Nagi Gumba to Kopan Monastery Hike

Day Hike

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  • Transparent Price
  • No hidden fees
  • Experience of a More than 10 Years
  • Personal Touch & Professional Service

US$ 90 P/P

Trip Info

  • Duration

    1 Day

  • Max. Altitude

    2330 m

  • Difficulty

    easy

  • Starts From

    Kathmandu

  • Trip Ends At

    Kathmandu

  • Transport

    Private Drive

  • Region/Type

    Day Hike Around In Kathmandu
  • Best Season:

    • All Year Round

Nagi Gumba to Kopan Monastery Hike is one of the best opportunities to cover nature, culture, religion, and adventure of Nepal in one go. The trip is also called Monastery to Monastery hike because it begins with a visit to Nagi Gumba (monastery) in Shivapuri National Park and ends at the Kopan Gumba. 

This Monastery to Monastery Hike (from Nagi Gumba to Kopan Gumba) is favorable to those visitors who wish to hike during their short stay in Kathmandu and are interested in exploring the Buddhists Monasteries. The journey is an easy 3-4 hours walk providing not only a Buddhist experience but also an insight into Hinduism. 

Our Nagi Gumba to Kopan Monastery Day Hike begins with a short drive to Budhanilkantha where we will have a short break to explore the Budhanilkantha Temple. Budhanilkantha literally translates to "old blue-throat." The major attraction of the temple is the 5 meters long statue of sleeping Vishnu reclining in the center of a 13-meter-long pool. The statue is carved out of a single rock and is considered Nepal's largest and most impressive stone carving. The deity is portrayed lying on the coils of Shesha, the cosmic serpent.  Vishnu's four hands are seen holding things that represent his divine abilities: A chakra, a conch shell, a lotus flower, and the club. This temple is sacred to Hindus, but it is also revered by Buddhists, and it is a wonderful example of religious peace in Nepal.

The hiking journey begins once we leave the Budhanilkantha Temple. A short walk leads to the entrance gate of the Shivapuri National Park where the hike inside the park begins. En route, hikers may encounter different species of local and migratory birds like common mina, Robin, Magpie, Treepie, bulbul, cuckoo, babbler, owl, and an equal number of butterflies. In fact, the national park is one of the best destinations for bird watching in Kathmandu valley. It is also the research hub for students.

During the walk, you pass through beautiful forests with wide varieties of trees such as pine, alder, hazelnuts, bayberry, yellow raspberries, Nepali plumps, and even medicinal plants. You will also see flower varieties like rhododendrons, blue mimosa, Gulmohar, jacaranda, and orchids. 

After a couple of hours of uphill hiking, you will arrive at Nagi Gumba.  

Nagi Gumba is also called Ani (Nun) Gumba because only nuns or female monks reside here. The monastery at 1650 meters altitude in Shivapuri National Park is both a monastery and a residential school for young female monks. As a result, the gumba is surrounded by rows of classrooms and residential quarters. The monastery is surrounded by colorful prayer flags, prayer wheels, prayer sounds, and the scent of incense where you will discover calmness. The surrounding area of the Gumba offers a beautiful landscape view and the view of the Yellow monastery. 

Leaving Nagi Gumba, the hike continues further to Tarebhir Hill station. We will pass by a few national park streams, and local settlements of mostly Tamang communities decorated with colorful prayer flags. You can also taste the seasonal fruits en route, and take pictures of the beautiful seasonal flowers. 

After about half an hour of a downhill walk, the monastery to monastery hiking trail makes its end in Kopan Monastery. Kopan Gumba is well-known among foreign visitors for its meditation retreats and Buddhism teachings under Mahayana tradition and Gelugpa Sect. The monastery atmosphere is tranquil and pleasant, with breathtaking views of the city below and the surrounding countryside and mountains. Over 350 monks, lamas, teachers, and workers reside in this holy area. There are colorful and wonderfully decorated rooms and gompas inside the monastery enclosure, as well as attractive grounds with colorful stupas and lodging for monks and visitors. It's a truly lovely, motivating, and fascinating place to be in.

After spending an ample amount of time at the monastery, we will drive back to Kathmandu which will take about 1 hour (In case there is no traffic jam). 

Note: 

1. If you want to extend the hiking hours or explore more of this trail, it can be extended as there are many wonderful sites that are worth the visit inside the National Park. It would also be beneficial as the same transportation and national park cost will cover the extended hours. 

2. If the journey falls at the right time, i.e. on festival time, you can take part in celebrations and pooja ceremonies and have a different kind of experience. 

3. The religious sites in our itinerary can be closed during special occasions depending upon their annual calendar, so hikers need to recheck their opening before departure. 

4. If we get lucky and happen to be at the Nagi Gumba, we can interact with the female monks and learn about their lifestyle there. 

Highlights of Nagi Gumba to Kopan Monastery Hike

  • A short day walk through the jungles full of various species of flora and fauna 
  • An easy hiking trail along with small streams en route 
  • Nagi Gumba, the only monastery where only female monks reside
  • Kopan Monastery, a famous Tibetan Buddhism site where Buddhism is taught
  • Tarebhir, a famous viewpoint for a wonderful wider view of the Kathmandu Valley 
  • Budhanilkantha, one of the most important Hindu sites dedicated to Lord Vishnu

Best Time to do Nagi Gumba to Kopan Monastery Hike

Nagi Gumba to Kopan Monastery Hike can be done any time of the year as it is a day hike that requires a few hours to accomplish. However, spring and autumn are the best time for great weather and clear views. Winters are also enjoyable because the days are pleasant and sunny. The monsoon months of July, August & early September are recommended to avoid. The heavy rainfall in the forest makes the trail slippery and slick and you can attract leeches to you. However, daring adventurers can go for it. In fact, the views of the Kathmandu valley and the surroundings are best after the dust in the air is wiped off by the rain.

Itinerary in Details

Day 1: Drive to Budhanilkantha & Hike to Nagi Gumba & Continue to Kopan Monastery

🕑 Full Day

Max Altitude: 2350 M

After breakfast, you will be picked up at the hotel lobby or pick-up point for a short drive to Budhanilkantha. Once we reach Budhanilkantha, we will explore the sacred place of the sleeping Hindu deity Vishnu and see the worship ceremonies. Then we start hiking through Shivapuri National Park's lovely forests to Nagi Gompa, which offers spectacular views of Kathmandu Valley after obtaining the national park entry permit. 

We gaze upon the mesmerizing view from the Nagi Gumba, visit the monastery, and will interact with the female monks if time permits. After a quick stop at Nagi Gumba to soak in the tranquility and spiritual atmosphere, we continue our walk further to Tarebhir via woods and some small Tamang settlements with prayer flags.

Once we reach the hilltop of Tarebhir, we will take in the wider view of Kathmandu valley and be mesmerized by it. From there we will proceed toward Kopan Monastery. After half an hour of descent, we will reach our last destination of this trip, the famous Kopan Monastery. We will explore the monastery and its surrounding. You may also interact with the monks or the students there. 

Meals: Snacks & Lunch

Includes

  • Private Transportation (Thamel-Budhanilkantha & Kopan-Thamel)
  • Experience English Speaking Hiking Guide
  • Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park Entry Fee
  • Kopan Monastery Entry Fee
  • Bottled/Mineral water
  • Packed lunch & snacks 
  • Applicable government taxes 

Excludes

  • Breakfast and Dinner
  • Personal expenses, Tips and etc.
  • Hiking gear
  • Travel, Medical insurance, and first aid kit
  • Anything not mentioned in the inclusion

Since day hikes are single-day trips, it doesn’t require accommodations so it is not included in the package. However, we offer 3-star category accommodation with breakfast on a twin/double sharing basis. But the accommodation can be modified as per the traveler’s interest, budget and availability. Luxurious resorts, standard hotels to comfortable guesthouses, lodges, and homestays are available in Kathmandu.  

Meals During the Hike from Monastery to Monastery

Generally, if the location we are hiking towards consists of restaurants or cafes then we will have our meals and tea/coffee in those local restaurants/cafes. But if the destination doesn’t have any restaurants then our guide will take a packed lunchbox both veg and non-veg as per the traveler's choice, and a water bottle with him/her. We will enjoy the hygienically packed lunch overlooking the mesmerizing scenery seen from the hilltop.

GearList

Clothing/Equipment/Gear for Day Hike to Monastery to Monastery

Kathmandu Valley is surrounded by beautiful hill stations around its perimeter. So it is of no surprise that Kathmandu is really popular for day hikes. Phulchowki is the highest hill surrounding Kathmandu Valley located at an altitude of 2750 meters above sea level. To help you pack efficiently, we have prepared a gear list for Phulchowki Hike based on seasons. Nepal has four primary seasons:-

Winter: Winter in Nepal falls in January and February. It starts getting cooler after Christmas. The temperature is usually 0-4°C in the morning, 10-12°C at noon, and -1 to 0°C at night. So if you are planning to hike here any time after Christmas to the end of February then we suggest you wear long-sleeved t-shirts, hoodies or sweater/fleece, windproof and preferably waterproof jackets because Phulchowki has temporary snowfall during winter. Similarly, we suggest wearing beanies/hats, gloves, trousers, sports shoes/hiking hoots, and thermals if you prefer an extra layer of warmth. Carrying a water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, and hiking poles would be ideal.  

Spring: March to May are spring in Nepal. The temperature in these months during the morning ranges from 10-12°C, 22-24°C at noon, and 14-16°C at night. Since the weather is pleasant during spring, apart from the basic essentials mentioned below, all you need is some casual shirts, shorts or trousers, a couple of long sleeves, sports shoes/hiking boots, a water bottle, sunscreen, sun hat/cap, sunglasses, and an overall/light jacket because it might get a bit chilly at the top. 

Summer/Monsoon: June, July, August, and September are summer months in Nepal. But we have a summer monsoon that occurs from Mid-June to Mid-September. The temperature of Kathmandu ranges from 18-20 °C in the morning, 28-32°C at noon, and 16-18°C at night. We do not suggest you hike while raining but apart that that, Summer Hiking in Phulchowki is ideal too.  So, besides the regular items mentioned below, casual cotton wears, sunglasses, a sun hat/cap, an umbrella, or a raincoat are some essentials for the summer. Because this hike takes place in a lush forest, there might be some leeches if it rains the previous night. These leeches aren’t harmful but might cause nuisance so the trick is to carry salt and if leeches try and stick to your body then you could sprinkle salt.  

Autumn/Fall: October, November, and December are autumn in Nepal. It is the best time for the Phulchowki hike due to the delightful weather and visibility of beautiful vistas seen along the way and from the hilltop. The temperature of Phulchowki during fall ranges from 8-10 °C in the morning, 22-25°C at noon, and 5-7°C at night. December is comparatively cooler than the other two months. While hiking around Kathmandu during fall, you would be good to go with fleece/sweater or hoodies, hat/beanie, shawl/scarf, trousers, long-sleeved shirts, light jackets, or overalls, a water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, and hiking boots or sports shoes. 

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