Panch Pokhari Path – A New Nepal Trek

 The Panch Pokhari (Five Ponds) Path is a new trekking area in Nepal. Panch Pokhari (4,100 m) is located northeast of Kathmandu at the base of the Jugal Himal. The period from March to May is the best time for trek to Panch Pokhari. This place has cultural, religious, and ecological importance. An important festival, the Janai Purnima festival, is held here every year in August, when Brahmin castes come here for the ritual changing of the sacred thread (janai) they wear around their bodies. Thus, the five ponds (Panch Pokhari) are regarded as sacred ponds. Situated as they are at the base of the Jugal Himal, the ecology is pretty diverse and of considerable interest. The trek takes you through Sherpa and Tamang villages, so it’s something of a Nepal cultural trek, as well.

PanchPokhariGenerally, it’s a 10-day trek, the starting point being Chautara (1,200 m) to the northeast of, and about a five-hour drive by bus from, Kathmandu. To make it clearer, you’ll be going towards the Tibetan border. The region you’ll be trekking through is rich in scenery, second to none other trekking routes of Nepal. You’ll start experiencing a different kind of lifestyle immediately, that of the Sherpas and Tamangs, thus the Panch Pokhari trek is often said to be a Nepal cultural trek. After a night halt at Chautara, the next morning, you trek to Phusre (2,045 m), where you spend another night, and imbibe more of the local culture. Continue reading

Trekking for a Good Cause—the Community Eco-Lodge Trek

A view of Annapurna range seen from Mohare Danda(3300m).

A view of Annapurna range seen from Mohare Danda(3300m).

Dr. Mahabir Pun won the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2007 for Community Leadership. He is famous for his untiring efforts to develop information communication technology in the rural areas of Nepal. Continue reading

Nepal’s Most Popular Treks

Nepal Trekking

Nepal Trek, adventure of a lifetime. Image: Donald Macauley

Nepal is often touted as a trekker’s paradise. And, this is the truth, and the whole truth, as thousands of trekkers will vouch. Blessed with abundant natural scenery, great ecological diversity and an ancient culture, trekking in Nepal is a wish that many all over the world would like to fulfill at least once in their lifetime. Continue reading

Trekking around Pokhara

trekking to dhampus

Annapurna South and Hiunchuli from Dhampus. Image:flickr/Matt Stewart

Most tourists visiting Nepal will make sure they spend a couple of days in Pokhara. Many will surely extend their stay to take a sojourn around the region, since Pokhara is a sort of gateway to many attractive trekking destinations. One such is Dhampus (1,770 m), a small village inhabited by mostly Gurungs, and some 23 km north-west of Pokhara. Continue reading

On Top of Larkya La—the Manaslu Trek

manslu trek

Mount Manaslu during sunrise. Image: flickr/Ben Tubby

Have you heard of a place in Nepal called Nupri? You will, if you go on the Manaslu trek. Nupri is an area where Tibetan influence is dominant, and where the traditional trade routes between Nepal and Tibet are very much still in use. But, this is nothing new as far as regions bordering Tibet are concerned; Continue reading

Tamang Heritage Trail—A Culturally Rewarding Trek

tamang children

Image © Denis Poulet

The Tamang Heritage Trail, which goes through a route between Langtang (3,500 m) and Ganesh Himal (7,429 m), gives you an excellent opportunity to experience the lifestyle and culture of this community.

Among the hundreds of ethnicities of Nepal, the Tamangs are one of the largest groups (about 6% of the population). They are also one of the most culturally interesting communities. Widespread throughout the country, they are predominant in Dhading, Rasuwa, Makwanpur, Kavrepalanchok, Sindhupalchok, Dolakha, Sindhuli, Nuwakot, and Ramechhap districts. There is a significant number of Tamangs in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Dooars, Dharamsala, Dehradun, and Sikkim in India. They have six types of societal leaders: Tamba, Ganba, Bonbo, Labonbo, Lama, and Choho, all of which has a certain role to play in upholding the distinct Tamang culture. Continue reading

Annapurna Circuit—the Experience of a Lifetime

There are only 14 peaks over 8,000 m in the world. Annapurna I, at 8.090 m, is one of them, and it is the 10th highest mountain in the world. This majestic Himalayan peak in mid-western Nepal is the focal point of the country’s most popular trekking route, the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Continue reading

Trekking to Kanchenjunga Base Camp

“Kangchenjunga embodies much of the unknown history of Himalayan climbing: the undeclared, but clearly politically motivated race between the British and the Germans to become the first nation to conquer an 8,000 m peak. While the British made one failed attempt after another to summit Everest, the Germans split their equally unsuccessful efforts between Kangchenjunga (in Nepal) and Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. Continue reading

Go to Ghandruk to meet the Gurungs

Ghandruk Village. Image: Flickr/Peretz Partensky

Every visitor to the lake city of Pokhara will likely say that it is one of the loveliest cities on planet earth. That is because of its fantastic natural beauty. However, one could also say that Pokhara is a gateway to some equally lovely places. One such place is Ghandruk (2,010 m), a village inhabited by the Gurungs, a clan made famous by the bravery of many of its brethren in many wars all over the globe. Continue reading

From Barahabise to Charikot—In Gauri Shankar Territory

Gauri Shankar Himal (7,134 m). Image: flickr/randomix

West of the popular Rolwaling and Khumbu trekking regions, and east of Kathmandu, is where begins one of the newer trekking areas of Nepal. The trek begins at Barahabise and ends at Charikot of Dolakaha district on the southern slope of the Gauri Shanker Himal (7,134 m). Continue reading