Are you interested in traveling near Kathmandu? Do you want to take a short trek/boating or a tour without leaving a large schedule in your daily life? Then, Chitlang Hiking and boating is the best tour for you.
Chitlang is a famous place for tourism, nature and Nepalese history.
Chitlang is a suburb and a border hub to access Kathmandu city from flat land since ancient times when there was no road connection. Chitlang Hike is one of the closest and shortest trekking routes from the Kathmandu Valley and offers spectacular views of Lakpa Dorje, Mt.Jugal and various mountain ranges as the perfect backdrop for your photos.
When you enter there, it often takes you to another time. You start to soak up the countryside atmosphere and feel nostalgic with the beautiful old archived ruins of traditional houses surrounded by big hills, monuments, temples, rock outcrops, art and architecture. A place of historical importance has always been a great option, especially for those who are short on time, as it is a short trek,and in Chitlang there is so much to see in one day. Although close to the city, resources and settlements remain untouched. It is located on the southwest side of Kathmandu and some part of the Chitlang Valley is also located in the Makawanpur district. The natural irrigation system and streams that keep flowing along the roadsides that maintain the fertile land of this place add to the fertile vegetation and the cultivation of fresh organic vegetables, reminding us that it is truly an agricultural area with beautiful sites to visit.
Best Attraction of Chitlang
If we were to talk about the most famous or the best of the best you may see in Chitlang, it includes many different types of places. The small place has a bunch of places to visit that goes from-religious, natural and man-made beauty.
If you were to visit Chitlang, here are the list of the best that you will be highly recommended to visit:
“Majhagau” especially (Ashoka chaitya)
Swachchhanda Vairav Temple
Satdhaea (sat dhara)
“Majhagau” especially (Ashoka chaitya)
“Majhagau” also known as Ashoka Chaitya was built for the Newari people and their culture.This “Majhagau” built during the period of Ashoka, the great emperor of India. It is said that since the location of the Ashoka Chaitya was built in this place, the village was known as Chaitya which today is known as Chitlang.
The Ashoka Chaitya is very similar to the structure of Swayambhu in Kathmandu. Expert believe that we cannot claim the age of “Majhagau” without a full excavation. Though, they have already found that there used to be a buddhist monastary and pilgrimage in this place. Further information may need more research.
Swachchhanda Vairav Temple/Swachchhanda Bhairavnath Jatra.
Many local people in Chitlang believe that Swachchhanda Bhairav is the patron deity of Chitlang. Swachchhandra Vairav is one of the incarnation of Lord Shiva. The locals are full of respect to this deity.
According to locals every year, the locals organize the the Swachchhanda Bhairavnath Jatra.
The night before the Kojagrat Purnima, the priest and the member of the respected Guthi, hold a musical procession with the idol of Lord Vairav around Chitlang and to the Bhairavthan temple at Majhgaun and perform a special puja. The puja is done by Manandhars and sacrifices are done by the Deula community.
The Bhairav statue are again taken out of the temple around Chitlang and the house of local Shyam Balami for the year. In the end of the Jatra, the Kartik Naach is performed.
Satdhara is also known as sat dhara or Seven Tap. It is well known to resemble seven taps on stone. The Satdhara is one of the trekking routes in Chitlang. Though, it only belongs to a short trek.
Goat Cheese Factory
Goat Cheese Factory is the first of its kind in Nepal. It started with the support of La Maison des Himalayas,Institut D’Hazebrouck and Heifer International, France.
It’s production started with both soft and hard cheese. Currently sold in many 5 star hotels in Nepal. Also provide many classes about cheesemaking. There is also a homestay right next to the Goat Cheese Factory. Also, a belgium filmmaker team have also made a a documentary film on the Goat Cheese factory at Chitlang Visited by israel and french ambassador.
If you want to go for Chitlang Hiking, here are the list of the best places that you will be highly recommended to visit
Chitlang Via Chandragiri Hills
Chitlang Hiking Via Chandragiri Hills is one of the routes of Chitlang which can proceed through hiking. If you may not want a long hike you can also go through Chandragiri Cable Car.
While on hike you can also visit the Chandragiri Temple. The Chandragiri Temple in Chandragiri Hills are one of Nepal’s famous tourist spots near Kathmandu. It is famous for their natural beauty and also one of the famous spots of snowfall near Kathmandu.
The temple of Chandragiri worships the the Bhaleshwar Mahadev. This famous temple welcomes you with the Nepali Pagoda styles architectures, wooden windows and carving of many gods and goddeess.
Chandragiri Hills is also one of the places of historical significance. After, Prithivi Narayan Shah established Nepal, Chandragiri Hill was one of the four major trade route in Kathmandu.
You can also enjoy the view of the great Himalayan mountain ranges in the Chandragiri Hills.
After the visit of Chandragiri Hills, you will be walking through the Chandragiri forests to teach Chitlang.
Chitlang village to Markhu and Kulekhani Dam
Another way to reach Chitlang is through Markhu. Here you can visit Khulekhani which is known as Indrasaravor. The Kulekhani Dam is a hydropower dam in Makwanpur District of Nepal. Along with providing electricity to the surroundings the Kulekhani Dam is famous for its landscapes and fishing. The locals and people of Kathmandu and Hetauda also praise the Khulekhani Dam as the alternative to Fewa Lake, Pokhara.Tourist often boat on the dam and the Markhu River in Kulekhani.
Often, you find many locals and tourists enjoying boating on the Kulekhani Dam and the Markhu River. While the rapids may not be what you expect, it gives you a peaceful, fun and adventurous ride. It is also because of this that the Kulekhqani Dam earned a title as a alternate to Phewa Lake.
You can also travel to Kulekhani Dam through Moterbike tour and more. You can also hike in Markhu Village above the Kulekhani Dam. Often, we find people hiking in Markhu Village from Kulekhani.
The major fishes in Kulekhani Dam are Bighead carp, Silver carp, Copper mahseer and Dark Masheer. They also have other species of fish. The Kulekhani was the ancient route with India before the current route was formed.
Chitlang Via Dashinkali Temple
You can also go to Chitlang Hiking through Dashinkali Temple. The distance between Chitlang to Dakshinkali is 35 Km by road. You can also find the distance from Chitlang to Dakshinkali using other travel options like bus, and microbus. Dashinkali Temple is a major hindu temple detecting to Godess Kali, a form of Goddess Durga. The Dashnkali Temple was built by King Pratap Malla. It is located approx 1 hr 13 min (25.5 km) from Chitlang from ground transport while it may take approx 5 hr 15 min (22.4 km) from Chitlang. The word ‘Dakshin’, which means ‘south’, and the name ‘Kali’, which signifies that the Goddess Kali is worshipped here.Twice a week, animals mainly male goats and cocks who are uncastrated are sacrificed at theDashinkali Temple. According to local legends Goddess Kali appeared in a dream of the Malla ruler “Pratap Malla” who reigned over Nepal in the 14th century and ordered the king to construct a temple that is devoted to worship her. The major festivals celebrated in Dashinkali is Dashain.
Bagh Bhairav Temple
You can go for a short day Chitlang Hiking from Kiritpur. The distance from Kritipur to Chitlang is about 22km. Bagh Bhairav Temple is a temple dedicated to Bagh Bhairav, Lord Shiva in a form of a tiger. The temple was built back in the the 16th century. There are many other deities who are worshiped in Bagh Bhairav Temple along with Lord Bagh Bhairav. They are Ganesh, Barahi, Kumari, Bhramhayani, Vaishnavi, Shiva & Parbati,Lord Shiva and many more. It is believed that the Bagh Bhairav Temple was already built in 1503, while experts believe that the Bagh Bhairav Temple was built by King Shivadeva III (1099-1126) while he ruled the valley. The image of Bagh Bhairav Temple should not be confused with the view of other manifestations of Bhairab, which include other manifestations of Bhairab and other temples dedicated to Bhairav in Kathmandu or Lalitpur.There are many subsidiary shrines in the Temple. There are some dating to the 17th century and some images from the 4th or even the 3rd century in this temple.
Taudaha lake lies on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal which you can find on the way to Dashinkali temple while heading for Chitlang Hiking and boating tour. In Newari Language, ‘Ta’, meaning snake and ‘Daha’, which means lake.
According to the locals, when goddess Manjushree cut off the Chobar Gorge from which the Bagmati River was formed then while the ancient lake died many small lakes and ponds were formed. Taudaha is believed to be one of those ponds. While the ancient pond died many nagas (half-human, half-serpent) became homeless. This made the Naga King Karkotak angry. So, the locals built an underwater palace, studded with precious stones and riches beyond imagination in the lake.
Black kite, Black drongo, Cattle egret, Oriental magpie robin, Common myna, Jungle crow, Rose-ringed parakeet, White-throated kingfisher and Red-vented bulbul are some of the birds you often see in Taudaha.
Common carp, Silver carp, Grass carp, Bighead carp and colourful carps along with catfishes and snakeheads are found in this river.
Due to the myth of the Naga, the locals do not allow swimming and fishing in Taudaha Lake.
Also, Taudaha Lake is the only clean water body remaining in the Kathmandu Valley.
Bhedafaram (Largest ground of Nepal)
Bhedafaram is a plain ground. What may be uncommon is that it is the largest ground in Nepal. The Bhedafaram is close to the Markhu and Kulekhani villages. So, during Chitlang Hiking you can enjoy this beautiful places as well. Often many film songs are filmed with Bhedafaram as the backdrop.
The ground are full of green grasses and lush trees often making them a perfect picnic spots.
Therefore, Chitlang is a place that can make a good tour for adventure lovers, fishers, nature and animals/birds enthusiast and also a good educational tour for students and researchers and people who are interested in Nepalese History.