A Hidden Paradise
Panchasse, literally meaning Pancha: Five, Aasan: Seats, is the meeting place if 5 peaks covered with lush green forest of diverse flora and fauna. Panchasse lies on the west of pokhara city, about a day hike away at an altitude of 2,517 m from the sea level. There are old, stone-stepped pilgrimage approaches upon which one can climb past the grassland and paddy field to the vastness of Panchasse, from where a magnificent view of Annapurna massif is visible so close as if one could reach out and touch them. Trekking around Panchasse is a delightful journey indeed.
Panchase, which is one of the most rain-receiving places in the entire country, has a pleasant weather and can be visited all year round. During winters the Panchase peaks receive snowfall, so it can Pokhara visit Panchase to play with the snow. The average temperature in Panchase area is 25 Degree Celsius in summer during daytime.
- Nature & Scenery: The longest chain of mountain range visible from Panchasse includes Mt. Dhawalagiri (8,172m), Mt.Annapurna I (8,091m) Mt Annapurna South (7,219m), Mt Hiuchuli(6,441m) Mt.Fishtail (6993m), Mt. Annapurna II(7,934m), Mt Annapurna III (7575m), Mt Annapurna IV(7525m), Mt Lamjung (6,998m), Mt. Manaslu and more. From atop Panchase, Mt Fishtail seems to be nestled by Annapurna around her laps. Sunrise and sunset views from the top are spectacular and heavenly.
- Flora and Fauna: As Panchasse receives a lot of rain throughout the year and is covered with lush green vegetation from subtropical to temperate forest all over, it also provides home to a wide variety of flora, fauna and is source of many rivers including Harpan River, the source of the famous Fewa Lake of Pokhara. 107 species of wild orchids, including 2endemic ones, have been found in panchasse, 5 species of rhododendron and many herbal plants such as Loth Salla, Titte, Kurilo, Naagbeli, Satuwa, Paanch Aaule and plants such as Loktha, Khashru, Champ, Phalat which are used to produce Nepali paper are found here. Leopard, bear, deer, several species of birds, butterflies and other animals also inhabit in the Jungle.
- Religious and Cultural Attraction : Panchase, the 5 peaks which literally also means 5 sacred seats, is an ancient pilgrimage climb. The climb itself holds a great significance in Yoga. The temple of shidda Baba (Lord shive), Homekunda (place for ritual of offerings to fire), Panchasse Lake, Balaji Phachyan Temple, Bouddha Stupas (about 200 years old) and coves where sager were believed to have meditated many centuries ago. The population of Panchasse is almost 100000 including Gurung , Brahmins and other ethnic groups living in the surrounding villages.
- Festivals: Balachuturdashi Festival (around the end of November) is the biggest festival in Panchasse where people from all circle come to pay their hamage to the mountation mother where first they cleanse themselves in the sacred Panchasse Lake, make offerings, and start the Panchase climb up to the top during which they offer grains and rice to the earth which symbolizes the re-fertilization of the Earth mother. Devotees generally wear auspicious red colored dress. Shivaratri (mid February), Budda purnima (full moon, mid May) and the entire month of Shrawan (mid July to mid August) are the other special occasions when devotees come for pilgrimage climb to Panchasse. On Buddha Purnima, birthday of Lord Buddha, holy books from the 200 years old Gompa near Kusma village is carried around the villages by the devotees during special ceremong.
Shrawan Kumar “Samadhi”
Shrawan Kumar’s Samadhi, another religious spot is about 25 hours south downward from Panchasse peak near a pond. According to legend in Ramayana, shrawan Kumar, who was loyal, loved and served his parents, was carrying his blind parent to Muktinath pilgrimage, while at the same time king Dasrath wan hunting in the same place. When Shrawan Kumar was filling the water bucket to quench the thirst of his beloved parents, it sounded like an animal roar, and the king shot his arrow towards the roaring soung unfortunately killing Shrawan Kumar. Realizing this, the king asked forgiveness with the blinds, but they never forgave the kind and cursed him that he would suffer the same fate and cried till death. That is why the river sprouting from there is called Aandhi Khola, river from the tears of the blinds.
Code of conduct
- Do not litter, use iodine tablets for drinking water, avoid mineral water bottles.
- Respect privacy, ask before photographing people of religious sites
- Protect plants and animals; do not remove flowers and orchids.
- Be sensitive to local cultural heritage
- Contribute to local economy, taste local cuisine, use local products and services
- Avoid and discourage bargaining as much as possible
- Do not make fire and discourage wood fire
- Try to educate the local people, and empower the local
- Encourage home stay, tea house and small lodges along the trails
- Remember, every penny spent here contributes directly to the local economy.