Sundari Danda A ten minutes walk along a gently ascending forest trail is Sundari Danda, literally meaning `beautiful hill' in Nepali. This long ridge is a different world altogether and as such, awaits you to explore it’s row teashops and village pubs. From here you will not only have magnificent views of the Manaslu Himal and the entire Annapurna massif with their many prominent peaks, but also sights of the twin spring-fed lakes of Begnas and Rupa as this colourful bazaar located on a hill ridge separates them.
Just walking along the Sundari Danda ridge you could have close contact with Nepal's hill people as also with the pristine beauty of the surrounding hill sides. People of diverse ethnic groups live side by side in clusters of hutments co-existing for generations as good neighbours, mainly engaged in farming,
fishing or running their little shops.
Sundari Danda, though just 15 kms away from Pokhara town is simply another world. It is well known in the Pokhara valley for its hard working pretty maidens, easy-going men and for a potent millet brew called ‘Kodo' well-liked for its smoky flavour and mellow taste.
Pauraake From your resort walk up to Sundari Danda heading eastward along the ridge to Sundari bazaar, a cluster of small shops and inns. Walk along a quiet forested dirt road to Bhanjyang, a small settlement at the ridge end. From here walk along an uphill trail that leads to a large expanse of hardwood Saal and hazel-nut forest to Trisuli Danda, a small hill overlooking the Rupa and Begnas lakes in the distance with the Annapurna massif looming to the north-west.
Walk past an old health-post which has fallen into disuse and has been non-operative for years due to administrative neglect. Nearby, visit a village primary school which is supported by your resort with the involvement of guest donors and foreign sponsors. Mingle with the children and test their knowledge of
Maths, English and a smattering of foreign languages they have picked up from passing tourists. Continue along the uphill trail to Pauraake, a small, clean Bahun village perched right near the ridge top. Visit some village homes to see the life-style of the local farming folks. We return the same way but if you feel adventurous you may take a steep narrow trail which is a short-cut down to your resort.
Simla Danda From your resort take a narrow trail winding through bushes and Hazelnut trees ascending slowly to Chyaan Danda before reaching a small village bazaar. From
here follow a dirt road west till you reach a narrow path breaking off towards the densely forested Rupakot area. Walk along the hill ridge to reach a
secluded settlement perched on a spur overlooking the Rupa lake and the dense forests surrounding it.
This little village consists of rows of clean mud and stone houses inhabited by people belonging to the ethnic Gurung hill tribe. Most of the village men are
either soldiers drafted to serve in the British army or the Indian army where the average salaries are handsome. Some others are either farmers or live off
fishing in the nearby lakes.
The locals also excel at brewing a sweetish soft beer called ‘Tomba’ drunk through bamboo straws and a potent millet distillate, ‘Kodo’ well liked for it’s
smoky flavour and mellow taste. No evening is complete without tales of valour in the battlefield around the fireplace accompanied by a glass of warm ‘Kodo