The air has been surprisingly clear for most of this winter over Central Nepal, and the Himalayan peaks were out in their full glory. A holiday plan to see the Super Blue Blood Moon on 31 January from Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge, therefore, promised to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Nestled at 1,200m on a ridge, Tiger Mountain commands an unparalleled vista from Gurja Himal in the west, along a jagged horizon of the Annapurnas, Machapuchre’s skyscraping pyramid, Lamjung Himal, right up to Manaslu and Himalchuli to the east.
People don’t come to Tiger Mountain to see tigers, although an occasional leopard does stroll by at night. They come here for the mountains after seeing tigers in Bardia or Chitwan.
Last week, the wind direction suddenly shifted and the whole of Nepal was enveloped in thick brown haze. After a 7 hour wait at Kathmandu’s domestic airport, the view from cruising altitude was spectacular. You could see that the pollution leveled off at 3,000m and the Indo-Gangetic plains were shrouded in a dirty blanket of smog that was being blown up the valleys to the mountains.