PANCHASE : GARDEN OF AGRO-BIODIVERSITY AND CULTURE

PANCHASE : GARDEN OF AGRO-BIODIVERSITY AND CULTURE
A destination close to the touristic city of Pokhara lies Panchase, a city of scenic natural beauty, belongingness and a taste of culturalism. You can visit Panchase throughout the year, but the best time is between October to December

Panchase seems like a hill that is guarding Pokhara. It is located at a conjunction of 5 hills, and covers the districts of Syangja, Parbat and Kaski. There are five cliff tops around Panchase, home to Siddha Baba’s Temple, View Tower, Mahadev Temple, Spiritual Sanctuary and an ancient royal fort and statues of Lord Buddha. There’s a local legend that says that the hill was once a residence for holy saints and sages. A forest fire in late 2023 BS compelled the sages to move from there. Panchase is rich in culture too. With a population of over 70,000 people from different ethnicities like Gurungs, Magars, Brahmins, Kshetriyas, Pariyars, Nepalis and Newaris. 

From Panchase, you get heart melting views of golden mountains during sunrise, which glows reddish-orange during sunset. At a height of 2,519m, you get to see famous peaks like Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Gangapurna, Manaslu, Fishtail, etc. 

Spread over an area of over 5,500 hectares with variations in altitude from 784 m to 2,517m, Panchase is a garden of agro-biodiversity. It is home to more than 250 bird species, 600 plant species, 118 orchid species and more than a dozen species of herbs. Mammals like leopard,  black bear, etc are found in its forests. Panchase is also the genesis of water. It is the origin of Phewa Lake, River Harpan, River Aadhi, River Rapti, and River Jarey. 

Touristic development has been a top priority for Panchase and the Machhapuchhre Development Community since the past 1.5 years and 3 decades respectively. The Government of Nepal has also made Panchase a touristic priority. Back then, there was no altertnate for “Camping Trek” around Panchase. Travellers had to carry all their trekking requirements with them. Now, teahouse trekking is a possibility due to the availability of lodges and homestays. Furthermore, the availability of road has made travel to Panchase convenient. There are future plans for a cable car from Ghanti-Cheena to Bhangjyang. 

Community Chairperson, Gopal Gurung says Panchase is a favorable destination for yoga and meditation. The number of tourists going to Panchase has been increasing steadily for the purpose of peace and yoga treks. 
We have outlined a 5 day trek plan to Panchase. 

Day 1: Your Journey Begins 
Take an early morning flight to Pokhara from Kathmandu. The flight takes less than 30 minutes. If the weather is pleasant, you get amazing views of mountains like Mt. Gauri Shankar, Mt. Langtang, Mt. Dorje Lakpa, Manaslu, Lamjung, Annapurna, Fishtail, Dhaulagiri, etc. 
The trek starts from Pokhara airport. After a 10 minutes walk from the airport, you reach the dam of Phewa Lake. Take an uphill road through Raniban. Take a walk through the World Peace Pagoda to Kalabang and reach Bhumdi on the same day. Along the view, be sure to take in the amazing views of Phewa Lake, Pokhara market and mountains. 
Have a much needed lunch at Kalabang Homestay, and then resume trekking for 4 hours to Bhumdi. Overnight at a hotel in Bhumdi. 

Day 2: Trek to Panchase 
After a hearty breakfast, you will resume the trek for 5 hours. The trek takes you through the jungle, where you hear birds chirping and the growls of animals. There are no restaurants or hotels along the trek, until you reach Bhangjyang, where you will enjoy lunch. After lunch, get ready for a 1.5 hour uphill trek to reach the crest of Panchase. Rest at a hotel operated by Lok Gurung in Panchase. Enjoy the sunset and rest for the night at Panchase. 

Day 3: Sunrise at Panchase, Trek down to Chitre  
Enjoy the sunrise while you sip your coffee or tea. With the rise of the sun, the mountains embrace the warmth and glow of the golden sun rays. The mountains from Dhaulagiri to Lamjung bathed in the golden rays is a rare sight to experience. 

After breakfast, trek downhill to Pokhara from Deurali and Paaudur or from Aarthar Hill area. Better still, walk to Chitre Village through hill where you are rewarded with the view of the clean waters of the Panchakoshi (Five Koshi) Lake, a sight to behold from the top of the hill. Baraha Temple is located along the shore of the lake .  
This area hosts carnivals during Nepali festivals like Bala Chadurdashi, Shivaratri, Fagun Purnima, Saun Sombar, Buddha Jayanti and Nepali New Year. 

After a 4 hour walk, you reach Chitre Village a Gurung settlement, where you have the choice of homestays. 

Day 4: Drive to Pokhara, overnight at hotel 
After an early morning tour around the village and breakfast, drive to Pokhara. It is a 4 hour drive from Chitre to Pokhara. You can take a day tour around Pokhara and overnight at a hotel at the lakeside. 

Day 5: Explore Pokhara

Pokhara :A Leisure City

Pokhara is a gift of nature to Nepal. In this gift of nature, there are mountains, lakes, caves, monasteries, rivers, waterfalls, etc. Surrounded by the amazing white peaks of the Annapurna range, Pokhara is a beautiful haven. There are heart melting activities to keep one lively, like paragliding, ultralight flight, bungee jumping, zip flying, etc. For a relaxing vibe, you can go boating on Phewa Lake or Begnas Lake. There are numerous caves in Pokhara too, like Mahendra Cave, Bat Cave and Gupteshwor Cave The rare cave system is named after Late King Mahendra. As the name suggests, the Bat Cave is where you get to see hundreds of bats living in the cave. Inside the Gupteshwor Cave is a stalagmite worshipped as a Shiva Lingam. Delving 140m deeper gives you a unique view of Davis Fall. 


On the confluence of the Phewa Lake, Pokhara Market and the Himalayan ranges is the World Peace Pagoda. The hill where the stupa lies gives the best views of Pokhara valley. To reach the stupa, you can either take a boat ride from Phewa Lake to the base of the hill and hike to the stupa or take a vehicle from Chorepatan straight to the stupa. 


Be it domestic or international tourists, any guest is as equal as god to us. We provide a holistic environment with organic food and proper night stay facilities at Chitre Homestay. While touring around Pokhara, our village Kalabang Ghaderi is suitable for lunch. If you have time, a two night stay in our village is highly recommended. We’re actively working to enhance Panchase as a center for tourism. As a junction of biological diversity, spiritualism and culture, Panchase is one of the must-go destinations.
SUSHILA DEVI GURUNG
Aguwa
PRAKASH GURUNG
Aguwa
GOPAL GURUNG
Conservationist


Besides the natural beauty, there are museums that you can go to in Pokhara. The Gurkha museum near K.I Singh Bridge showcases the bravery of the Gurkhas. The International Mountain Museum presents the history of mountaineers in Nepal with a glimpse into their trekking gears. The mountain museum also showcases the lives of the people living up in the mountains. The Annapurna Natural History Museum or Annapurna Butterfly Museum has over 600 species of butterflies. 

 

Homestay

There are villages of different ethnicities that operate homestays. It is advisable to reach the homestay before the sun sets. Do not keep the locals waiting in the kitchen for the whole night. Furthermore, order dishes that are listed on the menu only. 

Some of the homestays: 

Kalabang Samudaik Homestay:
Contact: Prakash Gurung – 9846041805


Chitre Samudaik Homestay:
Contact: Sushila Devi Gurung – 9847791986


Bhadaure Samudaik Homestay:
Contact: Rupesh Gurung – 9806510153 


Talibarang Samudaik Homestay:
Contact: Laxmi Gurung: 9846174803


Aarthar Samudaik Homestay:
Contact: Amrit Bahadur Gurung- 9815128676


Sidhane Samudaik Homestay:
Contact: Balshova Gurung - 9804118682 


Another place of interest is the Tibetan Refugee Camp in Hemja. Here, you’ll see people with a mane (a Buddhist prayer instrument) chanting Om Mane Padme Home under the breath. The camp is also referred to as a Tibetan village. 
Famous temples like Tal Barahi, Bindhyabasini lie in the lap of Pokhara. You can also visit a Muslim mosque in Miyapatan. 

How To Reach

  • Choose from either a 6 hour bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara or take a 25 minute flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. 
  • There are 4 routes you can choose to reach Panchase from Pokhara: 
  • From Hallan Chowk - Pokhara - Bhanjyang: You will take a vehicle through the rough road. There are public buses available from Hallan Chowk to Ghanti Cheena. From there, it is a 5 hour walk to Panchase. 
  • From Pokhara - Nau Danda - Set Dobhan - Aarthar Hill by bus, and then a 4 hour walk to Panchase. 
  • From Pokhara to Kaadey to Bhadaurey to Chitre by bus. From Chitre, it’s a 4 hour walk to Panchase. 
  • From Pokhara to Kaadey to Bhadaurey to Deurali by bus, followed by a 4 hour walk to Panchase. 
  • It’s best to start a three day trek from Pokhara. A walk from the dam side of Phewa Lake, passing through Raniban, the World Peace Pagoda and Kalabang with an overnight stay at Bhumdi. On the second day, reach the top of Panchase Hill from Bhanjyang, and on the third day from Panchase to Chitre Village. 

Some words of Caution

  • Wild animals can appear along the trek route. Therefore, it is favorable to travel in groups. 
  • Teasing animals, plucking flowers and herbs or anything that destroys the natural habitat is strictly prohibited. 
  • Do not enter local residents, temples and monasteries without permission. Take consent of the person you are taking a photo of. 
  • Littering is strictly prohibited. If you have any litter, dispose them in the dustbins. 
  • Leeches might bite you during monsoon. Some homemade remedies you can use is sprinkling salt on the leech while it is on your body. 
  • Be sure to wear shoes with better grip, as there are changes of snow during winters. 
Buddha Air