Driving 10km north-east of Pokhara we arrive to Jargate. The Royal Trek starts here. We begin the trek, crossing almost 100m long dangling suspension bridge over Bijayapur River. On the other side of the River, a sheer uphill climb awaits us. Forty-five minutes of uphill hike on the stony steps through the tropical forest emerges out to small Gurung Village, Lankathar. The Himalayan peaks of Annapurna Himalayan Range, Fishtail and Dhaulagiri loom dramatically at the background of the village. We walk through the village, where we meet friendly Gurung people and see the glimpses of typical Gurung culture. Beyond Lankathar, the Royal Trek stretches along the ridgeline trail over forested hills. The views in every direction during this part of the trek are incredibly amazing. The northern side has towering Himalayan peaks from Manaslu Range to the Annapurnas. Remaining sides cater the panorama of deep valleys, lakes, terraced fields and lush vegetation. After a pleasant one-hour walk from Lankathar, we arrive to Thulo Swara. A typical Gurung Village Thulo Swara lies on a spur above terraced fields. Exploring around the village allows us to see the authentic Gurung culture and experience their welcoming hospitality. Forty-five minutes of gentle walk along the rolling trails of the forestlands and the farmlands from Thulo Swara brings us to Chitepani. We have our lunch at Chitepani. Chitepani is a small Brahmin Village in the region. While having our lunch, we can savor the great views of Annapurna Himalayan Range and Fishtail. The final part of the day’s trek involves almost two hours of gentle uphill walk- mostly through terraced rice fields and partly through forested regions and small settlements. The view of entire hill adorned with green rice fields during autumns can be the most captivating offbeat view of the Royal Trek. Besides this part of the Royal Trek, also offers the panorama of lush vegetation. Just before arriving Thulakot, we hike on a hill above Kalikasthan, from where the first day camping site of Prince Charles’s Royal Trek in 1980s can be viewed. Now, we get to see the glimpse of Begnas Lake surrounded by green hills. The last thirty minutes of uphill walk from here takes us to Thulakot 1400m. The windy hilltop caters magnificent views of the Himalayas looming right before our eyes. The destination is also ideal for spotting different species of vultures and other raptors and birds. Overnight in a teahouse or home-stay in Thulakot.
Second day of the Royal Trek, begins with the gentle downhill climb through the forest to Okhle. The downhill climb from Okhle continues through the similar trails all the way to Saurya Bhanjyang. Saurya Bhanjyang is a small mid-hill town with motor access. At Saurya we chase the trail on the left and once again hike along the trails through the forest to Betyani. Maximum of one hour walk to Betyani traverses along the gradual up and down trail. From Betyani another sixty to ninety minutes gentle walk through the forest trail takes us to Lipyani. Both Betyani and Lipyani are exceptional Gurung Villages, where we get observe the rich Gurung culture. In addition, the view of the Himalayan Range from Lipyani is exceptionally beautiful. We have our lunch at Lipyani and the resume the trek. From Lipyani, the trek begins to slide up gradually along the trail on the top of hill. This part of the trek caters the views of the Himalayas to the north. Almost two hours of gradual walk along the ridgeline brings us to Syaklungkot 1425m. This is the highest point of the Royal Trek. Syaklungkot caters the great panorama of Himalayan peaks to the north. The entire section of Annapurna and Manaslu Ranges with unique Fishtail are great views from Syaklungkot. The view from Syaklungkot also includes the deep valley of Madi River, lush vegetation and lakes.
From Syaklungkot, the Royal Trek slides down gradually to Kaule 1225m. At Kaule we will stay in a local home-stay operated by enthusiastic local person.
In the morning, we have an option to hike to Indra Gufa (Cave), which is 2-3 hrs two-way trip from Kaule. Indra Gufa is a famous cave in the region. While trekking back from Indra Gufa we also can visit a small multi-cultured village of Dangshi Marang. The village manifests diverse cultures of Newars, Damais, Kamis and Brahmins. If we plan to skip this morning hike to Indra Gufa, the day’s trek is relatively short. We begin the trek from Kaule along the descending trail to a small marketplace of the region, Ramkot. From Ramkot we tread on the descending jungle trail to Sarke Bhanjyang. Sarke Bhanjyang has couple of abandoned houses. From Sarke Bhanjyang, the trek begins to climb up through the dense jungle over the stony steps all the way to Mohoria. This part of the trek is fascinating. Gradual walk uphill along the forest trail, encounters the natives, witnesses the lifestyle of mid-hill Nepal (people collecting timbers) and sights several species of colorful birds. Almost ninety minutes of uphill walk through the forest brings us to another small mid-hill settlement of Mohoria. We have our lunch at Mohoria. Mohoria is small and organized village in the region. After the lunch at Mohoria, we hike up along the stony steps to a small Monastery. The view from the Monastery includes the panorama of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna Ranges, Lamjung Himal and Gorkha Peak. Then we slide down quickly from the monastery, tread for five minutes along the motor-road and then enter the trails inside the woods via a volleyball court. Now, walking through the forest trails offers us an opportunity to sight many species of colorful birds. We walk through this forest trail for almost forty-five minutes. The final push to Chisapani stretches along the trail on the right that goes vertically up on the stony steps. As we reach the top, we see a small temple in the middle of the jungle. Trekking further on a leveled trail, we arrive to Chisapani. Chisapani is a small Gurung Village, which offers the great views of Himalayas, hills and terraced fields. It is also a culturally rich Gurung Village. Plus, the sunset view from Chisapani is fascinating. The wonderful pattern of the green Hills cuddling to each other and the last hill seen on the horizon changing its color when sun sets is a wow view from Chisapani. We will stay today at Chisapani in the home-stay lodges operated by the locals.
The final day of the Royal Trek begins with quick descending climb down to Bhirchowk. From Bhirchowk, we tread along the jungle trail down to Talbesi via newly constructed Rupakot Resort. Couple of hours trek brings us to Khola Chheu from where we will be escorted back to Pokhara.