Table of Content:
- Introduction of Sikles Trek
- Information about Sikles Community Trek
- Detailed 15 days Itinerary Sikles Trek
- Necessary Trekking Gears
- Exploration of Gurung ethnic community rich in its culture and tradition
- Home stay facilities of Sikles, Ghale Kharka, Tangting and Yangjakot
- Breathtaking views of the snowcapped peaks like Annapurna II, IV, Lamjung Himal, Mt. Machhapuchhre from Sikles.
- Eco Museum of Sikles and interaction with the friendly and helpful Gurung people
- Safe trekking trail that passes through rhododendron forests suitable for family trek
- The most appropriate Nepal trekking package for student exchange programs
- Firsthand experience of Shamanism prevalent in Gurung Community
Sikles trek lets you around the second largest Gurung village in Nepal after Bhujung of Lamjung, standing on 2,000m high hillock. Sikles is located in a remote but beautiful rhododendron forest surrounding having symmetrical clustered houses built in traditional pattern. This village is one of the famous tourist destinations in Nepal due to its well preserved typical culture, tradition, rites and rituals. Sikles is a significant ethnic village having around 850 households among which majority are Gurung following their socio-cultural practices since time immemorial. Therefore, it is also known as the Gurung Cultural Heritage trekking having a quite trail followed by a limited number of tourists.
One of the most popular treks in Nepal in Annapurna region, it is also recognized as Royal trek in the world tourism market. The British Prince Charles along with his people visited this region in the early 80s to explore the natural and cultural assets. You can see the enchanting cultural villages situated on top of mountains, terraced farmlands amidst dense rhododendron forests between Annapurna II and IV. Besides, you can witness the stunning vistas of snowcapped peaks like Annapurna II, Annapurna IV, Lamjung Himal and Mt. Machhapuchhre all over 6,500m.
As the highest altitude to reach during this trekking is Sikles Village (1,980m) it is the best family trekking package in Nepal. You can find a unique experience of home stay facilities in Sikles and other Gurung villages which are the important stopovers during the journey. Although this trek can be done throughout the year, spring and autumn are the best time for Sikles trek. Doing this trek in these seasons, you can have the 360-degree view of the snowy peaks of Annapurna region and the eye-catching landscapes and mountain villages. You can get the lifelong memory of camping trekking while exploring the Gurung ethnic villages or you can experience home stay trekking.
Sikles Gurung Cultural Heritage trek is the best Nepal trekking package for foreign pupils under the student exchange programs. Excursion to Sikles provides you a valuable opportunity to turn the classroom activities regarding culture and tradition into a real-life learning. Along with the enthralling panorama of nature and snowcapped peaks, the students can make a thorough study on diverse flora and fauna. They can also acquire the in-depth knowledge about the rites and rituals of Gurung people whose males are known as the Gurkhas. The Gurkhas who have a dominant presence in the British and Indian Army have a noble history related to the World Wars.
While spending four days five nights at Sikles, you can learn a lot of things related to Gurung culture and tradtion. Sikles is the first model home stay in Asia where the first community-based integrated conservation and development project, the Annapurna Conservation Area Project was introduced. You can learn the education system, local culture and tradition whereas you can yours with the people of the Annapurna region. Eco Museum Sikles displays the Gurung art and artifact, environment-related materials and specimens of different species of butterflies, reptiles and insects. You get a chance to experience the Shamanistic practices prevalent in Gurung community live performed by Jhakris and Lamas, the priests of the community.
Detailed 15 days Itinerary Sikles Trek:
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350m)
On your arrival day, the representative of A1 Excursion receives you at the Kathmandu International Airport. S/he takes you to the hotel which is booked for your accommodation purpose. You can either take a rest or a stroll around the tourist hub, Thamel area.
Day 02: Sightseeing Tour in Kathmandu & Trek Preparation
Today, the tour guide of A1 Excursion takes you around the UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in the Kathmandu Valley. You will visit Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath Temple, Bouddhanath Stupa and Patan Durbar Square. The art and architecture of these historical and religious sites are worth visiting to get information about beauty. The majestic scenery of the entire Kathmandu Valley from the top of Monkey Temple is really superb! In the evening, the trekking guide gives you all the info regarding Sikles trekking package like type, trek difficulty and major attractons, etc.
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara (910m) -6 Hours
After having breakfast at the hotel, the journey towards Sikles begins in a private jeep or tourist bus. The drive to the lake city Pokhara gives you a wonderful experience of snowy peaks of Manaslu region and amazing landscapes. The trade centers situated on the edge of the Trishuli and the Marsyangdi Rivers also make your roadway trip memorable. The mountain villages, the hills covered with different species of plants and the road winding along the rocky ridges are also attractive. After 6 hours of continuous drive, you reach pokhara, one of the most illustrious tourist hubs of Nepal for the night station. After you are checked in the hotel for the accommodation, you can take a stroll around the lake city.
Day 04: Drive to Bhurjung Khola (1,219m) and Trek to Ghale Kharka (1,370m) -6 Hours
As soon as you take your breakfast, you begin the journey towards the Bhurjung Khola in a private jeep. The Bhurjung Khola, situated at the bottom of Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Machhapuchhre, is famous for rainbow trout fish farming. After reaching there in about 1.5 hours, you can observe the rainbow trout fish farming of Annapurna region. Then you follow the trekking trail going uphill and move further to Ghale Kharka, a famous stopover during Sikles trek.
In the course of trekking, you will enjoy the welcoming sight of the snowy peaks of Annapurna region and ethnic villages. You can relish the eye-catching outlook of the green hills and snowcapped mountains like Mt. Machhapuchhre and Lamjung Himal. You spend the night by experiencing the first home stay facility during the Gurung Cultural Heritage trail. You can take the real taste of the cuisines prepared by the locals using the crops and vegetables produced in their own fields.
Day 05: Trek to Sikles (1,980m/) - 5 Hours
Today’s journey is the most memorable day of the entire Nepal Sikles trek as you are going to reach the utmost destination. The trekking route ascends towards the steep hill along the dense rhododendron forests which shelter varieties of bird species. Across the ridge, you reach Tara Hill which is an optional overnight stops during Sikles Eco-tourism route. The village is the vantage point of Annapurna range and Lamjung Himal which unveil their charismatic looks during the sunshine.
While moving ahead through the rhododendron forests, you may have occasional glimpses of Lophophorus (Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal). Then, you come to find another beautiful village Parche (Parje) which is famous for Super Madi Hydroelectricity Project. Finally, by going along the steep trail, you reach Sikles, one of the oldest and largest Gurung villages in Annapurna region. The Gurung community people welcome you by offering red Tika (colour), garland and khada, a type of Tibetan shawl. Overnight stay at a homestay enjoying the typical Nepali cuisines prepared and served by the Gurung woman.
Day 06: Exploration of Sikles
You can sleep until late in the morning today as you are not going any further destination but exploring the village. There are many things to learn and more things to experience from natural vistas to cultural shows in Sikles village. You can hike to Sikles Park and Rising Danda for the stunning vistas of Annapurna II, Lamjung Himal and other peaks. You can also visit Eco Museum to learn about the culture, tradition, art and attire of the honest ethnic group. Likewise, you can find environment-related materials and specimens of different species of butterflies, reptiles and insects in it. Besides, you can talk to the friendly and helpful people who will tell you more about their rites, rituals and history including some anecdotes of the World Wars perhaps!
The handicrafts, cloth embroidery and four mills (Ghatta) being operated with the help of water current are the traditional uniqueness preserved in here. In the evening, the Aama Samuha (Mothers’ Group) performs cultural shows in order to entertain the tourists to visit their hamlet. Folk dance and cultural dances of the Gurung community is a significant aspect to learn about.
Day 07: Visit community Base School:
Today is the second day you are going to spend in Sikles village, so you go to the local schools. There are three schools: Annapurna Secondary, Sthanpati Lower Secondary School Nalku Primary School in Sikles village for facilitating the children for quality education. You can take a visit to these schools by taking permissions from the school administration for exchanging your English with Nepali or Gurung language. If you are visiting Sikles under Students Exchange Program, it is high time you share your experience with the students there. You can interact with the teachers and students to know more about the education system which is being followed there. This interaction makes you more familiar with them and it will be easier to spend the remaining time.
In the evening, the Aamaa Samuha (the Mothers’ Group) performs the cultural shows of their typical ethnic community. You can learn music and dance of the Gurung community in the village.
Day 08: Learn more about Nepali and Gurung Languages Plus Culture and Tradition
Today also you can stroll around the village where you can talk to the senior citizens and interact with them. They help you learn more about their culture and tradition including interesting anecdotes regarding their origin, surrounding and many more. In the daytime, you can go to schools and share your experience with the children and the teachers. You can share the ways to improve knowledge on different subjects and learn from the students there about speaking Nepali and Gurung Languages. You can make bird watching tour around the village or go to the riverside to relish the authentic rustic life. In the evening, practise some Gurung cultural songs and dances with the local people who are honest and wonderfully helpful. Sharing the same kitchen with the family, you can also learn to cook Nepali cuisines and teach them to cook your cuisines.
Day 09: Last Day and Night at Sikles
You can witness the sunrise view of the ethnic villages, alluring landscapes and green forests of Annapurna region. You spend the day enjoying the beautiful scenery of the snowcapped peaks of the Annapurna range and Lamjung Himal. After you take your meal, you can again go to the schools and conduct discussion programs with the children and teachers. You can observe the cultural shows performed by the students and show your cultural shows to them. You can exchange the beautiful aspects of your culture and tradition with one another. You can take a short walk around the village to enjoy the flora and fauna found there. The most striking feature of Pokhara Sikles trek is the first hand experience of shamanism which is performed in almost all ceremonies. The priests of Gurung, Jhakris and Lamas perform such rites and rituals from birth to marriage to death ceremony. They believe that the shamanistic practices make their ancestral deities happy and they will be protected! In the evening, you can learn culinary art of the local people and participate in the cultural shows to be more knowledgeable
Day 10: Trek to Tangting (1,685m) -4/5 Hours
You have spent complete four nights five days in exploring the typical culture and tradition of Sikles village. You have learned about the education system being followed in the village schools and the teaching materials used there. You have exchanged the culture and tradition of yours with them and learned theirs. After breakfast, the Aamaa Samuha of Sikles conducts a farewell program as a part of unique hospitality of this community. After the farewell program, you start the trekking down to Tingtang village, another Gurung village in the region. You follow the trail that takes you along meadows and terraced fields with seasonal crops enjoying the natural beauty. After crossing a suspension bridge over the Madi River, you reach Tangting Village which is also running a home stay facility. You can enjoy the breathtaking view of Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Machhapuchhre from this classic Gurung village. Overnight stay at a home stay by sharing the food items prepared by the host and yourself!
Day 11: Trek to Yangjakot (1,200m/ -4 Hours
As soon as you take your breakfast, you trek down towards Yangjakot by following the sloppy trail that passes along the dense forests. On the way, you walk past the terraced farming lands, ethnic villages and a few suspension bridges. Witnessing the pure natural environment and listening to the chirping of the birds, you reach Yangjakot, another stopover during the trek. This is another typical Gurung Village serving the guests with home stay facilities for their accommodation. You can have the magnificent panoramic view of the snowcapped peaks of the Annapurna region and the captivating landscapes. Overnight rest at a home stay relishing the typical organic food items prepared by the host.
Day 12: Trek to Kalikasthan (1,080m/ and Drive to Pokhara (913m)6/7 Hours
From Yangjakot, you will follow the trail that goes along the Madi River to reach Kalikasthan. Enjoy the mountain views and lively landscapes, dense forests and gurgling water during the trekking to Kalikasthan. From there, you catch a private jeep to reach the lake city Pokhara where you spend the night at a hotel. You can celebrate the completion of the trekking routes of Sikles trek 15 days itinerary with your friends to make this Nepal visit more memorable.
Day 13: Pokhara Day Tour
You can sleep till late morning today as you don’t have to cover longer distance along the trekking trail. After becoming fresh and taking breakfast, the tour guide takes you for Pokhara day tour around the lake city Pokhara. There are many places to explore in Pokhara, the most popular tourist destination of Nepal like Phewa Lake, Devi’s Fall, Tal Barahi, and so on. If you can manage time, you can experience some of the adventurous activities like paragliding, zip flying, hot air ballooning from Sarangkot. Pokhara hot air ballooning is one of the best experience once in lifetime you shouldn’t miss out! You can experience boating on Phewa Lake for making this trip more remarkable! Return to the hotel for the night station.
Day 14: Fly back to Kathmandu
After taking breakfast at the hotel, you will go to Pokhara Airport to catch a flight to Kathmandu. You take a flight to Kathmandu from Pokhara enjoying the last glimpse of the snowy peaks of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu region. The aerial view of the lush valleys, wonderful landscapes and trade centers is really difficult to describe in any words! After landing at the Kathmandu International Airport, the team member of A1 Excursion takes you to the hotel. Becoming fresh, you can go for shopping to buy some things like souvenirs, Nepali garment, thankas or other typical stuffs. You can give these tokens of love from the Nepal visit to gift to your people back in the home country. Or, you can spend the time by celebrating with the parties with the fellow travelers to make this vacation more notable. In the evening, our agency organizes the farewell dinner at a restaurant giving you the impression of Nepalese culture and tradition.
Day 15: Final Departure
Today is the final day of your Sikles-Wisdom Nepal trek 12 days itinerary which was really a wonderful experience. The representative of our trekking agency goes to the Kathmandu International Airport along with you for final see-off. Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to make your trekking in Nepal in an organized way. We hope to see you again next time and wish you a happy and safe journey.
Necessary Trekking Gears:
- Duffel or Rucksack bag (Provided)
- Down Sleeping bag (Provided)
- Down Jacket (Provided)
- Hiking pants
- Waterproof & Windproof jacket
- Rain coat or Umbrella
- Full-sleeves shirts
- Jumper or Fleece jacket
- Pair of T-shirts
- Trekking Boots (water proof is better)
- Sandal, Toilet paper
- Cotton thick socks (2 pair), Woolen socks to wear with boots
- Sun-hat & fleece hat
- Sun block for lips
- Sun lotion
- Goggles or Sunglasses
- Thermal long underwear sets
- Insulated pants
- Trekking poles
- Wind breaker pants
- Water bottle
- Flash light or Head light, Batteries
- Swiss army Knife
- Personal Dry Towel
- Personal toiletries and medication which should be labeled
- Snow leg Gaiters