Travelling Blog

Poon Hill – Ghorepani & Ghandruk Trek: A hybrid of cultural heritage and Natural Beauty

Last week we decided to trek around the Annapurna region of Nepal, took one of the luxury bus drives to Pokhara. From Kathmandu it took 6 hours, the same day we continued further drive to Dhampus village at the foothill of the Annapurna region of Nepal.

Experts say that Poon hill is Nepal’s second-best viewpoint after Kalapatthar, which is also one of the short trekking in the Annapurna region of Nepal and I realized that when I reached the top of Poon Hill. The Poon Hill Ghorepani trek offers the natural beauty, varieties of lifestyles, culture, and traditions of people along with the breathtaking spectacular view of the Himalayas, towering snow-covered peaks, picturesque landscape, diverse flora, and fauna.

The trekking trail passes through villages, forests, and unparalleled scenic mountains and terraced farmlands. This trek is graded as easy and you don’t need previous trekking experience. The average trekking hour will be 5-6 hours per day or you can make it shorter according to your need and interest. The altitude of this trek ranges from 910m (Pokhara) to 3210m (Poon Hill).

Physical fitness for Poon Hill Ghorepani trek

There are not many physical requirements for Poon hill trekking as you are following the lower foothill of the Annapurna region of Nepal. A person with moderate physical fitness can apply for this trekking. There is no age restriction and young ones and senior people can equally enjoy this trek. So, Ghandruk – Poon hill trek is the complete family trekking,  in most of the places you will get the attached toilet bathrooms except the Tadapani and Tikhedhunga. Walk leisurely while enjoying each moment with incredible Himalayan views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna, Fish Tail, Hiunchuli, and other snow-capped mountains and move in and out of culturally rich multi-ethnic villages. This is also suitable for first-time trekkers. The trekking will depend on you. If you are an experienced trekker you can complete it in a short duration otherwise it might take a slightly longer time.

Where is Poon hill?

Poon Hill is located at the southwest foothill of one of the popular trekking destinations in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It is also popular for sunrise views over the Annapurna ranges. According to the local people, there would be 400 to 500 people every morning for the sunrise particularly in the season time.

How to reach Poon hill?

There are two means of transportation from Kathmandu to Pokhara. One option is a 20minutes flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The second option is to catch a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara and now there are luxury buses available on this route. Follow Prithvi Highway for 6hrs to arrive at Pokhara. Pokhara is the main gateway of trekking to the Annapurna region of Nepal. There are different options to reach Ghorepani, it depends on time and interest. From Pokhara, it is a 40minutes drive to Nayapul. Start trek escalating trail from Nayapul to Ulleri and Ghorepani then next morning hike to Poon Hill. If you have time you can go through Pothana, Tolkha, Landruk village, Ghandruk village, and finally reach Ghorepani. From Ghorepani, it takes a one-hour steep up hike to reach Poon Hill for spectacular sunrise in the morning.

Why Ghandruk Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek?

Walkthrough dense low land vegetation & Rhododendron forest
When we started trekking from Dhampus we started to explore the dense forest and natural beauties at the base of the Annapurna range. You will pass through the scenic rhododendron forest that supports wildlife, cross the river and traverse local villages of Gurung and Magar ethnics. Homestay in Ghandruk is another highlight along the route to Poon Hill.

Explore the Ghandruk village with warm Hospitality and cultural heritage
We started trekking early in the morning from Pothana village then we traversed Tolkha and Landruk village. From Landruk the trail was steep down to reach Modi Khola river. Crossing the river bridge, just before reach to Ghandruk village it was steep up through stepping-stones for about 2 hours. We reached the Ghandruk village at 5 pm. We were really exhausted and we lost all our energy during the trek.

We forgot everything and all our exhaustion gone when we received the warm hospitality from the local people of Ghandruk village. Ghandruk is an ideal place to experience the mixture of trekking as well as learning the cultural value of local Gurung culture residing at the foothill of the lower Annapurna region. Best known for its hospitality, Tourists also will get the best opportunity of Homestay with the traditional Gurung families, experiencing the ethnic way of living, knowing their ethnic culture, traditions, dresses, and lifestyle. After visiting Ghandruk we came to know that it has gained the recognition of the model village in Nepal as well as in South Asian countries. Despite the remoteness in geography, the region has been able to develop itself in an effort of the local community. Their unity in the community would be an unforgettable memory that I have ever seen anywhere else. One of the role model examples is the mother group (called Aama Samuha) in the community. It has been recognized as the role model for the best hospitality and plays a vital role to entertain the tourist visiting the Ghandruk village.

Local initiation for tourism development, No load shedding (power cuts)
In the Annapurna region, places like Tolkha, Landruk, and Ghandruk are the outstanding feature of having local micro hydropower. When you travel to Nepal most of the places are suffering from load shedding and it has severely affected the tourism sector. Ghandruk and surrounding places are the exceptional cases where there is no problem of load shedding as they have local micro-hydropower projects and provision of the 24/7 electricity supply.

Easy trails with good accommodation attached to bathroom facilities
When trekking in the remote part of Nepal most of the places it is hard to find the attached bathroom. So you have to share with other people. But in Ghandruk Landruk, Tolkha and Ghorepani there is the availability of an attached toilet bathroom but you have to book in advance. Homestay in Ghandruk is also available and is one of the ways to explore the living style and culture of the local Gurung and Magar people residing in the Annapurna region of Nepal. You can find spectacular lodges ranging from normal to the high-quality hotel in this region. Because of the growing competition, few lodges provide a comfortable lodge with attached bathroom but we have to book in advance. However, most of the lodges have basic amenities.

Another positive point is the quality control of the lodges and local services provided by the local communities. All the room cost, food quality, and their price ranges are pretty much similar. So it has been controlled by the village tourism Development committee.

Visit pleasant Ghandruk Gurung village and Gurung museum
The village lies on the lap of Mt Annapurna and Mt Fish Tail. When we reached the Ghandruk village we found the rich cultural tradition, which has remained unchanged for centuries. The traditional meals and their culture made the trip lifetime memorable. The warm hospitality of the local Gurung people with due respect is another highlight of this trek. Do not forget to visit the museum to know the cultural tradition and history of the local Gurung people. Musical instruments, traditional agricultural tools, and dressing styles are exhibited in the museum.

Wonderful Panoramic Mountain Views

Poon Hill is one of the best points for a panoramic view of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. Enchanting Early morning spectacular sunrise view over snowcapped mountain from Poon hill (3210m) with the view of Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt Annapurna Himalaya range, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail) and many other spectacular views.

The third day was our special day because we conquered Poon Hill, one of the best views in the Annapurna region to catch the magnificent splendor of the sunrise over the Himalayas. We made an early morning climb along the steep trail to the viewpoint of Poon Hill. It was a great opportunity to have wonderful closeup Mountain Views of more than 20 mountains including the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.

The most popular mountain views are: starting from the right Mt.Fish Tail (6993m) Hiunchuli (6441m) Annapurna South (7219m) Annapurna 1(8091m), Nilgiri (7040m), Dhaulagiri I (8167m) which is 7th highest mountain in the world, Dhaulagiri II, III, IV & Dhaulagiri V (7118m) to the left-hand side from the viewpoint.

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