Panch Pokhari: Trek to the sacred lakes
Panchpokhari-literally five ponds-is one of the important tourist destination in Sindhupalchowk district. Lying northeast of Kathmandu on the lap of Dorje Lakpa Himal, the place is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. It is in ninth position(4100 m) in the column of wetland situated at the highest altitude of the world. Panch Pokhari derives its name from five holy ponds – Surya Kunda, Bhairav Kunda, Ganesh Kunda, Nag Kunda and Saraswati Kunda. These points are also the originating points of the Indrawati river – one of the important tributaries of the mighty Sapta Koshi River.
Apart from these pristine lakes, the place is famous for magnificent views of mountains like Ganesh Himal, Yangri Himal, Dorje Lakpa Himal, Madiya, phurba and Gauri Shankar.it is the base of the jugal Himalayan range. Similarly, the 179- year old building – locally known as haveli – built by kaji Ranbir Singh Thapa is another attraction to the area. The place wears festive look during the Janai Purnima festival when hundreds of people reach the holy place to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva.
the greatest water supply of Kathmandu valley; Melamchi falls in the way back to the valley. The place is also reached in flora and fauna. About 200 species of wildlife, including the endangered Red panda, And 350 species of flora have been recorded in the area: rhododendron, oak and juniper forest is the major vegetation. Similarly, the culture and lifestyle of Tamang and Hyolmo people are the other attraction to the area. Ancient caves and waterfalls are also the major attraction there.
For Panch Pokhari Trekking you have to drive from Kathmandu to Tipeni. The trek of two days from haveli, which can be reached on the first day, takes visitors to the holy site. The Panchpokhari trek can also be done through Chautara- the district headquarter of Solukhumbu district. The other alternative way to reach the area is through Helambu.
Itinerary of Panch Pokhari Trekking
Day 1: The trek initially starts from the Kathmandu in the bus rides of 4 hours to the Chautara (1418 m) east hills from the valley.
Day 2: The walking day starts from Chautara. In the first day as a warm-up, we trek just for 4 hours up the altitude of 2440 m, Ratanaule.
Day 3: The elongated trek from Ratanaule to the Saddle Kharka (3315 m) passes through typical Tamang and Hyolmos village. The trek lasts for 6.25 hrs trek.
Day 4: In the mid of our journey we pass through the 174-year-old building locally called as the haveli. The trek up to the Nasimpati which is situated at the altitude of 3615 m. the duration of trek s just 6 and half hour long.
Day 5: The day to excurse Panchpokari situated at the height of 4010 meters. The trek starts from Nasimpati and lasts for 3.25 hours. And the stay at Panchpokhari.
Day 6: The rush to descend down hits here. The long day to trek starts with the heavy breakfast with the view of the sacred lakes. The 11 hrs long trek reaches up to the Saddle Kharka same way back to the trail.
Day 7: The last day of the journey and the long way to trek to the initial point Chautara. It takes about 12 hours to trek down. On the way back, we can short hike to the Melamchi.