Nepal // The Kathmandu Valley //

Hiking and biking around Boudha

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Boudha makes a good springboard for several walks and bike rides in this part of the valley. You can also walk to Pashupatinath in half an hour.

Kopan Monastery Occupying a ridge about 3km due north of the stupa, Kopan Monastery is an easy target, and is something of a pilgrimage destination for its astoundingly richly decorated “thousand-Buddha stupa”, so named for the inordinate number of holy relics it contains. You can take a taxi all the way, but it’s a pleasant walk.

Pulahari Monastery Half an hour’s walk further to the east of Kopan (beyond the giant, brand-new temple of the Amitabha Foundation), Pulahari Monastery sits atop the ridge like the superstructure of an enormous container ship; its huge new prayer hall is perhaps the most richly and exquisitely decorated in Nepal. Both monasteries are usually open to visitors in daylight hours, unless there’s a ceremony on.

Nagi Gompa From either Kopan or Pulahari, it’s a strenuous two- or three-hour hike north up a wooded ridge to the nunnery of Nagi Gompa, though you probably shouldn’t go without help finding the way. From here you can continue up into Shivapuri National Park.

Gokarneswar Three kilometres northeast of Boudha (and 2km downhill from Pulahari on a paved road) lies Gokarneswar, where an imposing Shiva temple gazes across the Bagmati River to the peaceful Gokarna Forest – which encloses the luxury Gokarna Forest Resort, golf club and spa. Frequent mini- and microbuses run from here back to Boudha and Kathmandu, along the main road from Sundarijal, the trailhead for Helambu treks.

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