Chasing the most beautiful sunset at Poon hill in Nepal

Tripoto
22nd Oct 2019
Photo of Chasing the most beautiful sunset at Poon hill in Nepal by Creedaz

Starting point: Tatopani (1200 m)

Ending point: Ghorepani (2870 m)

Date: 22-23rd Oct 2019

Distance covered: 17 Km

Gross altitude gain: 1700 m

After completing the Annapurna circuit at Muktinath (3800 m) I took a early morning bus that dropped me at Tatopani (1200 m) in the evening. I thought of utilizing the couple of hours left in the day. I started hiking from Tatopani after making an entry in the ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) and TIMS (Trekkers Information and Management System) check posts. I was accompanied by Kal, a 33 year old trekker from London, United Kingdom. we started hiking up and in couple of hours we reached the village Ghara (1700 m). It was a really nice decision as we had less kilometers to hike the very next day.

Day 1

Mt. Nilgiri (7061 m) as seen from Tatopani

Photo of Tatopani, Nepal by Creedaz

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The moment I got down from the bus at Tatopani (1200 m) I could see the beautiful sunset sky over the mighty Mount Nilgiri (7061 m). We started gaining altitude again. After hiking for 2 hours we covered a distance of 5 kms with altitude gain of around 600 meters which brought us to the village called Ghara (1700 m) at 06:00 pm. The trail was all about going up the stairs. Trust me when I say this, 'The hike to the Poon hill and the trek to the Annapurna base camp is all about going up and down the stairs'.

Day 2

Mt. Annapurna South (7219 m) barely visible behind the ridge

Photo of Ghara, Nepal, Nepal by Creedaz

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The very next day (23rd Oct 2019) we started our day at 07:30 am from the village Ghara (1700 m) and it took us around 4 hours to reach Ghorepani (2870 m) which acts as the base village for the Poon hill (3200 m). The trail is mostly stairs and few small forest section. You trek through the villages of Sikha (1935 m) and Chitre (2350 m).

The Annapurna South (7219 m) starts showing up as you gradually ascend to Ghorepani.

Welcome to Ghorepani

Photo of Ghorepani, Nepal by Creedaz

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Ghorepani (2870 m) was one of the MOST COMMERCIAL villages on the trail. It was for the first time that I saw posters on the wall stating 'WiFi charges Rs 300/-'. However, we were able to get a really nice place to stay. We promised the guest house owner that we will have two full meals (lunch and dinner) and then we didn't had to pay for the room. It was afternoon and we had the whole day, so we roamed around in the market and after having a stomach full of dal bhaat (Rice and lentil) we started hiking up to the Poon hill (3200 m) for sunset.

View from the Poon hill at 03:30 pm

Photo of Poon Hill (3210M.), Poon Hill Marga, Ghode Pani, Nepal by Creedaz

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We were there on the top of the hill by 03:30 pm but the cloud cover was really thick. The fog went right through us as we hiked up. We had little hopes about witnessing a beautiful sunset. But we were anyhow happy seeing the mighty mountains of Dhaulagiri (all the 5 peaks of the range), Mount Tukuche (6920 m), Mount Nilgiri (7061 m), Mount Annapurna I (8091 m), Mount Annapurna South (7219 m), Mount Hiunchuli (6441 m) and the beautiful Machapuchare (6997 m).

View from the Poon hill at 04:30 pm

Photo of Poon Hill (3210M.), Poon Hill Marga, Ghode Pani, Nepal by Creedaz

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There is a watchtower on top of the Poon hill (3200 m) where you could stand and get a 360 degree view of all the mountains. The weather was just checking our patience. It was so clouded that at 04:00 pm we had lost hope on seeing any colour in the sky at all because of the thick cloud cover. But, we still decided to stay back and just be more and more patient. Finally at around 05:00 am we could see the peaks clearly for almost a minute and all the people on the watchtower were filled with joy. What you see next as you scroll down the text is a series of images of the Annapurna massif on that evening. All these pictures were clicked between 05:30 pm to 06:00 pm.

View from the Poon hill at 05:00 pm

Photo of Poon Hill (3210M.), Poon Hill Marga, Ghode Pani, Nepal by Creedaz

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The sun rays were falling spot on. The foothills of the mighty Annapurna South (the mountain at the centre of the image) were lit up in orange colour. It was when all the digital canons pointed towards the massif and they went Click Click Click Click Click Click.

View from the Poon hill at 05:30 pm

Photo of Poon Hill Marga, Ghode Pani, Nepal by Creedaz

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Finallyl, the golden minute. The sun went further down and the whole mountain range was lit. It was all BURNING GOLD. You could witness the following starting from left, the tallest of all Mt. Annapurna I (8091 m), Mt. Annapurna south (7219 m), Mt. Hiunchuli (6441 m). It was during this time when I felt really bad about all those people who went down thinking that there will be no colourful sunset today.

View from the Poon hill at 05:45 pm

Photo of Poon Hill (3210M.), Poon Hill Marga, Ghode Pani, Nepal by Creedaz

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The last time I saw the sky so pink was during my trek to Brahmatal in Uttarakhand, India. It was really beautiful. I still get goosebumps and a one mile smile on my face when I think about it.

View from the Poon hill at 06:00 pm

Photo of Poon Hill (3210M.), Poon Hill Marga, Ghode Pani, Nepal by Creedaz

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The sun finally went down and the clouds again covered the mountains as if they were clearly stating the message, 'Show is over'. But I am so thankful to Kal who was as adamant and patient to stick to the smallest of hope that we had that evening.

Photo of Chasing the most beautiful sunset at Poon hill in Nepal by Creedaz

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Trekking profile for the Poon hill.

You can start the trek from Tatopani and if you are an experienced trekker and you speed hike then you can reach Ghorepani in a day easily and witness the sunset on top of the Poon hill.

Photo of Chasing the most beautiful sunset at Poon hill in Nepal by Creedaz

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Strava record from Ghara to Ghorepani. I did not record the trail from Tatopani to Ghara on 22nd Oct 2019 and neither did I recorded the trail from Ghorepani to Poon hill and back on 23rd Oct 2019.

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Before coming to Poon hill i was told that it is a very commercial trek and the sunrise if really beautiful from the Poon hill. However, I strongly recommend people to go up to the Poon hill for sunset and not sunrise. You will very soon see a full-length video on this topic of sunset v/s sunrise on Poon hill. The link to the channel is in the bio.

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The very next day (24th Oct 2019), me and Kal continued our hike towards the Annapurna Base camp. It took us two days to speed hike the Annapurna base camp trek and the travel story is live on Tripoto and the video log is going to come up soon.

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See you in the next one.