and continental cuisine.

The resort is new and not fully completed, and they have many other facilities in store for visitors: tennis courts, banquet halls, bar, and boardroom.

Overall, I had a great time at the resort. Although it was just for one night, the feeling of being outside the valley was spectacular. Being up there, I got to enjoy some fresh air, as well as a nice cool breeze. It’s a short trip that I would suggest for anyone who is trying to get out of the valley, whether for a day trip or a weekend, and return refreshed and relaxed.