Chhimkeshwori – Bandipur Trek will take you to the highest point of Mahabharat Range (2,335 metres). From the top you will see the magical views of mountain ranges from Dhaulagiri to Langtang. And cities like Bandipur, Gorkha, Manakamana, Thankot, Bharatpur, Gaidakot, etc. can be seen on a clear sunny day.
You’ll also experience the authentic rural lifestyle of people living in western Nepal. And walk on the old traditional trail that’s being forgotten after the construction of vehicle roads.
The villages on the way are rich in Gurung Culture, Traditions and Customs. And you’ll be experiencing the local delicacies prepared by locals with home grown, organic crops and vegetables.
Major Attractions of Chhimkeshwori – Bandipur Trek
- Exploring Gurung Villages, their Culture and Homestays
- Walking on Forgotten Trail
- Visiting Chepang Village
- Panoramic View of surrounding hills and cities like Bharatpur, Manakamana, Gaidakot, Thankot, Bandipur, Gorkha, etc.
- Majestic Sunset View from Labdi Village
- Visit to Religious Chhimkeshwori Temple at the highest point of Mahabharat range (2,335 metres from sea level).
- Exploring old Newari Town, Bandipur
- Best Sunrise View from Thanimai, Bandipur
Chhimkeshwori – Bandipur Trek Itinerary
- Paach Kilo (5 KM from Mugling towards Chitwan)
- Khasrang Besi
- Khasrang Gaun
- Rasauli (Chepang Gaun)
- Labdi (Night Stay at Homestay)
- Aanboo Khaireni
- Labdi (You can either walk or take a Jeep to Labdi from Aanoo Khaireni)
- Chhimkeshwori Temple
- Ghale Danda
- Hilekharka (Lunch)
- Jhar Gaun
- Bahun Bhanjyang
- Bandipur (Stay at Hotel)
- Morning Sunrise View from Thanimai
- Roam around the Bazaar (Newari Settlement, Houses on European Style)
- Mountain View from Tundhikhel
Chhimkeshwori – Bandipur Trek Route Virtual Tour
Our Experience from Chhimkeshwori Bandipur Trek
A day before our trip, a friend, Bishal came to my village from Biratnagar (Eastern Nepal). I was in the village for a short break after COVID lockdown and he was back from Finland after completing his studies.
And we had planned for this trip a couple of months before.
I went to pick up at Paach Kilo (at East-West Highway).
From there it takes around 20-30 minutes to reach my village Khastar or Khasrang Besi.
First, we need to cross the suspension bridge over Trishuli river, then walk towards the left foot trail.
It will take you through streams, fields, and finally to my village, and my home.
That night we stayed at our home and prepared for the start of our trip the next day.
Day 01 (Khasrang Besi to Labdi)
Today, we woke up at 6:00 A.M. Our plan was to start our trip as early as possible and reach the destination (Labdi village).
And for both of us, the trail was new, so we had to ask locals for the direction whenever we met someone.
And I’ve also heard that the path was a little bit confusing.
As soon as we woke up, we freshen up (went to the toilet, brush teeth and wash face).
Then we had breakfast at 6:45 A.M. My Mum had prepared Kodoko Roti (Barley Bread) and Achaar (Tomato Pickle) for us, early in the morning.
Then we started walking from Khasrang Besi (ghar) towards Khasrang Village at 7:00 AM.
From there, the trail was vertical up, so we walked slowly and took several breaks whenever necessary.
Want a Better View? Climb Up
As we climbed up, the view got better. We could see Clean Trishuli River, roads, vehicles, fields and other villages on the opposite of us.
At around 7:30, we reached Thul Dhungi (Big Rock). It’s a place to rest for passers by. There’s a Big Rock (where it got its name) and some mango and peepal trees.
Everyone, whether they are climbing up or down, rests in this place for a while and gets energized by the shade of big trees and cool wind and continues their journey.
I used to do the same when I was studying in village school and had to climb up the hill for 45 mins everyday.
After resting for a while, we continued our journey. The trail still was vertical up. So, we walked slowly.
Now, we came to an open field. Previously the trail was passing through bushes. From here, the view was even more clear but was a little bit foggy as well, since it was early in the morning.
Budi App and the Monkey Pet
Then we reached Budi Aap (Old Mango Tree – Place Name) at around 08:00 A.M. There we met Aney Dai (Village Brother). We rested at his house for a while. He had a pet monkey and a dog.
We played with monkey for a while, talked with him and his parents and continued our journey towards Khasrang Gaun.
The trail from there was so foggy that we could barely see what’s in front of us within a couple of metres.
On the way we also found multiple small huts made on the fields. These huts were made to look after the crops and scare away monkeys.
People usually plant corn and beans in the fields and monkeys from the jungle come to steal the foods when they are ready to harvest.
We rested on one of the huts and took photos and continued our journey.
Home waiting for their owner to return
While we were walking slowly up the hill, we passed by multiple homes in a tole named “Gairawari”.
But all of them were locked and no one was there.
Later we found out that all of the people from those houses had migrated to Chitwan (city) for better opportunities.
With a question in my mind like “Will they ever return to this house if they get better facilities here as well?”, we continued our walk.
At around 08:30 we reached one of the biggest houses in the village. And I knew the owner of the house, so we rested there for a while, had a black tea and talked about the plan of our journey.
They wished us good luck for the journey ahead and we started walking towards La Tole after resting for a while.
Don’t call elders with their name in Nepal
“This is my village, I’ve studied in the school of this village for a year, So almost everyone knows me from a childhood and I also know them. But I forgot the relationships.”
In Nepal, we don’t call our elders with their name, instead we use relationships. It’s rude to call people with their name (unless you’re senior or best friends).
Last Village in Khasrang Gaun
At around 09:00, we reached La Tole. On the way we talked with the locals. Some of them were parents of my friends as well.
In a way everyone is your relatives in villages of Nepal. And everyone respects each other.
While talking, one of the locals even made a trek stick for my friend.
La Tole (Lahurey Tole) was the last village, after that we had to walk through the forest on our own until we reached another village.
And these days, no one walks that way. Only a few shepherds, and villagers use the way to collect firewood and fodder for their cattles.
So, we talked with locals, asked for directions to another village “Rasauli”, after we passed the jungle and continued walking.
On our own on a new route
We left the last village and continued walking up the hill. Now, we could see the sun and the fog was going away.
But the path was vertical up. So we climbed slowly through the rocky footpaths and passed the big-tall trees.
After climbing up for 20-30 minutes, we decided to rest for a while. As we kept the bag on the ground and looked ahead, we felt like we were in paradise.
The view from there was really stunning. We were like above the clouds. We could see the clouds as far as our eyes could see.
We felt like we were blessed by gods for our journey.
There we quench our thirst with water and started walking up the hill.
Easier doesn’t mean Right
After walking up for another half an hour, the trail started to flat and easier than before.
As we were moving forward, the path started becoming narrower and uncomfortable. On the right side of the trail was a steep cliff and on the left, a hill prone to landslides.
Some places had bridges made of logs. So we walked on the trail more carefully and slowly.
After walking for around half an hour, we reached Aandhi Khola (river) which was the source of drinking water for the locals of Khasrang Village.
And the path from there was nowhere to be seen. All we could see is a river bed, debris collected by the landslide.
We looked for the way around, we even walked up the river, but it was dead end. Then we realized that we were lost.
According to the directions of the locals, we had to take the middle path (not left and right) from the top of the hill (half an hour from the last village).
We thought we took the right path, but were mistaken.
What should we do next?
So we rested on the river for a while, and ate snacks that we brought from home. We ate a cucumber, apple, biscuits and drank water.
Then decided to return the same way and ask the villagers again.
We walked back for another half an hour and reached near La Tole. There, we saw someone cutting grass from the tree for goats.
So we asked for the directions to Rasauli Danda, Chhimkeshwori Temple. She replied back and said that after walking for a while, we need to take a middle path and climb up the hill.
Then based on her directions, we walked up again and started looking for that missing path.
Lost again with a Gut Feeling
We saw multiple smaller paths, tried some and finally decided to walk on one of them. But we were not sure that we were on the right path.
The path was narrow, covered with dry leaves, hay and bushes. And it was the narrowest and scariest path till now.
We were literally walking on the edge of a cliff. By a single mistake, if we took a misstep or slip, it’s guaranteed to take a life.
Anyway we followed the path, walking slowly and more carefully.
Then after there for a while I felt like we took another wrong path and were lost. So, I called my dad and asked for the directions.
Since he also has not walked on those trails, he could not guide us.
Then I called my Mum. Now she was worried because by now we must have reached the destination.
But we were lost in the jungle.
I described the view I could see from there. As soon as I said that there were a couple of houses and one big house with a red roof on the opposite hill.
She replied that the house with a red roof was a school where she teaches. And told us to aim for that place.
Then I told her not to worry about us, and we continued walking towards that. First we had to climb down the current hill.
I’ll be banned from traveling to new places again
Though the path was really narrow and slippery, we climbed down. After walking for around 45 minutes, we reached the river “Khahare Khola”.
Now, from there the path was vertical up and scary. We had to climb a cliff.
It’s like rock climbing with a 15 KG backpack.
We climbed up slowly. I also helped my friend to climb the cliff. Then started walking Slowly and Steadily on that path.
If I ever talk about the way we traveled today, I’m sure that my mum won’t allow me to go on a trek.
Later we started to walk up the hill and to another. But we were not sure that we were still taking the right path.
We followed the path with water pipes along the way. It took us to the River. There we drank water, refilled our water bottle and ate some biscuits and started climbing up the hill.
Now the path was steep, the sun was shining brightly and we were tired, so the path felt really difficult.
After walking up for another 1.5 hr, we could hear the bell from the neck of cattle and goats.
Shepherd saves us
Also a shepherd was singing a far. So I called him and asked about the name of the village.
He said it was Rasauli, which was the village we were looking for.
Rasauli is a Chepang Village. Chepang are Minority Indigeneous Caste of Nepal.
Then with confidence we started to walk upwards and in half an hour we reached the village. There we asked about the direction to Labdi village with the locals.
They showed us the way and based on their direction we started walking up.
Best view from the Top
Now, we climbed the hill after asking for the direction multiple times. And the view from the top of the Rasauli Danda (Hill) was really majestic. You could see all the way to Chitwan and Ichhakamana.
The view and the breeze of wind energized us again.
But it is really dangerous. It’s a rocky steep hill and nothing is seen down a couple hundred metres, so one should walk really carefully.
After resting for some time at the top of the hill, we continued our journey.
Finally after a couple of minutes of walking, we met the vehicle road. We were really happy to see the road. And with the hope to get lunch we started walking quickly on the road.
From the Rasauli Village, it took another 1.5 hr to reach the vehicle road.
How could we make another mistake again?
From the vehicle road, we took left. Now the road was downhill so we walked with ease.
After walking another 1 hour we reached another village and there we asked the name of the village.
It’s Bakhunde, they said.
And then we realized we took the wrong way. Instead of going near the Chhimkeshwori Temple, we were going away from the temple.
Now we had to walk back again on the same vehicle road to reach Labdi village Homestay.
There, we talked with the health post staff and ordered some food to eat.
In a small shop, we asked them to cook Noodles for us. I had the noodles with egg and my friend without egg.
One of the Staff of the Health Post even offered us her ChatPat (Snacks). We also ordered ChatPat from another shop.
Off to Labdi on a Right Path
First We ate Noodles as a lunch. And it made our stomach full. So we packed our ChatPat and started walking to Labdi based on their directions.
After walking for around 1.5 hour from Bakhunde, we finally reached Labdi village.
The sun was setting and the view was really magical. The Himalayas were on the north and golden sun was setting on south west.
Will we get a homestay for the night?
On the way, We asked about the homestay with the locals.
He told us about a couple of homestays. And we decided to stay at the most traditional one and went to Maite Gurung Homestay.
At first, he asked us where we were from, and why we were in the village. Then he showed us the room to stay.
His daughter-in-law prepared the room for us, then we went inside, put our bags inside and then went to the bathroom to wash our feet and face.
The water was really cold. They also offered us a cup of tea. And my friend had hot water to drink.
Then, I talked with the Maite Bajey (Bajey = Grampa) for a while about the place, temple, and family.
Later I found out that he even knew our family. We talked about the families for some time.
While I was talking with him, my friend was doing yoga.
Then at around 7:30, we had our dinner. For dinner, we had Daal (lentil), Bhaat (Rice) and Saag (Spinach).
After dinner, we went for a short walk in the village.
And then said Good Night to the family and went to bed at around 08:40 P.M.
Since we were tired after a long walk, we went to deep sleep as soon as we laid on bed and covered ourselves with the blanket.
Day 02 (Labdi to Bandipur)
Today, we woke up early before Sunrise, then freshen up (went to the toilet and washed our faces).
Then I had tea and talked for some time with Bajey while my friend was doing yoga.
After that we Paid the bill and bought biscuits. Bed (night stay) and Dinner was really cheap.
It was 150 (NPR – Nepalese Rupee) per bed per person and NPR 200 for veg Khana per person.
Then we started walking towards Chhimkeshwori based on the direction given by Bajey (Grampa).
The path was vertical up. We followed the traditional route instead of the vehicle route. (It was a shortcut).
We walked on the stairs through the Rhododendron (national forest) forest.
Warmth of morning sun, fresh air and the chirping of birds were energizing us to climb up the hill.
As we climbed up, the view started getting better. We could see himalayas (mountains), surrounding hills, clouds above the Marshyangdi and Trishuli river.
On the way we took lots of photographs and videos for memory, and then continued walking towards Chhimkeshwori.
After walking for about 1 hour from the homestay, we reached Chhimkeshwori Temple at the top of the hill.
First, we worshipped at the temple, then we enjoyed the view from the top.
Out of 7 sisters, Chhmikeshwori is the second one of the Goddess of Western Nepal. Other 6 goddesses are Budhi Kanya Mai (1st), Gorkha Kalik (3rd), Manakamana (4th), Ichhyakamana (5th), Annapurna (6th) and Akala Mai (7th).
Budhi Kanya Mai and Chhimkeshwori Mai are next to each other whereas other six are on surrounding hills.
From the top, you can see the 360 degree view of surrounding hills.This hill is the highest hill in Mahabharat ranges (2,335 metres).
On a Clear weather, you can see the Panoramic views of different mountains (Dhaulagiri to Langtang), surrounding hills and cities like Thankot, Bharatpur Chitwan, Gaidakot, Aanboo Khaireni, Dumre, Bandipur, Gorkha, Palungtar and Mugling.
Also the rivers like Trishuli, Narayani, Marshyangdi, Daraudi, Chepe and Maadi can be seen from the Top.
Almost forget to take a Snack Break
After enjoying the view, we went in search of a place for a snack break.
First, we went to another temple Budhi Devi Mai and worshipped there as well and stayed in a place for a snack break.
There, we ate biscuits, fruits and water.
And at that time the priest of the temple also came.
Then we also talked with him for a while and asked about the walking way to Hilekharka and Bandipur.
He showed us the shortcut way from the temple. It’s on the right side towards the second temple (Budhi Kanya Mai) from Chhimkeshwori temple.
Climb Down for Lunch
Following the direction we climbed down. On the way we filled water from a small tap as well, ate some biscuits and continued walking down.
These days, with vehicle roads, people rarely walk through the traditional route.
So, the old roads are disappearing. And it gets confusing if someone is new to the place and wants to walk on the trails.
After walking down the hill for around 1 hour we finally met the vehicle road. And walking on that road for 10 minutes took us to a village called “Ghale Danda”.
There, we met a couple of locals cutting bamboo for household purposes.
We asked for the way to Hilekharka, and they told us to follow the vehicle road.
On the way people were also working on electric poles.
Still the village was not getting electricity, so with the effort of locals and local government, electric poles were being constructed and wires were being put on those poles.
After walking for another 2 hour, we reached Hilekharka Village.
Hilekharka – Beautiful Gurung Village, Rich in Culture and Traditions
Hilekharka is also a Gurung village with around 70 households. Most of the houses were constructed during the 1970s in old style.
These houses are made with stone, mud and wood. Originally the houses used to have stone roofs. But some of them have steel roofs these days.
There are some old but fancy houses as well. These houses have circular walls (instead of square or rectangle).
They used to represent the prestige of the family during the old times (hundreds years ago).
People of Hilekharka speak their own language called “Gurung Language” (also speak Nepali) and also have their own unique culture, customs, traditions, songs and dances.
This place also has the homestay facility for the tourists.
If we had not lost on the way yesterday, we had planned to spend the night here.
Fresh and Organic Food, Mohi after ages
But today we ordered the locals to cook lunch for us. Since we were really hungry. There are no shops or restaurants on the way.
And they said it would take some time to cook lunch for us. So, we stayed in the sun and talked with the locals for a while.
In around 30 minutes, our lunch was ready and we hurriedly went towards the dining place.
For lunch we wate Daal, Bhaat, Tarkari and Saag. Aama (mother) of homestay also gave us Mohi to drink (it’s been ages, since I drank Mohi last time).
And the food was really amazing.
All the grains and vegetables were locally and organically produced.
After we had lunch, we rested for a while and then paid for the tasty lunch.
For lunch we paid NPR 200 per person.
Walking with the Himalayas
Then we asked for the way to Bandipur, and thanked them for the lunch, said bye-bye and continued to walk towards our next destination.
First the trail was vertical up then it became slanted and easier.
On the way we also met some known people. One was a junior in our school and another was from my own village Khasrang Village.
And they were here for work, working on constructing a drainage system on the side of the roads.
From there, we were the only two, walking on an unknown road, no networks and no google maps.
But the himalayan ranges on our eye level, greenery of the forest and birds singing encouraged us to continue our journey no matter how tired and paining our legs were.
It felt like the himalayas were moving along with us.
On the way we also saw the death ceremony of Gurung people. It’s called “Arghum”.
We watched the ceremony for a while and continued our journey to Bandipur.
Tired of Walking
We used to talk with whoever we met on the way and ask for the distance to Bandipur.
Sometimes I used to feel like we won’t reach Bandipur today.
I used to look for shortcuts (traditional routes) because the vehicle roads were longer (more distance) and followed the traditional routes.
While we were walking down some youth on motorbike even offered a lift to us, since they saw us walking down the road.They thought we missed the only local jeep from Hilekharka to Bandipur.
This shows how kind and helpful the people of Nepal are (mostly from rural villages).
But we told them, we were traveling on foot, that’s why we were walking. Then we thanked them for stopping by and offering a lift.
After walking for around half an hour from there, we reached another village, “Jhar Gaun”.
It took us around 1.5 hr from Hilekharka to reach Jhar Gaun.
Here, we asked about the direction and time it’d take us to reach Bandipur.
And they replied, it’d take around 1.5 hours. But I was sure it would take us 2 – 2.5 hrs as we were walking slowly.
We continued walking on the vehicle road. It was flat, so easier to walk but was dusty.
Last Snack Break for the Day
On a bus waiting area, we rested for a while and booked a hotel at Bandipur. Then we ate our biscuits, drank water and continued walking.
After walking for another 1 hour, we reached another village, Bahun Bhanjyang.
There we saw a couple of kids playing Top (Wooden toy with nail, Spin with Rope). We watched them play for a while and continued walking towards Bandipur.
After walking for another 1 hour, we finally reached Bandipur at around 6:00 P.M.
Ahh! Finally the Day Ends
Then we went to our guest house, Bandipur Guest House, asked for the key to the room and went to the room.
The room was really clean and spacious. One double bed and a single bed, clean bedsheets, pillow, blankets, clean towel, roll of toilet paper and bath soap per person.
And the room charge was reasonable as well, NPR 1500 per night.
The hotel has a vintage look, antique things. I’d recommend this place if you’re in Bandipur.
Then I took a shower, came down and talked with my uncle (guest house owner), ordered dinner for both of us and went to the bazaar for a while.
During this time, my friend was doing Yoga.
After roaming around the bazaar, I came back to the hotel with fruits.
Then I washed my socks and T-shirt in my room.
And came to the dining hall for our dinner.
The food was really delicious. We ate Daal, Bhaat, Saag, Achaar, Dahi, and chicken for me.
After the dinner, we went to the main bazaar again. While we were buying Ice creams, we met one of our uncles from Kathmandu. He was on a family vacation.
And we talked for a while, I shared our travel plan (Exploring new places on foot), then came to our hotel.
Since our next day was a rest day (not much walking), I stayed up late surfing the internet, posting photos and videos on social media.
Then at around 11:00 I sept.
Also read about “Bandipur Hiking Trail”
Day 03 – Sunrise at Bandipur and off to Besisahar for Next Trek
Today we woke up at around 6:00 A.M. Then freshen up and start walking towards Thanimai (Top of the hill in Bandipur) at around 6:30 A.M.
At around 7:00, we reached the top of the hill, Thani Mai temple.
The weather was not clear, It’s foggy. So, we had very little chance of getting a better Sunrise View.
We waited for a while for the sunrise. I even talked with other people who were there as a tourist as well.
Best Sunrise Ever!
Then the Sun started to come up, but it was playing hide and seek. It used to come up and hide behind the clouds in seconds.
But the sunrise view was really majestic. I had not seen such a beautiful Sunrise ever.
Though I had visited Bandipur, I had never known about the sunrise till now.
So, If you’re visiting Bandipur, I recommend you to stay the night and watch the sunrise.
You won’t regret it.
After watching the sunrise and Bandipur city from the top, we started to come down from another route behind the temple.
I heard it was a mini great wall of Bandipur.
Then at around 08:15, we reached the guest house and ordered our lunch.
At around 9:30, we had our lunch and then packed our bag and got ready to move towards another trek destination, Besisahar for “Gurung Heritage Trail” (Besisahar – Ghalegaun – Ghanpokhara – Bhujung – Pasgaun – Pokhara).
Chhimkeshwori – Bandipur Trek FAQs
Where is Chhimkeshwori?
Chhimkeshwori lies in Tanahun district in Gandaki Zone of Western Nepal at an altitude of 2,335 meters from the sea level.
It is the highest hill on Mahabharat range and you can visit here either via Aanboo Khaireni or Khasrang Gau (Paach Kilo) or Bandipur.
How to go Bandipur from Chhimkeshwori?
If you want to take a vehicle then follow the road from Labdi.
For walking Trail, you can either take the same vehicle road or climb up the Chhimkeshwori Temple and then take a traditional trail from right side of Budhi Kanya Mai. It’ll take you down to Ghale Danda. Then follow the road which will take you to Hilekharka, Jhar Gaun, Bahun Bhanjyang and Bandipur respectively.
Why should I go for a Chhimkeshwori – Bandipur Trek?
Chhimkeshwori – Bandipur Trek will take you to the top of Mahabharat Ranges Hills (2,335 meters).
Chhimkeshwori Temple is famous among hindu devotee as a religious place.
You can also enjoy the panoramic view of mountain ranges from Dhaulagiri to Langtang.
Also the cities like Bandipur, Gorkha, Manakamana, Bharatpur, Gaidakot, Thankot, etc. can be seen on a clear sunny day.
Mostly Gurung people live in this area, so you will get to experience their culture, traditions and customs. And also know about the authentic rural lifestyle in western Nepal.
How long does it take to reach Bandipur from Chhimkeshwori by foot?
For a good walker, it’ll take around 4 – 5 hrs.
For slow walkers, it can take around 7 – 8 hrs.