Quite–Less Crowded Trek in Annapurna: Khopra Danda / Khair Lake Trek


Khopra Danda / Khair Lake Trek is the less crowded trek in Annapurna Region. It took at least 7 to 9 days trekking and 6 to 7 hours walking on average.

These trek  locates in Annapurna Region. You need to go Pokhara from Kathmandu.

You need 8 to 11 Days, from Kathmandu–Pokhara–5/9 Days trekking–Pokhara- Kathmandu. Depends on your fitness level, how long you can walk each day and the weather.

You can buy domestic flight ticket to save time, from Kathmandu to Pokhara USD$124 (Indian & Nepali Fare NRs. 4800.00 per Person). The flight duration is 25 minutes.

Better to choose morning flight because the weather in Nepal unpredictable. It is common to have flight delay if the weather is not good.

By the time I write this post, Pokhara international airport is being constructed, so you can’t have an international direct flight.

Annapurna region is most popular trekking trail in Nepal after Everest. Trekking cost in Annapurna Region cheaper compare with Everest region. Most people trek to Annapurna Base Camp and Poonhill.

If you trekking in peak season, it will be difficult to find quest house in the trail. You must wait for a long time to get your food cooked, and because narrow trail, then you must walk slower because sometimes you need to wait other trekker to pass.

Overview: Less Crowded Khopra Danda / Khair Lake Community Trek

Khopra Danda / Khair Lake Community Trek is a good trek for peoples who first time visit Nepal and try to do trekking. It’s newly opened trekking. That’s the reason this trail is not so popular compare to Poon Hill.

Khopra Danda trek gives you pleasant views of Annapurna (10rd highest in the world) and Dhaulagiri (7rd highest mountain in the world).

Virtual Tour Khopra Danda / Khair Lake Community Trek

As most of trekking trail in Annapurna Region, you will find remote villages, green forests, long suspension bridges, and view over High Mountain.

Here you also can find Khayer Lake or Khair Lake. Regarded by Hindus as a sacred lake, bathing in the lake can help you achieve Nirvana. We can even see several Hindu and Buddhist shrines on the lakeside.

  • Maximum Elevation: 4,660 meters at Khayer Lake.
  • Starting Point:  Nayapul
  • Ending Point: Nayapul
  • Difficulty Moderate: Moderate
  • Accommodation: Community lodge/ teahouse
  • Permits Required: TIMS card and ACAP Permit
  • Total days: 9-11 Days
  • Food: Nepali, Indian, Western, Chinese
  • Guide: independent or with guide/porter

How to get Khopra Danda

After reaching Pokhara, you can use a private jeep to Nayapul for 2,5 hours.

Jeep is more comfortable because of the street condition. The cost to hire a private jeep is around USD$70- USD$80 per Jeep.

You can ask a tour company, mountain hike Nepal, to arrange a jeep for you. I recommend them because; they provide a jeep rent with a fair price.

Or if you want to save the cost, you also can ask them to get a shared jeep and can share the cost with other people that have the same destination, it’s around $9-$10.

Insurance for trek

The maximum elevation for Khopra Danda / Khair Lake trek is 4660m. It’s categorized as high altitude.

Annapurna conversation area is remote area and difficult to reach. When walking at high altitude above 2,500m, the air is thinner and has less oxygen saturation.

It will make us more difficult to breathe.

It is important to prepare for your best condition.

I recommend you to have insurance. In case you need Helicopter rescue because of altitude sickness or any health condition that make you unable to continue the trek and need emergency condition.

You can buy insurance to cover the trek only or your entire trip in Nepal.

I recommend you to buy insurance like World Nomads that’s covering high altitudes hikes. They covering outdoor activities and work in the region. Their insurance also flexible and you can apply one day before /same day. It only takes a few minutes and easy.

I recommend you to buy online on their website.
It needs an internet connection, so prepare in Kathmandu or Pokhara when you can access internet easily.
Quite–Less Crowded Trek in Annapurna: Khopra Danda / Khair Lake Trek

Permits for Enter Annapurna Sanctuary

Why we need to apply for Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) to enter Annapurna Sanctuary?

Khopra Danda and Khair Lake locates in Annapurna Region.

Annapurna region is conversation area because there are several features and rich in biodiversity equally rivaled by its cultural diversity.

It makes the Annapurna region a unique place in the world.

The key aim of ACAP is to protect the area so they can monitor the development in that area.

If you want to explore any trek, as long as it’s in the Annapurna Range region, you must have ACAP.

Other thing you need is trekking permits, TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems) card.

A TIMS card is a basic trekking permit you need for all treks in Nepal.

Both ACAP and TIMS can apply in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
*If you book with a trekking agency, they will arrange these for you.

Where to get the permit for Annapurna Base camp trekking?

  • Kathmandu: we can purchase Permits and TIMS cards in the Nepal Tourism Board Office on Pradarshani Marg, Kathmandu. 15-minute stroll from Thamel.

The office is open from 10:00 until 17:00, but hours can fluctuate. There’s an unofficial lunch break between 13:00 and 14:00.

  • Pokhara: We can also purchase Permits can also in Pokhara at the Nepal Tourism Board Service Center in Damside or at the ACAP entry permit counter in Besisahar, Lamjung.

You can also purchase TIMS cards can also from the TAAN Lakeside office in Santi Patan, Pokhara.

You need to know the following, before you apply for a TIMS card in Kathmandu:

  • The estimation date when you start your Trekking and exit the area.
  • The entry and exit points for your trek.
  • Route/itinerary for your trek
  • Emergency contact info for Nepal. You can use a tour agency as a contact.
  • Emergency contact info for someone in your home country
  • Insurance policy number, what your policy covers, and their phone number

You also need to prepare the following documents:

  • Copy of your passport
  • 4 passport-sized photos

How to apply for a TIMS card and trekking permits?

  1. First, filled out the TIMS and permit forms,
  2. Second, Hand over TIMS and permit forms together with your passport photos and fees at the relevant desk.

TIMS cards are 2,000 Nrs per applicant if you’re doing an independent trek, or 1,000 Nrs per applicant if you’re part of a group. All pay in Nepali Rupees.

  1. Third, wait for 5-10 minutes to get your permits.

How to apply for Annapurna Sanctuary Permits?

  1. First, bring your TIMS, go to the next room, and get the form.
  2. Second, fill the form. Hand over filled form together with your passport photos and fees at the relevant desk. The ACAP permit is 3,000 Nrs per applicant. All pay in Nepali Rupees.
  3. Third, wait for 5-10 minutes to get your permits.

 

One permits only applicable for one entry. If you exit the conservation area, then you need new permits. There are several checkpoints on the trail. You need to show your permits and get a stamp.

 

Guided vs Independent Trek

If you are professional hikers, then you can go independent. There are sign along the trail, but some trails also not marked.

To find accommodation, you just can stop at a teahouse and ask whether an empty room is available.

The challenging condition for the beginner trekkers/hikers is a trek in high altitudes. We are trekking in Himalaya; the weather is unpredictable.

I recommend you to hike with a tour agency. Mountain hike is one of my trusted tour agency in Nepal that I can rely on to arrange my trek.

They will provide licensed guide and porter, include accommodation, transport, permits, and full board.

This is the best choice if you want to stress free, so you can enjoy the Himalaya and focus on your trekking experience.

Trekking in Khopra Danda and Khair Lake need so many steps, 4-6 hours walking ascend and decent. The guide will help you decide when you need to continue, when you need to stop.

They will help you base on the weather condition and also your fitness condition.  They also help us ask the tea house to prepare room and food in advance before we reach tea house, so we can rest earlier.

If you want to hire porter independently, the cost for guide is USD$25 per day per group. Porter can carry 1-2 person’s luggage or up to 20-25 kg.

Trek Cost

Accommodation during the trek

The facilities are basic. A simple room with a small bed, shared bathroom and dining rooms. Accommodation price in prime season (April & October) is higher. They sell Foods with a fixed price.

Rooms are around NPR 300/US$3 to NPR 500/US$5 per night per room for 2 peoples.

The higher altitude, the price increase and become less.

Food during the trek

You need to eat at your guest house twice (breakfast and dinner). These very helpful for the local community.

There are western foods bread, Chinese, Indian, and Nepali foods. The taste is standard.

The following is typical food in the trail:

  • Breakfast: Eggs, Pancake, parried, bread. The price between NPR 300-400/USD$3-4.
  • Meal during lunch and Dinner: Pasta, Pizza, Rice, Noodles, Dal Bhat (Nepali cuisine contains of rice, lentil soup, grilled vegetables, spinach, and chapatti). The price between NPR 400-600/USD$4-6 per person.
  • Tea: Ginger lemon tea, ginger tea, lemon tea, black tea. The price between NPR 120/USD0.4-1 per cup.
  • Drinking water: boiled water, mineral water, the price NPR 40/USD$0.4 to NPR 150/USD$1 per liter. Canned juice is more expensive.

Don’t drink alcohol and avoid coffee when you hike in high altitude. I prefer ginger lemon tea to make my body warm.

To save the money, buy chocolate bar in Pokhara and bring it during the trek.

It can help you get instant energy during the trek.

Bring your tumbler or your own water bottles. Buy only boiled water. Better if you have water filter bottles. Any other water purification also helpful.

Make sure you withdraw and bring enough cash. You can find ATM in Pokhara easily. But you can’t find ATM in the trail and you can’t use your credit card.

Wi-Fi and Electricity

You need to pay extra for Wi-Fi and electricity. And ask the cost.

Not all tea houses provide charging station in your room. I can’t find charger station in my tea house.

If you have solar power bank for trekking, it will be helpful.

According to the document, you can take a solar power bank on a plane. If they contain a battery, it should go in your carry-on bag and shouldn’t exceed 100wH in power or equivalent to less than 27,000 milliampere per hour.

It also difficult to get internet and cellular network.

You are with Mother Nature, internet and cellular network become less priority, except in emergency condition

If you have a guide, they will very helpful. Most of them have a satellite phone so they can contact the trekking company if emergency condition happen.

Khopra Danda Trek Itinerary

Quite–Less Crowded Trek in Annapurna: Khopra Danda / Khair Lake Trek Route
Quite–Less Crowded Trek in Annapurna: Khopra Danda / Khair Lake Trek

Day 1. Kathmandu (1400m)–Pokhara (1400m)–Nayapul, syauli bazaar/kimchem (1784m) – Ghandruk (1940m)

  • Start Point: kimchem
  • Finish Point: Ghandruk
  • Time: 2,5 Hours
  • Ascent: 156 meter

 

Day 2. Ghandruk (1940m) – Tadapani (2675m)

  • Start Point: Ghandruk
  • Finish Point: Tadapani
  • Time: 3-4 Hours
  • Ascent: 735 meter

Day 3. Tadapani (2675m) – Dobato (3350m)

  • Start Point: Tadapani
  • Finish Point: Dobato
  • Time: 4-5 Hours
  • Ascent: 675 meter

Day 4. Dobato (3350m) – Upper Chistibung (2975m)

  • Start Point: Dobato
  • Finish Point: Upper Chistibung
  • Time: 4-5 Hours
  • Descent: 375 meter

Day 5. Upper Chistibung (2975m) – Khopra Ridge (3660)

  • Start Point: Upper Chistibung
  • Finish Point: Khopra Ridge
  • Time: 3-4 Hours
  • Ascent: 685 meter

Day 6. Khopra Ridge (3660)–Khair/Khayer Lake (4550m)

  • Start Point: Khopra Ridge
  • Finish Point: Khair/Khayer Lake
  • Time: 5-7 Hours
  • Ascent: 840 meter

 

Day 7. Khair/Khayer Lake (4550m) – Khopra Ridge (3660) – Swanta Village (2200)

  • Start Point: Khopra Ridge
  • Finish Point: Swanta Village
  • Time: 5-7 Hours
  • Descent: 1460 meter

 

Day 8. Swanta Village (2200m)–Ulleri (2050m)

  • Start Point: Swanta Village
  • Finish Point: Ulleri
  • Time: 5-6 Hours
  • Descent: 150 meter

 

Day 9. Ulleri (2050m) – Nayapul (1784m)–Pokhara

 

  • Start Point: Ulleri
  • Finish Point: Pokhara
  • Time: 5-6 Hours
  • Descent: 650 meter

My Final Though

 

Quite-less crowded trail. Several features and rich in biodiversity equally rivaled by its cultural diversity in Annapurna.

A sacred lake, Khayer Lake / Khair Lake as regarded by Hindus. Several Hindu and Buddhist shrines on the lakeside and along the trail.

You can read and find here many reasons for visiting the Khopra Ridge Community Trek. It’s all mesmerizing.

Khopra Danda / Khair Lake trek categorized as a short trek. It will be easy for you to manage time for a brief holiday.

From Kathmandu-Pokhara- Khopra Danda–Pokhara – Kathmandu, you need maximum around 11 days.

We are trekking in Himalaya; the weather is unpredictable.

Spring, from March to May, and autumn, from September to November, consider the best seasons for Khopra Danda / Khair Lake trek.

In spring, the skies are mostly clear, and there is brief rain or no rain.

If you want to save money for a holiday, you can go in low season. Mostly international flight ticket cheaper, hotel and lodge also cheaper.

It is possible to trek here, but the biggest challenge is weather and avalanche on the trek

There are 2 options for trekking. Independent or guided trekking. If you are professional hikers, then you can go independent, but if you want to stress-free trekking in Khopra Danda / Khair Lake, then you can contact tour agency.

There are many tour agencies in Nepal.  Choose the best and trusted company, not all tour agencies give you a fair price and obvious information.

Especially if you are a beginner, women and solo traveler.

Trekking to Khopra Danda / Khair Lake Community is worth to try. Trekking is truly an activity  for everyone. Whether you’re young or old, and professional or a beginner, there’s a trail out there that will be perfect for you.

You are probably found the beauty in the nature.

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Florensia Damayanti

Hi, I’m an Artificial Intelligence enthusiasm, 11+ years programming and application development Travel and enjoy observing people in a unique culture is my favourite things to do. I collect beautiful memories by visit Beijing, Singapore, Nepal, Hongkong, Poland, Germany, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia and so many more. Nepal is one of my favourite country. It is the birthplace of the Lord Buddha and the home of Himalayan mountain.

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