Ghandruk: Gurung Village
Tourists who have ever visited Pokhara will always have the urge to travel to the nearest villages of this beautiful city. As known as Gateway to Heaven, this lovely city leads to many places that are rich in natural beauty, cultures, and traditions. Among them, Ghandruk village is one of the most loved places by visitors.
Situated at 2010m above from sea level, inhabited by the Gurung community, Ghandruk is a small village that offers majestic views of sunrise and sunset. Sightseeing of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges from the village is what adds the beauty to this place. Many people prefer to trek to Ghandruk as they can enjoy all the beauty offered by this place. It professes to be the most visited trekking region in Nepal and is generally known and famous among worldwide guests. Subsequent to opening the Pokhara-Baglung interstate in the mid-1990s, Ghandruk has seen a progressive increment in local voyagers too.
The Ghandruk Trek is an awesome trekking elective for individuals who are in Nepal for a very brief time span. It is also suitable for those who want to have a short experience with various fun-based exercises in Nepal. The trek is normally finished in 3 to 4 days. Moreover, this is the most pleasant and suggested four days' trek which should be possible from Pokhara. Anyone can do this trek from the family and companion's units with little kids to the individuals who search out a shorter open air outdoors experience in Nepal. You will be trekking through Annapurna base mountain hills for the views. As Ghandruk lies in the way to Annapurna Base Camp, it is visited by most of the tourists of the world. Poon Hill Trek is also similar trek to Ghandruk and lies on the same track though it is extended with some more days.
View from Ghandruk
The view from Ghandruk is breathtaking. At the east, porches drop significantly into a profound chasm cut by the ice sheet bolstered Modi River. Over the fields, the thickly forested slope takes off high. That little bunch of dabs on the slope over the valley is Landruk. One course through these slopes is prevalently called a "circle trek", whereby trekkers on come back from Ghandruk go down the eastern side of the valley through Landruk, Pothana, Deurali, and Dhampus to Phedi at the top end of the Pokhara valley. Toward the west, the slopes move up and over, through a high woodland, to the acclaimed trekking spots of Ghorepani and Poon Hill. What's more, looking south, your eyes drop down into the profound valley where the Modi River twists along towards Birethanti and Nayapul.
The most dynamite sight, notwithstanding, is northward up to the panoply of rugged snow crests that gravely look down over this Gurung region. It is practically entrancing, as your eyes sweep left to right and from down to up to the frigid monsters—Machhapuchhre at 6,993m (22,943ft) and her sister crests: Annapurna III, Gangapurna, Hiunchuli, and Annapurna South, going in range from 6,441m or 21,132ft (Hiunchuli) to 7,555m or 24,787ft (Annapurna-III). No words can justify the charm of these mountain views. And everything you can reclaim is those immortal minutes protected in your camera and your psyche. By a long shot, Machhapuchhre is the most captured crest from the vantage of Ghandruk town.
When you take a tour around Ghandruk village, you should surely visit a privately run museum that preserves kitchenware, traditional clothes, iron weaponry, and hand made tools. It will let you get a glimpse of the traditions and old lifecycle of this ethical community. If you are photogenic then there is a golden opportunity to get clicked wearing traditional Gurung Dress which will be available at a certain price.
Ghandruk as a Gurung Village
Shankar Bahadur Gurung discovered his rapture for life through his experience with a gathering of outsiders visiting Ghandruk. While numerous locals during the 1970s were frightened to chance upon outsiders, Gurung, regardless of his insufficiency in English, needed to converse with them and help them. The outsiders needed a spot to remain, yet there was none - no inn, no cabin. Gurung, planning to give them any kind of sanctuary, offered them lodging at his home. With everyone assembled around the chulo (hearth), and remaining together as a family, multi day's stay transformed into three. A little house with one entryway and no windows more likely than not advanced a ton to the visitors, for some different outsiders, upon other townspeople's proposals, started remaining in Gurung's home. The adoration he got from the sightseers roused him profoundly, persuaded him to open Ghandruk's first lodging – Hotel Milan.
Ghandruk has a very favorable climatic condition which is neither too hot nor too cold.
The weather does not change with the increasing altitude, usually, it remains moderate. As it is in low altitude it is safe and can be traveled by people of any age with a basic level of fitness.
During winter, the temperature may go below 0 degrees though with smart packing you can easily complete the trek. The highest temperature may reach up to 26 degrees in summer. So, being hydrated is the most common advice you will get during the trek in summer.
No doubt, the best season for Ghandruk Trek is March to May and October to December as these seasons experience less rainfall and sky is also clearer. Though Trek can be done throughout the year. Before the trek, you can always check the temperature for your own easiness. They are easily available on weather websites and local news will also be updating about weather frequently.
How to get to Ghandruk?
Well, if you are going through a travel agency, everything will be managed by them which also includes transportation. Whereas for independent travelers route will be the same though responsibilities increase as they need to manage themselves. We can easily reach Ghandruk from the following route.
Travelers usually take a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara which takes 3 hrs. Busses are easily available in Bus Park. Bus leaves early in the morning which is more preferable though it can be available at any time of the day. You can get tickets from any travel agency available there. The quality of the bus varies according to the agency. However, every bus usually stops for breakfast and lunch on the way.
If you are an international tourist or arriving from Kathmandu, I would suggest you visit Pokhara for a day enjoying the Lakeside before starting the trek to Ghandruk. You can start the trek early morning the next day. From Pokhara, you can get a taxi or bus to reach Nayapul. Through Taxi or an express bus, you can reach around 1.5 hrs whereas on the local bus it may take up to 3 hrs. Pokhara to Ghandruk trek will not take you more than 1 day.
You will begin your trek which takes most explorers around 6 hours to reach the destination by walking. Along the route, you will pass the TIMS check present and the passage on the Annapurna Conservation Area so ensure you have the two licenses. The way twists along waterways and mountain ranches and the Kymche Waterfall which is actually in the center among Nayapul and Ghandruk. The way is all around the voyage and safe. You will discover numerous eateries, guesthouses, tea houses, and even bars and shopping in the route to investigate or stop in the event that you wish. While there is a street from Nayapul to Ghandruk, just vehicles authorized and enlisted from the Ghandruk board of trustees can go via vehicle or motorbike, however, you may attempt to hitch a ride.
Ghandruk Trek Cost
Your cost on the trip usually depends upon the agency, accommodation, food, transportation that you decide to choose. Your cost will also differ depending upon whether you are a national or international tourist. Surely, you will get the benefit of a low cost if you are a local tourist.
Traveling through a travel agency may cost you around $450 dollar including all the expenses within the trip. The agency cost will also differ according to the facilities provided by them on the trip. Whereas your personal expenses and equipment cost will be excluded.
Transportation costs within Nepal will not be much if you choose to travel through local vehicles. If you have Ghandruk Trek Map and know Nepali language/ have a language translator along with you, you can easily reach the destination. Vehicle fare from Kathmandu to Pokhara will cost around 300 Nepali rupees. From Pokhara to Nayapul, if you take the local bus it will charge around Rs 150 and taking Taxi will charge will cost you around Rs 2500. You will start hiking from Nayapul to Ghandruk.
Food and Accommodation Cost
Your food and accommodation are perhaps $25 per day depending on what and how much you eat and drink and the standard of the hotel. Basic hotels are just a couple of dollars but more expensive ones are also available in villages. The facilities you choose to avoid/accept will also change the cost of the trek. Usually, Ghandruk Hotels serve local foods that will be unique in taste as they are cultivated there. Though, international foods will also be available at a high price.
Guide and Porter Cost
The Everyday cost of Guide will be $25 including his compensation, sustenance, settlement, and insurance whereas the expense is shared between trekkers. Travel to and structure the trailhead is additional.
The cost of Porter is around $15 for which they will be ready to carry up to 30 kgs. Usually, this is enough for 2 people.
You need to pay USD 20 for a TIMS card from the Tourist Office in Kathmandu and another twenty dollars for Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. But this will be included in the cost if you are traveling through an agency.