Ravishing panoramic views of the entire Annapurna range of the Himalayas, right from your bed! At Raniban Retreat, Pokhara.
A mountain-lover, I’ve had incredible experiences traveling to some of the most beautiful places in the Himalayas from Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh in the west to Arunachal Pradesh in the Eastern Himalayas but it wasn’t until I went to Nepal last year and saw an 8000m+ high mountain for the first time, that I was left spellbound! If this is your first time to Nepal, like me, you’ll be stunned by the majestic beauty, enormity, and magnificence of the Himalayas!
A short 25-minute flight from Kathmandu with stunning views of some of the highest mountains on earth lands you in Pokhara, Nepal’s 2nd largest city, on the foothills of the Annapurna range. A laid-back city by Phewa Lake, Pokhara is the tourism capital of Nepal and serves as a base for trekking in the Annapurna region.
If this is your first time to Nepal, like me, you’ll be stunned by the majestic beauty, enormity and magnificence of the Himalayas!
If you wish to avoid the bustle of Pokhara lakeside, staying near the World Peace Pagoda, at Raniban retreat, with stunning views of the snow-covered Himalayas would be a great choice. It’s an ideal place to unwind, read a book or sip on masala chai enjoying the view of the entire Annapurna range right from your bed, listening to the sounds of nature and chirping birds for company! Perched on a secluded hilltop of Queen’s forest or Raniban in Nepali, Raniban Retreat is an eco-friendly boutique hotel with panoramic views of the entire Annapurna Range, Machapuchare, Dhaulagiri, other 7000m+ peaks, Pokhara valley, Phewa Lake, World Peace Pagoda AND Pokhara city, all in a frame!
Getting to the retreat is through a dirt road after crossing World Peace pagoda, and if you’re up for a short hike, there are 522 stone steps that lead up all the way to the retreat too. Simple yet tastefully designed rooms that are named after mountain peaks, all have great views. Swing-hanging chairs kept in the beautifully manicured garden other than day beds outside are great to chill and so is the terrace, which has the best-unobstructed view of the mountains. There are fruit trees and flowers planted all around the property so early mornings and evenings are great for bird watching. It’s a short hike to World Peace pagoda from the retreat and there are other short hikes around the forest area that can be arranged too.
Although be aware that once you’re at the retreat getting down to Pokhara lakeside or city from the retreat will be a bit of a challenge. Not that there aren’t taxis available and you could trek down too, but that is if you’d ever want to leave that gorgeous view, that keeps changing with different light as the day passes. If you do a trek down, views of the entire range reflecting on Phewa Lake below are quite stunning too.
The Mountain Museum in Pokhara is a great place to get introduced to the World’s highest Himalayan peaks, and learn about the culture and people of Nepal.
For me, after trekking next to Machapuchare & Annapurna peaks for 5 days on the Mardi Himal Base Camp trek, all I wanted to do was put up my feet and recover from the fantastic trek soaking in this view of the same mountains from another perspective, and the cozy comfort of the resort! 😉
Apart from the touristy stroll by the lake, shopping for souvenirs and eating Nepali food, do check out the Mountain Museum in Pokhara, a great place to get introduced to the World’s highest Himalayan peaks and learn about the culture and people of Nepal, which is varied across its landscape. Stop by at the museum restaurant that serves simple yet delicious dal-bhat, a traditional Nepali meal.
Pokhara also has plenty to offer for adventure seekers from paragliding, micro lighting, and even helicopter flights through narrow valleys giving an exciting birds-eye view of the majestic Himalayan peaks.
A detail view of the entire range of the Himalayas with names of prominent peaks as seen from Raniban Retreat at sunrise.
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It was in Pokhara when I saw snow-capped mountains for the first time in my life. Most of the time throughout my stay, those peaks were covered in clouds. There were a few days, however, when those towering summits showed their true beauty when the weather was better. Magnificent photos, Ritu!
Thank you! 🙂
Yeah! That’s the thing with these huge mountain massifs – they have their own weather! I was in Sikkim recently and on my entire trip I saw the mountains just once, and I had to wake up at 4 am for it! 😉