Dhulikhel (elevation 1550m) is a town of about 10,000 people on the eastern fringe of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. The town lies on the intersection of the Arkino Highway to Tibet (74 km) and the B.P. Highway to the Eastern Terai.
There are good views of the Himalayas from Dhulikhel, possibly as good as those from Nagarkot, with one important difference: Dhulikhel is a real Newari town and has a village square lined with temples, not just infrastructure to accommodate tourists looking for good views.
- Buses from Kathmandu's Ratna Park bus station will take about two hours and cost less than Rs100. These buses pass through Bhaktapur on the way.
- Taxis from Bhaktapur will likely cost more than Rs1000. Expect to pay at least twice that from Kathmandu.
- Dhulikhel is on the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail This trail starts in Sundarijal, a short bus or taxi ride from Kathmandu, and continues on to Chisapani (2,150m), 5½ hr and then to Nagarkot (2,163m), 5-7½ hr. Expect to hike between 4-7 hr between Nagarkot and Dhulikhel.
Dhulikhel is a small place, easily explored on foot.
- 1 Kali Temple. A Hindu temple at the top of the hill in Dhulikhel, providing a good viewpoint. This is a popular spot for locals on weekends.
- Shiva Temple. A Hindu temple at the bottom of a gorge, over 2 km southeast of the village square.
- 2 Narayan Temple. A Hindu temple to Vishnu, near the centre of town
- Hiking - about 6 hr will get you to Namobuddha and back to Dhulikhel. The route starts in the same direction as the walk to the Kali Temple. The route is well signed. Once you arrive in Namobuddha, you might want to visit the Tibetan monastery on the hill above the town.
There is a Nabil Bank ATM in the centre of town at the junction of BP Highway and the Araniko Highway.
There is no place to change currencies in town.
There are few independent places to eat in town. Most people will choose to eat at their hotel or lodge.
- Newa Kitchen (close to the bus stop). Offers International and Nepali menu items. Dishes from Rs80-300.
- 1 Rukh Cafe, B.P. Highway (next side to Nabil Bank ATM (same building)), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 07:00-22:00. Expresso, cappuccino, americana, cafe latte, caramel latte, chocolate latte, hot chocolate, cafe mocha — iced or hot. Ice tea, green tea, special masala tea, special lassi, pizza, sandwich, burger, hot dog, nuggets, Japanese gyoza, purin, pasties, Japanese green tea. Rs100-200.
- Panorama View Lodge, Dhulikhel Height (follow the road through Dhulikhel, there is a sign at the bottom of the dirt road that leads to the top of the hill and the lodge), ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Near the top of the hill, on the dirt road up to the Kali Temple. There is a restaurant with local and western foods which is popular for passing Nepali people on weekends. There are seven rooms, four downstairs with balconies, three upstairs next to the rooftop area. Clean bathrooms with hot showers. On a clear day there are views of the Himalayas towards Everest, otherwise still impressive views over the valley below. Room price includes breakfast; price can be bargained lower without breakfast. Rooms from Rs1000.
- Shiva Guesthouse (close to the Shiva Temple). Rooms from Rs300-700.
- Nawaranga Guest House (on the road towards the Post Office). Also has a restaurant. Rooms with shared bathroom Rs500-600.
- Bhattidanda Fresh & Natural Homestay, Resort Marga (follow the road that leaves Dhulikhel eastbound, which also passes the 1000 steps; follow it almost to the 180° turn; you'll find the Homestay on your right), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:₩0, check-out: 12:00. Homestay that does farming without pesticides and invites guests to join the family life, harvest vegetables and learn how to cook them. The building was built in 2017, so the rooms are very modern and comfortable yet simple. Meal packages available. Most of the rooms allow you a nice view on the hills and into the valley. They have a restaurant where they serve local food made from fresh ingredients right out of their backyard. from US$25 double with breakfast.
- Sojourn Himalaya Resort, Bhattedanda, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. US$25.
- 1 The Himalayan Horizon, Bansghari, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Try getting a room with views of the mountains.
If you are hiking the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail, you can continue from Dhulikhel to Namo Buddha and from there on to Panauti. The hike to Namobuddha will take approximately 3 hr and an additional 2½-3 hr to reach Panauti. This village has several temples and is considered a particularly sacred spot being at the junction of two rivers as well as a third invisible river, the Padmabati.
- Namo Buddha is a 3-hr hike from Dhulikhel. The town has a large stupa which is one of the three most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists in Nepal. The Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery sits on the hilltop overlooking the town.
- The Arniko Highway can be followed a further 75 km to the Tibet Border, passing the towns of Barabise, Tatopani, and Kodari