One of the highest inhabited plateaus in the world was closed to trekkers until 1989. Those that did get to visit this area needed special permission from the Government. With the changes in the regulations governing visits, a remarkable part of Nepal, hitherto almost unknown, has suddenly become a major destination for trekkers and mountain lovers. It is an area of roughly 2100 square miles inside Nepal's north-western frontier with Tibet, encompassing some thirty villages and monasteries at altitudes of eleven to fifteen thousand feet. Dolpo is in Nepal but, its people in race, religion and culture, are Tibetan Buddhists descended from nomadic tribes who settled in this area around the tenth century. Being in Nepal, the Chinese occupation and subsequent "cultural revolution" of Tibet did not affect the Dolpo-pa (Dolpo People), and their religion and culture has survived as one of the best preserved examples of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. In fact, people living in certain pockets of the religion still practice Bon Po, an animistic religion that pre-dates Buddhism and which, some believe, is actually the precursor to Tibetan Buddhism as we know it.
Make a rendezvous with the remote Himalaya Mountains of Dolpo, the land of the Oscar nominated Caravan fame, Thinley, a culture nearby Tibet that has survived its originality for centuries. Thanks to the reportage of National Geographic Fame Eric Valli, the Dolpo region of Nepal has been shown in all its integrity and full mystical experience. Along with one of the deepest Himalayan Lakes, the Phokhsundo with beautiful turquoise blue water, watch the yak caravans that maintain the traditional salt trade with Tibet. The region lies further north from the Dhaulagiri Range in the rain shadow of the Himalayas - reflected in the colorful barren slopes of the mountains where the play of light and shadow is a perpetual fascinating spectacle. In summer, the caravans of yaks and sheep run through this valley on a trade route through the Himalayas and allows the exchange not only goods but also of ideas between the Tibetan Plateau and the valleys of Nepal.The Lower Dolpo Trek is meant for real adventurers wishing for an off-the-beaten-path experience. This remote region in western Nepal was opened for the foreigners only in 1990. The trek passes through Shey-Phoksundo National Park with spectacular mountain scenery, Buddhist monasteries and yak caravans. Our trek takes us through a wooded area, then load through rugged canyons in the barren plateau near the border with Tibet. After your arrival in Kathmandu, make a historical and cultural tour of Kathmandu valley and monuments while we obtain special permit for the lower Dopla trekking. Then we take our flight to Jhupal via Nepalgunj. Experience the high altitude tundra and rocks and the microclimate of Lower Dolpo and Phoksumdo with the cold air of the glaciers of Kanjiroba.
A very warm welcome to the Kingdom of Himalayas. Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan international airport our representative welcomes you and assists you transfer in your hotel in Kathmandu. After time to get refreshed, evening you'll meet and transfer for welcome dinner in one of the typical Nepalese restaurant in the heart of Kathmandu i.e. Utsav or Nepali Chula (Kitchen). Here you will not simply experience the traditional Nepalese dish but will be entertained with Nepalese traditional dance and folk songs. After the dinner, you will be transferred back to your respective hotel.
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. Bauddhanath: Stupa with its 130 ft. dome. One of the world’s largest Stupa, Bouddha is generally acknowledged to be the most important Tibetan Buddhist monument outside Tibet. Pupshupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath is considered one of the holiest shrines of all the Hindu temples. The temple has remained the presiding deity of ruling Nepalese Royalty.
We take an hour's flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj which is a border town near Nepal-India border is the gateway to Simikot of Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town of Nepal with influences from both the Nepal hills and plains well as local Hindu & Muslim cultures. Some sightseeing places in Nepalgunj include Mini Zoo, Muslim bazaar, or if possible and interested take a walk into nearby villages. We have to also make preparation for tomorrow's flight to Jhupal.
After an early breakfast, we take a morning flight to Jhupal. The 45minutes flight over the high mountains brings you at Jhupal over the Himalayan foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. On arriving at Jhupal our trekking staffs will receive you. Our first day adventure begins through the terraced fields to the Bheri River and the narrow gorge taking 2-3 hours to camp at Dunai. Dunai is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. Explore Dunai in the evening.
After breakfast we start our trek continues along the south bank of the river heading upstream on a good trail. Deep gorges, hanging bridges and isolated villages. A tremendous gorge with pine trees and an ingenious path built about seven meter above the river. The colorful terraced field of Tarakot greets us. Tarakot is an old fortress town built by the local people as Dzong or fort. The village stands on a hillock to the south of Bheri River at one time supervised collection of tolls for the trading caravans.
After breakfast, we continue our walking to follow the Tarap chu river upstream, crossing by bridge and crossing the same river twice. The famed Sandul Gompa lies farther east from Tarakot and at the junction of Barbung khola and Tarup chu Rriver. The path leads through the farm terraces and rural villages. After a few ups and downs, finally descend to reach our overnight camp at Laini.
After breakfast we continue walking up to the gorge of the Tarap River, rising high above on a trail built out from steep slopes. The walk is quite exciting as the valley becomes narrow gorge that in some places you can jump from one side to another. Descend to Chyugur Khola. Sometimes the path vanishes for a while, making our own path across stone slabs fitted on logs in between the walls which act as a bridge.
Our morning walk begins after breakfast with a gradual up leading us at Kamattarka at the confluence of the Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, a stream flowing from the east. After few hours of good morning walk leaving the narrow gorge, from here the path leads just above tree lines for juniper bush and wild rose, typical of dry inner Himlayan valleys. Another 3 hours or more walk brings us to the village of Dho Tarap surrounded by an irregualr stone wall. In this Valley both Bon Po and Chaiba sects reside together. Tarap is also inhabited by a few Tibetans and mostly Magars who have lived here for many generations.
We spend a rest day in Do Tarap for gradually getting used to the altitude. Time to visit monasteries and enjoy the breathtaking views. Make friends with the locals who have hardly seen westerners. The Dolpo people wear home spun clothing that is sometimes dyed maroon and they favour Tibetan style somba or dhocha (boots with upturned toes) for foot wear. Both men and women often wear religious amulets and strings of coral, amber and turquoise. The people of the region are both Bon po and Nyingmapa of Buddhist sect. The Buddhist Gompa is nearby to the camp while the Bon Gompa (pre Buddhist) is about half an hour's walk.
After a wonderful time at Do Tarap, our journey continues towards upper Tarap valley, the walk follows in this plain valley with patched of lush verdant grass on both sides of the river, which is completely different from other parts of inner Dolpo. The trek on this pleasant track leads by the Tarap chu upstream all the way. Tarap is certainly a dream valley with vast plains in high mountains. A few hours' good walk takes us to the village of Tokyu, it has a monastery belonging to the Chiba sect. After visit this village our walk continues further up this valley climbing up the rough track for almost another three hours to reach our overnight camp beneath the Numa-la.
This is one of the long and difficult days during the trek. After breakfast our journey continues to crossing of Numa La pass at 5,190m, the track leads to steep climb all the way to the top ridge of Numa la with great views of the surrounding landscapes. An incredible panoramic view of the barren mountains of Dolpo up to the Dhaulagiri (8167m). After getting to the top of Numa La we will descend to camp at Pelung Tang.
After breakfast our morning trek starts with a steep climb to reach the ridge top of Baga-la at 5,070m, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes and of the distant snow capped peaks of Kanjirowa Himal range, after a glorious moment at the pass, almost three hours of downhill walk takes to the Dajok Tang for overnight.
After breakfast our morning trek starts through the pine forest, on leaving the forest behind the country and the vegetation changes for pasture field and alpine shrubs most of the way to Ringmo on the gradual slopes with few ups and downs as we reach our final destination at Ringmo.
Today we explore the area around the magnificent Phoksundo Lake and of course we sit right on the shore of this spectacular Lake. The lake is famous for its magnificent turquoise color and spectacular scenery. Ringmo village, which looks like a typical Tibetan village, is scenically nestled in the area. Many beautiful glaciers can be found near and above the lake area. There are many monasteries (Gompas) and Bon-po religious sites at the park and we spend our time visiting some of these. The most famous, Shey Gompa (Monastery) was established in the 11th Century. Thashung Gompa (Monastery) located near Phoksundo Lake was built about 900 years ago. We will explore the natural sites and enjoy our nature tour. This is a great day exploring the lake areas and the crystal serene Lake of Phoksundo with great views.
Trek downhill to Chepka. From Chepka the trail follows the massive overhanging rock. We found many important medicinal mineral which is believed to cure almost anything in this area. The route then passes through the villages, before climbing to Shyanta. spend rest of the day exploring the lake.
Following the trail gently sloping upwards, we march towards Jhupal via Sulighat. We meet tall birch trees on our way. From atop the ridge, we can have the most spectacular views of the mountain and Jhupal below. Utmost caution is required while trekking along this trail. After reaching Jhupal, we can spend our afternoon exploring the busy market town or simply pursuing whatever we feel like.
We take a flight from Jhupal to Nepalgunj. On reaching Nepalgunj, we return to Kathmandu on the next available flight. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. You can spend the evening leisurely, perhaps catch up on some last minute shopping and celebrate dinner together with Himalayan Glacier Trekking staffs.
Rest and relax at the hotel after such long a wonderful trip. The day is also reserved as a contingency day due to flight delays or other unforeseen conditions. For those eager to see as much of Kathmandu as possible, an early start is worthwhile to visit the temples of Pashupatinath and Swayambhunath and districts of Bhaktapur and Patan. Durbar Square is also on the essential list, as is the shopping area of Thamel. In the evening you can have your last night in Nepal, enjoying the Nepali cultural dinner show or go out to Thamel.
Today is free or last minute shopping for souvenirs or gift to your family, friends or relatives for you until your departure flight/drive or to commence any extra trips or activities you may have booked with us. If departing, you'll be transferred to the International Airport for your departure flight to your onwards destination.
Download Trip Note of Lower Dolpo Trek