This trek to Panch Pokhari at the base of Jungal Himal offers pristine mountain views, rich culture and genuine adventure. This area offers a combination of rich cultural heritage, unsurpassed beauty and biological diversity as you trek to a group of high altitude holy lakes, sacred to both Buddhist and Hindu people.
Trekkers first travel by bus to Chautara, five hours northeast of Kathmandu towards the Tibetan border. We travel through a mixture of beautiful mountain scenery and the terraced fields and characteristic houses of rural villages from different ethnic groups.
On your first night you will experience life in the village homes of Sherpa and Tamang people and your guide will give a short talk on trekking, altitude sickness and the highlights of the trek. These include the holy Five Lakes, the incredible Himalayan scenery and the life style of nomadic people unchanged by time. The unusual climatic and geographical mix make this area a naturalist's dream and a mecca for those who appreciate traditional cultures.
This trek starts from 1,450m and goes up to 4,100m at Panch Pokhari, a secluded pilgrimage site where the Janaipurnima festival is held in August. Many Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimages visit this site each year. This is a very spectacular and spiritual trek.
The top of Panch Pokhari (4,100m) offers an excellent view of Jugal Himal Range, Rolwaling Range, Gosainkund, Kanchenjunga and Makalu.
This trek can be done all year round except for the monsoon months and can be combined with a rafting tour.
Day 01: Kathmandu [1350m] to Chautara [1450m]
Day 02: Trek to Sano Okhareni [1965m]
Day 03: Trek to Kami Kharka [2810m]
Day 04: Trek to Pauwa Bas [3000m]
Day 05: Trek to Hille Bhanjyang [3400m]
Day 06: Trek to Narsim Pati [3700m]
Day 07: Trek to Panchpokhari [4100m]
Day 08: Trek to Panchpokhari top, trek to Tupi Danda [2320m]
Day 09: Trek to Dhap [1200m]
Day 10: Rest day to explore the culture
Day 11: Trek to Melamchi [800m]
Day 12: Melamchi to Kathmandu
DETAILED ITINERARYDay 01: Kathmandu to Chautara [1450m]
This morning we have a beautiful 5 hour drive to the little village of Chautara. While small, Chautara is the headquarter of Sindupalchok district and we will camp here tonight, ready to commence walking tomorrow. From our camp site you can relax and enjoy the stunning mountain views, or if you like to explore, you can gain some insight into the culture and daily life of the village.Day 02: Trek to Sano Okhareni [1965m]
Today we have about 5 hours of gradual uphill walking to reach Sano Okhareni. Our path passes through small villages where we can see how the diverse ethnic groups live side by side. We camp at Sano Okhareni near a pine forest and with great views to the mountains!Day 03: Trek to Kami Kharka [2810m]
This morning we can start gently with about 1 hour of gradual uphill walking to Thulo Okhareni. From here we get into the steeper climb with about 4 hours of walking through stunning, dense Rhododendron and pine forest. If we are lucky and observant, we might spot some wild animals such as mountain deer or langur monkeys and Nepali birdlife like the danfe. Tonight we camp on a summer pasture ground for nomadic cattle herders (kharka).Day 04: Trek to Pauwa Bas [3000m]
Today’s walk is nice and gentle, being fairly level (‘Nepali flat’) and we can enjoy our forest trails and wildlife spotting. We have about 5 to 6 hours through the lush forest of rhododendron, oak, pine and juniper and we can see some nomad’s houses for cattle on the way. In Pauwa Bas there is a shelter for pilgrims to Panch Pokhari.Day 05: Trek to Hille Bhanjyang [3400m]
This morning we have a steep uphill stetch for about 3 hours, taking our time. We get our breath back on the steep downhill though as we descend for 1 ½ hours through the forest. We have some great mountain views on our way down into our camp at Hille Bhanjyang.Day 06: Trek to Narsim Pati [3700m]
Today we only have about 4 hours of walking. So we take it easy on the steep uphill section to start the day, taking about an hour. Then we enjoy the gradual descent of about 3 hours through rocky hills and rhododendron forest into camp at Narsim Pati. There is a small rest house for pilgrims on their way to the holy site of Panch Pokhari and we have great mountain views from our campsite.Day 07: Trek to Panch Pokhari [4100m]
Today we arrive! We have about 3 hours of gradual ascent through rocky hills to reach our destination of Panch Pokhari (panch means ‘five’ and pokhari means ‘lake’). This stunning setting is a secluded pilgrimage site where the Janaipurnima festival is held in August. Many Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims visit this site each year and we can see two pilgrim houses and the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Day 08: Trek to Panch Pokhari top, trek to Tupi Danda [2320m]
This morning we have an early start to catch a stunning sunrise over the mountains! We have about 1 ½ hours uphill to see the beautiful sight of the sun rising over the Himalayas and our panoramic view includes Mt.Dorje Lakpa, Jugal Himal Range, Rolwaling Range and Langtang Range. After this incredible start to the morning, we head back down to Panch Pokhari to pack up and start heading for home. We have about six hours down some steep trails through the rhododendron forest to Tupi Danda (danda means ‘ridge’) and our camp.Day 09: Trek to Dhap [1200m]
Today we have about 5 hours of walking, 2 of which are quite steep downhill and the rest is quite level as we make our way through terraced fields to the beautiful village of Dhap. Dhap is home to Tamang families and is gives us a great chance to gain some insight into the lives, culture and traditional architecture of Tamang villages. Day 10: Rest day and explore the cultureDay 11: Trek to Melamchi [800m]
Today we have about 6 hours of walking. We walk down through terraced fields, along the Indrawati River. We pass through stunning villages and also see a hydro electricity project on the way to Tipini and our re-introduction to a road! Melamchi Pul Bazaar which lies at the bank of Melamchi Khola (stream) and Indrawati River is comparatively a big town for this area. There are some lodges, tea shops, government offices, schools, colleges, post office and army police camp. We will camp by the riverside and if you like you can refresh yourself with a dip in the river!Day 12: Melamchi to Kathmandu
Today we get back on four wheels and enjoy our five hour scenic drive back to Kathmandu.