Overland Journey and Kali Gandaki Gorge

Trip Overview

This is a moderate drive journey most part of the trip in between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan range in the western part of Nepal. There are two peaks above 8000m standing in the opposite direction making the deepest gorge in the world at Kali Gandaki valley from the vertical angle of the summit of those two peaks Dhaulagiri 1 to the west and Annapurna 1 to the east.

While you’ll drive along Kali Gandaki gorge which starts from Tibet you’ll explore through typical Thakali villages. “Thakali” in Thak khola (in their own term they call Thak Khola for Kali Gandaki river) are inhabited there for many centuries. They are very rich in their culture, tradition, custom and religion. This area above Ghasa is highly influenced by Sakya pa sect of Tibetan Buddhism which is easily recognize by their local practices of religion, way of life, temples, monuments, stupas and festivals all the way up to upper Mustang. They do celebrate several times of the year by different way among them. While you walk or drive through their villages you may get chance to see celebrating Archery festival in Oct/Nov and horse racing, fresh Yak blood drinking in other times.

In the medieval period there was a trans Himalayan trade route to Tibet following this Kali Gandaki valley in the western part of Nepal. Thakalis, they were quite wealthy and rich to their culture from that time. You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to have Nepali food “Dal Bhat” in this region which is their specialty for many generation. On this trip you’ll take scenic mountain flight from Jomsom to Pokhara where you’ll spend some time again and make your way to Chitwan national park for exciting jungle safari.

Day to Day Activity

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu,
Day 02: Sightseeing and Everest mountain flight,
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara(825m),
Day 04: Sightseeing in Pokhara,
Day 05: Drive to Tatopani- natural bath in Hot Spring,
Day 06: Drive to Kalapani (2625m),
Day 07: Drive to Marpha (2667m),
Day 08: Drive to Kagbeni (2800m),
Day 09: Drive to Muktinath (3802m) and to Jomsom,
Day 10: Fly to Pokhara,
Day 11: Drive to Chitwan,
Day 12: Full day jungle activities,
Day 13: Drive back to Kathmandu,
Day 14: Final depart,

Note: Bed and Breakfast is provided in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Full board is provided during the rest of the trip.

Trip Highlight

» One of the world's great journey along the Kali Gandaki gorge
» Dramatically changing scenery of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri himal
» Visiting oldest Monasteries and temples in lower Mustang
» Scenic mountain flight over the Himalayas
» Elephant back safari in Chitwan

  • Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu,
    Check in to your Hotel (Yak and Yeti) right in the centre of the town, just off Thamel. It’s easy to get all the important sights in Kathmandu valley.
    Overnight 4-Star Hotel, Meals included: breakfast

    Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu,

    You’ll do Everest mountain flight early in the morning today and there is a half day guided tour to visit the old part of Kathmandu Durbar Square in the heart of the old city. Here is the old Royal palace,with its intricate woodcarving and four fine towers. There’re several Hindu temples to house for different Hindu deities and images including the resident for Kumari, the young girl who is revered as a living Goddess from mid 18th century. You’ll get magnificent example of Nepali architecture from medieval period around this Durbar square. Leading away from the square in all directions are narrow alleys, full of the most amazing variety of shops and stalls.

    You’re free in the afternoon to visit the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath or you may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath.
    Overnight 4-Star Hotel, Meals included: breakfast

    Day 03:
    Drive to Pokhara (825m),
    After breakfast we drive westwards over Chandra pass from where the Chinese built Prithivi high way snakes down to Naubise and continues following Trisuli river to Mugling. From here we take right turn to Pokhara valley a beautiful town known as “Lake district of Nepal” these days, where there are nearly half dozen of lakes situated in different direction. Our Hotel is situated soar of the lake Phewa Tal beneath the Annapurna range. Although we spend some time exploring different places of Pokhara valley, we will spend more time around this lake doing lots of different things.
    Overnight simple hotel, Meals included: breakfast

    Day 04: Sightseeing in Pokhara,
    On our second day in Pokhara we hire a rowing boat to Barahi Temple, Hindu Temple of lord Shiva where you will see lots of Hindu pilgrims buying flowers, grains, doing puja and feeding for pigeon in the temple and then we go across the lake climbing steeply sometime through forest and terraces all the way up to the top where suddenly you will see a white painted big world peace Buddhist Stupa is situated. From this place there are spectacular views of the mountains making up the Annapurna range which at this point are only 48 km away- from Dhaulagiri in the west to Machhapuchare or Fishtail peak (6993m) and Annapurna 2 in the east. From here we walk down hill other side on a village track at the bottom where there is Davis fall or“Patale Chhango”in Nepali, the out flow from the Phewa Lake making big underground water fall to Seti River. We will visit Tashiling, a long established settlement of Tibetan refugees. We spend some time here watching wool being sorted, dyed and eventually made into Tibetan carpets which are exported all over the world and then visit the villages Buddhist monastery. We will also visit the mountain museum housing expedition memorabilia and information on ethnic groups, flora and fauna. You may like to start very early to go to Sarankot view point to see sunrise over Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range.
    Overnight simple hotel, Meals included: breakfast

    Day 05: Drive to Tatopani- enjoy natural bath in hot spring,

    Leaving Pokhara valley we drive northwest over Kare hill following Modi khola on the Pokhara -Banglung road to Beni, administrative center of Myagdi district. It’s a scenic drive on the pretty good road. From here we’ll drive on the rough road which can be little bit bumpy sometime along Kali Gandali river for couple of hours to Tatopani (1189m), a small village situated on the bank of the Kali Gandaki river with beautiful orange garden. After that long drive today, you can enjoy the natural hot bath in the hot Spring by the river just below the village. Sometime you may see Hindu pilgrims having bath in the hot spring either side of the river what they believe is, it cures the any type of skin diseases.
    Overnight guest House, Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner,

    Day 06: Drive to Kalapani (2625m),
    Leaving from Tatopani we drive to the oldest village to Dana, which is surrounded by orange groves. From autumn to winter, baskets of these oranges are offered for sale to passing travellers. After this village we continue climbing up steadily through the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world, from the vertical angle in between two peaks above 8000m, the Dhaulagiri 1 on the left and Annapurna 1 on the right. Just beyond the small hamlet of Rupse, a thundering waterfall cascades down beside the road. From here, the road enters the steepest and narrowest section of the gorge. We continue on leaving the river on the right to the village of Ghasa in Mustang district. This is the first Thakali village we come across and the houses here are all built in the flat-roofed Tibetan style. After a short drive above Lete, you’ll get to the village of Kalapani. You’ll get the magnificent closed views of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche peak and Annapurna 1 across the valley to the east.
    Overnight guest house, Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner,

    Day 07: Drive to Marpha (2667m),
    We continue driving along the river belt which widens creating massive big sandy river bank to larjung and on to Kobag village. These are the typical villages with their rich culture and tradition. At this village you can spend little bit time to see impressive Ice fall of the Dhaulagiri 1 on to its route. Throughout the trip today you will be enjoying the mighty Rhododendron trees, huge pine and juniper forest along Kali Gandaki Valley. We drive through another beautiful village of Tukuche, famous for its apple brandy where they have distillery in the region. After passing through stone-walled orchards, a stone gate marks the entrance to Marpha village (2667m). White walled houses line both sides of the narrow paved street, under which flows a cleverly made drainage system. Marpha makes a good overnight stop and the courtyards of the many lodges make ideal resting and refreshment places. The local apple brandy is especially well-known. This is a very old typical village from medieval period when there was trading route to Tibet along this valley. In this village you’ll see Gurung, Thakali and few Tibetan people inhabit here.
    Overnight guest house, Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner,

    Day 08: Drive to Kagbeni (2800m), 
    We continue following the wide valley of the Kali Gandaki, passing through another beautiful village of Thini. Thini is a delightful village where narrow alleyways and houses built around enclosed courtyards attempt to provide some shelter from the winds which howl through the gorge. The wind generally picks up after mid-day, but will at least be blowing at our backs as you head up to Jomsom, administrative center of Mustang District. The landscape becomes increasingly arid and impressive with its mixture of browns, yellows and grey, contrasting with the white snowcaps of Tilicho and Nilgiri peaks. From Jomsom we drive on the right side of the river pass through Ekle Bhatti and continue on to Kagbeni.This is the northern most village you can visit before entering Mustang region.This medieval village with flat roof mud houses, interesting very old large Gompa from 13th century, was an important junction from all directions and ancient Kings controlled and taxed the trade of grains from south for wool and salt from north. It’s a great place to explore with interesting history of Mustang region and Buddhist culture.
    Overnight guest house, Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner,

    Day 09: Drive to Muktinath (3802m) and to Jomsom,
    After ascending steeply on the switch backing road for about an hour to the shoulder of the north facing slop, you’ll enjoy the view of beautiful deserted landscape, Caves, old Tibetan Style Villages, apple Garden, Yaks Herds, sheep herds and so on. You can view the route to the Thorong La pass (5416m) straight up on the left above the valley. You drive up to Jharkot village and visit the Monastery, believed to be built in the 15 century. After a short drive you reach to the Muktinath village, where you can have lunch beark. From here you can hike up to the temple of Muktinath, the second most important Hindu temple in the country and an important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. There are 108 cow head taps, having bath from those taps Hindu people believe it gives salvation after death. Here, you come across natural flaming which really exhilarates you. At this point, you can get splendid view of Dhaulagiri (8165m), Nilgiri (7061m), Tukuche peak and many more. We leave Muktinath and turn back down to the valley floor, pass Ekle bhatti and continue along the river till we reach Jomsom (2713m).
    Overnight guest house, Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

    Day 10: Fly back to Pokhara,

    We’ll have 35 minutes scenic flight in the morning above the gorge in between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range. If the flight goes in the morning, you’ll have whole afternoon free in Pokhara.
    Overnight simple hotel, Meals included: breakfast

    Day 11: Drive to Chitwan,
    We drive about 155 kilometers to the eastwards first on the Prithivi High way to Mugling and then turn right following Trisuli river on the busy high way which connects to Indian boarder to inner terai which boarders between Mahabharata range in the north and Churia hill in the south where the most popular national park Chitwan, it means in Nepali “heart of the jungle” is located. You will spend some time here doing different jungle activities. Our lodge is situated by the river bank near National park.
    Overnight jungle lodge, Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

    Day 12: Full day Jungle activities,

    On your full day activity today, you will do different things in the world-famous Chitwan National Park, spread over 932 square kilometers of floodplain. The park has a wide variety of indangered wildlife and rare species of birdllife, including the famed insignia of Chitwan, one-horned rhino and the elusive royal Bengal tiger, of which there are believed to be around 80 roaming in the park. An experienced jungle guide will accompany you on your excursions, perhaps the most exciting of which is your safari on elephant-back, penetrating deep into the jungle-rhino, bison, deer, wild boar, monkeys, and a wide array of birds (over 400 species on record) are a common sight, and with luck on your side even the royal Bengal tiger, sloth bear, and leopard are a possibility.

    Another highlight of the trip is the dug out canoe ride on Rapti River, which drapes the national park, the banks of which are home to sun-bathing “Marsh mugger”crocodiles and the unique long-nosed “Gharial” crocodiles. Afterwards you walk to the elephant breeding centre. Elephants at the breeding centre are well attended to and are taken out by their mahouts (elephant drivers, whose commands they are used to and follow) on a daily basis between the hours of 10:30am and 3pm, where they go into jungle for collecting fodder, safaris and bathing. However, please remember that elephants are naturally wild animals and their behaviour can at times be erratic and highly unpredictable, especially in the absence of their trainer and controller. Therefore in the interests of visitor safety, please be advised that elephants are chained during the centres opening hours. Please also keep your distance from elephants while embarking and disembarking on safari.

    Keeping you engrossed and buoyed over the span of your stay will be a village tour by ox-cart, bird-watching walks, if desired, and cultural shows such as Tharu stick-dancing. Throughout your stay in the park you will be kept busy during the day. You will be advised by your naturalist good timing for excursion to see more wild life in the park.
    Overnight jungle lodge, Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

    Day 13: Drive back Kathmandu,
    If you wish to do something early in the morning you can do any suitable activity usually, bird watching or Tharu village tour if you haven’t done so. After breakfast you pick up your transport and drive back to Kathmandu arriving in the evening.
    Overnight 4-Star Hotel, Meals included: breakfast

    Day 14: Final Depart
    You’ll be transferred to the airport for the flight back home.
    Meals included: breakfast,


Price Includes

» Transport-Comfortable Bus, elephant, on foot, canoe,
» Accommodation-Hotels, Guest House, Lodge
» All sightseeing in Kathmandu, Pokhara and jungle activities in Chitwan
» Local leader throughout the trip, local guide and naturalist
» All meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner), snacks, welcome drink, Tea/Coffee as listed in the itinerary
» Domestic flights and applicable taxes.
» All National Park permits and entrance fees
» Comprehensive medical kit

Price Excludes

» Personal expenses such as soft drinks, beverage, postage, laundry
» Meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara
» International flights and departure taxes
» Visa and passport fees
» Travel insurance
» Emergency evacuation
» Tips and gratuities
» Costs arising from unforeseen events outside the control of Griffon Travel

Equipment List

Equipment List:

» Duffel bag

» Passport size photographs (minimum 2)

» Sun hat, Sun glasses, Sunscreen and lip salve with sun protection

» 3-4 season Sleeping bag

» 3 season jacket

» Waterproof synthetic or leather walking boots (worn in)

» Trainers/sandals for the evening

» Warm hat/Gloves

» Several pairs of walking socks

» Tracksuits or thermals for the evening

» Shirts/ t-shirts/ base layers

» Light to mid weight warm trousers

» long shirts or skirt for women

» Day pack

» Head Torch

» Water Bottle (min.1litre) with a wide mouth if using a SteriPEN / Camel Pak

» Scarf/buff

» Towel

» Mid-layer(Fleece)
» Waterproof jacket and trousers

» Plastic bag (bin liners)

» Wind stopper

» Runners/Snickers for camps

» Toilet paper (ideally biodegradable)

» Hand washing gel

» Plug adaptor

» Water treatment

» Biodegradable soap/ shampoo

» Trekking poles

» Small personal First Aid Kit

Latest News
TAAN Pokhara Chapter Explored New Trail
A team of Trekking Agencies'' Association of Nepal (TAAN) Western Regional Association Pokhara has explored a new trekking trail that starts from Kushma of Parbat and ends at Baskharka of Myagdi district.

A 17-member team led by Narayan Sapkota, former president of TAAN Pokhara, started the exploration with a drive to Kushma from Pokhara. From Kushma, the walk started toward Banau (2150 meters) through Ghumti, Bagaicha, Bhatebari, Dhakdhake and Sidhali
Your Guide
01. Hiking
01. Hiking

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02. Camping
02. Camping

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Company Info
Griffon Travel is an adventure company in Kathmandu, Nepal, which has been established by experience people from the Himalayas
Address: Minbhawan, Kathmandu, Nepal
Email: info@griffon-travel.com