Boisterously poised on the bank of the Tila river, the town of Jumla is the capital of Jumla District and the headquarter of the Karnali Zone of Nepal. This region happens to be one of the largest producers of rice grain (the unique “red rice”) in the world. Perched at an altitude of 2514 m, Jumla is the gateway to Rara Lake (2980m), a favored trekking destination in Nepal. Trekking to Jumla offers you the combo of absolute wilderness and solitude. But yes, you do have to customize yourself with the logistical limitations. The downtown is at about 10 to 15 minutes walk from the STOL airstrip. Don’t expect sophisticated accommodation and the restaurants are not catering to the plethora of cuisines you would be yearning for. Now this might narrow down your eyebrows further; the local regulations in Jumla have declared it as an alcohol free district…yes, this means…no boozing around! Well, if you set aside your comfort, you will be overwhelmed at what Jumla offers. Off the beaten tracks, profound wilderness, diverse panoramas, and multifarious culture……Jumla has them all for you!
Dolpo is another far-flung and mystique gem of Nepal. Bound to the east and south by the towering Dhaulagiri and Churey ranges respectively, this secluded corner of Nepal was derestricted for international tourist access only in 1989. It’s only since then that the flavor and fragrance of modernity and development gradually began to smear up on this region, albeit trekking along some of the places in this region, you might just feel that time has been stagnant for centuries as you see the inhabitants (mainly Gurungs and Magars) still indulged in the orthodox way of life. “Ba-yul”, is the local nomenclature for Dolpo, which literally means “the hidden land”. Dolpo is fortressed by the Shey Phoksundo National Park (3555 sq km), Nepal’s largest. The Tibetan style villages in Tarap, the big mountains and monasteries perched at unlikely places, the high passes (Kagmara La, Numa La, Baga La) and people’s inclination towards the “pre-Buddhist Bon Po” religion, make this place even more special and tempting. Watch out for the extensive range of floras and faunas. Carry your lucky charm with you…you might just stumble upon the legendarysnow leopards!!
Hence, in a nutshell, the Jumla and Lower Dolpo Trek is sure to become a once in a lifetime experience for you, acquainting you to the flip side of Nepal, or rather a remote and pristine Nepal!