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Indrawati River Valley A perfect place for a family weekend


If you are looking for a quiet solitary rendezvous for a fantastic weekend getaway for fun and frolic with family and friends, where do you go these days?

Yes, where indeed?

Sadly the pretty hills circling the valley rim, which not too long ago sat on off-the-beaten tracks, are fast losing charm and beauty to the wild growth of “resorts, restaurants and even housing”, their peace and tranquility shattered by shrieking, screeching and speeding motorcycles and the fine views of the wonderful dales, vales and the Himalayas in the distance superimposed by the unabashed sight of amorous revelers, who are fast turning these natural amphitheatres into the Himalayan “Pat Pongs”.

So, where do you go to escape all this?

Head off to the beautiful pristine rustic river valley of Indrawati, of course.

Situated about 60 kms North East of Kathmandu on the Melamchi road off the Tibet highway at Panchkhal, the Indrawati River valley offers a mix of rugged rural countryside and fine views of the Indrawati River. The sweeping view of the picturesque river expanse, bounded by layers of terraced farmlands awash in hues of green and yellow, is simply exhilarating. The river, with its dry channels, is wide, dramatic and eye-catching. At the edge of the river, a mix of ageing houses with a few new-born stands on either side of the dirt road that bends off from the main highway and continues across the river towards the villages uphill. It is reminiscent of the cross between Client Eastwood’s Wild West and the river valley civilizations of the great Egyptians. Afar, one can see the landscape lazily lifting itself into pretty green hills dotted with settlements and patches of woods. The drive from the Tibet highway passes through wide open farmlands and a few hamlets strewn with typical rural houses scattered along a stream. It is just a matter of few minutes when the drive reaches the ridge that goes down to the Indrawati River Valley.
During the moonlit nights, the entire place turns surreal and awe-inspiring with the gurgling sound of the river soothing your senses. Nothing comes between you and the nature, so to speak.

What to do:

The river valley offers great refreshing walks and hikes on the stone-littered dry scraggy river bed, a gentle swim or float trips, fun angling, bird walks, excursions to the villages on the ancient trade routes, rural scenery and lifestyle, mountain biking and relaxation. It will also serve as a relaxing picnic outing for a day. Additional activities include an enjoyable hike, bicycle ride or drive to Melamchi to marvel at the impending water project that holds out promise to someday quench the thirst of parched Kathmandu. On the way, a short detour to the temple of Goddess Palanchowk Bhagawati at Panchkhal is worthwhile.

Where to stay and eat:

There are only a few local tea houses with ascetic menu. However, starting the Nepali New Year 2069, in about two weeks, Indrawati River Valley will offer continental breakfasts and fine dal-bhat lunches and dinners on prior reservation by email. Indrawati River Valley is setting up an eco-friendly tented accommodation on small flat terraces on its private land perched on a hilly slope by the highway overlooking the river expanse. For the time being they will provide overnight shelter in romantic and comfortable two-man tents to the intrepid visitors.

They will also offer exciting full-service breakfasts in true restaurant-style ala ‘Out of Africa’ by the river. Email them for a personal presentation and information session at:

By the end of 2012, the camp will have a full fledged dining and bar – The Watering Hole – and a cluster of eco-friendly cottages to give travelers a great rural and nature experience.

Getting there:

Indrawati River Valley is easily accessible from Kathmandu by road. Catch a public bus to Melamchi from Koteswor or from the old bus park across Nepal Tourism Board. Or, better still take a private transport. The drive takes a little more than 2 and a half hour on the Kodari (Tibet and Kailash Mansarover) Highway that passes via Bhaktapur, Banepa, Dhulikhel and Panchkhal. Once you leave Dhulikhel behind, the air becomes cleaner, the views crisp and the people and the houses recede. At Zero Kilo in Panchakhal, the venue for UN army training, you will take a left turn and continue on the Helambu Highway that goes to Melamchi, a famed drinking water project. The Helambu Highway traverses the famous trekking route, which was once more popular than the Everest and the Annapurna regions. You can still use the road for trekking to upper Helambu, Gosainkund, Paanch Pokhari or even Langtang.

Go with your family and friends and enjoy the great outdoors for a day excursion or an overnight trip!