Chobhar is a small town on the southwestern edge of the Kathmandu Valley, inhabited mainly by ethnic Newari people. Although it’s only about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Kathmandu, it feels much like a rural village. The main reason to visit Chobhar is to experience rura Nepalil life, and as a biking destination.
Chobhar is believed to be one of the most ancient settlements in the Kathmandu Valley, and even features in Hindu and Buddhist creation myths about Kathmandu. Kathmandu city is now spreading to the very outer limits of the valley, but villages along its edge—such as Chobhar—still feel rural, as they’re surrounded by rice fields and forest. Chobhar is home to the Chobhar Gorge—where the Bagmati River leaves the Kathmandu Valley—and the Chobhar Caves network. There are also some attractive Hindu and Buddhist temples, including the curious Adinath Lokeshwar Temple, which for mysterious reasons is adorned with thousands of everyday kitchen implements.
Chobhar is just south of Kirtipur, so many visitors like to combine a trip to both places, especially if biking or hiking.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The popular Whoopee Land Amusement and Water Park is in Chobhar, and is a fun attraction for kids.
- Unfortunately, the water that flows through the Chobhar Gorge is heavily polluted, and not suitable for swimming.
- The Chobhar Caves are not usually open to the public.
How to Get There
Local buses from Kathmandu (Ratna Park) and Patan (Lagankhel) to Pharping and Dakshinkali stop at the turnoff to Chobhar. A quicker and easier (though more expensive) way to get there is by taxi. Alternatively, hire a bike in Kathmandu and cycle there. Once you’ve left the Kathmandu traffic and crossed the Ring Road, the ride is pleasant.
When to Get There
Chobhar can be visited any time of year. As a predominantly Newari town, visiting during a Newari festival makes for a fascinating visit. These include Gai Jatra in August, and Yomari Punhi in December.
Continue to the Dakshinkali Temple
Chobhar is on the way out to Dakshinkali, a rather infamous place. The Dakshinkali Temple is dedicated to the goddess Kali, who is believed to demand animal sacrifices. Every day, cockerels and goats are sacrificed at the temple, and it’s usually slick with blood. Dakshinkali is about half a mile (one kilometer) outside Pharping, and can easily be reached by bicycle from Kathmandu, Kirtipur, or Chobhar.