Sunny Poonhill, Golden Himalayas

Light and darkness are antithesis of each other. One chases the other persistently; one shines in the absence of other. The golden rays of sun eliminate the darkness to bring upon the kingdom of light which at the sunset heralds the state of darkness. This is only a natural law. We tend to enjoy both phenomenons for different meanings. Every moment is dear to us, whether it is a full moon or starry sky or watching sunset/sunrise from a hill.

Poohill, located at Sikha Hill VDC of Myagdi district, is one such place where the glory of light and darkness can be experienced. The morning sun beams drapes the snowy peaks like a bride clothed in fresh attire and jewellery.  

Poonhill is a romantic hillock raising to an altitude of 3210m and covered with rhododendron, pine, and oak trees. Poonhill's original name is Lungtung, which means a centre for natural beauty. Poonhill is often considered as the second best viewpoint after Kalapathar.

Poonhill is famous for breathtaking panorama of fourth highest Dhaulagiri ranges as well as the deepest gorge of Dana/Tatopani and the biggest and tallest boulder. Another attraction of Poonhill is the view of golden hill of Khayar Baraha, Annapurna I, Annpurna South and Macchapuchre among many other mountains above 7000m. Even a painter would find it difficult to paint a natural panorama as surreal as this. On a clear day, one can also see World Peace Stupa above the Phewa Lake in Pokhara from Tek Bahadur Memorial View Tower.

It is to experience all this that trekkers brave the steepest climb of Ulleri and reach Poonhill. Just lying there in Poonhill in an ambience of evergreen forest, unpolluted air and the continuous singing of birds will mesmerize any soul.

Poonhil or Lungtan stands there as the cultural identity and pride of local Pun Magar community, it is a solid edifice and beautiful destination for Nepalese tourism. A team led by Late Maurice Herzog were the first foreigners to step onto Poonhill following the ascent of Annapurna 63 years ago thus opening up Poonhill for tourism. Herzog and his team's successful climbing brought a defining moment for the development of mountain tourism.

Millions of trekkers have visited Poonhill ever since. It takes two days from Pokhara including a night stay in Ghorepani (2860m) followed by a short hike to Poonhill. It is easy to be familiar with the Himalayas, hills, villages and waterfalls, but to unravel the mystery of flowing Modhi river, flying birds in light warm air, blowing rhododendrons and their bees, therein lies the challenge.