Major Hill Tops
The contrast land setting with the plains, small hills and hillocks on the shadow of towering Himalayan range is the great virtue of natural heritage in Pokhara. The beautiful vision of the Himalayan range is the prime attraction of these hill tops. Each of these hill top is accessible up the peaks by surface transport or two to five hours of trekking or pony. Some of these hilltops are full of agro (farming) and cultural activities. There is availability of home stay tourism with rural tourism activities in the surrounding villages of these hilltops.
- Kaskikot:Here enchanting and romantic views of Pokhara valley, green forest, gorgeous and sky scraper snow capped mountains and beautiful lakes can be seen. Kaski is the name of the place, ‘Kot’ means ‘Fort’ in Nepali. According to one version, ‘Kaski’ is the name of a costume which is worn by Tamu (Gurung) indigenous people, now known as ‘Kacchad’ by distortion. It is also associated with a Petty King or chieftain who belongs to Tamu aborigine at the start of the settlement in Kaski. This gives the historical fact or source of Kaski. Another version is from Hindu legend or fiction. According to the fiction, a sage called ‘Kashyap’ had meditated in that place. So the name ‘Kaski’ is given to this hill top. Kaski is the ancestral state of the Shah kings of Nepal whose capital was Kaskikot since 1650 years ago. There is black-topped road up to Sarangkot and fair weather road from Sarangkot to Kaski Hill Top (Kaskikot). From Kaski hill top the visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Machhapuchchre, Annapurna and Dhaulgiri Himals as well as Pokhara valley, far and wide. It can be done in one day. There are hotels and restaurants to rest and food.
- Sarangkot:The historical sources say ‘Sarang’ is a traditional dance related to fighting and war. Men dance with sword in their hand by beating a drum. In Sarangkot (Sarangkot fort), military guards lived during the period of Shah kings who had palace in Kaskikot. Those militaries that stayed in Kaskikot used to visit Sarangkot everyday dancing ‘Sarang’ and returned to Kaskikot every morning. Another historical source of the name ‘Sarang’ means high station according to Kirat (Rai-Limbu) language. Kirat are the indigenous people of Nepal and speak Tibeto-Burman language still today. Thus the place became Sarangkot. It’s very windy place which provides cool and exciting experience. One can view the panoramic view of Machhapuchchre, Annapurna, Dhaulgiri and Ganesh Himals along with other tourist spots like Panchase, Swargadwari and even the historical place called Shreenagar of Palpa. Since the hill top lies on the north-west direction of Fewa lake, from where the lake starts, one can have the full view of the whole lake and almost all the valley of Pokhara. From Sarangkot one can make a trekking trip to Kaskikot and then to Naudanda and back to Pokhara by bus. It is an important place to watch sun rise and enjoy the early sun shine on Himal turning into golden color. In recent years, it has gained popularity for being a para-gliding center with its 5000 feet elevation. It has become an international para-port where international para-gliding championship event takes place.
Kahukot: It is not a fort (Kot) for military purpose or station. It was a kot for animal sacrifice. In festivals like, ‘Chaiyte Dashain’ and ‘Bada Dashain’,sacrifice of male animals like buffalo, sheep, goat and also the birds like pigeon, duck, rooster, to goddess Durga Bhagawati is supposed to be a way to make her pleased.
From the view of tourism, Kahunkot is a joyful spot to have the panoramic view of the snow capped mountains, hills and ever green natural forests. One can see the forked summit of Machhapuchchhre and other Himals, from the peak. There is a tower constructed to have a good view of surrounding areas. It is also a spot for short trekking. The tower and its summit can be easily seen from Pokhara city.
- Pangdhurkot: Pangdur is 30 Km west from Pokhara valley. This Kot can give historical information of the time before the political and geographical unification of Nepal. In other words, it gives the information of the time when there were 24 and 22 states in Western Nepal. There are still the remains of a fort made of stone wall on the top of the hillock. It has 200 m circumference about 3 m height and 1 m wide, during the period of 22 and 24 states, Parbat, one of the 24 states, used to attack the adjacent state Kaski. Because of this reason Pangdur was a fort (Kot) of which remains are still available in Pangdur hill top.
- Anadudanda:This hill top is situated in the western part of Pokhara valley and southwestern side of Fewa lake. Its height is 1,100 m from the sea level. In summer season this place remains the most cooling spot for the visitors who feel hot around the lakeside area. In winter, it has direct sun shining for the whole day, visitors enjoy the warm sun with fantastic views of vivid sights. The visitors can view many more snow capped mountains from the hill top Andu than any other hill top stations of Pokhara. Besides other mountains, Hathi Sunde (elephant trunk shaped), Rakanoyar, Glacier Dome, Manapathi etc can be recognized from Andu hill top. In clear weather, Larke and Ganesh HImal also appear to view. Fewa Lake comes as a bird’s eye view. This hill top is more than 12 Km from Pokhara city. There are 4 routes to reach the hill top. One can reach to Chhorepatan, near Devi’s fall by city bus and walk gently up hill. While walking, one can really enjoy the village life and its culture as well. The second route is most exciting one. One can hire a boat from Barahi Fewa bank and reach the other side of it, enjoy with boating. Then walk up hill which takes less than an hour inside the forest. This walk is refreshing and recreational too. The third route is from just Fewa Dam and above Devi’s Fall. There is a very short suspension bridge at the bottom of Raniban forest; one can hear the melodies of different birds. It takes about 2 hours to reach the top. The fourth route starts from Kalimati of Pumdi Bhumdi village development committee. It is the shortest route to walk to Anadu Hill top enjoying the sceneries of village green fields.
- Foksing Hill: It is a hill station about 4 – 5 km South of Pokhara airport which lies in Nirmal Pokhari vdc. It is a beautiful ridge, especially rich from topographical point of view. From here whole of Pokhara valley can be viewed together with Fewa lake and surroundings. One can also enjoy the fantastic view of sun rise and full moon light especially from here. In the moon light the shining of snow clad mountains and dazzling Pokhara valley with lights is the most alluring and pleasing to the visitors. Watching the landing and taking off the planes in the airport from Foksing is another most pleasant scene. Foksing is also a place for one short trekking.
Ghandruk: This hill top is at an elevation of 6500 feet above sea level and it is the last boundary of Pokhara valley in the north western direction. The main attraction of this hill top is that the other side of Machhapuchhre Mountain can be seen and very closely as well. The other specialty is that tourists can have hospitable and homely enjoyment at home stay hotels in Ghandruk. Down the hill top one can view the terraced landscape with greeneries and foot hills. The visitors can also enjoy the sight of the beautiful, gorgeous flow of Mordi river. If one has never seen a mountain stage of a river, it would be an everlasting memory in life.