Trekking

Pokhara Lakeside is the perfect base for trekking across the Annapurna Range

Pokhara, a land of lakes and adventures is a home for amusements to the tourists. The place makes a wonderful tour with the majestic mountain views. Tranquil lakes, exotic hill settlements, and its inhabitants are additions to your amusement.

The valley surrounded by hillocks on all sides is open to different adventurous walks. Ranging from short hikes to longer treks in the mountains. There are many exotic settlements, pristine forests, typical ethnic settlements where you can choose to go on treks.

If you are in Nepal for short time and wish to go on treks to enjoy the countryside. Then you have many options for short treks around Pokhara. These treks range from a day to a week’s. Whichever the trek you choose, you will have no less wonder and fun while trekking.

There are more than two thousand registered trekking guides in Kathmandu alone, and while most offer honest, impecca­ble service, horror stories abound. When choosing a guide, make sure he or she has been accredited by the Hotel Management and Tourism Training Centre, is familiar with the area you will be visiting and can arrange emergency-helicopter evacuation service should a member of your party be injured. Check online travel chat rooms for recommendations and reviews. (Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good place to start; go to Lonelyplanet.com.) Beware of guides who tout their own services. Kamal Bhatta, of Beyond the Limits Trek and Expeditions, provides excellent value, with the added benefit of knowing which teahouses serve the best apple pie along the Annapurna trail; visit his informative website at seenepal.com.

Inn Style

The Hyatt Regency in Kathmandu has a swimming pool; the Yak and Yeti has a luxurious reputation. But what Kathmandu’s Hotel Vajra lacks in televisions and high-speed Internet connections, it more than makes up for in charm, comfort and personality. A pleasant distance from the tourist area of Thamel and a stone’s throw from the landmark Swayambhu stupa, the 22-year-old inn was designed to resemble a traditional Nepali palace, complete with a tranquil flower garden, fountains and a rooftop terrace ideal for watching the sun set over the capital. You get it all for less than half the price of the luxury hotels. Call (977-1) 271545 for reservations, or click on hotelvajra.com for a glimpse of the hotel’s traditional architecture and more information.

Nirvana On A Plate

While food on the Annapurna trail is pretty good, it’s hard to beat a crisp-crusted pizza oozing with mozzarella and tangy tomato sauce straight out of an authentic wood-fired oven. Serving up some of the best Italian bistro fare this side of Sicily, Fire and Ice on Tridevi Marg, just outside Thamel, dishes up a delectable selection of pizzas, pastas and salads from its bustling open kitchen. While the terrace is perfect for watching the world go by, the restaurant also delivers to hotel rooms should post-trek pa­trons but too sore to get out. —A.B.

Pokhara is the perfect starting and destination point for trekking the Annapurna Range.

Altitude Adjustment

You don’t have to strap on hiking boots to get up close and personal with the mountains. Departing from Kathmandu, many local airlines offer early morning mountain flybys along the Himalayan ridge. Buddha Air sends out two 16-seaters every morning, weather permitting. Each passenger sits beside a window, and as the plane nears Mount Everest, the friendly flight attendant brings each flyer up to the cockpit for a direct prospect. Not that Everest’s neighbors are anything to sniff at: the hour-long flight takes in no less than five of the world’s tallest peaks. A round-trip costs about $100; call (977-1) 542494 or contact one of Thamel’s ubiquitous travel agents for ticketing information.

For more adrenaline-fueled encoun­ters with the mountains, try Sunrise Paragliding’s excursions out of Pokhara. The six-year-old British-Nepali partnership (see nepal-paragliding.com) offers a range of aerial experiences. Trek or jeep to a mountaintop and then paraglide down with an instructor. The three-day paratrek has you landing in a different village each night. In one of its most popular activities, parahawking, you follow hawks trained to find elusive mountain updrafts for rides that can last for several hours.

Sarangkot trek

Sarangkot- Dhampus Trek

It is the easiest short trek from Pokhara which is three hours uphill climb from Lakeside Pokhara. The hill station is a popular one- night destination as many people stop in to enjoy the sunrise over the Annapurna range.

It is a beautiful destination for mesmerizing sunrise/ sunset view. Moments of spectacular pink and orange hues of the mountain ranges. You will enjoy the panoramic view of Pokhara, Fewa lake, the sea of green hills and chain of snow-capped peaks. It is popular paragliding spot in Pokhara from where you can float over the valley and lush forests.

If you wish to add more excitement to your trip you can choose to trek to Dhampus. Or even plan for Annapurna Circuit trek. The place is a famous bird watching spot in the valley.

Ghandruk village trek

10 Best Short Treks From Pokhara 2

It is a typical village of Gurungs and their indigenous settlements. The model village rests on the foothills of towering Annapurna mountain. It is a popular place for treks in Annapurna region- an easy gateway to Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

You will enjoy idyllic rural scenes with farms, varying green forests, diversity of birds and glittering mountain ranges. Easy trails- no difficult ascents/descents, no altitude that causes altitude sickness. The trek is suitable for all age groups- from adults to old-age people.

It is popular as a model village that is promoting rural tourism with resources available at local level. Tourism is one of the major business of the people in the place. So, you do not have to worry about the lodging and food. There is a museum in the middle of the village where you can get the detailed information of Gurungs and their ethnic features.

Dhampus village trek

10 Best Short Treks From Pokhara 1

Dhampus is a small ethnic village of Gurung communities. In the northern face of the Pokhara valley behind the terraced lush fields. The village is an ideal place for overnight stay, sunset and sunrise views. The place rewards you with the views of Pokhara valley, Fewa lake, and the World Peace Stupa.

It is fantastic 2 days trek from Pokhara. The trek commences from Phedi- a 30 minutes drive from the lakeside of Pokhara.

Dhampus hill is one of the peculiar viewpoints in the Annapurna region. You see the wonderful view of mountains, lush nature, exotic landscapes, and pristine countryside habitat. From the hillock, you can see the chain of mountains so near and pristine.