- Extreme Sports
- Sustainable Tourism
When they say that Sarangkot sits on a hill, they're using the Nepalese definition of 'hill'. Don't think you'll be strolling up the gentle slopes you find in the UK...it's more like a small mountain and you have to stick to the path. At 1,600m high, the village of Sarangkot is famous for its fantastic views over Dhaulagiri, the Annapurnas and the sacred mountain of Machapuchare.
The walk to the village is lovely and you'll get some great views of Pokhara and Lake Phewa. If you go at an easy pace, it'll take a day to do a return trip to Pokhara and you've always got the option of staying in one of the village's guest houses. Extreme sports fans will be pleased to know you can go paragliding at the village.
The village, perched high on a hill with an altitude of 1,592 metres, offers a beautiful view of the city of Pokhara and its lake on one side and of the Himalayas on the other side. Sarangkot is a peaceful and pleasant village and a viewpoint has been set up at the edge of it.
From there, you will be able to see the Dhaulagiri massif and, if the weather is fine, the entire Annapurna mountain range in the background. It is a beautiful mountain range with peaks higher than 7,000 metres. It is truly one of the most beautiful panoramas that I have ever seen.
For the more daring, there is paragliding that begins on the hilltop. What better place for your first flight?
*After the powerful earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May of 2015, the country is slowly rebuilding itself. This article was written before the catastrophe.
During your trip round Nepal, if you are spending a few days at Pokhara, don't forget to put your alarm on so you can go and admire the snowy peaks at Sarangkot.
I took a taxi from Pokhara to the village well before dawn. When I arrived at Sarangkot the village was already awake. There were lots of hopeful bar and hotel owners, impatiently awaiting the arrival of the tourists, whose calls follow your every step. Don't forget what you came for and start climbing the stone staircase that leads to the observation point straight away, there are already lots of people there, waiting avidly for the night sky to vanish and unveil the numerous snowy peaks of the Himalayas. I remember, having arrived before dawn, buying a black tea to warm me up and help pass the time but I was really thirsty for the spectacle rather than the hot drink. But the tea had that special taste that comes with excited expectation.
Then, when the pleasure of what you can see is countered by the pain in your index finger from constantly clicking on your camera throughout the dawn, I suggest you do what I did (and I was already following others): go back down from the village to Pokhara via a path, that is quite steep to begin with but then becomes gentler, that winds down the mountain, through several villages and finally arrives by Phewa Lake. And then really appreciate the delicious breakfast you can get on the banks of the lake. Almost as good as sun rise in Sarangkot...