A nice destination, to reach during Nepal trekking tours, is the Panchase protected area in the western part of the country. Its name means five seats and refers to it being the meeting point of five mountains of the Great Himalayas. The main types of trees in this park, which rises to a maximum height of 2517 metres above sea level, are oaks and pines. Among other types of vegetation are flowering plants, medicinal plants, orchids, ferns and wild mushrooms. Black bears, leopards, barking deer, jungle cats, foxes, jackals, monkeys, mongooses and rabbits are the various animals that inhabit this region. Cuckoos, hawks, owls, bats, cranes, parrots, bulbuls, sparrows and many other birds inhabit or migrate here. There are many small streams, irrigating the area, one of which feeds the famous Phewa Lake.
Tourism has become a major industry in this forest as from here visitors can view Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri, two of the highest mountain peaks in the world. The area is also of high religious significance as it is host to a number of temples, dedicated to Hindu deities like Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and also to Buddhist stupas. Panchase Lake is considered sacred and on the festive occasion of Balachaturdashi, devotees bathe in it and then offer rice grains to the earth, symbolising fertility. A memorial to the mythical character, Shrawan Kumar, situated here is another Hindu religious site.
A classical Nepal tour may be taken to reach here, after a 3-day hike, starting from Pokhara. All tourists arrive in Kathmandu and after completing all the formalities, like getting their documents inspected and getting approval to enter the protected forest, are driven to Pokhara. In Pokhara, travellers can enjoy boating or other water sports in the might Phewa freshwater lake. From here, they start climbing to the village of Pumdi Bhumdi, located about 1520 metres above sea level in Western Nepal. The next day, the party ascends to Panchase Bhanjyanga and from there to the forest on the ensuing morning. Day 4 and 5 take trekkers to the villages of Chitre in the Dhaulagiri Zone and Ghandruk in the Gandaki Zone, respectively. From the latter, the group starts their downwards journey back to Kathmandu, via Pothana and Pokhara.