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Gorkha Siklis Trek

Abhishek Subedi August 6, 2020

Gorkha Siklis trek has been researched to ensure the most spectacular views of the Annapurna Range and Lamjung Himal. This low altitude trek cuts through an area rarely visited and traverses a variety of terrain from low land villages and terraced fields up to Nepal largest Gurung village of Siklis. Starting from the old capital of Gorkha, our route climbs atop a hill overlooking the snowy peaks of the Himalaya and where the old royal palace known as Gorkha Durbar towers the bazar. Descending through terraced fields we head west to cross the Annapurna circuit route before traversing an area south of Lamjung Himal at low altitude with plenty of rural life such as typical nepalee villages not used to seeing foreigners. Reaching Madi Pool north of Pokhara, our route heads towards the fishtail peak of Machapuchare upstream the Seti Khola till Ghalegaun, an important Gurung village. 

Siklis village is located in an eastern part of Annapurna conservation area which is one of the typical Gurung villages of Nepal. Gurung people of this village came from the western part of Tibet so Tibetan influence can be seen in their lifestyle. Most of the people in this village are retired Gorkha army and now involved in agriculture. Gurung people of this village are very friendly and rich in terms of their long preserved culture, tradition, systems, customs, rituals and festivals. Traditionally decorated homes of Gurung people in this village are the best place to stay for the trekkers. During Siklis trek trekkers can learn and experience the important cultural aspects of Tibetan Gurung people by staying at home. Gurung people of this village organize special entertainment singing and dancing programs to give pleasure to their visitors. 

Gorkha Siklis Trek

About the Trek

So while staying in Siklis village trekkers can take part in singing and dancing programs with local Gurung people which will give them unforgettable experience. Then the trail climbs up to Siklis through a rhododendron forest. The largest Gurung village is situated at the foot of Lamjung Himal (6931m). From there we descend steeply to the Modi Khola riverside. Our last camp at Thulo Kot offers a panorama of twenty peaks before descending to the Begnas lake. Beside important Gurung culture Siklis trek is also naturally attractive. During Siklis trek trekkers will get the opportunity to see several traditional villages, unbelievable scenes of beautiful landscapes, valleys, close up views of beautiful mountains of the region and appealing pictures of the snake like rivers. Siklis trek route is decorated by the beautiful natural gadgets where trekkers can see the eye pleasing and heart taking natural scenes and scenery. 

Trek route passes the colorful dense forests of rhododendron rich for different species of birds, butterflies and wild animals. Moreover during Siklis trek trekkers can see the close up views of several beautiful mountains Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Lamjung Himal, Nilgiri, Himchuli, Tukuche peak and Dhampus peak.Siklis trek starts from Hemja and ends in Begnas Lake. It passes several naturally beautiful and culturally important places around the Annapurna region such as Khairpani, Ghale kharka, Nyauli kharka, Siklis, Lamakhet and kalikasthan.

Day 1 Drive to Pokhara Valley and trek to Mardipul

You will head out to the starting point of your trek- Pokhara- today. You will get to Pokhara after 6-7 hours.  The bus ride takes you along winding paths that go around the loft hills and crests that encircle Kathmandu and Pokhara. The trek starts from the main highway to Baglung and Jomsom. The trail diverts as it follows the banks of the Seti River to camp high from the river at Lampatha. From here, the early morning views of the Annapurna Himal are spectacular.

Gorkha Siklis Trek

Day 2 Trek to Khairpani

Leaving the campsite at Lampatha or Mardipul, you will follow the banks of the Seti River. First, you will reach the small village of Mardipul, where you will have a small break. Trekking further, you will cross a river in your way. You will head towards the north through the villages of Lhachok and Ghachok. These straggling linear settlements provide much human interest. The valley has relatively fertile soils as can be seen from the intensive use of the terraced hillsides. Today’s walk is easy, with a slight altitude gain. Your campsite is at the Gurung village of Dhipang (Khairpani). The wide river terraces of the Seti River narrows into a more pronounced V-shaped gorge where it flows from the source of Mt.Machhapuchhre, Annapurna III and IV glacier.

Day 3 Trek to Ghale Kharka

From Khairpani, the trail heads east as you cross the Seti River. It is a short distance upstream from the village. There are also a few small hot springs a few meters downstream. However, the icy cold water of the Seti is not warm enough for bathing. From here, the trekking route climbs steadily through the terraced fields of Khajibung. The path levels off after trekking through a short, steep staircase. You can get an excellent view of the snow-capped mountains along the way. 

The trek continues towards the ridge, reaching the saddle, before descending to the less visited Gurung village of Chyanglung. After a brief stop here, you will descend to Sardi Khola for lunch. After lunch, you will trek through steep trails that take you alongside terraced fields and to the village of Kyabrang. From here, a further climb to the top of the ridge brings you to your campsite at Ghale Kharka. You can get magnificent panoramic views of the Annapurnas and of Mt.Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail) from your campsite.

Day 4 Trek to Nauli Kharka

The next two days of the trek passes through the serene heavily forested ridge, which separates the Seti and Mardi Valley. As you head out in the morning, you will walk through enchanting oak, rhododendron and bamboo forest. The orchids and birdlife along the way are a pure delight for any nature lover. The trail narrows as you trek further. Although the path is well-defined, you need to keep a sharp eye open for your guides and fellow trekkers.

The morning’s walk is short and we lunch in one of the few clearings made by the locals as grazing areas for their water buffalo. In the afternoon, you will continue to ascend on the high ridge (2,650m). From here, the path gently descends to Baradhara (also known as Nauli Kharka) on a lovely pasture. It will take you 4-5 hours to complete the trek from Ghale Kharka to Nauli Kharka (2550 meters).

Day 5 Trek to Siklis

From your campsite, you will slowly descend through the thick forest towards the largest Gurung village in the Annapurna region at Siklis. The men of Siklis have a long tradition of serving as gallant soldiers in the Gurkha Regiment to both the British and Indian armies. The huge ‘whaleback’ peak of Lamjung Himal 6,986m dominates the skyline above the village, a mere 10 kilometers away. Today’s trek is 5 hours long.

Gorkha Siklis Trek

Siklis is a fascinating village perched in a beautiful location. You will have an opportunity to chat with ex-Gurkha soldiers who are only pleased to discuss their association with the British and Indian armies. Your campsite, which is located above the village, provides stunning views, particularly at sunset and sunrise.

Day 6 Trek to Lamokhet

The initial part of the trek from Siklis to Lamokhet is a long, steady descent towards the Mardi Khola Valley. This valley lies at an altitude of merely 800 meters. After you reach the bottom, you will follow the river downstream as you head south passing through small farm villages and cultivated fields. After trekking for 2-3 hours, you will reach Tabrang Pheding. You will have your lunch here. The area around Tabrang Pheding has subtropical vegetation. It has a wonderful backdrop of the soaring snow-capped Himalayan peaks. After trekking for a few hours, you will reach Lamokhet. You will be camping by the river in the small Chettri and Brahmin settlement of Lamokhet. Today’s trek is 5-6 hours.

Day 7 Trek to Kalikathan

You will head out to trek in the morning. The trail leads you to a river downstream as you cross the Mardi Khola to its east bank. You will continue on an easy trail to Bhainse, where you will have your lunch. The trek from Bhainse to Kalikasthan is a steady climb through terraced landscapes. Your campsite is only a short distance further on. The campsite, which is a site of the Gorkha dynasty, is an interesting area. In fine weather conditions, you get a wonderful panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna region. These include Mt.Dhaulagiri (8,167m) in the west, Annapurnas (8,091m), Manaslu (8,156m), Peak 29 (7,541m), and Himalchuli (7,839m) in the east. The trek from Lamokhet to Kalaikathan is 5-6 hours long.

Day 8 Trek to Begnas and Drive to Pokhara

After grand morning views of the Himalayan chain of mountains, you will make a long descent towards Lake Begnas. The walk begins in the morning as you trek through farm terraces and strewn villages. Along the way, you get superb scenery of the surrounding landscapes. The trek ends after a walk at Lake Begnas. After lunch (depending on the time of arrival), you will board a bus which will take you to the beautiful lake of Phewa at Pokhara for the last overnight stop. The bus ride from Begnas to Phewa lake will take about half an hour. 

Gorkha Siklis Trek

Day 9 Fly or Drive Back to Kathmandu Valley

You have two options to get to Kathmandu from Pokhara. You can either take a flight or get a bus to Kathmandu. Flights are cosy and take only 25 minutes to reach Kathmandu. You can also have great views of mountains. Bus rides, on the other hand, are cheap. They also offer beautiful views of hills, mountains, and rivers along the way.

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