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Destination Beyond the Pokhara Valley

GORKHA
Gorkha, a Part of Gandaki zone, lies on a lovely hill in the western region of Nepal. It is a popular tourist destination for its history and natural beauty. The founder of the nation, Prithivi Narayan Shah was born in the district in 1723 AD. He embarked on his mission to build Nepal from Gorkha. The district holds a big significance from historical and natural points of view and attracts internal as well as foreign tourists. Gorkha Provides ample opportunities to enjoy the sights of dense forest, green hills, clean rivers and stream and big plains. The major attractions of the district are the Himalayan ranges in the shape of silver lining in the north, the temple of Shree Bhagwati temple, Shree Guru Gorkhnath, Gorkha palace, Manakamana Temple, Tallo Palace etc.

Gorkha Palace lying on top of a hill is the main cultural site of the district. One can reach the palace in 40 min from the headquarters of the district. There are famous temples of Shree Gorakhnath and Shree Bhagwati Kalika with small and big idols of gods and goddesses around. Gorakhnath is regarded as National God of Nepal. Nepali coins have the pictures of Shree Bhawani and Shree Bhagwati engraved on them. Tourists can enjoy the close panoramic view of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Manaslu (the 8th highest peak of the world) and Ganesh Himal from here. Gorkha is a gateway to trekking in the Manaslu region. The trek becomes a memorable experience for the tourists when they pass by lakes and ponds, rivers and streams, waterfalls, beautiful villages, sights of snow fed mountains and the melody of birds of various species. Visitors can also have a hiking to Ligligkot, Lakhan Thapa Village, and famous pilgrimage destination Manakamana Temple. Gorkha town has good facilities of hotels and lodges and is at a distance of 143 km from Kathmandu, 109 km from Pokhara 26 km from Aabukhairani. Regular bus and micro bus services to Gorkha are available from the new bus park at Gongabu and Kalanki of Kathmandu.

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Manakamana Temple
The temple of Manakamana Bhagwati situated in Gorkha district of Gandaki Zone is one of the most famous pilgrimage for the Hindus. Thousands of devotees from all parts of Nepal and India throng the temple of Bhagwati believed to have the power to fulfill wishes of her devotees.
Cable car service is available there. Nepal’s only cable car ride from Kurintar to Manakamana takes 10 minutes. Kurintar lies at a distance of 105 km from Kalanki of Kathmandu. The temple can also be reached from trekking for 4-5 hours from Abukhaireni of Tanahu district or by traveling a distance of 15 km from Syaulibazar of Gorkha that lies 9 km far from Abukhareni on the way to Gorkha. Plenty of hotels and lodges are available near the temple.

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Gorkha Palace
One of the principal sites in Gorkha distric, Gorkha Palace, is situated on a hill above the Gorkha town. The palace considered important from religious as well as historical points of view was constructed during the tenure of erstwhile King Ram Shah. Peaceful environment of the palace and a green jungle in the surrounding have added to its attractiveness. So the palace is a striking destination for both internal and foreign tourists. The 15th century archeological structure of the palace and wood arts are the attractions that lure everyone. The palace situated on top of a hill, is surrounded by stoned walls. The nation builder, Prithvi Narayan Shah, was born in this palace. There is a small palace nearby which was constructed for the purpose of bedding the kings. Along with this, temples of Gorakhnath Baba and Gorakhkali are situated at the premises of the palace. Apart from this, Pashupatinath temple, monkey gods (Hanuman) temple, Siddhapaila temple and collection of ancient records can be observed there. A huge fair is organized during the Dashain festival. The sight of the Gorkha town and magnificent view of snow fed mounations make the palace more alluring to visitors. One can reach the site by walking uphill for 30 to 40 minutes, or by taking a 4 km long journey by bus.

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TANAHU
Very rich in natural resources and bio-diversity, Tanahu district lies 110 km west from Kathmandu and 19 km east from Pokhara. Tanahu is considered very important from the tourism point of view and carries immense tourism potential. The district is considered rich in terms of ethnic and natural diversities. Historical temples, ancient arts, ethnic diversities, religious diversities are amongst the main features of this district. Observation of rural life, Manukhot, Chhimkesthori, Kyasmiri, Bandipur, Tanahusur, and Siddha cave, the largest cave of Nepal, are the tourism attractions of Tanahu district. Damauli is the district headquarters which lies at a distance of 143 km from Kathmandu. to carry torch light. There is an idol of Lord Mahadav (Shiva) at he entrance of the cave. One can also enjoy rock climbing near the cave.

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Thane Mai
Thane Mai temple is one of the important religious places of Bandipur. It is situated on top of a hill. One has to walk uphill for 15 minutes to reach the temple from Bandipur market. Tourists can enjoy a wonderful view of sunrise, Bandipur Bazar and Himalayas from here. This temple is especially famous for viewing sunrise.

 

Siddha Cave
Tanahu district is famous as a district of caves as well. Siddha cave, which lies in Tanahu district is belived to be largest of all caves in Nepal. Tourists arriving in Bandipur visit the 437 meter long cave. To reach the Siddha cave, one has to take a downhill walk from Bandipur market and then half an hour long uphill walk from Bimalnagar. Visitors have a thrilling xperience while entering the cave after ascending on a huge rock. Tourists visiting the cave are advised.

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Queen of Hills, Bandipur
Famous as the queen of hills, Bandipur was the administrative centre of the Tanahu district till 1968 when the district headquarters was moved to Damauli. Situated at a height of 1050 meter above sea level, Newari culture, old artistic houses built on two sides of an inner road, ancient temples and shrines, and Siddha cave are the main attractions of Bandipur. Amazing view of the Himalayan ranges comprising Mt. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Budhha, Ganesh Himal and Langtang peaks adds to the beauty of Bandipur. This place is also famous for viewing sunrise. Likewise, Raniban (queen’s forest) is famous among tourists for bird watching. Bandipur is also a good destinations for tourists who want to enjoy rock-climbing and mountain biking. The hilltop settlement is surrounded by villages of Gurung and Magar people. So, the closer observation of the culture of these two ethnic communities become possible while tourists can choose to go on hilking in the nearby villages. To reach Bandipur, one has to travel 8 km long uphill blacktopped road from Dumre Bazar that lies at a distance of 125 km in the west of Kathmandu and 75 km in the east of Pokhara. One can get jeep services from Dumre, while one can choose to take a two to reach the tourist destination. Bandipur has plenty of lodges, hotels and resorts to accommodate all reanges of tourists.

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LAMJUNG
lamjung is one of the tourist spots located in the western region of Nepal. It lies between Kaski and Gorkha and it is the gateway to Manang, a district beyond the Himalayas of Nepal. The district is an important destination for both internal and foreign tourists. Lamjung is famous for natural, cultural and biological diversity. The district is a home of lakes and ponds, rivers, waterfalls and tradition and culture of Gurung people. Gurung is the dominant race with its various features here. Lamjung is a place for watching the wonderful sight of the Himalayan ranges of Mt.Annapurna and Manaslu, and trekking of several tourist areas. Internal and foreign tourists reach Besisahar, the headquarters of lamjung to enjoy the round of dense forest, to observe the culture of the Gurung community and to trek the places enriched by natural and biological diversity. Besisahar is located in the lap of green hills and Lamjung peak. From Besisahar, one can trek to places like Bimda, Puma, Siurung, Ghalegaun, Khansur, Hotwater spots, Pasgaun, Bhujung, Ghanpokhara, Manang, and Kaski. There is a good facility of lodging and meal in hotels of Besisahar which is at a distance of 177 km from Kathmandu. One can get bus and micro service daily from Gongabu and Kalanki in Kathmandu.
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Historical Lamjung Palace
Lamjung Palace is an old historical place situated on top of Besisahar in the VDC of Gaunsahar. According to historians, the palace is the birthplace of Shah Dynasty. The palace is also famous for observing natural beauty besides its historical importance. One can have a wonderful sight of sunrise, and the view of mountains like Lamjung, Annapurna, Manaslu and Buddha Himal. The tourists visiting Besisahar go to the palace area to watch sunrise. One can reach the palace, covering the distance of 9 km gravel road by bus operated regularly from Besisahar.

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Khansur
Lamjung is a famous district of Nepal for the culture of its dominant race – Gurung. Tourists can have a close look at Gurung art and tradition in many villages. Ghale Gaun of Lamjung is one of the finest destinations in Nepal to have authentic home stay experience. Gurung people are known for their hospitality and village development for tourism. Khansur is a densely populated village of Ghale and Gurung lying on top of a hill. Tourism Development Management Committee started the concept of home stay from 2002 A.D. in the district. Khansur has 55 houses out of which 30 homes can provide lodging to 60 people with 2 persons in each house. Ghale Gaun is also not behind in welcoming the guests. The members of Aama Samuha and other villagers readily welcome the guests here. The guests are welcome in the meeting hall and get introduced to the respected individuals and taken to rooms after a brief tea. The tourist development committee entertains the guests with traditional dances and delicious local cuisines. Khansur is known for its clean and healthy environment lying near to Besisahar. We can reach Bilautibisauni lying at a distance of 3.5 km from Bhimsensthan of Besisahar and from there one has to walk up the stone stairs for 1 hour.

 

Hot water Pond
The famous hot water pond lies in the north at a distance of 20 km from Bhimsenthan of Besisahar. Lying at the base of Bahundanda and on the bank of Marsyangdi River, this pond has proved to be a blessing for the people suffering from skin diseases. The pond gets regular supply of hot water from the soil and its origin has not been discovered yet. There is a popular belief that one can get rid of skin related diseases by having a dip in the pond. That is why, people from distant places visit the pond.

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Bhujung

The beautiful Bhujung village is the largest settlement of Gurung people in Lamjung district. This traditional Gurung village is situated high on the mountain at an altitude of 1600 meter. The village is a closely packed cluster of around four hundred houses. This village has emerged as an attractive destination among tourists to observe the traditional Gurung life-style and culture. The village is famous for tea farming in the district. A small hydropower project in nearby river supplies electricity to the village. The village has well-facilitated hotels. Home-stay facility is also available here. Traditional cultural dances and other activities that are almost extinct elsewhere in the country are alive in this village. It is the main attraction of the village. Villagers perform the traditional dances to entertain tourists. One can reach the village by hiking for 2-3 hours from Ghalegaun which can be reached by traveling on a jeep for 2-3 hours from Besisahar. Likewise, by hiking for 3-4 hours from Bhujung one can reach Pasgaon.

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Siurung

            Siurung is also one of the tourist destination of Lamjung district. Nestled on the foot of Manaslu Himal, this village, situated in the ward no. 8 and 9 of Khudi VDC of Lamjung, carries a huge potential from a tourism standpoint. Situated at an altitude of 1900 meters, the village is famous for natural sight seeing. Traditional stone house with thatched roofs and typical Gurung dance add to the attraction of the village. They welcome the tourists with simplicity. Hospitality and cordiality shown by the locals make the tourists to visit the village again and again. They garland the tourists and perform typical Gurung cultural dances while welcoming the tourists in the village. There are around 115 houses in the village. Home stay facility is available in the village for tourists. From this village, trekkers can start a hiking to Sikles and Tangting of Kaski district. One can reach the village by walking for 2-3 hours from Arkhalbesi which lies at a distance of 20 km from Besisahar.

 

Ghalegaun

            Considered a model for village tourism destination in the South Asia, Ghalegaun is situated at an altitude of 2100 meter in Lamjung district. The Gurung settlement at the foot of the Himalaya was a seat of Ghale rulers of 16th century. Rich and unique for experiencing the Gurung and Ghale culture, arts and traditional life-style, the village is famous for home stay among internal as well as foreign tourists. The village is home to 104 families. However, 32 houses arrange the home stay service for tourists. Guests are welcomed in a traditional style by offering them garlands and performing traditional Gurung dances. They are served meals made using brown rice and local produce. It is the unique speciality of the village. Natural beauty, sunrise, close inspection of snow capped mountains and Gurung tradition are the attractions of this village. The closer inspection of Lamjung, Machhapuchhre (Fish tail), Annapurna, Himchuli and Buddha Himal become possible from this place. From Besisahar, one can reach the village by walking for 5-6 hours or by a 2-3 hours long jeep drive along the 20 km long road.

 

MANANG

 

 
T

he Manang district also popularly known as the ‘district across the Himalaya is located at the northern mountainous part of Gandaki zone. The exciting journey to Manang starts from Talgaon that is at a 5 hour walking distance from Chyamje reached after a 35 km ride from Besisahar passing along Khudi, Bhulbhule, Syange. Talgaon situated above a 2000 m altitude is a junction of hot and cold climate areas. The close experience of country life, view of rugged hilly terrain and never ending adventure, makes the trip unforgettable. Manang district headquarters Chame can be reached at the end of a daylong trek from Talgaon walking through Khotro, Dharapani, Bagarchhap, Danakyu, Timang, Thanchok, Koto. Chame is situated at an altitude of 2900 m. Expedition to Manaslu peak also starts from Chame, a one and a half day trek crossing the Marshyangdi River and Passing through Thoche, Tilche, Thimthang to Gorkha’s Larke Pass, The Duna Lake is located South of Mt. Manaslu while the Dimcho Lake is just near. It takes 2 days to reach there from Talgaon. Parts of the Annapurna Circuit trek also pass through Chame, Bhratang, Pisang, Humde, Bharaka, Manang, Tankimanang, Yakharka and the Thorang Pass. There  is an airport at Humde located at a one-day walking distance from Chame at a 3200 m altitude. It takes a 5 to 7 day trek from Chame to cross the Thorang pass. The view of Annapurna range seen towards right and the Pisang, Julu peaks seen in the left are simply mindblowing. The tilicho Lake is Manang’s best and most an altitude of 5200 m above sea level and is the highest altitude in the world. It takes a day to reach Tilicho from Khangsar. Visitors to Tilicho can stay at hotels in Khangsar, but visitors are required to inform in advance. In addition, the Milarepa Cave, Gangapurna Lake, Ice Lake and Taregumba are the attractions of upper Manang. The Milarepa is located in Bhraka while the Gangapurna Lake, Ice Lake in Manang and Taregumba is in Khangsar. Accommodation is not so expensive for Nepali citizens but for tourist is little higher. However, price of food becomes more expensive with altitude. There are about 250 hotels in Manang and the entrepeneurs are adding more facilities to attract more tourists. Though Manang is the least populated district in the country, it has a modest surface area of 2246 square km and bounded by Kaski and Lamjung in the south; Myagdi and Mustang in the west; Gorkha in the east and China’s autonomous Tibet region in the North. There are some 13 villages and 177 wards in Manang district. The villages are composed of densely packed houses and each house could be reached easily. Manang’s geography is divided into three different communities. The four villages Dharapani, Thoche, Tachaibagarchhap and Chame of lower Manang are collectively known as ‘Ghyalsamdo community’. The Khangsar, Tankimanang, Manang, Bharaka, Ngawal, Ghyaru and Pisang villages are called ‘Ngisyang Valley’. The name is derived from ‘Syang’, which is a village in Upper Mustang from. Likewise, the Northern Nar and Fu villages form a separate community. Fu is also the remotest village of Manang. It takes 2 days walk from district headquarters Chame to reach Fu, 44 km from Chame. The isolated village comprises about 40 houses. There is strict prohibition of smoking and hunting wild animals in Fu village populated by the Gurung and Ghale communities. The ban was enforced 32 years ago by the Rinpochhe Lama of the nearby Tasi Lakau Monastery. Meanwhile, the Nar village is located at a higher altitude and is more organized and considered more beautiful than Fu. Nar is situated at 4175 m above sea level and has 71 houses. The houses here are unique without doors on the lower storey. One has to climb the ladder to the upper level to enter the houses and then climb down. The 5200 m Kangla Pass famous for viewing the unique hills can be reached from here in 5 hours. The only way to appreciate the beauty of Manang is to visit there as the area is entirely different from any other place in Nepal. The fabulous journey to Manang starts from Lamjung headquarters Besisahar which lies at a distance of 117 km from Kathmandu by road. Buses to Besisahar are available at Kathmandu’s Kalanki.

 

 

 

SYANGJA

 

The Syangja district adorned by ancient, historical and natural heritage is at a 35 km road distance from Pokhara. Putalibazaar is the  administrative center of the hilly district bounded by Tanahun to the east, Parbat and Gulmi to the west, Kaski and Parbat to the north and Palpa to the south. The climate is neither too not too cool while altitude ranges from 366 m from the basin of the Kaligandaki River to 2512 m in the highlands. The surface are of the district is 1164 sq km, The surrounding green hills and the nearby Andhikhola River have enhanced the glory of Putalibazaar.

The district is also famous for tourism. Panchase, Sirubari, Nuwakot, Thaple, Matikhan Andha-Andhi Daha, Garhausur, Satau, Ramchedanda and Budhilek are the prominent tourist hotspots of the district. In addition, various ancient Temples, historical site, enchanting sceneries, caves and diverse nature are the other attractions of the district and are considered important in terms of tourism. The Kolmadanda located just 10 km from the district headquarters is popular for viewing the sunrise and mountains. Months from September to March are considered most appropriate for visiting Syangja, as the nature exhibits its full spelendor in these period. Syangja’s center Putalibazar is 235 km from Kathmandu, 35 km from Pokhara and 85 km from Palpa by road. Likewise the Sirubari village, popular for its hospitable homestay service, is 30 km from Putalibazar. Similarly Waling is 28 km and Galyang 46 km.

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