Markhu – Kulekhani Travel Facts
Altitude: 1,600 m (5,250 ft)
Location: 33.2 km (20.6 miles) southwest of Kathmandu
Duration: A day or Night out(1N 2D)
Budget: Around 1K to 3K (depends on you how you spend)
Route: Balkhu – Chovar – Pharping – Salle – Kulekhani Dam – Markhu – Chitlang
Public Vehicle to Markhu: From Balkhu, you can find the public bus (Chameli Travels Bus) which leave Kathmandu at around 7:30 am and will reach Markhu by 11:30 am, The same bus leave Markhu to Kathmandu at 2:00 PM (Rs. 160 Transportation Fare by Public Bus).
Note: There are alternative route for the Kulekhani Markhu which we can travel from Chandragiri either by hiking or by motorway. If we start from the Chandragiri our route will be Chandragiri – Chitlang – Markhu – Kulekhani Dam.
Kulekhani Dam/Indra Sarovar Lake
Kulekhani or Indra Sarovar Lake is an artificial (man-made) lake/dam located in Makwanpur district of Narayani Zone (Southern Nepal). It holds around 85,300,000 m3 (69,200 acre⋅ft) of water.
The lake/dam was built with the primary purpose of generating electricity but the beauty of the lake amongst the green and beautiful hills attracts the internal as well as international tourists throughout the year.
Mesmerizing view of lake can be seen from the top of the dam side and surrounding hills. Another fun thing to do is boating in a lake. Beside this, the fish from this lake tastes really good.
This place has become an alternative to the Fewa lake of Pokhara. If you’re looking for a place to chill and hangout for a day/night, then this place is for you.
In the north-western bank of Indrasowar lake, lies a beautiful and traditional village called Markhu. It is rich in culture, mesmerizing views of hills, lakes, agriculture lands and traditional houses.
Markhu is a Village Development Committee in Makwanpur District of Narayani Zone. And lies in the southern part of Nepal. The village is rich in culture and has a diverse ethnicity. Some of the major castes living here are Tamang (major), Newars, Magar, Bahun, etc.
Markhu Village is just around 30 mins drive from Kulekhani Dam. Since the village lies on the bank of Indra Sarowar lake, boating is one of the major tourist attractions. You can roam around the lake on a boat with a guide by paying around RS 150 per person for half an hour (pay more for more time). These days, people have also brought a motorboat, so you can enjoy the modern boat ride there, which is a new thing in Nepal.
When you’re in Markhu Village, the food you must have to try is fish. People are legally running fishery in Indra Sarowar lake. The fish grown in the cold freshwater lake is really tasty. You’ll really enjoy it and won’t forget the taste any sooner.
Where to stay in Markhu?
If you’re here for a night stay then, there are really good lodges and resorts to live in. One of the hacks we use whenever we go there is to stay in the lodge/hotel that’s on the other side of the lake (Hotel The Cross River). One of the benefits of staying there is that you get free boat ride in Indra Sarovar Lake, since it’s the only way to get to the hotel. The view of the hotels, lights and it’s reflection in the lake at night is really mesmerizing. The food, hotel rooms and overall service is really great.
It’s totally up to you wherever you stay but I really love staying in this hotel.
It is Nepal’s first sheep/goat breeding farm. This commercial farm produces meat, cheese and wool out of those animals.
Beside this, the farm has the beautiful landscapes (with grass and hills) and has become a favorite spot for music videos and movie shoots.
I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the place.
Chitlang and Organic Village Resort
It is believed that the Chitlang Village was formed during the Lichhavi era (400 to 750 CE approx). It is a Newari settlement and the people of this place are called Gopalis who are the descendents of rulers of the Gopal era.
According to the inscription, Amshubarma had given the land to shepherds and established a settlement for shepherds in Toukhel, Nhulgaun, Kunchhal etc. of Chitlang.
Some of the major attraction of the Chitlang is the old Newari houses, art and architecture, stupa and chaitya as well the village itself.
People also visit chitlang just to stay at Chitlang Organic Village Resort for a Night. It is a beautiful resort in the hills of Chitlang. The area of the resort is quite big and is surrounded by greenery, mostly pear trees. The resort has multiple small cottages for people to stay overnight. It’s one of the best places to go for a night out with friends and chill.
I’d recommend to visit place if you’re looking for a place far from the hustling and bustling city for a day and night.
For a farewell party to one of our school friends we chose Markhu as a destination. So we called all the school friends who could join for a night out.
As planned, we headed to Markhu from Kathmandu at around 2:00 PM. Since, some of our friends had to come from different parts of the Kathmandu valley, we stopped at Chovar for tea and snacks, and wait all of our friends.
After having tea and all the friends were gathered, we continued our journey to Markhu from there.
Started Bumpy Ride
Till Chovar, the road was quite good and silky. But afterwards, the road was bumpy and muddy. So we drove our bike slowly and safely. On the way we took several short breaks.
Since this was my second time to Markhu, I’d known several hidden but beautiful places on the way. So, I took my friends there.
A little before reaching Markhu, there’s a beautiful waterfall (a little bit inside and hidden from the road). So I lead the way to the waterfall, and then we took several photos there for a memory.
And then we headed to our destination, Markhu. There, we parked our bikes on the lake side. And moved towards our hotel.
Last time I stayed on a hotel across the lake and I liked the hospitality, food and environment there. Thus, we already planned to stay there.
On the way to Indrasarawor lake, we met the owner of our hotel, and then he called his staff to pick us up. Since, the hotel was located on the other side of the lake we had to cross the lake on a boat (Yeah, free boat ride).
After crossing the lake, we had brunch (Noodles Soup and Fish), then we headed to our rooms, rested for a while.
Markhu Party Started
And finally it started to get dark, and we started our celebration. All of us ordered a bottle of beer each, snacks (noodles mix, spicy peanuts, fried meat) and Chicken BBQ meat. We lit fire for BBQ, gathered around talked about life, school memories and many things.
This night we stayed up late, got drunk had dinner with Fish (Must have food of Markhu), and then went to bed.
The next day we woke up pretty early then ordered tea and breakfast. The tea of Markhu is special. It’s more creamy than anywhere else. I think it’s the best tea I ever had. We had breakfast there, then paid the bill and decided to part from the hotel and go towards Bhedafarm.
So, one of the hotel staff took us across the river, and then we started our journey from Markhu.
From Markhu, Trip to Bhedafarm and Chitlang Organic Village Resort
The road was bumpy and dusty, and somewhere muddy, we drifted a couple of times on the way. And finally reached the Bhedafarm, the place was really beautiful, it gave all of us the feel of a paradise. The grass was clean and the whole hill was a grassland (you can read the details above).
From there, we headed to Chitlang Organic Village Resort. After riding bike for about an hour we reached to the resort and then we ordered lunch for all of us.
And the owner told us that it would take about an hour to prepare the food, so we roamed around the resort, took photos in the pear orchard. And then headed to resort hall to have lunch.
Find the Road to go Home
After the food we decided to head back home. But instead of taking the same path we came, we decided to take another route which would take us to Thankot Chandragiri Cable Car Station.
But later we get to know that the road was blocked for now and we can’t take the path. So we asked for an alternative path, one of the villagers told us about the path that could take us to Kathmandu.
So we followed his instructions and hit the road. We also asked the locals for a road to reach Kathmandu whenever we got confused.
Harsh Road but made to the Top
The road was really bad, graveled road, slippery due to rain and huge rocks on the way. We had to drive very slowly, sometimes pushed from the back as well. Finally we reached the top of the hill, since it’s raining heavily we stayed there for a while and had black coffee.
After the rain stopped, we roamed around there for a while, explored a little and took some photos and then headed down to Kathmandu. The road was bumpy as earlier and downhill, so we had to drive with more care. After riding down for about 45 mins we came down to satungal, and then after half an hour on the highway, we reached our home.
All of us were tired, so we took shower one by one and then rested.
It took us around 3 hours from Chitlang to come back to Kathmandu.
The trip was really memorable, and also captured the memories in photos, hope none of us forgets the moment.