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Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

The northern part of the Kathmandu Valley rises to the sprawling forests of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, upgraded to national park status in 2002 to protect the valley’s main water source, as well as 177 species of birds and numerous rare orchids. This is one of the last areas of primary woodland left in the valley, and the forest is alive with monkeys, and maybe even leopards and bears.

The park is split into two distinct zones by the roads running north from Kathmandu. The bulk of the park lies immediately north of Buddhanilkantha, on the trekking route to Helambu, but there's a second forested zone, the erstwhile Rani Ban, uphill from Balaju on the road towards Trisuli Bazaar, encircling 2095m Nagarjun Hill.

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