Route to the Himalayas
If you feel a need to get away from the crowds, pollution and noise in the city, it’s time to pack your bags and get ready for some adventure. Trekking provides the perfect escape into another world away from it all. In Nepal treks are best done during the dry and warm months from late February through to June and from September through to November. During these months, temperatures tend to be ‘moderate’ by Nepali standards and the skies are often clear up in the mountains, providing great vistas of the Himalayas.
Langtang Valley Trek
There's nothing quite like the hiking challenge presented by the Himalayas. This trek that begins from the edge of Kathmandu Valley is one that gives people a different perspective on the valleys and peaks of Nepal. Hike up through an ever-changing landscape of flower-filled fields and lush green forests before emerging among monasteries and villages. The spectacular sight of the Langtang Glacier is a reward and staying in rustic villages is an eye opener for city dwellers. For those seeking to avoid the crowded path to Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna region, this unique hike is the perfect solution. Lying to the north of Kathmandu, the Langtang National Park is the third most popular trekking region in Nepal. Its popularity stems from its incredibly lush scenery and its close proximity to Kathmandu, making it easily accessible. The Langtang Valley Trek is by far the most popular route in the region and can be combined with a trek to Gosaikunda and Helambu.
Trek in the beautiful Langtang Valley up to Kyangjin Gompa and discover the magic of the Himalayas and its people. The Langtang Valley Trek is relatively easy and is often far less busy than other popular treks in the Everest and Annapurna regions. The trek can be done in seven days; however, it usually takes 10 to 12 days. The highlight of this trek is the sight of the Langtang Lirung range, which is simply stunning. The peak is 23,773 feet high and dominates the valley. A technically very easy and non-strenuous trek, it goes along the river valley. The Langtang National Park encompasses the Gosainkunda lakes, sacred to Hindus who arrive there on a pilgrimage in August. Another holy site is the Buddhist monastery Kyanjin Gompa alongside which a large number of lodges are also located. From the lodges, a glorious view of the mountains can be had and a short climb up a ridge reveals the Langtang glacier in all its glory.
Makalu-Barun Valley Trek
Makalu-Barun Valley Trek is another wonderful trek that lets you explore the Makalu-Barun National Park spread over an area of over 1500 sq.km which extends from low ranges at 500m to the high Nepal Himalayas at over 8000m. This remote terrain stretches east from Sagarmatha National Park, between the high plateaus of Tibet and the deep subtropical gorge carved by the Arun River. Spectacular views of Mount Makalu, Mount Chamlang, and Mount Baruntse are some of the highlights of the trek. Makalu-Barun Valley is known for stunning contrasts where high waterfalls cascade into deep gorges and colorful landscape lie next to craggy rocks rising from lush green forests.
This unique landscape shelters some of the last pristine mountain ecosystems on earth. It is home to over 3000 species of flowering plants, 75 species of mammals, and 440 species of birds including the endangered Clouded Leopard, Musk Deer and Red Pandas. And this remarkable biodiversity is considered to be of global significance. For anyone looking to combine some serious flora and fauna with strenuous hiking, this is the ideal trek. The Barun Valley provides amazing contrasts, colorful flowers bloom beneath white snowy peaks. Rare species of animals and plants flourish in the diverse climes and habitats found here, undisturbed by human kind.
This valley lies along the trekking route to Makalu Base Camp. This somewhat difficult yet extremely rewarding trek offers a true wilderness experience within the rugged uninhabited terrain of the Makalu-Barun National Park. Because there are no lodges above Tashigaon, one needs to take camping gear and enough food and fuel to last at least two weeks. The aid of a local guide is a must as the trails are difficult to recognize. Shivadhara is yet another attraction of the Barun valley. This dome like cave rising about 500 feet high has a large waterfall coming out of its stone roof. The waterfall is considered one of the most sacred tapes of Lord Shiva. Getting there is not easy as one has to climb an extremely dangerous cliff with the help of locals, and takes about three to four hours. Another attraction is Tadasho, a large stone cliff with a hole in its face through which a waterfall cascades. Local legend speaks of a dark lake that lay atop the cliff, which then mysteriously caused the deaths of many Tibetan refugees after nightfall. A high ranking Buddhist monk known as Rinpoche is said to have cut the cliff with his Tadasho, in order to drain the lake and save the lives of the refugees.