Manikhel Village is a rural, basic but authentic village which is located at just around 40 KM from the capital city, Kathmandu.
It is a Tamang Village located on the hills near Kathmandu, at a height of more than 2,000 meters from the sea level. The view from the village is outstanding and local people are very warm and welcoming.
Lately, Manikhel is getting more popularity because of its nearby jaw dropping waterfall called Simba Falls.
- Distance from Kathmandu: 40 KM
- Altitude from Sea Level: 2,000 meters +
- Simba Waterfalls Location: Lies in Mahankal Gaupalika 2 (Between Manikhel Khawa and Rigin Dada)
- Route: Ring Road Satdobato – Chapagaun – Lele – Bhardev – Chaugharey – Gotikhel – Manikhel
“The water in this waterfall is very cold, so it’s called Simba Waterfall in Tamang Language.”
Simba Waterfall is a combination of 5 different small waterfalls in Manikhel. To visit this beautiful waterfall, one has to walk for about 45 mins – 1 hour from the last vehicle stop. The waterfall is situated in peaceful and green surroundings.
One who loves serene environment and loves to go for a hike, they will instantly fall in love with the surrounding.
The greenery and water is so pure that, it’ll make you forget all the sorrows and make you feel delightful and joyous.
The road to reach Manikhel, Simba Falls is a bit difficult (most difficult in monsoon), but the visit is worth it.
How to Get There?
Manikhel is just about 40 KM from Kathmandu, but the drive may take around 4-5 hrs to reach there.
You can go either on private vehicle or on a public vehicle, it’s up to you.
- The first way is to take a local bus from Ratnapark (Opposite of Bir Hospital), Kathmandu to Lagankhel-Chapagaun-Manikhel. The fare is around NPR 200 per person (one way). First you’ll have to take a bus to Chapagaun from Ratnapark. Then from Chapagaun Pyang Gaau Buspark you can get another bus to Manikhel.
- You can also go on your private vehicle (Motorbike/Car)
- Also you can rent a car with a driver, which costs around NPR 5,000 for a day or hire a Motorcycle which can cost you around NPR 1,000 per day.
Note: From Chapagaun, it’ll take around 3-4 hrs on bike to reach Manikhel, whereas it’ll take around 4-5 hrs on a local bus. And It’ll take around 45 mins to reach Simba Falls from Manikhel Rigin Dobhan.
On the Way
On the way to Manikhel, Simba Falls, you’ll find many amazing places to visit. One of them is Tileshwar Mahadev and Saraswati Kunda.
This religious place lies near the Lele Bus Stop. And it’s the only Saraswati Kunda in Nepal.
It is believed that if someone with difficulty in talking drinks water from Saraswati Kunda, he/she will be able to talk clearly.
Besides this you can also visit many small waterfalls on the way, Organic Farming villages and Rainbow Trout Farm as well.
The Road Condition
- Ring Road: Best (Balck Topped [Pitched], Wide and Less Traffic)
- Satdobato – Thecho: Good (Black Topped, pothole on some places)
- Thecho – Chapagaun: Bad (Pot holes on most places and muddy)
- Chapagaun – Lele: Worst (Less Road, More Mud and Potholes)
- Lele – Gotikhel: Better (Black Topped, Not much vehicles, difficulty in some places)
- Gotikhel-Manikhel: Not so Bad (Gravelled, Few Vehicles)
Things you should Remember
- Start as Early As Possible: Though the distance is not much from Kathmandu (42 KM approx.), the road is difficult. It’s semi black topped (pitch). In some places roads are worst due to landslide.
- Wear Warm Clothes: You’ll be reaching at the height of around 2,000 meters from the sea level and the road is through the hills, covered with forests. So, it’s damp and Cold. Thus, it’s recommended to wear warm clothes with you. And if you’re traveling in Monsoon, then bring raincoats along with you.
- Stop and Ask: Sometimes roads get really confusing. So, don’t hesitate to ask for the right way with locals. (Though we read articles and watched vlogs about the place, before going Manikhel, and were also very careful, asked multiple times for the way while we’re on our bikes but we got lost twice.)
- Put Snacks and Water in your Backpack: It’s a long and tiring way to rural village, so it’s always better to put enough snacks and 2 liters of water per person. (You never know, when will you find another stop to have snacks.)
- Take enough Cash: Always remember that you’re traveling to rural village of Nepal. So don’t expect any ATMs or electronic mode of payment. (Though there might be some banks, it’s always better to be yourself on the safe side. Hence, we recommend that you take enough cash for a couple of days.)
- Have Enough Fuel: If you’re travelling on your own vehicle (motorbike), please full tank your vehicle with fuel. You never know where the next petrol pump. (We didn’t find any petrol pump on the way or in the city. But small shops sell petrol on bottles and it will cost 20-30 rupees more than the actual price.)
Other things to do in Manikhel
- You can go for a short hike around the surrounding hills.
- Visiting local schools and Health Center.
- Going on a local home factory tour and getting a bottle of medicated oil is another fun thing to do.
- You can also go for a scenic drive (motorbike or private vehicle) to Hindu Temple or Buddhists Gumba.
Couple of months ago, I saw a post about this beautiful waterfall near Kathmandu. Later, after doing some research I found out that it was located in Lalitpur district and the place was called Manikhel.
So I showed the picture of the waterfall to my friends and said we should visit there once.
Day 1: Kathmandu to Manikhel (Simba Falls)
Finally, the day came and we’re going to Manikhel.
Before the day, I looked about the place, watched vlogs (videos) and gathered as much information as possible. And created a small itinerary as well.
Some posts were discouraging as well. There were stories of people who had to return from the mid way due to bad weather conditions, worst road situation and missed the road and lost.
But we were determined to go to that place and made better preparations for the day.
Off to Manikhel
On 27th September, 2019, Saturday, we started our journey to Manikhel from Raniban, Sano Bharyang (near Swayambhu), Kathmandu at around 10:30 A.M. (in the morning).
We fueled our bike at swayambhu and continued our journey to Simba Falls, Manikhel. The road upto Satdobato is really good, it’s black topped (pitched), wide and not much traffic jams.
Though there were 3 routes to reach Manikhel
- From Godawari
- Via Satdobato (Our Route)
- Through Chobhar
We chose the second one i.e. via Satdobato as it’s the most recommended on most of the vlogs/blogs.
Thus, the route for us was Satdobato – Thecho – Chapagaun – Lele – Gotikhel – Manikhel – Simba Falls.
From Satdobato, we headed towards Thecho, Chapagaun. The road till Thecho was pretty good. It’s a way towards the famous ULLENS school. Crossing the school, you’ll reach Sunakoti and then Thecho.
Bumpy Road gives the feeling of Roller Coaster
From Thecho, the road to Chapagaun is bad. It’s black topping (pitch) is gone. I think it’s due to heavy traffic and heavy load carriers (tippers).
The road is muddy and with potholes. During the monsoon, these holes gets filled with water and becomes difficult to recognize the potholes which may cause accidents.
So, it’s recommended to drive slowly.
“The road is bumpy and gives the vibe of Roller Coaster at Fun park.”
And you might think it’s the worst road ever but you’re going to get surprised.
The road from Chapagaun to Lele is probably the worst in that route. It’s less like a road and more like debris brought by a landslide or a field to plant rice.
Here comes the first twist in our journey to Manikhel
After traveling for sometime, we found a better road now. It’s pitched (black topped) and smooth. So we thanked god and continued our journey happily.
After traveling for about half an hour, we started to get the same worst kind of road and it was going down instead of up.
So we asked a man on the way who was returning from the jungle. And found out that we missed the road and were headed in the wrong direction.
Now we had to return from there with a sad face. Though we’re conscious and were travelling by asking locals on the way, we got lost.
And the road was slippery that one of our friends drifted and fell. But luckily nothing happened to anyone.
And returned from there, asking locals on the way about the right way to go Manikhel.
No one returns without an accident
While asking for the way one of the local ladies said that, no one returns from Manikhel without getting Minor accidents, so reminded us to drive safe and slow.
After coming back for about half an hour, we finally reached the place we parted in the wrong direction.
At around 12:00 P.M., we finally reached to Lele. We stopped there and bought some snacks to eat on the way. And asked for directions to Manikhel and how long it would take us to reach there.
We might not be able to return
And we were shocked by hearing his reply. He said it would take us around 3 – 4 hours from there to reach Manikhel and another 45 minutes of walking to reach Simba Falls (Jharana).
And it’ll be around 8-9:00 o’clock to come back there, if we decided to return.
After buying some snacks and getting shopkeepers direction, we continued our journey.
Now, the rain has started to shower. So, we put on our raincoat and continued our ride slowly and safely.
Now we got lost again
The road condition was still the same (muddy and slippery). After half an hour we came near a stream which we had to cross.
The flow of water in that stream was very strong, any way we crossed that stream and continued our ride.
But now, the road was getting worse than before. After continuing on that road for about 15 minutes, we met truck drivers who asked where we were headed.
So, we replied that we’re going to see Jharana (Simba Waterfall) in Manikhel. After hearing our reply, the driver said that it was not the way to Manikhel instead it’d take us to some Khani (Ore).
And said that we need to return and take another road which would take us to Manikhel.
After missing the way for the second time, we returned from there and came down to find the right road where we missed.
Now, we find the right way, and the road was better, as it was pitched (black topped).
“Since the road was muddy earlier, we never thought of finding a good road any sooner and continued on the similar muddy road. And that was the reason for us to miss the right direction.”
(Ask for the directions whenever you get confused)
Road is blocked by the landslide
Now, the road was better, we continued our journey. After riding for some time we found another stream where we stopped for a break (nature calls).
While we were there, we met some people who were returning and we asked how was the way how long it would take us to reach there.
And in reply, we found out that they did not reach the destination i.e. Simba Falls (Jharana), Manikhel. Due to landslide the road was blocked and they returned from the halfway.
Now, that was demotivating, and asked if there’s any alternative way to reach there.
And he said that, there’s a way but it’d take 1 hour more to reach there. Now, some of us wanted to return home because it’s going to take almost another 4-5 hours to reach our destination (Simba Falls).
But most of us were determined to reach our destination by hook or crook (anyway). So, without any further delay, we continued our journey.
Besides some places, the road was better and smoother than earlier. And it’s probably the best road after ring road on our route.
Welcomed by the Hills, Waterfalls, Chirping of Birds and Smile of Locals
The road through the jungle, rain showers and higher altitudes with cool breeze was decreasing the temperature and started the environment started to become chilly.
The small droplets of water falling as a rain, gave us a feeling of being welcomed by the hills and waterfalls as a tears of joy.
The sound of streams flowing with clean, pure and cool water, chirping of birds, the sound of air flowing through the forest, fog on the hills, kind hearted and welcoming people, fields full of organic vegetables and crops, herds of cows grazing in the meadows, etc. were giving us the energy and motivation to continue our journey.
After riding for a couple of hours, we stopped to have some snacks we bought earlier on Lele. We rested for a while and then continued our journey.
Finally, Way to Simba Falls Sign
At around 3:00 in the evening, we reached Gotikhel. And here we saw a sign of way to Simba Waterfall. So we asked for directions. And one of the locals showed us the directions to go Manikhel, from where we had to start our hike to Simba Falls.
After Riding for another half an hour we reached Manikhel at 3:30 P.M. Here, we parked our bikes and left helmets at nearby hotels.
Without wasting any time, we continued our hike to Simba Waterfall. The path was along the base of Simba Waterfalls.
The water flowing through the waterfall was really cold, as it got its name.
We had to cross pass the river many times, shoes were wet and the path was slippery. But we continued our journey anyway.
On the way we took as many photos as possible. It’ll be the sweetest memory for a lifetime.
And after walking for about 1 hour we reached to the top of the waterfall. And the view of the waterfall was very beautiful.
Finding the sweet spot to see whole Simba Falls (5 Waterfalls)
But I wanted to see all 5 waterfalls at once. So I climbed the nearby hill which was opposite to waterfall while rest of friends were taking photos at the Waterfall.
I had to climb that hill as fast as possible because we had to leave early and I did not want to be left there.
After climbing that hill quickly for about 15 minutes, I found a sweet spot from where I could see the most beautiful view of all waterfalls of Simba Waterfall.
Beside this, from there we could see surrounding beautiful green hills and the top view of Manikhel and Gotikhel as well.
After taking some pictures and spending quality time on that dreamland, I started to climb down. But suddenly I found some of my friends coming towards me. So again we went to that spot.
And they were also very happy to come there. And it was the most beautiful scene of that trip as well.
By that time the rest of our friends has already started going down the same route we came. But we stayed a little longer.
In search of new Route
While we were there, we also saw some people coming that way as well. So while returning back, we decided to go through that route instead of the route we came earlier.
From there, we started climbing the hill, and the road was going up the hill. So, sometimes we even decided to return.
But anyway we continued to go on that path. It was getting darker and the friend who took the same route started to call us.
And we said that we took another route up the hill, which was very steep and took us up the hill and it will take us some time to reach there.
Found the Vehicle Route
Finally, after climbing for about 30 mins we found a vehicle road. And there was a small shop also. And we asked them about the path to go Manikhel.
After talking with the locals there, we found out that bike can come upto there and from there it takes just 25 mins to reach the Simba Waterfall. And they also showed us the shortest way to reach Manikhel and told us to ask locals since the path was confusing.
Offered to stay in village
After taking their advice, we started climbing down the hill. We asked a couple of times with the local for the right direction. And it took almost 1 hour to reach the bottom of the hill.
On the way, one kind lady even offered us to stay in her house as it was already 6:00 PM and getting really dark. But we couldn’t take her offer since our other friends were already in Manikhel and waiting for us.
So we thanked her and continued to cross the river and reached the place where our friends were waiting for us.
There we had lemon tea and something to eat and moved towards Gotikhel to find a guest house to stay that night.
Initially our plan was to return the same day, but the condition of the road was not so good and it was already pitch black with rain, we decided to stay at Gotikhel.
Finally after half an hour we reached Gotikhel and found a guest house. Here, we booked a large room and stayed together. We bought some food from nearby restaurant and brought it in our room and ate it.
And went to sleep as we were very tired there’s nothing to do.
Day 2: Manikhel to Home
The next day, we woke up at around 5:30 A.M. and started our journey to come home at 6:00 A.M.
“Today was Ghatasthapana, the first day of Nepalese largest national festival, Dahsain. So, we had to come home as early as possible.”
Now, we knew the way, so we continued to come down the hill. On the way back, we also went to Teleshwor Mahadev’s Temple on Lele. We already came down to Lele at 8:00 A.M.
And again continued our ride. Since, the road and it’s conditions on different places were known
At around 9:00 A.M, we reached to Satdobato, and finally at around 9:30 A.M. we reached our home.
At home we cooked for all, ate it together and rested.
Best advice I can give based on my experience
Though it’s considered as a single day trip from Kathmandu, I’d recommend you to spend 2 days for this trip. Because most of the road is hilly and difficult which will make you tired, and sometimes landslides also blocks the road.
So, it’s better to ride safely and slowly explore the place as much as you want.
But if you want to make it a single day trip, then start your journey from Kathmandu (Satdobato) at around 5 – 5:30 A.M. Else it’ll be really difficult to ride a bike at night.
Some other places you might like to visit near Kathmandu Valley are as follows
- Jamacho, Hiking in Kathmandu (Shivapuri National Park Area)
- Sikali Khokana
- Hiking to Champadevi
- Markhu, Kulekhani and Chitlang
- Jamchen Vijaya Stupa, Budhanilkantha
If you’ve any questions regarding the route or anything, then please leave a comment below. And also don’t forget to comment a beautiful place like this where you’ve visited and we should too.
And also if you think the information was helpful then don’t forget to share with your loved ones with whom you want to go there.
Simba Falls, Manikhel FAQ
Where is Simba Falls?
Simba Falls lies in Manikhel village of Lalitpur district. And it is just 40km from Kathmandu Valley.
Simba Falls is the combination of 5 different steps of Waterfall and is at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters from the sea level.
How to go Simba Falls, Manikhel?
You can go either of a private vehicle like (Bike or Car) and public vehicle also available. You can return on the same day if you’re planning to take your own vehicle.
From the last vehicle stop, you will have to walk for about 30 – 45 mins.
Best Time to visit Simba Falls,Manikhel
August – September is the best time to visit because monsoon is ended (no rain). But the water level is high, so waterfall looks amazing and not soo cold.
If you go earlier, you may have to face difficult road condition, slippery roads, lots of rain and leeches due to monsoon rain. And if you go later, it’s too cold and water level may be low during winter and summer.
Simba Falls, Manikhel Location Map
Kathmandu – Satdobato – Thecho – Chapagaun – Lele – Gotikhel – Manikhel – Simba Waterfall