The Khopra Trek (South of Annapurnas) 2013

Khopra Trek or South of Annapurna region is one of Nepal’s last Himalayan jewels; a glittering array of panoramas, gigantic peaks and peaceful nature awaits the adventurous explorer. However, as magnificent as the mountains are, it is perhaps the people of Nepal that are its greatest asset. Trekkers visiting South of Annapurnas (Moharedanda, Khopra Ridge, ABC, Poon hill and Mardi Himal) are sure to be smitten by the mystical cultures, quaint villages, massive glaciers, mysterious forests and beautiful exciting trails with vistas. All will leave with a renewed inspiration for life; there is something very uplifting about exploring some of nature’s most magical areas…

Flora: types of plant species reported in ACA region;
1135 species of Angiosperms (dicotyledons : 938 + monocotyledons 197)
Gymnosperms : 15 species
Pteridophytes : 83 species
Total: 1233 species of plants found in ACA region.

102 species of mammals - from  23 different families
488 species of birds
40 species of reptiles
23 species of amphibians
20 species of fish

347 species

Households and population residing in ACA region: 
(Ghandruk, Lwang, Sikles, Bhujung, Manang, Jomsom and Lo Manthang):
Households :  18,680

Male : 43,142
Female :  45,245
Total: 88,387

How to get there?

Pokhara 820m to Nayapul 1070m (1.20 – 2 hrs)
There are two transport options; if you want a cheap drive then you would  go to Baglung bus station (the new bus park) and catch a bus to Nayapul, which costs around 2.5 Euro, but  sometimes it would take more than 2 or 3 hours , because the bus stops at many places to collect passengers.
The other option is to hire a taxi or car; it would bring you to Nayapul in 1.20 hrs. Recently it cost around 16 to 20 Euros for a single drive.
Contact person; MR. RANA BAHADUR PURJA, mobile 9847771337 or 990670001
Note: Book your rooms at Purnagaun at least one day ahead.

Nayapul to Deupur Maidan 1520m (3 hrs.  approx)
On 18.01.2013, three of us; guide Bhim Kulung Rai, guide Sukraraj Rai and I started marking the Khopra trail at Nayapul. The trail starts at Tallo Chouk (lower junction) near the Hotel Buddha, where there are also some local restaurants and shops.  This is about 300 meters west of the first Nayapul bazaar.
Now, you turn right and will see the blue/ white signs painted on the wall of the road.  Continue walking on the motorable dirt road for about 200 meters and then you will enter the bigger bazaar of Nayapul (a few hundred meters below the highway).
Soon you will see another blue/ white sign on the electric pole. Now you turn left and descend steps through some houses, after which you cross a high suspension bridge over the Modi river. Continue to follow the blue /white signs. You gently climb up along the side of the wall protecting the fields against the Monsoon River and, in a few minutes, you connect with the dirt road. Follow it till you come to Aate village, 1030m., and keep following the road until you reach Kalyani Ridge, in 25 min., (1080m), then, in another 25 min.,Makha village (1170m.).
From the last point of this village (1245m), you ascend steps to Deupur Maidan (1.20 hrs) through the scrubby forest, a few villages with beautiful surrounding views of forests, neighboring villages and farming landscapes.
At Maidan there are a school, temple, electricity light, some local shops and a couple of basic homestays with outside, communal toilets.   The Didi (Manageress) can cook Dal bhat, noodle soup and other local foods for you. There is a proper drinking water supply.
The population here includes Gurung, Brahmin, Kami and Damai .

Maidan to Purnagaun , 1705m (45 – 50 min., approx)
Near the public water fountain, you will find blue /white signals on the wall of a house. Follow them and, in the next 15 to 20 mins, you will reach Deupur Jogithum (1600m.), where a nice homestay is available. It can accommodate 10 to 14 people and has a communal toilet and shower outside. It is also possible to cook food yourself in the private kitchen if you want: for that, you need to contact MR. BISHNU PRASAD SUBEDI (mobile no. :  9756700217 or 9847623685).  There is a proper supply of drinking water and electric light.
After the next 30 to 40 mins, of following the dirt road you come to Purnagaun. Some minutes before reaching the village, you separate from the road and climb up steps till reaching a school, then next to it  are a  few teashops, grocery shops .  One of the shop provides homestay, opened recently, where 8 or 9 people can sleep.  There is a communal toilet and bucket hot shower provided on request. They can cook for you: Dal bhat, noodle soup, tea, boiled potato, egg, plain rice and nettle leaf soup (sisnu) and chapatti (sukka rotee). The owner of this lodge promised me to put up a signboard soon, “PURNAGAUN GUEST HOUSE & RESTAURANT. “ The contact is:  MR. RANA BAHADUR PURJA, mobile number:  9847771337 or 990670001 (he is chairperson of this village).
At Purnagaun, there are a health post, a higher secondary school, church, electric light and temples. Most people are Hindu and Buddhist, with some Christians. The people are Magar, Gurung, Kami and Damai. This is a beautiful village.
Note: Book your rooms at Lespar at least one day ahead. The contact; 9847717301 or 9805177583 (Mr. Narasing Pun) or LAXMI HOTEL & RESTAURANT (9847734200).

Purnagaun to Langdi 1810m. (1 hr. approx)
From the last house of this village you hike for 10 mins, on the dirt road and come to a Chautari (a resting place), where we put blue/ white signs. From here you can take the beautiful, lower, classic trail to Langdi.  If, however, you are there in the Monsoon season, you would need to take the upper trail on the road to Langdi.
At Langdi there is a basic homestay, sleeping a maximum of 5 people. The communal toilet is outside of the house.  The Didi can cook you Dal bhat, chapatti, noodle soup and tea etc.
There are 64 households at Langdi (24 Kamies, 22 Damaies and 18 Gurungs). There are a post office, temples, electric light and beautiful Gurung styled houses.  There is farming on terraced land with high surrounding green hills and views of the neighboring villages.

Langdi to Lespar 2015m. (5 - 6 hrs.)
The road crosses through the middle of Langdi village and it continues to Ghurunga, the next village. But at the trail junction, just below the temple and high trees in the middle of the village, you should look for the blue/ white signs we erected on the rock. There the trekking trail crosses over the road and you should continue climbing up the steps. After some minutes, you will come to a trail junction near the last house.  Now you follow the lower flat trail instead of climbing the steps and, after 15 to 20 minutes, you gradually enter the forest and climb gently up, with a view of southern villages, landscapes and high green hills to the north. In 1.30 hrs, you come to Dhad Kharka (1970m.) with a little ruin. You continue further on the dense rhododendron forest trail, and reach Ghurungalek 2120m, in 2 hrs; there are two houses a few hundred meters below the trail. Now you can clearly see the beautiful Lespar village with its shining roofs and blue windows. Keep hiking at the same altitude in the dense forest, past some streams until you arrive at a little village called Chhupeni (2215m); there are 3 little empty houses. You go further on and gently descend, make a long contour and you reach the school or lower village of Lespar, both of which we marked in blue /white colors.
The school is the centre point of both Lower and Upper Lespar. From the school if you turn left and walk for 5 minutes down steps, you come to LAXMI HOTEL & RESTAURANT (contact number: 9847734200). There is one lodge at Lespar currently but at Upper Lespar MR. NARASING PUN is going to provide a homestay, and if this accommodation is not sufficient, he will manage homestays in other houses.
At LAXMI HOTEL, 10 people can sleep and there are 5 rooms. The beautiful smiley Didi can cook for you Dal bhat, noodles, boiled potato, egg, plain rice + nettle leaf soup (sisnu), chapatti and other local foods. Indeed, the vegetables, which she grows in her garden, are organic!  The toilet and bucket hot shower is outside of the house.
MR. PUN is a very well respected and an important personality of this village and neighboring villages too. He is the chairperson of this village and his contact numbers are:  9847717301 or 9805177583.
Lespar is a huge and well- managed village. It is very clean and all the houses are beautiful, with slate roofs. There are 169 households, and with the exception of a few Kamies and Damaies, 98% of the population is Magar. Most of these people are Hindu but there are a few Buddhist and Christians as well.
There are a higher secondary school, a basket ball playing field, a football ground, health post, post office, internet service, phone, proper drinking water supply and electricity.
The surroundings are those of gorgeous landscapes, villages and views of high green hills.
Note: Book your rooms at Nangi at least one day ahead. The contact person is:  MR. CHITRA PUN (mobile number:  9857622028)

Lespar to Nangi 2260m. (6 – 7 hrs approx)
From the middle part of the village, you hike on a well paved trail via the upper village, amidst scenic beauty.  Slowly you bend towards the right and come up far above the school. Soon you reach a Chautari (a resting place) - cross it and, a few meters further on, you come to a trail junction. Now you have to take the upper trail (left) which leads you gently up into the forest. Later on you climb up more hills, sometimes steep, and then finally arrive at a little pass at Chautari (2450m.).  (2 hrs. approx). Now, follow the flat left trail with blue /white signs and, in 30 to 40 minutes, you will reach Gaira Kharka (2495m.).  Here there is a small house and a couple of buffalo shelters.  You can already see a beautiful view of the Mt. Dhaulagiri range, the surrounding high and dense forest hills and Shalija village.
You still have to go a long way to Thadako Danda, a little pass at the Chautari 2520m (2 to 3 hrs. approx). It is sometimes steep and confusing to find the right trail, but we did try to put blue/ white signs wherever possible. From this pass the view of Annapurna South, Himchuli and Nilgiri is breathtaking, especially if you are here in April with the rhododendron flowers in full bloom!
Be careful not to turn left or right now, from whichever direction you arrived, from Lespar side. You just have to cross this pass through the Chautari and come down on the   other side. Now the dense forest trail to Nangi is clear and well made and goes down the steps till the dirt road is reached, 1.5 km. before the main Nangi village. After reaching the road, you turn right and walk on it.  Soon you come to a temple (looking like a chorten) at the first village of Nangi. Continue on the road and 8 to 10 minutes before main Nangi, you separate from the road and take the upper trail. Finally you reach Nangi Community Lodge with its red roof and windows.
This lodge has 10 rooms and 20 beds with communal toilet and solar heated shower inside the same building. There is a big dining hall. Food is on a menu system. If these rooms are not sufficient, they can provide other cottage rooms nearby the school. A few basic homestays are also available. It is very important to reserve rooms by phone one or two days earlier.  An official person to contact for this area (Nangi, Moharedanda, Danda Kharka, Swanta, Chistibang, Khopra Ridge and Bayeli) is:  MR. CHITRA PUN (mobile number: 9857622028) and Nangi Community Lodge (mobile: 9847649801 or 9847703341).
At Nangi, there are a higher secondary school, a handmade paper factory, women’s handicrafts, a group of women who make plum jam, a telephone service, proper drinking water supply, electric light and a “tele-teaching” service.
The majority of the residents are Magars, Kamies and Damais. Most of these people are Hindu and some are Buddhist.
Nangi is a beautiful place with views of the Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and Annapurna range, including vistas of high green hills and the surrounding villages.
DR. MAHABIR PUN (Ramon Magsaysay Awardee) and his team have  brought a new and very good concept in that they have built community lodges at  a variety of different places such as  Nangi, Moharedanda, Danda Kharka, Swanta, Chistibang, Khopra Ridge and Bayeli Kharka. Two years ago, they also brought 156 yaks into the Khopra region. They also established a cheese factory at Pawdar, so they can supply yak cheese and meat to the restaurants in Ghorepani, Tadapani, Ghandruk, Shikha, Tatopani etc.  All profit made goes to support the schools of those areas.

Brief information about “tele-teaching”
Today, the internet connectivity is changing Myand; using Dr. Pun’s “tele-teaching” network, the teachers in one school instruct students in others. Local health workers use Wi-Fi to consult specialists in Pokhara and Kathmandu. Once isolated students are now able to surf the Net and they are learning global skills. Among the villagers’ local products are buffalo meat, honey, tea, jams, women’s handicrafts, sold through the e-market and the web is used for drawing payments.
Note: Book your rooms at Moharedanda at least one day ahead. The contact person is: MR. CHITRA PUN (mobile number: 9857622028)

Nangi to Moharedanda 3300m. (7 hrs. approx)
The trail begins directly at the Community Lodge where you should also see the blue/ white signs and arrow. From the Chautari you climb up the steps and soon you will enter the forest.  Flat at first, the gradient trails up in the dense forest.  Continue climbing up more steeply until you reach a little pass (2 hrs approx). Go down the other side, where the trail is flat.  Then there is a more strenuous climb up to Humpal pass (3098m.). (2 hrs approx.). Over the pass is a shelter with a red tin roof.  Now you descend a bit on the other side, walk along a flat trail walk, then go up into the forest. There is a steep, grassy path along the ridge and finally you come to see the house of Moharedanda. Still continue hiking along the ridge with Dhaulagiri and Annapurna and Manaslu for sunset vistas! And views of the surrounding forest and the mysterious, southern landscapes!
Moharedanda is a good place to take an extra day’s rest! Moharedanda itself is a perfect natural towering ridge. It offers a spectacular 360 degree mountain view through the Dhaulagiri range ((8167m.) high, Annapurna range (8091m.), Manaslu Himal ( 8163m .)  vistas of  deep magical landscapes and magnificent sunrises and sunsets over the mountains.To see all these views you don’t need to wake up at 4 o’clock as at Poon hill! You can even view them from your bedroom or fire- heated dining hall or you just can step out of the door to see them.
There is a Community Lodge with 10 rooms and 20 beds. There are also a newly built porters’ house and two yak shelters. The Lodge has a fire- heated dining hall, the food is on the menu system, and Wi-Fi internet and solar light are available. There is a communal toilet and a hot bucket shower is available on request.
Note: Book your rooms at Swanta at least one day ahead. The contact person is:  MR. CHITRA PUN (mobile number: 9857622028)

Moharedanda to Phulbari 2835m.  (1.30 – 2 hrs. maximum)
From Mohoredanda you gently descend into the dense rhododendron forest with vistas. Follow the blue/ white signs and, (45mins. to 1 hr), you come to Chautari with a small pond and a temple in the left corner (3040m.). Look carefully to find the arrow we put there, cross through for some minutes till you reach grassy open land, where the trail is more confusing. We tried to put bigger signs but did not find any large rocks or trees; still we did put some arrows and blue /white signs on some small rocks. You should not turn left or right, but cross here directly and enter the forest. Keep going down through the scrubby forest to some open grassy slopes. Again the trail becomes confusing: look carefully down and you should see the little red and white flag with a high wooden pole which has been placed there.  Go down to it, more steeply, and you will reach Phulbari Guest House, a private lodge at Phulbari (2835m.). (45 mins, 1 hr). There are 5 rooms and 10 beds, a communal toilet and hot bucket shower, available on request. It has a fire- heated dining hall and the food is on the menu system. This is a beautiful place to stay, with gorgeous mountains views and peaceful green forest surroundings. The phone contact is:  069 680460 or 9746041157

Phulbari to Danda Kharka 2750m. (10 – 15 min)
After  10 – 15 minutes ‘ walk  in the rhododendron forest, you will come down to Danda Kharka (2750m.); there is a Community Lodge with 8 rooms and 16 beds. The food is on the menu system, and there is a fire -heated dining hall, communal toilet and bucket shower outside.
This place is a trail junction leading to Swanta/Khopra, Tatopani, Ramche/Nangi and Phulbari-Moharedanda.

Danda Kharka to Phalante  2270m (4 hrs approx).
Now you hike on the flat and clear trail in the dense forest and, in 20 minutes, you come to a shelter for buffalo herders.   Continue on a long hike and you will arrive at a little pass with chautari (Nakako Bisaune) (2670m.). Cross it and come down on the other side and continue further into the dense forest. After a flat walk, you go gently down and reach a house with well protected fields and a view of Dhaulagiri in the background. From here, you straight away descend by a grassy slope to a Chautari, entering a scrubby forest:  now the trail is more confusing. You already see the Phalante, still continue downhill, come to another Chautari, and descend the steps. Finally you will reach a big wall protecting fields.  Cross it by the wooden ladder, follow the blue/ white signs on an electric pole and house wall. Go through the fields and join the dirt road near the Sharada primary school of Phalante.

Phalante to Swanta 2260m (1 hr approx.)
The school is a very important landmark as it marks the trail junction leading to Swanta/Khopra, Tatopani/Jomsom, Ghorepani/ABC, Moharedanda/Nangi and Nayapul. There are a couple of basic lodges and restaurants. After the gate of this school, you still descend and continually follow the trail marked with blue/ white signs, through villages, forest and steps leading steeply down to the suspension bridge over Kholang Khola (30 – 40 min.), then you climb steps on the other side to Swanta village which takes about 30 min.
At Swanta, there are two nice lodges:  Swanta Guest House with 10 rooms and 21 beds, and Hotel Trekker’s Sanctuary Lodges with 7 rooms and 15 beds. Both lodges have a communal toilet, hot bucket shower, menu system food, a warm dining hall and electric light.
Swanta is a very beautiful village with its farmed terraced fields, beautiful surrounding high green hills and villages, and views of the Dhaulagiri mountain range, Tukuche peak and Annapurna South.
At Swanta, the residents are 100% Pun Magars. According to the data, the households total 72. Most of the men are working in the British and Indian Gurkha Army and Singapore police. These people are kind and friendly; they are mostly Hindu with a few Buddhists too. There is a primary school and temple in the middle part of the village.
The phone contact is:  9846200616 or 9745037663 (Swanta Guest House) and 9847675240 (Hotel Trekker’s Sanctuary).
Note: Book your rooms at Chistibang (Dhan Kharka) at least one day ahead. The contact person is: MR. CHITRA PUN (mobile number:  9857622028).

Swanta to Aahal Kharka   2600m (3 – 4 hrs, maximum)
 Begin hiking through the school’s grounds and go behind it, and then follow the blue/ white signs alongside the fields. Cross by a big house and enter the forest trail. The gradient slopes up into the dense forest, and then climbs more steeply up.   Then there is a gentle descent to the beautiful Dhaste Khore Khola.   Cross over a well built wooden bridge (2.30 – 3 hrs). Now turn a bit to the right hand side and climb up the hill, reaching Aahal Kharka 2600m, (30 – 45 min).
There is a beautiful cottage, Ever Green Rest Cottage, with a nice terrace, dining hall and kitchen and a communal toilet. The cottage owner (Mr. Hem Bahadur Pun) is a very good, energetic and open minded person. He serves you Dal bhat, boiled potato, mushroom items, plain rice + nettle leaf soup (sisnu) , ginger tea, tea, coffee and mint tea etc.  This is a perfect place to have lunch. All vegetables are fresh and organic from his garden.  Accommodation is not available yet, but we did sleep in a buffalo shelter belonging to this man. The phone contact is:  9846288449 (Mr. Hem Bahadur Pun).
The trail climbs up via a steep hill into the oak and rhododendron forest. It is easy to find but you have to look for the blue/ white signs as well. Chistibang is a nice and peaceful place with surrounding green forest and a view of high grassy hills. At Chistibang, there are two lodges:  Hotel Rockland & Restaurant is a private lodge with 9 rooms and 18 beds. Another Community Lodge has 10 rooms and 20 beds. Both lodges have menu system food, fire -heated dining hall, communal toilet and hot bucket shower available on request. Solar light is available. The phone contact is: 9847603971 (Hotel Rockland).
Note: Book your rooms at Khopra Ridge at least one day ahead. The contact person is:  MR. CHITRA PUN (mobile number:  9857622028).

Chistibang to Khopra Ridge   3660m (3 – 4 hrs)
You begin to hike near the Community Lodge and follow the blue white signs. Walk some way on the flat trail, and then follow the gradient up into the forest, which gets steeper until you reach a Kharka (pasture).  Cross it, entering a scrubby forest; again climb steeply up and you come to a trail junction with a small, man- made pond for animals to drink water from.  This leads to Khopra Ridge, or Bayeli Kharka and Chistibang, coming from the other direction. There are many blue /white signs and arrows which we put on the rocks.
Now veer towards the left and continue further on. You first climb up steeply on a grassy slope with a view of beautiful mountains and landscapes. Soon you cross the ridge and come to a chautari, then you hike at a similar altitude to Khopra Ridge! This is what you had been dreaming of for a long time!!
This is the last point for lodging on this trek, at the time of writing. Mountain views are stunning: they include the Dhaulagiri range (8167m.), Tukuche peak, Thapa peak, Nilgiris, Baraha Shikhar and Annapurna South.  We had beautiful sunset and sunrise views of them and the landscapes to the south are breathtaking!
At Khopra Ridge, there is a Community Lodge with 10 rooms and 20 beds. If these rooms are not sufficient, they provide you with tents to sleep in. It has a nice dining hall, communal toilet and bathroom inside the building and a hot bucket shower available on request. Food is on the menu system. Wi-Fi internet service and solar light are available. The lodge is open the whole year round. There are also a couple of yak shelters.
At Khopra hundreds of internal tourists come to join a special festival in July, called “Yak Fresh Blood Drinking Festival!” These people believe drinking fresh blood of living yak is a very good treatment for gastritis and increasing energy and sex power and has many other advantages. If you drink it once or twice a year it is thought to be very good. This festival lasts for five days.

Khopra excursion trip
It is a very good idea to stay here at least two days; you can take a beautiful day’s hiking trip to Khayar lake at 4600m. This, however, is not recommended for every trekker, because it is a very long way   to trek to the lake and come back the same way to Khopra. It takes a minimum of 9 to 11 hours as a round trip. But it is good idea to go as far as Thanti (around 4200m. high) and come back. At Thanti, there are some shelters for yak herders and shepherds to stay in during the monsoon.
Khayar Lake is very famous for Hindu belief; on the occasion of Janai Purnima , around the full moon of Saaun (July-August) the high caste men,  Brahmin and Kshetri , must change the janai, which they wear looped over their left shoulder. So Janai Purnima brings crowds of pilgrims to this sacred Khayar lake and many pilgrims come from India as well. There they garland a statue of Shiva and throw coins at a temple and into the lake. There are two places to make pooja, seven minutes before this lake and a temple, where hundreds of sheep and goats are sacrificed on the same occasion.
The pilgrims sleep one or two nights at Thanti, where the yak herders’ shelters are used to sleep in, but those are not enough for all these people. They bring large tents and set them up as shelter for many people and then they go up to the lake, making pooja, and come back to Thanti and stay overnight.
If you don’t mind bringing a light tent, cooking gear, some noodles and dry food and a warm sleeping bag, it would be fantastic to take the Khayar lake trip. The views of nature’s beauty are mesmerizing!!
Unfortunately, we could not mark the trail between Khopra and Khayar Lake, because there was too much snow at the moment we were there. But it is a clear and not confusing trail.  
From Khopra Ridge, some tourists  go down to Tatopani (1200m) as well; there are two trail options to take, either via Pawdar village and Tatopani or Upper Narchyang - Narchyang besi and Tatopani. It is a long descent! The phone contact is: 9745039392 (Khopra Ridge).
Note: Book your rooms at Bayeli Kharka at least one day ahead. The contact person is: MR. CHITRA PUN (mobile number:  9857622028).

Khopra Ridge to Bayeli ( Bayeli Kharka)  3460m (4 – 5 hrs.)
From Khopra you return down to the trail junction with a small pond, where you have to follow the blue/ white signs and arrows pointing towards Bayeli. 80% of the hiking is at the same altitude on the grassy steep, bamboo scrubby and rhododendron forest, and the remaining 20% of the hike is a mixture of down and uphill trail with southern green slopes and sky touching grassy mountain view in the north. The trail is somewhat narrower than normal, but it is beautiful to walk on it. Today you cross mainly through three different pastures; there are two shelters for yak herders at the first and second pastures. The last pasture has a ruin, and just before and after this point it is quite confusing to find the trail. We did put an arrow and blue /white signs right near this ruin. Make your way straight through and enter the rhododendron forest, walk some way on the flat and in a few minutes you will come to a Chautari, trail junction. This leads up to Bayeli, then down to Chistibang in the opposite direction to Khopra. After crossing through this chautari, you gently climb up in the rhododendron forest and arrive at Bayeli.

At Bayeli, there is a Community Lodge with 8 beautiful rooms and 16 beds. Mt. Dhaulagiri and the view of the landscape through your window are awesome! If those rooms are not sufficient, they provide you with tents to sleep in. There is a warm fire- heated dining room and a nice kitchen. The toilet and bathroom are communal and hot bucket showers are available on request.  Bayeli is a very beautiful and peaceful place to stay and, if you have an extra day to rest, it would be absolutely worthwhile to do so.  From here you can also trek to Hidden Lake (Toji Baraha taal) as a   day trip. It takes 4 to 5 hrs, to get there and coming back the same way to Bayeli would take an extra 3 to 4 hrs. We could not mark the trail between Bayeli and Hidden Lake because there was too much snow.
The phone contact is:  9846208067 or 9846200799 (Mr. Lok Bahadur Pun).

Bayeli Kharka to Dobato   3426m (2 hrs. maximum)
From the lodge, you first go up to the ridge for 10 minutes, then descend down a steep, grassy slope on the other side and continue further on the flat until you come to a high ridge. You bend down along this ridge with breathtaking views of mountains and landscapes. Soon you enter the forest, on a path varying between flat and steep, until you reach Dobato. There are three lodges: Hotel Lucky Guest House (5 rooms and 10 beds) is already running. The other two lodges, of similar capacity, are about to open soon. All lodges have communal toilets outside of the building and hot bucket showers available on request. They have warm dining rooms and the food is menu system.
Mt. Annapurna South, Himchuli, Machhapuchre, Annapurna II and IV, Lamjung Himal and surrounding high green hills, with wide landscape views, are an extra attraction.
People of Dobato may suggest you trek to another viewpoint called Mulday Ridge (3600m.) (4 hrs. approx to get there and 3 hrs.  minimum to get back ).  Some may find this wonderful to do, but in my opinion, after making Moharedanda and Khopra Ridge, it is not necessary: still if you want to do this, it is up to you.
The phone contact: 9746064385

Dobato to Isharu 3137m (1.30 hrs. approx)
The trail in the beginning is flat, and then it goes gently down into the rhododendron, bamboo and pine forest. Keep descending further and enter a narrower gorge, following blue/ white signs. Then come out of the forest and bend a bit towards the left, for a few minutes, climb up to cross a little pass with a tin roofed temple and come down a grassy steep, and soon you reach at Isharu. There are two lodges already open and another one is about to be built soon. Hotel Isharu Green Hill Point has 6 rooms and 12 beds and the other lodge has 4 rooms and 8 beds. Both lodges have communal toilets, a warm dining room and bucket showers available on request. The food is on menu system. This place is located on a warm sunny side.     People here also may advise you to make it to Mulday Ridge viewpoint, but my advice to you is the same as for Dobato.
The phone contact is: 9746064649 or 9846258589 or 9816127074 (Mr. Bishal Rai).

Isharu to Meshar 2930m (45min. – 1 hr)
Now you walk in the dense forest, mostly downhill, sometimes steep and sometimes flat. We only put a few blue /white signs, because the trail is wide and clear.
At Meshar, there is a basic, newly built lodge which is ready to run with 4 rooms and 8 beds; the toilet is outside. There are also two tea shops about to open in time for next season.

Meshar to Tadapani   2590m (1.45 hrs. approx)
You still descend in the dense and peaceful forest, with a mix of flat and steep gradient, and finally you reach Tadapani. There are more than 7 big lodges with restaurants and a few tea shops (bhatties) and a newly built porters’ house.
This place is a very important trail junction; leading to Chomrong/ABC, Ghadruk/Nayapul, Ghorepani/Jomsom and the starting point for Khopra Trek (near the Hotel Grand View).
The combination of the surrounding mysterious rhododendron forest and the beautiful landscape of the Annapurna mountain range and Machhapuchre is a magical attraction for trekkers!
The phone contact is:  9756000881 or 9846257686 (Hotel Grand View).

Tadapani to Chuile 2230m to Ghurjung 1800 (3 hrs. approx)
At Tadapani, “Hotel Grand View” is   very important as a starting point for the Khopra trek and trail down to Chuile and further on… You directly enter the dense forest by going down steps from this hotel.

“From this direction to start the Khopra trek, you have to come to this hotel and cross through its front ground and go behind it, follow blue/ white signs on the tree bark and enter the forest and continue climbing uphill. 

And you may still follow some blue/ white signs, though the trail is clear and it is easy to find all the way down to Discovery Lodge & Restaurant at the top village of Chuile. Still you have to descend a long way to the suspension bridge over Kimrong Khola at the end of this village (45 min). After you come to the other side of this khola, you directly climb steepsteps to Ghurjung, where there are a primary school, lodges and nice Gurung houses and farmed terrace fields.

Ghurjung to Taulung 2180m to Jhinudanda 1780m (2 to 3 hrs. approx)
From the last lodge of this village, you climb upwards through steep scrub and come to a tea shop. From here you have to take the lower trail and a descent to a small stream and then all the way on the flat to Taulung. This is the first village of Chhomrong. Now, if you are able to extend an extra day, you can continue to the second village of Chhomrong (Nayagaon) with many big hotels (20 – 25 min). This is a very good idea too, because Chhomrong is a nice village in beautiful natural surroundings. And in the morning after taking breakfast you could go to Jhinudanda and the hot spring.
Otherwise, directly from the first village (Taulung), you may continue steeply down to Jhinudanda (1 hour.).  We put many arrows and blue/ white signs at the trail junction here, so go ahead following their directions.
Jhinu is a nice place with the sky touching green hills, mountains and the deep gorge view of Modi River coming from Annapurna I. There are 4 big lodges and some small tea shops. They have properly supplied drinking water, electricity, nice shower rooms, dining room, and toilet. The food is very good.

Hot Spring (Tatopani)
Going down to Hot Spring takes about 15 minutes and coming back to the hotel would take 20 to 30 minutes, maximum. The trail condition is well maintained and clear in the peaceful forest with beautiful sounds of birds and river! The hot spring is located at the shore of Modi River and, while bathing, a very good atmosphere may be enjoyed,  as  you are sit in the hot pool whilst  refreshing with the cool air coming from the river! There are two big pools and a fountain to take showers in. The entry fee to the hot spring is NPR, 50/- per person.

Jhinudanda to New Bridge 1340m (1.30 hrs. approx)
You first hike down steps to the bridge (have a look at the winter and summer trail) over the Kimrong Khola again, and come to Samrung Bensi, a little village. Now you have to take the lower flat trail (instead of climbing steps up), entering the forest and descending to New Bridge. There you find many basic lodges and restaurants etc.

New Bridge to Landruk 1565m (1.30 – 2 hrs approx)
In 10 minutes  you descend to a high and long suspension bridge crossing over Modi River and you hike on through Himalpani, climb some steps up,  cross two suspension bridges and then you arrive at the  Himalayan Lodge & Restaurant. This is the beginning point of Landruk village from this direction. It is also a trail junction leading to Ghandruk, Nayapul, Khopra trek via Chhomrong or Ghandruk, Pokhara via Australian Camp or Phedi and to Mardi Himal Trek (it begins near the camping ground in the middle of this village).
Landruk is a large village inhabited by Gurungs, Brahmin, Kshetri, Magar, Kami and Damai. There are beautiful slate roofs of typical Gurung -styled houses and terraced fields surrounded by high green hills, villages and the Annapurna Mountains. These people are Buddhist and Hindu. There are several lodges with restaurants and camping sites. There are a proper drinking water supply, electricity, toilets, and shower and dining room etc.

Landruk to Tolka 1700m (45min. – 1 hr)
There is beautiful hiking through the villages and fields with nice terraces, mostly flat until the suspension bridge over the Kumkum Khola.  Cross it then climb steps up to Tolka. There are several lodges and restaurants there, with electricity and a good drinking water supply etc. Tolka is a beautiful village with its nice farming fields and surroundings, of forest, hills, villages and high mountains etc. The resident majority is Magars and there are a few Gurungs and Brahmins, most of whom are Hindu, with a few Buddhists too.

Tolka to Bhedi Kharka 1765m to Bhichuk Pitam Deurali 2100m (2 hrs approx)
After the last house of Tolka, you hike a few minutes on the flat and come to a fork trail junction.  Now take the upper trail and try to find the blue/ white sign on the rock and enter the forest through the foothills and gently climb up to a suspension bridge Cross it and soon you come to Bhichuk Bhedi Kharka (Bhedi Kharka) with two beautiful lodges and restaurants, and a perfect spot for a lunch break in peaceful surroundings, with a jungle view and very fresh air. The Hita Guest House owner serves organic fresh vegetables from his/her garden (I highly recommend the green mustard leaf or Raayoko saag!).
Now, you begin an upwards gradient, then more steps up. Then there is a steep trail in the red sandalwood forest and, after strenuous climbing, you hike flat in the dense forest and reach Bhichuk Pitam Deurali. There are two basic lodges and restaurants and a bhatti (tea shop). This place is the beginning and end point for the “Mardi Himal Trek” with blue /white marking signs.

Pitam Deurali to Pathana 1950m (45 min)
The flat trail begins through a beautiful red sandalwood forest, and soon you come to a chautari, from where you should descend along the ridge and continue further on to Pathana. There are 6 nice lodges and a couple of bhattis (tea shop). There is an ACAP permit check point and tourist information centre. Please make sure that all your necessary permits are arranged in Pokhara beforehand.

Pathana to Australian Camp 2060m (20 – 30 min)
You directly enter the forest for a short descent and you will see an ACAP signpost, directing to Australian Camp and Dhampus. Both trails are marked with red /white colors. Unfortunately, the Dhumpus trail is not that pleasant due to the road construction until the last point of the village, coming from opposite direction. So I highly recommend taking the hike through Australian camp, because no single vehicle chases you till Kande. The trail condition is peaceful in nature, the walk is easy and there is a fantastic view of landscapes and high, magic mountains.  And Australian Camp is a very good place to make an overnight stop. There are nice campsites and four lodges with restaurants.

Australian Camp to Kande 1770m (1 – 1.30 hrs)
After a short flat hike, you gently descend into the forest with beautiful views of landscapes and villages in the south. You climb down more steps and soon you reach a small village. Continue further on then finally you come to join the Baglung Highway at Kande. This is the beginning and end point for the Mardi Himal Trek, ABC, Poonhil and Khopra Trek.

Kande to Pokhara 820m (1 hr)
There are two transport options; if you want a cheap drive then catch a bus coming from the direction of Baglund and Nayapul. But be careful of arriving here in the late evening as there are far fewer buses or taxis.  Consider the situation and act accordingly. At the time of writing the bus fare to Baglung bus station in Pokhara is 2 Euros per passenger. A normal taxi costs 15 Euros to Lakeside, (drop at your hotel).

In January 2011, my friend and I spent two wonderful weeks trekking in the Annapurna region doing the "unbusy" Khopra Trek.  We highly recommend the Khopra Trek. We loved  the fact that it was not busy, very peaceful and quiet. The scenery was a good mixture of farming land and villages and forest. It was excellent to have a guide who was knowledgeable about the area and could tell us about the wildlife and explain what was happening in the fields. It was also very good to have someone who could translate for us! The walk was a good balance of easy and more strenuous days.Our longest day was seven and a half hours down 2500 metres but we were taking it slowly and had a number of rests. The mountain views were beautiful and we had clear fine weather. The night spent at Mohore danda was memorable with the magnificent sunset and sunrise over the mountains. Amazing 360 degree views.  (Also rather nice to be delivered a hot coffee while we were standing,rugged up, waiting for the sun to rise!) Another highlight was staying in a traditional Gurung house at Langdi. Very interesting to be so close to and experience a small part of Nepali life. Ram was a great cook preparing delicious meals seemingly from very little.  We were so well cared for by Pal, Govinda and Ram. All in all an amazing 14 day trek.
Our trek was organized by Prem Rai ( and included international airport pick up and drop off, all tickets,(air and overland) plus a days sight seeing in Pokhara and Kathmandu.This made the whole trip stress free and very easy.Prem gave us advice about where to stay before and after our trek which was very helpful.  Prem and his lovely wife Maina welcomed us openly and we felt very comfortable with them.  Maina and her sister gave us the most wonderful massages before and after the trek.
Sharon Western Australia

In October 2013 we have been in Nepal for four weeks. Three of them we have placed in the trusted hands of Prem Rai, who organized our two week trek, a few days stay in Pokhara and two days Chitwan National Park. The mail contact with Prem was easy and we were quickly able to agree on a route or the expiry of the three weeks respectively. Since we were less interested in tourist trekking routes, we quickly agreed on the so-called khopra Trek ( he has been labeled , among others personally by Prem) . We took the bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara, where we met in the evening at the hotel with our guide Tara and he explained us all the important details. The next morning, Dev (Our Porter) and Tara came to us to the hotel and from there we went along with the taxi to our starting point of the trek. The advantage of the khopra Trek is that it is little tourism at the moment. We were mostly, in the often newly built lodges along the trek, the only guests. The nature and the views that we enjoyed were stunning, especially the 360 ° - view from Mohare Danda ( Daulagiri , Annapurna ... ) ! The trek is very versatile and not too demanding. In addition, the highest point one can reach is 4600 m (one -day excursion from the khopra lodge) . The food at the lodges was mainly incredibly well! Back in Pokhara we had some relaxing days for sightseeing. At the end we went further into the Chitwan National Park, where we could observe some interesting animals (rhinos, crocodiles ...).

We would like to emphasize once again the very friendly nature and the reliable organization of Prem Rai and especially the well two best companions that you could wish for such a trek. Tara and Dev are both very very experienced, courteous and friendly guides (Dev was in this case our Porter). They make sure that you do not overstrain, can tell a lot about the nature and Nepal and are also humorous. Every minute we felt safe and very comfortable and would go with the two trekking again and again! We hope that we can go back with them on a discovery tour of this gorgeous country very soon. Nepal and especially the trek are among the best memories that we have made in the last six months on the road!
Dev, Prem and Tara , we thank you! It was incredibly unforgettable! We'll be back!

Martin and Jana

Option: (A) & (B);

Both would take in minimum 14 to 15 days, if you want to include Mardi Himal Trek, then it would be 20 day trek.

Please, if you want have an Itinerary for this trek, let me know, I will send you on my earliest convenient, because it is well prepared…

"My special thanks to Ms. Chris Panks, in London, who helped in the editing of these texts."

“Feel open to contact me, whether you have any interest about Nepal and all related activities in tourism and adventures. I can help you arrange any treks and tours or itineraries in Nepal. You can make any of these trips longer or shorter to fit your stay in Nepal.".”
With warm regards – namaste!


Prem Rai
Lakeside - 6, Pokhara, Nepal.

New e-mail:

Old e-mails:

Cell Phones:
+977 9846306028
+977 9804115956
+977 9807380590



An additional activities:

  • * Trekking (Tea House Trek & Camping Organized Trek)
  • * Tour (Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet & more)
  • * Chitawan National Park
  • * Bardia National Park
  • * River Rafting
  • * Mountain Flight (including Mt. Everest)
  • * Air Tickets (domestic & International)
  • * Hotel Reservation in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • * City Sightseeing
  • * Paragliding
  • * Rural & Cultural Village Tour
  • * Discover Untouched Sites & Territories



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It is owned by three professional trekking guides (Prem, Sukra and Maina) in Pokhara. They are more than one and half decade experienced in trek and tour leading throughout the Himalayas of Nepal. Prem is one of the NATT~book (New/Natural Annapurna Trekking Trail) writers with Andrees de Ruiter in Germany,

PNT is a big different than other trekking agencies in Nepal, how?

I've seen many agency or company owners and managers in Nepal, who have never been to Annapurna or Everest; still designing your program!!

Our agency manager Sukra Rai is a most competent trekking guide as well, that’s why he has all kind of knowledge regarding the trek and tour including NATT. Therefore; three of us can design all your programs and lead the tour is a perfect combination.

Our staffs are well trained; most of them are involved marking and finding the NATT trails including the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek, North Annapurna Base Camp, newly designed the Lalupate Trail and all major treks in Nepal. They are well equipped and ensured with their insurance. Also most of them are skilled with Massage Therapy; during the trip if anyone requested for it, they may easily available. To entertain clients, they can perform singing and dancing as well as few of them can play bamboo flute and Nepali traditional drum. Most of them are English speaking, few of them can speak Korean and Chinese.

Also our team is working for EEF (earthquake emergency fund), and delivered many relief aids to the affected families mainly in Gorkha and Dhading. We have built 8 houses in Gorkha and handover for the families who did lost homes from the last earthquakes in Nepal.


It is owned by the professional trekking guides and NATT (New/Natural Annapurna Trekking Trail) book writer in Nepal. You totally get here a family environment. There are 6 rooms on rent. Four of them for couple, one twin bed and one single. Every room has private porch, cupboard, 24 hour hot shower with the attached bath and toilet and free Wi-Fi service. It's good to sit at the peaceful roof-top garden with the dramatic view of the para-glider over Sarangkot and the background scenery of Machhapuchre Himal including the surrounding green hills, villages, the Fewa Lake and the Stupa (World Peace Pegoda) in the west.

It is located at Lakeside - 6, Khahare Marga (street no: 19) near the Khahare Chowk (about 300 meters far from the lake shore), same building of Fishtail Paragliding and you can Google PREMS NEPAL TREK right behind the hotel Mandap and Tropicana.

Also a perfect guest house for the budget travellers. On request we prepare Nepali breakfast and if anyone interested for a short cooking course of Nepali Thali (veg and none-veg) you can learn and cook it yourself with us at our kitchen.

Still Maina's "STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN MASSAGE" therapy service is available on request.


Prem Rai


Lakeside – 6, Khahare Chowk (street no: 19), Pokhara Nepal.



Cell phone:

+977 9807380590 (Sukra)

+ 977 9846306028 (Prem)

+977 9804115956 (Maina)


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Guide-book Trekking the Annapurna Circuit

Guide-book Trekking the Annapurna Circuit
On this page you will find information about the guidebook : Trekking in the Annapurnaarea along the new NATT-trails which avoid the road The second Ebook edition is published in September 2013. i decribes the Annapurna Circuit AC, Tilicho lake, The Annapurna panorama & poon hill trek. The Annapurna Base Camp trek and the new Khopra Dhanda and Mardi Himal trek. For that click this image