Chepang Hill Trail

The Chitwan Chepang Hill Trail, offers a rare combination of cultural and sightseeing. One of the most interesting aspects of the trek is getting a glimpse of the Chepangs and other local communities who live in this mid-hill region of Nepal. Accepting the invitation of the villagers to stay in their beautiful homes as guests and sharing their meals is a journey of discovery in itself. The unique culture in this area, birdwatching, and other natural attractions add to the experience. The Chitwan Chepang Hill Trail begins at Hugdi, between Mugling and Krishna Bhir in Dhading district about 80 kms from Kathmandu, and ends in Shaktikhor. If one is coming from the Chitwan National Park the trail can also be started from Shaktikhor ending at Hugdi.  

Hattibang, a major stop on the way, offers good scenery of the surrounding mountains and trek through pristine mid-hill forests. Here one can also experience Magar, Chepang and Giripuri culture, at the several community-run home-stays and community-managed guest house. Siraichuli (1,945 m), one of the highest hills of Mahabharat range, offers spectacular views of the mountains and magnificent sunrise and sunset views. The view includes a wide range of Himalayan peaks such as Rolwaling, Gaurishankar, Langtang, Gorkha Himal, Peak 29, Himalchuli, Manaslu, Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri, and the Royal Chitwan National Park in the Terai. The trek to Siraichuli from Hattibang is challenging through rough landscape and vegetation. 

Jyandala village on the trail is a Chepang settlement where tourists can have a cultural experience. A tour of the village and accommodation at village homestay is recommended. Next is Chisapanitar, which is a popular birdwatching site. More than 250 varieties of bird species are found here. The dense forest in this region is also home to other wild animals.

Another interesting place is Uppardang Gadi which used to be the headquarters of Chitwan till early 1962. The remains of a historic fort that defended the surrounding countryside are still here. The fort which sits at 1,275 m is said to have been built by Shatru Bhanjan Shah, the oldest son of Bahadur Shah. The area also offers spectacular views. Shaktikhor, where the trek formally ends gives ample opportunity to visitors for a wholesome cultural experience. Home-stay facilities are available here where visitors can taste the local food and be a part of the local livelihood. Tents from camping up to 10 people are also available here. Cultural shows are also performed by local community members for visitors.

Nepal Tourism Board is a national tourism organization of Nepal established in 1998 by an Act of Parliament in the form of partnership between the Government of Nepal and private sector tourism industry to develop and market Nepal as an attractive tourist destination. The Board provides platform for vision-drawn leadership for Nepal’s tourism sector by integrating Government commitment with the dynamism of private sector.

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