Sunrise over Nagarkot, Nepal

© Damien Bouhours

© Damien Bouhours

You don’t need to be pious to actually share a sacred moment with Nepal.  Around 30 km east of Kathmandu, the village of Nagarkot is host of one of the most scenic spot in Kathmandu Valley. Many tourists decide to take a bus or hire a private car to this small dot on the map, situated over 2000 meters about sea level. Nothing beats the amazingly peaceful sight of the sun rising or setting above a panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal, including the Annapurna range and Mount Everest.

© Damien Bouhours

© Damien Bouhours

The most courageous travelers will stay overnight to experience both. If it’s the case, enjoy the natural surroundings and take a nice walk around the area. Gorge your lungs with fresh mountain air and go the extra mile by meeting the Tamang villagers, one of the ethnic groups of Nepal originally from Tibet. Sankhu is also a great getaway. This village displays some beautiful examples of Newari architecture with its woodcarven windowed houses and stone water taps.

© Damien Bouhours

© Damien Bouhours

If you are in a hurry and have only few hours to spare, wake up at the break of dawn and simply admire the vista before following up with your busy schedule.

How to go there?

The easiest and cheapest way to get here from Kathmandu is to take a bus at the “Bakhtapur Bus Terminal” located east of Ratna Park to Bhaktapur (25 RP in May 2013, 40-50 minutes trip) and from there another bus to Nagarkot (45 RP in May 2013, 1.5-2 hours, nice trip although buses are very overcrowded).

There is also a tourist bus which goes directly from Kathmandu. Departs Kathmandu at 13:30 from Shorakhutee Tourist Bus Park Nayabazzar. And from Nagarkot at 10:15. But please check first if it still operates, phones for inquiries and reservations: 01-4262602, 4700424 in Kathmandu; 01-6680137, 6680150 in Nagarkot.

For some people, it is best to travel by private-hire cars and taxis to Nagarkot. From the international airport, it should take about 40 mins and from the city center, about an hour. A scenic drive via the ancient city of Bhaktapur and tiny villages along meandering mountain roads is a journey by itself.

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