‘Shivapuri’ is named after Lord Shiva, who is said to have resided on the top of the Shivapuri Hill; however, your trip begins with about 30 minutes drive from Kathmandu to Budhanilkantha, which is famous for a huge statue of Lord Vishnu (the Hindu god of preservation) reclining on top of Nagas (mythical serpents). The statue is in the midst of a small pond and is believed to have emerged naturally out of it, which is one reason why the locals have consecrated it. Another legend has it that this place must not be visited by the kings of Nepal because if they do, they will die. Hence, when Nepal was under the monarchy and had kings, none of them visited this place. Also, non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the temple here.
After driving to Budanilkantha, you take a short walk towards the entrance of Shivapuri National Park to get necessary permits/tickets, and from there on your hike begins. Your first destination is Nagi Gumba (NANG-KYI). Nagi Gumba is a Buddhist monastery run exclusively by nuns. It is about a 3-hours hike from Shivapuri National Park. You mostly walk uphill through quiet woods. This provides you with an excellent opportunity to do some birdwatching. On a clear day, you can also get glimpses of mountains surrounding the valley.
The trail also provides you with a couple of viewpoints to see the valley itself; however, it is from Nagi Gumba that you get the best view of the valley. After Nagi Gumba, your hike towards Shivapuri Hill (2732m), which is the second highest point on the valley rim, and is the final destination of this trip. The path to the peak consists of a long series of stone steps. However, when you reach the top, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley and, if the weather permits, of the Himalayans, the Langtang Range in particular.