The Nagi Gompa (Nangkyi Gompa) is a Tibetan Buddhist convent located in the Shivapuri National Park, on the northern edge of the Kathmandu Valley. It’s home to more than 100 nuns, which is rare in a region that has many monasteries for men. Visitors are welcome, and many travelers stop here while hiking in the park.
Surrounded by the forest of Shivapuri National Park, with sweeping views of Kathmandu, Nagi Gompa is a beautiful, peaceful destination for pilgrims as well as sightseers. The nuns at Nagi Gompa live in retreats for several years. Travelers passing through Kathmandu are welcome to stop at the monastery and visit the grounds and meditation hall while hiking in the park with a guide or independently.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Non-Nepali travelers must pay a fee to enter Shivapuri National Park, and register in the logbook at the entrance.
- The nuns of Nagi Gompa are renowned for their religious song and dance, particularly the ritual chod dance. If you’re lucky, they will be practicing or performing during your visit.
- Although the hike to Nagi Gompa is not very strenuous, there are a lot of steps on the way up, so is best suited to active travelers without mobility issues.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to Nagi Gompa is to take a half-hour taxi ride from Kathmandu. Ask to be dropped at the entrance of the Shivapuri National Park, which is uphill from Budhanilkantha. From the park entrance, Nagi Gompa is a couple of hours’ hike, or a short drive in a 4WD vehicle.
When to Get There
For the best views of the Kathmandu Valley, visit during the autumn (October-November), when the skies are more likely to be clear. The park is open during daylight hours. It’s best to start hiking to the Nagi Gompa as early in the day as possible to avoid the heat, and to have time to reach the summit of Mt. Shivapuri (if that is your goal).
Take a Course or Retreat at the Kopan Monastery
For travelers who want to learn more about Tibetan Buddhism and meditation, the Kopan Monastery in the northeast of the Kathmandu Valley is the place to go. Kopan runs courses and retreats specifically designed for beginners and foreign travelers. It’s located near Boudhanath, and offers simple but good-quality accommodation packages.