Ichangu Narayan is one of most important pilgrimage sites of the Hindu god Vishnu which lies three kilometers northwest of Swayambhunath, the popular Buddhist pilgrimage destination in Kathmandu. The two-storey 18th century temple bears a great historical and cultural significance. But in addition to that, it can also be an ideal getaway that’s not very far from the city.
Seto Gumba, known as Druk Amitabh Monastery or White Monastery, is an ideal place to witness sunrise and sunset, which is located just on the outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley. The monastery is wonderful for people looking for peace, and to top it up, it’s also maintainedwell.
A day bag
Reasonable walking shoes
Light warm jacket
An extra pair of clothes
This is an easy to moderate hike. But the hike will be a bit demanding at times due to steep uphill and downhill inclines at certain sections.
For this hike, you can board a private car or public transport to Sitapaila or Buddha Park, a park that bears three huge statues of Buddha near Sitapaila. You can visit Buddha Park before getting started for the hike. Then, following the trail to Ichangu Narayan Temple from the park, it takes around 20-25 minutes’ walk.
You can visit the temple of Lord Vishnu before walking to Seto Gumba or the White monastery. The hike may take around two hours to complete. After visiting the beautiful monastery at the mountaintop, it takes another one and a half hours downhill walk to reach Sitapaila.
The White Monastery is well maintained and offers good views of the nearby mountains. You can also enjoy the Buddhist hymns chanting inside the monastery and also choose to rest and listen to the sacred music. The beautiful statues and wall Thanka paintings can also be an interesting sight.
If the weather is good, you can also view various mountain ranges from the monastery. You can also enjoy the sunrise and sunset if you reach the place at the appropriate time.
Apart from that, you will also enjoy the sight of village and rural life even though the place is so close to the capital city. The place is also famous for floriculture and thus the land around the village will be covered by different types of flowers according to the respective seasons.
If you visit the White Monastery around this time of year, you can also taste local plum.
The weather is temperate at this time of year. Mid-February to April is considered as one of the best times to hike around the trail.
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