Jhinodanda: A Hidden Gem Along the Annapurna Base Camp Trek Trails

Jhinodanda (also Jhinu Danda), at 1,760 meters (5,774 feet), is a hidden gem that offers trekkers a perfect blend of natural beauty, relaxation, and cultural immersion in the Annapurna Sanctuary. This picturesque village in the Kaski district is known for its hot springs, serene landscapes, and breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.

 

Location and Geography

Jhinu Danda is strategically positioned along popular trekking routes like the Annapurna Base Camp trek, making it a favored stopover for trekkers seeking to unwind and rejuvenate. The village is perched on a hillside overlooking the Modi Khola River and offers panoramic views of Machapuchare (Fishtail) and nearby snow-capped peaks.

The hot springs, for which Jhinodanda is famous, are located 20 minutes below this village along the Modi River banks. The path passes through the rhododendron forest, and the soothing warm waters of the hot spring will relax and rejuvenate your aching body. 

However, the hot springs are closed during the monsoon months of June and July. Most people coming from Landruk stop at Jhinu Danda for their lunch.

 

Importance in Trekking

Jhinu Danda holds significant importance for trekkers along the Annapurna Base Camp route. It is a popular resting point where trekkers can relax and soak in the natural hot springs after days of trekking. The hot springs are believed to have therapeutic benefits, making them a welcome respite for weary trekkers looking to soothe their muscles and unwind amidst nature.

From Jhinu Danda, you can also view several mountains, including Annapurna South (7,219 m), Macchapuchare (6,993 m), Annapurna II (7,937 m), and Dhaulagiri (8,167 m).

 

Permits Required

To visit Jhinu Danda, trekkers will need two permits.

Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP): This permit is mandatory for entering the Annapurna Conservation Area and can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu or at entry checkpoints along the trek routes. The ACAP permit for SAARC nationals (except Nepali) costs NPR 1,000 and NPR 3,000 for other nationals.

Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) Card: This card is required for trekking in Nepal, and you can obtain this card from the Nepal Tourism Board office or TIMS checkpost in Pokhara. The TIMS card costs Rs 1,000 for SAARC nationals (excluding Nepalis) and Rs. 2,000 for the rest.

 

Best Season to Visit

The best seasons to visit Jhinu Danda are spring (March to May) and autumn ( September to November). Autumn offers optimal weather conditions, with clear skies and mild temperatures, making it ideal for trekking and outdoor activities.  During autumn, the landscape around Jhinu Danda is adorned with vibrant colors, as the hillsides come alive with blooming wildflowers, and the surrounding mountains offer stunning views against the backdrop of clear blue skies.

Visiting Jhinu Danda in autumn also allows you to experience the cultural festivities of the local communities, including the vibrant Hindu festivals of Dashain and Tihar. These festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and provide a wonderful opportunity to witness traditional rituals, dances, and ceremonies, offering insights into the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Another excellent season to explore Jhinu Danda is spring, from March to May. During this time, the hills get colored with colorful rhododendron blooms, creating a picturesque setting for trekking and nature walks. The weather in spring is pleasant and mild, with moderate temperatures during the day and cool evenings, making it comfortable for outdoor activities.

Exploring Jhinu Danda

Jhinu Danda offers many activities beyond simply relaxing in its renowned hot springs. Adventurers can delve into hiking, navigating nearby trails that unveil spectacular vistas of surrounding landscapes and quaint villages. The trek through these trails not only offers physical exhilaration but also a deeper connection to nature.

Jhinu Danda also provides a unique opportunity to engage with the local Gurung community. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich customs and traditions of the Gurung people, gaining insight into their way of life and witnessing traditional dances and rituals passed down through generations.

Photography enthusiasts will find themselves inspired by the scenic wonders of Jhinu Danda. Capture the captivating terraced fields, verdant forests teeming with life, and expansive mountain panoramas surrounding this serene village. Every angle presents a picture-perfect moment, making Jhinu Danda a haven for capturing the essence of Nepal's breathtaking natural beauty.

 

Conclusion

Jhinu Danda is a must-visit destination for trekkers seeking a tranquil retreat amidst the majestic Annapurna region. With its natural hot springs, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Jhinu Danda promises a memorable and rejuvenating experience for adventurers exploring the Nepali Himalayas.