Panch Pokhari Trek is one of the shortest treks in Nepal and near the capital Kathmandu. In just two days you will reach an altitude of 4,060m and complete the trek in just 4 days (at fast).
The trek takes you through the waterfalls, dense forests, Kharkas (Pasture Lands) with cowsheds and sheepfold, and some tea houses along the way.
Panch Pokhari Trek is really famous among the hindu and buddhists devotees from the past times. The lakes at the top are considered pious and worshiped.
During the festival Janai Purnima, thousands of devotees visit this place, take a dip in the pond and worship the god.
It is believed that everyone’s wish will be fulfilled by the god if we worship in the temple.
Apart from religious importance, Panch Pokhari trek is also getting noticed by travelers who love adventure as it takes them to a higher place from where one can get the views of mountain ranges, lakes, hills and wildlife.
The trek will show you the true life of rural villagers, shepherds and the culture of Tamang people residing in the areas.
Why Panch Pokhari Trek?
Though Nepal is known for The Himalayas and The Best Trekking Trails in the world. Panch Pokhari trek is not so well known like Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Trek or the nearest one Langtang Trek.
But Panch Pokhari Trek can be one of the best treks if you have a few days in Kathmandu.
Here’s some of the reasons for you to choose Panch Pokhari Trek, based on our own experience.
- One of the Shortest Treks in Nepal (Can complete is just 4 Days)
- Near from the Capital, Kathmandu
- Not Crowded: Unlike Everest Regions and Annapurna Regions very few people travel on this trail.
- One of the best places to view the mountain ranges like Dorje Lakpa (6,966 meters), Madiya (6,257 meters) and Phurbi Chhyachu (6,637 meters), hills, lakes, waterfalls and valleys from the altitude of 4,200m
- Explore Tamang and Sherpa Culture and their lifestyle
- Understand the sustainable and nomadic shepherds lifestyle in the Himalayas. Mostly people from lowlands (Chhimti and Bhotang) have cowsheds and sheepfold (Bhedi Goth) on the hills of Panch Pokhari. They produce wool from sheeps, Milk, Ghee, Butter and Hard Cheese (Chhurpi) from Cows and Yaks.
- Wide varieties of Flora and Faunas. Panch Pokhari is rich in medicinal herbs. Plants like Dhupi, Sunpati, BhairangpatiBarberry, Mucinosis, Cordials, Caramkurmi, Cremenozyme etc. plants are found here. Also there are more than 64 species of herbs including Raktachandan, Yarsagumba, Padamchal, Panchaule etc. in Panch Pokhari.
What is the Itinerary for Panch Pokhari Trek?
Panch Pokhari Trek Detail Itinerary
Day 1: Kathmandu – Melamchi – Chhimti – Tuppi Danda
Get a bus from Narayantar Jorpati at around 6:30 in the morning. Have a light breakfast/snack on the way. The bus will take you to Chhimti. Have lunch here, then start the trek.
In 2-3 hours walking from Chhimti, you will reach Tuppi Danda (2,800m) which will be the end of Day 1.
Day 2: Tuppi Danda – Nosyam Pati – Panch Pokhari
Wake Up Early and Have a heavy breakfast (Roti Tarkari recommended) and start early. You will be walking for around 9 hours and gain an altitude of around another 1,300m.
It’s recommended to walk easily (not hurriedly), drink at least around 4 liters of water, a good amount of snacks or a heavy meal as you’re walking on high altitude (above 3,000m) for a long time.
After walking for around 4-5 hrs from Tuppi Danda on a steep trail through the forests, rivers and waterfalls, you will reach Nosyam Pati (3,540m).
You can have lunch here. You can take a good amount of rest here. There are a couple of hotels, so select one then order your lunch. While your lunch is being prepared, enjoy tea and coffee with the scenery.
After having lunch, continue trekking. The trails are steep and narrow.
After walking another 5 hours from Nosyam Pati, you will reach Panch Pookhari (4,060m).
(Note: If your group is slow or has difficulty walking, then don’t push too hard. You can stay at the hotel near Laure Bina and reach Panch Pokhari the next day.)
Day 3: Panch Pokhari – Top View Point – Chhimti
Wake up early for the sunrise view, then walk to the highest point (not the view tower) which will take around another hour walk from the hotel. There’s a small temple/stupa at the top which is at around 4,200m altitude.
From here, you can see a complete view of five lakes and on the other side mountain ranges.
Then you can return to the hotel and have a heavy breakfast (Roti Tarkari i.e. Chapati and Potato Chickpea Curry) then start your trek down.
You will reach Nosaym Pati in 2 hours and Tuppi Danda in 6 hours. So have lunch at Tuppi Danda and rest for a while and continue walking to Chhimti.
You will have to stay the night there, so have a good rest, and enjoy the good food and drinks.
Day 4: Chhimti – Kathmandu
Wake up early in the morning at around 5:30, have some tea and catch the bus which leaves at 6:30 in the morning.
And by 12:00 P.M. you will arrive in Kathmandu.
Panch Pokhari Trek Map and Virtual Tour
What is the best season for Panch Pokhari Trek?
Panch Pokhari Trek can be done throughout the year.
Since it is near Kathmandu, duration is short and tea houses for basic food and accommodation are available, Panch Pokhari Trek can be done at any time of the year.
But the best time for Panch Pokhari trek is during Spring and Autumn Season.
Warm and Blooming Rhododendron
Spring (March, April, May) is one of the best times for Panch Pokhari Trek as there will be a good amount of sun and warmth though there will be snow at higher altitude. So you will get a chance to get good views of snow capped mountains and probably frozen lakes.
Also it is the time for Lali Gurans (Rhododendron, National Flower of Nepal) to bloom and the whole trail is full of these trees. So, the whole hill becomes red from the blooming Lali Gurans.
So Panch Pokhari in Spring is the best time for someone who loves to see blooming Lali Gurans (Rhododendron) and also play on snow or view the scenic snow capped mountain ranges.
Stable weather and National Festivals
Another best time for Panch Pokhari Trek is Autumn (September, October and November). During this time the weather is stable and you will get to see the blue clear sky, and have high chances to see the mountain ranges.
Also it is the time for the National Festival (Dashain and Tihar), so all the villages are in a festive mood, so the trails will be cleaned, houses painted and meet the people in celebration mood and get to know the locals.
You can also do Panch Pokhari trek in the other two seasons, Summer and Winter but you need good preparations.
Waterfalls, Greenery and Wildflowers
In Summer (June, July and August) it will be raining throughout Nepal as the monsoon (rainy season starts). And Nepal is mostly covered with hilly regions, there will be high chances of Landslides and Floods which can damage roads and trails.
The trails also can be slippery and will have lots of leeches.
But the positive aspect of trekking in this season is you will get to see lots of huge waterfalls, Rice Fields, green forests and colorful wildflowers along the trails.
Also the most famous festival Janai Purnima falls during this season where the buddhists and hindu devotees visit the Panch Pokhari Lake from all around the country. Itt will be crowded during this time, so unless you’re traveling for religious purposes I recommend you to skip this time. But if you’re interested to know about Jhakri Culture (Shamanism) and Hindu Festival of Janai Purnima, it is recommended. Just be aware that all the hotels will be packed, so you may not get the proper food or place to stay.
Thus with proper gears and planning you can have memorable Panch Pokhari treks during monsoon as well.
Frozen Lakes and Snow Capped Mountains
In Winter (December, January and February) Panch Pokhari is freezing and covered in Snow as it’s above 4,000m altitude. Most of the people (hotel owners) stay at lower altitude so the hotels might be closed.
But if you love adventures and want to see the frozen lakes during winter, it is recommended to contact the locals and ask whether the hotels are open or not. If your group is big then locals might agree to go with you and open the hotels for you.
What Foods are available on Panch Pokhari Trek?
On Panch Pokhari trek you will get the basic food options which includes Daal-Bhaat (Rice and Lentil) with Aaloo Tarkari (Potato) curry for lunch and dinner. If you get lucky you may get to eat meat and seasonal vegetables.
For breakfast you can get Roti (Chapati) and Aaloo Chana Tarkari (Potato and Chickpea Curry) or noodle soup.
On drinks, you can get black tea and coffee, you can also buy alcoholic drinks like beers, rum, Kodo ko Raksi (Local Home made alcohol), etc.
You can buy snacks like Biscuits, Cookies, Instant Noodles, Chocolates, etc. at tea houses (hotels).
What Accommodation Facility is available on Panch Pokhari Trek?
On Panch Pokhari Trek you will get basic accommodation at tea houses.
I felt like the places to stay are designed for devotees (mainly people visit Panch Pokhari for religious purposes) not for tourists.
There are big halls in hotels with mattresses over wooden floors. You will get some blankets and pillows.
Most of them do not have separate rooms and no attached bathroom.
Panch Pokhari Trek in Monsoon Experience
As I was getting bored living in the city, I wanted to take a break and have fun for sometime. And to me going outdoors (hiking/trekking) in peace and experiencing new things is the best fun.
After living in the city home for sometime I feel like all my excitement and creativity is lost.
Sometimes I feel surrounded by the building where our creativity and positive energy is blocked. Even from the house we can only see other houses, so there’s nothing to be inspired by.
But when I go outside the city, everything is open, I can see into the distance, meet new people, explore their lifestyle, culture and traditions which opens the way for creativity and also fills positive energy.
So I started looking for a short trek near Kathmandu. And Panch Pokhari was one of them.
So I planned to go for a solo trek but the date was not confirmed as it was monsoon and raining a lot.
Then decided to go as soon as the rain stopped.
Couple of years ago, I wanted to go to Panch Pokhari. Even collected all the details and talked with other people who have been there. But unfortunately I couldn’t do the trek and also this time I hoped not to be the same.
Panch Pokhari Trek Planned On The Spot
Later on Saturday, during our Futsal game (Indoor Football) Saugat told me that he would love to join the trek with me. So I told him we would go as soon as the rain stopped.
It’s really dangerous to travel in the monsoon season in Nepal, since the road conditions are not good, there could be landslides, muddy and damaged roads, floods, etc.
So we waited.
And the next week after our futsal game, I told Saugat that we should start our trek on Monday as the rain was stopping.
So the next day I checked my gears (hiking boots, rain jacket, half pants, t-shirts, etc.) and packed the bags. Then I cleaned the Memory Card from the Camera, charged the batteries and packed them as well.
I called Saugat and told him to do the same as well and planned to meet at the buspark.
Day 1: Kathmandu – Melamchi – Chhimti – Deurali – Tuppi Danda
Today I woke up at around 5:45 in the morning then went to the toilet to freshen up, brushed my teeth and carried the bag as it was already packed and left home.
Since the bus to Panch Pokhari leaves at 6:30, and I have to reach Narayantar, Jorpati to catch the bus, I had to reach there before it leaves.
So I took a local micro from Swayambhu and headed to Narayantar.
At around 6:40, I reached Narayantar buspark and luckily the bus had not left yet and Saugat was waiting patiently.
Please do not risk it like I did, so try to reach the bus park before its departure time, else you may have to take another bus which might leave at around 8:00 A.M.
Finally at around 6:50, our bus left for Chhimti (Panch Pokhari) which is the last bus stop and then we had to trek from there.
To reach Chhimti, we had to go via Melamchi City. And to reach there, there are two different routes.
First One via Dhulikhel which is longer but the roads are better.
Second one via Sankhu which was shorter but graveled roads.
And we were taking the second one. The road was not that bad but had many turns like the road to Salleri/Phaplu (Everest Region). Such roads can make you dizzy and vomit.
Luckily we did not get any.
At around 8:10 the bus stopped in a small city and told us that we can have a tea break for a moment.
So we got off the bus as we did not have breakfast in the morning and were starving.
As soon as I got off the bus, the city seemed familiar. I also saw a cafe which I recognized from the last trek.
While returning from our Gosaikunda – Helambu Trek in 2021, we had spent the night in this city and had some drinks and food at that cafe.
So I took a photo of the cafe and sent it to the friend who was with me on that trek.
Then we went to a nearby tea shop for breakfast.
There we found fried peas, boiled eggs, tea and doughnuts for breakfast. And then at 8:35 we left Melamchi Bazaar and moved towards Chhimti.
From here, the road to Panch Pokhari (Chhimti) and Helambu (Melamchi Ghyang) separates.
If you take the road straight ahead alongside the Melamchi river, you will reach Helambu. Whereas if you take a right turn and cross the Melamchi river, then it will take you to Chhimti.
So we crossed the Melamchi river and started moving ahead on a rough graveled road.
From that side, we could see the destruction caused by the devastating flood a couple of years ago. Many houses were swept by the floods. It looked scary to see from there.
The road was really muddy, lots of puddles and in some places there were big rocks fallen from the hills.
A Part of Road Swept Away By Landslide
After moving on such a road for around 1 hour, we reached a place called Khalte Khola where a section of the road was destroyed by the landslide. So we had to walk on that section and take another bus from the other side.
The bus fare to this point from Kathmandu was Rs. 350.
Due to the landslide 2 buses were stuck on each side and they don’t know when the road will be constructed. So they were taking turns to take the passengers and had maintained the specific timetable, so that passengers as well as the bus on the other side did not have to wait long.
As the bus on the other side was ready and waiting for us, it moved as quickly as we got on the bus.
Worst Road, Best View
Though the bus ride was bumpy and scary, the view outside was really beautiful. We could see the green forests, fields, traditional houses and watermills (Paani Ghatta) alongside the beautiful waterfalls.
Near the Bhotang village there were large rice fields which remind us of Bali. They were really captivating. And we thought if it was not raining it would be really amazing to walk back on that trail.
As we were talking about the beauty, the driver was also talking about the passengers. He told us that there’s a superstitious belief among the people of Bhotang village.
And People don’t travel on Tuesday and Saturday. Thus the bus becomes empty on that day.
When we asked why, he said he didn’t know the reason. It’s a really curious topic and we wanted to know the answer and was planning to ask someone on our trek. But we forgot.
So if anyone knows the reason, please comment below.
We were sitting in front near the driver, so we could see the road conditions clearly. And the driver was saying that the road is so dangerous that even a donkey would have difficulty walking.
On the way we also saw a small pond with a temple on the side of the road in a place called Raithane. We worshiped from our hearts and moved on.
End of Bus Ride, Start of The Trek
Later at around 12:30, we finally reached Chhimti village (1,880m) which was the last stop. Then we went to a nearby hotel to have lunch.
There we ordered chicken rice and waited for a moment. While we were waiting for our rice, we also met four other trekkers who were also going to Panch Pokhari. And they were also on the same bus and we found out just now.
They also ordered the food.
In a moment our food was ready and we ate the food voraciously as we were starving. For Lunch we had Daal (lentil), Bhaat (Rice), Tarkari (Vegetable Curry), Chicken Curry and Some Pickles. The food was really delicious and at a reasonable price (Rs 300).
After lunch we rested for a while, but the other group started the trek.
Is Online Payment Accepted On Panch Pokhari Trek?
Saugat was also talking with the hotel owner whether he could get cash if he sent them via mobile payment. But the internet connection was not so good, so he couldn’t transfer the money for the cash.
But the hotel owner was kind and said that we could send them the money if we’re out of cash on the trail. And they would give the money to respective hotels.
That was really assuring and we thanked them for the help and continued our trek with the cash I had and planned to do the same as told.
Welcomed By The Surreal View
While we were leaving Chhimti village it was raining lightly. So we put on our rain jackets and moved towards the suspension bridge at around 1:25 P.M..
As we came near the bridge, we could see waterfalls on the hills across the bridge.
Then we walked on the suspension bridge over the Chhimti river. And the river had become huge due to heavy rainfall.
We took a selfie on the bridge, admired the beauty of nature and continued our trek.
After crossing the river we took the trekking trail which was steep and separated from the road on the right side.
It was a long climb on stairs and for support there was even a guard rail. We walked slowly up the hill and almost at the top there was a place to rest where the other group who started half an hour earlier were resting.
But we decided to continue slowly as we had just started the hike after lunch break.
Soon we completed the first climb. There were two small stupas. We walked past them and continued walking on the trails.
The Famous Hotel at Deurali
After walking for a few minutes we saw a small village. On close inspection on the boards we found out that it was Deurali village where a famous Tungna Bajey’s hotel was located.
Since it was just around 1 hour from Chhimti, we decided to continue our trek as today’s destination was Tuppi Danda.
We walked past the hotels, some of the people were renovating their hotels, we said namaste, talked for a while and continued our walk.
The trail was narrow and slippery due to rain. But the locals have cut the grass and cleared the bushes for the people who will be visiting during Janai Purnima festival.
We were walking slowly up the hill, through the forest. The birds were chirping and the rain had stopped by now.
Two of us walked up the hill talking about the tourism possibilities in this place and other opportunities.
First and The Only Milk Tea of Panch Pokhari Trek
After walking for around another half an hour, we found a couple of hotels on the way. Some of them invited us for tea.
And we also went there as it would be a resting point for us and also an opportunity to interact with locals.
There were a couple of guys drinking alcohol and enjoying the time. The hotel owner was also with them. He had just arrived a couple of days ago to set up the place for the devotees.
During the Janai Purnima festival, many people from all over the country visit Panch Pokhari. And to facilitate them, locals from Chhimti and Bhotang come and set up temporary places providing food and accommodation along the trail.
It’s an opportunity for them to earn extra money as well.
And the other guys were working as porters carrying food and other things for the hotels all the way to Panch Pokhari.
And this time they had returned after delivering goods and were hanging out there for a while.
We also asked for Milk Tea, and talked with them in the warmth of the fire for a while. Then said bye to them and continued our walk.
By this time the other group four had also arrived. They’re happy to see us and asked where our destination for today was. We told them we were staying at Tuppi Danda and they also said their destination was also the same.
And then we started walking up the hill to Tuppi Danda.
But they were a little bit slow, so we walked ahead. Now again we had to walk up the steep hill through the dense forest.
Is This a Meat Shop or Some Celebration?
After around an hour on that trail we saw a couple of houses. As we went there we found out that it was Tuppi Danda.
Finally at around 3:45 we reached Tuppi Danda, our day end point.
As we reached there, the rain started pouring heavily. We felt lucky to have reached there before it rained.
Homestay at Tuppi Danda
Then we had to book a place to stay. So we asked for the room and went to look at the rooms on the hotel of the right side.
On the opposite side there seemed to be another and a guy was butchering the buffalo meat.
I went there and asked whether they had rooms or not. As they told me they had rooms, I went to check the rooms.
And found out that their rooms were more spacious than the previous one. So we decided to stay on that one (Brongdogang Tuppi Danda Homestay).
Then we ordered 2 cups of black tea and some warm water, and changed our clothes. We put the wet clothes on the dining room to dry as they would light the firewood heater in the dining room later.
Then we enjoyed the warm tea and warm clothes.
We talked with the guy who was butchering the meat who was the owner of the hotel and found out that the meat was for the Janai Purnima festival. And the whole buffalo meat will be finished during the festivals.
We were surprised to know that since the meat was huge.
The meat should be for others (other hotels) as well, not only for themselves.
After a while the group of 4 also arrived and same as us they first went to the other hotel and later came towards ours. And stayed in the same hotel.
Drying Clothes and Charging Phones
Later we found that our decision was good since the hotel had a nice dining room with a firewood heater, spacious rooms and a diesel generator to charge our phones and gadgets. And the electricity was provided only for an hour.
So after the firewood heater was lit in the dining hall, we started drying out wet clothes, socks and shoes.
Talked with the group and found out that they had come from Bhaktapur and most of the people from Bhaktapur and Banepa visit Panch Pokhari during Janai Purnima.
They shared some snacks with us that they had brought from home.
We talked for a while and then went to charge the phone once the generator was started.
After a while there was a call from the kitchen for dinner. First the four went to have their dinner.
Later after the buffalo meat was cooked they invited us. And we two went there and ate the food.
In our dinner we had Daal (Lentil), Bhaat (Rice), Aaloo (Potato) fry and Buffalo meat fry.
After dinner we stayed in the dining room for a while and went to sleep at around 10:00.
Day 2: Tuppi Danda – Chokker Danda – Nosyam Pati – Laure Bina – Panch Pokhari
After a good night’s sleep, we woke up at around 5:45 in the morning with the hope of no rain and clear weather.
Suddenly I heard that the weather was clear outside. It was the other groups who were already outside and calling the rest of the members to come out and check the view.
So, I also got out of the bed and went out.
And surprisingly there was no rain and we could see the surrounding hills and forests.
Then I went to freshen up and got ready to have breakfast.
First we ordered tea and hot water. Then just roamed nearby for a better view to take the photos.
Nearby I saw a cowshed with some smoke coming out which seemed really pretty and I tried to capture the moment.
And down the hills, there was fog everywhere with some tall trees in the foreground. I tried to capture that as well, but it vanished within the fog quickly.
And suddenly it also started raining lightly. So we went back to the hotel, enjoyed our tea and sat on a chair outside where we could get a good network. So we used the internet for some time to post the stories on instagram.
Heavy Breakfast for a Long Day
Breakfast (Chapati and Potato Curry) at Tuppi Danda with Saugat
Then at around 7:00 our breakfast was ready which we had told last night.
For our breakfast we had Roti (Chapati) and Aaloo Tarkari (Potato Curry).
And while we were having our breakfast, the other group started the trek.
After having breakfast, we packed our bags, paid the bills and we also continued our journey at around 7:25.
(For Vegetable Dal Bhaat and Night Stay at Tuppi Danda we paid Rs 600 Per Person and for Roti Tarkari breakfast we paid Rs 200 per person. And for buff meat we were paid Rs 300 per plate.)
Till now, the weather was not so bad. There’s no rain, little fog and we could see the surrounding hills and forests. And we wished it to stay the same or better but not bad.
After walking for around 20 minutes, we reached a place called Tangu Kharka where there were few cowsheds and some hotels.
Originally people from Chhimti and Bhotang area came here to keep cows and sheeps. And later as the number of devotees visiting Panch Pokhari increased, these locals also started providing food and shelter to them.
Some shepherds also invited us to have tea in their sheds and told us that they had fresh milk, ghee and chhurpi.
But we just had breakfast and our walk for the day was long with not so good weather. So we thanked them for the invitation and told them that we would visit while returning from Panch Pokhari.
We also took some photos from there as we could see the view of the cowsheds, hills and waterfalls in the distance and lots of wild flowers on the way.
Then we continued walking up the hill.
From now on we had to walk through the dense forest in a light rain which gave us the vibe of a rainforest. It was green and foggy everywhere and some places the way was muddy and slippery.
Also when we just stood or rested for a while, we had to be really careful because there were leeches on the trail.
So they used to get on us whenever we stayed stationary for some time or walked on grass or bushes.
Heavenly Tangu Khola Bridge
After walking for about an hour or more on this trail, we started to hear a huge roaring sound of water. So we thought there should be a huge waterfall nearby.
Excitedly, we started walking ahead.
After a while we saw a huge white water river flowing from the hills and we had to cross the river over a suspension bridge.
And on the other side of the bridge was a small hut with a beautiful waterfall on its right side.
The scene was really mesmerizing.
We took some pictures and videos and crossed the river.
On the other side, we also met the group that started earlier than us from Tuppi Danda.
They’re taking a rest there for a moment and having snacks as there was a water tap.
But the hut which was a small hotel was closed.
When we reached there, they were ready to walk so we told them to continue and we would be following them shortly.
Then we also rested our bags, drank water and I wanted to take some photographs there. So I took out my camera from the bag and took Saugat on the bridge and told him to pose.
While I went to the other side and took photos of him and the scenery.
Later I also posed and took some photos for the memory.
Also it started raining now, so we also continued our walk after we got ourselves covered in rain jackets.
Tangu Khola Bridge
Nose Touching Climb and Raining Heavily
It was a really steep climb from here. So we walked slowly, taking a rest and drinking water.
After climbing the hills, we found a small hut where we met the group and found out that there was a fire and we could get some tea as well. The name of the place was Rato Mato Dada at an altitude of 3,080m and we reached there at around 9:10 A.M.
As it was raining heavily, we also decided to take shelter there for a while.
I asked the hotel owner if we could sit near the fire. He invited us in then we took out the shoes and sat near the fire.
We ordered some tea and biscuits.
While having tea I also took out the t-shirt I was wearing as it was soaked in the rain. And started drying it near the fire. By the time we had our tea and biscuits, I had dried my t-shirt and body.
We also talked with the hotel owner and found out that they were Jwai-Sasura (Father-in-law and Son-in-law). And had come there from Chhimti to set up the hotel for Janai Purnima.
Serving Tourist Without Communication
They told me a tourist had stayed there last night but had not woken up till now. And it was really difficult as they couldn’t talk with each other because the hotel owner did not speak English and the tourist did not speak Nepali.
On looking at the tourist we found out that he was the one whom we saw at Tuppi Danda in the evening.
He did not stay there and continued walking and reached there at around 8:00 P.M.
While we’re getting ready to go, he woke up.
Though it was still raining we decided to continue our trek after wearing the fire dried t-shirt and rain jacket.
Now again we had to walk up the steep hill.
The trail was through the deep forest and hills. We climbed one after another and also crossed some big waterfalls.
As it was raining, we used to quickly take some pictures and move on.
Promising View Point
After walking for around 1 hour from Rato Mato Danda, we reached Chokker Danda at around 10:20 A.M..
There was a beautiful hotel which was located at the top of the hill and seemed like a good place for the view when the weather was clear.
But the climb to reach there was not an easy one. It was a steep climb up the hill.
As we needed rest after the climb, we decided to rest there for a while and ordered some tea and biscuits.
There were two ladies in the hotel. On talking with them we found out that they’re the relatives in the hotel at Tuppi Danda.
While we were resting the other group of four also came and joined us for tea.
They shared the popcorn that they had brought from home.
After having tea, biscuits and popcorn we continued our journey. We had planned to have our lunch at Nosyam Pati.
Now, the trails were a little less steep than before and beautiful with stone stairs.
Since it was not raining much, we enjoyed the walk through the forest, passing stupas and some sheds which will soon be hotels on the occasion of Janai Purnima.
Way to Nosyam Pati
Walking on Steep Hill while Raining is High Energy Consuming
On the way we also met locals with Jopkey (a Yak like animal, mix of Cow and Yak) who were delivering goods to the hotels on the trail to the Panch Pokhari.
Anytime we met anyone returning we used to ask how long to reach Nosyam Pati as we were getting hungry and it started raining as well.
Finally after another 1 hour walk, at around 11:45 A.M., we reached Nosyam Pati. At first we just saw a house at the top of the hill while climbing.
And when we reached near we saw a poster saying “Everest View Hotel”, as we were tired, hungry and raining heavily, and also with curiosity we decided to have lunch at that hotel and not look anywhere else.
As soon as we reached there we asked for the Dal-Bhat, and the aunty of the hotel told us that the Dal is ready and she’ll quickly cook Bhat and Tarkari for us.
So we put down our bags, took off the rain jackets and asked for some hot water and tea.
And while Saugat was doing the same he found a leech behind his ear. It had already sucked the blood, anyway he pulled it out and stayed in the dining room.
Only Hotel with Beds at Panch Pokhari
While the food was being prepared, we drank tea and ate biscuits. And we also checked out her accommodation facilities.
It was better than anywhere else on this trail because everybody else had mattresses on the floor.
But she had single beds in the rooms. One room had 2 beds. We liked it and waited for the food patiently in the dining room.
Now, it was raining very heavily and with the rain another group also arrived.
And they also decided to have lunch there.
They looked really tired.
After a while our Dal, Bhat and Aaloo Tarkari were ready and were served. And the other group asked only for Tarkari as they had brought beaten rice from home.
After our lunch, we were energized and ready to walk to Panch Pokhari. On asking, the hotel owner told us that we could reach the destination in around 3 hours.
So we paid the bill and continued walking towards Panch Pokhari from Nosyam Pati at around 12:55 P.M.
(For our lunch we paid Rs 400 per plate.)
Only after crossing the hotel, we saw other hotels of Nosyam Pati on the way.
Hotel at the top of the hill looked more beautiful.
Anyway we continued our walk through the mist.
On the top there were chortens, we took a couple of photos there for memories and continued our journey.
Nosyam Pati Top View
Walking on High Altitude
Now the trail was not so steep but we were at more than 3,000m above sea level, so we needed to be more careful.
We frequently rested and drank water.
Due to high altitude, now the plants have changed also. There were very few tall trees and mostly small bushes and grasses.
Also it was so foggy that we couldn’t see very far. But on the way we could meet people returning from Panch Pokhari and we used to greet them and ask how long to the top.
As we climbed higher, the trails got steeper and the high altitude with the rain was making it difficult to walk.
But we did not have a choice. So we continued walking slowly.
Everytime we climbed the steep hill, we used to get the turning and we used to think finally the steep climb was over as we could not see farther due to fog.
But when we came closer we were welcomed by another steep climb.
Worm Killing Tea
After walking uphill in the rain for around an hour we found a small hut on the way.
As there was smoke coming from the hut, we couldn’t resist going in and resting for a while.
So we went in uninvited, there a man was making a fire and chilling. Then we asked whether we could have some tea or not.
Then he gladly asked us to come closer to the fire and started making black tea for us.
Quickly we sat by the fire and as earlier I took off my wet t-shirt and started drying it over the fire.
During that time our body also got some warmth from it.
While talking with him, we found out that he also had a small place where he could accommodate people traveling to Panch Pokhari.
And had just come from Chhimti to set up the place for the devotees.
He also said that the land (where he had made the kitchen) was wet, so he made the fire. Once the place is heated then it will be easier to make the fire.
After some time our tea was ready.
He poured it on cups and gave it to us.
But the tea was bitter (could kill worms in the stomach). He said that he had added more tea that’s why it’s bitter.
Though it’s bitter we drank it as it was giving us warmth. We also had some hot water after the tea.
While talking with him we found out that the name of the place was Saat Ghumti Paari (After 7 Turns).
After some time my t-shirt was dry, then I wore it and got ready to continue.
So we thanked him and continued walking.
Same as earlier, we walked up the hill through the fog and in the rain, we came to a place which passed through the single track (only one person can fit) between the stones.
The place was called Hanuman Dhoka, found out later after we reached Kathmandu and was looking on Google Maps.
And I thought our steep climb would be over after it.
But another hard climb was ready for us.
Best Himalayan Coffee Prepared Uniquely
After climbing many steep climbs, we found a hut and a place to stay. So, we went there to take a rest for a while as we were at a good pace.
When we went inside a temporary tent a man was staying near the fire, then as always we asked whether we could get tea or not.
Then he asked whether we would like to have tea or coffee.
It was the first time we got an option for coffee on this trail.
So we wanted to try the Panch Pokhari Coffee.
Then he started the preparation.
First he boiled the water, then added some coffee and sugar on a plastic jug and then poured the hot water.
And started mixing with a really surprising tool.
I had never seen this way of making coffee.
The tool was made of a small tree branch. Mixing like this made a good amount of froth and looked like a Dalgona Coffee.
Really Great Experience which we never expected in a remote place like this.
And Hats of to him for his creativity.
This is a great example of Sustainable Living.
We asked how you learn to do it.
He told us that while working in India he had seen something like this while making Lassi, and he tried it with coffee in Nepal.
And we approve of it because it worked really well.
We enjoyed the coffee and also dried our wet t-shirt there, then paid the bill, then thanked him for delicious coffee and continued walking towards Laure Bina.
And surprisingly the price of the coffee was just Rs 50.
Is This The Last Climb of Panch Pokhari?
Again after climbing many steep climbs, we found another steep stairs which had some house-like structure.
After climbing it slowly we found out that it was Laure Bina, which was supposed to be the hardest climb.
From there when we saw on the other side, the trail was going down and a house like structure could be down there.
Lauri Bina Climb, Panch Pokhari Trek
We were really happy thinking that our hardest climbs had finished and were finally at Panch Pokhari.
So, we happily started climbing down.
As we went closer to the house, we found out that it was a sheep shed and cowshed with Tibetan mastiff dogs.
We continued walking past it.
Later we got a bigger surprise.
A bigger steep climb was waiting for us.
The fog was playing a really big role in deceiving us, we never knew what was before us.
Only got surprised when we went closer.
Above 4,000m in Just Two Days
Near Panch Pokhari
Finally after climbing the final steep climb which was at an altitude above 4,000m we reached Panch Pokhari (4,060m) at around 4:30 P.M.
Walking on steep stairs above 4,000m is really hard.
Anyhow, Saugat and I did it at a quite good pace.
Now we had to find the hotel to stay.
We were notified that the hotels were taking turns to take the guests due to the low number of people visiting there.
So we asked the people we found first about the hotel.
Then they told us that we are just walking and the people will call you.
And we did the same, walking on the banks of Panch Pokhari Lake.
There we saw a few people fixing the wire from the generator for the electricity, then they invited us to the hotel.
As soon as we went there, we asked for tea, then we changed our clothes.
After changing the clothes, we went to the kitchen (fireplace).
There we had tea and biscuits, and some hot water. Then Saugat decided to go to bed to keep himself warm as his clothes were wet.
Since it was dark, foggy and raining, we couldn’t go exploring.
Panch Pokhari Lake Reflection with Reflection of Hotels
Kitchen – The Best Place While Trekking
So I stayed inside the kitchen, drying the wet clothes, socks and shoes.
Later the group of four also came and joined us in the kitchen.
We talked about the trails and wished for clear weather tomorrow.
While we were enjoying the warmth of the fire, another group of 7 people also came and joined ust.
Later we found out that they were the ones whom we saw at Melamchi. Their one friend was not feeling well, that’s why they were later than us. Otherwise we would be together throughout the trail.
Finally our dinner was ready at around 8:20 P.M. For dinner we had daal (Lentil), bhaat (Rice) and aaloo tarkari (Potato Curry).
Then we went to sleep as we hoped to get clear weather in the early morning.
Day 3: Panch Pokhari – Panch Pokhari Top – Chhimti
With the hope of getting clear weather, I used to go out and check, even at night.
And it used to be foggy and light rain as it was from the past few days.
Finally at around 5:30, I heard someone saying that it’s clear outside.
So I also woke up and went out to see.
And it was better than yesterday. We could see to a distance and the surroundings looked more clearer.
Not Missing The View
I woke up Saugat to see the view and went to the kitchen where the owners had already started preparing the breakfasts.
So I asked about the place from where we could get the best view.
And they told us that there is a high point almost at 200m more altitude from where we could see all 5 lakes (Panch Pokhari) and there’s also a small temple.
So, Saugat and I started walking in that direction hurriedly.
Though the view tower was located nearby we decided to go to the recommended place.
We took shortcuts above the hills, through the wet grass and wildflowers.
As it was not so sure that for how long the weather would be clear, we tried to reach that point before it gets worse.
Panch Pokhari View Point – 4,200m
Though I was walking fast, Saugat was struggling to climb. At one point he told me to keep going and he would wait there and his stomach was not feeling good.
At this point I forgot that we were at around 4,200m altitude which we gained in just 3 days. And it was Saugats first time at this altitude.
I should have taken the walk in an easier way but the excitement to see all 5 lakes at once during monsoon in a dramatic foggy setting made me forget about the altitude.
Finally after leaving Saugat for 20 minutes, I reached the top. There were few stupas and the place looked like a really great place to look at all 5 lakes and mountains on the opposite side on a clear day.
But unfortunately as I reached there the weather became worse and the lakes were covered with fog and I also couldn’t see on the other side of the mountain as well.
After taking some pictures, I didn’t want to stay there for long, as it was raining and foggy and there was no sign of getting a clearer view anytime soon.
So, I slowly started going down to the place where I had left Saugat.
When I met Saugat, he was just sitting there.
Modeling for Hand Made Traditional Bakkhu
Here I took a couple of pictures of Saugat as he was wearing a traditional Jacket made of sheep wool called Bakkhu. We borrowed it from the hotel as his clothes were wet.
Then we started walking down to the hotel.
On the way I also wanted to take pictures wearing that Bakkhu. So I set the camera and gave it to Saugat and started posing.
He captured some good shots and then we continued walking towards the hotel.
Did they return early from Panch Pokhari?
When we reached the hotel, surprisingly there’s no one.
So I asked the hotel owners and they told me that they had gone to the temple to worship.
Then I also asked for directions to the temple and went there.
The temple was really beautiful on the opposite side of the lake, just below the hotels.
When I reached there, the group of four were already worshiping after taking a holy dip in a pond. And asked whether I was going to take a dip or not.
I replied I was not as it was freezing.
I just washed my face from the water and went inside the temple to worship.Then asked one of the sisters to put tika on my forehead.
Then I returned to the hotel as they were still worshiping.
I went directly to the kitchen and sat by the fire while having tea.
Things To Do at Kitchen
At that time I also tried to dry my wet shoes and socks as it was wet when we went to the top of the hill.
Later others also came back from the temple and joined us in the kitchen.
By now the breakfast was also ready, and I went to the bedroom where Saugat was and called him to have food.
It was around 8:00 by now, and for breakfast we had Roti (Chapati) and Aaloo Chana Tarkari (Potato and Chickpea Curry).
(For our dinner and Night Stay we paid Rs 1,000 per person. And for breakfast which was Roti Tarkari i.e. Chapati and Potato Chickpea Curry we paid Rs 200 per person.)
After having breakfast, we decided to leave Panch Pokhari as there was no point in staying as the weather was bad (raining and foggy) with no sign of getting better anytime soon.
At around 8:30, we paid the bills and started walking down. Our plan for today was to get to Chhimti (Bus Station) with lunch break at Tuppi Danda.
Seriously… Walking Down on Slippers?
It was raining quite well while we started our trek down and my shoes were already wet from the morning hike. So I was walking on slippers (Flip Flops) and needed to be more careful as it was walking down a slippery trail.
This time we did not stop at any shops till Nosyam Pati.
The Hotel after Laure Bina was closed, probably he went to buy goods for the hotel or to his cowshed. And he was handling the hotel alone.
And the next hotel was also empty though there was some fire in the hut. Later we met the owner on the way and brought a tree trunk for the hotel.
We chatted for a while and said goodbye to him.
Need Warmth? Take a Tea Break
Finally after walking down many steep hills and turns, we reached Nosyam Pati at around 10:30. And decide to rest for a while.
We ordered some tea and biscuit and stayed near the fire for a while.
As we paid the bills and were about to leave, the group of four also arrived there.
They were planning to have lunch there, but we thought Tuppi Danda was not that far, so decided to have lunch there.
And continued walking down the trail slowly and carefully at around 2:40 P.M. from Nosyam Pati.
Saugat was also walking slowly on the trail down the hill.
It might feel like walking down the hill is easier than climbing up. But it’s quite the opposite. Because it puts a lot of effort on your legs and when the trail is slippery, the difficulty increases.
No Lunch. Starving.
After walking continuously for more than 3 hours down the hills, through the forest, across the rivers and streams, we reached Tuppi Danda at around 2:15 P.M.
And since we had our breakfast at around 8:00 in the morning, I was really starving.
So I ordered the Noodle Soup with Egg as soon as I reached there. As Saugat was not feeling so well in the stomach he did not want to have anything, so I did not want to have Dal-Bhat alone as it could take a long time to make.
I reached there first and Saugat came after 20 minutes.
By this time I already had tea and Noodle Soup and enjoyed the musical performance by the local (a porter playing Tungna), then Suagat also came inside the kitchen and decided to have Tea and Biscuit.
We talked with the hotel owner for a while and found out that they were 9 brothers and married the sherpa sisters (not all brothers married).
And both of the two hotels at Tuppi Danda were of two brothers.
A hotel at Tangu Kharka was also their relative. And the hotel at Chokker Danda was another brother.
Wow! All brothers were entrepreneurs.
Finally after resting for more than half an hour we decided to move down at around 2:40 P.M.
(Here for Wai Wai Soup with Egg I paid Rs 100.)
Bone Breaking Slippery Trail
The trail from here was more slippery than earlier. And the rain, more people coming and more yaks on the wetland made it worse.
Along the trail we met the locals coming to set up the hotels, some bringing goods for the hotel and few tourists.We used to greet them and chat for a while and then continue walking down the trail.
Chhimti was not that far from Tuppi Danda, so we walked slowly and carefully. Even though we were careful, Saugat slipped and fell down 3-4 times and bruised his leg (Not Serious).
Last Night of Panch Pokhari Trek
And finally at around 5:10 in the evening, we reached Chhimti which marked the end of our Panch Pokhari Trekking.
As soon as we reached the hotel, we asked for the room as we were wet. We wanted to change our clothes. Then I ordered milk tea.
Uncle showed us the room, which was at the top of the hotel, then we went there and changed our clothes.
He also brought us tea.
After having tea, we went down to order the food and celebrate the end of the trek.
During that time we also checked the internet, and Saugat asked for cash after giving them the money via Mobile Banking.
End of The Trek Celebration
Then we ordered Local Drink, Jhwaikhatte which is prepared by heating ghee on a pan, then adding a few grains of rice and frying till they get brown. And finally adding Local Raksi (Homemade alcohol) on that.
While we were drinking the rest of the group also arrived.
And then at around 8:00 P.M. We had our dinner.
For dinner we had daal (Lentil), bhaat (Rice), chicken curry, saag (spinach), papad, cucumber Salad.
After dinner we rested there for a while and went to sleep at around 9:30 P.M. as we had to wake up early in the morning to catch the first bus.
Day 4: Chhimti to Kathmandu
I woke up at around 5:45 and went to freshen up.
Since Saugat was not in the room I went downstairs and found him there.
Then we ordered milk tea and doughnuts.
So at around 6:15 we had our tea.
Since our bus was leaving at around 6:30 we had to pack the bags.
So after the tea we went to the rooms, packed the bags, said bye to the other groups and came down.
Then we paid the bills at the hotel and got on the bus.
(For Dinner – veg Dal Bhaat and Night stay we paid Rs 500 per person.)
Luckily we were going back on the same bus on which we came from Khalte khola.
Though it was still raining, we were calm and with tons of memories to share we sat on the bus peacefully.
What? Police Inquiry?
Suddenly the bus was stopped by the police on the way. And started asking for the IDs of the girls.
Later the police officer said that a female had fought with her husband and left the house and ran away.
And was checking if she was on the bus. But none of the girls on the bus match the suspect.
So they let us go after some time of investigation.
As we were on the road, again at another place our bus was stopped by other officers for the same reason.
As we told them about the previous inquiry and they scanned the bus, they let us go.
Then we continued our journey to Khalte Khola, and then got on to another bus from there at around 9:30.
Now, we got a seat at the end of the bus.
Due to the inquiry we were late by half an hour, so the other bus driver was angry as they had the time limits and had to come back from Kathmandu the same day.
Now he started driving furiously on that bumpy road. It was the most arrogant driver who drove the bus dangerously.
He didn’t even stop at Melamchi, then took the same route from Sankhu driving fastly.
And at around 12:00 we reached Narayantar, Jorpati in one piece (luckily).
From there Saugat and I also separated to our homes on local buses.
Physically going to places, exploring and writing in detail so that everyone can go to places easily is really time and money consuming.
So I really appreciate your every support (Donations or Fooding and Accommodations or Just by Sharing these Articles).
And Hope to Get Such Support in Coming Days as Well.
Panch Pokhari Trek FAQs
Panch Pokhari Trek is just 4 days long from Kathmandu.
The altitude of Panch Pokhari is 4,080m and the highest view point is at around 4,200m.
Panch Pokhari Trek is quite an easy trek but you need to be careful as you will be gaining a huge altitude in a short time (1,500m to 4,080m in 2 days).
Panch Pokhari is 2 days far from Kathmandu.
Best Time for the Panch Pokhari Trek is Autumn and Spring.
In Autumn (September, October and November) weather is clear, hills are green and the festive season starts in Nepal, so everyone is in celebratory mode. You will enjoy the views as well as people, culture and lifestyle.
In Spring (March, April, May), the weather gets warmer, and the whole hill becomes red with the blooming of Rhododendron (Lali Gurans, National Flowers of Nepal). Also you will get to see the snow capped mountain ranges.
It is also possible to do Panch Pokhari Trek during Winter and Summer but when it snows harshly people close the hotel at Panch Pokhari and live in lower places (its difficult to transport food and supplies as well). And in the summer or monsoon in Nepal, it rains heavily. So the roads could be damaged by landslides and floods, trails are slippery and have leeches. But with proper preparation it is feasible to trek Panch Pokhari in winter and summer as well.
The Bus Station for Panch Pokhari Trek is at Narayantar, Jorpati. And the first bus leaves at around 6:30 in the morning and another one at around 8:00 in the morning. If you want to secure seats, then you need to buy the tickets one day ahead.
The price of a Panch Pokhari Bus Ticket on a public bus is 700 rupees.
Panch Pokhari Trek is not so expensive as it is short and near Kathmandu. Food and Accommodation is cheap as compared to other popular trekking destinations.
Panch Pokhari Trek can be done in around NPR 7,000 including basic food, accommodation and travel on public bus. Around $90 for foreigners on budget with basic facilities.
Panch Pokhari Trek is not so remote since there are Tea houses along the way where you can find basic food and accommodation. But not so commercialized like Everest and Annapurna as the food option is limited, accommodation is like hostel rooms, no individual rooms or hot shower, no cafes and bakery nor pubs.