Dhulikhel is one of the more popular places from which to observe the high Himalaya. From the edge of the ridge, a stunning panorama of peaks unfolds, from Langtang Lirung in the east, through Dorje Lakpa to the huge bulk of Gauri Shankar and nearby Melungtse (7181m) and as far as Numbur (5945m) in the east.
Tucked away in a side valley off the Arniko Hwy, about 7km south of Banepa, Panauti sits at the sacred confluence of the Roshi Khola and Pungamati Khola. A third ‘invisible river’ called the Padmabati is said to join the other two rivers at Panauti, making this a particularly sacred spot.
The first major town you reach heading east out of the valley, Banepa is a lot more attractive once you get off its hellish highway and into the brick-paved backstreets snaking north from the highway. It’s worth spending an hour or so exploring, with a number of Hindu and Buddhist temples.
Many of the small villages dotted around the valley have Newari-style temples and traditional brick architecture. Get hold of Nepa Maps’ 1:50,000 Around Kathmandu Valley map and explore. One place to check out is the village of Shrikandapur, just off the Banepa–Panauti road. On the hilltop is a three-tiered Bhairab Temple with good views over the valley.