Travel’s got a new flavor, and it’s not served in luxury hotels but in the homes of locals! Today’s traveler? They’re not just packing bags; they’re packing curiosity. It’s less about fancy hotel rooms and more about heartfelt conversations over home-cooked meals. It’s feeling a place from within, living its stories and swaying to its local tunes.
Instead of hopping from one landmark to another, imagine being part of a family in a new land. Sharing meals, picking up a few local words, and being part of their daily dance of life. That’s not just a trip; it’s an experience. And if you’re wondering where to start, let’s talk about the Millennium Homestay Trek in Nepal. Think of it as your gateway to an authentic blend of homestay warmth, exhilarating trekking, and a journey of inner exploration.
So, What is Millennium Homestay Trek?
The Millennium Trek is a newly explored village–to–village trekking trail in the western part of Nepal. It starts from Dulegaunda in Tanahun and ends in Rambachha in Syangja district, covering a distance of 72 kilometers. Featuring over 30 villages with traditional homestays, the trek aims to provide international travelers with an authentic local experience, including food, lodging, lifestyle, and culture.
Millennium Trek offers a breathtaking view of the snow-covered mountains and the natural beauty of the region. Apart from that, it is also the home to several religious heritages, waterfalls, caves and old Palaces. Visitors can take pleasure in exploring these attractions and revel in the beauty of the place.
The trek starts at an altitude of 420 meters and reaches a peak of 1,709 meters, showcasing the diverse cultures and traditions of the Gurung, Magar, Brahmin, and Chhetri communities. Rich in cultural events and beautiful scenery, the Millennium Trek is an ideal choice for those seeking an immersive adventure in Nepal.
The homestays along the Millennium Trek are predominantly run by women. By staying with a family, guests gain insight into the daily lives of the locals and contribute to the families’ income. As the income generated goes into the hands of women, it is often used to improve their families’ lives, particularly for education and better living conditions.
Therefore, by choosing to stay in these homestays, visitors are not only having an enriching experience but also supporting the local communities in a meaningful way.
This trekking route runs from Dulegaunda of Tanahun to Rambachha of Syangja district, and traverses through the middle hills of Gandaki Province. It begins at an altitude of 420m and ascends to 1709m above sea level.
The trek length can be lengthened and shortened at your discretion, and it is also possible to do the visit selectively. However, the entire trek can be completed in five to six days. Here’s a day-to-day itinerary of five days :
Day 01: DRIVE TO DULEGAUNDA
You will take an 8-hour drive from Kathmandu to Dulegaunda, followed by a 2-hour walk to Bankewa and then to Bhujikot Village.
WALK TO BANKEWA AND CONSEQUENTLY TO BHUJIKOT VILLAGE
At Bhujikot Village, you will have the chance to explore the village and get to know the daily lifestyle of the villagers. The village community will also arrange a welcome program.
DAY 02: BHUJIKOT-PYURIDOBHAN
After a delicious breakfast, you set off for Pyuridobhan. Along the way, you marvel at the majestic mountain ranges and lush landscapes. You stay the night in a cozy homestay in Pyuridobhan.
Start the day with a local breakfast and ascend the steep mountains, exploring the cultural aspects of the major ethnic groups in Nepal. You’ll visit the Gurung village of Lamagaon, followed by a lunch break at the larger village of Gharedi.
This journey begins with a trek to the Millennium Cave, an underground natural cave with waterfalls. After a three-hour climb, travelers will finally reach Kolma Village, also known as Pokharichhap, which offers a stunning view of the Himalayas.
DAY 05: KOLMAKOT-POKHARA
The following day, you will take a jeep to Putali Bazar and make your way to Pokhara.
What Makes Millennium Trek Special?
1. Year-Round Hiking Destination
The route follows the unconventional season window. The path is open almost all around the year. It is least affected by adverse weather conditions as it receives highest number of guests from November to March – the most unfavorable season for trekking and hiking due to extreme weather conditions at high altitudes. Thus, it is the best destination to travel to during any season.
2. Easy Trail
The highest trek point in this trial is of 1700 meters approximately. Thus making this route easy to hike. The route is mostly plain, with fewer or very few ascents and descends. The leveled path and short duration of walks in a day make this trail fairly easy and comfortable.
3. Bird’s Eye View Of The Himalayas
This homestay trek in Nepal begins from the base of the Annapurna region- Pokhara and goes around different villages in Kaski and Syanja districts. The proximity to the Annapurna region blesses this trek with a wide range of splendid views of several mountains, such as Ganesh, Kanjiroba, and many more.
4. Accessible Trail
The trek in the Kaski district of Nepal is easily accessible with the availability of multiple modes of transport- roadway, and airway. One can easily travel to Pokhara by road or by plane from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
From Pokhara, the only a roadway is available. Thus, a drive from Pokhara to Gachhepani takes us to the starting point of our homestay trek. Its easy trails, compared to other available treks in Nepal, also add to the easy accessibility of the region.
5. Shamanic Experience
This trail not only provides you with the opportunity to experience the most authentic lifestyle of village, but it also takes you back to Mother Nature. During the trek, you will encounter and experience the shamanic healing technique and learn about the powers of Mother Nature.
6. Suitable For People Of All Ages
As this trek does not require a strenuous walk of any sort, this trek can generally done by anyone physically sound, irrespective of age. The short length of hike in day and comparatively less strain on body makes it ideal for everyone to be a part of it.
7. Off The Beaten Trail
Unlike other popular homestays in Nepal, which are based on only one village, Millennium homestay explores 30 colorful villages while staying on 13 different homestays throughout the trip. The trail moves from a homestay at one village to another village throughout the journey providing an opportunity to explore people from different ethnic backgrounds.
8. Nepali Culture At Its Best
This trekking has proved to be quintessential for those trekkers who are seeking the village tourism and homestay with local people. Guests can fully enjoy with local culture and practice themselves. This homestay trek provides unique chances to learn Nepali culture. The multiple homestays in different villages inhabited by people of varied castes open up an opportunity to experience the authenticity of Nepali culture, norms, and traditions.
9. Organic Meals And Eco-Friendly Trail
As the trek is still untouched by modernization and urbanization, people still depend upon local products to meet guests’ needs. Thus, be it a morning breakfast or an evening plate full of daal (lentil soup), bhat (rice), and seasonal vegetables offered during the trek, everything is organic and healthy.
The next best thing about this trekking route in the hills is the breathtaking views of mountains and green hills it has to offer. Similarly, there are various viewpoints along the trek that promises views of different peak to the north. It also flaunts several sightseeing destinations of the trek route like Dhor Barahi Temple, and Millennium cave- an absolute natural cave with unique underground waterfalls, ancient temples, monasteries, and historical forts.
11. Ethnic Diversity
The trek allows one to observe more than 30 colorful villages within Tanahun and Syanja districts. It provides a raw experience of Nepali village life. Laden with diverse cultures and traditions, the trek route provides the opportunity to see the local people performing cultural programs in several villages. While on the trek, visitors can enjoy various cultural activities like Ghatu, Sorathi, Kauda, Salaijo, Jhora, Thado Bhaka and Krishna Charitra, among others.
12. Local Culture
As visitors are profoundly interested in nearby culture and tradition, local people are keen on keeping those practices alive. Likewise, locals from millennium homestay trek also preserve their heritages and practices. The most renowned is Shaman shows. It is quite popular amongst the people visiting the millennium homestay trek. Through the trek, people from different villages perform their traditional dances to welcome the guests.
13. Women Leadership
Currently, approximately 130 households are involved in the homestay program. This homestay has provided direct employment to the homestay households in the region where women cover a large portion. Women in return are continuously benefitting from the business as the enterprise provides more exposure and awareness towards cleanliness, cross-cultural exchange and more.
14. Cross-Cultural Exchange
Through homestay, people from diverse cultural backgrounds get exposed to each other. While sharing the same room, guests from variant traditions they also exchange their norms and values to the host families. With this cross-cultural exchange, the host families get opportunities to enhance their overall skills, be it related to the kitchen or cultivation. While guests can get familiar with the local language, the indigenous people can also learn English in return.
Why choose Millennium Trek?
Direct Contribution To Local Families Of Village
Homestay has been another approach to elevate the neighborhood economy. Similarly, staying in a homestay can help a great deal in the nearby economy. In a homestay, the cash you pay will legitimately go into the hand of the host, what is the better method for guaranteeing the improvement of the nearby economy and having the best time of your life?
Great Value for Authentic Experience
The host will provide the best of what they can offer, with a warm welcome and accommodation without making you feel like an outsider. The extraordinary friendliness, warm hospitality and love is sure to add value to what you primarily intended to experience. There is more to what one can express in words when one is treated as a guest instead of a client.
Home Away From Home
The chances of making new family or friends is easy with such personal experience in the hills.
In hotels, you get all kinds of extravagance, yet the sentiment of sitting inside the four dividers will make you miss your home. But in a homestay, you will be home away from home.
Getting to know the individuals, discovering their lifestyle and them taking an interest in yourself in their way of life will never make you feel alone.
Local people in villages live a basic life. While remaining in a homestay, your host will provide you with the best possible services, which is actuality, and their warm method for neighborliness will give you a sense of security. Living with those individuals in a homestay is perhaps the best treat. This trek is absolutely safe to travel either solo or with your friends and family.
Being A Part Of Overall Community Development
Staying in a homestay benefits the community as a whole. With homestay, people are keener on improving their service standards which include improved health and cleanliness standards and public awareness. Similarly, it also helps in full utilization of available resources, ultimately providing income-generating opportunities to everyone involved, directly or indirectly.
In addition, it also helps enhance the quality of education in the village. Most importantly, it helps in overall development of the village with the construction of infrastructures of development.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable journey that will take you off the beaten path and immerse you in Nepali culture, then the Millennium Homestay Trek is for you.
This unique trek offers a chance to explore the rural villages of Nepal, experience the warm hospitality of locals, and witness some of the most breathtaking views in the country.
With its accessible trails, diverse cultures, and eco-friendly practices, the Millennium Trek is the perfect choice for any traveler looking for an immersive experience in Nepal.
Author: Ajay Kumar Shrestha
Personal Profile of an author Shrestha
Ajay Kumar Shrestha is a tourism entrepreneur, researcher, and Social worker. Shrestha, who was born in Dulaigauda located in Shuklagandaki Municipality of Tanahun, has been active in the tourism business and tourism-related investigative work for the past one and a half decades. He has obtained a post-graduate degree in MBS i.e. Faculty of Management from the Sankardev Campus affiliated to Tribhuvsan University.
Ajay Kumar Shrestha was not attracted even by the attractive salary, even though he received a job offer after completing his campus life. As a result, he turned to business. He says that he started the tourism business with the promise of developing the country through the tourism industry with new innovative ideas. Ajay Kumar Shrestha is also the founder of Home Stay Trek Nepal, Swotah Travels and Adventures, Manaslu Trek, and Annapurna Trekking under the tourism industry including investment company Hidden Gems Investment.
It is found that Ajay Kumar Shrestha, who is rich in social consciousness, has been active in social activities. He is also a central member of the Nepal UNESCO Club Association. He has done his MBS thesis on rural tourism promotion and has implemented homestays and treks under the tourism industry sector according to a new concept.
He said that for the promotion of Nepal’s tourism, not only the mountains but also the concept of trekking focused on people and culture should be advanced. Also, he has been developing various creative programs for the promotion of rural tourism in collaboration with the Government of Nepal and UNDP. Studious and creative by nature, Ajay Kumar Shrestha is one of the few people who have contributed creatively to the development of Nepal’s tourism. He is also a tourism expert at Bhanu Municipality located in Tanahun, Gandaki Province.
He has a habit of uncovering the latest topics while being professionally associated with the tourism sector and being active in research work. In order to participate in the tourism fair, he has reached more than 40 countries. He says that no matter which country he goes to, he makes a deep study/exploration about the citizens of that country.