Panchase Trek is one of the short treks around Pokhara away from actual Annapurna trail but it is to rural-cultural off the beaten trek that offers an ideal way to discover natural beauty around Pokhara for those visitor on visit, without missing out on the incredible views over the Annapurna Himalayan Range and experience the village life. Our short trek starts in style with a gentle boat trip across Lake Phewa to take you to the start point, where a short climb will be rewarded with stunning views out across the Annapurnas, Machhapuchhare (Fishtail), Dhaulagiri and Manaslu, which will form the backdrop to much of the trek. The trail will take you up to the World Peace Pagoda, through the forest where you can see the flora and fauna of Nepal and past a number of villages where you can experience the daily lives of the local people. It takes you up to an elevation of 2500m on the summit of Panchase Hill, from which (if you are willing to get up early enough!) you can see a dramatic sunrise over the Himalaya Giants.
Panchase is one of the closest short trek near Pokhara. Panchase is a point of five tall hills where they meets on the top. On the top of Panchase; there is temple of Sidda Baba, Dharmasala, Mahadev temple, view tower and Buddha statues. Actually intersection of Kaski, Parbat and Syangja districts is called Panchase. Panchase Hill offers impressive view of Dhaularigi, Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, Lamjung Himal and Manaslu and some of stunning view of sunrise and sunset. There is a Pancsila Lake and Barah temple in the top. It is said there saints used to stay there and because if fire caught in 1966 they moved elsewhere. However; it is sacred side for yoga and meditation.
People and locals.
Panchase and its surroundings area is home of some 70,000 population including Kalabang, Chitre, Bhadaure. Deurali, Talibarang, Arthare and Sidhane villages. Most of these villages have home stay facilities with welcoming hospitality. One need to inform in advance if you are going to stay in one of those and you have to be there before sunset.
Nature and wildlife
Panchase; resting on the lap of the Himalayas is a complete package with its pristine beauty, topographical diversity to go with the blend of historic, religious and cultural hue. Panchase that abuts Kaski, Syangja and Parbat districts is a place of bio-diversity and is home to endangered bird species of the world. In case you have not noticed. Panchase has biological diversity as there are different kinds of birds, animals, butter flies, flowers and vegetation. Harpan Khola – the origin of famous Phewa Lake, Adhikhola, Ratikhola, Jarekhola and Seti Khola all the these small river and rivulets flows from Panchase. The world famous rhododendron, Sunkhari, Leksallo among other flowers are the staple products of the area. Panchase is also known as the depot of endangered herbs and herbal medicine. The world's endangered herbs as Satuwa, Chattre Unyu and Loth Salla have existed since the time of dinosaurs. It is also home to animals like tiger, bear, deer and many species of birds.
How is accommodation and food in Panchase?
The accommodation in this route is quite basic compared to other popular trekking trail such as Ghorepani Poon Hill or Annapurna Circuit in Annapurna. Local people run home stay services at Kalabang and Pumdi villages offering staying in local home. We saw one new lodge at Bhumdi that is bit away from the village. For those; who loves experiencing local culture and don’t mind going through basic facilities then it is firsthand opportunity to discover the locals and their life style. The food is usually rice, potatoes, noodles, eggs, momo, chapati etc and tea, coffee for table drinks. Dal Bhaat (a Nepalese set meal comes with boiled rice, lentil soup, fried/cooked vegetable and pickle) is served in home stays. For beverages and bar, there are cold drinks, beer, distillery drinks and Raksi (local wine).
When to go / what is best time to trek?
Panchase Trek is can be done year round. Best advised time to trek there is fall (September – November) however it can be one of the wet areas in the Annapurna region. There are high seasons which suit this trek and the following months have traditionally been used as a guide for favorite times of the year to do the Panchase trek.
Mid September - November - early December: this is Nepal's best time to go trekking however if the Monsoon is late then Panchase can remain cloud covered until early October rarely. Otherwise the views at this time of year in Panchase are usually just gorgeous.
Mid December to February: This is winter season in Nepal; has clear sky but it can be cold in Panchase, warm clothing is advised. Little chances of snow fall in this time at Panchase.
March - April: this is the spring season; end of the dry season and the second best time of the year for trekking. In this time there are rare chances of shower rain and storm in Pokhara then Panchase is likely to have cloud cover sometimes.
May - June: This is Nepal's hot pre-monsoon period and it can be quite warm. The valleys around Panchase flourish with flowers and new leaves though which it makes for a very nice trek. However cloud cover can be an issue.
June – Early September: Monsoon season and not good time to go trekking to Panchase. The leeches in this area is so active when it is wet and the trail is slippery, downpours also increase greatly. For more details please write us to go trekking in Nepal in best time. Nepal offers some of the best summer treks in Nepal's other areas.
How to get there?
There are three options to start the hike. 1) Start the trek from Phewa Lake near Halanchowk via Kalabang and spend the first night in Bhumdi. 5-6 hours of walking brings you at Panchase Bhanjyang on second day. There are half dozen hotels at Bhanjyang and it is 1.5 hours to Panchase Hill from there and just one hotel on the top. Next day after enjoying sunrise and hot breakfast descending down to Chitre village of Parbat would be best via Pancsila Lake. 2) Second option is start the hike from Peace stupa and trek to Panchase via Pumdi Bhumdi. 3) Third option is ride a local bus or take taxi to Kande and then Bhadaure and trek to Panchase.
Distance and elevation
Panchase lies at a height ranging from 800 to 2,500 meters above the sea level which tells us of its diverse topography. The mountain ranges of Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt Annapurna, Mt Manaslu and Mt Ganesh can be seen from Panchase, which is the source of Fewa lake, and rivers like Rati, Jare, Andhi and Seti. The area lies at a distance of 28 kilometers from Pokhara, making it one of the attractive trekking destinations from the scenic city.
This trek is also a great extension to any of our tours of Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan Jungle Safari Tour.
How long is Panchase Trek?
Normally; Panchase is 3-4 days Trek. Our pre-set 3 days itinerary is standard. If you would like to extend it by one day then we can add Australian Base Camp in it and now it is 4 days trek.
3 Days Itinerary
Day 01: Cross the lake Phewa trek to Bhumdi
Day 02: Trek to Panchase Hill
Day 03: Trek to Bhadaure and drive to Pokhara.
4 Days extended version
Day 01: Take a boat to cross Phewa Lake then trek to Bhumdi
Day 02: Trek to Panchase Hill
Day 03: Trek to Australian camp
Day 04: Trek to Phedi and back to Pokhara.
What to bring?
- Backpack (preferably 40/45 L as per your need)
- Proper hiking shoes, sandal / flipflop, 1/2 pair of socks, traveling towel
- Sleeping bag, warm clothes (if trekking in winter), head lamp,
- Hiking pants/short, 1/2 selected t-shirts, windcheater, sun hat/glass.
- Rain gears, toiletries, trekking pole.
- Basic medicines (eg. Paracetamole, Ibobrufen, Iodine, Bandages, Antifungal ointments etc)
For more detail about packing list; click here though you do not need all the listed items as this is just 3 days hike.