Existing in desolate northwest Nepal close to Tibet border is the mystical region of Dolpa which is famous for its blue sheep, elusive snow leopards and mysterious monasteries. Upper Dolpo Trek takes us to the secret valley that lies in the shadow of mountains. Our journey continues as far as SheyGompa which is the ultimate heritage of Upper Dolpo.Upper Dolpo Trek is often regarded asSheyGompa trekking. According to local belief, Guru Rinpoche established settlement in Upper Dolpo to provide refuge to Tibetans during war. The glory of Upper Dolporeached far and wide when the great writer Peter Matthiessendepict its beauty in his best-selling novel ‘The Snow Leopard’. More and more people came to know about the mystical land of Dolpo after the release of Oscar nominated movie The Caravan which was based on the lifestyle of Dolpo.
Standard Upper Dolpo Trekking at Manikang Treks is 25-days but it can be customized according to your needs. We will walk through drystone walled villages. Cross alpine valleys, walk through deep gorges, reach to the top of high pass and explore Sera Monastery.
When you land at Tribhuvan International Airport, you will go through custom and visa formalities. As you exit from the Arrival Hall, you will find our representative waiting for you with placard in his hand. Look for your name in a placard. After receiving you, he will transfer you to the three-star category hotel. Get refreshed. Later, you will get briefing regarding the trip. Explore the surroundings. Have a comfortable stay.
After breakfast, you will join for guided Kathmandu City Tour. Out of 10 UNESCO cultural sites in Nepal, 4 of them exist in Kathmandu alone making it the historical city. We will start the tour by visiting Pashupatinath Complex which is the most significant Hindu Temple in Nepal. Non- Hindus are not allowed an access in the main temple premises but you can still observe cremation ceremony at the bank of Bagmati River. You will also visit Bouddhanath which was listed in world heritage site in 1979 A.D. This is also known as mini Tibet in Kathmandu. Next stop will be at Swoyambhunath which is the oldest Buddhist Stupa located at the top of the hill. Swoyambhunath is the oldest stupa that dates 2500 years back. Drive further to Kathmandu Durbar Square- the ancient Royal Palace. Hanumandhoka Museum, Kasthamandap Temple, KalBhairav Statue and House of Living Goddess are places of interest. Return to hotel for comfortable stay. In the afternoon, you can shop for any trekking equipment that you require.
Early in the morning, you will be picked up from hotel and drive to domestic terminal of TribhuvanAirport. We will catch scenic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. Enjoy the panoramic views of snow-clad mountain to the north. Almost an hour long flight takes us to Nepalgunj which is one of the main trade center for trade in between Nepal and India as it exists close to Nepal- India border. Stay overnight in hotel.
After breakfast, we will catch flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal. It takes almost 35minutes of flight to make it to Juphal. Remember to ask about weather before booking flight. It is common for a flight to cancel because of weather. After lowering down at Juphal, the porters will arrange the baggage and then we will begin Upper Dolpo Trek. We will walk along Bheri River and pass through canyon to Dunai. Stay overnight in Dunai.
Leaving Dunai, we will cross suspension bridge. The trail stretches westalong new hospital and reach the confluence point whereThuriBheri River meets with Suli Gad River. Moving further, we will reach Hanke Village. Entrance to Phoksundo National Park lies in Hanke. Moving further through Parela and Rahagaon, we will reach Ankhe. Stay overnight in Ankhe.
The trail till Sumdo is quite straight. From Sumdo, we will climb to the top of small ridge. The top of ridge allows great view of 300m waterfall. This water fall is known to be the highest waterfall in Nepal. We can also get view of Phoksundo Lake from the ridge. We will cross the bridge and descend to river. The trail stretches further toSuligad River. Stay overnight at a bank ofSuligad River.
From Renje, we will walk through the level path for couple of hours to Sumdo. The trail from Sumdo onwards is rather demanding. The trail stretches above river to top of a ridge that exists at 3875m. We will enjoy the view of Phoksundo Lake from the ridge and walk throughnative villages to reach Phoksundo Lake. Stay overnight in a camp at the bank of Phoksundo.
We will walk aroundPhoksundo Lake in the morning. After breakfast, we will walk through rather difficult path that is suspended on pegs driven into crevices. Walking through the notorious devil path, we will lower down to valley and arrive at flood plain of PhoksundoKhola. We will stay overnight at the bank ofPhoksundoKhola.
Leaving PhoksundoKhola, we will walk through glacial valley and choose thetrail that stretches northward. Climbing vertical cliffs, we will reach the confluence point where PhoksundoKholameets with another stream. We will move north east and walk through meadow to the base of Kangla Pass. Stay overnight at base of Kangla Pass/ PhoksundoBhanjyang.
Crossing Kangla is one of the most difficult part of Upper Dolpo Trek. We need to walk through loose slate. We will reach the summit of Kang La in around 3 hours. Although challenging, climbing Kang La rewards us with great views of valley and mountains. We will descend to the valley and walk along river to red chorten which is believed to keep evil spirits away from the village. We will walk further to SheyGompa where we will stay overnight.
Shey Monastery which is popular among visitors as the crystal monastery is the main highlight of Upper Dolpo Trek. Lama is the high priest of Shey Monastery. Lama resides in Red hermitage which is popular among locals asTsakangGompa. SheyGompabelongs to Chaibasect. Chaiba sectare followers of Padmasambhava who built SheyGompa as the first Kagyupa monastery. This is one of the few regions where ancient animism religion is still in practice. Stay overnight in SheyGompa.
We will walk through juniper forest to the top of canyon. We will walk through rocks and boulders for about 20 minutes and arrive at the top of Saldang La pass. The top of Pass allows great view of Mustang. Walking through the meadow area, we will arrive atNamgungGaon. Walk further toNamgung monastery. This is the marvelous monastery which belongs to Karmapa sect.
LeavingNamgungGaon, we will climb to the top of ridge which allows panoramic view of arid valley. From the ridge, we will lower down to Saldang village. Saldang exists just above Nam Khong village.Saldang village has almost eighty houses. This village exists close to Tibet trade route. Stay overnight in Saldang.
From Saldang, we will lower down to river. The trail continues through terraced field. Moving past stupas and chortens, we will reach a Chaiba monastery. We will move further to Namdo village. The trail continues along left edge of Nam Khong River to Namdo monastery. We will reach Sibu village which exists at the right edge of river. Stay overnight in Sibu village.
We will leaveSibu. The first part of trek is easier. We will follow the path that stretches along the river valley. After about 2hrs of trek, we will reach another river. Walking further through valley, we will climb to the meadow and arrive at the base of Jeng La. Stay overnight at foot of Jengla Pass.
After an early breakfast, we will climb the steep slope for 2 hours. We will reach to the top of Jeng La Pass. We can get panoramic views of Dhaulagiri mountain range from Jeng La Pass. From top of Jengla, we will lower down to Tarap valley from where we can get views of vast plains. Take brief visit toTokyu monastery and observe wall paintings. Tokyu Monastery belongs to the Chaiba sect.
We will visitChaibaGompa early in the morning. Walking along mani walls, we will arrive at French School that exists outside DhoTarap village. This village is occupied by Magar ethnics. Locals of DhoTarap follow Bon Po and Buddhist religions. Stay overnight at DhoTarap.
Leaving DhoTarap, we will walk along Tarap River. The trail passes through tapered gorges. On our way, we will encounter local yaks and mules that are the means of transportation. Crossing steel suspension bridge, we will arrive at grass land of Serkam. Stay overnight at Serkam.
From Serkam, we will lower down to the gorge. We will move further through tapered path built in steep slope. The trail continues through stone staircase to meadow area. We will prepare our camp in the shade of trees.
Crossing the new suspension bridge, we will walk past the river valley to Barbung Chu. We will walk along farmland of millet and barley to Tarakot. Tarakot is an ancient fortress town. SandulGompaexists 8km to the east of Tarakot. We will stay overnight at Tarakot.
After breakfast, we will leave Tarakot and follow the descending trail to Bheri River. We will walk through the ingenious path which is constructed above river and arrive at Dunai village. Stay overnight in Dunai.
From Dunai, we will follow the returning trail back to Juphal. After walking through the level path for few hours, we will follow the steep trail to Juphal where we will stay overnight.
Upper Dolpo Trek ends at Juphal. We will catch returning flight to Nepalgunj. We can get soaring views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri during flight. Lowering down at Nepalgunj Airport, we will board a connecting flight to Kathmandu. You will be transferred to hotel for pleasant stay.
Spend the day as you wish. You can visit Thamel for buying gift items.
You will be transferred to Tribhuvan International Airport three hours before your scheduled flight. Have a safe journey. We hope to see you soon.