Trekking has always been one of the most loved adventure activities since the past. Nepal is a diversified country with respect to the landscapes and topography. The lush green forests, the majestic mountains, the multicultural people have made Nepal a favorite place for the tourists. Whether it is for sightseeing, exploring the culture or trekking, Nepal has become the most preferred destination among the world.
Ghandruk is a beautiful town and a Village Development Committee (VDC) in Kaski District in Gandaki zone of north-central Nepal. Ghandruk is the most scenic and popular trek that can be done from Pokhara. Ghandruk offers the majestic view of Annapurna mountain and a splendid sunrise and sunset. The Ghandruk trek is most popular for wonderful Gurung culture, the beautiful village, geographical differences and the fantastic views of the mountains of Annapurna (7219 m), Machhapuchhare (6993 m) and Himchuli (6411 m).
The Ghandruk village is also called Stone Village and Konda in local language. It is for sure that the trekkers will be more than happy and enjoy the Ghandruk trek as it provides clean stone steps up and downhill, beautiful mountain views, the trial is relatively easier and the highest point is only 2000 meters, so you do not even need to worry about altitude sickness. What a great combination, isn’t it? These may be the reasons why Ghandruk is the priority for those trekkers who want to go for a short trek in the foothills of Annapurna.
Attractions of Ghandruk
The major attraction of Ghandruk is the unique culture of the Gurungs living in the area. The Ghandruk entertains the tourists with the Gurung dances and allow the tourists with the opportunity to wear the traditional Gurung dresses and ornaments. The tourists are very pleased to experience the new Gurung attire and take pictures in the traditional style. The local food is also a major attraction especially for the foreign tourists. Adding on, Ghandruk also offers the tourists with horse riding experience. Tourists can also enjoy playing with snow in the upper hill of Ghandruk.
Best Season : Sep- May
Trekking duration : 6 days
Trekking Grade : A (Easy)
Maximum altitude : 1,940 m/6,364 ft.
Starting Point : Pokhara (drive up to Naya Pool (New Bridge) and then start the trek)
Ending Point : Pokhara via Phedi
Ethnicity : Gurungs
Himalayas : Annapurna (South), Machhapuchhare, Himchuli and Gangapurna
Mode of Trekking : Tea house
Highlights : Easy, short trek, mountains and unique Gurung culture
What should you carry?
Trekkers need not to carry a big bag during the trek to Ghandruk since the trek is short and easy and there are tea houses along the trial. However, trekkers should carry the following things during their trek:
- A pair of comfortable trekking shoes, sandal and socks
- Sunglasses and sunscreen cream
- Down jacket Jacket
- Fleece Jacket
- Pairs lightweight wind – water proof pants
- Set lightweight thermals
- Neck Warmer
- Water purification tablets or Steripen
- Refillable Water bottles
- Sleeping bag (rated -15(above) degree C during trek)
- Pair of gloves (Thinner)
- Extra pair of clothes
- trekking pole
- Flash light and battery
Best season to Trek to Ghandruk
The Ghandruk trek trail is beautiful and easy to accomplish any time of the year except the rainy seasons. Mid September until May are the favorable season to trek around Annapurna that offers a lovely views. Summer (June to July) is also not preferred to trek in Ghandruk because trekkers may miss the amazing views from Poon Hill due to rainfall.
Day 1: Kathmandu-Pokhara: almost 7 hours’ drive
The journey to Ghandruk starts as you head off to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Pokhara is almost 200 km away from Kathmandu and it will take you around 7 hours to reach Pokhara in a tourist bus via Prithvi Highway. Drive by a tourist bus will offer you with the beautiful countryside views along your journey. Arriving Pokhara in the late afternoon, you can still have some time to roam around the beautiful city. If you prefer to take flight to Pokhara you have to leave from Tribhuvan Domestic airport terminal. The flight duration from Kathmandu to Pokhara is only 30 minutes which offers you spectacular mountain views. A walk along the lakeside or a bicycle ride around the Fewa Lake will be a refreshing activity. You can also consider an evening boating in the Fewa Lake.
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Day 2: Drive Pokhara to Naya Pool and trek to Ghandruk (1,940 m/6,364 ft.)
You will leave Pokhara early in the morning. You can take bus, or hire a taxi or a car to reach Naya Pool (New Bridge) or to Phedi. The transport means ends here and ahead is the path where you can start your trekking journey. From Phedi, the route starts up to the steep hill. Following the trail you will pass the Dhampus in your right and the ridges provides the fascinating views of the Annapurna and Manaslu.
You can also go to Birethati from Phedi. From Birethati, the route turns right crossing the Modi River and continuing the steep trial for about 4-5 hours to reach Ghandruk. The route will offer you with the beautiful views of the Machhapuchhare and South Annapurna.
Day 3: Exploring the Ghandruk village
This is a day to explore the beautiful village. You can enjoy the sunrise in the morning, the views of the mountains and the countryside. You can make time to learn lifestyle and culture of Gurungs. Ghandruk is the second largest Gurung village in Nepal and is typical in many aspects. There a traditional Gurung village, Gairi Gaun, towards the south of the Ghandruk, where the Gurungs grow wheat and barley.
Tourists can also try on the traditional dresses and take pictures for their memories. There is also an Old Gurung Museum in the village which preserves the culture of the Gurung. The museum is inside an old typical Gurung house and reflects the Gurung livelihood. Tasting the traditional Gurung cuisine is also something you must try during your stay in the beautiful village.
Day 4: Ghandruk to Landruk (1565 m/5,134 ft.) to Tolka (1700 m/5,577 ft.) to Pothana
Descending the steep trail, the journey reaches the Modi Khola. From here, trekkers start to climb up to Landruk village. It will take around an hour to reach Landruk. The trail passes through the paddy fields. Moving on, the trail turns little steep for about 20 minutes and then you reach Tolka. The trial now passes across the forest, and then a steep ascends to reach Deurali for about one and half hour. You can find tea shops between the Tolka and Deurali. The Deurali is a beautiful place and offers you with the beautiful view of the Pokhara valley. Now, leaving behind the Deurali, the route leads the trekkers towards the Dhampus via Pothana. Pothana is situated in the ridge of hills with spectacular views of the Annapurna Ranges, Fishtail and green valley.
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Day 5: Trek from Dhampus to Phedi and drive back to Pokhara
Accompanied by the views of Annapurna Himalayas and the beautiful village, it’s time to walk down the trail to reach Phedi. The walk of about 2 hours from the Dhampus will leave you to Phedi. From Phedi, it is only about a half an hour drive to reach Pokhara.
Day 6: Pokhara to Kathmandu
This completes your trek and now it is the day to get back to Kathmandu. You can travel to Kathmandu from Pokhara either by flight or bus.