Located on the outskirts of Pokhara city is the hill known as Sarangkot. It offers one of Pokhara's greatest views of the Annapurna Himalayan mountains peaks. It is best viewed at dawn or dusk due to the spectacular pink and orange hues the mountain range takes on.
There's a non-descript village just before the fiew point which is based atop an ancient fort. Sarangkot is also the popular location for paragliders to launch from in Pokhara.
If you are going trekking in the Annapurna mountain range then view Sarangkot first rather than after the trek! It's somehow better to look at where you are going than where you've just come from.
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The main mountains you will see from Sarangkot are Dhaulagiri (8167m), Machhapuchhare (6993m) and, Annapurna II (8,091m).
You'll need to think about the time of year you are going first. If it's peak season then you should have good clear views. But if it's monsson season it might be hazy or cloudy. You'll also need to think about brining appropriate clothing e.g. rain gear (read the weather guide to Nepal for more).
You'll also need to think about whether you want to be there at dawn or dusk. Most people say dawn and sunrise gives a better view.
By taxi: The most popular way to get to Saragkot is via a private taxi. Arrange a taxi the evening before and they will pick you up - it takes about 30-40 minutes to drive up depending on the road conditions. They will drop you about 15-20 minutes walk from the top. A taxi will also wait about an hour for you and then return you to your hotel. Cost: taxis can charge anywhere from 800-2000 rupees - bargain hard!!
By Motorcycle: Either hire your own or hire one with a driver. There are many enterprising young people in Pokhara who can be easily presuaded to take you to Sarangkot. Do be aware that the road is quite broken and you might be riding in the dark. Wearing a helmet would be sensible!
Cost: Hiring a motorcycle for the day USD$35-50+. Hiring a bike and driver 600-1000 rupees.
Walk: You can walk/hike/cycle to Sarangkot. It takes about 3-5 hours. The trail leaves from the Baglung bus park or you can try the remoter trail from Lake Phewa Tal. For a dawn view it means a very early start or rather a late night start which can be dangerous due to bad paths and a lack of lighting. Likewise if coming back.
There is also a slightly more rural way to visit via Methlang hill just east of Lakeside but a guide is advised as the hill here, though small, is not marked.
By Tour: Finally there's a tour option. These are often run by hotels or agents. It's practically the same as getting a taxi yourself as your guide may not even accompany you to the viewing platform. If this is the case you might just try to round up some people and share a taxi up.
Cost: Tour can cost over 800 rupees each. There are some hotels which operate group discounts which can lower the cost significantly.
Do check out the weather in Nepal before going to Sarangkot. It can be cold and windy up there so be prepared.
Get there early to avoid the massive crowds that seem to appear there every morning and evening. If you have a taxi waiting make sure they understand the amount of time you want to spend there.
Bring a torch as it will be dark if you arrive in the morning and dark again if after the sunset.
Bring snacks. After all that waiting around you might get hungry or thirsty.
Don't expect a lot of hushed silence during sunrise or sunset. If there's a big crowd it can get noisy - this seems to upset a lot of people.
If bringing a tripod then don't bother setting it up on the old fort viewing platform as it will be knocked off once people arrive!
If push comes to shove and the crowds get too much then there are rumors of quieter spots nearby to enjoy a more peaceful spectical. Just mind your footing!
For more activities in Pokhara like Paragliding, the world peace stupa and much more check out the Pokhara travel guide.
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