A tiring hike to Ghale Gaun – Travel Nepal Journal

0

Ghale gaun (Village of the Ghale people) is considered a model Nepali village, and rightfully so. The hospitality is incredible and the views are breathtaking. To name some of the amazing things: the village sits atop of a hill surrounded by the Annapurna circuit, with gorgeous views of the mountains, and a traditional village with remote rural lifestyle. It has a different feel from Kathmandu or any other major city in Nepal. With the mountains around and local food, it is certain to take someone aback.
If you like trekking through remote villages, this is a place to go.

The welcoming sign at Gahale gaun

Getting There

The village is at 2100m above sea level and facing at the peaks of Lamjung Himal along with a number of other peaks. We went through Ghalegaun during our trek from Khudi to Pasgaun and Ghalegaun was the highlight of our journey. There are a few different hiking routes you can take, but apparently we took the hardest one. There seem to be a bus going there on a specific schedule from Besisahar along with on-hire SUVs. You can get on them if you don’t want to take the hard walk.

Ghale gaun gate
Ghale gaun gate

The Village

Ghalegaun is a small village, presumably about 2-3 sq kilometers across but it holds a special feel. Being on top of a hill, you have the cool breeze and the view of the mountains from every place in the village. As you watch the mountain peaks from the view tower, you can hear the marsyangdi river rushing in the valley below in the east. It was kind of astonishing that you could hear the river which was at the base of the hill. The weather can change quickly from sunny to a downpour. The authentic Gurung tradition, culture and food you will not experience in the city areas. The houses are traditionally made with locally available materials like rocks and wood. The inner roads are paved with slabs of rock and dustbins all across the town keep it clean and tidy.

Lamjung Himal from the village
Lamjung Himal from the village
A child and the grandmother
A child and the grandmother
Man making traditional chicken cage
Man making traditional chicken cage
A herd of goats on the hillside
A herd of goats on the hillside

Accomodations

As soon as you get inside the village and check-in for a home-stay, you feel the overwhelming affection and hospitality of the locals. The home we stayed in had a separate apartment, besides the actual house. It was made of wood and zinc-plated roofs. It was comfortable and insulated from the weather outside. Inside the apartment were three comfortable beds for rest. After trekking for a long time our muscles were aching and could barely move, so the beds were heavenly.

The homestay we stayed
The homestay we stayed

Our host family was friendly and provided us with tea as soon as we arrived and asked to be notified if we needed anything. We felt right at home. We arrived in the afternoon, so we were asked what we would like for dinner. We were so very hungry, we could empty a buffet. We chose the “daal bhat with chicken” and we were full before we went to bed. The meal was everything you’d expect from a household family and the local taste made it even more authentic. We slept like babies during the first night.

Our breakfast of a curry, selroti and tea
Our breakfast

Atractions

Ghalegaun is small but it has some interesting attractions you can visit. After sleeping early, we woke up early as well and wanting to see the mountains made leaving the bed much easier. As we got outside we had an amazing view of the Lamjung Himal, it was early dawn but it was clear and was magnificent. It was relieving that we got to see it early as soon after the weather began to deteriorate and clouds took over the scenery. The following days were much clear.

The view tower

view of the village on the left and view tower on the right
The view of the village on the left and view tower on the right
The view tower and the mountains in the background
The view tower, the tall radio tower, and the mountains in the background

The view was fascinating and having breakfast with the view was even more amazing. We took a walk over to the view tower for a better view of the mountains. We visited there as often as we could because it was the only free WiFi hotspot for the whole village. As city-dwellers, we couldn’t leave the internet behind at all.

The eastern side of the village from the view tower
The eastern side of the village from the view tower

Temples

Along with the view tower, you can visit the Uttar Kanya temple to the north of the village. It is a temple where people hang bells for good luck. It is small but according to our host, it has a special festival where a horde of people arrive to worship it every year. There is no statue inside the temple as you’d expect, only a small well is worshiped as a shrine.

Uttar Kanya temple of Ghale gaun
Uttar Kanya temple of Ghale gaun
An stone inscription about the Uttar Kanya Temple
An stone inscription about the Uttar Kanya Temple
A local temple
A local temple

Tea Plantation

Tea plantation area on the west of the village
Tea plantation area on the west of the village

Towards the west of the village, there’s a tea plantation area which you can stroll through and take pictures. It doesn’t cover a huge area but it is beautiful none the less. The villagers come through to pick up tea leaves and the haze of the dawn makes it a great place for a morning walk.

Tea farmers in the farm
Tea farmers in the farm

Ghanpokhara

The Ghanpokhara village
The Ghanpokhara village
The dismantled remains of a ring wheel used during Dashain and Tihar
The dismantled remains of a ring wheel used during Dashain and Tihar
A temple at Ghan-pokhara
A temple at Ghan-pokhara

Ghanpokhara is another small village a short walk away, about 1 kilometer. It is slightly higher than Ghale gaun, however, the village is situated in a ridge with the village on the side of the ridge. Ghanpokhara does have home-stay accommodations if you choose to. We went there to spend an afternoon but didn’t stay the night. We had huge bags, and we didn’t want to carry them around. We stayed in Ghalegaun for four days before moving on to Bhujung.

Cliff Bees (Bhir mauri) and their hives

Bhir mauri or cliff bees

The cliffs on the edge of the hill are home to wild bees who make potent honey from wild flowers like rhododendron. As the bees are seasonal residents, you’ll have to ask someone if you could see the hives. If you’re lucky, and they are around, you can walk there with a guide to check the swarm yourself. The community protects and harvests the bee hives therefore you will need their permission. You will need to contact someone from the village beforehand if you want to watch the harvesting.

Last words

Ghale guan is a beautiful place and is hearty hiking route if you want to walk and check the scenery along the way. You might even want to stay and enjoy the mountains a couple of days.

Previous articleFacebook Lite Dark Mode (Android)
Next articleMalaysian-Sabahan-Sarawakian and Singaporean hikers to Mt.Annapurna Base Camp