Inner /Upper Dolpo Shey Gompa has been referred to as the last enclave of pure Tibetan culture. The region is remote and retains the feel of Tibet as it was in the pre-Chinese era. It is a vast and rugged landscape inhabited by a hardy, enterprising folk who live in some of the highest villages in the world. Upper Dolpa Shey Goenpa has only been open for Trekking Walking Holiday and tourism since 1989.
We reach Upper Dolpo Shey Gompa passing through the six famous passes like Nangdalo Pass (5350m), Sela (Gela) La Pass (5094m), Khoma Pass( 4660m), Shimen Pass (4260m), Mo La Pass (5027m), Niwar Pass (5110m), Jungen La Pass (5550m), Bhima Lojun La Pass (4460m). So the Walking to Upper Dolpo Shey Gompa and Jomsom is very adventurous.
Legend has it that the revered Buddhist saint, Guru Rinpoche, who spread Tibetans Buddhism, throughout the Himalayas, discovered this hidden land 1700 years ago. Called Beyul, or refuge, it has been inhabited by Tibetan nomads, called Drokpas, for over a thousand years. During the course of the trek, we will visit Buddhist and Bönpo (shamanistic pre-Buddhist) monasteries. Of particular interest is Shey Gompa, this monastery is revered as a most important site, where twice a year pilgrims make a kora (or circuit) of Crystal Mountain on the day of Full Moon and No Moon Day. Crystal Mountain is known as the younger brother of Mount Kailash in Tibet.
According to the local Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition resident guide, living full time in Upper Dolpa is difficult. The majority of people do not stay during winter and migrate to Besi (low altitude land) where they have built winter houses. Come summer, they return with firewood and food from Besi loaded upon Yaks.
Articles and books have been written about Upper Dolpo Shey Gompa, including David Snelgrove’s early “Himalayan Pilgrimage” and more recently Peter Matthiessen’s “The Snow Leopard”. Too, Upper Dolpo is the location for Eric Valli’s superb film “Himalaya”. The high altitude Dolpha region is renown as the area for several ancient powerful medicinal herbs, Yarsagumbo (ophiocordyceps sinensis) and Panchaurle (Dactylorhiza hatagirea). Traditionally, from May to September the villagers can be found collecting the Panchaurle orchid root and digging for the fungus-filled caterpillar Yarsagumbo, both prized in China for their tonic properties.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1337m)
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu(1337)
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (165m) 1-hour stay
Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Jhuphal (Dolpo) (2475m)and walk to Dunai (2140m) 45 minutes flight, 2-3 hours walk
Day 05: Dunai to Ankhe (2750m) 5-6 hours
Day 06: Ankhe to Ringmo Phoksundo Lake (3641m) 5-6 hours
Day 07: Acclimatization and resting at Phoksundo Lake (3641m)
Day 08: Phoksundo to Campsite camp (3750 m) 7-8 hours hours
Day 09: Campsite camp to Nangdalo La Base Camp (4717m) 6-7 hours
Day 10: Nangdalo La Base Camp – Nangdalo La pass (5350 m) to Shey Gompa ( 4160 m) 6-7 hours
Day 11: Shey Gompa Resting Day (4160m)
Day 12: Shey Gompa – Sela (Gelu) La (5094 m) – Namgung (4606 m) 5 to 6
Day 13: Namgung to Saldang (3770m) 3-4 hours
Day 14: Saldang to Khomagaon (4060m) 4- 5 hours
Day 15: Khomagaon- Shimengaon (3850m) 3-4 hours
Day 16: Shimengaon – Tinjegaon (4110m) 5-6 hours
Day 17: Tinjegaon Resting Day (4110m)
Day 18:) Tinjegaon –Rapka Khola (4600m) 6-7 hours
Day 19: Rakpa Khola – Mo La Pass ( 5027m)- Chharka Bhot ( 4302m) 7-8 hours
Day 20: Charka Bhot Rest Day ( 4302m)
Day 21: Chharka Bhot – Nulungsumade Kharka (4987m) 8-9 hours
Day 22: Nulungsmade Kharka -Jungben La (5550m)-Phedi (4247m) 7-8 hours
Day 23 Phedi – Santa Village (4247m) 4-5 hours
Day 24: Santa Village – Kagbeni ( 2818m) 4-5 hours
Day 25 Kagbeni – Jomsom ( (2,720m)) 3-4 hours
Day 26: Jomosom – Pokhara (827m) 19 minutes flight or 1 night 2days by off-road by jeep.
Day 27: Pokhara (827m) Sightseeing
Day 28 Pokhara-Kathmandu 6-7 hours by tourist bus
Day 29: Rest/Shopping in Kathmandu or Bhaktapur (1401m) Sightseeing 3-4 hours
Day 30: Departure from Kathmandu (1337m)
Our Guest’s security is of dominant concern to Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition. Please understand that the HV Treks trekking leader has the authority to adjust or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is found prudent. Unfavorable circumstances may occur during the trek. Such as dangerous weather conditions, the condition of a group member, natural events like landslides, can force changes in the itinerary. All efforts will be made to keep to the planned itinerary. The HV Treks leader will try his/her best to ensure that the trip goes smoothly and according to plan, but please be ready to be flexible if necessary. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition is capable, experienced, and prepared to give a 24-hour emergency response to an accident or condition that requires attention or evacuation.
The Airport is at high-altitude and flights in or out are prone to delays due to weather conditions. In the wetter, cloudy months, flights are sometimes delayed or canceled until next day or when the weather permits. Guests should please make sure their timetable for the trip allows for these possible delays.
Himalayan Vacation Treks & Expedition requires that trekking and expedition guests have Insurance Policies. A Travel Insurance Policy should cover the cost of emergencies (including altitude sickness), injuries, and evacuations. Please, it is essential to bring your Travel Insurance Policy, or copies of your pertinent existing insurance coverage with you to Nepal. HV Treks will require a copy for our office records. We, as well, advise you to inform your existing insurance agent/company of your itinerary, including trekking, climbing, and hiking, and insure your current policy provides sufficient coverage.
You are welcomed to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal renowned for historical monuments, Hindu Temples, and Buddhist Stupas/Monasteries. We meet our guests at the Tribhuvan International Airport. A representative will be waiting with a Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition placard with our guests’ names displayed. After dropping luggage at the hotel, guests are taken for a short sightseeing tour. In the evening, guests are invited to a Welcome Dinner at a Nepali restaurant.
A local guide will be available. According to your wishes, the guide will escort you for sightseeing. Sightseeing may include the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupati, Boudhanath, Patan Durbar Square, and the Swoyambhunath areas. Starting after breakfast, usually at 9.00am, the exploration of Kathmandu Valley can continue until 5.00pm. Lunch and dinner, you will be responsible for.
Today, we take an hour-long flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, located in Western Nepal. Nepalgunj, a town near the Nepal-India border, is also the gateway to Simikot, Humla. The town itself is an interesting Terai town with many of the regional ethnic cultures living together. In Nepalgunj, we can visit the local market, the mini-zoo, and nearby villages. We sleep in a hotel in Nepalgunj.
After breakfast we fly to Jhupal by a small aircraft. The town is magnificently located upon a ridge top amid foothills, with views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to its north. Here, we meet our trekking staff and begin the adventure. We walk through terraced fields to the Bheri River and its narrow gorge. We continue walking to Dunai, which is the administrative headquarter of the Dolpo region. We camp for the night.
After Dunai, we cross a suspension bridge over Phoksundo River and head west. The trail goes up the side of the Thulo Bheri Valley across barren lands before entering Phoksundo River Valley. Here are spectacular views of Kagmara Peak above the Valley. We walk to Ankhe, through walnut orchards, the Dhera and Rahagaun Villages, and down through jungle. We camp in Ankhe.
Today our trail goes along a forested riverbank and then climbs steeply. The ups and downs can be a bit wearing, but there are streams along the way that offer a chance to cool off. The trail finally leaves the forests and passes through a green slope high above the river. We trek downhill encircled by green forests until we reach a cliff from where we descend the drop on a stone staircase to the river bank. We continue until we reach Sulighat.
Today is a rest and acclimatization day at Phoksundo Lake. During the day Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition leader will arrange a short walk to the village of Ringmo and its Tibetan Gumpa (Buddhist Monastery). Ringmo is inhabited by the Dolpoli people. They usually wear homespun clothing, religious lucky charm and strings of coral, and they favor the Tibetan-style somba or dhocha (boots with upturned toes).
From Phoksundo, we go to Campside. The way to Campside is thrilling and difficult as the trail winds up around the lake on a narrow trail. It takes around 30 minutes. From there, we climb crossing small forest streams. The views along the way are of Mount Kanjirowa (6612m). At Campside we camp in the middle of the forest by the Phoksundo River.
Through a landscape of shrub, we follow the small stream of Tuk khyagsa khola which lies in a deep valley. The climb up the valley is steep but then it opens out into the Nangdalo La Base camp. We spend the night there at an altitude of 4717 meters. It will be cold…
Today is a big day. The trek goes over the Nangdalo La Pass. There, there may be snow on the trail, and if so, we may have to forge our own path. Though the climb over the Pass is tiring, there are fantastic views of Kanjirowa (6092m) and Shi- Shikhar Karo Himal (5900m). Descending, we follow the river Hubaiun khola and reach Shey Gompa, which is the meeting point of Hubaiun Khola and Sephu khola. Shey Gupa is a traditional village of Tibetian culture and language. It is a picturesque collection of small houses made of local stone and mud, decorated with Buddhist prayer flags, with a Tibetan Goemp (Buddhist Monastery). We camp two nights here.
We rest today at Shey Gompa for acclimatization. A trip to the Tsakang Shey Monastery (4575 meters) situated high upon a red-rock cliff will be organized by the Himalaya Vacation Treks and Expedition guide. With luck, we will see herds of wild blue sheep, Naur. Named locally as “the Gods of the Mountains”, hunting Naur is banned. About are lots of wildlife, including the Himalayan vulture and even snow leopards.
It is a 5 to 6 hour walk today to Namgung. We follow the Sephu Khola and climb the Sela Gela Pass. At the top, the awesome sight of Mount Kanjirowa and Kang Nyun than are before us. We descend towards Namgung. The village lies in a cleft that is intersected by deep ravines. We camp near Namgung. Fun is to visit the village before evening falls.
On the way to Saldang, we walk through a landscape of Buddhist Mani (rocks, boulders, walls carved and painted with sacred Buddhist scripture) and numerous prayer flags. Different from most other Dolpo valleys, Saldang is composed of fortress-like houses at the bottom of the slope of a plateau above the Nagung Khola River. Saldang is known for the Saldang tree, which grows well here. The village is surrounded by much agricultural land which has been domesticated from the harsh environment. At this altitude, farmers grow only barley, potatoes, and sometimes wheat. Their staple foods are potatoes and livestock products. In June and July, we may find cabbage as well. It is very beautiful village. Horses are the main transportation. The people are semi-nomadic and in the summer months live in the highlands shepherding their herds of yaks and sheep. They speak Tibetan, are Tibetan Buddhist, and the village houses Stupa and Goempa (monasteries). There is a healthpost/clinic here. We camp by the river close by Saldang.
On the way down to the Nagon Khola River, we first go over Khoma Pass.(4460m). We arrive at Khomagaon, a bustling, white-washed village. There are schools, gompa monasteries, and stupas. Perched high upon the mountainsides, there are long mani walls, painted chortens and old gompas. Tonight, we sleep in a tented camp.
We start with an easy to walk to Simengaon, We pass among small trees and shrubs to Garchu Khola River. We climb Shimen Pass (4260m) to descend to Panjyan Khola. Reaching Shimengaon, there is time to relaxed and visit the beautiful Simen Gompa Monastery and Stupas. We camp by the Panjyan Khola River.
Today, we follow the Panjyan Khola . The trail is easy and accommodates motorbikes. Local people go between Simegaon and Tinje on motorbikes. The walk is enjoyable with green hills, rivers, and stupas. We pass through Sonmagaon, cross the small river Mukdem Khola, and reach Tinje. Tinje is a big village and the people are predominately Tibetan Buddhist. The village has clinics, shops, and monasteries. Again, our camp is on a riverside amid a natural setting.
It is a day to rest and explore the village. It is a day the Himalayan Vacations Trek and Expedition team works to wash and clean. It is a day to bath in the river. The guide may organize a visit to a school where we can interact with local children, and/or to a Gompa monastery.
Crossing the Polte Khola, we follow the Panjyan Khola River. The path is more or less level and lies in a shallow ravine. We may see birds, vultures and animals such as Blue Sheep ,Yak, and the Mountain Rat if the days are sunny and humid. We stay overnight at Rakpa Khola.
The day begins by trekking along the bank of the river Khein Khola. Where the Lakkyam Khola River meets the Pandi Ladum Khola River, we follow the Lakkyam Khola. From the Lakkyam, we climb at first a gradual ascent to the Mo-La Pass. Approaching the Pass, there is a steep ascent for 20 minutes. From Mo–La Pass we see the Himalaya series of Jyanche Bhanjyang (5534m, Pindu Bhanjyang (5600m), and Kankun Bhanjyang (5564m). It is a long day of trekking and we do not eat hot lunches, but instead eat packed lunches. We camp at Charka Bhot.
Rest day. Charka Bhot is a typical, good-sized Tibetan Village. There is much to enjoy. Small shops and tea houses are available. Local people are very friendly. The village abuts fertile farm land and horses may be seen assisting in the harvest of crops. Chyanjun Khola River is the source of water for the village. The famous Sarchhen Gumpa is here. Here the Buddhists perform Sky Burials. According to the deceased’s birth date and life, a Buddhist lama will determine if the corpse will be given either to vultures, fire, water (the river), or to earth (with burial).
We follow the river Chharka Tulsi Khola. The path is rocky and snow may be seen. Blue sheep, Himalayan Rat, Yak, and donkeys are about. Horses and donkeys are along the route, being used for transportation. We stay overnight at Nulungsumade Kharka, at the meeting point of the two rivers.
The trek crosses Niwar Pass. The ascent is not particularly steep .The land here is in a rain shadow and is a desert, so there are no plants, but flocks of wild Blue Sheep, and sometimes a snow leopard may be seen. After Niwari Pass (5120m), there is a steep and narrow trail. Reaching Jungben La (5550m) we are treated to grand views. Trekking down, we cross Lsannimar Khola and we take lunch. We camp at Phedi Camp. From our camp, a beautiful village, Santa Jhyanse, is seen.
Today, we start to climb down from Phedi and we reach to Kyalunpa Khola. We cross Kyalunpa Khola and we start to climb up. We can see shrubs trees and vultures etc.Later, we follow up and down trails and somewhere plain.We cross Jharche Khola and again we follow the plain route and reach beautiful Santa Village. Santa village is medium size village where there is schools local shops.The occupation of people is agriculture, so wheat , barly ,cauli flower , potatoes and cabbage are produced.Yak and sheeps are the domesticate animals there There is offroad upto Santa village so , jeeps and four wheel vehicles are available there for transport .However horse riding service is available there..People follow Buddhism there and there are some stupas too. We stay overnight here.
We start walking from Santa Village today. We climb up about 2 hours and reach the offroad . We follow off road walking alongside the of road to Bhima Lojun La pass (4460m). We cross Bhima Lojun La pass and we start climb down with narrow trail with shrubs and trees . We cross Kaligandaki reach Kagbeni which is also famous by it’s name Coca Cola trekking route.Kagbeni is a famous town situated at the boarder of Upper mustang . Kagbeni is in Annapurna Conservation area where ACAP check point is also set and there is stupas , monasteries, health post tea houses and shops.People produce potatoes , barley wheat , cabbage , cauliflower etc. Yak , sheeps are domesticate animals there. It is famous for apples too which is also the main agriculture production of Kagbeni.The religion of people is Buddhism. Previously, there were amazing culture of having common wife of two or more than two brothers in a famile however it is vanished nowadays. We stay overnight here.
Today , we start our journey from Kagbeni. We have two options from Kagbeni, either we walk from Kagbeni to Jomsom about 3 hours and catch the flight for next day .On the way we can find Saligram. On this day, we follow some part of offroad too and reach Jomsom and have visit of beautiful city Jomsom.Jomsom is a natural city which lies at the lap of beautiful himalays like Dhaulagiri, Annapurna south and Tukuche peak etc. We cannot catch flight on the same day form Jomsom to Pokhara because there are no afternoon flights from Jomsom as there is high speed wind blows . On this day ,we stay overnight at lodge at Jomsom and we fly to Pokhara the next day.
Or we have another option that we take vehicle and travel to Pokhara. The part of road contains offroad and travelling is exhausting too. We can see popular villages Tukuche, Marpha,Ghasa ,Dana , Tatopani and Beni of old trekking trials By road transport we need 9 to 10 hours to reach Pokhara and we stay overnight at Pokhara. with flat roofs. It’s raining here so much we camp in a field above the village and we can meet with several villagers, as they are still present in the village.
From here we can either fly or travel by jeep/bus. Honestly saying the road is not so good. If we choose the road transportation, we stop at Tatopani for a night to have hot spring bath which gives us complete relax to our body which is almost fully exhausted due to the long and hard trek. So, it takes 2 days to reach Pokhara from Jomsom. But if we choose the air transportation then we reach Pokhara within 20 minutes.
Pokhara, full of natural beauty, is a great little town to relax from the exhaustion of the hard journey that you completed right now. The climate over here is extremely pleasant, the views round the valley is splendid. We can also enjoy swimming in the lake enjoy all kinds of tasty dishes in the restaurants in the lake side.
We take a bus that runs smoothly for seven hours back to Kathmandu. It is afternoon so we can go for looking around, shopping or prepare ourselves for the flight back to home country.
This day is free too. If you wish, a sightseeing trip to the ancient temple/king’s seat of the world heritage site of incredible Bhaktapur can be arranged. The tour lasts 4 hours, and will cost an additional upcharge. In the evening, a Farewell Dinner is given by Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition.
Today, we check the list of all necessary documents and goods of our guest. We confirm the flight tickets before 72 hours of departure flight. We advise our guest to put passport and tickets at their handbag for convenience. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition staff representative will take our valuable guests to the airport (3 hours prior to your flight) and bid goodbye. It will be not only goodbye, but also the welcome for next visit to Nepal.
Max Altitude: 5550 meters
Best Season: May – October
Difficulty Level: Hard
It is called the winter season in Nepal. It is a season for snowfall in mountain region above 4300m in Nepal. So trekking is possible below 4500m during this period. This season is noted for occasional snowfall at higher elevations in Himalayas. Though it gets colder in night, often it offers the clear day / blue sky and relatively less trekkers on the trail.Sunrise and Sunset are seen very clear and beautiful in this season. So tourist who wants to pass short holidays during this period Himalayan vacation Treks and Expedition welcomes to see splendid view of nature. During this period, we arrange family tour to experience natural beauty with short hikings and cultural tour.It is suitable for homestay tour through which different rituals and culture can be experienced during this period. The famous homestay like Sailung Timal homestay,Timal homestay, Tamang Heritage Homestay, Ghalegaon Homestay are the special places to visit. Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition arranges tour for this places. Chitawan National park Bardiya National Park are also the places to have live experience of culture and rituals.
It is spring season which is known as trekking season in Nepal. A smooth wind and gentle breeze is felt all over the country. Sunny days and clear weather are the supportive factors for trekking in this season. Presence of cloud can be seen in the sky during this season.So a short rainfall can be felt during this period. It is the season of expedition and climbing high peaks in Nepal .So many tourist from different parts of the world come to climb peaks above 7000m in this season. Himalyan Vacation Treks and Expedition arranges tour and journey for climbing during this period.Peak climbing period can be enlength upto June so Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition arranges attractive programmes during this period.This period offer plenty of opportunities for clear mountain views. It is also the time for flowers to blossom, and the national flower of Nepal – rhododendrons – coat the mountainsides with its colorful beauty throughout the spring.Except rhododendrons , many kind of natural flora and fauna makes Nepal very beautiful during this season
It is rainy season in Nepal. As it is the season of heavy rainfall. it is also known as the crops harvesting season in Nepal. In this season, trekking is slight difficult in Nepal. These times are blessed for the keen botanist as the higher valleys and meadows blossom with flowers and lush vegetation. Trekking in the rain-shadow (places are out of reach of the rain clouds because of the high mountains) areas north of the Himalaya like Upper Mustang and Dolpo could be an ideal trek selection. However, Himalayan vacation Treks and Expedition arranges tour and trek during this period in dry areas. We arrange treks and tour in dry areas like Mustang , Upper Dolpa , Leh Ladakh (India) and Tibet.
Moderate temperatures, clear sky with outstanding views, making it a great time to do any of our trek. Occasional short storms may dump snow at high altitudes.This is the season of feast and festivals. This is also known as the special season for flowers in Nepal. Marigold is the popular and found best in this season. Temples and holy places are visited during this period. Festivals like Dashain , Tihar and Chhath are celebrated during this season. Long national holidays are offered for this festival for civil workers. This season is known as the king of the season. No rainfall, sunny days and moderate temperature are the most favourable factors of this season for treks and tours in Nepal.Every kind of treks and tours can be done during this period.So many tourist come to see beautiful Nepal in this season. Many trekking routes are full of tourist during this season. Peaks 6000m to 7000m are the best destination for climbing in this season.Himalayan Vacation Treks and Expedition welcomes tourist to feel the splendid view of nature of Nepal in this season.
This list is a guideline to help you pack for your adventure. Please understand that the items listed below will vary according to the season and the duration of the trek. The weight limit for your luggage is 33 pounds or 12 kg. Your gear will be carried by your porter and you will be required to carry your own day-pack (with your valuables and things of immediate importance to you). We also suggest that you pack only what is necessary. Our list of equipment is prepared on the basis of our long experience. The Himalayan Vacation Trek & Expedition Team leader will check your gear to insure you have all necessary equipment at the start of the trek. If necessary, the HVTreks’ guide will request additions of necessary equipment when and where it is available.
Important documents and items
Rucksack and Travel Bags
-Note: In the larger towns and cities of Nepal, pharmacies have available common over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Western/foreign brand name products and prescription drugs are not. We suggest you bring the pharmaceuticals you use in enough quantity.