Edit Blog Post
Published: August 20th 2018
After 10 minutes of walk from Shaktikhor bridge on the Upardang Gadi trail, you will encounter this beautiful suspension bridge (the only one on this trail).
Upardang Gadi Hike
“A few hours of walk, and you see everything below your feet: the lights, the city, the rivers, the clouds, the forests, and even the setting sun.”
Situated at an altitude of 1275m above sea level, Upardang Gadi served as the district headquarters of Chitwan until the mid-20th
century. It is mainly a fort built by the Shah Kings to protect Nepal from the southern invasion. Now, the fort is one of the main attractions of the place. In addition to the fort, Upardang Gadi is now known for the rich culture of Chepang, Gurung and Magar communities. Moreover, it is a perfect place to enjoy the beauty of flat plains of the south and the majestic peaks of the Himalayas in the north at the same time. The landscape gets amazingly mesmerizing when the hills are embellished by the reds of Rhododendron. The city of Bharatpur and the Narayani river can be viewed from the top.
There are two possible routes one can take to reach Upardang Gadi. One takes you from the village of Shaktikhor, ascending up to the top. The other requires 2 days of hike starting from Hugdi (a village on
Houses and small farms in Chepang village.
Prithvi Highway) moving south along the Mahabharat range via Siraichuli village. The latter one requires much time and preparation as the trail from Hugdi doesn’t have guesthouses and hotels to stay. But, the trail from Shaktikhor is comparatively easier and the come and go is possible even in a short time (1 or 2 days). You again have 2 options to reach Upardang Gadi from Shaktikhor. Since a motorable road reaches up to the hill, you can take your own vehicle or even hire one for the purpose. You can also hike up the hill starting from Shaktikhor. Whatever the option, it is better to plan the trip such that you could spend a night in the place. Without spending a night, it is impossible to wrap up everything that the place has to offer.
As a weekend trip, we set off for the hike at around 2 pm from Shaktikhor. Public buses for Shaktikhor are available from Tandi bazaar. Buses leave the station every hour. The condition of road gets worse in the monsoon and it takes around 1 and half hour to reach Shaktikhor from Tandi. If you are planning to hike from Shaktikhor, it is recommended
to leave Tandi not later than 1 pm. After getting off the bus at Shaktikhor, we crossed the river along the bridge, and followed the trail to our left and followed it until we reached the top of the hill.
The road takes you carving the southernmost hills of Mahabharat Range along a small stream that remains dry most of the year. On the way, we encountered the typical Chepang culture. Children came out their houses to wave us and greet us with hearty “Namaste”. You can see the houses and farms made of stones, wood and soil. After walking for around 40 minutes in the flat and tedious motorable road, the uphill climb begins. After the second winding turn, we took a shortcut trail that later joined in the same road. It is pretty boring to walk on the road meant for four wheelers, so we took the shortcut trails wherever available. Also, it takes almost double time to reach the top if you walk along the road wholly. The hiking trail is easy yet exciting to walk on. It takes you through the thin forest. The trail took us to the same road. We walked along the
After you start the climb.
road for more than one hour until we reached the loose rocky area. We stopped for a short break.
Then, after few winding turns on the same road, we started walking on the terraced fields where the villagers had grown maize and rice. It took us to the village top from where we again joined a hiking trail. From there, we could see the top of Upardang Gadi fort. After a steep climb, we joined the road. After minutes of walking, we again took another trail. We reached a shop where the bikers were meant to park their bikes. There was a signboard showing routes to Siraichuli and Upardang Gadi. We then took steps up to the left of the shop going uphill. Few minutes of walk took us to the famous Home Stays of Upardang Gadi. During the peak seasons, Fridays are often crowded, and it gets difficult to get even a single room. Luckily, we got a room on the top of an old shed which could easily fit around 8 people. We then went up to the fort, which was a few minutes walk from the homestays.
The fort sits on the top of a
After further climb.
hill from where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the mountains in the north and flat plains in the south, given the weather is in your favour. Its entrance is made of wooden planks that support flat stones on top. It takes you back to the time when the fort was active on its purpose. It has two levels inside: the central depressed part where weapons were stored and the raised peripheral part where the encounter with enemies took place. The boundary of the fort has many openings where canons and other weapons could be adjusted. Camping is also permitted inside the fort. The place gets most lively during the sunrise and the sunset when the sun is near the horizon imparting a beautiful colour to the entire sky. We can clearly see the curvatures of mountains and hills. If you’re lucky enough, you will enjoy the majestic Himalayan range in the far north. At the homestay, we stayed late until night enjoying the fire, drinking and dancing. I personally recommend trying the local beverage available there rather than expensive bottled ones.
The Saturday morning, we got up early, enjoyed the beautiful sunrise, had our breakfast, and
From the top.
left the homestay at around 8 am. Getting downhill was easy as usual. We walked through the trails so quick. We even ran at most part of flat and easy motorable road. After about 1 and half hour of walking downhill, we reached the bridge of Shaktikhor. As we were advised by the locals to see the Shaktikhor waterfall on our way back, we truly didn’t want to miss that. We followed the road that goes to the right from the bridge. After walking for around 15 minutes, we entered the forest and had to walk on a beautiful trail with ups and downs. After walking for around 25 minutes, we reached the waterfall. It was spectacular fall and we couldn’t resist ourselves from getting up the rocks and diving into the cold water. The water fell in two steps. You could get into the upper step through a long log laid for that very purpose. It is slippery and can prove dangerous at times. However, we managed to get up there and enjoy the waterfall. We couldn’t imagine a better way to end a short hike like this. It truly completed our journey. Anybody hiking up to Upardang Gadi
As seen from the fort.
must include Shaktikhor waterfall in their itinerary as it doesn’t take much time and is truly worth a short amendment of plan.
After spending around 1 hour in the waterfall, we returned back to Shaktikhor. We took a bus back to Tandi bazaar and then to Bharatpur. Achievable in a time of fewer than 2 days, Upardang Gadi hike is an amazing adventure for people living in or travelling to Chitwan, especially for weekends.
Tot: 0.114s; Tpl: 0.049s; cc: 7; qc: 26; dbt: 0.0148s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.2mb