Pokhara is a unique destination that combines hills, warm climate, lakes, urban vibe, mountain views – you name it. Today we will talk about Sarangkot – a hill station located on the outskirts of Pokhara and definitely one of the most mesmerizing places to visit for several reasons:
- From Sarangkot you can see numerous snowy mountain peaks Mt Machhapuchhare, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri range to name a few.
- You can take this hike as a small preparation for a more serious trek in Nepal
- If you are planning to do Annapurna circuit or any other trek in that area, you can see, where you are going. If you are not doing a trek this time, you can take a look at the mountains.
Sarangkot is definitely a must visit place in Pokhara. You can reach it by bus, taxi, bike, by foot. Let’s look into the costs, timings, the aim of the visit and other details to help you plan this trip.
Sarangkot from Pokhara by foot / bike / taxi / bus – cost & timings
I’ve been to Sarangkot twice by foot and bike, my friends simultaneously have gone to Sarangkot by bicycle and car. Here is an overview of different experiences:
Sarangkot from Pokhara by foot:
Duration: 2.5 – 3 hr climb; 1 – 1.5 hr descend. I’ve seen several people describing it as a 40 min – 1 hr hike from the lakeside and I would be curious to trek it with them. Though the hike is around 5 km only, it took me 2.5 hours at an average walking speed.
The roads: This hike is somewhat similar to Poon Hill. You will get stairs at times and sometimes steep walking path. There will be a few viewpoints overlooking Pokhara from above. I know only two walking paths to Sarangkot and they shortly cross on the way. One path is from Sedi Bagar – it was a very sliding climb after the rain, thus I’ve gone from a road near MoonBow hotel (Coordinates: 28.224598, 83.950596). It’s just 300 meters away from Sedi Bagar. There also starts a bicycle trek. In a non-rainy season, Sedi Bagar is the most popular start of the hike.
Why to go by foot: it’s a good preparation for a longer trek, there are nice viewpoints, you can see and hear several varieties of birds especially early in the mornings.
Disadvantages: I’ve left around 6.30 a.m. and reached Sarangkot by 9 a.m. The clouds already covered the bigger part of the range and peaks. If your priority is the view – choose the transport over bicycle or foot.
Sarangkot from Pokhara by bike/scooter:
Duration: around 30-40 min drive from the lakeside
Why to go by bike: if you rent a scooter, you can visit all main places around Pokhara in one day: Sarangkot, Stupa, Davis Falls, caves. If you leave early morning, you will catch that mesmerizing panorama from the hill.
Disadvantages: during winters it can get really chilly during the morning ride. There is a serpentine road so make sure you are an experienced driver. You need to negotiate with the bike rental company a day before if you leave early morning and hope they show up at the time you need.
Cost: starts at 500 NPR/day
Sarangkot from Pokhara by bicycle:
Duration: 2 – 3 hr depending on the route. Starts from the northern part of the lake
Road: at times forest, at times stones. 50% of the road you will need to push the bike uphill in front of you. From Sarangkot you can reach Pame village within 4 hours. Most of the time there is a descending path laid from the big size chippings which you can handle on the mountain bike, however, check the breaks in advance – they need to work on time. In Pame, you will see a big river which is crossed by bikes and cars, but there is also a bridge for pedestrians and bicycles. From Pame there is a nice straight road that will take you to Pokhara lakeside within 20-30 minutes.
Why to go by bicycle: nice views, a few streams on the way, physical preparation for other adventurous activities.
Disadvantages: you need to be a confident bike rider to enjoy this trek as the road is complex at times.
Cost: bicycle rent starts at 400 NPR/day and 500 NPR for the mountain models (this you need).
Sarangkot from Pokhara by taxi:
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 1000 – 1500 NPR both ways.
Disadvantages: costly, the price depends on your bargaining skills. In low season I haven’t found deals cheaper than 1000 NPR. You have to negotiate the price in advance in the evening as you need to leave early.
There is a bus that goes to the place where the wheel and paragliding terrain is. Coordinates of the bus station in Sarangkot: 28.241963, 83.95014. I’ve seen one bus while descending by foot from the hill. The local people from the village told the bus goes every 40min – 1 hour (haven’t checked personally).
You can reach one level higher (~10 min walk) from the bus station by taxi or bike. From there, everyone needs to climb stairs (~15 min) to the main viewpoint by foot. The entrance to the viewpoint costs 50 NPR. From the top, you can see the view of Pokhara, valley, and mountains.
Food in Sarangkot
We took breakfast at a local looking café. If you follow the road on the left from the entrance staircase to the Sarangkot viewpoint, there are a few budget cafes. In restaurants, the prices will be more expensive.
Last notes about Sarangkot:
- If you would like to see the snowy peaks from Sarangkot, you need to reach around 6.30 – 7.00. After this, the clouds gather around the mountains and by noon the peaks are almost not visible. During monsoon season, the morning visibility also depends on the weather. It can be foggy at times.
- Apply sun cream – even if you don’t feel the sun, you can burn.
- Take water with you – the initial part of the climb will be a forest path, so there will be shops closer to the top and some of the sellers in the smaller villages will be increasing the prices unreasonably.
- There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses in Sarangkot in case you decide to stay there. Minimum accommodation rates are more expensive there as in Pokhara. I’ve asked a few owners – the cheapest was a guest house 700 NPR (7 USD/room/night). You might get better rates further inside the village – I wasn’t investigating this topic much.
Have you ever visited Sarangkot? What was your experience?