Nagarkot Sunrise and Changunarayan Hike - 1 day

Nagarkot Sunrise and Changunarayan Hike - 1 day

Nagarkot Sunrise and Changunarayan Hike are one of the best day hikes from the favorite hill stations to the oldest temple in Kathmandu Valley. This 4 to 5 hours hike lets you enjoy the chain of verdant hills, views of the majestic Himalayas, unique culture and tradition, and amazing architecture decorating the religious sites.

The hike starts from Nagarkot then explores a forested path towards Changunarayan before driving to Bhaktapur city and then back to Kathmandu. The major highs of this trip is visiting two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Changunarayan and Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and hiking from Nagarkot hill at 2,175m in such a short period of a day. Due to the combination of all this adventure, Nagarkot to Changunarayan Hiking is one of the top day hikes around Kathmandu valley.

Trip Facts:

Departure Point

Your Hotel

Pickup Time

4:30 AM (For sunrise view, depending upon the season )


7 to 8 hours

Destination Covered

Nagarkot, Changunarayan, Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Trip Highlights

  • Scenic drive from Kathmandu to Nagarkot with views of the surrounding Himalayan range
  • Hike up to Changunarayan, the oldest temple in Kathmandu valley and a World Heritage Site
  • Explore the historical palaces of the ancient Malla kings of Nepal and ancient temples in Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  • Witness the culture and lifestyle of the Newari and Tamang communities living in Nagarkot and Changunarayan

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Nagarkot to Changunarayan Hike

How Much Does This Trip Cost?

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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Nagarkot to Changunarayan Hike

Pottery Square Bhaktapur Pottery Square Bhaktapur - A man making pots.

Drive from Kathmandu to Nagarkot (1 hour 30 minutes, 27 km)

You will begin the day by departing at around 4:30 AM to witness the majestic sunrise in Nagarkot on time. The departure time is different depending upon the seasons. From the hotel, you will be driven to Nagarkot along with your guide. Along the way, you can witness the views of cityscapes changing to the green landscape.

Nagarkot is a hill station situated at an altitude of 2,175m on the valley's rim. It is a famous tourist destination due to the lush greenery and the clear views of the surrounding mountains, and the amazing sunrise. As you drive to the serene road of Nagarkot, filled with pine trees, you can also catch a glimpse of the Langtang, Jugal, and Ganesh mountain range on the horizon.

At Nagarkot you will hike up to the tower top to witness the sunrise hitting the milky mountain range. You can then enjoy your breakfast before beginning your hike to Changunarayan.

Hike from Nagarkot to Changunarayan Temple (4 to 5 hours)

From Nagarkot, start your hike a little further up to Telkot village. The village is inhabited by Tamang and Newari communities with terraced farms filled with rice and paddy. From Telkot, you will begin the four-hour hike along the forested trail through a partial dirt road while some of the ways are blacktopped.

Nested in the midst of a green forest on a serene hill, you will reach the hilltop temple of Changunarayan. The two-storied pagoda-styled temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the oldest temple in the valley, dating back to the Lichhavi era from 450 AD to 750 AD. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and popular for the stone pillar, wood and stone carving of ancient gods and goddesses.

Drive from Changunarayan to Bhaktapur Durbar Square (20 minutes), then drive back to Kathmandu

After exploring the ancient temple, you will take a drive from Changunarayan Temple to Bhaktapur city known best for Durbar Square's UNESCO World Heritage site. Witness the temples and statues found in Tamaudhi, Durbar, and Dattatreya Squares. Visit the ancient Nyatapola Temple, Golden Gate, Palace of 55 Windows, and other gems. Make sure you taste their famous Juju Dhau (King curd) before driving back to your hotel in Kathmandu.

How will you be traveling?


Trip Reviews

Travel experiences of our clients who recently returned from their trips.

Based on 2 reviews
Very good

Ben Perry
flagsUnited States of America
Apr 08, 2022
Lovely Hike
It was an energetic early morning hike with an amazing guide. The hike is along a trail in good condition that has a couple of hills but was a pleasant hike. Nagarkot is a perfect place to enjoy lovely views of the Himalayas and lush hills.
Hayden Davies
flagsUnited States of America
Apr 08, 2022
Wonderful Trip
We got to embrace the beautiful sunrise from the top of the tower. Our great guide took us through beautiful villages and helped us with many small details of the places, and people.
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