Mango Tree Special: Baraha Pokhari Community Eco Trail

 

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Click here to read an article on Baraha Pokhari Community Eco Trail published on The Himalayan Times

A place of outstanding natural beauty, Baraha Pokhari Community Eco Trail rewards its visitors with its amazing view.  It’s winding centuries old stone steps, thick rhododendron forest, beautiful lake and a temple on it’s edge  –  surrounded by massive mountains like the Himalchuli, Manaslu, Boudha Himal, Lamjung Himal, Annapurna, Macchapuchere and many smaller peaks,  at Baraha Pokhari (Alt. 3100 meters), it truly feels like a paradise –  a god’s garden!  Some considered it to be an alternative of Annapurna Circuit !

Every spring in April, on a full moon day, a religious ‘Mela’ is held at Baraha Pokhari. People in their hundreds make their way. It is believed that the Goddess of Baraha Pokhari is a wish fulfilling one. First, one must take a dip into the holy water of  her lake’s, purify oneself and worship the goddess with offerings. People believe every  wish comes true!

Although there are different route one can take to get to Baraha Pokhari.  The route starting from”Phaliya Sangu”  is the main trail. Preferred choice of many, it takes you through beautiful villages, schools and market place. Phaliya Sangu is just 7 kms before Besisahar which is the starting point for the Annapurna Circuit Trek. 

Phaliya Sangu is easily reached by 5 hrs on the bus from Kathmandu, 3 hrs from Pokhara and Chitwan.  Those of you heading for Annapurna Circuit it could be a a great warm up trek OR for some it could be an alternative for Annapurna Circuit. Since the opening of ACAP and TIMS counter at Besisahar, it has never been so easy to get your permits. Right at the starting point – saving you time and hassle in Kathmandu.

Its truly is off the beaten path. Not many people know about it and very few trekkers visit this area. Even to this day, you will encounter Shepard herding their goats and sheep along the trail!  It’s truly is unbelievable! 

Fantastic thing about this place is accessibility and for now, it does not even require a permit – saving you money!! It’s a fully supported camping trek using English speaking local guides, porters and trained chief. Mango Tree, being a responsible eco adventure center – we leave no trace behind on our camping treks. Whenever we can we buy things locally and support the local economy which directly benefits the community. Be prepared to be surprised by our cooks excellent culinary skills for that authentic mountain food!

Community coming together to protect their sustainable livelihood through conservation of Baraha Pokhari area and promoting it as a eco tourism destination!

Baraha Pokhari Area shares its boarders with two major successful conservation work in Nepal – the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and the Manaslu Area Conservation Project (MCAP).

Historically important and as well as ecologically sensitive Baraha Pokhari Area homes thousands of rhododendron trees, mushrooms, wild flowers, herbs & medicine, many  varieties of birds and wild animals too. Just few days walk from Barha Pokhari Lake one can reach more beautiful lakes like the Meme Pokhari and Dud Pokhari at an altitude of more than 4500 meters. Which has it’s own religious significance as well as ecological importance to the region. There is a huge possibility to connect Baraha Pokhari to Manaslu Circuit.

More and more youth from our community are leaving in search for jobs in the city as well as abroad due to lack of opportunity in their own community. It’s ironic that we have been occupying this huge area without realising its massive potential to be a major eco tourism destination in Lamjung District.

Mango Tree Resort’s founder /owner & a local resident of Chiti VDC – Devendra Babu,  is advocating for the need to work towards conservation of Baraha Pokhari Area. For the last 3 years, he and his team has been busy working to bring communities together living along the trail to take active part in conservation who are depended on the forest for their livelihood . Their hard work is slowly paying off. They are on the verge of inception to form a working committee who will then manage the area. The committee will be responsible for maintaining the trail, building tourist infrastructure, home stays and promoting the trail at a national and international level.

Naturally people like to visit beautiful places. Call for conservation of Baraha Pokhari Area  has come about just at the right time. We face many challenges and youth migration is one of them.  Due to the shortage of able men/women to carry out agricultural practices, It has left a big dent in our traditional food production system and traditional organic agriculture practices passed down from generations of farmers are on the decline too because of that and host of many other problems, it’s putting extra pressure on our natural resources. Current reality and dangers of climate change is also looming over us – which we had no part to play. Mountain communities like ours who are depended on natural resources for their day to day livelihood will need to start protecting their resources, find cleaver solutions for current crisis without compromising the needs of future.

If we are successful in our mission to make Baraha Pokhari Area – a place of outstanding natural beauty, everyone’s a winner! It will bring abundance of opportunity, prosperity and harmony in our community.

You can help too, visit Baraha Pokhari Area and support local community initiative for conservation.

Here’s the suggested itinerary for you.

Itinerary 

Day 1 – Leave Kathmandu – Mango Tree Resort (Alt 705 meters) / 5 Hrs drive

Perched on a small hill overlooking the Marshyangadi river, Mango Tree is a perfect base to start your Baraha Pokhari Trek

Day 2 – Mango Tree – Purano Duwar (Alt 1730 meters)/ 6 Hrs on foot

Treading on centuries old stone steps, passing through friendly villages, kids waving Namaste and greeted by beautiful scenery, we leave the valley behind and gradually make our ascent. At the end of this beautiful day, we set camps right at the base of Baraha Pokhari – a small village called Purno Duwar which is also the last village on the trail.

Day 3 – Purano Duwar – Baraha Pokhari ( Alt 3100 meters)/6 Hrs on foot

From here on, there are no villages. We leave behind the last known civilization and head towards the mountains. Soon we are greeted by the first challenge of the morning – a small hill. What makes it challenging is the steepness of the stone steps. We advise you take it easy here. Always remember, slow and steady wins the race.

On this day, we walk through pasture land called Kharaka, thick rhododendron forest and winding stone steps which leads to Baraha Pokhari. We camp overnight here.

Day 4 – Baraha Pokhari – Chabro Danda (Alt 3696 meters) / 6 Hrs

On this very day, we make our way through beautiful meadows taking in  all around view to our destination Chabro Danda. Walking up the steps is inevitable in Nepal and adds more fun. Breathing in pure mountain air we camp facing the mountains right at the lap of the Himalaya.

Day 5 – Rest Day at Chabro Danda – Only couple of hours walk away is a place called Komro Danda ( Alt 3936 meters), if you wish you, after breakfast you could hike to Komro Danda and be back for lunch at the camp.

Day 6 – Today, we make our way back down to Baraha Pokhari and camp overnight.

Day 7 – Baraha Pokhari  –  Majj Gaou and then jeep back to Mango Tree for the night

Day 8 – Rest day at Mango Tree

Day 9 – Mango Tree to Kathmandu or any other destination. Trip Ends.

 

Click  map to enlarge

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