Nestled near the stunning Annapurna Range, Pokhara is the gateway to extraordinary trekking experiences. As the second-largest city in Nepal, Pokhara is renowned for its serene lakes, majestic mountains, and vibrant cultural scene. The Pokhara valley acts as the starting point for the enchanting journey towards the retro village of Pothana.

Pothana is a hidden gem along the Mardi Himal trekking route welcoming nature enthusiasts in the Annapurna Conservation Area. Established around 1970AD, the village owes its origin to the mass of tourists interested in this region. Over the years, Pothana has evolved as a popular camping ground and has become a crucial stop on the Mardi Himal Trek.

Situated in the south of the Annapurna Range, Pothana offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. The village is a testament to the harmonious coexistence of the traditional lifestyle of locals and mass tourism eager to explore this destination. The charm of Pothana lies not only in its panoramic views but also in the warm hospitality of its inhabitants which play a vital role in making the trekking experience special.

As you venture on the journey from Pokhara to Pothana Trek, you will cross through diverse landscapes, from lush forests to alpine meadows, in the grandeur of the Annapurna region. Pothana, with its rustic charm and unspoiled beauty, promises a retreat into the heart of the Himalayas, making it a destination worth exploring for those seeking an authentic and immersive trekking experience.

Where is Pothana?

Pothana is situated approximately 26 kilometers Northwest of the bustling city of Pokhara, Nepal. The village is popular as a tranquil gem in the Annapurna Conservation Area. Pothana Village(1,890 meters) lies just south of the majestic Annapurna mountain range, creating a breathtaking panorama that captivates the hearts of trekkers and nature enthusiasts. The Pothana village serves as a strategic point for trekkers exploring the Mardi Himal trekking route to witness the grandeur of the Annapurna massif.


Route for Pokhara to Pothana Trek

  • Pokhara to Pothana Trek via Dhampus

Pothana is conveniently accessible from Pokhara, merely a 1-2 hour drive followed by a 5-hour trek. This proximity makes it an excellent choice for trekkers seeking a rewarding adventure without an extended travel time.

This way to Pothana is through Dhampus Village, a traditional Gurung settlement offering panoramic views of the Annapurna and Machapuchare ranges. This trek is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture in the remote parts of Nepal


  • Pokhara to Pothana via Ghandruk:

For an alternative and culturally enriching experience, consider the route to Pothana via Ghandruk. For this route, you must start the trek from Pokhara and drive to Nayapul. Followed by a trek through various landscapes terraced fields, and charming villages. As the trek unfolds you arrive in Ghandruk, a Gurung village renowned for its traditional architecture and warm hospitality.

The overall trek from Pokhara to Pothana Trek covers a distance that allows for a comfortable journey.


Also, read about other treks in Annapurna Conservation Area:

Permit Required to Visit Pothana

Pokhara to Pothana Trek is an exciting adventure but requires an administrative step to obtain the (TIMS) Trekkers Information Management System Card for the foreigners trekking in this region. TIMS card helps authorities to keep track of trekkers and provide essential information for trekker’s safety.

You can acquire a TIMS card online, through trekking agencies, or on Nepal Tourism Board Pokhara. The cost of the TIMS card per person is Rs. 2,000 for foreign citizens.


Highlights of Pokhara to Pothana Trek

Pokhara to Pothana trek promises an unforgettable experience in each step revealing the unique highlights that make this journey exceptional. Here are some of the highlights Pothana trek:

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Exploration:

This trek takes you through off-the-beaten-path trails and the remote villages that reflect the authentic essence of the traditional mountain lifestyle. You get the chance to immerse yourself in the culture of these communities, gaining insights into their daily lifestyle.

  • Cultural Inclusivity and Festive Participation:

The trek offers more than just scenic beauty, it invites you to actively participate in the cultural tapestry of the region. Trekking through local villages, you get the opportunity to communicate with the locals and observe their cultural heritage. If your trek aligns with local festivals or events, consider yourself fortunate, as these moments provide a glimpse into the vibrant traditions of the Himalayan communities.

  • Panoramic Views of Snow-Capped Peaks:

One of the highlights of the Pokhara to Pothana trek is the breathtaking panorama of snow-capped mountains. You get to witness the majestic view of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre ranges.

  • Scenic Trekking Route through Oak Forests and Rhododendron Blooms:

The trek unfolds along a scenic route through enchanting oak forests, creating a serene atmosphere. If you plan your visit in spring, you will be greeted by the vibrant Rhododendrons, transforming the landscape into a floral wonder. The contrast of the greenery and the blossoms against the backdrop of the Himalayas is a visual treat for trekkers.

  • Reasonable Trek Cost and Easy Access:

Accessibility and affordability are key highlights of this trek. The ease of access, with a short drive from Pokhara followed by a trek, makes it a convenient choice for those seeking an enriching experience without an exhaustive travel itinerary.


What is the Best Time to Visit the Pothana?

Choosing the right time for your Pokhara to Pothana trek is crucial for an optimal experience, blending favorable weather conditions with the scenic beauty of the Annapurna region.

  • Year-Round Accessibility:

Pothana is situated at a lower altitude and opens its doors to trekkers all year round. The moderate elevation allows comfortable trekking even during winter, making it an attractive destination for those seeking adventure in all seasons.

  • Monsoon Considerations:

While Pothana is accessible year-round, the monsoon season, from June to August, is full of challenges. Heavy rainfall can make roads and paths difficult to navigate, impacting the overall trekking experience. Hence, it is not recommended to plan your Pokhara to Pothana trek during these wet and slippery months.

  • Late March to Early April – Rhododendron Bloom:

If you are seeking a burst of colors among the Himalayas, late March to early April is highly recommended. This period coincides with the full bloom of rhododendron trees, transforming the landscape into a vibrant canvas.

  • October to November – Post-Monsoon Clarity:

Another prime time to undertake the Pokhara to Pothana trek is during the post-monsoon months of October and November. The air is crisp and clear, providing unparalleled visibility of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre ranges. This time ensures stunning panoramas and comfortable trekking conditions.

  • Consideration of Local Events and Festivals:

To add a layer of cultural richness to your trek, consider aligning your visit with local events or festivals of the Pothana Region. Participating in these celebrations provides a unique opportunity to engage with the local communities and witness their traditions.


3 Days Trek Itinerary from Pokhara to Pothana Village

Begin the second day with breakfast in Dhampus and hike towards Pothana. Trek through the scenic landscapes to reach Pothana by evening. Pothana is also a renowned overnight camp for trekkers hiking for Mardi Himal.

In the early morning, enjoy panoramic views in Pothana before starting the return journey. Trek back to Phedi via Dhampus, witnessing Himalayan views and lush green forests. Reach the trek's endpoint by afternoon and drive back to Pokhara.

Trek Difficulty of Pokhara to Pothana Village

Pokhara to Pothana Village Trek is a mild adventure, suitable for trekkers of varying experience levels. With proper preparation, and an awareness of the trail conditions and seasonal factors, this trek can be a delightful introduction to the mesmerizing landscapes and cultural richness of the Annapurna region.

  • Moderate Difficulty:

The Pokhara to Pothana trek is generally classified as an easy trek that is accessible to a broad spectrum of trekkers. Well-established trekking trail and the gradual elevation gain make the Pokhara to Pothana trek a mild one.

  • Altitude:

Pothana Village is situated at a relatively low altitude of 1,890 meters, making the trek less strenuous compared to higher-altitude treks in the Annapurna Region.

  • Terrain and Trail Conditions:

The trek unfolds through diverse terrains, including forests, meadows, and charming villages. Trekkers will encounter well-maintained paths, although certain sections may be uneven or rocky. Be mindful of the varied trail conditions and wear appropriate footwear.

  • Duration and Daily Hiking Time:

The Pokhara to Pothana trek typically spans about 3 – 5 days, with an estimated hiking time of around 2-5 hours. The duration allows for a leisurely pace, ensuring trekkers have ample time to appreciate the surroundings and acclimatize to the altitude.


Accommodation Options During the Trek

Here is a comprehensive look into the types of accommodations you can expect on the Pokhara to Pothana Trek:

  • Tea Houses:

Tea houses are found in abundance along the trail. Local guesthouses or tea houses are a popular choice for trekkers while visiting Pothana Village. These establishments offer cozy rooms with basic amenities, providing a warm and inviting atmosphere. Staying in tea houses allows you to interact with local hosts, immersing yourself in the unique culture of the region.

  • Lodge Accommodations:

Mountain Lodges are scattered strategically along the trail and offer comfortable accommodations with amenities like hot showers and warm meals. These lodges, often run by local families, contribute to the sustainable tourism efforts in the region.


What to Pack for Pokhara to Pothana Trek?

Footwear and Clothing

  • Proper hiking shoes
  • Sandals/flip-flops
  • Half a pair of socks
  • Traveling towel
  • Warm clothes (if trekking in winter)
  • Hiking pants/shorts
  • 2 selected t-shirts
  • Windcheater
  • Sun hat/glasses

Tools and Accessories

  • Torch (optional, most places have electricity)
  • Rain gears
  • Mosquito repellent (if trekking in warm/rainy season)
  • Trekking pole
  • Camera, mobile phones, and chargers
  • Extra money (NPR) for beverages and other personal expenses.

Hygiene and Health Essentials:

  • Toiletries
  • Water bottles
  • Snacks (nuts/dry foods, etc, optional)
  • Basic medicines (e.g., Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Iodine, Bandages, Antifungal ointments, etc.)


Final Say

As we wrap up our blog on the Pokhara to Pothana trekking trail, it is clear that this journey is not just about physical exploration. It is an adventure on the natural and cultural wonders of Nepal

The mesmerizing landscapes, the retro villages, and the rewarding trails are the major highlights of Pokhara to Pothana Trek. The trek is a fusion of adventure, culture, and serenity.

Whether you are a trekking enthusiast or a nature lover looking for tranquility, the Pokhara to Pothana Trek promises an unforgettable short adventure. Therefore, put on your hiking boots, embrace the beauty of the Annapurna region, and let the mountains work their magic as you move forward on this captivating trail.



  • How long does it take to complete the Pokhara to Pothana Trek?

The  Pokhara to Pothana trek usually takes around 3 to 5 days, depending on your pace and the specific route you choose. 

  • What is the best time of year to visit the Pothana Village?

The ideal time is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is stable, offering clear skies and favorable trekking conditions.

  • Are permits required for the Pokhara to Pothana Trek?

Yes, a trekking permit is necessary for the trek. You will need the Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card for your trekking journey to Pothana.

  • Is the trek from Pokhara to Pothana suitable for beginners?

Yes, the trek is ideal for beginners with a reasonable level of fitness. The treking distance is just 18km with some variation in landscape.

  • Are there opportunities for cultural experiences during the Pokhara to Pothana Trek?

Yes! The trek takes you through traditional villages, offering insights into Gurung culture. You get to interact with friendly locals and witness their way of life.

  • Can I hire a guide or porter for the Pokhara to Pothana Trek?

Yes, hiring a guide or porter is possible and can enhance your trekking experience. Guides know the terrain, and porters can assist with carrying your backpack, allowing you to enjoy the journey more comfortably.

  • What is the accommodation like along the Pokhara to Pothana Trail?

Accommodation options available are teahouses and guesthouses providing basic facilities. It is ideal to book in advance during peak trekking seasons.