Dhulikhel - A Scenic Hill Station in Nepal

Dhulikhel is a scenic town situated in the Kavrepalanchok District of central Nepal, around 30 km east of Kathmandu. Lying at an altitude of approximately 1,500 meters, it offers spectacular views of the Himalayan mountain range.

Some key facts about Dhulikhel:

  • Originally an agrarian Newari village, Dhulikhel has become a tourist destination due to its natural vistas, traditional architecture, and cultural heritage.
  • Major attractions include the Bhagwati Temple, Namobuddha Monastery, Kali Temple, Shiva Temple, and panoramic views of mountains like Mt. Langtang, the Kerung Peak, and the Gauri Shankar.
  • Old houses, buildings, and temples showcase traditional Nepali architecture with carved windows, multi-tiered roofs, and paintings. The town also has a vibrant local handicrafts tradition.
  • Dhulikhel offers scenic trekking trails passing through small villages, forests, and terraced farms. Activities like zip-lining, nature walks, and birdwatching can also be enjoyed.
  • Homestays, guest houses, and resorts catering to domestic and international tourists offer a range of accommodation options.
  • The town hosts several festivals celebrating Nepali holidays, culture, and agriculture. These include Nepali New Year, Holi, Dashain, and newly harvested crop festivals.

With its natural beauty and cultural heritage, Dhulikhel is emerging as a popular tourist getaway offering a traditional Nepali experience near Kathmandu. Careful tourism growth aims to avoid the overcommercialization seen in other parts of Nepal.


  • Dhulikhel has a long history, having served as an important stop on trading routes between Tibet and Kathmandu for centuries. Some records indicate local habitation since the 1st century AD.
  • After the 16th century, it grew as a Newari settlement and an agriculture center known for crops like mangoes, bananas, and rice.
  • Historic buildings include the Bhagwati Temple (1673 AD), the Kali Temple (1703 AD), and traditional Newari brick homes and shops with ornate wood carvings dating back 200+ years.

Tourism Infrastructure

  • 50+ hotels and lodges provide around 1,000 rooms, including high-end resorts like Dhulikhel Mountain Resort on the outskirts along with budget guest houses.
  • Many restaurants serve Nepali staples like daal-bhat along with international cuisines. The Old Inn and Namo Buddha Restaurant are popular.
  • Local tour operators offer guided trekking, village walks, mountain biking, and day trips to nearby sites like Namobuddha and Panauti.
  • Handicraft shops sell locally produced wares and souvenirs.

Culture and Arts

  • Dhulikhel hosts annual celebrations for Nepali New Year, Holi, Krishna Janmashtami, Dashain, and Tihar along with local events like the Dhulikhel Tea Festival and Dhime Jatra harvest festival featuring traditional music and dance.
  • The area has a tradition of festivals, religious dances (Bhailo Naach), and folk culture representing the multi-ethnic demographics of settlements around Dhulikhel.
  • Institutions like Dhulikhel Hospital and Kathmandu University bring an educated, cosmopolitan influence to the area.

So in summary, Dhulikhel offers natural scenic beauty combined with historic architecture, growing tourism facilities, vibrant festivals and arts traditions as well as modern amenities and infrastructure.

Trekking and Outdoor Activities

  • Popular treks from Dhulikhel include the Day Hike to Namobuddha with panoramic valley views and historical religious sites along the route. The Panauti Peace Stupa Trail passes quaint villages.
  • Longer treks go towards Dudhkunda for mountain views, Rhododendron Forest for spring flowers, and villages like Palanchowk Bhagwati for heritage sites. The Nala Trek from Dhulikhel towards Banepa takes 2-3 days.
  • Besides trekking, activities include nature walks through the Lali Gurans Forest, birdwatching for over 100 species, paragliding off hills nearby, and cycling on village trails.
  • The Zip Flyer zone features South Asia’s longest zip line at 1.8 km long with views and local produce snacks at stations along the way.

Agriculture and Industries

  • Historic crops are millet, corn, mustard, beans, banana, mango, rice, and spices like nutmeg along with dairy production in the fertile plains.
  • Local factories produce face masks, medical gear for export through Dhulikhel Hospital initiatives, silk items from the Japa Silk Farm and nearby Panauti town, and traditional paper and papier mache crafts employing local artisans.


  • Dhulikhel town’s population is around 15,000 currently. The surrounding municipality and villages have over 60,000 residents consisting of predominantly Newars along with Brahmins, Chhetris, Gurungs, and Tamangs.
  • Migration for work and education is common, leading to large non-resident links to cities in Nepal and abroad. However strong socio-cultural ties through community associations persist.

So in summary, Dhulikhel continues to progress as a scenic tourism destination while retaining its cultural heritage and traditional economic base through community efforts promoting development.


  • Dhulikhel is an educational hub, hosting leading institutions like Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel Hospital, and colleges like Dhulikhel Medical Institute, and Dhulikhel Nursing Campus.
  • These focus on medicine, nursing, health sciences, engineering, disaster management, business, and tourism education serving local and international students with modern infrastructure.

Environmental Efforts

  • Local non-profits mobilize towards greening initiatives, zero waste campaigns, and conservation of heritage sites and sensitive natural areas. Groups like Dhulikhel Hospital have solar installations as a clean energy pilot site.
  • Agroforestry efforts assist farmers in optimizing land use through the multi-tier mixing of trees and undergrowth crops on terraced farms. Fruit orchards supply towns.

Notable People

  • Famous historical personalities linked to Dhulikhel as birthplace or residence include astrologer Ram Daan Vaidya, priest Ananda Deva, poet Sujan Chitrakar, and social reformer Yogmaya.
  • Contemporary talents like Lekhnath Paudyal, Tej Thapa Magar, Prem Dhoj Pradhan, and Sulav Agrawal have brought recognition across arts, culture, literature, and public service.


  • Road networks connect Dhulikhel to Kathmandu and other towns across 35 minutes to 3 hours of travel time by bus or car. The Arniko Highway provides access including public buses.
  • Dhulikhel's closest airport is at Panauti, a 15-minute drive away, with recent upgrades to infrastructure aiming to serve charter tourist flights in the future.

So efforts across hospitality, sustainability, academia, and infrastructure aim to support Dhulikhel by balancing traditional charm with modern development.