Towering ice-topped mountains sparkle with the colorful prayer flags, while the fanatical streets of Kathmandu are a ceaseless delirium of honking motorbikes, additionally the historical and religiously important 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered in different corners of Kathmandu: Nepal is thoroughly a vibrant slice of Asia.
If there is a trekkers’ paradise, then beyond doubt Nepal is the first pick. Trials to the base of Himalayas in Nepal offer top-notch trekking terrain – from verdant Annapurna to eminent Everest – sprinkled with rural mountain hamlets, and hundreds of rolling trails that have been trodden upon for centuries.
But divinely and naturally blessed Nepal is indeed not only for mountaineers who set off to clamber the higher elevation; from the lime-green grasslands of Chitwan National Park rustling with the dark grey flash of One-horned rhino, to the eclectic cafés and unconventional vibe of Lake-side Pokhara, Nepal is truly an interesting and convivial destination for all.
As a part of company CSR, six Explore Himalayans toured and trekked around few prominent destinations of Nepal which included Chitwan, Pokhara and Poonhill Trek. The FAM trip involved more fun and of course little bit of work. Field work obviously was focused on visiting our service partners so that we could improve the level of our services offered to the clients. Fun part definitely boosted our work efficiency while on work table . Have a look at a photo essay which highlights the prime attractions of the trip.
Day 1: Drive to Chitwan and transfer to Tigerland Safari Resort
166 km South East of Kathmandu lies the first Wildlife Park of Nepal, Chitwan National Park
One of the biggest Ethnical tribes of Terai Lowlands of Nepal, Tharus have unique history and culture. The tharu stick dance at the resort is an insightful opportunity to peep into rich Tharu culture and history.
Day 2: Bird watching tour at the bank of Rapti River, Elephant wildlife Safari at Chitwan National Park and transfer to Hotel Water Front in Pokhara
Boating or Canoeing in Rapti River inside the Park is wonderful chance to spot different species of birds. Chitwan National Park is the home to 543 species of birds including 160 species of migratory birds.
The total area of 932 sq. km, Chitwan National park offers one of the best Wildlife Safaris in the world on the back of giant Asian Elephant. The Park comprises diverse species of floras in the form of wide grasslands and dense deciduous moist forest.
Birds like peacock and Braminhy Duck are easy spotting in the park whereas endangered bird species like Gould’s sunburn and Slaty-breasted Rail among others can also be spotted here which depends on traveler’s luck.
Chitwan National Park is the home to 43 species of mammals which includes one-horned rhino and Royal Bengal Tiger. Varieties of species of reptiles, insects and amphibians also share the wild habitat.
After the safari and lunch with wonderful hospitality at Tigerland Safari Resort, we drive 146km North West of Chitwan and arrive to TripAdvisors’ ranked hotel of Pokhara, Water Front Resort.
Day 3: Drive to Nayapool in a private vehicle, drive to Kimche in a public vehicle and then trek to Tadapani
Initial view of stunning Mt. Fishtail from Pokhara. The view changes as we climb higher.
One and half hour drive to Naya Pool from Pokhara followed by 1 hour drive brings us to our trek starting point Kimche. The massif of Mt. Fishtail at the backdrop.
Two hours long steep uphill climb on the stone staircases from Kimche brings us to wonderful Gurung hamlet, Ghandruk. The first glimpse of rural lifestyle at Ghandruk.
Almost 4 and half hours of ascending climb followed by the final part of the pleasant walk along the rhododendron and bamboo woods takes us to the major stopover point in the region Tadapani.Places to stop for tea and snacks between Ghandruk and Tadapani- Sitkyu and Bhaisi Kharka
Day 4: Trek to Ghorepani via Deurali
The morning view from Tadapani- From right to left- Fishtail, Gangapurna, Hinchuli and Annapurna South
Three hours of walk on the slippery, icy and rolling trial via Banthati brought us to Deurali 3105m. The view of Gurung Hill from Deurali. Gurung Hill is almost 150m steep uphill climb from Deurali.
One hour up and down from Deurali to Gurung Hill rewards with striking view of Dhaulagiri, Tilicho Peak and Dhampus Peak
One hour walk from Deurali and just before the final descend to Ghorepani the mountains open up even more. The view from the ridge of a hill between Deurali and Ghorepani. Ghorepani is just 45 minutes walk from this point.
Day 4: Early Morning Trek to Poonhill for the sunrise view, trek back to Ghorepani, and trek to Hille via, Nangethati, Banthati, Ulleri and Thirkedunga. Drive to Nayapool and drive back to Lakeside Retreat in Pokhara.
Colorful Nature- Dark Hills, silvern Himalayas, aureate sky and nigrescent cloud during the emerging new sun somewhere in the horizon- a striking view from Poonhill
Color changes in a flash at Poonhill. Wide Himalayan range sprawls right before the eyes.
The section of hills swarming to the wide Range of Dhaulagiri Himalayan Range, yet another contrast view from Poonhill- Anyone would call this place a paradise
Dhaulagiri witnesses the expression of love! Where else in the world people can find such a romantic place?
Day 6: Boating at Fewa Lake in Pokhara
A sacred Hindu shrine, Taal Barahi Temple in the middle of Fewa Lake
Tranquil Fewa Lake, colorful boats and sacred small island- A place to enjoy serenity in Pokhara
Enthralling views of Himalayan Ranges right after Thorong La Pass
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls”:- Anais Nin
Travelling through this land is courageous. Without a doubt is certainly not for the faint hearted as it is the longest pass in the country, where we come across the deepest gorge in the whole of earth and have the world’s highest altitude lake, Tilicho Lake 4919m. Newly formed (Gangapurna) Glacier Lake is truly mesmerizing and the view of locals seeking for Yarsagumba (aphrodisiac), on the edge of ridges is nerve-racking! The sight of the biggest of vultures (Lamagaya) is exhilarating. Overall, the Round Annapurna Trek is exulting.
The colorful Chame and gushing Marsyangdi
Lush vegetation, golden wheat shades and tranquil destination- Koto Village on RAT Trial
Starting trek from Chame (2710m), colorful hills, waterfalls and River Marshaygdi gushing deep down somewhere is soothing. As we walk towards Dhukur Pokhari(3240m) for miles, rocks, stones and shrubs are your only companions. Next we follow the deserted trial till Manang (3540m) is the same experience, then coming in contact with civilization is extraordinary. And we soar up along the longest part of the trial, till reaching Thorang Phedi (4450m), where we encounter the hundreds of yellow beaked crows having amazing hovering skills. Getting to the only lodge in High Camp (4850m) is a steep climb. Next morning starting early to cross the pass and witnessing the most pleasant view of peaks including breathtakingly enticing Pisang Peak, and the combination of rocks and snow till you reach the summit of Throng La Pass 5416m is thrilling. First thing beyond Thorung La Pass that feasts your eyes is the panoramic sight of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Nilgiri Ranges.
Black scary cliffs towering to the skies- Between Besisahar and Chame
Now, the downhill to Charabu (4230m) and then to Muktinath (3800m) is pre cautious. Reaching Muktinath is an experience of lifetime, which is one of the holiest places for Hindu devotees. Downhill trial continues till Kagbeni (2800m), a never ending walk in the most deserted area will definitely check your endurance. Looking down hill and noticing greenery at Kagbeni, after 6 or 7 hours of walking in the deserted plain is a relief. Closely connected houses, warm hospitality with a cup of coffee and chilly winds are rare combinations at Kagbeni. Staying a night at Kagbeni is highly recommended. The feel of Kagbeni will always remain. It’s time; we have to leave behind our longest friend of the journey, River Marshaygdi and offer greetings to River Kali Gandaki. Leaving early from Kagbeni will be a wise decision. Two hours of walk from Kagbeni will bring you to Jomsom (2720m) along the dusty road with jeeps and motorbikes hurtling by at high speed. Then comes Marpha (2670m), do not forget apples, apple juices and apply brandy. You’ll get to know this when you get there!
Snow, rocks, blue sky and a plateau
The next thing you might want to plan is to get to Tatopani (1200m) where dipping into natural hot water spring awaits, a heavenly touch that anyone can get after, So much of trekking. Ultimately, cross passing the final landmarks like Poonhill 2870m (a popular hilltop for extraordinary sunrise view) and typical Gurung hamlets including Ghandruk along the trial, lushly filled hills with flora and fauna accompanied by series of extravagant waterfalls the trek ends at Nayapool before driving to the beautiful tourist town, Pokhara.
This Exotic trek in this region is most likely to bring about a change in travelers and seekers.
Getting closer to civilization- Cliffs against Braga
Francois Chouinard and Maria Helene contacted us for the ‘Lhasa-Mount Everest Base camp-Kathmandu overland trip’. However, their plan was changed together with the Tibet Permit rule where 4 persons of same nationality were required in order to obtain the permit. After all, they decided to do the ‘Ghandurk-Ghorepani-Poonhill’ trek in Annapurna region and Nagarkot-Dhulikhel downhill biking tour.
Unfortunately, they could not complete the whole trip because of illness, however, they took the short way and trekked to Poonhill, the famous viewpoint where one can encounter with the massive and magnificent Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountain range. They relaxed few days in Pokahra after the trek and did the Nagarkot-Dhulikhel downhill biking tour which added more fun and thrill in their trip.
They were satisfied the way we organize the trek and biking tour. They wished to return back to do the ‘Lhasa-Mt. Everest Base Camp-Kathmandu overland trip’ in near future.
We were so pleased with our trek through Upper Mustang - thank you!