Trek Code: STE/LR/04
Trip Duration: 15 Days
Grade: Pretty strenuous
Activity: Sightseeing and trekking
Starts and ends in: Kathmandu
Trek type: FOT/TH /GAP
Accommodation: Camping/ Lodge (Teahouse)
Meals: Hygienic meals are provided on the trail
Transportation: Private car or tourist busMaximum altitude: 4100m…we peak at Panch Pokhari up by the lakes; it’s simply lovely hereabouts…
Panch Pokhari, or what is known as the ‘five pearls’ Jugal Himal trek is wonderfully placed physically in the shadows of the Jugal himal [peak] in a remote and far flung corner of the Rolwaling region in Eastern Nepal.
Panch Pokhari is aptly named after 5 glacial lakes found in this raw but awesome region, known for its exceptional beauty. The lakes are designated as wetland areas and are critically significant for the sustenance of local biodiversity. Panch Pokhari is also a well known pilgrimage site throughout the Himalayas, equally venerated by both Buddhists and Hindus. Shamans belonging to the Tamang Community from nearby villages visit these Five Lakes during the festival of Janai Purnima in August. The Festival draws hundreds of villagers who hike for miles to this spot to perform rituals to the local gods.
This area is a combination of rich cultural heritage, unsurpassed beauty and unique biological diversity. The journey begins from Chautara at an elevation of 1200m passing through quaint villages and rolling green hills and rises to an altitude of 4000m at Panch Pokhari, where the lakes are based. We visit tranquil Buddhist monasteries and get deep insights into Tamang and Sherpa culture and their lifestyles. The bio-diversity is a combination of exotic floral plants that include Rhododendrons, Nepal’s national flower called ‘Danfe’, and Nepal’s national bird, are both found in the Panch Pokhari conservative zone. We also encounter historical spots, lovely waterfalls and prehistoric caves that are open to exploration.
Sitting tight at an elevation range of 4100m, Panch Pokhari stands like a watch tower providing theatrical and gorgeous views of Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Jugal Himal, Rolwaling and the Gaurishanker ranges. The odyssey to meet up with the ‘5 pearls’’ at Panch Pokhari means climbing through some narrow trails; hence, The best season to trek into this area is from February to May and August to November. The trek is graded moderate, suitable for all ages and experience.
‘Incentive Holidays’ offers you pleasing rates for ‘5 pearls Panch Pokhari Jugal Himal trek’. You also have the option of doing either camping or bunking out in teahouse lodges or both combined. Come over and visit the ‘5 Pearls’, just marvel at the wonderful creations that God gave us all.
A cultural tour of the ancient valley
Drive from Kathmandu to Chautara (1200m)
Trek from Chautara to Phurse (2045m)
Trek from Phurse to Kami Kharka (2845m)
Trek from Kami Kharka to Pauwa Bas (3000m)
Trek from Pauwa Bas to Hille Bhanjyang (3400m)
Trek from Hille Bhanjyang to Nasim Pati (3700m)
Trek from Nasim Pati to Panch Pokhari (4100m)
Trek from Panch Pokhari to Nasim Pati (3700m)
Trek from Nasim Pati to Dukhang (2100m)
Trek from Dukhang to Dhap (1200m)
Trek from Dhap to Melamchi Pul Bazaar (800m)
Drive from Melamchi Pul Bazaar to Kathmandu (1350m)
Departure for home
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu
Our office representative will be at the airport awaiting your arrival with our office vehicle to pick you up and transfer you to your designated hotel. After refreshing yourself, our tour executive will give you an orientation on your program. After this you are free to get familiar with your surroundings, this will help you to localize. Have supper and then get set for your first overnight in the valley of temples and cows, probably the most on earth.
Day 2 Cultural tour of ancient Kathmandu and trek preparation
We begin our sightseeing tour with a short drive to Pashupatinath Temple. Pashupatinath temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva and is said to be the most revered shrine for Hindus in Nepal. Hereabouts, you can witness cremation rituals of Hindus at ‘Aryaghat’, the cremation area of the temple. Our next destination is Boudhanath - the largest stupa in Nepal and a centrepoint of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu. The stupa is designed in the shape of a giant mandala (assumed to be a representation of the Buddhist cosmos). Our next stop is Bhaktapur. Spread over an area of 6.88 sq km, 12 km south-east of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur Durbar Square or Bhadgaon showcases the ancient grandiose of the Golden Age of Nepali art and architecture. Built by King Anand Dev Malla in the 9th century, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It has remained a model for heritage conservation since then. At the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, you will find many fine examples of sculpture, woodcarving and pagodas dedicated to different gods and goddesses – the Nyatapol & Dattaraya Temples, the Golden Gate, Palace of 55 windows that also has marks of bullet penetrations, a tragic tale of this once-upon-a-time independent kingdom. At dusk, we return to our hotel for a briefing on our trek by one of the senior guides, have supper and get to bed
Day 3 Drive from Kathmandu to Chautara (1200m)
This we reckon ought to take about five hours. It’s a heart warming journey that’s ideal to gear us up for the trip; the drive goes through beautiful hills, rural countryside, forests and rivers. We camp out here for the night under starry blue skies
Day 4 Trek from Chautara to Phurse (2045m)
This should take approximately five and a half hours. The trail ascends to Phurse. En route, we come across many villages, farming terraces, rolling green hills and splendid mountain views of Gaurishankar, Dorje Lakpa and some other well known peaks. Phurse is a pasture where the local folks bring their domestic animals for grazing. Its a small village mainly inhabited by the Tamang tribe. We crash out here in tents for the night.
Day 5 Trek from Phurse to Kami Kharka (2845m)
This will take roughly six hours. We head uphill until we reach Kami Kharka passing through forests covered with oak, pine, rhododendron and other natural vegetation. While walking we get to savour the impressive views of Gaurishankar, Dorje Lakpa and the Jugal Himal range. Kami Kharka is another pasture for domestic animals. we camp out here for the night.
Day 6 Trek from Kami Kharka to Pauwa Bas (3000m)
This takes approximately six hours. As we check out from Kami Kharka we begin to follow an ascending path to reach Pauwa Bas. Today we trek through forests covered with rhododendron, oak, pine, juniper and other natural vegetation. In Pauwa Bas there is a shelter for the local pilgrims. We camp here for the night.
Day 7 Trek from Pauwa Bas to Hille Bhanjyang (3400m)
This will take approximately six hours. The route to Hille Bhanjyang goes uphill passing through forests enriched with bamboo, pine, oak, rhododendron and alpine vegetation. Hille Bhanjyang is a ridge from where we behold majestic views of a waterfall, river basin and a village at a far distance. Its from here that we get to realize that the air is thinning out as we get to the heights. We can camp hereabouts for the night.
Day 8 Trek from Hille Bhanjyang to Nasim Pati (3700m)
This should take about four and a half hours. After Hille Bhanjyang, our path moves uphill until we reach Nasim Pati. En route, we encounter forests with views of the Jugal Himal range, Gaurishankar, mountain deer and Danfe, the national bird of Nepal. Nasim Pati also provides shelter to local pilgrims. We bunk out here for the night.
Day 9 Trek from Nasim Pati to Panch Pokhari (4100m)
This will take approximately four hours. The route is a steep ascent passing through Lauribinayak Pass to Panch Pokhari. On the way, we will be charmed by the lovely alpine forest, diverse wildlife and lovely villages dotted around. Reaching Panch Pokhari is an interesting point of the trek and this is where our trip reaches full circle. The word Panch Pokhari translates into five lakes in English. Many Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims gather here during major festivals.
The summit of Panch Pokhari (5 lakes) offers an excellent view of the Jugal Himal range, Rolwaling range and Gosainkunda etc. the scenery here is literally mesmerizing. We camp for the night of all nights
Day 10 Trek from Panch Pokhari to Nasim Pati (3700m)
This should take approximately three hours. While trekking back we move along a steeply descending path passing the Lauribinayak Pass to reach Nasim Pati and we camp at the same spot we passed the night out earlier
Day 11 Trek from Nasim Pati to Dukhang (2100m)
This will take about six hours. Today our trail is a breeze as we climb down passing through forests covered with bamboos, rhododendron, pine, oak, juniper and other natural vegetation. We can spot Himalayan deer, white langur and many other fauna if we are lucky enough. Before we reach Dukhang, we come across chortens and can see prayer flags fluttering in the wind. Dukhang is a tiny village mainly inhabited by Tamang and Sherpa communities. There are beautiful monasteries around this area. We find local people toiling hard on their land where they grow wheat, potato, millet, buck wheat and green vegetables. This would be an ideal spot to camp out for the night.
Day 12 Trek from Dukhang to Dhap (1200m)
Reckon this takes almost six hours. Crossing Dukhang, we begin to follow a descending path to reach Dhap. We walk along the bank of the Indrawati River with splendid views of farming terraces, human settlements and green hills. Dhap is yet another village and the people living here belong to different mountain communities. There are some schools, small tea shops and a local market. A perfect place to camp out for the night
Day 13 Trek from Dhap to Melamchi Pul Bazaar (800m)
This should take about six hours. We now walk along the banks of the Indrawati River passing through different villages, farming terraces, a hydro electricity project on the way to Tipini and see a lot of vehicles carrying passengers and goods. Melamchi Pul Bazaar, which lies at the bank of Melamchi Khola (stream) and Indrawati River, is comparatively a big commercial town in this area. There are some lodges, tea shops, government offices, schools, colleges, a post office and army and police camps. We spend a night at a lodge in this happening town and can stroll around and watch with interest how commerce works in this part of the Himalaya.
Day 14 Drive from Melamchi Pul Bazaar to Kathmandu (1350m)
This should take about five hours. We travel through a gravelled and bumpy route up to Lamidanda and then we cruise through a pitched road up to Kathmandu. On reaching Kathmandu, the rest of our time is free to do our own things. You have the option to do some shopping for the loved ones at home or just lay back in the comforts of your hotel and chill out with some cold beers. Overnight at your hotel in Kathmandu
Day 15 Departure for the wonderful place we call ‘home’ – Ciao Buddies!
Should you require any extensive activities, please do let us know, we have a vast array of different programs that will even interest the discerning traveler, our ‘No frills’ prices will certainly not hurt your pockets. It’s been nice getting to know you. Take care on your way home.
Note: The above itinerary should be taken only as a guideline; it could change due to weather, availability of clean water and campsite, trail or any other unforeseen conditions relating to environmental hazards that can be unpredictable. In case of any trek Itinerary alteration or if your program needs to be re-routed to any other area, your Group Leader or Sherpa Guide’s decision will be final after consulting with the group. You will be happy anyways; we ensure that, because ‘Incentive Holidays’ always has contingency plans drawn up in the event of emergencies.
A ‘TH’ [Teahouse Lodge] is a term used for sleeping in teahouse lodges on the trails. These teahouses are pretty basic but provide all the comforts that you would expect when hiking in remote conditions, they are cosy and warm – you’d like the homely environment. We crash out in single rooms wherever available, but often times we sometimes have to adapt to sleeping out in dormitory type rooms for a night. Generally, it’s just a bed with a pillow and blankets. It’s a matter of choice, if you want, you bring your own ‘Air pillow’ and freak out anyways, and this is adventure in the wild…the rougher it gets the better. We accommodate our trek groups in local lodges available each day. Our porters hike ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot be booked in advance). Please note, that some of them are very basic and a spirit of adventure is the call of the day. It is cheaper to stay in lodges rather than organizing a camping trek. We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection with this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website. Accommodation is never a problem, the choice exclusively yours.
At ‘Incentive Holidays’ – its zero tolerance on cutting of cost when it comes down to feeding our trekking guests, because we know how tough it is on the trails; we ensure that the lodges provide three tasty, bountiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast is ‘king size’ [the first meal of the day] consisting of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereals followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.
After a lengthy gritty day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetables, meat, rice and pasta dishes completed with a simple dessert. Don’t be surprised if the delectable ‘apple pie’ lands on your plate, it’s literally ‘yummy’’, even better than the ones you come across in Thamel. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The local trek leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene.
- Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis at Kathmandu
- Normal/lodge/ home stay during trekking
- One English speaking guide
- Porter (1Porter for 2Pax)
- 3 meals (Breakfast, Lunch & dinner) during Trekking
- National park fees
- Airport pick up and drop
- All ground transfer as per itinerary
- International Air Fare
- Domestic Air Fare
- Daily Meals (Lunch & Dinner) during Kathmandu
- Tips to Guide & Driver
- Bar Expense
- Telephone, Laundry and Internet
- Personnel Insurance
- Emergency Evacuation
- All other personal expenses
- Nepal visa fee
The best time to visit for a trip of this kind would be in the Spring and Autumn. It is wonderful during this time of the year when an overall beauties of the landscapes found in these trips are so distinct & stunning, due to clear weather pattern & sunny blue skies. Our program could be changed to accommodate individual group choices and preferences in order to give you proper holidays that become signature ventures for a lifetime.