Photo: Mr. Hira Bahadur K.C, 1st vice president of TAAN, trying to take the photo of Annapurna from his mobile set.
It was New Year day, 1st Baisakh of 2068 when almost all the youths of Pokhara were getting ready to celebrate the New Year in the pubs and concerts, Rup Narayan Dhakal, journalist of Annapurna Post and I planned to celebrate it with TAAN member of Pokhara in Thulakot.
We reached Thulakot after an hour of bike ride from Pokhara. We parked our bike in front of a villager's house and made ten minutes hiking to reach Thulakot. TAAN members welcomed us and asked us to join them. We sat in front of the Sky line cottage that was facing the mountains, that wasn't visible yet and then New Year feast started.
We welcomed the New Year with beer cheers and prayed the success of Nepal Tourism Year 2011. It was windy and the clouds were roaring with thunderstorms and lighting. We knew it could rain anytime as there were black clouds over us, so we decided to roam around the lodge before nature showers at us. Luckily, the winds blew the black clouds and Annapurna south was visible. Without wasting a time, Mr. Hira Bahadur K.C., 1st President of TAAN, Pachimanchal Chapter, took out his mobile from his pocket to take the picture of the mountain. Mr. Narayan Prasad Sapkota, the entrepreneur of Annapurna Skyline Cottage and general secretary of TAAN, Pachimanchal Chapter was happy as everyone could see the scenery seen from this region.
The scenery seen from this hilltop was divine as one could see the snow caved mountain range on the north and Begnas Lake, Maidi Lake and the city on the other side. We could even get a glimpse of Fewa Lake but it looked more like a pond than like a lake. Som Thapa, the president of TAAN, Pachimanchal Chapter said it could be nice spot for the people who would want to get away the chaos of City for a day. Rup Narayan Dhakal, journalist from Annapurna Post, said it could be a nice spot for a night stay and also to run away from the increasing heat or the summer of Pokhara.
Thulakot is in Kalika VDC of Kaski and falls in the Royal Trek region of Pokhara. Royal Trek was named after Prince Charles of United Kingdom who had trekked in this region 30 years ago. From this region one could see the mountain range and eight lakes out of nine lakes of Pokhara. From here The Annapurna Range, Machhapuchchhre Range, Dhaulagiri and Manasulu's mountain peaks could be seen. Fewa lake and Kamal Lake of Pokhara and Begnas, Maidi, Dipang, Gude, Nureni and Khaste Lakes of Lekhnath could be seen from this region though apart from Fewa and Begnas, other lakes don't look like a lake today. Many villages of the hilly region like Khilang, Siklesh and villages of Lamjung could also be seen from this region. Thulakot also carries a historic importance as it was one of the kingdom of Chubise (twenty four) kingdom of Kaski.
There are only few hotels in this region and Annapurna Skyline cottage is one of them. It is the only cottage that is situated in the hilltop of Thulakot and has got four rooms with around twelve beds. The rates of the hotels over here are reasonable as there is no difficulty in the transportation of goods. One should look for a good weather before coming to this place as this place would look heavenly when you see the mountains so close that you might think you could reach there in a day.
Midnight shot taken from the ground to capture the mountain range, the Annapurna skyline cottage and the stars.
The cottage of Annapurna Sky Line where more than 12 peoples can accommodate easily
Mr. Narayan Sapkota, proprietor of Annapurna Skyline Cottage and secretary of TAAN, Pachimanchal Chapter shows the scenery around to his friends of TAAN.
Night view seen from the window of the Annapurna Sky Line cottage. Khilang and Siklesh villages does not face electricity blackouts which is quite rare in the cities of Nepal
Article and Photography by Ravi Shrestha