Namobuddha Balthali hike via Panauti is one of the most popular hikes around Kathmandu Valley. This beginner-friendly hike is perfect for enthusiastic travelers who wish to relish the tranquility of nature, majestic view of almighty Himalayas, terraced fields, the wilderness of lush green forest, ancient Nepali architecture, the typical lifestyle of locals, their cuisine and culture but have a limited timeframe. The total duration of the trip is 1 night 2 days. Our trip starts after 1 and a half hours drive southeast from Kathmandu to Namobuddha and then starts the hike towards Balthali via Panauti.
Namobuddha is a hill station located at Kavre District at an altitude of 1800m above sea level. It is very popular for the ancient Buddhist Namobuddha Monastery. Situated amidst the lush forest, this place is rich in exquisite flora and fauna and has immense religious values. Many travelers around the world visit the monastery for its unique architecture, peaceful and clean environment far away from the hustle and bustle of life, and the mesmerizing view of meadows, fields, and the snow-capped Himalayas including Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Langtang, Jugal Himal, Ganesh Himal, Mt. Kanchenjunga. It also holds great importance for Buddhist pilgrims as the Namobuddha Monastery is also a school for learning Karmapa Buddhism. And it is believed that the jungle of Namobudhha is where Bodhisattva, the antecedent of Lord Buddha sacrificed himself to the starving mother tiger to save the tiger cubs. His bones are buried in the forest and on top of it, a Chorten is built. Likewise, there are also caves where the great Buddhist philosophers had meditated in this region.
Located in between the junction of two holy rivers Rosi and Punyamati, Panauti is one the most popular ancient town located near Kathmandu Valley. This town dates way back to the Lichhavi dynasty. And during the reign of the Malla dynasty, King Bhupatindra Malla gave this town as a dowry to his sister. Panauti is rich in distinctive wood-craft and architecture. There are many small temples, typical houses, museums, Indreswor Temple built by King Harisingh Dev, and the King’s palace Panauti Durbar Square. The town is well-known not only for its architect but also for a wide range of cultures and traditions of diverse ethnic groups Newar being the majority followed by Tamang, and Magar communities.
Balthali is a picturesque village surrounded by hills, located close to Kathmandu Valley. This hiking destination is renowned for homestay tours. The travelers get a wonderful opportunity to stay in a homestay with welcoming locals experiencing their lifestyle, culture, festivals, and cuisine. This place is vibrant and lively because of the terraced fields, green meadows, rhododendron, sal and magnolia forests, mustard fields, sparkly rivers, and waterfalls. Walking through small winding trails decorated with Mother Nature’s hand-picked flowers and the glorious golden sunrise flaunting its beauty peeking through the Himalayas makes the trip more worth it. Balthali is also popular for exploring wildlife and birdwatching.
Likewise, Khopasi, a typical Newari village is a nearby destination in between Panauti and Balthali. Travelers will get to see plenty of cultivated lands, terraced fields, and beautiful landscapes on the way.
Namobuddha - Panauti - Balthali Hike Route
We will drive to Namobuddha through Banepa and Dhulikhel. The travelers who prefer a bit longer hike can start the hike from Dhulikhel to Namobuddha. After visiting the monastery and strolling around the forest, we will hike to Balthali via Panauti. We will spend some time exploring the arts and artifacts of Panauti Valley then proceed our journey towards Balthali. The travelers will spend overnight in a homestay and will return to Kathmandu Valley the next day.
Note:This trip can also be customized as a day trip for travelers who have a very limited timeframe.
Best time for Namobuddha to Balthali hike via Panauti
This trip can be done any time of the year except for the heavy rainfall during the Monsoon. Although Spring and Autumn are considered ideal.