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

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Kathmandu’s Historical Ponds

Nagdaha, Patan. Image: Prashant Shrestha

Thousands of people congregate around a pond in Handigaun in the month of Chaitra/Baisakh (mid March/mid April). The occasion is the famous ‘Gahana Khojne’ (Search for Ornaments) festival, an annual event that is known for the robust nature of its festivities. Continue reading

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