Sikles is a beautiful village located at the lap of the Annapurna mountain range. It is roughly 4 hour bus ride from Pokhara. Sikles is located above the Madi Khola (Madi river) at an altitude of 1,981 m. If you ever want to feel as close to paradise as you can, you can feel it in Sikles. The indigenous Gurung culture, the breath-taking view of the Annapurna or the not so simple trekking, you will never find another place as exhilarating as Sikles. Visiting Sikles is a once in a lifetime experience.
Sikles shows the real rural Nepal. May be that is why this gem of paradise is still unknown to many people. However, with it being a part of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and the introduction of transportation and communication, Sickles is swiftly turning into a prime tourist destination. In no time, Sikles will be at the top of the places to visit in Nepal.
The Spectacular View
Sikles is a small village at the northeast of Pokhara. The village lies under the shadow of the majestic mountains. Sikles overlooks Annapurna IV to the north and Annapurna and Lamjung mountain to the east. Another major attraction of Sikles Trek is a Tara Hilltop from where one can have the spectacular views of Annapurna South (7219m), Himchuli (6441m), Machhapuchhre (6993m), Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Lamjung Himal and Manaslu ranges.
Being in Sikles is like floating in clouds. You feel like you are staying in some faraway land surrounded by lush green hills and snow capped mountains. You can view the majestic Annapurna range in all its glory. It is so close you feel like you can touch it with your fingers. Add the blooming Rhododendrons (Nepal’s national flower) giving the forests lovely shade of red, the scenery is unbelievable. It is breathtaking. You may actually never want to leave here.
How to reach Sikles?
Basically, thre are two options to reach Sikles. You can go there through a short trek. There is also a gravel road leading to the village from the Kahu river.
The Short Trek
The trekking from Pokhara – Sikles – Pokhara is a good alternative to the famous Annapurna circuit trekking route. When you are in Pokhara, you should definitely try trekking to Sikles. Trekking may be a tiring physical activity; however you may feel different in this case. The trekking route offers unparalleled views of the Annapurna and Manaslu mountain ranges. You reach Sikles following the ancient trails of Madi river through the glorious Rhododendron, Oak and Bamboo forest. Once you reach Sikles, the wonderful views and fresh air will make you instantly forget all the tiredness.
You can also enjoy the beautiful view of sunrise from Raishi Dada. You can reach Raishi Dada after an hour long trek from Sikles. The saying “Life is a climb but the view is great” becomes realistic once you see sunrise from Raishi Dada.
Sikles lays just about four hour bus ride from Pokhara. However, the duration of the trekking depends upon the trekking package of the travel agencies. If you are a diligent trekker, you can reach Sikles within six hours.
You can get transportation to Sikles from Pokhara. The road is rough and narrow, so it will be a bumpy ride. Either you can hire a private jeep or go through the public transportation from Pokhara. Your journey will take probably 4-5 hours.
Food and Accommodation
Sikles is a small village with a few guest houses. There are also a couple of houses providing home stay service. You will have no problems of clean drinking water and electricity. The Gurung hospitality will charm you. You will be greeted with Raksi (locally brewed alcohol). Throughout your stay, you get to eat the staple Nepali diet of daal, bhat, tarkari and achar (lentil soup, rice, curry and pickles).
The Gurung Culture
Sikles is one of the largest Gurung villages in Nepal. Gurung is one of the indigenous ethnic groups of Nepal. They have their own unique culture and tradition. For example, they welcome their guests by offering Raksi (locally brewed alcohol). They have their own language. They also have their own dance known as Ghatu dance performed in special occasion and festivals. Gurung culture, their lifestyle is a fascinating subject for anthropologists. Don’t get surprised if you find some anthropology students staying in Sickles for months to complete their thesis.
Owl festival is celebrated once in a year during the month of February. This festival is only celebrated in Sikles. The main theme is the protection of owls found in the forest of Sikles, as the owls are in the verge of being endangered. On this day, many villagers compete in the traditional games like cockfight, top spinning, etc. They also show their traditional dance.
Sikles is a recently discovered tourist attraction. You should definitely visit here for the breathtaking views, the trekking and the typical village life. You are bound to have an amazing experience and will return in a peace on mind and calmness in your soul.