Off-the-Beaten-Path | The Khumai Danda Trek
Until two decades ago, Machhapuchhre Rural Municipality-1 Khumaidanda of Kaski was filled with okra. After the Machhapuchhre model trek was opened on the initiative of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), foreign tourists started going on 'camping treks'. After the 're-branding' of this footpath, it has now become the choice of domestic tourists as well.
Machhapuchhre model trek reached Khumaidanda-Korchan via Siran Saintighat-Purundhru of Mardi Khola. From there, Ghachok-Sardikhola flowed through Pipra Lake. There were no hotels or restaurants on the hiking route. In some places there were Dharamshalas built by TAAN. Foreign tourists used to complete this hiking route in a week.
The local youth of Machhapuchhre Rural Municipality-1 Ghachok formed the Great Machhapuchhre Trail Committee last year. He promoted the hiking route from the top of Ghachok to Korchan Lake via Khumaidanda by naming it 'Great Machhapuchhre Trail'. This area is full of domestic tourists since last decade. You can reach the end of Ghachok by jeep or bus from Harichok in Pokhara. The jeep goes all the way to Saripakha. Hillekhark is reached after walking for two hours from Saripakha. Some trekkers start their trek from Tuse and reach Hillekhark to stay. Most of them start their trek from Saripakha and reach Hillekhark for breakfast. After about 5/6 hours of uphill climb from Hillekhark, one reaches Khumaidanda. Some restaurants have been built along this hiking route. Some are still under construction.
On the way, while looking at the flowers of the rododhendron, you can also see the stilts and munals. Khumaidanda, which is 3,250 meters above sea level, has thick snow in winter. There are three hotels in Khumaidanda, which is like sitting on the shoulder of Machhapuchhre. This hotel can accommodate up to 250 guests. If you want to see a more beautiful view from Khumaidanda, you have to reach Korchan, which is 3,690 meters above sea level and takes two hours to reach there from Khumai danda. The hikers who reach Khumaidanda get up at 4 o'clock the next day and reach Korchan to watch the sunrise. The sight of the first rays of the sun falling on the top of the fishtail makes tourists happy.
From Korchan, the Machhapuchhre Himalaya and the Annapurna Himalaya range are so close that the eyes cannot look at the same place. Looking towards Machhapuchhre, you can see Annapurna South and Himchuli on the left, Annapurna 3rd on the right. Pokhara Valley can be seen to the south. In winter, tourists visit Khumaidanda and Korchan to see the scene when Pokhara market is covered with fog.
A full board accommodation at khumai danda per person will cost around two thousand rupees. Those who want to use a different route can return from Korchan via Saitighatta. Pokhara can be reached in one day from Korchan. One night, two days for those who can walk rigorously and two nights, three days for those who take time can complete this walking route.
Khumaidanda-Korchan is the choice of domestic tourists as it is the nearest destination that can be reached in two days from the city. Khumaidanda is currently 'viral' on social media including TikTok. On Fridays, Saturdays and other public holidays, there is a heavy influx of domestic tourists. If you go without contacting the hotel beforehand, you may not get accommodation.
Machhapuchhre rural municipality has held its 16th executive committee meeting in Khumaidanda to promote this trail. The executive meeting held last Saturday has decided to organize and promote the walking routes of the rural municipality.