Pokhara has always been a destination of choice for the tourist visiting Nepal. The city of lake is also the gateway to popular trekking trails like Annapurna Circuit Trek and Annapurna Base Camp trek.
Apart from being the popular tourist hub of Nepal, Pokhara is also blessed with nature and the surrounding areas of the city are equally amazing to explore.
Astam is a small rural mountain village which lies at a distance of 17 km from the city of Pokhara. Located at an altitude of 1468 meters, the village populates around 300 people from 80 households. Even though the majority of people are from the Brahmin community, the village is a mixed settlement of the people from Chetri, Tamang and Pariyar community.
Astam relies on farming as the main source of living. Almost the entire population here produces their all own food in their field. The village also houses one lower secondary school.
Many places around Pokhara are famous for its mountain views. Places like Sarangkot and the World Peace Stupa above Fewa lake are the top choices for visitors.
Astam is one such place in close proximity from Pokhara, where we can get a good view of the mountains of Annapurna Range. With its unobstructed views, Astam is also an amazing spot for viewing sunrise and sunset as well. From here 360-degree panoramic view of Annapurna South (7273m.), Machhapuchhre (7059m.), Annapurna I (8090m.) and Annapurna IV (7525m.) can be seen.
Astam is also the perfect destination for hiking. It lies en route to famous Annapurna Base Camp and Mardi Himal Base Camp. The village provides accommodation options from the luxurious resorts to budget-friendly eco-lodges, The village also has homestay facilities and provides the visitors with a traditional Nepali village experience.
Astam can be a perfect one-night destination or rest stop for those trekking in the region.
Best Time to Visit
Mid of September to the mid of March is the best time to visit Astam. Clear undisturbed views of mountains can be seen during the time. You can even see people harvesting crops and wide varieties of colorful flowers. The biggest festivals of Nepal Dashain & Tihar falls at this time, so visitors can even experience the festivals with the locals here.
Monsoon season can also be equally amazing here. Even though there is less chance to see mountains during the season, greenery all around can be equally captivating.
How to Reach
Astam can be reached after a short drive of around half an hour to Hemja from Pokhara. You can either drive uphill to the village or take a short hike. The pleasant 2-3 hours hike takes through village and forests before reaching Astam. A beautiful panoramic view of Himalaya can be seen all along the way.