Upper Dolpo Via Jomsom
Overview The Upper Dolpo via Jomsom trip is a mesmerizing and adventurous journey that takes travelers deep into the heart of the Himalayas in Nepal. It also offers a unique and culturally rich experience, showcasing the raw beauty of remote landscapes and the unique lifestyle of the local inhabitants. Starting in Jomsom, a picturesque town in the Mustang region, the trek begins with a flight from Pokhara. The flight itself is awe-inspiring, as it takes you through the world's deepest gorge, flanked by towering peaks on both sides. Upon landing in Jomsom, trekkers also embark on an epic journey through…
The Upper Dolpo via Jomsom trip is a mesmerizing and adventurous journey that takes travelers deep into the heart of the Himalayas in Nepal. It also offers a unique and culturally rich experience, showcasing the raw beauty of remote landscapes and the unique lifestyle of the local inhabitants.
Starting in Jomsom, a picturesque town in the Mustang region, the trek begins with a flight from Pokhara. The flight itself is awe-inspiring, as it takes you through the world’s deepest gorge, flanked by towering peaks on both sides. Upon landing in Jomsom, trekkers also embark on an epic journey through a diverse terrain of arid deserts, lush valleys, and ancient villages.
The trail leads to Upper Dolpo, an isolated region that has retained its centuries-old traditions and Tibetan-influenced culture. As you traverse the rugged trails, you’ll also encounter ancient monasteries, chortens, and prayer flags, providing a glimpse into the spiritual life of the local people.
Enchanting Adventures of Upper Dolpo via Jomsom: Phoksundo Lake and Beyond
The captivating Phoksundo Lake is a major highlight of the trip. Its turquoise waters surrounded by snow-capped peaks create a scene of surreal beauty. The pristine lake and its serene surroundings make it a perfect spot for reflection and tranquility.
The Upper Dolpo via Jomsom trek is not just about the landscape; it’s also about the people. Interactions with the Dolpo inhabitants, who warmly welcome visitors, also offer insights into their traditional lifestyles and ancient practices. The unique Bon and Tibetan Buddhist culture adds a mystical element to the entire journey.
Moreover, this trek provides ample opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts, as the region is home to rare and endangered species such as the snow leopard and blue sheep. The diverse flora and fauna make the journey even more captivating.
The trail is challenging, passing through high passes like the Numa La and Baga La, but the reward of the breathtaking panoramic views is well worth the effort. Accommodation is available in teahouses along the way, allowing trekkers to rest and rejuvenate in the lap of nature.
Conclusion and Summary
In conclusion, the Upper Dolpo via Jomsom trek is an unforgettable odyssey that combines adventure, spirituality, and cultural immersion. It offers a chance to experience the untouched beauty of the Himalayas and connect with the resilient and warm-hearted people who call this remote region home.
- Phoksundo Lake: The captivating turquoise waters of Phoksundo Lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks offer a scene of surreal beauty and provide a perfect spot for reflection and tranquility.
- Cultural Immersion: The trek is not just about the landscape; it’s also about the people. Interactions with the warm and welcoming Dolpo inhabitants offer insights into their traditional lifestyles and ancient practices. The unique Bon and Tibetan Buddhist culture add a mystical element to the entire journey.
- Wildlife Encounters: Wildlife enthusiasts will be delighted by the ample opportunities to spot rare and endangered species such as the elusive snow leopard and the agile blue sheep. The diverse flora and fauna add to the captivating experience.
- Challenging Trails: The trek presents a challenge with high passes like Numa La and Baga La, offering a thrilling adventure for trekkers seeking a physically demanding and rewarding journey.
- Breathtaking Panoramic Views: The effort put into conquering the challenging trails is handsomely rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the majestic Himalayan peaks and picturesque valleys.
- Serene Accommodations: Along the way, trekkers can rest and rejuvenate in teahouses nestled in the lap of nature, providing a serene and peaceful environment to recharge for the next day’s adventures.
- Remote Landscapes: The trek takes travelers deep into the heart of the Himalayas, offering an opportunity to explore remote landscapes and witness raw natural beauty untouched by modernization.
- Pristine Nature: The journey is a chance to immerse in pristine nature, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and experience the tranquility and harmony of the great outdoors.
- Spiritual Connection: The sacred monasteries, chortens, and prayer flags encountered along the trek offer a spiritual connection and insight into the ancient spiritual practices of the region.
- Unforgettable Memories: The Upper Dolpo via Jomsom trek promises an unforgettable adventure, leaving travelers with cherished memories of the stunning landscapes, unique culture, and the warmth of the local people.
As you fly into Kathmandu, the views of snow-capped mountain peaks greet you. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Our representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.
From Kathmandu, we take a bus or fly on any domestic carrier to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj, a town in the western Terai, is very close to the Indian border and the Bardia Nationl Park. It is a major transport hub for western, mid-western and far-western regions of Nepal. Our representative will pick you up from the airport and take you to the hotel. Overnight stay will be at hotel that is 10 to 15 minutes drive from the airport.
Today we take a 35 minutes long flight to Juphal .Our trekking starts from Juphal. The trail from Juphal to Dunai is comfortable and easy as the trail on this part of trek also has few jeeps running to and fro. The first forty five minutes of the trek descends down to Kalagauda followed by two hours of hike along the trail above Thuli Bheri River. We trek by the riverside and pass Roop Ghar with the water mill and finally reach the Dunai (2150m) a small town, the head quarter of the district. Dunai has some schools government and private, college, police check post and some government offices. You can visit the Bon Stupa and school, Central Buddhist monastery and the very first English medium school across the river, From the Stupa you can have the view of whole town and another village, upper Dunai too.
The real adventure of Dolpo Mustang Trek begins today. As the trek begins we initially trek along classic trekking route of Dolpo via Sulighar, which is pretty much comfortable walk along the levelled trail. We shall produce the trekking permit to Dolpo and the Shey Phoksundo National Park Permit at the Sulighat Check-post. Now we are officially inside Shey Phoksundo National Park. Beyond Sulighat our trek follows the trail beside Phoksundo River till Kageni. As the trek goes further, the landscapes in the vicinity begin to change. We trek through the lush tropical forest frequently emerging at isolated mid-hill villages like Jutung and arrive to Shangta. At Shangta we cross the bridge twice- once over Phoksundo River and once over the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and Maiaba Khola and begin to head north towards Chhepka. Trekking upstream along the trail beside Phoksundo Khola for a while we arrive to Chhepka. We put our camps at an ideal location in Chhepka for the overnight stay.
Today the the trail leads you beside Phoksundo Khola- the trail of famous Lower Dolpa Circuit. We trek in the opposite direction of the river flow to Amchi Hospital. The trek crosses the bridge over Phoksundo Khola twice. As we approach closer to Kharka trekking along the amazingly peaceful region the trail goes high above Phoksundo Khola to Rechi 3011m, where we stop for the lunch. Beyond Rechi we again hike along the river side trail to Sulligad Dovan where we cross the bridge over the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and Yulung Khola and arrive to Chunuwar. We will settle our camps here for the night.
We will join the direct trail to Phoksundo Lake today climbing through forests of big cedars on to Palam (3710m), a winter settlement used by the people of the Ringmo village. The entrance station for the Shey Phoksundo National Park is at the south end of the village. The route then descends on switchbacks through open country to an elevation of 3300 meter, and then starts up another set of dusty switchbacks to a ridge at 3780 meter to the highest waterfall in Nepal (200 meter high). Our route then continues on to Ringmo village, a picturesque settlement of flat-roofed stone houses with lots of mani walls. Just below Ringmo we cross a bridge and follow the trail to Phoksundo Lake, where we camp at the national park camping grounds west.
Today we explore the area around Ringmo Village and the magnificent Phoksundo Lake. First, we explore around Ringmo Village and head to Tshowa (the lake-shore Bon Monastery).
The Gompa nestling a ridge top above Phoksundo Lake was built about 900 years ago. Exploring this culturally rich Bon Monastery is fascinating experience.
Then we drop down to Phoksundo Lake along steep-sided cliffs. The lake is famous for its magnificent turquoise colour and spectacular scenery. Ringmo village, a typical Tibetan village, is scenic view from Phoksundo Lake.
There are several monasteries (Gompas ) and Bon-po religious sites at the park and we spend our time visiting some of these. We also explore the wonderful natural sites and enjoy our nature tour.
Today’s trek is probably one of the best trekking days of Dolpo to Mustang Trek. It climbs along the narrow trail cut on a cliff standing vertically straight above Phoksundo Lake. This treacherously fascinating trail brings us to another side of Phoksundo Lake.
This particular part of the trek is like fantasy walk portrayed by a writer in their fiction novels. To get to the Phoksundo Khola camp on other side of the lake, we slide down for ninety minutes along the beautiful forests. The final part of today’s trek slides up to the beautiful campsite at Sallaghari. Enjoy the night in the camps amongst beautiful pine forest.
Today’s trek is relatively short; we trek for almost three hours to reach Nangdala High Camp 4100m. As the trek begins we ascend up the narrow defile of Tuk Kyaksa River.
The trail switches to opposite side of the river several times. Soon we arrive to a place where the rapids of the river are calmer. We cross the bridge over the river at that point.
Thirty minutes of walk after the bridge, we come across the wide valley followed by two hours of walk along the canyon brings us the potential campsite. A walk for a while further reaches to the massive rock slab, which is Nangdala High Camp- our campsite for the night.
Today we trek to the fabled Shey Gompa and the nearby ‘Crystal Mountain’, the most sacred peak in Dolpo which Dolpo pilgrims circumambulate each summer before the harvest. We are now entering the real Dolpo, and to enter into this mystical land we have to cross the Kangla/Nangdala pass . The trek to the top of Kang La/Nangdala Pass is along the graveled trail uphill for three continuous hours. However, all the efforts put to come up to the top of the pass rewards us with wonderful views.
The eye feast views from the Kang La Pass includes Cyrstal Mountain, the mountains in Tibetan territory and the mesmerizing landscapes of Dolpo. We also have views of the peaks Shey Shikkar and Kang Chunne, both just over 6000 meters, before descending steeply down to the valley floor and along the river. A red chorten marks the entrance to Shey.
Every Dragon year according to the Tibetan calendar that comes in every 12 years there occurs a grand festival. People from different places and countries come to join this festival. We camp for the night.
Today we will explore Shey Gompa. It is said to be about 800 years old monastery, with murals inside and an ancient scroll describing the mythology behind the Crystal Mountain.
The monastery is locally known as Shelri Sumdho Gompa. Shey Festival, the summer festival observed by the people of Dolpo with huge enthusiasm is hosted at Shey Gompa. Peter Mattheissen wrote quite a lot about his stay in Shey in ‘The Snow Leopard’, and it was shown in Eric Valli’s movie ‘Caravan’ as Thinley’s son’s gompa.
After the exploration of Shey Gompa as the trek begins, it follows the trail beside Sephu Khola for almost couple of hours. The landscapes during this part of the trek are typical Dolpo landscapes- barren and enchanting.
Then we begin to climb up towards the top of Shey La Pass, which is almost two hours of hike. The acme of Shey La Pass west of Shey, rewards us with the magnificent views of Mustang to the East, Tibet to the North and Kanjiroba, Kagmara and Riu Dhukta, or the Crystal Mountain, to the West.
The final push downhill from the Sela La (5095m), which is almost 2 hours of hike brings us to Namgung. We spend our night at Namgung, a local nomadic herding settlement.
Before setting out towards Saldang, we explore the monastery of Namgung set on the flanking cliff. As the trek from Namgong Gompa begins we follow Namga Khola cross pass more summer herding spots and emerge out of spur for a short hike down to Saldang. Saldang is a beautiful village with lots of dry land surrounded hills. Amchi tradition and Buddhism in Dolpo thrives here at Saldang. We’ll get a chance to visit some local houses, drink some salt butter tea or chhyang (Tibetan barley beer) and sample the local fare at Saldang.
Today we will have a day hike after early breakfast to Yanjer the richest monastery of this region. We will have packed lunch and will come back to Saldang for the night stop after the exploration of the monastery.
Today we trek for six hours and reach the village of Komash. Initially, the trail follows the Saldang Lek along the Rapyha Khola to the barren hillside. Exiting out to the elevated ridge (Khom La) of almost 4500m, the trail descends down steeply to Komash Village a village which bears similarity to a Tibetan village. Overnight in tents at Komash.
As we trek from Komash village we may sight some endangered animals like snow leopard or Blue sheep. On the way we pass small villages. The landscapes in the vicinity is full of highland deserts with few shrub like vegetation. On the trail there is one small pass Shimen La (4260m). After almost five hours of comfortable hike we arrive to Shimen. Overnight in the tented camps at Shimen.
Today the trail goes by the side of Panjyang Khola. There are some villages and gompas on the way to Tinje. Tinje is a very beautiful valley. There is a natural air strip where once a British aircraft had landed and taken off.
From the village of Tinje we trek to Yak Kharka, which is an open grazing ground for yaks and sheep. The grassy meadow of Yak Kharka makes for an excellent camping site.
From yak kharka we trek towards Chharka. Crossing the pass Mola (5030m) we reach Chharka. We can visit beautiful village and the Bon Monastery in Chharka.
Today the trail goes through the arid high land. There are some up hills on the way. We trek up to Norbulung and have a night camp there.
From Nulungsumda ascending trail takes us to the pass Niwas La. Crossing the pass the trail we again proceed towards another pass Jungbenla then the trail goes down hill up to Ghaldang Ghuldung, where we make the night stop.
Today the trail goes with several ups and downs and finally reaches to the village Sangta.
We climb the hill behind Santa and spent most of the day making a high traverse, crossing nine ridges to a final crest at 4280m. We then descend into the Kali Gandaki valley, traversing under high cliffs and descending to the large village of Phalek.
We climb to a ridge at 3360m and make a final descent on a challenging trail of loose rocks to Jomsom at 2670m. Jomsom is also one of the famous places for the tourist.
We fly from Jomsom to Pokhara and to Kathmandu today. Our representative will pick you up at Kathmandu airport and take you to the hotel.
- Flight to Jomsom: The trip typically includes a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the world’s deepest gorge.
- Experienced Guide and Porters: An experienced trekking guide and porters are usually provided to assist and support trekkers throughout the journey.
- TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) Permit: This permit is essential for trekking in the Upper Dolpo region and is generally included in the trip package.
- Restricted Area Permit: As Upper Dolpo is a restricted region, a special permit is required for entry, and this is typically arranged as part of the trip.
- Accommodation: Accommodation in teahouses or basic lodges along the trekking route is usually included. These teahouses provide a bed and meals for trekkers.
- Meals: Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are generally provided during the trek. The meals are typically basic, consisting of local and Nepali cuisine.
- Transportation: Local transportation, such as flights, buses, or jeeps, required for the trip is often included in the package.
- Camping Equipment (if applicable): If the trek includes camping in remote areas without teahouses, the necessary camping equipment, including tents and cooking utensils, may be provided.
- Permit Handling and Documentation: The trekking agency usually takes care of all the necessary permit handling and documentation required for the trip.
- International Airfare: The cost of international flights to and from Nepal is not typically included in the trek package.
- Travel Insurance: Trekkers are responsible for arranging their travel insurance, which should cover trekking activities at high altitudes.
- Personal Expenses: Expenses for personal items such as souvenirs, snacks, drinks, and any additional services not mentioned in the itinerary are not included.
- Tips and Gratuities: Tips for guides, porters, and other support staff are not included and are at the discretion of trekkers based on their satisfaction with the services.
- Additional Permits (if applicable): Some treks may require additional permits for certain areas, and these would be an extra cost if needed.
- Emergency Evacuation: In case of a medical emergency or evacuation, the cost of helicopter rescue or any medical treatment beyond basic first aid is typically not covered.
- Alcohol and Beverages: Alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks are generally not included in the trek package.
- Personal Trekking Gear: Trekkers are expected to bring their own personal trekking gear, such as clothing, boots, and sleeping bags.
Upper Dolpo via Jomsom Trek Trip Information:
Overview: The Upper Dolpo via Jomsom trek is a challenging and rewarding adventure that takes trekkers through the remote and culturally rich regions of Upper Dolpo and Mustang in Nepal. The journey offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, ancient monasteries, and encounters with the warm-hearted local people. It is a restricted area trek, which means a special permit is required for entry.
Duration: The duration of the Upper Dolpo via Jomsom trek varies depending on the specific itinerary and trekking route chosen. On average, the trek takes around 18 to 21 days to complete.
Best Time to Trek: The best time to embark on this trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These months provide stable weather conditions and clear skies, offering the best views of the surrounding peaks.
Difficulty Level: The Upper Dolpo via Jomsom trek is considered challenging and is suitable for experienced trekkers or those with a good level of fitness. The trail involves steep ascents and descents, as well as crossing high passes, which may be physically demanding.
Trekking Itinerary: The trekking itinerary can vary, but a typical outline of the journey may include the following key points:
- Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
- Take a scenic flight from Pokhara to Jomsom.
- Trek from Jomsom to Kagbeni, then to Chele, and enter the Upper Mustang region.
- Trek through villages like Syangboche, Tsarang, and Lo Manthang, exploring ancient monasteries and cultural sites.
- Cross high passes like Numa La and Baga La to enter the Upper Dolpo region.
- Explore the captivating Phoksundo Lake and its surroundings.
- Trek through scenic landscapes and visit villages like Ringmo and Shyanta.
- Trek back to Jomsom and fly back to Pokhara.
Accommodation: Accommodation along the trekking route is basic and primarily provided by teahouses or lodges. These teahouses offer simple rooms with basic amenities, and in some remote areas, camping might be necessary.
Permits: As the Upper Dolpo region is a restricted area, trekkers need to obtain special permits, including the TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) permit and the Upper Dolpo Restricted Area permit. The trekking agency usually handles the permit arrangements.
Guides and Porters: An experienced trekking guide and porters are recommended for this trek, especially due to its challenging nature and remote locations. The guide provides valuable insights into the culture and surroundings, while porters carry the majority of the trekker’s gear.
Essential Gear: Trekkers are advised to bring appropriate clothing and gear suitable for trekking in the Himalayas, including sturdy trekking boots, warm clothing, a sleeping bag, a backpack, and other essential items.
Safety Considerations: Trekking at high altitudes comes with potential risks, and trekkers should be aware of altitude-related issues. Acclimatization days are included in the itinerary to help minimize the risk of altitude sickness.
Travel Insurance: Trekkers are required to have travel insurance that covers trekking activities at high altitudes and emergency evacuation if needed.
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