The Golden Triangle Tour of Nepal
Posted: Nov 14, 2019
Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara are known as the ‘Golden triangle of Nepal’. These three popular tour destinations are at a distance of 4 – 6 hrs drive from each other. Visit of the three places well represents the Himalayan country’s diverse nature, culture and wildlife. While Kathmandu is the cultural center of Nepal, Pokahra valley is an amphitheater of mountains with gigantic snow peaks of Annapurna towards north. Chitwan national park on the other hand it is last enclave of Terai forest that once spread from the foothills of the Himalayas to the Gangatic places. The golden triangle tour of Nepal could be planned from 7 days to 10 days depending upon the mode of transportation and activities. The three cities are well connected by road and flights and have basic to luxury accommodations.
When to Travel?
Kathmandu Chitwan Pokhara tour could be done from mid September to May. However the best time is October till December and February till April. The monsoon rain relents and summer temperature drops down by mid September. October and November have clear sky and moderate temperature. The altitude during the tour varies from 150 m above the sea level to 1,500 m, which is fine to visit throughout winter. Winter days are mostly clear, warm and dry with moderate temperature during the day and chilly nights. March and April will have lots of blossoms and active wildlife as it is breeding season.
Fly in Kathmandu
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal with the only international airport of the country. The ‘Golden triangle tour of Nepal’ begins with arrival at Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a valley in the Himalayan foothills which once was popular hub along the trans-Himalayan trade. While it is bustling in the new area, the old quarters still retains the medieval monuments with elaborate architecture and carvings. The seven groups of pagodas, palace wings, stupa, pavilion and sunken water spouts make Kathmandu an UNESCO Heritage site. It takes two days to explore all of monuments around Kathmandu. There are also beautiful hill stations around Kathmandu to get the panoramic view of the central Himalayas and the feel of the countryside lifestyle. Nagarkot at 2,100 m is the most popular Himalayan view point. The forested hills around Kathmandu also provide ground for a marvelous day hike.
Drive to Chitwan national park
Landscape of Nepal varies from tropical planes to the top of the world within the distance of 200 km. The variation in altitude also creates diverse eco-system sheltering varieties of wildlife and plant species within a small area. The Chitwan national park is the last enclave of the tropical forest that once spread from the Himalayan foothills to the Gangatic plains. The 950 sq km area of the jungle now shelters the last no of Asian single horned Rhinos and Royal Bengal Tigers. The no of endangered species have been significantly increased since its establishment in 1973. Chitwan was enlisted as UNESCO Heritage site in 1984. Chitwan is about 160 km southwest of Kathmandu. The drive takes about 4 – 5 hrs. There are several safari lodges in the outskirt of the jungle. Sauraha is the most popular place with about hundred lodges. However it is bit crowded with domestic and foreign tourists. There are fewer lodges in the western side for the park like Jagatpur and Meghauli.
Jungle safari in Chitwan
There are several ways of exploring the jungle. Escorted jungle walk is the best. The most popular walking goes across the jungle to the community homestay villages. Jeep safari can cover long distance and allows one to be in the most pristine side of the jungle. Local fishermen can also take tourists down the river in their dugout canoe. Canoe ride is the best way to see two different types of crocodiles, aquatic birds and other animals. With elephant safari tourists can penetrate the thick forests and visit the tall grassland cross rivers without getting wet.
Drive to Pokhara
Pokhara is about 160 km north from Chitwan. The road goes back into the mountains following the glacial rivers upstream. Several bends along the highway offers magnificent view of Annapurna. Pokhara is the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas. In the arena of the snow peaks, the valley has three lakes and lush hills. This is also a base camp for treks into Annapurna. The must to do things in Pokhara are the sunrise from Sarangkot hill and a hike to world peace pagoda. Sarangkot at 1,700 m is overlooking at Pokhara valley with over a dozen of snow peaks in the backdrop. Hundreds of people go to Sarangkot everyday to watch the phantasmagoria of lights over the blues sky and the White Mountains. World peace stupa atop 300 m hill across Phewa Lake is another beautiful view point. Take a boat across Phewa Lake and hike 1 hr to reach the top which is again overlooking at the Lake, Pokhara valley and the long stretch of the Himalayas.
Fly or drive back to Kathmandu
The flight between Kathmandu – Pokhara is a panoramic thrill with view of snow peaks of Annapurna, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal range. Flight back to Kathmandu and Bhaktapur tour is the great way of ending the Golden triangle tour of Nepal. Driving back to Kathmandu takes about six hours.
I am an adventurer from the Himalayas of Nepal. I love exploring new places, reading no fiction books and writing travel journal. Here is my Nepal Tibet Bhtutan tour blog.