Exploring the terrain of a land is best done on a motorcycle and Nepal is a country with innumerable types of terrain. Nepal is also where the ice – cold mighty Himalayas meets the lush green tropical region of the Terai plains. In the past few years, Nepal has become a popular destination for motorcyclists from around the world as it offers views of the magnificent Himalayas, deep gorges, colorful and vibrant cultures, ancient temples and monasteries, jungle safari in search of the elusive tiger and more…
This is one of the ultimate rides through the heart of Nepal starting from the Capital City of Kathmandu to the lush jungles of the Terai and then rises through the Kali Gandaki Gorge (the deepest gorge in the world) to the rain shadow area of the wind-swept desert landscape of Mustang district in the upper reaches of the Himalayas with stunning views of the snowcapped peaks of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Mt. Nilgiri (7061 m), Mt. Tilicho (7134 m) and others. There are enormous vistas of the Annapurna Range of mountains with the highest of the 4 peaks of the Annapurna at 8091 m and the most beautiful Fish Tail Mountain at 6999 m. The route passes through the beautiful lake city of Pokhara, authentic Tibetan and Thakali villages, ancient monasteries, barren ridges, eroded cliffs, Moraine valleys and the most famous temple of Muktinath, a sacred place of worship for Hindus and Buddhists at 3800 m. .
Upon arrival met by the representative and board the waiting vehicle and drive to the hotel. Guest will be welcomed with the welcome drink and the rooms will be assigned. Kathmandu: The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,370 meters (4,500 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. It is surrounded by four major mountains: Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. Kathmandu Valley is part of three districts (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur), has the highest population density in the country, and is home to about a twelfth of Nepal’s population. Historically, the Kathmandu Valley and adjoining areas were known as Nepal Mandala. Rest of the day is free to relax and explore around the hotel. 18:00 Hrs: A short briefing about the ride will be carried out at the hotel lobby also the Road captain and the mechanic will be introduced. Later board the waiting vehicle and proceed for a welcome dinner at typical Nepali Restaurant (BhojanGriha.) BhojanGriha is located in Dilli Bazar is an authentic Nepali Restaurant. It is an old Nepali Building which is more than 100 years old; it is historical & artistic building of former royal priest. This is an old Nepali building restored and converted into a multi-storied restaurant tastefully decorated in local decor. Shoes have to be taken off – Nepali custom) which serves Nepali as well as foreign drinks and cocktails. Snack menu of momo-cha (meat dumplings), fried or boiled wild boar meat, fried potato Nepali style with masala, dried and marinated venison meat, grilled chicken/mutton/duck, etc., are featured in the menu. Also, there is a one hour Nepali folk dance program. After the dinner, board the waiting vehicle and drive to Hotel. Overnight Hotel Manaslu or Similar
08:00 HRS : After breakfast, met by the Road Captain and Mechanic at the hotel lobby and start a ride to Sankhu. Sankhu is approximately 16 kilometers north east of Katmandu which takes about 45 minutes, through the hustle and bustle of the city. It is Newari town rich in social, cultural as well as religious values and the town has been planned in a gridiron pattern, in the shape of Shankha (conch shell), thus its name. Sankhu is an old town started predominantly as a Newar community and even today, almost all people in Sankhu are Newars. Sankhu (‘sakwo’ called by the locals) was established in the Kaligat era in 1801. The legend has it that it was formed based on the ideas of goddess Bajrayogini – a tantric goddess and one of the four yoginis of the Kathmandu Valley. Note : Sankhu as with other areas of Sindhupalchowk district was badly affected by the earthquake of 25th April, 2015 and is now under restoration and renovation.
After a short break, continue our ride to Nagarkot which takes about 1 ½ – 2 hours with short breaks in between to relax, enjoy the views of the valley on one side and mountains on the other. Occasionally mingling with local people is fun and a great way to explore and experience rural Nepal and its culture.
Nagarkot is a small hilltop town and lies on the ridge on the valleys northeast rim overlooking a big chunk of the Western, Central and the Eastern Himalayas, including five of the world’s 10 highest Peaks- Mt. Everest (8848 M), Mt. Lhotse 8516 M), Mt. Cho-Oyu (8201M), Mt. Makalu (8463 M), and Mt. Manaslu (8163 M).
Beside magnificent views of the Himalayas, Nagarkot also offers one of the best sunrise and sunset over the horizon.
After spending some time, we continue our ride and descend on a winding road for another 13 kms to the ancient Bhaktapur City or the “City of Devotees” situated at an altitude of 1,401 m. The city covers an area of 4 square miles and is shaped like a conch shell. Pottery and weavings are its traditional industries.
Before starting our sightseeing we will halt for lunch.
The sightseeing tour of Bhaktapur includes the Durbar Square, which is the main square of the city and contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces like Lion Gate, the statue of Bhupatindra Malla the Picture Galley, the Golden Gate, the Palace of 55 windows, the Bastille temple and the Bell of barking dogs, etc. The statue of Bhupatindra Malla in the act of worship is placed on a column facing the palace. Of the many statues available in Nepal, this is considered to be the most magnificent.
Also visit The Golden Gate, the entrance to the main counter of the Palace of 55 windows. Built by King Ranjit Malla, the gate is one of the most beautiful and richly carved specimens of its kind in the entire world. This gate is embellished with deities and monsters of marvelous intricacy.
The Palace of 55 Windows was built in the seventeenth century by King Bhupatindra Malla. Among the brick walls with their gracious settings and sculptural design, is a balcony of 55 windows. This balcony is the masterpiece of wood carving.
Continue to Natyapola Temple through a narrow street. This five storey pagoda was built in 1702 A.D. by King Bhupatindra Malla. It stands on a five-terraced platform and on each of the terraces, squat a pair of figures, two famous wrestlers, two elephants, two lions, two griffins, Baghiani, Singini – the tiger and the lion goddesses. This is one of the tallest pagodas and is famous for its massive structure and subtle workmanship.
After Sightseeing tour of Bhaktapur city, return to Kathmandu and check into the hotel.
The rest of the evening is FREE.Overnight at Hotel, Kathmandu
After breakfast, set out of the hotel and follow the road captain to cross the ring road and arrive at Balkhu Chowk. This section road to Kulekhani is under construction and may be a bit difficult to negotiate and tests the riding skills of riders. However it is only 50kms and then the route becomes more pleasurable except for the jeep drivers that tests ones patience with their aggressive driving and continuous honking. The Kulekhani Reservoir is also known as Indrasarobar and the security guards do not allow people to linger along the dam area so one must continue past the dam and only stop once on the other side.
From Kulekhani, it is 24 kms to reach the junction and the left trail leads to Hetauda and Right to Daman. We follow the left road and continue riding until we reach Bhimphedi and after paying our toll tax, descend on a narrow road for 15 kilometers to Bhaise.
Upon arrival at Bhaise, cross the bride and continue on a pleasant ride to Hetauda and stop for a much-deserved lunch break.
After lunch, join the east – west highway and ride 68 kilometers to Rhino chowk because of the Rhino statue that guards the entrance. Continue our ride to Sauraha for a few kilometers, a busy tourist village and the gateway to the Chitwan National Park.The Chitwan National Park is the oldest national park in Nepal and is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of South Central Nepal. The park has an area of 932 square kilometers and was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984.
The name Chitwan means “heart of the jungle”. In recent years, this park has risen meteorically on the lists of the “Things to do in Nepal”. The park covers a pristine area with a unique ecosystem of significant value to the world. It contains the Churiya hills, ox-bow lakes and flood plains of Rapti, Reu and Narayani rivers. The Sal forests dominates the vegetation of the park. The grasslands form a diverse and complex community with over 50 species, the Sacchurun species, often called elephant grass, can reach 8m in height. The park boasts of more than 43 species of mammals including the one horned rhinoceros and the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger, 45 species of amphibians and reptiles and 450 species of birds. The park is renowned for endangered animals along with many other common species.
Upon arrival at Sauraha, check into the hotel
Rest of the day is free to relax.
Overnight at hotel, Chitwan
After breakfast, return to join up with the main East West Highway and turn west. In about 18 kilometers, ride past Narayan Ghar, a very busy metropolitan city, cross the Narayani river over a bridge and eajoy a pleasant ride through the flat plains of the Terai for about 100 Kms to reach Butwal, another beautiful city. From here, the trail starts to climb on a pleasant mountain highway all the way to Tansen – a hill top town situated on the slopes of Shreenagar Danda at an altitude of 1343m. The view from here is spectacular. Toward the north you have an ultra-wide mountain panorama all the way from Mt. Dhaulagiri in the west and Mt Gauri Shankar to the east. Upon reaching Tansen check-in at your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax in this beautiful hill station.
Overnight at hotel, Tansen
A challenging day of riding. After breakfast, we ride out of Tansen to Harthok, a small town at the junction. From here, head west towards Wami, a small town on the foothills of Midwest Nepal. We arrive at Ridi first, and start to ascend to Tamghas, the headquarters of Gulmi district. Tamghas is a big bustling town equipped with all the modern facilities. It is about 65kms from Tansen and the road is mostly tarmacked.
From Tamghas, its 35 kms of pure off road track to Wami and an excellent place to stop for lunch.
After Lunch, wear your kidney belt and face mask and get ready for a dumpy, dusty and adventurous ride through the valleys to Mallaj. After 5 minutes of riding out from Wami, we immediately join in the Mid-hill highway which is still under construction. Traffic in this section is slow but one must still be careful, especially at the bends.
We finally arrive at the next big town of Baglung, a concrete jungle that stands out as a collage on the slope of the Kali Gandaki gorge amongst the lush green forests.
From Baglung, we ride down to the Kali Gandaki Bridge and cross over to Parbat district then head north to Milan Chowk. Take yet another “pure dirt track” carved out of the hill to arrive at The Heritage at Mallaj. It takes about an hour to ride this 7kms of dirt track through the forest and terrace farms.
Overnight at Heritage at Mallaj
After the rough riding of the previous day, it’s a lazy breakfast breakfast and then firstly ride about 7 km to join up with the road to Muktinath and slowly make our way to Beni, the district headquarters of Myagdi District in the Dhaulagiri Zone, following the Kaligandaki river ona graveled road passing through paddy fields and villages on the hill slope.
From here, the road is unpaved and dusty with potholes at several
places. Unpaved, graveled rough road poses a real challenge for riders and makes it more difficult with the occasional river crossings.
Ascend gradually through the Kali Gandiki gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. There is a continuous change in the topography with every twist and turn until our arrival at Tatopani.
Tatopani “Hot Water”. From here set out on the trail by following the Kali Gandaki River and passing the Thakali and Magar Villages to Dana (4750 ft. / 1446 m.) famous for its beautiful cascading waterfall.
Steeply ascend to Ghasa (6600 ft. / 2012m) and continue the ride on a dusty and one of the difficult sections of the road towards Jomsom via the Thakali villages of Tukuche and Kalopani. Enroute, there are fantastic views of the Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Tukuche (6920m), and Nilgiri (7061m).As we pass between the Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna mountain range, a dramatic change in vegetation is witnessed from green forests, to dry arid desert. It takes gradual acclimatizing with the surrounding. The Thakali’s are the dominant tribe of the valley, related to the Gurung and Magars of the southern slopes.
Today’s destination is a short one. Kalapani is scaled to be at 2530 meters and one can enjoy beautiful views of Mt. Nilgiri and Mt. Tukuche Upon Arrival at Kalopani check in to the lodge and rest of the evening is free to relax and explore around the Kalopani village.
Overnight at Guesthouse, Kalopani
After an early breakfast, set out on the trail by following the Kali Gandaki River and passing the Thakali and Magar Villages to Marpha and ride towards Jomsom through the dusty graveled “off” road passing smaller settlements and apple orchards. There are excellent views of Mt. Nilgiri and the Kali Gandaki River flows on the right hand side of the trail.
This day’s journey is a tough one but the scenic views of the rugged landscape, beautiful cascading waterfalls, orange and apple orchards, scattered roadside villages, ancient Buddhist monasteries all make it ‘One Hell of a Ride”.
Jomsom (2700 m) is more correctly known as Dzongsam or New Fort. It spreads over both the banks of the Kali Ghandaki. The towering peaks of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri form an attractive backdrop. Being the district headquarters, it is primarily an administrative and commercial center with government officials and merchants rubbing shoulders with the local inhabitants of the region, known as the Thakalis. Jomsom is the Administrative center of the Mustang region and the gateway to the Annapurna region. A land of mystique, the rugged peaks of the Annapurna, Nilgiri and Dhaulagari gaze down in their awesome splendor at weathered landscapes that contrast with the deep river ravines over noisy riverbeds. Jomsom is a mixture of hard work, social frivolity tempered by culture founded on deep religious traditions. It has the only airport that operates daily scheduled flights to Pokhara in the early mornings before the winds build up.
From here continue ride passing through the village, past the High Altitude Mountain Warfare School of the Royal Nepal Army and through several restaurants, bhattis and a hospital. We pass through the old Jomsom village which boasts of several lodges, restaurants school and government offices. At the end of the village the valley opens wide, take the left side of the trail just after crossing the three ruined chorten and continue on the east bank of the Kali Ghandaki River. After about 20 minutes, arrive at Ekklaibhatti a small village with few lodges. There are two trails here. The left will lead to Kagbeni while the right one leads to Muktinath. We take the right trail and continue to ascend slowly to the settlement of Jharkot, which has a fort “Kot”.
.After breakfast met by the rest of the team and continue the ride to Lo-Manthang. After crossing Geling we continue our ride to Ghami.After crossing Ghami we ride to Lo-Manthang. As soon as we leave Ghami we have to take right to get to Tsarang. Upon arrival at Tsarang continue the adventure ride to Lo-Manthang via Big Chorten and Lo Dry La River.Lo-Manthang is a medieval walled city on the Tibetan Plateau north of the main Himalayas range.
Lo-Manthang served as the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Mustang, which survives as the Kingdom of Lo or
“Upper Mustang”. Lo Manthang was founded in 1380 by Ame Pal, who oversaw construction of the city wall and many of the still-standing structures in the early 15th century. The monarchy officially ceased to exist on October 7, 2008 by Nepali Government order. The last king (raja or gyelpo) is JigmeDorjePalbarBista (born c. 1933), in the direct line of the historic monarchy dating back 25 generations to 1380. The population includes ethnic Lhobas.Upon arrival at Lo-Manthang check in to the lodge and rest of the evening is free to relax and explore around the kingdom of Lo-Manthang. Overnight at the GuestHouse
After leisurely breakfast ride down to Kagbeni (2800 m) which is the gateway to Upper Mustang. (Note: The Kaligandaki Valley becomes increasingly windy during the day as the winds blows south to north and makes it difficult for travelers. After spending some time at Kagbeni continue ride to Jomsom (approx. 11 Km) but we continue further 25 kilometers, about 1 ½ hour slow ride to Kalopani via Marpha Village.Here we stop for Lunch.Marpha at an elevation of 2670 meters. Marpha is famous for its apple orchards and apple products. This large Thakali village exhibits the typical Thak Khola architecture of flat roofs and narrow paved alleys and passageways. It also has a monastery. After lunch ride another 1 to 1 ½ hour to Kalopani. Upon arrival at Kalopani we continue our ride to Tatopani via Ghasa, Pairathaplo and Dana. From Ghasa most of the ride is downhill.
Tato” means ‘hot’ and “Pani” means ‘water’, a name earned courtesy of the hot springs and is a popular place for trekker’s to relax and dip their weary bodies in the natural hot springs.
Upon arrival at Tatopani check in to the lodge and rest of the evening is free to relax and explore around the Tatopani village.
Overnight at hotel, Tatopani
After breakfast retrace the route till Pokhara Lunch at Beni / Nayapul.
Upon arrival at Pokhara check in to the hotel and rest of the day is free to relax and explore around the lake Bazaar. Overnight at hotel, Pokhara
Free day to relax and explore around the lake bazaar for the souvenir shopping or sightseeing tour around Kathmandu city. Adventure activities like paragliding, bungee, ultra-light; zip flyer etc. can be performed in Pokhara.
After breakfast, we negotiate the traffic out of the Pokhara city and head Southeast in Prithivi Highway towards Ram Ghat. Take a left turn when we reach to the Talchowk and continue ride towards Begnas lake.
Begnas Lake is a freshwater lake in Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolis of Kaski district of Nepal located in the south-east of the Pokhara Valley. The lake is the third largest lake of Nepal.
From Begnas, continue on the rural part where we can see many small settlements and houses. Ride on the shishwau road and in 12 kilometers we take the left fork to deurali. Continue for 20 kms and we turn right on to Bhorletar- Duipiple- Damauli road. After riding for 10 kms we take left turn to vyas sadak then 5 kilometers to Sundar Bazar, a small village. From Sundarbazar we head northeast towards Bhotewodar marg and take right in dumre- besisahar- chame highway and descend towards Turture. Lunch: en-route.
From Turture, descend all the way to Bhanu and meet up with the Kathmandu – Pokhara “Prithivi” highway at Dumre.
We continue west for another ½ kilometer and then take the left turn to the Bandipur Township.
This 8 kilometer ride is a pleasant one as we continue to ascend on a winding path. Upon arrival check into the hotel and rest of the afternoon is free to relax and explore around the Bandipur village.
After breakfast, retrace 8 kilometers to the highway and head east to Muglin. Then a pleasant 55 kilometer to Galchi from where we once again biforcate on the leaft tral and follow the Trishuli River all the way to Battar.Then ascend slowly to Nuwakot, a historically important district in Nepal. Prithvi Narayan Shah, the King who unified Nepal, died in Devighat of Nuwakot.The name, Nuwakot, is made up of two words ‘nawa’ and ‘kort’. Nawa means nine in Nepali and ‘kort’ means sacred religious site at the top of the hill. The district accordingly has 9 nine hills over which various deities are said to dwell thus overseeing and protecting Nuwakot. This has led to Nuwakot often being called “City of nine hills”. The place has carried a long history of the entire country Nepal.
The district contains places of historical significance such as the town of Nuwakot, and the village of Devighat located at the confluence of the Tadi and Trishuli Rivers. Kakani is popular among Nepalese people as a touristic place and picnic spot. Nuwakot holds the different reminance from the unification movement pioneered by late king Prithvi Narayan Shah to the present situation.
Upon arrival at Nuwakot check in to the hotel “The Farm House”.(As its name suggests, The farm house is designed in the features of a village but with modern amenities.
Rest of the day is free to relax and explore around.
Overnight at hotel, Nuwakot
AM: Sightseeing tour of Nuwakot Durbar (palace) and surrounding. The Saat Talle Durbar or “The Seven Storied Palace” is located in Bidur municipality of Kathmandu’s neighboring hill district Nuwakot. This old palace fortress was built by Prithivi Narayan Shah during his quest to conquer Kathmandu. A tall looming figure on the top of a hill, this palace is composed of raw history. Made of bricks with wooden internal structures, this building is built with old Newari aesthetics combined with a militaristic approach. If one was to study the layout of the building then one would notice that this palace was a quasi-fortress:
1st floor: – Reception for the museum.
2nd floor: – This floor contains a room used for various religious purposes, including daily (nitya) puja and pujas during certain festivals.
3rd floor: – This floor contains the living quarters of the king and his two wives. The rooms of the wives were designed in such a way that they could be entered only from the king’s room. A balcony encircles the entire floor from which provides a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and the valleys carved by Tadi and Trisuli rivers.
4th floor: – This floor contains a dimly lit room where a small battalion was supposedly kept to ensure the king’s safety in the lower (4th) floor.
5th floor: – This floor comprises of a large feast room where the king carried out social functions.
6th floor: – This floor is a dungeon of sorts. With four foot high ceilings, Rajdrohi (Traitors) were kept in captivity and possibly tortured here.
7th floor: – This is the smallest floor and is called “Burja” (Burjis an Arabic word which means tower, and the Burja room is definitely a rooming the tower) and serves as a place where a guard(s) was kept to look out for trouble and blow the bugle when necessary.
After lunch, the 72 kilometer ride to Kathmandu is an interesting one. Firstly, we retrace our ride for about 10 minutes through the hustle and bustle of the Trishuli Bazaar and then take the road to Kakani. Firstly, it is a steep winding descent but the scenery is fantastic.
As one comes to the top of the ridge at Rani Pauwa, there are signs that points to the trout farms which have been a blessing in disguise for the economy of the region. The cool mountain air, the cold waters of fast flowing mountain streams has been ideal for trout farming and people all the way from Kathmandu come here on weekends to enjoy this delicacy. The farms here supply much of the requirements of the restaurants and hotels of the Kathmandu City.
The route from Rani Pauwa slowly descends via Kakani to Balaju. The sunset over Mt. Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Dorji Lakpa etc. from Kakani is magnificent. Enroute, there are steep bends and descents and so the riders need to be extra careful with the oncoming traffic from Kathmandu. The army check post below Nagarjung checks everyone for any illegal plants or animals. As one descends into the Kathmandu valley, the view of the Kathmandu City, a cluster of dense concrete jungle greets us and we sadly mill into the traffic at Gongabu to slowly negotiate our way to the hotel.
EVE: Farewell dinner at The Rum Doodle Restaurant & Bar
The Rum Doodle is one of Kathmandu’s oldest and most recognized meeting points.
Born of the necessity of providing a world class watering hole and wholesome, home-style fare to returning trekkers and mountaineers and retained the original ethos of providing a world class drinking experience and a wholesome and varied Bill of Fare. The Rum Doodle remains under its original ownership and continues its tradition of welcoming back climbers, adventurers and travelers from around the world.
Overnight at hotel, Kathmandu