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Nar Phu, Thorung La, Tilich & Khopra Trek

Nar Phu, Thorung La, Tilich  & Khopra Trek

Phu Gaon

I’m trekking in the Nar-Phu Valley, a remote and sparsely visited region near the Tibetan border which is open to tourism since 2002. The trail leads along the Phu River in a deep gorge; often the path is very exposed, cut into vertical cliffs hundreds of meters above the river. To the west is Pisang Peak, to the east is Mount Kanguru, the view back south is dominated by Lamjung Himal and the tremendous Annapurna II. I pass through old, abandoned Khampa settlements; with every step I walk north the landscape gets drier and drier.

After two days I reach Phu Gaon a few hundred of years back in time. Dark flat stone houses, prayer flags everywhere, narrow alleys. Next day I hike up the hill next to the village to the Tashi Lhakhang Gompa. The weather is perfect, the location of this small monastery beautiful. The hill is full of Chortens, colourful Mani walls and hundreds of prayer flags blowing in the wind.

Later on I continue towards Himlung Himal (7126m), the path is hard to find, I follow the moraine east. Altitude, strong wind, dehydration and the exertion all contribute to a splitting headache. From the top of the moraine I get my view of Himlung, Nemjung and Himjung, beautiful White Mountains, in stark contrast to the brown hills in this dry area.

Nar Gaon

Next day I walk from Phu Gaon to the other village in this area, Nar Gaon. I follow the valley south, after a few hours the path branches off to the west. The views are spectacular: Kanguru to the east, Lamjung Himal and Annapurna II south, Pisang Peak straight ahead looks rather bleak from the north.

Early afternoon I reach Nar Gaon. I stroll around the village, thinking about the next days. Tomorrow I want to set off early to cross the Kang La Pass (5322m). Then it begins to snow heavily.

Next morning the whole valley is covered with a thick layer of snow. All I can do today is stay here and wait. I go for a walk through the village, the warm sun melts the snow quickly. In the evening the weather finally improves. The sky clears, revealing Pisang Peak and Kanguru, illuminated red by the setting sun.

Kang La (5322m)

My alarm goes off at 3, at 3:30 I start from the lodge. The stars in the sky and my headlamp are guiding my way through the night. I move up the valley quickly, trying to reach the pass as early as possible before the clouds roll in. For some time I follow a little stream, the trail is faintly visible through the snow. I ascend the slope to my right, then I continue west. After a while the narrow valley opens up a bit. At the head of the valley I can now see the trail again, zigzagging up the slope towards the pass. After what feels like an eternity I reach the end of the valley and join the path again! Now the hard work begins, up the long, steep slope towards Kang La. The last few hundred meters are particularly strenuous, through knee-deep snow. I need to rest a lot, the view east is incredible. Manaslu, Ngadi Chuli, Himal Chuli can be seen in the far distance, Kanguru, Pisang Peak, Chombi and Gyaji Kang are shining bright in the early morning sun.

Finally I reach the pass (5322m), marked by a cairn with a sign and prayer flags. I’m glad I reached pass early enough, hardly any clouds in the sky. And what a view! The whole Annapurna range is unfolding before my eyes. Annapurna II (7937m) is simply breathtaking and dominates the view. Lamjung Himal and the Myabasa Danda ridge to the south-east, Annapurna III, Gangapurna, Roc Noir and Grande Barriere south-west. I can even see the very tops of Machhapuchhare and Annapurna I – a rare pleasure from the north.

I have a long break on the pass, and then I start the 1700m descent to Ngawal. The first few meters down are steep and treacherous, over loose, slippery slabs. Very slowly, step by step I make my way downwards.

After a while the slope eases. I take it easy for the rest of the descent; it’s a long but easy stroll down to Ngawal. At 11am I reach Ngawal. It is still early, I don’t feel too tired and so I continue to Manang. I’m now back on the popular Annapurna Circuit.


Great Ice Lake

From Manang I’m heading for Tilicho Lake (4920m). In Khangsar I stop for tea. From Khangsar I go on, after a while the infamous landslide area begins.

Quickly I continue on the narrow trail, past bizarre looking rock formations, the river deep below to my left. I stay the night at the Tilicho Base Camp Lodge. Next morning I have an early start, it snowed at night and the landscape looks winterly. Grande Barriere and Roc Noir get closer with each step, the view back on Gangapurna, Chulus and the Marsyangdi Valley is awesome.

 Soon the path eases; some more walking on flat ground, then the lake comes in sight!

Roc Noir and Tilicho Peak are hidden by clouds, small avalanches roar down the slopes of the Great Barrier. Glaciers reaching right into the lake are cracking loud. I walk around the viewpoint at the south-eastern shore, it is cold and windy and after a couple of hours I go back.

Thorong La (5416m)

Next morning I walk in bad weather from Shree Kharka to Thorong Phedi. I pass Gunsang, Yak Kharka, Ledar, and cross the suspension bridge between Ledar and Thorong Phedi. In the afternoon the weather improves, I walk through another landslide area but the path is well trodden and easy to negotiate. On the slopes above I can see plenty of blue sheep.

This is snow leopard territory and I constantly keep an eye out for the big cat – in vain. Eventually I reach the lodges of Thorong Phedi (4530m), the sky clears for sunset revealing great views back on Gangapurna.

Next day I start at 5 towards the Thorong La Pass. Day is already dawning, making my headlamp needless. It is a bitterly cold, clear morning. I follow the line of trekkers trudging up the hill. Then the sun finally rises over the mountains, warming me up instantly.

At 8 I reach the Thorong La (5416m), notched in between the sixthousanders Khatung Khang and Yakawa Kang. The view from the pass exceeds my expectations. The Chulu Peaks, Putrun Himal and the ever present Annapurna II are towering skyhigh in the east; the Kali Gandaki Valley lies deep below in the west.

It is extremely windy and I start the long descent to Muktinath very soon. I more or less run down, losing altitude quickly. Before noon I arrive in Muktinath (3760m), a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists. I spend some time resting and watching the many Indian and Nepalese pilgrims at the main temple, and then I go to the neighbouring town of Ranipauwa for lunch.

Kali Gandaki Valley

In the afternoon I continue to the medieval town of Jhong. From the slopes north of Jhong I get fantastic views on the Nilgiris, Tilicho Peak and Dhaulagiri I, even the top of elusive Annapurna I comes into sight.

Walking through Jhong I’m looking for a place to stay the night but all the lodges seem to be closed. I have no choice but to go on with heavy legs. Dead tired and just before sunset I arrive at Kagbeni.

Next day I spend the morning exploring town and its surrounding area. With its ancient houses and beautiful location at the Kali Gandaki River, this place blows me away.

For a short distance I walk north along the Kali Gandaki River to the tiny settlement of Tiri. Like yesterday the weather is just perfect. In Tiri I hike up to the small monastery for more beautiful views. From this vantage point I can peek into Mustang, the former Tibetan kingdom in the north.

Two days later, I’m heading south along the Kali Gandaki to Kalopani. I take it easy and do plenty of side trips off the main trail. In the beautiful village of Naurikot I stop for breakfast and enjoy the awesome views, especially on Dhaulagiri I, the seventh highest mountain in the world.

Dhaulagiri I (8167m)

I continue west from Naurikot and ascend the lower slopes of Dhaulagiri to a small cave and waterfall. From here views are even better. At this point the Kali Gandaki Valley is one of the deepest valleys in the world, with an altitude as low as 2550m in between the eight-thousanders Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.

Khayar Lake (4600m)

From the lodge at Kopra Dhanda I start at 5 towards Khayar Lake, a sacred lake for Hindus at the foot of Annapurna South. It’s a hazy morning, I’m praying for good weather today. The trail to the lake is okay to find, frequently walked by pilgrims. After a couple of hours I cross the snow line, at around 9 I reach the lake at ~4600m. The shore is lined with tridents and bells, symbols of the Hindu god Shiva. I circumambulate the lake, scramble on the slopes around and take in the wonderful scenery. Clouds come and go, allowing close-up views on Fang and Annapurna South occasionally.

Through thick fog I walk back, retracing my own footsteps in the snow. The atmosphere is eerie, the view very limited. Luckily it doesn’t rain.

Next day I descend in the rain from Kopra Dhanda to Tadapani through a dense forest. I pass Bayeuli and Dobato, in the afternoon I reach the lodges of Tadapani, beautifully located at a scenic clearing.

The trek comes to an end with a spectacular sunrise next morning, the Annapurnas rising majestically one last time.

Tadapani sunrise: Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Annapurna III, Machhapuchare, Annapurna II

—–Tobias Pantel —–

Why You Should Visit Nepal!

Nepal is one of the best tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. The country, located between two giants, India and China, is filled with varieties of beautiful natural features as well as diverse cultures. Here are some reasons to visit the beautiful country, Nepal.

The highest mountain in the world

Nepal is known as the home of the tallest peak of the world, Mt. Everest. It is located on the northeast side of Nepal and borders with India in the east and Tibet in the north. The majestic mountain lies in the Khumbu region, which is mostly inhabited by the Sherpa community. Due to this reason, Sherpa people have now become synonymous with mountains and mountaineering.

Various trekking routes in the Khumbu region celebrates the beauty of Everest through multiple angles. The majority of the tourists come here to trek till Everest Base Camp, but the daring ones aim for the summit. Every year, thousands of tourists flock to the Khumbu region to bask in the scenic views of Everest and its neighboring mountains like Ama Dablam, Nuptse, and Lhotse.

Besides the Base camp trek, there are other alternatives in the Khumbu region like Island Peak trek and Gokyo Lakes, where tourists can enjoy the serene beauty of the region. To travel and trek in the Kumbu region, tourists need to prepare necessary permits before heading out.

Different culture

Nepal is one of the culturally diverse countries in the world. Due to this reason, Nepal stands out from rest in terms of culture. The country houses 126 ethnic groups, and the government has recognized 59 indigenous nationalities. All these ethnic and indigenous communities have their own set of cultures and traditions, thus making each of them unique and charming. The mutual harmony that coexists between all these different cultures also highlights the charms of Nepal. 

Delicious variety of cuisines and friendly people

The diverse culture gives birth to a wide range of cuisines across the country. From east to west, various foods are unique to that particular region only. Dal Bhat (rice and lentil soup) is the staple food of the country, and besides that, there is a wide range of food that suits the palate of each tourist who visits Nepal.

Momo, Newari Khaja set, and Thakali khana set are some of the most popular dishes one should not miss out when in Nepal.

According to geography, climate, and crop availability, different communities have their unique cuisine. For example, the Newari population is mostly inhabited in the hilly region like Kathmandu valley, so they have a variety of meat and vegetable dishes. For the Sherpa people, potato, barley, and maize are the staple crops, so their dishes also revolve around these crops.

Similarly, the Gurungs who mostly inhabit the western hills primarily include buckwheat and millet in their cuisines. Enjoy delicious food served by lovely and welcoming people. The warm hospitality of the Sherpas in the Khumbu region, as well as Gurungs and Thakalis in the Annapurna region, adds inviting and pleasing charm. You would want to revisit Nepal once you have tasted their local cuisines and warm hospitality.

Land of Tigers and Rhinos [Abundance of wildlife and bird watching destination]

The dense forests of Nepal are home to a variety of flora and fauna. In the south, rare and endangered animals like tigers and rhinos are found. Especially in the southwestern side of the country, there is an abundance of tigers and rhinos. These animals are found within protected areas like Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park.

Along with tiger and rhino, elephant, water buffalo (Arna), Blackbuck deer, and many other species of animals reside in the dense jungles of these protected areas. These national parks are also the perfect place for bird watching activities. During wintertime, a wide range of migratory birds like a mallard, common teal, and grey-headed lapwings come from the north to these forested regions and spend their winter here. Thus, winter is the perfect time for bird enthusiasts to go and do bird watching.   

Religious diversity

Even though the majority of the population is Hindus, Nepal is a secular country where people respect each other’s festivals and celebrations. More than 80% of the population follows Hinduism, so the majority of people celebrate festivals like Dashain and Tihar heartily.

Similarly, 8% of the people follow Buddhism, and their main festival is Buddha Jayanti, where they celebrate the birth of Gautam Buddha. 4% of the Islamic population celebrate various festivals annually, like Ramadan. The ethnic and indigenous communities of Nepal follow Hinduism, Buddhism, or a mix of both.

Peace, Serenity and Stunning views

The tranquility of the serene and stunning views is another unique quality of Nepal. In the mountainous region, the beautiful villages are surrounded by scenic views of mountain ranges, thus making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. There are also cities and towns in the hills, where tourists can enjoy some quiet time. The best example is Bandipur, a small village in Tanahu, where the peaceful environment is accompanied by picturesque views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.

Around Kathmandu Valley as well, there are various viewpoints where the splendid mountain vistas are visible. Nagarkot and Dhulikhel are two famous places where tourists can get such views and enjoy the tranquility near the bustling capital.  

Beautiful Lakes

Most of the lakes of Nepal are freshwater and are formed by the melting of glaciers. Pokhara, the second biggest city in the country, is also known as the city of lakes. Along with the famous Phewa, there are other lakes like Begnas, Rupa, and Khaste lakes, which are all equally beautiful and breathtaking.

Besides these, there are several other scattered throughout the country. Rara Lake, the deepest and biggest freshwater lake of Nepal, lies in the far-western region of Nepal, is another famous scenic lake of the nation. It is said that the lake changes its color into different shades of blue every season.

Due to the ecological value of this lake, Rara National Park was established in 1976. Gosainkunda and Tilicho lakes are some of the holy lakes of Nepal that are visited by thousands of pilgrims every year.   

Rich in art and architecture

Nepal has diverse art and architecture, signifying the different cultures. Handicrafts are one of the most popular representations of the Nepalese art. Various communities and regions have their unique trademark in craftsmanship. For example, Palpa is renowned for handmade Dhaka prints, which are then made into different things like purses, shawls, and coats. Similar to these handicrafts, the architecture is also distinctive.

Generally, Nepalese architecture exhibit three styles that are Stupa, Pagoda, and Shikhara style. The architecture of houses in Chitwan and Solukhumbu is entirely different. The ones in the south are made to withstand heat and are made with bamboo, while in the north, stone tiles and houses are pretty common.

Trace the birthplace of Lord Buddha at Lumbini

Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini, Nepal. Thousands of tourists flock to this pilgrimage site every year to pay homage to the birthplace of Buddha. In the premises of Maya Devi temple, there are twenty-five monasteries built by various countries like Thailand, Cambodia, German, China, and many more. Tourists can learn more about Buddhism by visiting these monasteries. Tourists can pay respects to the holy birthplace and also explore the museum as well as yoga and meditation centers.

Experience adventurous activities

The best adventurous activity to do in Nepal is trekking. The country is blessed with many great and majestic mountain ranges and rugged trekking routes, making it the best place for backpack traveling and trekking. Various trekking routes are graded from easy to strenuous, thus fitting the taste and level for every tourist.

Easy treks can mostly be done within a week, and the best example for it is Poonhill-Ghorepani trek in the Annapurna region. For strenuous trekking options, Everest Base Camp trekking would be the best. There are other treks like Tamang Heritage Trek, where tourists get to learn about the Tamang culture and traditions.

Along with trekking, the country is famous for various adventurous activities like rafting, bungee jumping, and rock climbing.

Naturally gifted country

This small country, with the average north-south distance of 193 km comprises of flora and fauna ranging from tropical trees in the south to pine and fir trees grown in the alpine climate in the north.

The climatic variability and the rich biodiversity of Nepal is one of a kind. Nepal homes various rare and endangered animals like the snow leopard, birds like the spiny babbler, and plants like the Himalayan Yew (Yarsagumba). The country is also abundant with various kinds of freshwater resources ranging from ponds to rivers. Most of these water bodies originate from the melting snow of the Himalayas.

Pilgrimage and Pleasure

Alongside Lumbini, there are numerous temples and religious sites that are always crowded with pilgrims from around the world. The holy Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located at the heart of Kathmandu.

Similarly, Boudhanath Stupa, a revered site for Buddhist pilgrims, is also found in the capital city. Besides these religious landmarks, there are many other temples and stupas around the country that hold sacred values to the local people. Kalinchowk Bhagwati, Manakamana, and Muktinath are some of the temples that are frequented by pilgrims every year.    

Mardi Himal Trek: Short Adventure in Nepal

Introduction

The Mardi Himal Trek takes trekkers through an isolated area of the Annapurna region to present an unadulterated and less-trodden path that meanders towards the base camp of the Mardi Peak. It is a journey that is an off-the-beaten-path adventure, perfectly suited for trekkers who are looking for destinations with fewer crowds. The Mardi Himal Trek is located just east of the famous Annapurna Base Camp Trek and presents trekkers with a less-frequented terrain flanked by the Machhapuchhre Peak.

The journey is also a great way to experience the authentic cultural diversity of eastern Annapurna. Villages of Gurung and Magar ancestry are scattered throughout the trekking trail, each with ethnic groups that speak their dialect and have their unique cultural traditions.

It is a common sight to come across herds of domesticated cattle heading off to pastures while trekking. Passing through the villages, trekkers can also see most local people involved in activities like pottery, producing and selling handicrafts and collecting medicinal plants.

In like manner, the cultural beauty of Mardi Himal Trek is equally rivaled by its unique and notable wildlife as well. The variation of forest cover persisting in accordance with altitude and topography provides a wide range of habitats to several animal species, especially for a wide variety of migratory spring and autumn birds.  

The Mardi Himal Trek Location

The trekking journey to the base camp of Mardi Himal starts from Pokhara. The city of Pokhara is usually the starting point of many of the Annapurna region’s treks. Usually, trekkers can drive from Pokhara to Phedi and then start the trek from there, following the path that then leads to the village of Pothana. From there, the path then snakes through the alpine foothills of the river valley until eventually, it rises in elevation and branches out above the tree-line at 3,300 meters.

Once the tree-line is crossed at a site called High Camp, the change in the terrain is quite noticeable. The emerald woodlands of the lower foothills now resemble rugged high mountain landscape with the skyline decorated with amazing panoramic views of the Annapurna peaks. The Mardi Himal Trek also presents a wide range of topographical features of the eastern Annapurna region. The path initially starts through sub-tropical lowlands where lush rhododendron woods cover the landscape in bright canopies. The woods also harbor many species of orchids.

Likewise, throughout the journey, trekkers are in constant company with views of the Himalayas like the Annapurna massif, Mount Machhapuchhre, the Gangapurna Himal, Lamjung Peak, the Tukuche Peak, as well as the Mardi Himal among many others. From the lowland woods, the Mardi Himal Trek has pathways that then branch up the elevation towards pine-clad hills and juniper hamlets until the tree-line is crossed and the terrain then becomes a mosaic of alpine shrub-land and vast meadows.   

Mardi Himal Trekking Route

Kathmandu – Pokhara – Pothana (1,925 meters/4 Hours Trekking)  

The Mardi Himal Trekking journey begins from Pokhara. Trekkers can opt to take a short flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, or they can drive to the lake-side city. As stated, from Pokhara, the next destination of the trek is a site called Phedi. From there, it is a steady trek through the woods towards Dhampus, and then to Pothana.

Pothana – Forest Camp (2,600 meters/4 Hours Trekking)

The next overnight destination along the Mardi Himal Trek is a site called Forest Camp. The pathway from Pothana leads to a place called Pitam Deurali. This is where the trail diverts away from the main Annapurna Sanctuary Trek and instead runs through the dense oak woods towards Forest Camp. The forests along the journey are dense and brimming with avifaunal life. The Forest Camp, also known as “Kokar” offers quite basic lodges for accommodation and rather imitates a homestay experience.

Forest Camp – Low Camp (3,150 meters/5 Hours Trekking)

The Mardi Himal Trekking trail continues from Forest Camp to Low Camp, darting through some of the last low-lying woodlands. As the trail picks up elevation, the vegetation along the terrain changes as well, from mighty woods to alpine shrubs. Rhododendron trees tend to be covered with moss and lichen, and eventually- the landscape becomes embedded with ferns. Low Camp presents mesmerizing views of Mount Machhapuchhre rising above the valley.

Low Camp – High Camp (3,700 meters/4 Hours Trekking)  

Trekking an hour or so from Low Camp, the trail finally breaks out above tree line and opens towards vast meadows and pastures that are more rugged. The western skyline is decorated with the view of the Annapurna South and the Hiunchuli Peak. The trail continues along the Mardi Himal ridge, mainly snaking through grass pastures where isolated rhododendron bushes ornament the otherwise even land. Colorful Danphe pheasants are often spotted on this section of the trail.

High Camp – Mardi Himal Base Camp (4,500 meters/4 Hours Trekking)

High Camp presents breath-taking views of the sunrise amidst the Annapurna Peaks. From High Camp, the path then twines up the ridge towards Mardi Himal Base Camp. The path to base camp is a well-established trail that traverses through the grasslands and includes a couple of steeper sections. The pastures here are often laden with grazing Dzos (yak/ cow crossbreds), as well as fluttering Danphe pheasants. In the summer, herds of sheep and goats from lower villages are brought up to graze in the area. As such, several herder’s huts are scattered along the trail. The path finally reaches the base camp of Mardi Himal from where one can look down into the Annapurna Sanctuary in the valley below, as well as panorama views of the spectacular south face of Annapurna and all of the peaks that surround the Sanctuary, including Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre.

Best Time for Mardi Himal Trek

The best time for Mardi Himal Trek is during the spring and autumn months. Spring occurs from March to May, and autumn lasts from September to mid-December. Although Mardi Himal Trek can be done all year round, the spring and autumn months provide the best visibility and clarity of the peaks.  The weather conditions during these peak-trekking seasons remain suitable for trekking with very little chance of precipitation or other bad weather conditions. As such, they also present fewer chances of Kathmandu-Pokhara flight cancelations.   

Mardi Himal Trek Cost: Food and Accommodation

As the Mardi Himal Trek is an off-the-beaten-paths journey, the accommodations along the trip are quite basic. Lodges are available for accommodation, and generally- they come in the form of small wooden wood-lodges with one dining area and small rooms with a sleeping bed.

However, in most lodges along the trek, there are no dining areas and meals are instead had in the kitchen itself, often with the family of the lodge-owner, evoking a home-stay experience. Usually, it costs about US$ 3 to US$ 10 per night. But the cost, of course, depends upon the quality and standard of lodges.

Likewise, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals are available during the trip. Although the food variety might not be grand, almost all lodges serve the staple food of Nepal- Dal Bhat (Rice and Lentils). It is important to carry food-allergy medications.     

Travel Tips for Mardi Himal Trek

It is advised to exchange foreign currency into local Nepali Rupees before the trekking journey. Mardi Himal Trek offers an isolated trekking experience and there are no ATMs or banks along the route. Thus, carrying local currency can help reduce the hassle. It makes it easier to buy and pay for things in the mountains.

Similarly, during peak trekking seasons, flights to Pokhara can be over-booked. The same goes for hotels in Pokhara as well. Thus, booking the trip early can help in reducing the chance of being caught up in the hassle of over-booked flights or delays.

Also, it is advised to carry one’s water purifying tablet or other forms of a water-purification method, like epi-pens. More often than not, lodges do not provide free drinking water. Thus, carrying your water-purification tablets will make the trip a lot easier and cheaper. It is certainly better than constant buying bottled drinking water in the mountain. Water purification tablets are also environment-friendly.

The Mardi Himal Trek is a moderate trekking trip and does not require one to have prior trekking experience to undergo. However, it is best to prepare oneself physically before the beginning of the trip. Doing regular cardio exercises like running and swimming can boost the body’s stamina and help during the trek.       

Conclusion

Mardi Himal Trek is a beautiful hidden gem of the Annapurna region. It presents unexplored trails and new destinations to visit besides the popular routes of the region. The cultural setting along the journey also has a more authentic feel to it. It is a gorgeous journey through untarnished woodlands and far-off villages of the Annapurna where stunning sights of the Annapurna peaks are presented magnificently for trekkers to enjoy. There is no age limit to doing the trek, and the chance of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) occurring is also quite less. It is an awe-inspiring trip that encapsulates the best obscure features of the famous Annapurna region of Nepal.        

Everest Region

Worldwide, Nepal is often recognized by the mammoth of a mountain called Sagarmatha or as popularly known Mount Everest. The highest peak in the world, standing proudly at 8848m, has earned Nepal the privilege of being home to the glorious Himalaya. Sagarmatha has never been considered just a mountain peak; in fact, Sagarmatha translates to the goddess of the sky and is of supreme significance to Nepal, Nepalese, their lifestyle, and belief. Mt. Everest attracts trekkers and peak climbers from around the world and showers them with moments that are inexplicable, and are best when experienced.

Land of Sherpa and High Himalayas

Everest has its recognition deeply spread across the country; however, Solukhumbu boasts the very location of the peak. As a result, Everest region recognizes itself as the vicinity around the Everest (8848m) which entails numerous towering peaks and Sagarmatha National Park as well. Everest region remains one of the finest works of nature as it bears the most diverse geography in all of Nepal. From highland mountains to highland valleys and mid valleys, the geography of the region is enticing itself. The Himalayas in the Everest region includes peaks like Mount Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,414m), Makalu (8,463m), Cho Oyu (8,188m), Nuptse (7,861m), etc. which are also some of the highest mountains in the world. Sherpa is the main inhabitants with others like Rai, Chhetri, and Tamang forming the majority of the populace.

World Famous Trekking to Expedition

Khumbu valley is the highland region which is worldwide famous for trekking and hiking. Kirat Kulung or Rai and Sherpa are the main inhabitants in this region. It includes the town of Namche Bazaar as well as the villages of Thame, Khumjung, Pangboche, Pheriche, and Khunde. The famous Buddhist monastery at Tengboche is also located in the Khumbu. The Khumbu region flaunts exquisite vistas of several ranges from various viewpoints as well as paves ways to base camps of the Sagarmatha, one which starts from Namche Bazaar and goes up to 5364 meters at the base camp. Limiting oneself to Everest Base Camp Trek would be shallow as the Everest region is more than that.

The Sagarmatha National Park, a renowned World Heritage site, features conserved endangered species of snow leopards, blue goats, mountain sheep, and so on. The treks in this region showcase the enthralling peaks and their ranges perfectly arranged before the backdrop of a clear blue sky and the glistening sun. The Khumjung village is famous for Sherpa culture which incorporates their legendary cuisine entirely consisting of barley and buckwheat. Sit down with the locals and take on the famous Tongba (processed malt beer) which not only warms you up for the extreme cold weather but rewards you with medical benefits as well. Gokyo valley and Khumbu valley are the major Himalayan valleys famous among the adventure and nature seekers. Gokyo Lake Trek, Three Passes Trek, Island peak climbing, Mera Peak climbing, Mount Everest Expedition, Ama Dablam Expedition, and Lobuche peak climbing are other popular adventure trips in Everest Region.

Everest Region Treks

The trek to Everest Base Camp includes only 14 days at the most but offers the same spectacular sceneries as when actually climbing the peak. With the support of an experienced crew and guides and enough rest days, the trek won’t leave you feeling too exhausted but instead rejuvenated and healthy. Gokyo Lake Trek carries various elements of the Everest Base Camp trek yet is able to provide a different experience due to its less busy seasonal grounds. The fairly moderate trek reaches up to 5360m at Gokyo Ri and shows the panoramic scene of Sagarmatha and its ranges along with a wide view of the Gokyo lakes. Similarly, the Three Passes Trek is rather adventurous than the two mentioned above as the trek crosses three of the highest passes in the region, namely: Renjo La (5360m), Cho La (5420m), and Kongma La (5535m).

Best time to Travel

September to November is the ideal time to enjoy trekking or any other mountaineering activities in the region. Due to the onset of autumn, during this time, the mountains look much livelier with the sky clear and with the ‘just right’ temperature.  

For the mountain lovers who do not have ample time, mountain flights and helicopter tours in the September-November early mornings provide you a face to face encounter with the giant minus the hard work. Even shorter treks like Everest Heli Trek are available for those in the time crunch.

The Everest region is defined by Sagarmatha but is not limited to it. Give this magical destination a thought and you’ll be surprised by the number of activities you will find worth doing here. Set your dates because the Everest region will guarantee you the best time of your life.