Dovan, Nepal is a small village along the Annapurna Base Camp trekking route. Prior to the 1970’s, there was no village. This area was built up around tourism to help accommodate the people passing through. Now there are several teahouses and a bakery! Here’s what you need to know for your stay…
Brief History of Dovan, Nepal
An interesting fact is that prior to 1970, women were not allowed in the area. The mountains here were considered so holy by the locals, that a woman might taint the land as women were seen as impure due to their periods. Even today, animals may not be slaughtered in this area and no one is supposed to carry certain meats like buffalo or chicken as it may upset the gods. In fact, those animals can’t even enter the area alive as they are considered impure.
There’s a temple along the trekking trail between Dovan and Himalaya with a gorgeous waterfall covering an entire wall across from it called Pujinam Baraha Mandir. This is the most sacred temple in the area and this is the point where animals can’t cross. Each year the locals do a large puja (religious ceremonial offering) to the gods in June or July. They believed that a sort of oracle who once lived here would predict the future when he spoke.
The village of Dovan was built out of necessity when tourists began to visit. Prior to the 1970’s there was no village and only shepherds passed through here on the way to the mountains to let their sheep graze.
Recently, the village had been shut down due to covid and the lack of tourists. A funny story told to us by multiple people along the trail is how the sloth bears in the area kicked down the locked doors of the teahouses and let themselves inside. They drank all the raksi (local liquor) and ate all the WeiWei (ramen noodles). Then they threw the bags of rice over their shoulders and took them to go, making Dovan notorious as the sloth bears private party palace.
Dovan, Nepal Village Guide
Most people in the area are Gurung.
Most people are either Bon (worship nature) or Buddhist.
People speak Gurung and Nepali in Dovan
Dovan, Nepal Altitude:
2,600 m (8,530 feet)
74% compared to 100% at sea level
Approximately 15 people live in Dovan during trekking season, however their homes are in other areas including Pokhara.
Best Time of Year to Visit:
Locals agree that October or early November are the best times to visit as that is when you get the best visibility. It’s also festival season and a fun time to experience the culture. March and April are the second best time to visit, however the visibility is not as good. That being said, you do get to see the flowers in bloom.
Dovan is located approximately 55 km (34 miles) northwest of Pokhara. It’s inside the Annapurna Conservation Area, south of the Annapurna Mountain range.
How to get to Dovan:
Dovan can only be reached on foot. Therefore, you’ll need to take a jeep to the closest roads in Jhinu Danda or Ghandruk and walk from there. It’s a one-to-two-day walk depending on your speed and athletic ability. Some people take three days to get here.
An entry permit is required for foreigners which costs 3,000 rupees ($26 USD). ACAP permits can be purchased at the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
NTC or Ncell service:
There is no NTC or Ncell service in Dovan.
What to Eat in Dovan, Nepal
This may sound strange, but I highly recommend the cheesecake from Dovan Guest House. We arrived on a strange day where 30 people were on their way there for lunch. The woman running the kitchen was short staffed and was working on making food for all 30 people so we jumped in to help cut potatoes and garlic. As a reward, we were given cheesecake which is my favorite! I’m picky when it comes to cheesecake and I was skeptical to say the least but it was delicious! They also make brownies, but I didn’t get to try one so I can’t say how good it is.
Locals in the area recommend traditional dal baht which is rice, lentil soup, vegetable curry, spinach, and spicy achar. They also recommend trying their pizza!
Things to do in Dovan, Nepal
There’s not much to do in Dovan. Since most people walk here on their way to Annapurna Base Camp, it’s a place to rest and relax after walking for hours. There is a bakery in town, and I recommend the cheesecake, but other than that you should just kick back, relax, read a book, or play cards with friends.
Dovan Lodges & Teahouses
Types of accommodation:
Teahouses and basic lodges
Number of accommodations:
There are five lodges total. Three are in Lower Dovan and two are in Upper Dovan. I highly recommend Lower Dovan as Upper Dovan is located in a landslide area. The accommodations there are also much more basic. We stayed in Upper Dovan and the food was good and the owners were friendly, but the teahouse was dark and didn’t have the best vibe. Lower Dovan was brighter and happier with nicer rooms.
Dovan Guest House in Lower Dovan – They have good food, plenty of seating, a nice outdoor patio, and clean rooms. Most of the teahouses on this route are run by men, but this one is run by a woman. It’s the only one in the village run by a woman and I’m all about empowerment. She also makes an awesome cheesecake!
Price of a Room:
500 rupees (about $5.00 USD) for a double room.
Price of Veg Dal Bhat:
590 rupees (about $5.90 USD)
There was electricity, however if you want to charge a phone or device it’s 200 rupees (about $2.00 USD).
This teahouse has three squat toilets and two western toilets which are located outside, but close to the rooms, so it’s easy to go to the bathroom at night.
Hot showers are available for 150 rupees (about $1.50 USD)
Wifi is available for 300 rupees (about $3.00 USD) for unlimited wifi on one device.
Dovan, Nepal Photography
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Michelle Della Giovanna
Writer at Full Time Explorer
I’m just your average New Yorker who quit her job in the fashion industry to explore the world. Come find out what it’s like to trade in five-inch heels for squat toilets.