• Dharma Adventures - MKT1

Pokhara: Beyond a perfect getaway!

With its bewitching beauty extended in forms of snow-capped peaks, tranquil lakes, greenery, adventure sports and trek trails, Pokhara is a place for anyone and everyone. With the magnificent Annapurna range forming the backdrop and the serenity of three major lakes – Phewa, Rupa and Begnas – Pokhara is the ultimate gateway for relaxation. Apart from journeying the adventure hub, we recommend experiencing the following 2 eco-friendly hotels in Pokhara to unwind and enjoy the luxuries that they deliver.

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge

Perched on a ridge above the Pokhara Valley, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is located away from the bustle of the city. It is an ideal place set against spectacular Himalayan backdrop and defines the essence of tranquillity.

With a central lodge, bar and dining room, the comfortable rooms are arranged in clusters of cottages resembling a typical Nepali village. All their rooms have attached bathrooms, private verandas that face the views of the Himalayas. The place is also admired for their daily table menus featuring a wide range of Nepali dishes and continental specialties that are made from local fresh ingredients and home grown herbs and garden salads.

Amidst the calm and magnificent Himalayan views, there are numerous trails utilized by local residents that are suitable for day hikes & walks. It is also quite popular for bird watching, walking along the forests and villages nearby, accompanied by experienced local guides. They can also provide a checklist of birds and butterflies and point out the many different species of plants, and medicinal herbs found in the area.

Combining steady walk and short hikes in the rural villages, farmland and forests nearby is a wonderful experience exploring the culture and flora around the lodge. Few of the village walks and hikes are mentioned below.

1. Gurung Village Walk Hike duration: Approx. 6 to 7 hours A walk along the ridgeline to the east of the lodge, takes you through the village of Kalikasthan (Kali is one of the Hindu goddesses). From here, you will follow the main trail to the left through patches of beautiful forest. This trail leads to a village populated by Gurung people, one of the many ethnic groups to be found in the middle hills of Nepal. The Gurungs are known as hardy mountain people with Mongolian features, and provide many recruits for the Nepalese, British and Indian armies in their Gurkha Regiments. The interesting lifestyle and culture of these people can be seen in the village of Thuloswara. If you feel up to it, add an extension via Lankathar, another scenic village. From Thuloswara, walk downhill via, Lankathar to the Bijaypur river. The effort level now intensifies, with a 1,000 feet (305 metres) ascent to the ridgeline and main trail, which leads back to the lodge. 2. Thulakot & Ramchekot Walk Hike duration: Approx. 5 hours Walk from the lodge (or drive to Kalikasthan 15 minutes) steadily uphill through diverse cultural villages and farmlands to Thulakot (1250m / 4,100ft), an ancient boundary fort site of the Kaski Rajas until their annexation by King Prithivi Narayan Shah in the 18th century. There is a small Bhairav Temple in fort remains. To reach Thulakot takes about 2½ hours. Walk along the undulating ridge to Ramchekot (approx. 1425m / 4,675ft) with fine views (1 hour) and take in panoramic views of the Pokhara Valley and over into the Madi Valley of Lamjung district. Descend gradually to Deomadi (45 minutes) and back to Kalikasthan via Chitepani. From Kalikasthan either walk or drive back to the lodge.

3. Shanti Stupa Walk Hike duration: Approx. 3 hours Drive to Pokhara to the dam at the end of Fewa Tal (water from here goes to a small hydro-power plant at the southern edge of the valley) and walk up the forested hill called Raniban to the Shanti Stupa, or World Peace Pagoda, from where there are good views of Fewa Tal and the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himal. The path then descends to the lake shore and one can take a boat across to Barahi Ghat at the heart of the Lakeside area. There will be time for souvenir shopping / e-mail, or to have a refreshing drink or snack at one of the many lakeside restaurants and bars. The drive back to the lodge takes about 30 minutes.

World Peace Pagoda or Shanti Stupa

4. Begnas Lake Walk Hike duration: Approx. 4 to 5 hours Walk to Kalikasthan village from where you continue to follow the main trail to the right. On reaching Kaulikot, you will be greeted with views of the valley and Begnas Lake, the second largest lake of the valley. The walk from Kaulikot descends easily through villages and on to the lake itself. At Begnas there is the option of hiring a boat for a short ride in the tranquil surroundings, before meeting one of our vehicles for the 40 minute drive back to the lodge.

5. Bhimirepani Walk Hike duration: Approx. 3 hours This is a very pleasant general village and farmland walk through communities of varied groups and castes with the advantage that it is largely on the level or undulating without any serious steep climbs or descents. Leaving the lodge the walk goes to Sundar Gaun (above Khaste Tal) then through local forest to Naraspur (a good area for bird watching) and through farmlands to Bhimirepani before returning to the lodge.

6. Bijaypur River Walk Hike duration: Approx. 3 hours Descend from the lodge along the spur to the big bend in the Bijaypur River (a descent of about 305m / 1,000ft) and then along the river bank to Sangako Mukh. The path then climbs up to Murali Chowk for a vehicle pick-up and drive back to the lodge (15 minutes) or, alternately, one can walk back up (1½ hours). This makes a good morning bird-watching walk, returning in time for lunch.

Website Link: http://tigermountainpokhara.com/

The Pavilions Himalayas

The Pavilions Himalayas is a beautiful eco-sensitive luxury boutique resort nestled in a valley near the lakeside city of Pokhara. Far removed from every-day life, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this resort has a serene and peaceful atmosphere surrounded by farmland, forested hills, mountain fed rivers and spectacular mountain views.

Their luxurious eco-friendly villas set against the majestic backdrop of the mountain range introduces the traditional Nepalese architecture with contemporary structures that unfolds the beautiful natural landscapes around. Spread over the organic farmland, the resort respects the natural elements showcasing the village lifestyle of Nepal.

The stay here offers a truly unique opportunity to connect with the amazing natural surrounding without giving up the luxurious comfort. It offers some of the exquisite activities for everyone seeking a bit of relaxation and adventures amidst the soothing landscape on site.

On site experiences:

1. Nepalese Cooking Classes: For lunch, join in to learn the art of Nepalese cuisine using handpicked fresh vegetables, herbs, eggs and fruits from their very own organic farm. Momo or dumpling, the most loved delicacy of the Nepalese, Chicken or Buff Curry, Black Lentils, Nepali tomato chutney and Kheer (dessert) are the few delicacies to name that are prepared in such classes.

Followed by a fun cooking class demonstrating the cooking procedures, the guests get the opportunity to see, learn and later savor the taste of local Nepali cuisine. This lesson is perfect for all ages, especially for the families, lasting for approximately 3 hours.

2. Village Tour/ Hiking/ Trekking: Take an easy walk through the farmland and gentle countryside around The Pavilions Himalayas to relish the serenity away from the pressures of the modern world. Connect with nature through deep breaths of clean, unpolluted air and enjoy the taste of unspoilt rural life of Nepal. Treks can be customized to suit various age and fitness levels, all featuring sweeping views of the mountains and forests. Indulging in visits to the nearby rural villages such as Chisapani & Khalse village, farmlands and forests serve the guests as a mini –trek like experience and a typical day’s walk in the Himalayas.

3. Bird Watching: Nepal is a home to over more than 800 species of birds. Birds such as rose finches, flycatchers, green magpies, vultures and others can be watched at surrounding villages and forests nearby. It serves as a paradise, being one of the perfect locations for bird-lovers.

4. Farm Activities: Visit the organic farm to see the livestock of buffaloes, cows, wild boar, goats and chickens. Spend some quality time working with the farming community and hear them share their thoughts on the traditional pleasures of farm life. Get an opportunity to pick your own choices of organic fruits, vegetables, and fresh produce and also milk the cows or collect free-range eggs. This is an exceptional experience.

5. Wellness and Yoga: Spa Svastha at The Pavilions Himalayas is a complete wellness centre, ideal to release all the pent-up stress in sauna, before washing away uncertainties with a refreshing dip in the pool. It offers signature Ayurvedic experiences with a luxurious treatment led by trained therapists by using customized spa products.

Their Pool & Clubhouse is set against the incredible farmland and mountain range views providing not only a place for play but also for pure relaxation. Enjoy the surroundings as you soak in their outdoor Jacuzzi and join for some pampering amidst the beauty of nature.

For more of self discovery and healing experience, one can practice yoga in a beautiful serene setting that is one of a kind. Joining for 3 to 10 days’ private classes ensures to recharge, energize and let one completely immerse into the curative beauty of the Himalayas.

Website Link: https://www.pavilionshotels.com/himalayas/

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