The peaceful village of Nuwakot, with its impressive fortress and ancient temples, is dramatically perched on a ridge 50km northwest of the Kathmandu Valley overlooking the meandering Trisuli River and distant peaks of the Langtang National Park. With such a strategic location near Nepal's seat of power, and on a key trading route between India and Tibet, Nuwakot has been an important outpost for centuries. Nepal's medieval kings were the first to station garrisons here, and the earliest structures of the fortress date from the 16th century. The most impressive building is the seven-tiered palace built by Prithvi Narayan Shah 1762, from where he launched his attack on the Kathmandu Valley that led to the foundation of modern-day Nepal. The fortress and surrounding villages were badly hit in the 2015 earthquake, and reconstruction is ongoing to restore the sight to its former glory. Along with the historical interest a visit to Nuwakot is a delightful introduction to life in rural Nepal, and the perfect antidote to the busy streets of Kathmandu. The stroll to the fort takes you through several villages where locals go about their daily routines unperturbed by outsiders. There are several longer walks around Nuwakot taking you to a viewpoint with panoramic views of the Trisuli Valley, and some small temples dotted around the hillside.