Now that the road to Sarangkot is filling during tourist seasons and the surrounding area is expanding with restaurants and hotels, some visitors may be searching for a more natural and quiet setting to watch Himalayan sunrises.
Welcome to Pumdi and Kalabang.
With several accommodation options — homestays in Kalabang and the picturesque Raniban Retreat — this side of Fewa Tal provides plenty to explore. Here you can soak in Nepal’s beauty and marvel at a bird’s-eye view of Lakeside.
The quaint tower at Pumdi Bhumdi offers an alternative to the frenzied viewpoint at Sarangkot, with an unparalleled panorama of the Annapurna Range. Across the valley, the buildings of Sarangkot appear like Lego, and the waters of Fewa Tal stretch out into the surrounding hills. Depending on the season, the line between sky, lake and clouds blur.
Walk down to the World Peace Pagoda or spend time getting to know the locals of Kalabang. This area is home to well-known singer Amrit Gurung, musical front-man for the folk-rock band Nepathya. Families are happy to receive guests, and typical of homestays in Nepal, rice is served warm and vegetables are prepared straight out of the garden. You may even be able to sample raksi, local alcohol brewed from millet or rice.
The drive to reach Kalabang and Pumdi villages is off-road and unpaved. Rent a motorbike or hire a Jeep to navigate the road, and bring comfortable shoes. Grab some snacks or a bottle of wine from Lakeside to enjoy sunset at the Pumdi Bhumdi tower.
Be warned, however: construction of a 108 feet tall Shiva statue is in the works, and a meditation center, park, and visitors’ area is planned. Typical of many projects in Nepal, there’s no telling when the work will be finished.
For now, this area is very tranquil. The environment is everything Nepal promises: glistening mountain peaks, expansive greenery, and blue skies that stretch on for miles.