Ranikot is the southern hill station of Bhaktapur, that up mostly lies above the Pilot Baba Ashram, Gymape Danda. This hill station immensely satisfies you with the field vision of the trio artistic burghs of Nepal i.e. Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur itself.
Ranikot, today is emerging as one of the most popular hiking destinations within the Kathmandu Valley. People from nearby places as well as from Kathmandu do the hike over there. Though it lies at an altitude of just 2,782m, it undoubtedly gives an amazing view of the great Himalayas.
Gradually, the hike starts from the Suryabinak temple of Bhaktapur and ends, of course at Ranikot. This is a short hike considering the walk of 4-5 hours that goes through the jungles, streams, small villages, and smooth off the beaten trails.
There, you could feel the charming and welcoming faces of nature, wavering all over you and spurring you to capture them in your camera. All the hardships and jet lag, disappear just in a second, once the air of ranikot touches your hair.
Well, if you couldn’t afford to walk, then you could just grab your own vehicle to go there.
As per the locals, Ranikot was an ancient fort that was built during the medieval period by King Prithvi Narayan Shah. And, the royals, especially the kings, used to come here to relax. Subsequently, there is no remains leftover of that fort but the beauty that, it used to attract the then royals are still there.
Along with the natural charm, Ranikot consists of the temple of bagh bhairava that posture the place with excessively religious importance. Every year, on the full moon day of Mangsir and Baishak, fairs and festivals are held over there. Interestingly, there is one more fact about this temple.
There is actually no statue of Bhairava in this temple but yes, there is a huge stone image of a tiger over there. It is said that the Bagh Bhairava temple is named after the natural stone that is found here in the shape of a tiger. *Tiger is called bagh in the Nepalese language.
Hiking generally means a short walk to a remote and natural area, which does not include a night stay.
The best time for hiking is obviously autumn ( Oct-Nov) and Spring (end of Feb-apr). Besides that, you can do hiking whenever you favour do it except for rainy days.
It would be comfortable for you if you choose to wear sports shoes. Otherwise, any type of shoe or footwear would be okay except for the high heels.
Ranikot is elevated in 1788 m of altitude. It is merely a hike on a very small hill station. That’s why there is no possibility of High Altitude Sickness.
Yes, you can if you would like to. But we suggest you not hike alone since the hiking route passes through quite a jungle area.
Actually Yes, there are few restaurants and resorts. Also, there are some local shops where you can find food and beverages if you want to try some local taste.
It is a short hike thus took approximately 2-3 hours of walk to reach the destination from Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
Yes, if you supposedly want to end your hike by returning through booked vehicles, then don’t miss the sunset view. Just finish your day at the top.
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Suryabinayak Municipality, Bhaktapur District, Nepal