Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is the ninth national park in Nepal and was established in 2002. It is located in the country’s mid-hills on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu Valley and named after Shivapuri Peak of 2,732 m (8,963 ft) altitude. It covers an area of 159 km2 (61 sq mi). Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park has two islands of forests namely Shivapuri and Nagarjun.
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is one of the closest and famous destinations to escape from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu valley pollution.
The main objectives of the park are: to conserve the ecosystem and biodiversity of mid-hills, to protect the water regime of the watershed, and to enhance the livelihood of surrounding people which is being successful till now and it will remain the same including various other fruitful objectives
The park is located in a transition zone between subtropical and temperate climates. The annual precipitation of about 1,400 mm (55 in) falls mostly from May to September, with 80% during monsoon. Temperatures vary from 2–17 °C (36–63 °F) during the winter season, rising to 19–30 °C (66–86 °F) during the summer season.
Flora and Fauna
The vegetation consists of a variety of natural forest types including pine, oak, rhododendron, etc. depending on altitude and aspect. Recorded wildlife in the park includes mammalian species such as Himalayan Black bear, leopard, jungle cat, and rhesus monkey. The park is also home to 177 species of birds, including at least 9 threatened species, 102 species of butterflies with a number of rare and endangered species, and 129 species of mushroom.
Shivapuri is one of the main sources of drinking water for Kathmandu Valley. Every day about 30 million liters of water are tapped from rivers such as the Bagmati and the Bishnumati as well as from several other smaller streams.
Culmination of Religion and Culture
Nestled inside the Shivapuri National Park is the Tibetan nunnery called Nagi Gumpha. Stunning views of the valleys below accompany the true-blue feeling of a monastery in a calm and collected atmosphere and the colorful flags. This might be a great place to make a stop, rest your legs and snap a few pictures of the trip since the nuns are used to visitors and do not really mind. However, the monkeys jumping might mind occasionally, and try to snatch your stuff from your hands – so be careful with food items and valuables.
Places of Interest
Other than being a biodiversity hotspot, this is also a favorite place of the locals for hiking, trekking, and mountain biking. Tourists who love to tread the path less traveled and take the offbeat journey also should keep a day or two for a visit to these woods.
Trekking and Hiking
The park is easily accessible from Kathmandu. Visitors are attracted to the park for trekking. Trekking routes to Nagarkot, Gosaikunda, Helambu and Langtang National Park also pass through the park. Several religious sites for the Hindus and the Buddhists lie inside the park. On Nepalese New Year’s Day, which falls in mid-April, pilgrims from Kathmandu valley and neighboring areas flock to Baghdwar and Bishnudwar of the park from where the sacred rivers Bagmati and Bishnumatii originate.
Visitors can have breathtaking views of the high Himalayas from the northern aspects of the park. Likewise, the panoramic views of the Kathmandu valley could be seen from the southern slopes of the park.
Shivapuri National park is also an excellent destination for mountain biking. It is possible to do a 2 night 3 days biking to Nagarkot-Chisapani, and 3 night 4 days Chisapani, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel. These are the popular biking routes around the area. It is also trendy for downhill mountain biking from Chisapani, Mulkharka, to Kathmandu.
Rock climbing is an adventurous sport. If you are fond of rock climbing then you are definitely going to enjoy it here. You have to climb on a natural rock which gives excitement and thrill at the same time.
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