If you are pressed for time and want a quick getaway, or if you have a motorbike and prefer a reasonable, comfortable 30 km distance to travel (pillion riders take note), take the high road to Kakani in Nuwakot-it offers a lovely view of the central mountain range of Annapurna, Ganesh Himal and Dhaulagiri. Kakani is an hour plus drive, north of Kathmandu. The only hassle is getting out of Kathmandu with its traffic jams, endless honking and pollution. Thankfully, I was given a bandana to cover my nose and mouth and was grateful at the prospect of not having grit in my teeth, although admittedly I was gritting my teeth from the escalating chill.
The drive up to Kakani which is around 2073m above sea level, is pretty. The surrounding area gets greener as the air gets cooler, the further up you go. I was a tad surprised that the end of March saw rain and hailstones-nice if you are warm and indoors! Many surrounding hill-tops are barren from logging. It is disheartening to see. More so when you think about the likelihood of trees being replanted. Nonetheless, Kakani is suitable for trekking and hiking with its pine and oak forests. You could also bird watch or chase the skinny village chickens and goats! In fact, I fulfilled a childhood dream when I managed to cradle a kid (baby goat) in my arms for a few minutes.
What was surprising to see, was the number of hotels and hostels all along our twisty and turny journey. Yet, perhaps due to the time of the year, there was hardly anyone about. I did see a few free-flowing waterfalls and the odd pipe protruding out of the falls-the only source of water for many households.
There is an army-training base just before reaching the village of Kakani. All drivers are asked to park, cross the road to a simple wooden hut and show their licenses, which is recorded in a logbook. I am not sure why they do this but there was also a license check on the way down, away from the army camp.
A short ride away from the camp was our hotel- the Kakani Mountain View hotel and resort. With like its name suggests, offers a nice view of the mountains and of Kathmandu Valley which by night, and from the hotel’s rooftop, is quite alluring.
The hotel sits on four stories, with newly painted walls and is just by the side of the road-like most houses and hotels in Nepal. There is ample parking next to the hotel and a small confectionary shop in the base of the building. The area benefits from no load-shedding, and hardly any power cuts but I did see a few torch-lights and candles around. Just in case though, they have a back-up power supply! The proprietor of the Kakani Mountain View hotel and resort- Ranjan Tamang said that load-shedding was yet to be an issue with the area not being densely populated-for now that is.
The Kakani Mountain View has seven bedrooms. And if you are wondering if there was any cheek in calling itself a ‘hotel’ with just seven rooms, you might want to note that businessdictionary.com defines a hotel as, an establishment which should have a minimum of six bedrooms, with at least three rooms having an attached (ensuite) private bathroom facilities". The Kakani Mountain View has 4 bedrooms with attached bathrooms, while the other three rooms contain shared bathrooms. The hotel has a dining area with a menu but really they will make just about anything you want. They also have free wifi, a laundry service, village tours and treks, and a rooftop bar with a nice view of the mountain range. And if you are planning to have a seminar, they can arrange a conference room for up to 30 people.
The rooms are clean, spacious and the one that I stayed in, had a brand new bathroom with a fluffy toilet-seat cover. And, hey, hot water. The restaurant’s food was delicious to say the least-Chili Chicken highly recommended!
Would I return to Kakani and the Mountain View? For sure. And did I mention the fresh trout farms with restaurants on the way up where you can pick your fish and have it cooked for you on the spot? Or the home-made strawberry wine?
Call 977 974 1257803 and ask for Ranjan or visit