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Getting to Ghandruk From Kathmandu

Getting to Ghandruk From Kathmandu

The Gurung town of Ghandruk, including the eponymous Ghandruk Trek, is a fixture on many Annapurna-region treks. It is first essential to travel or take a private vehicle/bus to Pokhara (tourism capital of Nepal).

Then travel in the locomotive to get there from Kathmandu (the capital city of Nepal), and then take a private vehicle and trek the rest of the way. This would take at least a few days since it is not quite possible to get all the way up to Ghandruk in a single day from Kathmandu.

First Half of Trip of Kathmandu to Ghandruk: Kathmandu to Pokhara

The first half of the tour to reach Ghandruk from Kathmandu requires travellers to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Visitors can get to Pokhara via road and by air.

By Road (time took: 8-9 hours)

The most pleasant and the easiest way of making the overland trip is to hire a private driver, as foreigners are not permitted to engage cars in Nepal for self-driving. 

Pokhara

Hiring a car and driver means you can make a stop at any time of the day (tourist buses prefer to leave early in the morning) when and where you want, and you can go forward with the trip.

If you're on an economical budget and not low on time, taking the bus is the scenic alternative, and worthwhile. You can follow the Prithvi Highway that connects Pokhara with Kathmandu

For the first half of your journey, it passes almost parallel to the Trisuli River. In the second half, the mighty Himalayas comes closer into view. It can, however, be slow and physically tiring due to road and traffic conditions. 

An overland journey can take as little as six hours where there are no road delays, although this is quite rare. Sometimes, it can take as many as nine. Tourist buses are cheaper and reasonably comfortable; they are more expensive but much safer than local transport. 

Most tourist buses depart at about 7 am from near Thamel (Kantipath) and arrive at the tourist bus park of Pokhara, not quite far from Pokhara's Lakeside. During busy times, pre-book tickets or if you're travelling in a large group. 

The luxury Greenline Bus is the most spacious, with a buffet lunch and higher-calibre comfort stops. Local buses are inexpensive but usually uncomfortable and not very safe — you can expect them to be overcrowded and speeding. 

If you're on a minimal budget or need the freedom to leave Kathmandu later in the day, they're just an alternative.

By Plane (time taken: 30 minutes)

Flying is the shortest, fastest, and most convenient way to get from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Flights to Pokhara depart from the domestic terminal at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) several times during the day.

Around mid-afternoon, the last flight leaves, so it's safer to try to be on the first flight of the day, and if delays arise, re-bookings are made in the order of the first flight. 

Pokhara Airport

If an afternoon flight is scheduled and all morning flights are cancelled, the knock-on effect ensures that you do not end up flying until the next day.

Flights only take about 30 minutes, but owing to the weather conditions, they are almost always delayed. For the best mountain views, consider seating on the right-hand side of the aircraft.

The tiny Pokhara Airport in Pokhara is only a couple of miles from Lakeside. Having a taxi in town is convenient, or you can arrange for a hotel pickup.

Second Half of the Trip of Kathmandu to Ghandruk: Pokhara to Ghandruk

Suppose you travel early in the morning from Kathmandu and Pokhara and everything runs on time. In that case, you can get to Pothana on the first day from Kathmandu, and then proceed to Ghandruk on the second day.

However, a more leisurely itinerary that involves at least one night in Pokhara is preferred unless you're in a real hurry. In Pokhara, there's plenty to enjoy, and this is a less tiring choice as compared to others.

By Private Vehicle and then on Foot (time taken: two days)

There's more than one way to reach Ghandruk from Pokhara, and you won't be required to always follow the most direct path, depending on your trekking itinerary.

Take a private means of transport west along the Pokhara-Baglung Rajmarg Road from Pokhara. Many trekkers pursue this well-developed path setting off for treks towards the Annapurna Himalayan Range.

Ghandruk

You can ride a local bus as well, but it's not very convenient (or safe) and takes a much longer time than a private car. For around an hour, travel along this road until you hit the turn-off for Dhampus. Here you'll leave the road behind.

Continue hiking through Dhampus and the Australian Camp on foot until you reach the small Gurung village of Pothana, which should take about four hours to finish. The path goes through some woods and cultivated land, and parts of it are uphill. Overnight stay in Pothana.

Continue trekking toward Ghandruk on day two. You'll travel through Deurali, Tolkha, and Landruk towns. After Landruk, the trail ascends uphill and descends downhill and is steep in sections, but is more incremental.

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