Bhasmasur Dada, Chaap Dada to Chandragiri Hike in Kathmandu

Bhasmasur Dada, Chaap Dada to Chandragiri Hike in Kathmandu, Nepal

Bhasmasur Dada to Chandragiri Hike via Chaap Dada came out to be the best hiking trails in Kathmandu to us though it’s rarely known unlike Shivapuri, Champadevi, Jamacho, etc.

The trail is so serene through the forest, almost no people on weekdays and no human footprints (like houses, tea shops, roads, etc.). And you can also get to see the mountains with the whole Kathmandu valley view.

Though we had done Champadevi and Chandragiri Hikes, we’re unknown about this trail. 

And suddenly one day we saw a video by Ghumante about a resort with tented camps in the middle of the forest and perfect for night outs near Kathmandu.

So we originally planned to just reach Chaap Dada but we lost the way and took a longer route which made the hike tough but the best as it became an opportunity to explore unplanned destinations.

“Life has good surprises and you will only get it when you persistently continue the journey not knowing what’s ahead.”

Why Bhasmasur Dada, Chaap Dada to Chandragiri Hike?

Some of the major reasons to choose Bhasmasur, Chaap Dada hiking route instead of other in Kathmandu are as follows

  1. Natural trails inside the forest include the rare endangered species Pangolin.
  2. Not crowded unlike other trails like Nagarjun Shivapuri, Jamacho, Champadevi, etc.
  3. Complete Solitude. Not many human footprints.
  4. Panoramic Mountain View
  5. Aerial View of Whole Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur) and some parts of Makwanpur districts as well.
  6. Reach the top of third highest hill in Kathmandu at an altitude of 2,551m i.e. Chandragiri Hill.
  7. An opportunity to spend the night in the middle of forest in a tented accommodation at Chaap Bhanjyang Resort (Optional).

Hiking Route

Balkhu – Machhegaun, Kirtipur – Pushpa Lal Park – Bhasmasur Dada – Chaap Dada – Deurali – Chandragiri – Thankot

How to Reach Trek Start Point (Machhegaun)?

On a Public Transport

  1. Take a bus to Balkhu.

You can get any bus that runs on ring road to reach Balkhu.

  1. Take another bus to Machhegaun from Balkhu and get off at the last stop.

Or you can take a Private Vehicle or use Ride Sharing App (Pathao, Indrive, etc.) to reach Machhegaun via Balkhu and Kirtipur.

Bhasmasur Dada, Chaap Dada to Chandragiri Hiking Route Map

Bhasmasur Dada, Chaap Dada to Chandragiri Hike Route Map ( Click Here for Detail Map )

The Hiking Plan

When I’m in a city like Kathmandu for a long time without going on a short trip, I feel suffocated and all creativity is blocked in my mind. I don’t feel like doing anything.

Was feeling the same this time.

And was planning to go on a small hike. But due to some circumstances and not so clear weather I wasn’t able to do it.

Then suddenly one of my friends suggested we go on a hike on his day off.

But we had already hiked most of the places in Kathmandu. And while looking for a new trail I remembered a video by Ghumante and decided to go Chaap Dada Hike.

With great enthusiasm, we left home to catch a bus to Balkhu at around 7:00 in the morning.

To start our hike to Chaap  Danda we had to reach Machhegaun, Lalitpur.

So first we took a bus to Balkhu from Swayambhu, then another bus to Machhegaun.

At around 8:10, we reached the last stop, Machhegaun.


Machhegaun: Start of Bhasmasur - Chaap Dada Hiking Trail
Machhegaun: Start of Bhasmasur – Chaap Dada Hiking Trail

From Machhegaun our hike started officially. First we went to the near shop to ask for directions to Chaap Danda. And the shopkeeper told us that we should have taken another route which was a little back. That was the shortest route to reach Chaap Danda.

And the route ahead of us via Pushpalal Park also takes us there but it’s quite long.

Since we’re there we decided to take that long route.

So we thanked the shopkeeper for the directions and continued walking along that route. 

To be honest I love traveling knowing less about the place as it’ll be a great way to interact with the locals and every small thing we see on the way can surprise us.

But it doesn’t mean traveling blindly. I often watch some videos and take some information from articles to know the terrain and obstacles we might encounter. Also take the contact details of the locals when possible as it can be helpful in case of emergency when traveling in rural places.

Pangolin Trail

Anyway, we followed the road as suggested. A little bit ahead we saw a board about the Pangolin trail. It made us happy that we got to explore quite an exquisite trail near Kathmandu and there were very few people till now.

While we’re heading towards the trail we also searched for a place to have some breakfast as we had not eaten anything in the morning and wanted to fully energize ourselves before entering the jungle. And we did not know whether we would get any shops on the trail or not.

All we had known was that there’s one resort in the jungle but didn’t know exactly where and how far it was.

But maybe we were quite early or due to very few people, the breakfast was not ready yet in any of the shops.

Only a few shops were selling tea and biscuits. But we wanted to have some heavy foods like chickpeas fried, boiled eggs, chapati curry, etc.

So we decided to buy some cookies, noodles, KurKure and 2 bottles of water then continued walking.

While buying snacks we asked the shopkeeper about the distance to reach Chaap Danda but she was not sure about the place.

So we continued our journey anyway.

Doubt: Will We Reach Our Destination?

We said to ourselves that we’d walk on the trail as far as we can, even if we didn’t reach the place we had planned to go, we would reach somewhere.

And then if it feels like there’s no more to go ahead we’d return the same way.

With that mindset we continued our journey. On the way whenever we met the locals whom we thought would have the information about either Chaap Danda or Bhasmasur Danda, we greeted each other and asked for directions.

Luckily we met one uncle who was returning from his morning walk. When asked about the direction, he told us that if we just follow the trail, it’d take us to Bhasmasur Danda.

By now we’ve found that not many people (local) knew about Chaap Danda but many knew about Bhasmasur Danda.

Kathmandu Valley View with Mountain Top on Hike to Bhasmasur Dada
Kathmandu Valley View with Mountain Top on Hike to Bhasmasur Dada

As we climbed up the hill, leaving human settlements, the view started getting better. From there we could see the glimpse of Kathmandu valley with snow capped mountains on top.

We gazed at the view for a while, took photos and continued our walk.

A little bit ahead we also saw a wooden sign board telling us about the mountain biking trail, so we thought we’d reach somewhere for sure if we just followed that trail. Haha.

Would You Improvise?

On the way, we also met 3 guys following us who were on the same bus with us. So we asked where they were going.

Then one of them told us that they were in fact going to Champadevi Hiking starting from Pharping but mistakenly taking the wrong bus.

They should have taken ust to Dakshinkali instead they’re on a Bus to Machhegaun. When they asked the bus staff whether the bus goes to Champadevi or not, he said yes, so they took that bus.

By the way the bus staff was also not wrong as Machhegaun was inside Champadevi Municipality.

They asked for Champadevi temple but the bus staff must have thought of Champadevi Municipality.

Thus they also decided to take a hiking route to Bhasmasur hoping that it would connect a trail to Champadevi. But we’re also not sure about where we’re going so we didn’t give them any advice.

And continued our hike.

Those guys were walking slowly, so we two moved ahead on the trail.

No One On The Trail

Natural and Peaceful Hiking Trail of Kathmandu, Bhasmasur - Chaap Dada Hiking Trail
Ravi walking on Natural & Peaceful Hiking Trail of Bhasmasur Dada, Kathmandu

The trail was really serene, no sign of any humans or any settlement.

Total peace, you could only hear the sound of wind, birds and insects.

The trail was completely natural, not human made trails.

It looked like a footpath where locals would walk to gather firewood, fodder or with animals to graze (Goats and Cows).

We really enjoyed the trail through the forest. On the side of the trails there were lots of bushes of Ainselu and thought we’d not have to carry any breakfast or water. We would just be full by eating the fruit.

It reminded us of our hiking in Kakani, some months ago where we ate lots of Ainsley and Strawberry.

Till now, the trail was easy and cool (shady). 

Bhasmasur Hiking Trail Damaged by Landslide
Bhasmasur Hiking Trail Damaged by Landslide

But slowly it started getting steep and some sections were damaged by the soil erosion and landslides.

We walked past those sections very carefully.

Then finally we reached the top where we saw a sign board showing the connection of different hiking trails (Champadevi, Hattiban, Bhasmasur and Chandragiri).

Bhasmasur Dada: The Most Difficult Climb

By now we thought we had already crossed the one and only rest point, Chaap Danda (Place with resort). So we decided to reach the top of Bhasmasur Danda.

Now, the trail had proper stone stairs through the pine forest.

As it was almost noon and the sun was shining bright, it started getting hot.

The trail was getting steeper as well.

Bhasmasur Dada, Chaap Dada to Chandragiri Hike in Kathmandu
Bhasmasur Dada Hiking Trail, Kathmandu (In Frame – Ravi Khadka)

We continued walking on the trail slowly. As we climbed up, the trees were getting fewer. And the midday sun was straight above us without any shade.

The steep climb, hot sun and hungry stomach was making the hike harder.

Anyways, slowly and taking multiple rests on the way, we reached the top of Bhasmasur Danda. From the top, the whole Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur could be seen with mountains at the Top.

From there Chandragiri was also seen in the distance.

Chandragiri Seen from Bhasmasur Dada
Chandragiri Seen from Bhasmasur Dada

So we took a couple of pictures from there and continued to descend down on the other side towards Chandragiri.

Once we reached down the Bhasmasur Danda (Hill), we decided to rest for a while and eat our snacks (Cookies and Noodles).

Chaap Dada

After having some snacks and resting for a while we continued our hike to Chandragiri.

We didn’t know the route and were not sure whether we’re in the right direction. Anyway we just followed the markings we saw on the ground and thought it would lead us to somewhere.

After walking for around 10 minutes we met a lady on the trail who was just resting while collecting fodders for her animals.

Then we asked how far is Chandragiri as we were planning to have lunch there.

But she didn’t know about it and told us to ask in a resort which was a couple of minutes walk ahead of us.

So we continued walking towards it. 

And in the distance we saw a structure of some rural hotel and when we went there we found out that it was the Chaap Bhanjyang resort which we had initially planned to Hike up to.

Unknowingly we managed to reach our destination though we had to take the longer route.

Adventure Resort In The Middle of the Forest

When we reached the resort and asked about the route, they told us about another route which would take us there in 1.5 hrs from Machhegaun. And it took us more than double to reach via Pangolin Trail and Bhasmasur Danda.

We knew about the new natural trail with very few human prints. We didn’t meet anyone on our whole hike on this route.

So, I highly recommend it to those who love walking in peace and enjoying nature.

As soon as we reached the resort we asked for water bottles and ordered food to eat.

There we ordered 2 plates of Buff Khaja set and black tea.

While our food was being prepared we roamed around and asked about the place.

Chaap Bhanjyang Resort

Chaap Bhanjyang Resort, Chaap Dada
Chaap Bhanjyang Resort, Chaap Dada

It’s perfect for nature lovers, who would love to experience a fully subversive environment in nature.

One can stay the night in tented camps inside the forest. They offer a tented stay and all the food and beverage items. So definitely check out this place if you’re looking for a night stay/camping.

We found out about this place after watching a travel video by famous Nepali Travel Vlogger, Ghumante.

So we wanted to check it out as it was one of the less known places near Kathmandu.

But now it was getting known among the hikers and getting frequent clients these days.

Soon, our food was ready and we started having it.

After eating half, I thought I had made a mistake by ordering Sukute Khaja set as it was harder to chew Sukuti (dried meat fried) and Chiura (Beaten Rice).

Anyway we ate it all slowly as we had planned to reach Chandragiri anyhow and didn’t know when our next food stop.

And when asked how long would it take us to reach Chandragiri. The owner replied that it can take around 1.5 hr to 2 hrs.

So, after having our food we thanked the owners and asked for directions to Chandragiri and continued our journey.


At first the trail was easy though it was narrow.

It even had railings where the trails were difficult. Due to the shady place, the spring waters on the trail were frozen. So, we carefully walked over it and continued our journey through the forest.

Soon we reached a gravel road and a small village called Deurali.

And ahead of us was a giant steep stairs through the stupas and felt tired just by seeing it. Now we had to walk all those steps to reach Chandragiri.

As soon as we reached Deurali, there we saw the remains of the oldest ropeway of Nepal, constructed between Kathmandu and Hetauda, Makwanpur to transport goods.

Seeing that it reminded me of our other travels around 4 years back.

Nostalgic Scene

At that time one of our friends was going abroad for higher studies and to celebrate, we went to Markhu for a night stay.

While returning we wanted to come via Chitlang.

After having lunch at Chitlang Organic resort, we found out that the road via Chandragiri was blocked so we needed to take the road via Machhegaun.

And at that time we were at this place though it looked different as we’re there during monsoon.

It was a pure nostalgic moment.

Reminiscing about the day, we continued climbing up the stairs.

Stairs to Chandragiri from Deurali, Hiking Trail in Kathmandu
Stairs to Chandragiri from Deurali, Hiking Trail in Kathmandu

After the stairs, we hiked up the forest then again we reached another road which took us to the Chandragiri Hills Resort.

From there, the road was blocked but the hiking trail was open.

After climbing up the hiking trail, we met the private road of Chandragiri which is used to bring guests from Cable car to the resort.

Following that road, we reached the Top of Chandragiri Temple at around 2:13 P.M..

When we reached there, a couple of ages around 50s asked about the hiking trail as they were also planning to hike up the next day via Hattiban resort.

After talking with them for a moment we went towards the temple.

We rested there for a while and then worshiped in the temple, took pictures and started walking down as it was already around 3:00 P.M.

Yet to Cross Dangerous Trail

It still was a long way to walk down to Thankot and if it’s late we might get lost in the forest. And sometimes we even got news about the sighting of leopards in that forest.

So we needed to walk down as early as possible (when there was sunlight.)

As I had already hiked up to Chandragiri via Thankot, I led the way from there.

I was there back in 2016 when the cable car had just started.

After walking a long stairs down, we met a checkpost where there used to be Army personnel keeping records of the hikers, but now only one private guard of Chandragiri Resort was there.

And as it was getting late I wanted to know if there’s another shortcut to walk down the hill and reach Thankot because the trail I knew was longer (around 2 hrs) and if I forgot the trail  then we had to take the road which is even longer (more than 3 hours).

Luckily the guard told us that there is an unofficial trail just below the cable car way and if we followed that trail we could climb down in an hour.

So we walked towards that and just below the cable car station we found that trail.

Chandragiri Cable Car Hiking Trail to Thankot, Kathmandu
Chandragiri Cable Car Hiking Trail to Thankot, Kathmandu

Life Threatening Shortcut

Though it was short, it’s steep and narrow trail.

One must be very careful while walking down. 

And I recommend this trail to experienced hikers only. This trail is really dangerous, one mistake can take a life.

First the trail was open, only through the bushes but as we climbed down the trail passed through dense forest.

Low light of evening and the dense forest blocking the sunlight cause dark on the trail.

It was really scary and felt like anything could come from anywhere.

As we were walking down I even saw a deer in the forest.

I tried to be quiet and wait for Ravi to see it but it moved fast.

Along the way we met a local man as well who said he worked for the cable car company for some time but resigned now. 

Then all of us walked together. 

Hiking Trail below Chandragiri Cable Car, Kathmandu
Hiking Trail below Chandragiri Cable Car, Kathmandu

The trail now was getting worse as it was full of dirt/sand making it dusty and difficult to walk and breathe.

Anyway we walked down slowly.

Then finally we were near the human settlements. 

The trail took us down to the Cable Car station.

Completing Hardcore Trek

By now, both of us were completely exhausted, all our energies were gone and just wanted to lie down.

But we had to walk down to the highway where we could find the bus home.

As we’re walking down, we luckily found a bus on the way (before reaching the main highway) which was leaving for Ratnapark (half way home).

We hurriedly hopped inside the bus and luckily got the last seat as well.

If we had to stand in the bus, we would sit on the floor.

Then again we got off the bus at Kalanki and took another bus.

And on the way we decided to end the First Official Hiking of 2024 with a chilled beer.

So we went home, took a shower and went to a nearby restaurant to have a success party.

Though we did not know the trail, we reached more than what we had planned.

“Life has good surprises and you will only get it when you persistently continue the journey not knowing what’s ahead.”

Camping at Chaap Dada

Hiking Trails in Kathmandu

Some other hiking trails in Kathmandu are as follows

  1. Jamacho Hiking Trail
  2. Budhanilkantha to Sundarijal Hiking via Shivapuri National Park
  3. Hike to Jamchen Vijaya Stupa, Budhanilkantha
  4. Champadevi Hiking Trail
  5. Hike to Ichangunarayan, Batase Dada and White Gumba
  6. Godawari Phulchowki Hiking Trail
  7. Chandragiri Hiking Trail
  8. Lakuri Bhanjyang Hiking Trail
  9. Switzerland Park and Daha Chowk Hike
  10. Bhasmasur Dada, Chaap Dada to Chandragiri Hike