Some getaways around Kathmandu boast of a great location. The way to others is the real attraction, full of adventure and thrill. replica watches uk There are some with wonderful weather and some are known for their local cuisine. Such specialties are too scattered for our liking. Kakani stands as a place that combines all these.
The mist rolls in to greet you, adding a dramatic effect to your arrival in Kakani, gucci outlet which is situated on a ridge at 2073 meters above sea level. It is easy to feel like you have left the world behind when you turn from the Trishuli Highway onto the steep road that winds up to Kakani. air max pas cher As you gain altitude you also lose the things that are common in the city: vehicles become rarer, the weather gets cooler,coach outlet and the surroundings more rustic.
Nepal Scouts’s International Training Center seeks to drive home the point about Kakani’s secluded location through a wooden pillar erected in its premises.ugg pas cher It has several arrows pointing in a multitude of directions. Johannesburg, Sydney, New York, and a few other cities are painted on the arrows along with their distances from the spot. Kathmandu, 23 kilometers to the south, seems much further. Spending some time in this village of rolling mist and expansive views can feel like stepping into another world.
Kakani’s charms are those of the countryside. And it is a verdant countryside at that. The immense amount of rainfall that it gets and its proximity to the Shivapuri forests means it is a mix of rural life and wilderness. Insects buzz and drone outside your windows and birds fill the mornings with their song. Sometimes, at night, leopards can be heard calling. Kakani rings with sights and sounds that are now vanishing from Kathmandu. And it can leave you in silence with views of towering peaks to the north, which includes Manaslu (8,163m) Ganesh Himal (7,406m), Langtang Lirung (7,246m), Dorje Lakpa (6,975m), Shisha Pangma (8,012m), and Mt. Gauri Shankar (7,146m).
Kakani’s weather is a bit unpredictable. Mist often smothers the views and there is often rain. It is not the most spectacular of places either. But Kakani offers morsels of fun all along the way. It is one of those destinations that have rewards strewn all along the journey.
How to get there
Head north from Thamel towards Balaju Chowk. Continue north from there. After approximately two kilometers you will arrive in a frenetic center, packed with buses and micros. This is where you can catch a ride on the many buses plying the route to Nuwakot and Trishuli. Buses might already be full here. To insure a seat head to the larger bus park at Macchapokhari, north after crossing the bridge near the New Bus Park at Gongabhu. You will need to get off at a small market just before the check post at Kaulithana, from where you need to turn right. Kakani is four kilometers from there. There is no public transportation all the way to Kakani.
The route is the same for cycling. There is, however, an adventurous off-road route to and from Kakani. It passes through the Shivapuri National Park and ends (or begins, depending on your starting point) at Budanilkantha. However, don’t even consider doing this route without an experienced guide.
Shine in Kathmandu, or on the way, doesn’t always mean shine in Kakani. Sudden showers are common, so carrying a raincoat is a good idea. Carry insect repellent ointment or spray and leech repellent (during monsoon) and a flashlight if you plan to spend the night there.
Departure time and fare
Buses leave from the aforementioned places at regular intervals beginning early in the morning (6-7 a.m.). Bus ride to the aforementioned market will cost between 50-70 rupees. Micro buses may charge a little extra for the same trip.
Thamel is the place with the most cycle stores in the city. Store rent cycles for upwards of Rs. 600 a day. Better cycles can cost over Rs. 1000. Remember to ask for a helmet, spare tube, air pump and, if possible, a tool kit. These are included in the price, but you need to ask for them.
The Thai Memorial Park, which was built in memory of the victims of the 1992 Thai Airlines crash that killed 113 people, and the Shiva temple atop the hillock across the park offer splendid views of the mountains.
Kakani has a large picnic spot. A plea: Please clean up before you leave. Don’t turn Kakani into another Kathmandu.
The culinary delights begin on the way to Kakani. Countless restaurants, besides trout farms, serve fresh trout from their own tanks.
Kakani is famous for strawberries. According to a 2010 UNDP report, Kakani produces 250, 000 kgs of strawberry annually. Strawberry wine and strawberry squash are two of the most popular products. They are available at most restaurants and lodges.
Mushrooms farms dot the final stretch of the road up to Kakani. You are likely to be able to get them at a cheaper price than back in Kathmandu.
The monsoon may not be the ideal season for a visit, but if you do find yourself in Kakani, try the fruits that most lodges will have growing in their kitchen gardens. There will probably be even some wild raspberries (aiselu) growing in thick bushes along the road and trails.
Dhindo and sukuti ko acchar
What’s a visit to the villages without a taste of local cuisine? Dhindo is a staple diet here and something of a delicacy. Most local eateries and restaurants keep a stock of smoked meat (sukuti). Ask them for sukuti ko achar, a side dish made by squashing smoked meat together with fresh spices.
This is on the way to Kakani. Its peaceful environment is known to enrapture some. Even those with no interest in Osho’s teachings or spirituality will find this place worthwhile.
Where to Stay
Kakani Mountain View Hotel (www.kakanimountainview.com), Tara Gaon Resort Hotel (01-4672792; firstname.lastname@example.org) and View Himalaya Resort (01-6915706, 9841593840; email@example.com) are the three biggest hotels in Kakani. Nepal Scouts’s Kakani International Training Center probably has the cleanest rooms in Kakani, but it is a bit isolated from the village. If you prefer the homely environment of smaller lodges and hotels, there are several in the village’s center, near the entrance to the picnic spot.
Special Things to Remember
The Pasang Lhamu Highway, on which you will be traveling for over 20 km, sees a lot of traffic. It is not the widest road, so special attention needs to be paid to road safety. Do not give in to the urge to race because you’re out of the city’s congested roads.
There are several forested areas in Kakani’s vicinity. Do not venture into them without a guide.