From the peaklet of Sarangkot (1590m), the high point of the ridge that rises north of Phewa Tal, the Himalayas spread themselves in a stomach-lurchingly splendid panorama – it almost feels as if you could reach over across the green gulf of the Seti Nadi, at your feet, and touch them. The lake views behind you are pretty special too, making this the most popular mountain viewpoint around Pokhara. Not quite as many peaks are visible here as at the World Peace Stupa, but they feel bigger and closer. Dominating the skyline, in beauty if not in height, is the 6997m summit of Machhapuchhare (“Fish-Tailed”), so named for its twin-peaked summit, though only one peak is visible from Pokhara.

Many people hike up in the afternoon, spend the night in one of the lodges that cling to the slopes ten minutes below the top, then catch the dawn views. Others get up in the dark, take a taxi up to the car park and then walk the final half-hour to the summit. Others still come to paraglide, taking in the panorama then circling down to the lakeshore in the later morning.

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