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Dolpo Trek Crossing Numa la, Baga la and Kagmara la
preserves one of the last remnants of traditional Tibetan culture. Legend says it's a one of the "hidden valleys" created by Guru Rinpoche as a refuge for devout Buddhists in troubled times. Surrounded by Nepal Mountains including the Dhaulagiri to the south-east and cut off by high passes closed by snow half the year, Dolpo's easiest access is from Tibet, where its people emigrated from perhaps 1,000 years ago.
Upper Dolpo shelters about 5000 people, whose lives revolve around Buddhism, barley, and yaks; their villages (over 4260 meters) are among the highest settlements on earth. A large portion of Dolpo has been set aside as Shey - Phoksumdo National Park, at 3555 square km Nepal's largest. Meant to preserve a complete example of the trans-Himalayan ecosystem, the park shelters blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, leopards, wolves, and the exclusive snow leopard.
Dolpo is the best known of Nepal's forbidden northern border regions. The 1989 announcement that the government was opening the region to group treks caused a flurry of excitement. To reach here, you must trek through a registered company, which will obtain permits.
Groups generally fly from Nepalgunj to the Juphal airstrip, then walk few hours to the district headquarters of Dunai (2100 meters). The trail follows the Suli Gad River, passing through thick conifer forests and a few Thakuri Hindu villages. The National Park check-post is one day from Dunai; two steep days later, you reach Phoksumdo Lake.
Flying in and out, the trek takes less than two weeks. Phoksumdo Lake (3627 meters) is the highlight of the whole trek, a basin of unearthly turquoise blue ringed by rocky crags and forest, framed by snow-capped peaks.
Legend says a demons fled here during Gum Rinpoche's conversion of Tibet's resident spirits, offering local people a gigantic turquoise to keep her passage a secret. Guru Rinpoche transformed the turquoise into a lump of dung, and the disgruntled people revealed the demons hiding place. In revenge she culled down a flood upon their village, submerging it beneath the lake. The legend is a concise mythic summary of the ancient struggle between Bnpo and Buddhists; the latter won, but the former remain, even here at Phoksumdo.
At the lake's eastern end is the village of Ringmo, also called Tso. The town's entrance chorten has nine complex Buddhist and Bnpo mandalas painted on its wooden ceiling.
The Bnpo monastery, Tso Gompa, is two km from the village, set above the lake on forested cliffs with views across to Kanjiroba. Below the village, a gigantic waterfall cascades over a series of rock steps, draining into the Suli Gad fur below. A visit to the Bnpo Gompa at Pungmo, two hours up aside valley to the west, is a worthwhile expedition.
The best part of Dolpo lies beyond the lake, along a difficult trail that crosses a high pass into the real Dolpo. Shey Gompa, named after nearby Crystal Mountain, is several days' walk north of the lake.
Another trail to reach Shey Gompa leads trough the Tarap valley over several high passes and magnificent villages like Tarap-Dho, Saldang and Pijorgaon.
Day 01: Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and overnight at Hotel
Day 02: Flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal-2550 and trek (4 hr) to Dunai-2150m and overnight camp
Day 03: Trek to Shahartara-2450
Day 04: Trek to Khanigaon
Day 05: Trek to Lahini-3200m
Day 06: Acclimatization day in Lahini
Day 07: Trek to Kamat Tarka
Day 08: Trek to Tarap Dho-4040m
Day 09: Acclimatization day at Tarap Dho-4040m
Day 10: Trek to Numa La-5190m
Day 11: Trek to Numa La Bhanjyang
Day 12: Trek to Baga La-5070
Day 13: Trek to Ringmo (Phokshundo Lake-3600m)
Day 14: Rest day at Ringmo
Day 15: Trek to Sepka-2650
Day 16: Trek to Roha Gaon
Day 17: Trek to Dunai
Day 18: Trek to Juphal
Day 19: Flight from Juphal-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu (Spare day in case of flight delay due to weather condition)
Day 20: Flight back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj
- Airport transfers
- Hotel accommodation in Nepalgunj (2 star standard) on BB basis
- 3-meals per day prepared by our experienced cook
- Camping gear (two-person tents, foam mattress, kitchen tent, dining tent and toilet tent)
- Supporting field staff including professional trekking guide, cook, kitchen boy, porters or pack animals as well as their necessary insurance, meals and allowances
- Domestic airfare (Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Juphal- Kathmandu) and airport tax
- Trekking permit.
- Personal equipment sleeping bag, Down jacket, waterproof jacket, kit bag etc. (you can rent them in Kathmandu at a cost of US$ 1 per item per day)
- Kathmandu airport departure tax
- Travel / medical insurance and emergency evacuation cost
- Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, alcoholic beverages, bottled drinks (including cold drinks and mineral water), tips etc...
* If you are with less than the minimum number of participants please contact us we can bring you into contact with other people who would be interested to do the same type of trek.
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