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Poon Hill Trek

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We often come across people talking about travel as an “escape”. Why? Is it simply because we need to get away from a setting of skyscrapers? Is it because of the quiet that the mountains echo with? Is it because meeting strangers along a journey allows you to open up to them in ways you couldn’t to those known to you? Sigh. I could go on and on. And no matter what the reason is, it could even be something other than all of these, the point is that somehow mountains do give us that. For some they signify adventure, for some they signify solace and for some they signify a little bit of everything.

Irrespective of what you’re yearning for while looking for your next mountain destination, Nepal is a neighbour who can offer a number of options to you. One evening not many months ago, I was talking to someone very close to me about his love for Nepal. He mentioned Poon Hill to me and it has since been on my mind. And hopefully, after today it will be on yours too.

How to reach: Fly down to Kathmandu and travel to Pokhara by bus. From Pokhara reach Nayapul or Hile (depending on your decided route) either by a private taxi or by a local bus. You can even find shared taxis but these are subject to availability.

Best time to visit/trek: September to November, March to May

Altitude: 10,531.5 ft

Duration: 7 – 9 days

Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult

Route: Possible routes would be subject to the season you are visiting in as well as the experience level or what areas you decide to cover along with your local guide, amongst other things. Options include:

  • Kathmandu – Pokhara – Nayapul – Ulleri – Ghorepani – Poon Hill – Tadapani – Ghandruk – Nayapul – Kathmandu
  • Kathmandu – Hile – Ulleri – Ghorepani – Tadapani – Kimchi via Ghandruk – Pokhara – Kathmandu
pool hill trek
Source: https://www.eventshigh.com/detail/delhi/61ec78d021d7de6bcbfb9a594f5be584-ghorepani-poon-hill-trek-in

Nepal is every mountaineer’s dream, after all it is home to a majority of the world’s highest mountains, including the first 8 itself! And no, Poon Hill does not make to that list. But that’s the very reason I wanted to bring it up. In a land that is the Mecca of all experienced hikers, Poon Hill is a relatively easy trail to take. For the ones who are also dreaming about seeing the Himalayas in the hallowed lands of Nepal but are not as yet ready for some of the tougher, more challenging trails; for the ones who’ve been on one too many challenging treks and seek a breather there is Poon Hill. It isn’t absolutely easy but it isn’t the most demanding. Categorized as a moderate level trek, this one doesn’t disappoint you in the least with all that it has to offer, a chance to immerse yourself in the view of the Annapurna Massif and Dhaulagiri ranges. Taking you through vastly spread out rhododendron forests, this trek commences with that typical scent of hilly trees greeting you. It then takes you through certain clusters of cultural experiences as you pass through small villages showcasing you a Nepali lifestyle. Eventually you are led up to see massive peaks peeking back at you with their curves, their cracks and crevasses, as you gaze at their splendour.

villages in nepal
Source: https://aspirationadventures.com/itinerary/ghorepani-poon-hill-sunrise-trek-7-days/

A charming factor about trekking in Nepal is the experience of staying in tea houses. They are cosy little accommodations, simply done and overlooking hilly terrains. Here you will find trekkers from all sorts of countries enjoying this humble abode. Share a cup of tea and share a conversation about your trekking experiences. Talk to the locals and learn the history of the land that you are treading upon. The village of Ghorepani especially offers a taste of the cultural richness here. It was a spot where ancient traders would stop during their long journeys in order to search water which is called “pani” for their horses which are referred to as “ghora”, thus, combining the two to form the name of the place, Ghorepani. You will be further left intrigued as you pass through tiny towns such as Magar and Gurung (or others as per your trails). Here you will find the locals smiling back at you warmly and welcoming you into their country that you are visiting. The lives of Nepalese folks who live in farmlands and mountainous regions are seen up close and personal here. Try out the authentic food, try picking their minds about their way of life and maybe even try to learn a word or two of Nepali! Ramro sunincha? Ho, la! Ah okay, I don’t intend to leave you confused, so, to get you started in your preparation the above means “Sounds good? Yes, okay!”. I hope that comes handy when you’re trekking somewhere in Nepal and remember reading this. ?

ghorepani pool hill trek
Source: https://www.bookmountaintours.com/trekkinginnepal/9-days-ghorepani-poonhill-trekking-tour-nepal

From the stony steps that you saunter off on in Nayapul, you will be led to see an abundance of vegetation at the Annapurna Conservation Area Park. Your forests and stretches of trees all prepare you for the most awaited view as the peaks start unfurling from behind all of them, little by little. The sound of the birds in the distance, the hugs from the mist that is typical of this trek route, the quaint stays or guesthouses lined with prayer flags and warm hosts, all lead you to a dreamy mountain top.  While Poon Hill itself stands just a little above 10,000 ft., the vistas it opens up for you include the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri massifs. The two of these are some of he most spectacular mountain ranges to see in all of Nepal. The joy with Poon Hill is the fact that it allows you to view them without the stress of a major trek. The more doable trail thus still gifts you with sights such as these.

best treks in nepal
Source: https://www.bookmountaintours.com/trekkinginnepal/9-days-ghorepani-poonhill-trekking-tour-nepal

Poon Hill is known for having a spellbinding sunrise. So, at the crack of dawn part with your blanket (I know you won’t want to but you must ?), warm up your palms together, take a long breath and go to meet that friend that you have been waiting for. The mountain ranges are of course formidable with their height, with the white snow enhancing all of their beauty but the morning hour adds a dollop more of beauty as the Sun wakes up to let its sunrays glisten off of these peaks. And you will sigh looking at it. Smile at it. Beam at it. Even laugh as you look back at the moments through the week. Whisper something to a friend about the view. And just soak it all in.

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