Swayambhunath and Chandragiri Day Tour: 1 Day

"Exploring the Best of Kathmandu: Swyambhunath and Chandragiri Hill Tour."
Good to Know
  • Duration 1 Day
  • Difficulty Level Easy
  • Max. Altitude 2,551m/8,369ft
  • Group Size 1+
  • Trip Starts Kathmandu
  • Trip Ends Kathmandu
  • Group Style Group or Solo
  • Activities Historical & Cultural Excursion
  • Best Season Any time of the year


Swyambhunath, popularly known as the "Monkey Temple," and Chandragiri Hill are both prominent tourist attractions inside the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Combining these two destinations within a single tour can provide a unique and engaging experience. Trekking Planner Nepal is here to provide top-class service with these packages.

Highlights of Swyambhunath and Chandragiri Hill Cable Car Tour.

  • Visiting Swyabhunath, one of the most famous and well-known Unesco World Heritage Sites in Nepal.
  • Taking a cable car ride towards the Chandrgiri from Thankot, which is around 2.5 km
  • A chance to witness the majestic mountains from the hill of Chandragiri
  • Witnessing the cultural harmony between the Hindus and the Buddhists.

Introduction: Swayambhunath and Chandragiri Tour 

Swambhunath Stupa, popularly known as the Monkey Temple, is an ancient holy site of Kathmandu Valley. It is one of the most respected and famous landmarks, with significant cultural, historical, and religious significance for Buddhists and Hindus. At the same time, Chandragiri Hill is a picturesque hill station southwest of Kathmandu. It is famous for its panoramic views of the Himalayan Range and the Kathmandu Valley. The spectacular scenic vistas offered by Chandragiri Hill are its main draw. Visitors may enjoy a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley from the mountaintop, complete with an urban landscape, terraced farms, and ancient monuments. On clear days, the snow-capped Himalayan peaks make a spectacular backdrop, providing a fantastic experience.

Swayambhunath Stupa is one of Nepal's oldest stupas, dating back over 2,000 years. Its history is steeped in legend and mythology. The stupa is thought to have emerged from a primordial lake, and the valley is claimed to have previously been a lotus flower, with Swayambhunath at its center. It is considered a symbol of enlightenment and an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists because it is supposed to house the relics of Kashyapa Buddha. With its famous white dome topped by a gilded spire and draped with colorful prayer flags, the stupa is an architectural masterpiece. The Buddha's eyes painted on all four sides of the stupa signify wisdom and compassion, guarding all beings. Smaller shrines, temples, and statues surround the stupa, adding to the spiritual ambiance of the location.

Starting your journey in Kathmandu, where a representative from our firm will greet you in the hotel lobby. After that, we take a car from the hotel to Swayambhunath. We travel to Thankot after exploring and viewing the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Swyambhunath. We take a 2.5-kilometer cable car journey from Thankot to Chandragiri, located at an elevation of 2551 meters. We may visit the temple and get a 360-degree view of the valley and surrounding canyons. After spending some time there and eating lunch according to the client's preferences, we return to Chandragiri and take a ride back to the hotel, where the excursion concludes.


Why to Visit Swayambhunath and Chandragiri?

Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)

  • Ancient Stupa: Swyambhunath is one of Nepal's oldest and most prominent stupas, dating back over 2,000 years. The Swyambhunath is also the central stupa, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is decorated with colorful prayer flags. The stupa got "Buddha's Eyes" or "Wisdom eyes," representing enlightenment and awareness.
  • Stunning Views: Swyambhunath on a mountaintop provides fantastic panoramic views of Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding mountains. It's a great spot to watch the dawn or sunset.
  • Holy Monkeys: As the temple is home to a vast population of playful monkeys, it is also known as the "Monkey Temple." Visitors can have fun observing these mischievous creatures at work.
  • Art and Architecture: Swyambhunath has an abundance of art and architecture. Exquisite carvings, prayer wheels, and other religious symbols surround the stupa's base.

Chandragiri Hill

  • Cable Car Ride: You can enjoy a scenic cable car ride to the summit of Chandragiri Hill. The ride is around 8-10 minutes and about 2.5 km. The drive provides incredible panoramas of the beautiful green environment and Kathmandu Valley.
  • Bhaleshwar Mahadev Temple: The Bhaleshwar Mahadev Temple, a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva, is at the top of the hill. The temple and its surroundings are calm and tranquil.
  • Adventure Activities: Chandragiri Hill provides options for adventure seekers and magnificent scenery. Hiking, zip-lining, and other outdoor activities are available.

Swayambhunath and Chandragiri Hill simultaneously allow you to experience Nepal's spiritual and natural sides through the cultural harmony between Hindus and Buddhists. It combines cultural exploration and outdoor adventure, providing a remarkable and varied tour experience.


What is the Best Time to visit Swyambhunath and Chandragiri?

Usually, you can visit Swayambhunath Stupa and Chandragiri Hill any time of the year. If you plan according to season-wise, the best time to visit, Swayambhunath and Chandragiri are during the autumn (March-May) and spring (September-November) seasons in Nepal.

Usually, the monsoon season (June to August) brings heavy rainfall, which can lead to landslides and obstructed views. The paths may become slippery and dangerous. Still, if you prefer to go during monsoon season, check the weather forecast before heading to your destination.

Talking about the Winter Season (December-February), the weather gets cold and freezes. Still, it is preferable to visit the destination. You might find snow on Chandragiri Hill.

If you prefer to visit Swyambhunath and Chandragiri Hill during the festival, it allows you to experience both Nepal's spiritual and natural sides. It combines cultural exploration and outdoor adventure, providing a remarkable and varied tour experience.  Usually, people visit during Dashain, Tihar, Loshar, Buddha Jayanti, etc.

Remember that festival seasons might also bring more crowds, so plan accordingly if you prefer a more tranquil and relaxed visit. Nonetheless, immersing oneself in the local culture and traditions during these festivals can be a memorable and heartwarming experience.

Is taking a Cable car at chandragiri Dangerous?

The cable car trips to Chandragiri Hill usually are safe and run safely. In general, the authorities and operators of such tourist destinations in Nepal take visitor safety seriously.
Also, there are significant aspects you need to determine before you begin the trip.

  • Check the Weather: Sometimes, due to poor weather conditions such as heavy rain, high winds, or lightning. Check the weather forecast before heading toward the destination.
  • Weight Limits: Check the weight limits and keep in mind the weight restrictions stated by the cable car operator. Overcrowding the cable car might be dangerous.
  • Hold On: To guarantee stability during the trip, grasp onto the handrails or other marked spots while inside the cable car.
  • Stay Calm: Stay calm during the journey and prevent unexpected movements that could lead to an accident.
  • Take Precautions: If you are prone to motion sickness or have other health problems, take the required precautions or visit a doctor before riding the cable car.

Where Does the Trip Begin and End at?

As we begin our day, the trip starts in Kathmandu, where a company representative will receive you in the hotel lobby. We take a car ride from the hotel towards SwayambhunathStupa. After roaming and observing the UNESCO heritage site of Swyambhunath and spending some time there, we go towards Thankot. From Thankot, we take a 2.5-kilometer cable car ride towards Chandragiri at 2551 meters. We can visit the temple and see the 360-degree view of the valley and the gorges around it. After spending some time there and having lunch according to the client's preferences, we returned from Chandragiri and rode back to the hotel, where the trip would end.


Why Nepal Trekking Planner for Swyambhunath and Chandragiri Tour?  

"Nepal Trekking Planner" is one of Nepal's prominent trekking and tour companies. There are numerous reasons why Trekking Planner Nepal. Some of the reasons are listed below:

  • Expertise and Local Knowledge: Like other reputed agency organizations, Nepal Trekking Planner will likely have skilled and competent guides familiar with the trekking routes, terrain, and local culture. We can improve your hiking experience by offering information and assuring your safety.
  • Trip Customization: The trekking planner provides various pre-made trekking itineraries that suit multiple interests and fitness levels. We also offer custom tailor-made to your specific interests and needs.
  • Permit and Logistics Assistance: Trekking in Nepal frequently necessitates the acquisition of numerous permissions and logistical planning. Trekking Planner Nepal handles all the essential paperwork and logistics, making your trip less stressful.
  • Safety and Support: Trekking in Nepal can be challenging, and having members from Trekking Planner Nepal with a strong track record can provide reassurance. We can help in an emergency and ensure that safety precautions are taken.
  • Accommodation and Meals: Trekking Planner Nepal organizes lodging in tea houses or lodges along the way and meal arrangements, letting you concentrate on enjoying the walk.
  • Responsible Tourism: Nepal Trekking Planner promotes and supports responsible tourism practices, including eco-friendly trekking, respecting local customs, and supporting local communities.
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    After a fulfilling breakfast, a representative from Trekking Planner Nepal will be waiting for you in the hotel lobby with the responsibility to transfer you to a car from the hotel to Swayambhunath. The drive is for about 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic and location you are residing at. The journey to the hilltop Soyambhunath stupa starts with a climb to 365 steps (represents 365 days in a year), where small stalls for souvenirs and prayer materials of Buddhist culture are placed for sale. Upon reaching Soyambhunath-a- a UNESCO World Heritage site popularly known as Monkey Temple, you will explore the stupa premises while interacting with the local Buddhist culture. You can observe the intricate architecture with the panoramic view of the Kathmandu city. Similarly, you can get yourself busy with other activities like monkey watching (be sure to take precautions because of their unpredictable behavior), and visiting Shree Gha Chaitya and Harati Devi Temple. Additionally, you can explore art galleries and shops as you descend down the hill.

    After completion of the Swayambhunath exploration, the day tour proceeds to a bustling drive to Thankot in which you can see the transition from city area to semi-urban area. The ride is about 12 kilometers which is about 30 minutes depending on the traffic. Upon reaching the foothills of Chandragiri, you will then take a permit/ticket for a cable car journey from Thankot to Chandragiri, which is located at an elevation of 2551 meters. The cable car journey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. After reaching Chandragiri hills lunch is served in one of the restaurants which is totally on personal preference. After that, we may visit the temple, take blessings, give offerings, and get a 360-degree view of the valley and canyons surrounding it.

    Late afternoon:
    After spending some time there, we return to Chandragiri and ride back to the hotel or any specified location. From there the excursion comes to an end. This one-day trip to Swayambhunath Stupa and Chandragiri Hill offered by Trekking Planner Nepal will provide you with an in-depth understanding of Nepal's rich culture, spirituality, and natural beauty. These legendary locations will leave you with fantastic recollections. Best wishes!!


    Not satisfied with this regular itinerary? Make your own.

    Trip Map
    Swayambhunath and Chandragiri Day Tour: 1 Day Map
    What's Included
    • A highly experience, helpful, knowledgeable, friendly, English speaking, well-trained, Government license holding local Tour Guide . Price includes his salary, food, drinks, transport and insurance.
    • All transfer and sightseeing tour by private deluxe Car / Coach with Air condition (Entrance frees are extra).
    • All applicable government and local taxes per the itinerary.
    • Trekking Planner Nepal’s T-shirt, cap and city maps.
    What's Excluded
    • Tour Entrances fees of the monuments.
    • Nepal visa- USD 25 upon arrival, at the airport, bring 2 Passport size photos.
    • All accommodation and meals in Kathmandu.
    • Cable Car Ticket ($22 Per Person) Round Trip
    • Swyambhunath Stupa Entrance (NRS. 200 Per Person)
    • Travel insurance.
    • Cost not mentioned in the above list.
    Departure Dates
    • This trip departs every day of the year.
    • This trip is fully customizable. We can customize the trip as per your need, please contact us.
    • This trip is available on both a Fixed Departure and a Private Group Basis.
    Essential Info

    Suggested Equipment List

    • Day pack
    • Trekking/hiking shoes
    • Sun Hat/cap
    • Waterproof Gore-Tex layer
    • Raincoat
    • good quality socks
    • trekking/hiking trousers
    • trekking/hiking shirts
    • Sunglasses
    • Water bottle
    • Camera and batteries
    • Generally, photography is allowed, but there might be certain areas or religious ceremonies where it's prohibited. Respect any signage or instructions regarding photography.

    • Swayambhunath is also known as Monkey Temple, is a buddhist ancient religious complex atop a hill in Kathmandu, Nepal. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stupa, shrines, and the resident monkeys.

    • Chandragiri is another hill situated southwest of Kathmandu Valley, providing panoramic views of the Himalayas including everest. It has a cable car ride, a historical park, and a Bhaleshwor Mahadev Temple.

    • Typically, a one-day tour to Swayambhunath and Chandragiri takes 4-6 hours, depending on transportation and time spent at each site.

    • Comfortable clothing and footwear are recommended as both sites may involve walking and stairs. As these are religious sites, attire should be modest and respectful.

    • Yes, both Swayambhunath and Chandragiri have entry fees. Additionally, you have options for the cable car ride at Chandragiri, there will be a separate fee which you can pay the company or chandragiri direct.

    • Visitors must maintain silence and respect the religious sentiments at both locations. Some areas may have specific restrictions or guidelines; adhering to them is best.

    • Yes, Trekking Planner Nepal hires a local guide and having a guide can enhance the experience by providing historical and cultural insights.

    • Yes, both Swayambhunath and Chandragiri usually have food stalls or nearby eateries where you can purchase snacks or meals.

    • Mornings or late afternoons are ideal to visit both places to avoid the heat and crowds. However, both sites have their unique charm at different times of the day.

    • While tourists are welcome to observe ceremonies, participating might require specific permissions or understanding of the rituals. It's respectful to ask for guidance from locals or guides if interested.

    • Trekking Planner Nepal can include and exclude transportation during this tour package according to the needs and necessities of our clients.

    • At Swyambhunath, spinning prayer wheels clockwise and offering prayers at the stupas are common practices. Observing silently during rituals and avoiding disturbances is appreciated.

    • Taxis, public buses, or hired vehicles commonly reach Swyambhunath and Chandragiri. However, for Chandragiri specifically, a taxi or private vehicle might be more convenient due to its distance from the city.

    • Both locations involve some walking and stairs. While it's manageable for most children and elderly visitors, those with mobility issues might find some areas challenging.

    • Depending on your time and interest, other attractions might be nearby, such as temples, museums, or cultural landmarks.

    • Yes, both Swyambhunath and Chandragiri usually have shops selling souvenirs, religious items, handicrafts, and local goods.

    • Respecting personal space, seeking permission before taking someone's photo, and refraining from touching religious artifacts or monks without permission are considered polite gestures.

    • Yes, both sites have restroom facilities, though they might vary in cleanliness and amenities.

    • Kathmandu Valley experiences different seasons. Have a check of the weather forecast before your visit and dress accordingly, especially for Chandragiri, which might have cooler temperatures due to its higher altitude.

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