Dhap dam hike complete guide

Dhap Dam (धाप बांध) is one of the most beautiful places in Bagmati Province of Nepal for hiking. This dam is 24 m high and 175 m wide which can store 850,000 m3 of water. The purpose of this dam is to increase water flow in the Bagmati River during the dry season. Dhap Dam is the best place for a hike and new hiking destinations near Kathmandu. You can experience rural life, jungle walks, and wildlife. Dhap dam distance from Kathmandu is 28 kilometers.


On the way, you’ll see mountain views, villages, rivers, etc. The journey may take 3 to 4 hours depending upon your walking speed. From the Dham Dam, you can also reach Chisapani. There is also a resort named Prakriti Resort near Dhap dam which is approximately 1 km away.

Trip Highlights


  • Hike: 3-4 hours to reach Dham dam from Sundarijal
  • Total hiking duration: 8-10 hours
  • Bike: 1 hour from Sundarijal
  • It’s a good idea to start hiking early in the morning.


  • Resorts, homestays, or guesthouses: No
  • Nearest resort: 1 km away


  • Road condition: off-road
  • It is inside the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park.
  • It lies on the hiking trail from Sundarijal to Chisapani.
  • You can enjoy Aiselu (yellow berries) during the summer season.

The Dhap dam hike starts from Sundarijal

It will take 3-4 hours to reach Dham Dam from Sundarijal depending upon the pace of the walk. Sundarijal is known for its beautiful waterfalls and is a starting point for many treks in the area.

Kathmandu to Sundarijal

To travel from Kathmandu to Sundarijal, you can take a private vehicle, taxi, or public bus. The most convenient way to reach Sundarijal from Kathmandu is by taking a taxi or a private vehicle. You can hire a taxi from various parts of Kathmandu.

You can also take a public bus from Chabahil, Kathmandu. Buses are available at various bus parks in the city. Ask for a bus going to Sundarijal, and they will drop you off near the entrance to the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park in Sundarijal.

Sundarijal to Mulkharka Village

From Sundarijal, you can begin your hike on one of the trails leading towards the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. You’ll need to get entrance permission by purchasing a ticket at the entrance of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park at Sundarijal.

As you ascend into the national park, make sure to follow any trail markers or signs that indicate the way to Mulkharka Village. Along the way, you may come across residents.

Keep trekking until you reach Mulkharka Village. The distance and duration of the hike will depend on your starting point, your pace, and the specific trail you choose. It may take one hour to reach Mulkharka Village. It’s a scenic route, and you can enjoy the natural beauty of the national park along the way.

Mulkharka Village to Haibung

The trek from Mulkharka Village to Haibung is a beautiful journey and Mulkharka is a scenic village known for its terraced fields and traditional houses. MulKharka is a small village in the middle of the National Park. MulKharka’s name is made from two words Mul and Kharka, the meaning of ‘Mul’ is ‘main’ in English, and ‘Kharka’ means ‘a pasture land’. You’ll can see a panoramic view of the Kathmandu valley, and green hill terraces. This village is mostly occupied by the Tamang community. During the summer season you may find yellow berries on the way, it is known as ‘Aiselu’ in Nepali.

There are two roads in Mulkharka, the left-side road takes you to Chisapani and the other right-side road takes you to Haibung. Take the right-side road and within 2 hours you’ll reach Haibung.

Haibung to Dhap Dam

It may take about 30 minutes to reach the final destination Dhap Dam from Haibung. Upon reaching Dhap Dam, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the reservoir, reflecting the surrounding hills and clouds.

This hike is known for its scenic beauty, with lush forests, terraced fields, and opportunities to see local flora and fauna along the way.


As with any hike, make sure you are well-prepared. Bring sufficient supplies of food and water as there are no homestays or guesthouses available near Dhap Dam. There is a resort around this area which is approximately 1 km away.

If you start your hike late then it might be difficult to return. Additionally, the weather can change quickly in mountainous areas, so be prepared for various conditions. It’s a good idea to be prepared with appropriate clothing and supplies for your hike.

Flora and Fauna

The Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including 1402 species of plants, 348 species of birds, 129 species of mushrooms, 102 species of butterflies, and 65 species of mammals like the Himalayan Black bear, rhesus monkey, jungle cat, and leopard. The vegetation in the National Park is diverse and includes natural forest types such as pine, oak, and rhododendron depending on altitude.

Terrain and Landscape

The trail takes you through a mix of terrains, including rocky paths, and possibly some elevation changes. Hikers can expect a combination of challenges and visually rewarding experiences as they navigate through the unique terrain.

Local Culture

The Dhap Dam hike is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Nepal and learn about the local culture. There is a Tamang settlement and visitors may encounter aspects of traditional customs and rituals. The Tamang people have their own language and the majority of Tamang people practice Buddhism. People have been engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. However, with changing times, some have also diversified their livelihoods, engaging in trade, tourism, and other economic activities.

Photography Opportunities

Dhap Dam is a picturesque location that offers plenty of opportunities for photography. Hikers can take beautiful pictures of nature, hikers, wildlife, the rural way of life, etc. The area is perfect for photography. The large green lake is a magnificent sight. The lake lay calmly between the hills, reflecting the green hills and clouds’ shadows.

Weather Considerations

The weather in this area will vary slightly from that of the city. Mornings and evenings tend to be a bit colder than in Kathmandu city, while daytime temperatures may be hotter/warmer. Therefore, it is recommended to dress accordingly for the season and carry water to stay hydrated. It’s advisable to have an umbrella with you to protect yourself from the sun or in case of potential rain.

Best season to hike

The season time to hike to Dhap Dam is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild. During these seasons the skies are clear and best for photography.

How to reach Dhap dam?

There are multiple routes to reach Dhap Dam, but the most popular one is via Sundarijal.

Dhap dam Hiking RouteSundarijal to Dhap dam: Sundarijal – Mulkharka Village – Dhap Dam

Alternate Route – You can also get there from the Sankhu area. Dham Dam is approximately 15 kilometers from Sankhu.

Dhap Dam by motorbike

It is possible to reach Dhap Dam by car or bike. It will take approximately one hour from Sundarijal to reach Dhap Dam on a motorbike. It’s important to note that the road may be challenging. The roads and trails in this region can vary in quality, some may be off-road, rough, or dirt paths from Sundarijal to Dhap Dam. Before setting out, ask locals or check with authorities about the road conditions to your chosen destination.

You need to get an entrance permission ticket for bike riders and bike as well at the counter before entering the National Park. Traveling from Sundarijal to Dhap Dam by motorbike can be a great way to explore the region. Enjoy the scenic beauty riding a motorbike in the mountains.

History of Dhap dam

Dhap Dam is a man-made artificial lake in the northeast part of Kathmandu Valley. The official name for the project is Bagmati River Basin Improvement Project (BRBIP). In 2015, the construction of the dam began and completed by the end of the year 2022.

Why Dhap Dam was made?

It was constructed to release 0.4 m3/s of water in the winter season to maintain cleanliness in the holy Bagmati River. The dam stores rainwater during rainy seasons and releases the water during winter seasons.

Safety Precautions

When hiking to Dhap Dam, it is important to take necessary safety precautions. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike:

Wear appropriate attire: Wear comfortable and breathable clothing that is suitable for hiking. Don’t forget to wear comfortable hiking shoes.

Carry a first aid kit: It’s always a good idea to carry a first aid kit with you in case of any injuries or emergencies.

Protect yourself from the sun: Wear a hat or a cap, and sunglasses.

Be cautious: Watch out for potential hazards like falling rocks or unstable slopes and always carry a fully charged mobile phone.

Kathmandu to Dhap dam hiking route map

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