Tang Ting’s winter wonderland
One of the advantages of Nepal’s spreading road network is that scenic spots that used to take days of trekking to reach are now accessible. One of them is Tang Ting in Kaski from where a series of scenic spots are easy hikes away.
One of the places nearby with the best views is Krapu Choh located at 3,085m elevation and offers a dazzling 360-degree view of the entire Central Nepal Himalaya, including Dhaulagiri, the Annapurnas, Lamjung Himal, Manaslu, Himalchuli and Ganesh Himal.
This winter’s heavy precipitation has covered the peak in thick snow, and more snowfall is expected from Thursday and into the weekend. An ideal time to visit Tang Ting would be after 24 January when this weather system passes.
Despite the collapse of tourism, Tang Ting is now a popular destination for Nepali travellers – especially because of its easy access from Pokhara. There is a public bus operated by Pokhara Municipality twice a day that departs Kahun Khola at 8am and 4pm. It takes two hours by bus to Tang Ting, but can be shorter in a private vehicle. Besides Pokhara and Tang Ting, Krapu Choh is also accessible from Lamjung.
Tang Ting is a charming little Gurung village which has kept its ambience and architecture intact. It is on a north-facing slope with a view of Sikles village across the Madi Khola and Annapurna 2 beyond.
But for better mountain vistas, visitors need to take a 3-hour hike to Krapau Choh. There is also an unpaved road that takes an hour, but it may not be accessible if there is heavy snowfall. The trail is also ideal for mountain biking enthusiasts.
Krapau Choh also has archaeological significance, since it is supposed to be located on one of the ancient migration routes of the Gurung people as they spread from Kohla Sonthar in Kaski, which has ruins of settlements dating back at least to the 12th century.
The Gurung people are believed to have migrated south from the Tibetan Plateau more than 1,000 years ago at about the same time as the Thakali and Tamang peoples who settled in the Kali Gandaki and Rasuwa valleys.
The best views from Krapu Choh are at sunrise, when the mountains to the north catch the first light and turn from pink to white. As the sun moves higher into the sky, the forested ridges come alive with birds.
When the snow melts and the weather gets warmer, the forests surrounding Krapau Choh erupt with red rhododendron blossoms. During the monsoon, it is veiled in mist but surrounding hills are fresh and green with occasional glimpses of the snow peaks beyond.
After Dasain is also a good time to explore the region and discover a Nepal that is off the beaten track. One side trip that is gaining popularity is the two-day trek to Kapuche, the lowest elevation glacial lake in Nepal that is fed by avalanches off Annapurna 2 and 4.
Youth from Tang Ting have set up lodgings on Krapu Choh, so food and accommodation is not a problem. Bookings are advisable.
More information: www.tangtingtourism.com
Members of Tang Ting Tourism Committee. Photo: Bhupal Gurung:
Eka Jang Gurung, War Chair +977 9856072202
Om Prakash Gurung: +977 9856028827
Himal Gurung: +977 9856070007
Bhupal Gurung: 98560 32068
Chhetra Gurung : 98191 85869
Pas Maya Gurung, Homestay Committee: 98171 55770
Tang Ting village with the sun rising over Annapurna 2 and Lamjung Himal. Across the valley in the shadow is Sikles village. All photos: Eka Jang Gurung and Chhetra Gurung.