As I've mentioned, the only place I see people
Map showing the route around the palace, almost exactly 1.6 miles.
The palace route has some real advantages going for it. First there are sidewalks around the whole thing, and in most places you can actually use them. In some places they are full of people, like near the east gate and over by the foreign ministry on the west side, but other than those two spots you don't have to run in the road. Because really no vehicles go in or out of the palace area for the most part, you don't spend too much time dodging cars or getting stuck in traffic. Another bonus is that the trees and bamboo that line the walls provide some decent shade from the sun. With many of the normal obstacles removed from my path I was able to keep a fairly consistent pace. Also the mile and a half loop that isn't far from home allows for a nice variable run depending on how I feel, and if I pull a muscle or something it isn't a long walk back to the apartment.
So with all of those advantages, you'd think this would be my new route, but I think I'm gonna stick to the Boudha route. The main reason is that the air quality around the palace is terrible. Sure I cross the ring road on my way out to Boudha, but for the most part the air isn't all that terrible on my way out there. Around the palace I felt like I was constantly sucking exhaust. Narayanhiti Path and Kanti path are especially bad. The sidewalks that are concrete are fine, bu the brick ones, though even enough for walking are a bit tough when running, during these segments I usually shifted to running on the side of the road. While the trees and bamboo provide shade, they also provide homes for birds and fruit bats, and thus when running under the trees on Kanti Path especially, not only do you have to dodge poo from the sky, but you have to inhale the smell of the poo on the sidewalk.
While the sidewalks are nice, young Nepalis seem to like to take up as much space on a sidewalk as they can. I don't think it's done on purpose, but it's common to see four people spread out perfectly to take up the entire length of the sidewalk, and thus you end up jumping off and back on to the sidewalk. The sidewalk near the foreign ministry is always full of Nepali people waiting to get a passport. The quantity of people there is always really high, and due to this the number of people already walking in the street is already high, thus you end up dodging people and oncoming traffic through this section. Also there is very little difference in elevation over this route, just a few places with some minor variation giving some gradual up hill and down hill segments. On my route out to Boudha I get a couple of really good hills in each direction, so I get some good practice on both up and down hill running.
All in all maybe not a bad place for an early morning run before the traffic gets going. I'm sure I'll use the route from time to time, but all in all not too impressed. If I want to do some distance running once in a while it might not be a bad option if I got up in the morning and did like five laps or something. Running long distances otherwise gets me too far from Kathmandu, and I'd hate to strain my calve way out by Sundarijal or something.