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Champadevi Hiking: Best Route, Quick Facts and More

December 11, 2023

Champadevi hiking route is one of the most popular and easy 1-day hiking trails in Kathmandu. At an altitude of 2285m, the hill itself is the third highest in the valley which makes reaching its peak an exhilarating hiking adventure. This serene trail unfolds through enchanting pine, cherry, and walnut forests, offering awe-inspiring Himalayan vistas, and the cityscape of Kathmandu with its sister cities. Whether you are looking for adventure in Kathmandu, or simply need to spend some time in nature, a hike to Champadevi could be an answer. 

Champadevi Hiking: At a glance

Starting point: Haatiban Resort
Ending point: Haatiban Resort/Bhanjyang
Distance: 3 km
Duration: Approx. 4 hours in total. 2 hours to the top, 1 hour back.
Max altitude: 2285m
Difficulty: Easy. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow.
Experience level: Beginner. The hiking trail is suitable for hikers of all fitness levels and experience.
Nature: 5/5. The hiking route is high above the city smog. Surrounded by thick woods and under the canopy of pine and walnut trees, the trail is peaceful and refreshing.
Wildlife: 3/5. The area is rich in biodiversity—home to various species of mammals, birds, butterflies and other insects. Keep your eyes and ears out for a sighting!

How to get to the start point?

You can easily find a public bus or a cab from the city center to Dakshinkali. Simply ask the driver to drop you off at Bhanjyang, the gate of Haatiban Resort. From here, the resort is an easy 20-min hike away.If traveling on a private 4-wheeler, we highly recommend taking a 4X4, given the road conditions to Haatiban. As for 2-wheelers, we recommend an off-road bike for easy ascend and descend on the trail. Scooters and heavy motorbikes are not recommended on a rainy day. Alternatively, you can park your private vehicles at Haatiban Resort’s parking in Bhanjyang and opt to hike all the way. The resort can also facilitate their 4X4 to pick you up at the car park for a comfortable ride up to the resort.

Best time to hike Champadevi

As with any hiking trip in Kathmandu, the best time to hike Champadevi falls between October and April. This is the dry season which means there is minimal rainfall, the weather and temperature is stable and pleasant at an average 15°C. October to November and February to May offer clear vistas, blue skies, and a warm sun. December and January are colder and bring lower visibility which can also affect the overall experience. It’s advisable to check the latest weather conditions before embarking on the hike. Hiking is also possible during the monsoon season, from June to September, but be prepared for a muddy and slippery trail, and plenty of leech attacks.

Highlights of the Champadevi hike

Champadevi temple

The namesake of Champadevi hiking trail, the Champadevi temple is the final pit stop on the hike. Perched on top of the Haatiban hill, the temple complex starts at the final 20-minute mark of the trail where the stone steps start. The revered Hindu Goddess Champa Devi meets visitors at her humble abode at the end of the steps, forever protecting the valley and its people against evil. The Goddess, a manifestation of the formidable deity Durga, offers spiritual solace to all who traverse its sacred grounds. Once here, pay your respect to the Goddess before soaking in the views.

The Vista

The scenic vistas start to open up as soon as the hike begins and you start to take elevation. Every tiny opening amidst the chilly alpine woods, welcome you with a glimpse of a new scene. While a sweeping view of the Kathmandu Valley is guaranteed, encompassing the three major cities Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur, hikers can also enjoy bird’s eye view of the town of Kirtipur, the Pharping village, and the Dakshinkali temple in the distance. The best reward however is a glimpse of prominent mountain peaks like Mt. Ganesh, Mt. Langtang Lirung, Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Gaurishankar, and even the mighty Mt. Everest. Additionally, you can relish splendid views of the quaint villages of Bungmati and Khokana, the picturesque Chovar hill, the serene Lake Taudaha, and the iconic Swayambhunath stupa.

Dudjom Namdrom Choling Monastery

Dudjom Namdrom Choling is a tranquil Buddhist monastery tucked away just off the Champadevi trail. Although it is smaller than other monasteries in the vicinity, it has a quiet intimacy that makes it special. Its main prayer area radiates artistic beauty and serenity. The large monastery grounds are open to all visitors and provide a place for reflection, rejuvenation, and meditation. Take the 5 minutes’ detour to the monastery on the way to or back from Champadevi temple for a complete hiking experience.

Haatiban Resort

The resort, situated a 20-min hike from the base of Haatiban hill, is the only resort on the entire trail, making it a highlight for some rest and much needed rejuvenation. Use the resort as your start and end point for the Champadevi trail or a resting place during the hike. With comfortable lodgings and a multi-cuisine restaurant available at the resort, it is a great opportunity for an overnight stay before or after the hike. The resort also features a relaxing spa—much needed for those sore legs.

If you are looking for a quick but rewarding hiking adventure within the valley, the Champadevi trail is highly recommended. While there are other alternative routes to Champadevi, the Haatiban-Champadevi route is the most popular and easiest of them all. In case you are planning for the hike already, and require assistance with transportation, day-services or over-night arrangements, reach out to Haatiban Resort.