Hiking to DhakalChaur, Sangla, Tarakeshwor
Head out to Dhakalchaur, Sangla after this corona pandemic if you are looking for somewhere to hike near the Kathmandu valley and is near the jungle and countryside. The region is probably the isolated areas of the Kathmandu district. So, being isolated has given the region to also protect nature and the traditional way of living.
Dhakalchaur lies in the formal Sangla VDC, now part of Tarakeswhor Municipality under ward number 1. The Sangla VDC is around 7 km Ring Road Area.
Getting to Dhakal Chaur:
There are three routes by which you can go on the trek to Dhakalchaur. In these three routes, two involves the former VDC of Sangla and one involves the former VDC of Kavresthali as transit, both now part of Tarakeshowor Municipality. To reach Sangla or Kavresthali, you can get a direct bus from Nepal Airlines Corporation(NAC) or grab the bus from Machhapokhari, Balaju.
This is a longer route and a must if you are to enjoy the hiking at its fullest. This route provides the encounter to the local people of the area and also their way of living. This route will take you around 1.5 hours reach Dhakalchaur from Sangla Bazaar.
You will start at Sangla bus park and take the road that leads to the hills. The 'Chuni Khola', a tributary of Sangle Khola( one of the tributaries of Bishnumati Khola, and also the river that provided the VDC of Sangla its name) flows next to the road for a short period.
Then, you will have to leave the small stream and go road by road as the stream flows a direct approach from the hills.
This route will allow you to see the valley and the neighbouring village, which the other routes won't allow you.
Along the way, you will see small statues and many worshipping places. As most of the people settled on this route are Tamangs and Magars, the Buddhist religious worshiping statues and small monasteries are very common.
Furthermore, this route provides a real hiking experience with the narrower roads as you move above. However, if you ever go there, I suggest you take the narrower and shorter route.
As you move futher up, the valley will be seen much deeper and broader.
You will also have a surrounding terrain hill view of the 'Dhakalchaur Dhada" and of the jungle areas with Shivapuri near you and the Phulbari-Chandeswari jungle on the east.
The native people of the places are friendly and still live a traditional way of living with animal husbandry mostly. The houses made of raw bricks and stone are quite common, although you can now also see the modern style of house.
Finally, after travelling for about 10-15 minutes, from the Buddha Statue, you will arrive at the 'DhalkalChaur'.
Views at/from DhakalChaur:
The first thing will you notice there is a Buddhist structure at the entrance of the Chaur(field) and a huge pole that once had a large flag of Nepal but it is removed now ( Many locals claim that the flag was the largest flag of Nepal).
Similarly, you will also be able to see the magnificent view of the Kathmandu and the jungle areas of Northern Kathmandu district.
The western side from the Chaur will allow you to view 'Bhuneswari Temple of Teen Piple and View Tower near Jituperfedi.
This route is a quicker route and allows you to quickly visit the Dhakalchaur. You start at Sangla Bus Park and head to the Shantidham temple. I would describe the route as all jungle route because you will travel through all the jungle areas. Let me tell you this route can be quite isolated.
It will take around 25 minutes to reach Shatidham(a temple where president Bidhya Devi Bhandari visited once).
After reaching the Shantidham temple, you will have to walk through the upper jungle from the temple area and will take you around 20 minutes to reach Dhakalchaur from Shantidham area.
This route will take you about an hour to reach Dhakalchaur from Kavresthali bus park. First head to Shatidham from Kaversthali bus park and then you will follow the same route from Shatidham to Dhakalchaur as in route 2.
Some suggestions for the hikers:
1) Carry a water bottle:
Route 1 has various water sources so you can quench your thirst. However, it is better to carry a water bottle as you can refill the water whenever you get a drinking water source.
Also, if you are travelling by route 2 or 3, the jungle area has no water source so it is better to carry a water bottle.
2) Hike in the morning:
Although the nearby jungle provides the cooling breeze, it is better to travel to this destination as early as possible in the morning.
3) Travel in a group:
Hiking in a group is very much fun and safe. Also, the jungles at route 2 and route 3 can be isolated. So, it is always better to trek in a group. It will also ensure that you are not getting bored or feeling tired.
Which Route to Choose?
I would suggest choosing route 1 while going to Dhakalchaur and choosing route 2 or route 3 whichever is efficient for you while returning.
Route 1 is more fun and is pleasing with all the community people, view of the Kathmandu area and nearby jungle.
Route 2 and 3 is quicker and provides the opportunity to visit Shantidham temple. Also, why miss out on places to explore.
So, choose Route 1 while ascending and route 2 or 3 while returning.