Durbar means palace. Aesthetically, among the three Palace areas in Kathmandu, this is rated as the most enthralling. The palaces was meant for accommodation and temples are juxtaposed in parallel line on the either side of open square. The palace is embellished with magnificent Digu Taleju ( A temple dedicated to th Royal Clan Goddess Taleju) Krishna temple, Bhimsen Temple, Mahadev and Bishnu temple etc. They stand as a testimony of ancient civilization, their expertise in wood carving, stone carving, Newari architecture and an art of expressing their philosophy in symbol (symbolism).
Usually, you will spot this area with full of visitors (both local and International) for admiring the art and in some corner feeding pegions or for leisurely chitchat.
A couple of minutes’ walk to south of Durbar squar is located the Mahabaudha Temple. Built in 14th century, this is a Buddhist Temple made ofBTerracotta. This Shikhar style temple has the face of Buddha on each brick. So, it is also known as Thousand Buddha Temple. In terms of its architecture, the temple is a replica of Saranath Temple in India.
3.Rudra Barna Mahavihar
Close by Mahabaudah is Rudra Barna Mahabihar. The Bihar or Monastry is a museum in itself with score of Buddhist sculpter, animal figures and a Statue of Rana Prime Minister Juddha Shumsher.
Now we walk back to the Palace through bustling market place. After walking a couple of minutes to the other side of the palace is another legendry monument to stun the visitor. Commonly it is called by Golden Temple because the temples inside this Buddhist monastery is cladded with gold plated copper.
The spiritual ambience in the interior of the monastery is so immense that you will hesitate before you click on your camera. But no Worry! Photography is allowed here.
The ritual of the monastery is of 12th century and is still carried out in full swing. As such, only kumar (meaning bachelor, not fully ordained man) is eligible to be appointed as a priest. The place remains busy with Hindu and Buddhist ceremonial rituals. Most importantly, this is still the center for Theravada Buddhist practice. As a regular activities, the monastery organizes Prajyan Paramita Lesson ( one of the thirteen stages to be passed through before getting Buddhahood).
5.Banglamukhi and Sankahmul Ghat (Cemetery)
Walk further down, and we reach another busy temple called Banglamukhi. It is mostly crowded with women in red attire offering holy light and worshipping for good health and prosperous life of their family. The young couples often visit this place in belief that the God will make their love eternal!
6.Visit Bahals on the way from Mahapal to Pulchowk.
Now we are back along narrow alleys leading to core part of settlement. The streets leads to open squares after squares occupied by the local people. They are all built in Monastry design with Stupa in the center.
Without guide you will easily miss this beautiful temple dating back to 15th century. The temple is protected by iron grill. The temple is also beautifully painted with natural colour.
“Life is a journey”. This quotation perfectly matches for Mr. Alfonso Aijon who has been spending his holiday in the mountains of Nepal Since 1960 AD.
“The mountains are the only destination I can imagine for making my holidays meaningful” the 81 years old Alfonso declares.
Born in Spain and professionally well settled as an Orchestra manager has a dream of making his abode in Himalayas. That’s why he is so keen in exploring mountains in his holiday. Trekking in the Himalayas in fact has been a culture for Alfonso’s family.
He gets nostalgic when he shares his experience of travelling in Nepal in 1960’s. He vividly remembers the appearance of serene Nepal, its peaceful environment, and away from maddening crowd where the ambience is always that of rural community.
According to him, in the old age, Nepal was so virtually hidden from the world and in a sense a heaven. It was unexplored and away from modern development. The Nepalese lived as they were taught by their ancestors, true even in present. Their tradition, culture and unique life style survives even today.
In fact, during his life time, he has trekked to all the major trekking areas not only of Nepal but also of India, Bhutan and China. And while on trek he was initially with his elder son David who inherits the same attachment to mountain. Recently, he came to Nepal with his second son Daniel .
Daniel told us, “I used to think why my father is so crazy about Nepal and Mountains. I even once asked why he would always like trekking in Nepal in his holiday instead enjoying in some other facilitated luxurious place. Then, I accompanied him in one of his Nepal trekking. Unbelievably, now I, too feel like joining him every time he prepares for his journey to Nepal. By the way this is my third time I came with my father”,
“Now my father reminds me and teases pointing my criticism of his trekking in Nepal whenever I express my desire to join him”, the ever humorous Daniel further disclosed.
“Truly, Nepal is a paradise for trekkers. The spell of Himalayan beauty gives a unique pleasure.” confesses Alfonso.
This old man, then again came to Nepal in 2010 for Annapurna Base camp Trekking. This time, although his will power was a bit shaken off by the realization of his age, with the well trained and experienced crews along with the perfect management of Nepal Trek Ways Pvt. Ltd., he successfully accomplished the 22 days full camping trek to Annapurna Base Camp.
Energized by this success, he was in regular contact with us for his next assault on Makalu Base camp. From the beginning he was fully convinced of victory over this harsh trekking trail.
Alfonso indeed has already made an attempt to step on the Makalu Base camp in his early age but was unsuccessful due to the hostile weather and geographical condition. And now at his age of 81, he was determined to gain the success he was denied in his young age.
Being a reputed trekking company in Nepal it was our responsibility to pave the way for him to his dream. It was more emotional case than just a business. So, we were equally determined to make his dream come true.
Then, the day arrived to hit the trail in 2011. As he was fond of camping trekking, we carried out all the trek preparation accordingly. The team of 18 camping crew along with a trek leader, guide and Sherpa was ready to head to Makalu Base camp.
Although this trek was supposed to be the last for him in Nepal, since his love for Nepal and mountain people is incomparable, he is in regular contact with for next trek to hidden village Nar and Phu village, a restricted area in Manang and Mustang. A special permit must be issued for this trek.
Nar and Phu villages are part of Manang district. Its remoteness justifies the fact that even the neighboring villagers were stunned to know about their existence.
The valleys situated over 4000 thousand meter are still fertile for millet and oat and the alpine Tundra vegetation is appropriate for Yak and Sheep. Life is hard but full of satisfaction. The Buddhist Chorten and Monastery are the testimony of Buddhism in practice. The ultimate goal of life is Nirvana, here too.
Trails are rocky and hard of course but well-trodden by the gentle steps of the monks!
For many, it is hard to believe that there could be human settlement above 4,000 m from sea level amidst the snowcapped mountain. Yet the stranger part is that they make their livelihood from agriculture and animal husbandry. This unbelievable myth is a common fact in Nepal.
Nepal, where the northern board to Tibet is all Himalayans stretching 1414.88 km from west to east is a home for many Nomad Tibetan-origin Himalayan people who find it cozy to make their nest in the valley surrounded bysnowcapped mountains.
To cut it short, a visit to such villages is normally challenging but a true adventure lovers would find it luring as a-must-do holiday in life.
If you are still determined to scroll down to read further, we believe that you are one of those adventurous souls.
Nepal is known as a trekker’s paradise. Thousands of trekkers around the world make their holiday plan to trek in Nepal. Blessed with abundant natural scenery, great ecological diversity and an ancient culture, trekking in Nepal is a wish that many all over the world would like to fulfill at least once in their lifetime. This is of course, aside from the thousands of mountain climbers who have to come to Nepal to conquer some of the high Himalayan peaks includingMount Everest (8,848 m). However, for those not so inclined, but looking for adventure nonetheless, Nepal beckons one and all to come and trek on its fantastic mountain trails and experience varied lifestyles of those who live in the hills and mountains of this small but scenic country.
That said, here are the things you will need for a 10 day trek: jeans or slacks, woolen shirt, woolen sweater, woolen socks, shorts and T shirts, walking shoes, parka, poncho, gloves, hat, towel and toilet kit, sleeping bag, rucksack, water bottle, flashlight and pocket knife. These are the basics; you can depend upon us (Nepal Trek Ways) for tents, mattresses, utensils and mountain expert as your personal guide and Chef in Mountains. Here, then is a list of Nepal’s most popular treks.
Everest Base Camp Trek is the most popular trek in Nepal. The trail leads from the airfield of Lukla through villages and forests and across high suspension bridges. Rest a while at bustling Namche Bazaar. From Tengboche, you will get a close up view of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. From Gorakhshep, go to Kala Patthar. Above the tree line you will reach Base Camp high on the Khumbu Glacier.
Annapurna base camp trek commences from Nayapul in Pokhara. The sight of golden sunrise from these mountain ranges is an incredible scene. The trail traverses several Gurung and Thakali villages giving you opportunity to explore the rich local culture. As you move forward on the expedition you will pass through deep gorges, rich bamboo and rhododendron forest , narrow forest trails and beautiful mountain vistas before finally arriving at Machhapucchre and Annapurna Base Camp.
Take a scenic Flight or Drive to natural city Pokhara. Drive to Nayapul, start trekking, reach Ghorepani, hike to poonhill for the spectacular sunrise unveiling the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan ranges. Then head to Modi River gorges via Tadapani. Then, walk through the bamboo and rhododendron forest. Find yourself in the center of spectacular Mt. Fishtail and Annapurna. The major peaks Annapurna South, Fang, Annapurna, Ganagapurna, Annapurna 3, Machhapuchhare and Hiunchuli, are aligned in a circle of about 10 miles in diameter creating a deep glacier-covered amphitheater in the center.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is a rewarding trek. After driving down to Besisahar, the trail follows the Marsyangdi River. On the way, one is treated to the imposing view of Annapurna II, III and IV on the trail from Pisang to Manang. Snow-white ridges make for a magnificent panorama from the Thorung Pass at 5,416 meters, while down below is the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the world’s deepest gorge. A long descent downhill takes you to Muktinath and Jomsom, renowned for its apple orchards. Next, hike up to Ghorepani where the sunrise and sunsets from Poon Hill are rejuvenating. Then, walk down to Pokhara, where the Macchapucchre Himal towers over the city and its tranquil lake throughout the day.
Mustang Trek takes you to Mustang which has an aura of mysterious romance. Fly to Jomsom via Pokhara. Then, take the trail to Kagbeni. Climbing out of the river valley of Chele, you will come across interesting Tibetan style flat roofed houses, some with sheep horns above doorways, amulets to guard against evil spirits. Onwards to Charang with its rolling fields, willow trees and houses separated from each other by stone walls, and large Chortens and Gompas. Mustang lies at the end of the Kali Gandaki beyond the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges and consists of Lower Mustang, inhabited by people related to the Mananges, whereas, in northern Mustang (the ancient kingdom of Lo) the languages and the customs are of purely Tibetan origin.
Imjatse (Island Peak) Climb (20 days): This is the trek that can claim to have it all – from the high valleys and glaciers of Khumbu to the classic Everest view and the ascent of a Himalayan peak. Fly into Lukla from where begins this unique trek that takes you first to Phakding along the Dudh Koshi, meeting on the way, long lines of yak caravans ferrying trekking equipment and other supplies. Onwards to culturally rich Namche Bazaar, abode of the Sherpas, and Tengboche, with its magnificent view of the mighty Himalayan peaks. Then it’s on to Kala Patthar from where you will get a view of Everest so profound, you will be literally left breathless. The trail carries on to Dingboche and Chhukung and beyond these, along moraine and glaciers streams to Imjatse Base Camp from where you ascend the summit ridge of Imjatse Peak (6,189 meters).
Ghalegaun Village Trek (10 days): Trek through the villages of the honey hunters of Nepal. A pristine area, newly opened up for tourism, the stunning landscape and the gorgeous view of the Annapurna region would be reason enough to make it a favorite trekking destination. But as if that wasn’t enough, one also gets the golden opportunity to mingle with local Gurung families and become part of the local village life. The region is home to the famous honey hunters of Nepal. The trek starts after a drive down to Besisahar, from where the trail leads to Khudi along the Marsyangdi River and then to Ghalegaun from where the sunset-view of Annapurna and Manaslu is simply riveting. Then, trek down to Ghanpokhara and Bhujung with its cascading waterfalls and rhododendron forests before climbing again to Khumre Danda in Pasgaun. The descent down to the Mandi River takes you to Pakhrikot and Thumsikot and then back to Pokhara.
Standing on the top of the flat roof of the hotel with my hands firmly in my pockets with my collar pulled up and a scarf wrapped around my face my eyes firmly fixed on one of the most famous horizons in the world, I am transfixed.
As the sun peeked above the Nepalese horizon the sky lightened slightly and from the darkness emerged Manaslu Peak, one of the 14 mountains in the world over 8000m, its snow covered peak suffused in the soft pink glow of the rising sun.
As we watch in awe, another range emerges – the Ganeshes – the holy mountains of Nepal. Slowly the light increases and we can see mountains all the way around the horizon from the peaks of Annapurna to the distant majesty of the Everest and Lhotse Ranges all greeting the morning in a finery of fiery reds and oranges.
This awe-inspring experience at the roof of the world was our reward for rising early in our hotel in the tiny settlement of Nagarkot where we had ended a full day’s hike the night before. It was also a fine start to another day of hiking through what the Nepalese refer to as “hills” despite the fact that the myriad ranges are higher than 2300m above sea level.
Sunrises were was an important part of each day’s activities during our four day adventure, hiking part of a route through the hills that encircle the Kathmandu valley. We didn’t mind (too much) because each dawn presaged another day enjoying the local culture and the beautiful scenery.
The hikes ranged from 12 to 20km as well as a 20km mountain bike ride and took in villages, wild forest, steep mountain slopes dotted with tiny subsistence farms and religious sites including the revered Namo Buddha pilgrimage site and monastery. Nagarkot, where the hike ended on the first day, is a small settlement perched on the sides of the hills, largely made up of hotels catering to those wanting to revel in the stunning views of the mountains. The second and third nights were spent in Dhulikel, a small city where the trade between Nepal and Tibet occurs.
The second day’s hike between Nagarkot and Dhulikel meant a descent and ascent of around 1000 stairs, into and out of a rich, farming valley. The reward was lunch at the “Sunrise Hotel” a tiny, one room hut perched on a mountain top, from which the hills and mountains rolled out in green waves before the peaks of the Everest Range in the far distance. The day was unusually clear, and as we silently soaked up the view sipping chai tea under a prayer flag flapping umbrella, it was almost a spiritual experience.
Meals were provided along the way by farmers and villagers and all were a variation of Nepal’s ubiquitous national food, dhal bhat, a delicious combination of dhal and rice, served with pickles and seasonal greens, which is eaten twice a day, every day, by locals.
The last day of our hilly adventure was by mountain bike. Much of the fast ride was downhill bouncing and jouncing on the teeth jarring pitted dirt roads, but one section was along Nepal’s one super highway – a two lane sealed road put in with foreign aid that links Kathmandu with Tibet. The Nepalese version of the road train might only be a public bus, but it was enough to have us keeping a wary eye on the traffic as we sped along.
The hike began and ended in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, an hour’s drive from Kathmandu and while we were there we checked out the old town which was once the capital of Nepal and is now considered one of the living museums of the world.
The hike was just one of the experiences on our packed itinerary during a three week trip to Nepal, organised by Hari Sharan Bhuju of Bhaktapur based Nepal Trek Ways. We had originally purchased a ten day tour package which incorporated a four day hike and a cultural component, with the idea of making our own arrangements for sightseeing and adventure when we’d finished the organised tour. However, when we completed our first ten days we were so impressed we asked Hari to organise the second half of our holiday as well.
Our Nepalese adventure had began with a day in Kathmandu; a city that seems to have inspired Terry Pratchett in his depiction of the Discworld capital Ank Morpohk. Along little laneways and walkways, buildings tilt and lean in all directions with electrical wires and prayer flags intermingling overhead. The traditional three story Nepalese houses are dark and ill-lit but they are beautifully adorned by highly detailed wood carvings which attest to a culture steeped in the stories of the Hindu religion.
The centre of Kathmandu, Thamel, is a shopper’s paradise. Small stalls line the dusty roads and vendors offer a huge variety of hand made goods. Just poring over the silk rugs from Kashmir; yak and goat wool carpets woven by Tibetan refugees and locally produced hook work embroidered rugs is worth a day’s outing. Alongside the craft shops are hiking shops selling everything needed to be warm, safe and comfortable on the mountains or the hills.
Nepali salespeople will tell you, while you try on your new gear, that hiking is in the hills and trekking occurs in the mountains – thank goodness we were there in the winter and the high passes were closed.
Though we visited Nepal in the off-season, it was a considered choice as we wanted to go somewhere in January to escape the West Australian summer. Undeterred by the idea of freezing in the highest country in the world we packed lots of woolly clothes and on arrival were pleasantly surprised that winter in Nepal is not a lot different to down south in July!
Our guides confided that they didn’t understand how the ‘high’ season in Nepal had evolved as the winter time is the best time to see the mountains and the scenery as the fog lifts and it doesn’t rain as much as at other times.
The one drawback I could find was that the famous rhododendron forests were not in flower: the potential beauty was easy to see as the deep green trees were heavy with buds. Blossoming begins in late March and in April the forests turn to pink.
Having established that a three week visit just touches the surface of this wonderful, quirky country, and that the cold is nothing that a good woolly jumper couldn’t fix, a return visit is in order.
I was so exhausted that I hesitated to leave my bed. The wall clock was showing 4;10 am. It was still very quiet enough to hear the “tick tock” of the clock. I was staring at its needle moving continuously. At the same time I tried to remember what I just dreamt.
“ …it was steep…...very steep but very familiar. I was putting my all effort to lift my step to put ahead…..never had I felt so much fatigued. My limbs were not responding………I was tired..the limbs ached…. Though I was breathless, I had to keep it up for my clients and for some dollars……I was worn out…… breathing heavily, sticking out my all tongue……”
When I was awoken, I was still very tired, motionless and my back was damp.
It had been many years and this similar dream had been recurring every time before I embark my new trip to mountains. Now, I have learnt to take it as “a call from Mountain”.
As a guide by profession, I take several journeys to North, the mountains in Nepal. My most experience in all trekking region, be it in Mt. Everest,Annapurna region, Langtang or any other less trodden path like Upper Mustang, Makalu Base Camp, Nar Phu, Rolwaling Trekking, Kanchanunga areaetc, is that it demands too much of your physical performance specially for Guide and Porter like us who have to carry belongings of clients that may weigh 10 Kg to 30 Kg. However, notwithstanding the physical challenges the expectation of reward after reaching the destination is very luring.
The needles in the clock had hit 5 .00 am exactly. I moved off the bed mechanically. The car should arrive by 5.30 am. And I am supposed to meet Ms. Christine. It was end of November and the temperature in Kathmandu was below 10°c, quite chilly after you leave cozy bed. I was shivering as I touched water and at the same time my head was stabbing. I cursed myself for managing to peck a couple of 60 ml the day before. Yes I regret it every next morning and yet cannot shun to booze once its night!
I was almost ready when I realized that the car had been purring outside in the street.
I hurried down stair and swiftly arrived hotel to greet Ms. Christine.
She is a little lady with blonde hair in forties. Every time she smiles, I feel that she is too eager to see what comes ahead. Her grey eyes always look very curious.
I was really impressed by her gentleness while greeting at Kathmandu airport for the first time the day before. She speaks soft and fluent with typical Dutch influence. I was further stunned to learn that she has a son and daughter. She told me she texted them the previous day about how happy she was to get a private guide. I was also happy that she was comfortable to talk to me.
I noticed that she was already in her trekking boots and trouser that fit perfectly in her sporty slim body. She booked this 14 days long Annapurna and Manasalu circuit tours and trekking package before three months once she was done with all the legal hassle of getting divorced. She looked relaxed and content as she explained it.
That is all she managed to share with me on our first brief meeting. And that incredible smile was there all the time as she talked.
When we moved out from Hotel, it was 6:10 am. Nights are longer in winter. It was still dawn. The thick mist in the winter morning can hardly be penetrated by the street lamp or fog lights. As we rolled over the brick paved street in Bhaktapur city, we noticed the street was already busy and full of silhouettes of devotees and vegetable vendors.
"The men and women visit nearby temples before they begin their daily chores. The women are usually found with a special plate with different flowers, red vermin powder, grains of rice, incense, holy lights and some coins on them." I explained.
Soon, the car started cruising in the highway. We were supposed to drive next five hours to Arughat, to the trekking point.
I had already briefed her that the road condition in the later part is rough and bumpy because most part of the road either has not been black-topped or not been maintained well. But we are assured that this 4WD drive should be pretty convenient in the terrains.
We didn’t talk much on the way. The car was taking its usual speed on the Prithvi Highway along the Trishuli River.
She enjoyed the drive especially when it is up and down and round ……….then straight again.
“How often do the accidents take place in the road” She asked me very curiously. My answer to this question always has been same – “sometimes, accidents take place. But we are in the hand of very experienced driver, besides when the tourist are on board, we drive very cautiously.”
After a short break for breakfast in a riverside special restaurant our car took the same speed. She was scanning the river side scenario.
The road now had turned silvery with the sunlight. On our right, Trishuli Rivertries to catch with us.
The weather was crystal. We could see range of glittering Ganesh Himalya, Himchuli and Lamjung Himalaya Standing right to left.
After reaching Arughat, we walked nearly 2.5 hours to Soti Khola.(Optionally we could take a local bus but it takes almost same time or long due to road condition)
On the way was eye soothing rice field stretching all the way across the valley. Beyond the rice field was view of waterfalls on the ridge and small villages on the top of the hills. Time and again we passed by small huts each with a couple of cows, buffalo and goats. I wonder how people manage to dwell in such hut with cattle in the shed beside. For me the smell of dung was too overwhelming.
Soon, we forget the smell as the view of Ganesh Himal gets zoomed. On the way to Soti khola, there is a swimming hole and a small waterfall just above the trail. This valley is said to have beehives where honey is harvested. The Gurung of Budii Gandaki are mainly farmers and still there are remnants of a hunting society.
“Do you have family?” she asked me curiously.
“Yes, I live with my old parents, my wife and a son” I said brieflyShe was pleased to know that in Nepal old parents are looked after by their children. She explained to me that for the elderly people in Holland there are care center. “Children get busy in their own world and practically not possible to stay home to look after parents.” She tried to justify.
Soti khola to Machhekhola. Many waterfalls on the way and long suspention bridges. On the way we pass through Gurung villages of Lapubesi with a view of Shringi Himal. Then, we walk through the river side of Budi Gandaki where we walk on the white sand and rocks. Then after walking through the ridge of the river the trail climbs above the river to Machha Khola (meaning fish river) where we can feel the cold water from our feet or even do fishing here with local net made from the local fisherman. The place is surrounded by hills and it is a peaceful place to relax and taste the fish curry.
“I read that arrange marriage is common in Nepal. Was your marriage arranged by your parents?” she was in mood to talk.
I smiled. “Yes, it was arranged by my parents”. She was curious to learn more. She was waiting me to say more.
“The parents search a good suit for their children. My mother once told me that when she was married 60 years ago, she had not seen my father before the wedding ceremony. Thing are changing a lot though. In my time I had a couple of chance to date before marriage. While these days, the couple prefer more time to talk, share and feel before they really give decision. On the other hand love marriage is also now accepted easily.”
She was listening to me calmly. I wanted to ask how did she get married but then I realized it is not appropriate for a guide like me to ask anything personal. I remained quiet.
Machha khola to Jagat we cross around 6 suspension bridges.
We feel it a real thrill while walking on one of the bridges made against the wall of steep cliff. We saw few waterfalls. They are quite tempting especially when you spot rainbows on them. The trail grows narrower. We have to stick to the wall whenever we encounter the caravan of Mules carrying supply for the villages above .
Today from Jagat we enter the conservation area. Jagat is a small village with settlement of Gurung and Chettri people. We see them often busy storing grains, making fishing net or drying millets. We can see a big stone Chorten in the village which shows the influence of Buddhism in this place. In fact, Buddhist and Hindus live together in harmony.
There is a police check post and conservation office to register entrance permit of the trekkers.
As we hiked, she was breathing heavily. “I still feel pain in my back and get choked at the same time when I have to climb long stair or walk up hill. I need to do it slowly”, she confessed. "I had a bad fall two years ago. I broke my ribs and I had to go serious operation in my abdomen. I was climbing down from my office, I got dizzy, before I could hold supporting bar, I had missed the step and rolled off all the way down smashing my head and nose. The x-ray showed my two broken ribs. The doctors also discovered that I need immediate operation to remove uterus. I had to take six months of complete bed rest.” “Oh it was really tragic”, I was really sad to know her misfortune. My sincere sympathy encouraged her to tell more of her history. She continued, “I used to be the Director of few companies. I worked hard and could expand my business. As a nurse I first invested on a Health Clinic. And in next five years I started retelling medicine, medical gadgets, machines and many more. My husband also used to worked with me. We worked together for 15 years. And then this tragedy was to happen in my life.”
I listen to her very attentively. She would tell every details of her past as if she came to Nepal to meet me and to tell me her story.
Jagat to Deng On the way we see some small hydropower on the way and big metal pipes carrying water from the top to produce electricity.
We see people drying the corn, wheat, in their court yard. The beautiful Shringi Himal expects their glance of appreciation. But they are quite indifferent to it.
The trail is narrow and on the way we can see several rock lizards taking sunbath. From here, the trail follows the electric tower to the next village called Phillim. It is a big village with school, police check post and old houses made of stones. After passing philim we walk an hour trail through the pine forest and reach a place called Chisa pani. We stop here for lunch.
After Lunch we pass by Ekle Bhatti and continue an hour till we come to a junction- one leads to Manaslu and another to Tsum valley. We follow the first one.
Now the trail to Deng passes through pine forest where we pass through the shades of the hill and have a good chance to experience the wildlife. The trekkers often encounter gray Langoor, gray Siamang monkey, musk deer etc. Deng is a small settlement of Gurung people with only 5/6 houses surrounded with the rocky hills lies just beside the Shringi Himal. We can experience the primitive lifestyle of the people here.
We climbed up gradually. I tried to slow down make my step match with her. She was gaining stamina day by day. She was getting used to rough trail that goes up and down, round, through the woods, along the gorge and river. Mountains would grow bigger as we follow the trail further.
Deng to Namrung From deng after 30minutes of walk we reach the place called Rana Gauon which is settlement of Magar people. Now we experience the Tibetan settlement ahead. We pass through mani walls. We spot Danphe or Impeyan Pheasant(Nepal's colorful national bird). The trail makes a long , serious climb through bamboo and rhododendron forests before entering Namrung through a stone archway. Namrung is a big village with stone houses and a police check post that controls the access to the upper part of the valley. Horses, Yaks and Mules are popular transportation for supply.
“I gave up all my money. I shared them with my husband and brothers.” She was disclosing more. “I realized how I was cheated by my own brothers and husband. During my bed rest in hospital, my husband and brothers were handling my business. When I went back to office after six months, I found my money was stolen. My own brothers were found involved in hiding several transactions. Hardly had I recovered from my Physical crash when I got this shock. I was mentally disturbed. I messed up with family relations. Even my husband was not happy with me. I felt that he was not interested in me but in my money. I knew I was earning enmity because of my money. I was so irritated and suspicious that I would sense a vested interest in my friends’ sympathy so I avoided all them. I used to think that they were around me only because of my money. I thought they were also enjoying a good privilege on my wealth."
Namrung to Lho. After Namrung the trek enters the Nupri region. The people of Nupri are all descendants of Tibetan migrant and most dress in Chubas. The gompas and house are made of stone. We move ahead across this Buri gandaki valley. the view now gets spectacular. Manaslu, Manaslu north and Naike peak appear ahead. The trail crosses a big prayer wheel in the middle of the trail and climbs through more fields where people sit all night to scare bears away from the crops. Ahead, after passing a small stream is the village of LHO. Lho is a big village with gompas, a rough stone archway at the entrance and a Tibetan style Chortens and a huge Mani Wall. The village offers spectacular view of Manaslu range.
"I was very sad, miserable and hopeless. Frustration and depression ruined my life. At a time, I even reached at the point of suicide. Doctors who had been treating me referred to psychiatrist. I had to go through therapy and counseling for many days.Then I learned, I deserve to be happy. I wanted to be happy. I was looking for happiness. What can give me happiness? I seriously needed something that can bring my smile back in my life to make me normal. I decided I first need to shake off all the root causes of my suffering. So, I gave away most of my property to my family because my understanding was my money generated my enemy. I divorced my husband for he cared my money rather than me. After my decision to divorce, he was mad with anger at me. He was so psychic that he wanted to kill me. He was not happy with what he got according to law. He wanted more.”
I could not believe what she was saying could have happened in her life a couple of month back. For me, she was so sophisticated, smiling all the time and could accept thing very easily. Perhaps, she regained this quality after counseling. My sympathy for her got even deeper."
lho to samagauon. The trail now passes through damp forests.
The road is icy or muddy. The trail to the left ends up at Pung-Gyen gompa with the Pungen glacier and Manaslu east face. Finally the trail emerges onto a plateau at Syala with wide view of Himalchuli , Ngadi Chuli and Manaslu. There is a Chorten and a small Gompa with a huge prayer wheel. There is large Mani stones and u can see many women working on wooden looms as u make your way through the village. The village is wide and the in good sunny days. You can see the marmot walking over in search of food, Yaks and sheep grazing. We can see the view of Manaslu and Manaslu north form Samagaon.
She was really friendly with everyone. She would share a brief hello to every trekker we met on the way and tea house. Whenever she had a bit longer chat, she would not forget to tell them about her fall and the difficulty she suffered in walking as a result. Sometimes, her behavior was childish. She would smile at anything, laugh at my silly sarcasm and would take any story very seriously. Once I told her about the mysterious legendary creature “Yeti”. She was very fascinated and believed in the possibility of its existence.
Rest day at Samagaon. There are plenty of side trip in Samagaon to acclimatize.
We hike up to Manaslu Basecamp which is in the elevation of 4900m or hike to Pung-Gyen Gompa which is hidden behind the ridge in front of Manaslu. The Japanese call this “Honsansho Gompa”. It was destroyed by an avalanche during the winter of 1953 after the first Japanese expedition to Manaslu. The inciddent killed 18inhabitats, mostly nuns. The villagers believe that the god residing on Manaslu destroyed the Gompa to show his wrath at the trespassers. So, the villagers refused to let the second Japanese expedition to Manaslu in 1954.
Optionally, we can also make a day hike to Birendra Taal, a glacier lake at 3450m.
The other day, I was explaining the symbolic meaning of Buddhist stupa to her. Her reaction was as if she had got enlightenment.
Samagaon to Samdo. The trail passes through several Mani walls as the valley begins to widen. It is an easy trail above the river past Juniper and Birch forest and stone huts. Then, it gets rougher. Samdo is the last settlement before the Larkya Pass which is a refugee settlement of Tibet. A major Tibetan trade route heads east through the village and over the Lajyang La 5098m to Rhee village in Tibet.
People from Samdo feel that they have proprietary right to Larkya La and often insists that groups replace their porters with local porters here!
Pointing at a Stupa on the side way, I explained her: “ a Buddhist stupa is not just a holy shrine. It is a holy book. Each and every part of it is symbolic. For example: the white dome (its foundation part) symbolizes our universe. Above the dome is four sided spire. On each side there is a pair of eyes. They are Buddha’s eyes and represents his compassion and Intelligence. Just in between is a point of red mark Tika ( we call it Harmika) which is for Buddha’s Clairvoyance. Then, Just below is his nose which is made in the shape of questions mark. The questions mark is for us. Now imagine, the Buddha’s eyes are looking at you and asking the question “who are you?” “How are you affiliated to this universe?” This is million Dollar questions for true spiritualist. According to Buddha, people suffer because of ignorance; ignorance because they have recognize their body as self. Since we think, we are what our body is – the suffering triggers. Buddhism assures that it can help us know who we are. Knowing ourselves will cease all the suffering. This is the point of we know it as “Nirvana”. Buddhism assures us that it can teach the way to find Nirvana. For that we have to pass through thirteen different stages. The thirteen steps are symbolized in the thirteen circle formed in pyramid shape. The tops is place of God, he represents the supreme soul. Since we are the part of supreme soul, we are supreme soul ourselves.The thirteen steps are tough but not impossible. The first ten steps are available to read in the books, but the last three steps are in super-conscious level. At the top point, the words do not work. It means, Buddha has taught that the ultimate truth cannot be represented in words. The words cannot teach us the final truth. The final part cannot be verbalized. It happens!”
Samdo to Dharmasala. The trail from Samdo past many fields to a big, old Mani Wall and stone archway drops to river which is now very small and narrow. The Sherpa traders from Namche bazaar used to bring their yaks on a long trip via Tibet, then into Nupri climbing in and out of the gorges. There is only one rest house at 4480m. This stone house is large enough to store our gears and kitchen stuffs . We set up tents for sleep.
She was so impressed to know about the point “it happens!” She asked me “Has it happened to you?”
March to Bhimtang via larkya la. The route starts up the ridge in front of the rest house, eventually becoming a long gentle climb. Cross a small ridge and descend a bit to a lake and keep climbing the ridge until you reach the top. It takes around 4 hours from Dharmasala to Larkya La. There is a tremendous views of mountain peaks. The peaks from the west of the pass are Himlung Himal(71260), Cheo Himal(6820m). Here, the trail descends and becomes larger as it gets close to Bhimtang. In Tibetan language it means 'plain of sand'. There are now 4 tea shops. Bhimtang was a khampa guerrilla staging area during the 1970s. This is a huge valley surrounded by peaks. We hear many avalanches during the night.
“Me? no! not yet. Or may be it will never happen in me. I think I am not in the path of Nirvana. I want to know the secret of life though. I even feel one day I will know it. But I am sorry. To be frank, I am too greedy, too attached to mundane, too dedicated to earn money. To hear your story I would rather say that you seem to have actually learned the secret of life. You have thwarted your money, got break free from the family attachments and even got through the worst situation of life. And now you are here to meditate on your life. You have regained your smile, child-like innocence and energy to laugh like a freak! This is true happening!”
Bhimtang to tilijhe. The trail drops from Bhimtang and crosses a glacier stream, then the trail passes through some landslide areas than reaches a place called Surki khola. There are some cottage houses. The trail crosss through the pine forest and you can see the peak of Lamjung above the Marsyangdi and reach a beautiful village with the cottage houses made of wood. We continue through the fields, over a clear stream past houses and more fields interspersed with rhododendron and oak forest.
She listened to me again like an obedient child. I look in to her staring eyes. They were contemplating. “What are you thinking?” I asked. She blushed to realize that she had been staring. “I am very happy! Happy that I took this journey. Happy that I have your company. I feel the mountain has amazing energy. It has taught me to endure. I keeps me calm. I feel so well now. I am gaining more self-esteem."
Bhimtang to Dharapani. The trail passes through the wide road and then we pass through some landslide areas. After an hour of walk, we see the range of Lamjung Himal and the trail descends down and we cross a suspension bridge. We pass through some more Mani walls and pass through a secondary school and a health post before reaching Dharapani. There is Annapurna comservation checkpost. Now we are in an apple pie trail as it is the 4th day of the famous Annapurna circuit trail in reverse.
We had magnificent view of mountain from various points. After every ups and down, the scenarios would flip. She would forget all the tiredness in every viewpoints. The beautiful white snow-capped mountains that shine in sunny day under the blue sky would reflect in her sweet smile. It was the 13th day of our trek. The next day we would be heading to kathmandu.
Dharapani to ktm/continue to annapurna circuit. We can find a jeep to Besisahar which will take 5hrs and a bus to kathmandu from Besisahar.
That evening was my last day with Christine. She was even more elated. She assured me that one day she would come back again.
By the time we arrived Kathmandu it was 9:00 PM- already dark in Kathmandu. From Beshisahar, the 5 hours long drive extended to 9 hours due to traffic. We were both worn out. I suggested her to have dinner in the Hotel restaurant that night. After briefing about her departure time I passed her car number for International departure. She would be flying at around 9:20 AM.
After the hotel check in formality, I gestured her to follow the Bell Boy.
I wanted to give her a big hug and wish for goodness ahead in life. But, before that I had said good night and I was heading to the car. For me, I was scheduled to meet my next client the following day in the morning at Kathmandu airport for trekking to Everest Base Camp. The tour operator in my office wanted me to be quick to receive guest details and budget for the next trip.
After two weeks, I returned from EBC Trek. That night, I was checking my facebook updates. There was a dozen of notification and few friend request. I clicked the friend request. There was Christine. I added her promptly. I saw she had posted several Pictures of me and mountain.
Tourists can book a package holiday to Bhutan through both International and Bhutanese local tour operators. Information is available from travel agencies.
The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan and this must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan.
The minimum tariff for tourist visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:
High Season Tariff – US$ 250 per person per night halt ( February, March, April, May, August, September, October, November and December).
Low Season Tariff – US$ 200 per person per night halt (January, June, July).
The minimum price includes:
· All internal taxes and charges (including the royalty)
· All Meals
· All travel with a licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide
· All Internal Transport
· Camping Equipment and Haulage for Trekking Tours
The rates given above are applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan. On the day of departure, the ‘local agents’ host obligation shall be limited to breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on actual basis.
The rates shall apply uniformly irrespective of locations and the type of accommodation provided/asked for. List of hotels and lodges approved for international tourist accommodation updated from time to time shall be issued by TCB.
Minimum package cost is revised starting 1st January 2012. USD$ 250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November. And USD$200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December. For more information please check with TCB.
Individual tourists and smaller groups of less than three persons shall be subject to surcharge, over and above the minimum daily rates applicable, as follows:
Single individual US$ 40 per night
Group of 2 persons US$ 30 per person per night
The 10% agency commission payable to agents abroad shall not be deductible from the surcharge.
The surcharge will not be applicable to representatives of foreign travel agents on business study or promotional visit duly approved and cleared by TCB.
a) With effect from 01/07/2009, the government has revoked the 25% discount on Diplomatic visas.
b) There shall be no charge for CHILDREN up to the age of 5 years. However, those between the ages of 6-12 years accompanied by elders/ guardians shall be given 50% discount on daily rates and 100% discount on Royalty.
c) Full time STUDENTS below the age of 25 years holding valid identity cards from their academic institutions shall also be given a 25% discount on daily rates.
d) A discount of 50% on daily rates shall be given to one person in a group of 11 to 15 people. 100% discount shall be given to one member in a group exceeding 16 persons.
e) 50%discount on Royalty shall be provided from the 9th night and 100% discount on Royalty shall be provided from the 14th night.
f) Visitors availing discounts under Sections A, B & C shall not be eligible for discount under E.
Detailed information on Druk Air flights, tour and trekking programmes, festivals, places of interest, hotels etc can be obtained from the tour operators.
Other than Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa; all visas are issued from Thimphu; visas are only issued to tourists booked with a local licensed tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent. Applications for tourist visas are submitted by the tour operator. Visa clearance from Thimphu must be obtained before coming to Bhutan. Visa clearance takes at least 10 days to process. Air tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance. At your point of entry the visa will be stamped in your passport on payment of US$20, two passport photos will also be required. Visas are issued for a 15day period; extensions can be obtained in Thimphu at a cost of Nu.510.
Tour Programmes booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows:
· within 30 days of start of programme ~ no charges
· within 21 days ~ 10% of rate
· within 14 days ~ 15% of rate
· within 7 days ~ 30% of rate
· less than 7 days or without notice ~ 50% of rate
· after arrival in Bhutan ~ 100%
There is no charge for delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or road blocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required.
Note: INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and 1000 are not accepted in Bhutan.
About trekking Trekking Trekking in Nepal is meant to walk or hike to rural heritages. Along the trails winding up, down, over and around, it takes you through serene villages brooded under the scintillating mountains. So, it is definitely a treasurable experience of lifetime, both, of beholding the hypnotic beauty of nature and meticulously tackling the challenges in the treacherous yet tantalizing mountain regions. Trekking is not mountaineering although some of the popular trails are used by mountaineering expeditions to get to their base camps. Most of the trails you walk on are still used predominantly by Nepali people for everyday travel and trade. So, it is common to meet Nepali porter carrying supply like groceries or lengths of corrugated roofing iron slung from a jute strap (namlo) around the head or a sick relatives being carried in a basket (doko) in the same manner to the nearest medical facility. Trekking is a way of seeing a country and its people ‘warts and all’. You walk through the streets of cities, villages and past the open front doors of houses. At the same time, you see the people at their daily tasks. Often, you witness celestial clouds forming below you while the canopy of magnificent peaks of mountains towering over you. Trekking means you will be involved in a way you could never be in a car, bus, train or aero plane. But, you can enjoy the friendliness of the people; feel the spell of the mountains and their culture. A trekking trip can be of any length you choose. There are a number of short treks around the Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys which only take a day to complete. There are two or three day treks or treks from a week to a month. For those with enough time can combine a number of treks and spend months just walking around. We can help you customize a trekking itinerary to suit your needs at an affordable price leaving you free of any confused travelling, bureaucratic or logistic hassles. Nepal is the ultimate destination for trekking and adventure holidays from easy to challenging base camp treks or Adrenaline adventures that may quite often test your physical aptitude. So, step on in Nepal, a trekking paradise where you will enjoy the most spectacular sceneries flipping one after another as you move on the trail.
Trekking through the Himalayas is for those who prefer a less cosseted vacation. On the camping trek, we get up and go to bed with the daylight, and relax in warm sunshine after a leisurely lunch. – We provide all camping and cooking equipment. These treks are staffed by a full local crew, including a main guide, porters, cook and assistants. Your main baggage is carried by porters. It is the camp our crews’ job to perform all the camp work, including leaving the sites clean. Food on trek is a mixture of Western and local dishes with plenty of choice. Our menu is based on fresh food to provide three nutritious and tasty meals a day. We can cater for specific dietary needs if we know in advance. All trekkers are pleasantly surprised at the quality of the meals.
· We use airy and comfortable tents. There is also a latrine tent. A shower tent and dining tent set up at each campsite.
· Your only job is to do the walking and take photographs, while our trek staff takes care of the camp duties and carrying.
· The benefit of a camping trek is that we are not limited to use the trails more frequently travelled and there is a greater opportunity to get ‘off-the-beaten-track’.
Peaks of Nepal
8 of the highest peaks in the world is in Nepal, Including the Mount Everest Highest of all peaks.
The world’s highest mountain above the mean sea level at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). It is located in the Himalayas on the Nepal (Sagarmatha Zone)-China (Tibet) border. One of the most popular area for trekking in Nepal. Trek to Everest base camp is mystique derived from its soaring giant, ever panoramic peaks and the extreme adventures of legendary mountaineers. The Everest, situated in the Solu and Khumbu diversified district is justifiably renowned, not only because it encompasses Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain (8850m), but also because of its exotic Sherpa villages and monasteries, flora and fauna. The main goal of Everest Trekking is to trek to Everest Base camp at an elevation of about 5430 m. trek to Everest Base Camp
Kanchenjunga Region( 8598m)Trekking is the trek to the Base Camp of the world’s third highest mountain of the world in Nepal. The trek takes us soak up spectacular views of the Jannu Himalayas range from the Mirgin La. To visit serene villages on the boarders of Sikkim and Tibet are the stunning landscape of the trek. Kanchenjunga, “Treasure of Snow” (28,198ft) was first climbed by a British team in 1956 AD. Here you can advent awe inspiring Himalayan Trekking, and reap the rewards!
Kanchanjunga, although a limited trekking area as per the Nepal Government permit policy, one of the most remote trekking regions which is situated in Eastern Nepal bordering the Indian state of Sikkim. This area houses Snow Leopard, National bird of Nepal,Musk Deer, Blue Sheep and maybe legendary Yeti. This is less travelled remote area comparing the popular Everest and Annapurna Trekking regions of Nepal.
Lhotse (8,516) is the fourth highest mountain in the world. Its long east-west crest is located immediately south of Mount Everest and the summits of the two mountains are connected by the South Col, a vertical ridge that never drops below 8,000 meters. Lhotse is sometimes mistakenly identified as the south peak of the Everest massif. No serious attention was turned to climbing Lhotse until after Everest had finally been ascended. Lhotse was first climbed in 1956 by two Swiss, Fritz Luchsinger and Ernest Reiss. In addition to the main summit, there are two subsidiary peaks, Lhotse Shar, which is immediately east of the main summit, and Nuptse, a high peak on the mountain’s west ridge.
Makalu (8,463) is the fifth highest mountain in the world. It is an isolated peak, located just 14 miles east of Mount Everest. Its size alone is impressive, but its structure, that of a perfect pyramid with four sharp ridges, make this mountain all the more spectacular.
It has proved to be a challenging climb, as only five of its first sixteen attempts were successful. Previously, it had been admired and studied by several Everest parties, but like so many other giants in Khumbu region, it was not attempted until the summit of Everest had been attained in 1954. A French group first climbed Makalu in year 1955.
Chomo Lonzo (25,650 ft.) is a subsidiary peak of Makalu, rising just north of the higher summit, separated by a narrow saddle.
Cho Oyu (8,201) is the sixth highest mountain in the world, located a short distance to the west from Everest and Lhotse (the fourth highest) in the Khumbu region of Eastern Nepal along the Tibetan border. Its towering peak stands with Everest well above the surrounding mountains. It became a familiar landmark to climbers ascending Everest’s north face. Just west of Cho Oyu is the Nangpa La, a 19,000-foot glacier pass, and the main trade route between the khumbu Sherpas and Tibet. Cho Oyu’s proximity to the Nangpa la has earned it the distinction among some climbers as being the easiest 8,000 meter peak. It was the third such peak climbed, and the first climbed in autumn by two Australian.
Dhaulagiri (8,167), whose name means White Mountain, is the seventh highest mountain in the world. It is an enormous Himalayan massif, located in north central Nepal. After its discovery by the western world in 1808, it replaced Ecuador’s Chimborazo (20,561 ft.) as the postulated highest mountain in the world. It maintained this standing for nearly 30 years, until the discovery of Kanchenjunga, which was then falsely believed to be the world’s highest mountain.
Dhaulagiri’s crest stretches for thirty miles, lending structure to an otherwise tangled topography of twisting ridges, glaciers, and ice falls. Along the main crest, several pyramid-shaped peaks rise. Four of these summits, numbered form east to west, rise above 25,000 feet.
Manasalu (8, 163) is the high peak of the Gorkha massif, and is the eight highest mountains in the world. It is located about 40 miles east of Annapurna, the tenth highest mountain. The mountains long ridges and valley glaciers offer feasible approaches from all directions, and it culminates in a peak that towers steeply above its surroundings landscape, and is dominant features when seen from afar. The name Manaslu is derived from the Sanskrit word Manasa and can be roughly translated as mountain of the spirit. An all-female Japanese expedition successfully ascended to the summit, thereby becoming the first women to climb an 8,000-meter peak.
Annapurna (8,091) is an enormous Himalayan massif, the tenth highest mountain in the world. In 1950, it became the first 8,000 meter mountain to be successfully climbed. It is located east of great gorge cut through the Himalaya by the Kali Gandaki River. The mountain has the glaciers on its western and north western slopes, which drain into this gorge.
Annapurna is a Sanskrit name that can be translated as goddess of harvests or more simply the provider. Of Annapurna’s many highs peaks, five are labeled using some variations of the name Annapurna. Of these, the two highest (Annapurna I and II), stand like bookends at the western and eastern ends of the massif. There are many trekking trails that offers stunning views of Annapurna Range. Annapurna circuit Trekking and Annapurna Base Camp Trekkig are some great ways to get great views of the massifs.
These are the eight highest peaks of Nepal. Nepal is a home to many other smaller peaks which offer exciting Peak Climbing Adventure.
Hardware For all Treks Essential:
· Water Bottle 1 liter min
· Day pack
· Money belt
· Wrap around
· Bag Liners, Stuff and Rubbish Bags;
· Sewing Kit
· Toiletries. Bio-degradable;
· Tissues, plenty! The toilet paper provided isn’t suitable or easily replaced on trek
· Towel. Light weight or pack towel
· Penknife, Swiss Army style
· Batteries. Long life even these have a shorter life at Altitude
· Disposable Lighter
· Personal First Aid Kit.
· Thermarest : Luxury!
· Camera : Crazy not to!
· Diary : To record a once-in –a-lifetime experience
· Games / Books for Evenings
· Umbrella : Great sunshade and for privacy at toilet stops
General : For Trekking in September, October, March, April and May
· Walking Boots : Lightweight, waterproof, with plenty of toe room, well worn in
· Socks : 3 pairs each thick/thin to be worn in combination-boots should be big enough!
· Running / Tennis shoes / Sandals : For evenings and and to relief the feet
· Waterproofs : Thigh length jacket with a hood. (If you don’t want to use provided poncho)
· Pants :Lightweight, loose, long, trouser, short or skirt. Jeans are unsuitable.
· Jackets : Pile/Fleece,and/or SWEATER. Lightweight, Duvet Jackets are provided on request
· Trackpants : For evenings and colder days;
· T-shirts : 2 OR 3
· Shirt : Lightweight, long sleeved, with collar, to protect sensitive areas from the Sun;
· Hats : 1 wool/pile “beanie” with ear flaps. 1 peaked sun hat , “Legionnaire” style;
· Gloves :Wool /pile
· Scarf : Wool /pile
· Underwear : As required
· Swimsuit : Essential for outdoor bathing.
· Snow Gaitars : To keep pants and Boots dry
Trek in Annapurna Base Camp in March to May specially.
Winter : For Trekking in November, December, Janaury and February
· Running / Tennis Shoes / Sandals
· Swimsuit as for general treks,
But add / adjust as follows:
· Socks : 4 pairs or both thick and thin,and an extra pair for bed socks;
· Waterproof : Over pants with side zips,to fit over boots;
· Woollen Sweater : 1 heavy weight or, preferably,2 lightweight
· Trackpants : 2-Preferably, 1 heavy track pants and 1 wool/pile trousers;
· Gloves : Wool, /pile,silk or thermal glove liners;
· Thermal Underwear : Long medium/heavyweight tops and trousers;
· Snow Gaitars : To keep pants and boots dry
Conservation Park of Nepal
1. Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve
Area: 1325sq. km Established: 1983 and gazetted in 1987 Location: Dhorpatan hunting reserve adjoins Rukum, Myagdi and baglung districts in the Dhaulagiri Himal range in west Nepal. Putha, churn and gurja Himal extend over the northern boundary of the reserve. This is the only hunting reserve in the country, attracting Nepalese and foreign hunters with blue sheep and other game animals. The reserve is divided into six blocks for hunting management purposes. The reserve is characterized by alpine, sub alpine, and high temperate vegetation. Common plant species include fir pine, birch, rhododendron, hemlock, oak juniper and spruce. Pastureland at higher elevations occupies more that 50% of the total area of the reserve. The reserve is one of the prime habitats for blue sheep, a highly coveted trophy. Other animals found there are: leopard, goral, Serow, Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan black bear, barking deer, wild boar, rhesus macaque, langur and mouse hare. Pheasants and partridges are common and their viable population in the reserve permits controlled hunting. Endangered animals in the reserve include musk deer, wolf, red panda, cheer pheasant and Danphe (Lophophorus). Special permits required for hunting.
2. Koshi tappu wildlife reserve
Area: 175sq. km. Established: 1976 Location: Koshi Tappu wildlife reserve lies on the flood plains of the Sapta Koshi in Saptari and Sunsari districts of eastern Nepal. The eastern and western embankments of the River define the reserve. Rapid and complete inundation of the reserve to depths ranging from 10 to 300 cm occurs during the monsoon. The sapta Koshi River also changes its course from one season to another. The vegetation mainly includes tall khar pater grassland with few patches of khair sissoo scrub forest and deciduous mixed Riverine forest. The reserve offers important habitat for a variety of wildlife. The last surviving population (about 100 individuals) of wild buffalo or Arna is found here. Other mammals are the hog deer, wild boar, spotted deer, and blue bull. The reserve also assists the local economy by providing fishing permits and allowing the collection of edible fruits and ferns in season. 280 different species of bids have been recorded in the reserve. These include 20 species of ducks, 2 species of ibises, many storks, egrets, herons and the endangered swamp partridges and Bengal floricans. The Koshi barrage is extremely important as a resting place for migratory birds. Many species recorded here are not seen elsewhere in Nepal. The endangered gharial crocodile and gangetic dolphin have been recorded in the Koshi River.
3. Parsa wild life Reserve
Sabai grass, a commercially important species, grows well along southern face of the Churiya hills. The reserve supports a good population of resident wild elephant, tiger, leopard, sloth bear, gaur, blue bull, and wild dog. Other common animals are Sambar, chital hog deer, barking deer, languor, striped hyena, palm civet and jungle cat. There are nearly 300 species of birds in the reserve. Giant hornbill, peafowl, red jungle fowl, flycatchers and weedpeckers are a few of the other common birds found in the reserve. Many kinds of snakes including king cobra, common cobra, crait, rat snake and python are found in the reserve due to hot tropical climate.
4. Shuklaphanta wildlife reserve
Other wild animals in the reserve are wild elephant, tiger, hispid hare, blue bull, leopard chital, hog deer, and wild boar. A total of 200 species of birds have been recorded in the reserve. Many grassland birds along with the rare Bengal florican can be seen in the phantasm. Marsh mugger, Indian python, monitor lizard and snakes like cobra, krait and snake are recorded in the reserve.
5. Makalu Barun national park
There are 47 varieties of orchids, 67 species of economically valuable medicinal and aromatic plants, 25 of Nepal’s 30 varieties of rhododendron, 19species of bamboo, 15 oaks including arkhoulo, 86 species of fodder trees and 48 species of primrose. Over 400 species of birds have been sighted in the Makalu and Barun area. Two of the species had never been seen else where in Nepal . They are the spotted wren babble and the oklive ground warbler. Wildlife includes the endangered red panda, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, clouded leopard and possibly snow leopard in addition to more substantial populations of goral, Himalayan Tahr, wild boar, barking deer, Himalayan marmot and weasel, common languor monkey and the Serow. The Arun River system contains 84 verities of fish. Some 32000 people inhabit the conservation area.
6. Rara national park
Rara national park(106sq km) is located in North-west Nepal about 371km air distance from Kathmandu. Most of the park area including Lake Rara, lies in Mugu district, a small area adjoins Jumla district of karnali zone. This is the smallest park in Nepal, containing the country’s biggest lake (10.8 sq. km) at an elevation of 2990m. Park elevations range from 2800m to 4030m. The park contains mainly coniferous forest.
The area around the lake is dominated by blue pine, black juniper, west Himalayan spruce, oak, Himalayan cypress and other associated species, at abut 3350m, pine and spruce give way to fir, oak and birch. Deciduous tree species like Indian horse chestnut, walnut and Himalayan popular are also found. A small portion of the park serves as an ideal habitat for musk deer. Other animals found in the park include Himalayan black bear, leopard, goral, himayan Tahr, and wild boar. Snow trout is the only fish species recorded in the lake. Resident gallinaceous birds and migrant waterfowl are of interest to park visitors. The greatcrested grebe, black necked grebe, and red crested pochard are seen during winter. Other common birds are the snowcock, chukor partridge Impeyan pheasant, kalij pheasant, and blood pheasant.
7. Bardia National park
Bardia National park is situated in the mid-far western Terai, east of the Karnali River. It covers 968sq km of land, the largest and most undisturbed wilderness area in the Terai. About 70% of the park is covered with dominantly Sal forest with a balanced mixture of grassland, savanna and Riverine forest.
Approximately 1500 inhabitants of this valley have been resettled elsewhere. Since farming has ceased in the Babai valley, natural vegetation is regenerating, making it an area of prime habitat for wildlife . The park provides excellent habitat for endangered animals like the rhinoceros, wild elephant, tiger swamp deer, black buck, gharial crocodile, marsh mugger crocodile and gangetic dolphin. Endangered birds include the Bengal florican, lesser florican and Sarus crane. More than 30 different mammals, over 200 species of birds, and many snakes, Lizards and fish have been recorded in the park’s forest, grassland and River habitats. A good number of resident and migratory birds are found in the park.
8. Chitwan National Park
There are more than 43 species of mammals in the park. The park is especially renowned for the endangered one- horned rhinoceros, the tiger and the Gharial crocodile along with many other common species of wild animals. It also harbors endangered species such as gaur, wild elephant, four-horned antelope, striped hyena, pangolin, gangetic dolphin, monitor lizard and python. Other animals found in the park include the sambar, chital, hog deer, barking deer, sloth bear, palm civet, languor and rhesus monkey. There are over 450 species of birds in the park. Among the endangered birds are the Bengal florican, giant hornbill, lesser florican, black stork and white stork. Common birds seen in the park include the peafowl, red jungle fowl, and different species of egrets, herons, kingfishers, flycatchers and woodpeckers. The best time for bird watching is March and Deccember. More that 45 species of amphibians and reptiles occur in the park, some of which are the marsh crocodile, cobra, green pit viper and various species of frogs and tortoises. The park is actively engaged in the scientific studies of several species of wild fauna and flora.
Make your dream come true! Achieve the life time experience of this amazing adventure to the Mt. Everest Base camp. We fly early morning to Lukla, start trekkig to Phakdigma the same day. Enjoy the unique ambience in Namche Bazaar. Witness Buddhism in full swing in Tengboche. Visit Everest base camp and Kalapathar. Capture awe inspiring mighty Himalayas and mystic landscape in your memory.
The Everest or Sagarmatha region is one of the most popular areas for trekking in Nepal, with a mystique derived from its soaring giant, ever panoramic peaks and the extreme adventures of legendary mountaineers.
Sagarmatha situated in the Solu and Khumbu diversified district is justifiably renowned, not only because it encompasses Mt. Everest, the world’s highest mountain (8850m), but also because of its exotic Sherpa villages, Buddhist monasteries, flora and fauna etc. The main goal of many Everest treks is the Everest Base Camp at an elevation of about 5430m. You cannot see Everest from the base camp but it’s worthwhile to be in the spot of triumph and tragedy, so we take you for your life time experience and also climb Kala Pattar, a 5555m lap on the southern flank of Pumori (7145m). From Kala Pattar there is a dramatically marvelous view of Mt. Everest after a few minutes ascend.
? Best Season: September to late December and February to May Inquire Manirimdu Festival with the Trek in November January For Winter Treks
? Duration: 18 (can be customized)
? Trekking Days: 14
? Grade: Hard-Medium
? Maximum Altitude: 5555
? Commences At: Lukla
? Ends At: Lukla
Itinerary of worth USD 1650 only (can be customized)
Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02 Half day World Heritage Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Day 03 Flight to Lukla Start trek to Phakdingma
Day 04 Trek to Namche
Day 05 Acclimatisation day in Namche/Excursion to Everest View Hotel
Day 06 Trek to Tengboche Day 07 Trek to Dingboche
Day 08 Acclimatisation day in Dingboche/Excursion to Ngazong
Day 09 Trek to Lobuche
Day 10 Trek to Gorakhshep/ Excursion to Everest Base Camp
Day 11 Trek to Pheriche after Early morning climb to Kalapathar
Day 12 Trek to Tengboche
Day 13 A day rest in Tengboche
Day 14 Trek to Monjo Day 15 Trek to Lukla
Day 16 Flight to Kathmandu
Day 17 Leisure in Kathmandu
Day 18 Departure Kathmandu
Notes & inclusion The Trek Cost Includes:
? All the International arrival and Departure Transfers
? Pre and Post Trek deluxe Star Hotel Accomodation in Kathmandu
? Domestic airport Transfers
? Flight To/ from Lukla
? Half Day Guided Cultural Sightseeing
? Comprehensive Trekking Map
? Authentic Nepali Welcome Dinner
? All the accommodation and full board meals and hot beverages on the trek
? Everest Trekking permit and Sagarmatha Conservation entry fee
? An English speaking mountain expert as your private Guide and Porter services
? Field staff Insurances
? Dawn Jackets, Sleeping bag, walking poles, duffel bag, facilitiies on Loan during the trek
? Extensive First aid medical kit
? Quick Rescue supporting services in case of Emergency
? Extra snacks services
? Communication services in case of Emergency
? Applicable government Taxes
The Trek cost excludes;
? All the personal expenses like Alcoholic beverages, Bottled drinks etc.
Much has been talked on the massive destruction caused in Nepal due to dooming 7.8 Richter scale earthquake on 25th of April 2015. In the country like Nepal, obviously its impact on human life is horrendous. The aftermath of earthquake witnessed over 10 million of people sheltering under a basic tent or no tent. Moreover, the recurring innumerable sub-quakes compelled them to give up their homes and abandon the areas despite the incessant rain during the days.
The tremors not only uprooted the foundation of the age old historic palace, temples and local houses, but also rummaged social life, agriculture, animal husbandry and tourism sector- its impact is yet to be faced in the long run.
At this time, when the whole nation is drowning in tears, we are surely not in the exceptional situation. Due to this natural calamity we also lost our house and now we are forced to be displaced with family. If only the situation remained to this limit, we would work hard and bounce back to normal life. But, our serious concern is our business and people who are directly related to us( 80% of booking is cancelled). In other words, being a responsible entrepreneur we are responsible to 100s of guides and porters whose capacity to take care of family directly rely on our business.
A week after the earthquake we have hardly sighed a breath realizing we are at least safe when the realization occurred that we have a big responsibility ahead to take care of those who take care of us and our valuable clients up in the mountain.
Most of them have lost their houses. Now, we are keeping in touch with them. They wonder at us “ Isn’t it possible for you to raise some fund on behalf of us?”
Then what next…. Despite knowing that most of you might have donated to some organization representing there, Guys we are taking this step……. Wholeheartedly we are making this earnest request please donate for your favorite people in Nepal.
Through our company’s “Earth Quake Relief Fund 2015” we have already given away our trekking tents, tarpaulin, and the clothes we have in store. We are now planning to provide them food, sanitary stuffs and some financial support to repair or reconstruct their damaged house.
Once again, we cordially request you to donate generously for the
You may either deposit your donation at A/C
Contact Person: Hari Sharan Bhuju
Bank transfer and Cash : For Bank Transfer, please write details exactly as listed below:
Beneficiary : Nepal Trek Ways Pvt Ltd.
USD Account No. 030000000010B
Bank Name : Citizens Bank International ltd. (kamaladi, Kathmandu)
Bank Address : Durbar Square Area, Khauma-15, Bhaktapur Branch.
Swift code: CTZNNPKA
Beneficiary : Nepal Trek Ways Pvt Ltd.
NPR Account No. 030000167’CA’
Bank Name : Citizens Bank International (Kamaladi, Kathmandu)
Bank address: : Durbar Square Area, Khauma-15, Bhaktapur Branch
Swift Code: CTZNNPKA
We have designed our program in two fold.
1. Immediate relief
In this phase we will provide basic shelter in tent, beddings, food and sanitary stuffs.
2. Long term relief
In this phase we recognize the infants and children who have lost their parents in Nepal earthquake to sponsor for their Education.
Nepal is probably the only country where a tourist can command a local guy to halt and insist to stay calm to make pictures! It sounds crazy or exaggerated but this is something I have witnessed several times in my hometown Bhaktapur. Hundreds of Thousands of Tourist visit Nepal. Their first priority is to trekin serene mountain and take additional day tour in ancient cities of Kathmandu. For most of the visitors, the main attraction of place remains the old folks, women and children in their traditional attire passing time leisurely in different squares and streets.
Obviously, the simplicity of Nepalese people fascinates everyone. They are so docile that the tourists sometime are tempted to feel superior complex and tend to claim right on them for making pictures or filming. Surprisingly, people don’t mind! Very few people can speak English to ask something in return. Perhaps they deserve some rupees. That’s why many tourists find it reasonable if they would want some rupees.
Now, imagine…. Would it be safe to travel in the country of such people? Definitely there is no reason why it should be unsafe for the foreigners to Travel in Nepal.
First of all, to recognize a guest as a God has been an age old culture and tradition in Nepal. So, most tourists find that the Nepalese Hospitality is enticing. So, this should be enough to assure that when you are in Nepal, you can feel it at home although away from your home because it is possible only in Nepal to find people who always welcome you and serve you with that incredible smile.
One fact perhaps that foreigner might shun to have holiday in Nepal can be due to a decade long civil war. Yes, there was a long moist insurgency. Many people lost their life. Then, there was a massacre in royal family (2001) resulting into long political instability. On the top of it, Nepal was hit by great earthquake of 7.8 Richter scale of magnitude which took lives of nearly 9000 thousand in 2015 April 25. Despite all such tragedies, Nepal could stand back to normal life quite soon. It was possible only because the people living in this land are extremely tolerant and optimistic.
Next reason why Nepal should be safe for tourist is its policy for tourism. Nepal government has been announcing Visit Nepal year time and again. As such, coming 2018 is in pipeline to promote it for Tourism in Nepal. In such environment, tourists are warmly welcomed. In case of any inconvenience reported for any reason is handled with top priority by special tourist police.
Most importantly, there are over two thousand travel and trekking related company in Nepal who possess enough number of intensively trained tour and trekking guide with experienced local porters. It means, during your stay in Nepal, you will be surrounded by responsible representatives of such company.
For access to Nepal, there are over 35 international airways connecting Kathmandu with most major cities in the world. So, the travelers can easily get in and out of this country without any hassles. As a matter of fact, people from Europe, America and Australia can get easy on arrival Visa.
To be proud, there is only negligible number of cases where the tourist are intimidated, misbehaved or cheated.
In conclusion, Nepal is the best, hence can be your next holiday destination. The Natural beauty, weather, Mountains, people and their culture are simply enchanting.
Bhairav and Bhadrakali are enshrined in the respective chariot.
At around 3 PM
The Bhairav Chariot has to be taken to Kwone. In course, a tug of war between two communities- Thane and Kwone comes in action. It continues until the chariot is successfully pulled to the designated place Gahiti.
Beta Dyo Puja yayegu
The Devotees visit the Bhairav Chariot
From early morning
The next morning, the curious devotees flock around the chariot worshipping and examining the condition of the chariot.
The devotees offer sacrifices to the Bhairav Chariot
More devotees and Rituals continue with sacrifices of birds and animals.
Lha maruma Yoshin Thanegu
A huge tree trunk is erected.
In the morning around 8 AM
Today is New year Eve in Nepali Bikram Sambat Calendar. The first Lingo or Yosin is erected in the pottery square in the morning.
Lha dama Yoshin Thanegu
A huge tree trunk with, a cross symbolizing hands, is erected.
the same day
After 4 PM
Following the rituals, the Bhairav and Bhadrakali Chariot is pulled all the way to the Yoshin Khel. After the massive Bhairav Chariot rolls about 500 meters down along this primitive track, the enthusiastic youngsters begin to pull the yoshin Dyo ( approximately 25meter long pine tree).
Indrayani Tipwa Jatra
A torch procession with music and dance lead the chariot of Goddess Indrayani
the same day
Khauma near by Durbar square
At around 2 PM
Following the erection of Yoshin Dyo, the celebration begins in different parts of the city often with traditional music accompanied by juvenile torch procession.
Yoshin Deo Kothegu
The tree trunk with hand is pulled down today.
At around 5 PM
Today is the New year Day. The erected pole is pulled down today to mark the beginning of new year.
Barahi tipwa Jatra
A torch procession with music and songs leads the chariot of goddess Barahi.
the same day
Around Nhesatwa (an area west to Pottery Square)
Goddess Barahi Ajima is carried around the Nhesatwo area. A loud music continues…..
The huge Bhairava Chariot and Bhadrakali Cahriot come together for symbolic copulation.
the same day
The entire festival is designed under the influence of tantric concept. As such, today the Bhairav and Bhadrakali chariot are brought together for collision to symbolize divine cosmic union of Prakriti and Purush. In other words, Spring is the outcome of the union of the sky and the earth. After the sky (male figure) pours rain into the earth (female figure) Spring is generated with new lives.
Therefore the essence of the Bisket festival is to worship the energy of Spring Season that leads the new year, the new beginning.
Maha laxmi and Mahakali kha Lwakegu
These two wrathful goddess are brought in public in their respective chariots amidst musical torch procession
After 2 PM
Local festivals continues in each and every area of Bhaktapur city.
Musical torch procession leads the chariot of Goddess Brahmayani.
After 4 PM
Tradintional orchestra in full swing all the way to Dattatraya Square…..thousands of people with torch of mustard oil lamp line up for procession…
Dyo Sogan Biyegu
Devotees visit as many shrines as possible around the city often in indigenous attire.
All around the city
From early in the morning…..almost all day long
Men and Women in their traditional dress follow the musical bands to the hundreds of shrines scattered all around the city.
Chuuma Ganesh Jatra
Musical torch procession to lead the chariot of Ganesha
At around 2 PM
Similar torch procession….
Laha maru Yoshin Kothegu
The tree trunk without hands is pulled down.
At around 9 AM
Today is the last day of Bisket festival marked by the felling of the Yoshin Pole in the Pottery square.
Dyo Thaha Bijyakegu
Turn to pull The Bhairav Chariot to Eastern part of Bhaktapur through a tug of war.
the same day
Starting from Gahiti to the main street.
Begin after 3 PM
Action replayed with the tug of war in the model of first day….Today the chariot is to reach Taumadhi square again after a long play.
Trekking in Nepal is meant to walk or hike to rural heritages like Everest region, Annapurna region, Langtang route, remote restricted area or far western newly opened trekking zone.. Along the trails winding up, down, over and around, it takes you through serene villages brooded under the scintillating mountains. It offers you a hypnotic beauty of nature to behold as you meticulously tackle the challenges in the treacherous yet tantalizing mountain regions. Obviously, it is an experience you would cherish in your lifetime, then after.
Some of the popular trails are used by mountaineering expeditions to get to their base camps while most of them are still used predominantly by Nepali people for everyday travel and trade. So, it is common to meet Nepali porter carrying supply like groceries or lengths of corrugated roofing iron slung from a jute strap (Namlo) around the head or a sick relatives being carried in a basket (Doko) in the same manner to the nearest medical facility.
A trekking trip can be of any length you choose. There are a number of short treks around Kathmandu and Pokhara to be traced in one day. Then, there are treks that may take a week to a month as well. For those with enough time can combine a number of treks and spend months just walking around and stopping by local tea houses/ homestays.
Nepal TrekWays Pvt. Ltd, can help you customize a trekking itinerary to suit your needs at an affordable price leaving you free of any confused travelling, bureaucratic or logistic hassles.
Nepal is the ultimate destination for trekking and adventure holidays from easy to challenging base camp treks or Adrenaline adventures that may quite often test your physical aptitude. So, step on in Nepal, a trekking paradise where you will enjoy the most spectacular scenarios flipping one after another as you move on the trail.
“Biskha Jatra” Also known as “Bisket Jatra” festival is celebrated in Bhaktapur city to celebrate New Year. This can be considered as the sequel of Spring Celebration. In the center of the city, a huge Wooden chariot is assembled which is pulled by two groups of people ( upper and lower part of the city) This gives a glimpse of grand tug-of-war competition. When hundreds of participants uproar as they put effort to take the chariot to their side, you are enticed to join the troop.
Pulling of Chariot Ritual
The festival elaborates deep Philosophies of Newari people (the indigenous people of the valley) in a very beautiful way. Among various rituals, pulling of chariot is the most attractive. The chariot is dedicated to the Wrathful deity Bhairab. Bhairab is another fierceful form of Shiva Himself. In the very front of Chariot is placed “Betal” the vehicle of the Bhairab. Betal is synonymous to disorder, wild, random, shameless, merciless and unpredictable act. These qualities represent our human sub-conscious mind where the storms of thoughts (both good and evil) generates.
On the other hand, Bhairab is the Lord of all. He is the creator and controller. He represents wisdom, and a very tough element that can put the Betal (storms of thoughts) under control.
So, the God Bhairab and Betal go in parallel with Two dimension of human mind – Good and Evil. Both good and evil exist in us. It is the Good one that should suppress the evil. So Bhairab is our conscious mind which is wise to decide and control where as Betal is our sub-conscious mind which is always automatic and out of control.
The creaking and swaying chariot lumbers around town, pausing for a huge tug of war between the eastern and western sides of the town. This chariot festival is also connected to many other aspects of the festival. So, after the battle, the chariots head to Khalna Tole, where a huge 25m-high lingam (phallic symbol) is erected in the stone yoni (female genital symbol) base.
“Yosi Dyo” or Yosin God.
“Yosin” is a tree trunk. It can be about 25-30 meter long tree collected from a pine forest closed by the city. This is basically a Phallic symbol that enhances in showing how important is coming of spring for the villagers who are mostly farmers. The erection of Yosin in the stone yoni (female genital symbol) is said to be of the same wrathful Deity Bhairab and Bharabi. The symbolic mating of the Bhairab and Bhairabi is also symbolic to the creation that comes after the beginning of spring. The spring in fact brings life back, make the surrounding green and yielding. This is of course the moment of happiness and time to cheer!!!!
The pulling of Yosin is also often justifiably linked to the Serpents which were slain. The legend tells that two serpents would appear from the nose of princess every night and kill her husband every time she gets married. However, she is finally married once again to a brave and wise prince who remains awoken to find two serpents sliding from the princess’s nose. He slays them then and there. So, to mark this moment, the festival is celebrated where two such Yosins are erected to represent those two serpents. The king who was happy with this result started this festival to be celebrated every year.