Manikhel is a small village in Mahankal Rural Municipality in Province 3. It is located in Lalitpur district which is about 40 km away from Kathmandu. The area it covers is about 16.1 sq.km which is small yet with marvelous views right from the sloppy steep hills of Kathmandu valley. This village is for Manikhel-Simba Falls and is at 2000 meters high above the sea level and is a small village of Tamang community where you get a warm welcome and will treat you very well in every possible manner. They respect the fact that we are their guest and treat us better to make ourselves comfortable. And everything here is basic regarding the facilities we get but trust me this place is authentic.
This beautiful little village consists of the traditional Tamang hill tribe community on the sloppy steep hills of the Kathmandu valley. Manikhel is famous for its mesmerizing views, fresh air and local organic Tamang food. Mostly, the villagers here are Hindus and Buddhists. People here especially speak Nepali and Tamang language. They live their livelihood by producing corn & rice paddies and by cattle farming.
The beautiful village surrounded by the stunning hills and villagers there, their unique culture and jolly nature is one of the reasons why people who visit this place happen to be on their awesome trip. But the major reason most people visit Manikhel is because of the magnificent waterfall-Simba Falls.
Simba Falls lies in Mahankal Gaupali 2 between Rigin Danda and Manikhel Khawa. This waterfall is the combination of 5 small waterfalls in Manikhel. In Tamang language denoting the coldness of the water in the waterfall is why it’s named Simba Falls. The waterfall lies in the green and inside the jungle. It’s difficult to get to the viewpoint from where we can see the Simba fall with all of its 5 waterfalls. And trust me, harder to get there, is worthwhile to see how it looks like. The whole waterfall view is spectacular. With green hills everywhere and in between is the waterfall with its astounding view.
The path to the Simba Fall is extremely narrow and slippery. And as we reach near to the waterfall through the jungle path we can hear the shower of the waterfall welcoming with cool breeze and the environment getting chilly with the small droplets of water as a rain. Reaching the waterfall becomes the best moment as this includes the relaxing sound of clean and pure flowing streams along with pleasant sound of the air flowing through the jungle. A valuable welcome moment offered by the foggy hills and mind-boggling waterfall.
On our way to the destination we can find some amazing places to visit. Like Tileshwor Mahadev and Saraswati Kunda. It’s the only Saraswati Kunda in Nepal located near the Lele Bus Stop. It is believed that a person with difficulty to speak in a clear voice gets cured if he drinks the water. On the way to Organic Farming village and Rainbow Trout Farm we can see many small waterfalls.
The preferable route is Ratnapark(before Bir Hospital)- Lagankhel-Thecho- Chapaugaun- Manikhel. If you go by bus then you will have to change the bus from Chapagaun. First a bus from Ratnapark up to Chapagaun (Pyang Gau Buspark) and another bus that will take you to Manikhel. After reaching Chapagaun head towards Lele- Bhardev-Chaugharey- Gotikhel and finally reach Manikhel. And it takes around 45 minutes to hike from the last stop to reach the waterfall. To reach the destination takes about 4-5 hours if you travel through a local bus. But if you have your own vehicle then it takes 3-4 hours and a little hike to reach there.
The ride to Manikhel is full of bumpy and muddy roads with potholes. Moreover, the roads in some places are worse due to landslides.
Until we reach Thecho the road condition is good. The road up to Thecho is blacktopped but after crossing Satdobato there are potholes in some places.
The road after Thecho is not good. There are several potholes in the route and it is muddy and it’s difficult at some places. However, the road after Gotikhel is graveled with vehicles running.
· Though this place is only 40 km away, the condition of the road makes the journey difficult and may take much more time than expected depending on the road condition.
· This place is above 2000 meters high in the hill with cold and damp weather so, it’s better to wear warm clothes. And in Monsoon the journey is way more difficult as it will be of slippery roads and fear of leeches.
The roads here are very confusing so it’s better to stop and ask someone for the right direction than to take a wrong turn.
Better to carry more cash than to rely on ATM as we can get ATM booths that easily like we get in the city area.
If you’re travelling by bus then it’s better to stay there for 1 day or more. Returning on the same day might be difficult and if you have your own vehicle then fill your tank full.
The best time to explore this place is during August-September.
Living life here is simple, basic. No fancy restaurant, no cafes, just the beautiful village in between the lush hills and here in this village we can learn to be nature friendly and above that is find joy within the simple means of life.
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