Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal, and home to the Himalayas, to the north of India. With snow-capped mountains in the backdrop, the country is becoming a haven for trekkers and cyclists. Cycles and cycling gears are easy to rent here. The roads are well maintained and wide and criss-cross through many valleys and small villages. Most tourists who visit Nepal find the country’s pristine beauty slowly growing on them, so exploring it on a cycle is a great way to soak in all that nature has to offer. If you are not much of a hiker or a trekker but are up for an adventurous exploration, these beautiful cycling routes make for a great vacation.
1. The Lakuri Bhanjyang trail
This is a 30 km (18mile) long cycling trail from Patan to Lakuri Bhanjyang. The trail posits an intermediate level difficult, but is thoroughly enjoyable from the start. The route begins at the mountain town of Patan and curls towards Sundhara. A further 6 kilometers (2.8 miles) on, you will find the beautiful Lubhu city. Any tiredness is swept away as the snow-capped mountains and the Kathmandu valley appear in sight. Try not to be too distracted as the ascent can get a bit risky for some cyclists. The descent down the rural valley of Bebar Khola is a serene treat for your senses.
2. The Nagarkot – Sankhu – Kathmandu trail
Sankhu is an ancient Newar settlement and offers a great cultural experience. Many guides or cycling packages will offer to drive you to Sankhu, where the tour begins. You will ascend on an inclined road uniquely designed for the hilly areas of Nepal. The road ends when you reach Jarsing Pauwa, an ancient Tamang settlement. From here is a ride on a dirt road all the way up to Nagarkot which can get bumpy at times.It’s a ride of wonders as it passes through tiny settlements and beautiful hilly landscapes. Several tea shops along the way make for a refreshing break when needed. The tour ends at Nagarkot where cyclists can go for a meal before being driven back to Kathmandu. This tour is easy and usually takes about four hours to complete.
3. The Balaju – Kakani – Mahankal – Jarankhu trail
This is an easy tour that can take up to five hours depending on the cyclist’s speed. Balaju Chowk is a busy junction at the Nagarjuna foothills, north of Kathmandu’s Ring Road. From here you can cycle up to Balaju bypass where the tour begins. Follow the highway and head towards Trishuli. It’s even simpler and pleasant as you just continue on the main highway and avoid any misdirections. From Trishuli, you just need to follow the highway and not get off the main track until you reach a place called Ranipauwa. Here the route pitchforks into two different directions and you need to take the one on the right that leads to Kakani. This part of the route that might get steep and difficult for amateur cyclists. The same route brings you back to where you started.
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4. Thankot – Dahachowk (Indradaha sthan) – Ramkot – Ichangu Narayan – Swoyambhu trail
An easy cycling tour that begins at Thankot, Kathmandu’s gateway in the west beyond Kalanki. From here riders take the downhill turn heading towards the north. A 1–1.5-hour ride will take you to a tiny village named Dahachowk resting on the top of a hill. While it may be difficult to get a view of the mountain, you are sure to spot unique landscapes towards the south of the valley. Thereafter, it is an exhilarating one hour downhill ride to Bhimdhunga. The village is famous for Ichangu Narayan, a major destination of religious significance. You end the tour in Swoyambhu,a famous stupa also known as the monkey temple. The overall tour takes about 4-6 hours.
5. Satdobato – Lamatar – Lakure Bhanjyang – Panauti – Banepa – Kathmandu trail
A network of offshoot roads emerges at the southern end of Kathmandu’s Ring Road. This tour begins as you take the road to Lamatar from Satdobato. From here, cyclists climb steadily up to Lakure Bhanjyang. This is the highest point in the trail. To go downhill you have two options. First, the downhill from Lakure to Panauti is easy, but this trail can get muddy during the monsoon season. The second option is a ride downhill that takes you to the town on the other side of Bhanjyang. All in all, this is an easy, but it takes 6-9 hours to complete depending on your speed and stamina. It’s a treat for the senses as you pass through valleys, small villages, and hidden gems of the city.
6. The Chobhar – Bungamati – Chhampi – Lele – Chapagaon – Satdobato trail
This route is a classic and one of the favorites among the cyclists in Nepal. It starts from Balkhu before heading to Chobhar in the south. The Bagmati bridge connects Chobhar with Bungamati. The town is a visual delight and one of the oldest Newari establishments near the valley. Another 2 hour ride from here takes you to Lele, an old Newari village from where you can head either to Godavaru or cross a mountain pass to reach Vajravarahi. From here head to Satdobato via Chapagaon where your trip comes to a close. This tour takes 6-9 hours and is easy on the skill level.
7. The Sundarijal – Mulkharka – Nagi Gompa – Budhanilkantha – Tokha – Phutung – Dharmasthali – Jarankhu – Balaju trail
This route lets you explore the famous holy river Bagmati that flows near Kathmandu from a popular destination called Sundarijal. Following that experience, cyclists can enjoy a nice trip through the forest via a dirt road that connects Sundarijal with Budhanilkantha. Next, after an hour-long climb to Mulkharka, be sure to take a left turn where you will find a famous monastery inside the Shivapuri National Park. When you are done checking out this place, climb downhill and take a right turn at Budhanilkantha. Follow the road towards Tokha, which is a village that is known for its radishes. End your adventure by cycling down to Samakhusi on Ring Road, Kathmandu. This is a moderate to easy ride that can take up to six hours to complete.
8. The Chobar – Champadevi trail
Chobhar hill is situated to the south of Kathmandu and home to the majestic Chobhar Gorge and Jal Vinayak temple. This tour begins at Chobhar hill and a 15 minute ride through a rugged road that leads you to Bansbari. After Bansbari, a two-hour long ride through the forest takes you to Champa Devi. Take a break here to just stand in amazement at the views of the whole valley and great mountain ranges. On a clear day, you might even witness the great Mount Everest. While returning, there are two different routes you can take. The easier route is to head towards Pikhel or Pharping, and from there, ride on to Kathmandu. The overall ride is moderately difficult with patches of rough up and down the hill.
9. The Balaju – Kakani trail
The route from Balaji to Kakani is a scenic one that weaves around the valley. The ride starts at Balaju and heads towards Kakani which is 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) away. There are many twists and turns as the road passes through the Nagarjuna Forest Reserve. A small climb takes you to the peak of the ridge where a downhill road leads you to Trishuli Bazar. If you prefer, instead, take the road to the right where the T-junction is clearly marked. A further ride for four kilometers (2.4 miles) up the steep hill takes you to Kakani. You will find yourself surrounded by serene tea houses. Be sure to stop here for lunch and soak in the splendid views of the mountains and forests.
10. The Kathmandu Valley Rim trail
Kathmandu Valley Biking Tour of Nepal for 7 Days & 6...Posted by Exploring Tourism on Wednesday, 16 December 2015
This is an ideal cycling trail for those looking for a challenging one. In terms of effort required and the time it takes to complete the route, this one is not for the weak hearted or beginners. The overall ride takes a minimum of four days to complete and takes you through the Shivapuri National Park. Along the ride, cyclists come across the historic Hindu temple Changunarayan and the famous Buddhist monastery of Namobuddha. The route traverses through the three major cities of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur. With stunning mountain views and a cold breeze by your side, this is going to be a tour you will remember for a long time.
Top cycling routes in and around Kathmandu
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and home to the majestic Himalayas. Apart from the sacred spots and lovely gardens, its landscapes provide a haven for hikers, bikers and mountain climbers. There are many guided tours that provide bikers with bikes and cycling gears for a tour across the mountain valleys. For as less as 5 dollars a day, you can rent a bike here and head out to explore gritty routes and stunning views of the mountains. This is a compilation of the best cycling routes in Kathmandu that range from easy to difficult in terms of expertise and time required to finish.