Inner Dolpo circuit Trek | Shey Gumba Dolpo Highlights Trek

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Highlights

   Stunning Phoksundo lake

   Exotic village and Dolpo Pa culture

   Cross three high passes of 5,000 meters and above with a spectacular view over the snowcapped Himalayas

   Phoksundo Waterfall of 167 m high, Nepal highest waterfall

   The spiritual heart of Dolpo, Shey Gompa

   Chance to see the snow leopard, blue sheep, musk deer, and monkeys 

Overview 

Dolpo the region, one of the remote areas of Nepal covers 15% of the total area of Nepal. It has been arbitrarily divided into a Lower (outer) and Upper (inner) region. Inner Dolpa is a restricted area, located in the mid-western region of Nepal. It is a remote area with great wilderness. It is one of Nepal’s best trekking regions. It takes you beyond the tranquil Phoksundo Lake through ancient trading routes to the Tibetan border. Moreover, you cross high passes, steep valleys, and many more. Inner Dolpo trek takes you to the least explored, discovered, most remote, and alluring Northwestern corner of Nepal. You pass through Magar villages with lush green paddy fields surrounded by dense forests in the south of Dhaulagiri to Bhotia fortress helmets. Further, this trek takes you to gompas amid barren, windswept hills. This trek shows how much Nepal has to offer other than the popular trails to Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang. The hills along the ways are thinly populated and the trails the peaceful and quiet. Inner Dolpo is one of Nepal’s classic mountain treks. Inner Dolpo has a magical, mythical appeal. Century-old Buddhist traditions and interwoven with shamanistic influences are still an imperative part of daily life in Inner Dolpo. It’s a very strenuous hike. The route is most demanding as we transverse height in the excess of 5300m. i.e. you trek through three high passes, Kang La/Ngadra La (5350m), and some of the most remote territories in Nepal. You trek along with the tropical forests containing pine trees savor. The beauty of Phoksundo Lake and encountering the Bonpos at Ringmo best part of the trek. Trekking trail traverse through high passes. You witness the sacred Shey Gompas before coming across the ancient trading hub Dho- the perfect trek to see the whole Dolpo trek. This trek brings you to Shey Gompa. It is often referred to as the spiritual heart of Inner Dolpo. It is a magical place situated at the base of Crystal Mountain. And it is visited by hundreds of pilgrims each year. There is the largest number of foreigners that can enter Inner Dolpo each year. And currently, the most is put at 250 people. It makes a trek into Inner Dolpo a very special and exclusive experience. Thus, you get to stay above 4000 meters for a long time with a very cold night & unforgettable landscapes. And the views from the passes and the bonds with a very special untouched culture make it all worth it. Besides that, the villages and people you meet during this trek will leave an unforgettable impact on you.

Itinerary

The view of snow-capped mountain peaks greets you, as you fly into Kathmandu. Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, the Sunrise Adventure trek representative will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.   

From Kathmandu, we fly on any domestic carrier to Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj, a town in the western Terai, is very close to the Indian border and the Bardia National Park. It is a major transport hub for the western, mid-western, and far-western regions of Nepal. Overnight at a hotel or lodge.   

Today, we take a 35 minutes long flight in the morning to Juphal. Our trekking starts from Juphal. From Juphal we walk down over a small path among fields with wheat and vegetable to the Thuli Bheri River. We trek by the riverside and pass Roop Ghar with the water mill and finally reach the village of Dunai (2,150m). Dunai has a village school, a police check post, and some government offices. Overnight at Dunai.   

Today’s trek begins along the classic trekking route of Dolpo via Sulighar. It is a pretty much comfortable walk along the leveled trail. At the Sulighat Check-post, we must produce the trekking permit to Dolpo and the Shey Phoksundo National Park permit. From there we follow the trail beside Phoksundo River till Kageni. Then we trek through the tropical forest frequently emerging at isolated mid-hill like Jung and arrive at Shagta.  

We cross the bridge twice-once over the Phoksundo River and the confluence of Phoksundo Khola and Maiaba Khola at Shyangte. Now we begin to head north towards Chhepka. Trekking upstream along the trail beside Phoksundo Khola for a while we arrive at Chhepka. Overnight in tented camps.    

From Chhepka we trek in the opposite direction of the river flow to Amchi Hospital. Crossing the bridge over Phoksundo Khola twice. The trail goes high above Phoksundo Khola to Rechi (3,011m), as we approach closer to Kharka trekking along the amazingly peaceful region. Here we stop for the lunch and again hike along the riverside trail to Sulligad Dovan. We cross the bridge over the confluence of Phoksundo and Yulung Khola and arrive at Amchi Hospital.  

Amchi refers to the traditional doctors who heal infections and diseases using the herbal medicine found in Dolpo. Overnight in tented camps by side of Amchi Hospital.    

From Chhepka we trek in the opposite direction of the river flow to Amchi Hospital. Crossing the bridge over Phoksundo Khola twice. The trail goes high above Phoksundo Khola to Rechi (3,011m), as we approach closer to Kharka trekking along the amazingly peaceful region. Here we stop for the lunch and again hike along the riverside trail to Sulligad Dovan. We cross the bridge over the confluence of Phoksundo and Yulung Khola and arrive at Amchi Hospital.  

Amchi refers to the traditional doctors who heal infections and diseases using the herbal medicine found in Dolpo. Overnight in tented camps by side of Amchi Hospital.    

Today, we are joining the direct trail to Phoksundo Lake. We are climbing through a forest of big cedars onto Palam (3,710m), a winter settlement used by the people of Ringmo village. At the south end of the village, there is an entrance station for the Shey Phoksundo National Park. From there we descend on switchbacks to a ridge at 3,780 meters to the highest waterfall in Nepal. Our route then continues to Ringmo village. Very below Ringmo we cross a bridge and follow the trail to Phoksundo Lake. We camo at the national park camping ground west.   

Today is our free day. So we explore the area around Ringmo Village and the magnificent Phoksundo Lake. Ringmo is a charming village that lies on the shore of Phoksundo Lake, where the people practice the Bonpo religion. Whereas, Phoksundo Lake is such a beautiful place. It is famous for its magnificent turquoise color and spectacular scenery. There are many monasteries and Bon Po religious sites at the park    

Today’s we are having a particular part of the trek which is like a fantasy walk portrayed by a writer in their fiction novels. We climb along the narrow trail cut on a cliff standing vertically straight above Phoksundo Lake. Then this treacherously fascinating trail brings us to another side of Phoksundo. This trek is probably one of the best trekking days of Dolpo to Mustang trek. Then we slide down for ninety minutes along the beautiful forest to get to the Phoksundo. We trek along Phoksundo Khola, the river that feeds water to the lake to Sallaghari, the final part of today’s trek slides up to the beautiful campsite at Sallaghari. Overnight in the camps amongst a beautiful pine forest.   

Today, we trek almost three hours to reach Kangla Base Camp (4,100m).it is a relatively short trek. Our trek begins ascending the narrow defile of Tuk Kyakas River where the trail switches to the opposite side of the river several times. We cross the bridge over the river when we arrive at a place where the rapids of the river are calmer. We come across the wide valley after thirty minutes of walk from the bridge, followed by two hours of a walk along the canyon brings us to the potential campsite. A walk for a while further reaches the massive rock slab, which is Kang La (Mandala Camp), our campsite for the night

The trek to the top of Kang La Pass (5240m) is along the graveled trail uphill for three continuous hours. Though, all the efforts put to come up to the top of the pass rewards us with wonderful views. The eye feasting views from the Kang La Pass include Crystal Mountain, the most sacred peak in Dolpo which Dolpo pilgrims circumambulate each summer before the harvest. Shey Shikhar and Kang Chunne, both just over 6,000 meters are seen before descending steeply down to the valley floor and along the river. A red Chorten marks the entrance to Shey. Overnight at Shey Gompa

Shey Gompa (locally known as Shelri Sumdho Gompa) is said to be about 800 years old monastery, with murals inside and an ancient scroll describing the mythology behind the Crystal Mountain. Shey Festival, the summer festival observed by the people of Dolpo with huge enthusiasm is hosted at Shey Gompa. After the exploration of Shey Gompa, the trek begins to Namgung Gompa. It follows the trail beside Sephu Khola for almost a couple of hours. Typical Dolpo landscapes- barren and enchanting are during this part of the trek. 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 view of Mustang to the East, Tibet to the North, and Kanjiroba, Kagmara and Riu Dhukta, or the Crystal Mountain, to the West. Finally, almost 2hours of hike brings us to Namgung. Overnight at Namgung, a local nomadic herding settlement

We explore the monastery of Namgung set on the flanking cliff. The trek from Namgung 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, a beautiful village with lots of dry land surrounding hills, where Amchi tradition and Buddhism in Dolpo flourishes. From there we will head to Yangjer the richest monastery of this region. Initially, the trail steeply descends to the Nagaon Khola river bed. We finally reach Yangjer Gompa after 4 hours of a memorable trek from Saldang. Overnight at Saldang.   

Before beginning the day’s trek, we explore the oldest monastery of Dolpo-Yangjer, first blessed 1,000 years ago. Nestled in the twisted canyons of Panzang, Yangjer Gompa is known for nine major Chortens and twenty smaller dotted around with the imposing massive Chorten standing separate. Yangjer Gompa holds the image of most Buddhist deities which include Guru Rinpoche, Chenserig, Skhyamuni Buddha, Dorje Chang, Mahakala protector- Green Tara, and the Eight Medicine Buddha’s. After exploring Yangjer we trek for six hours and reach the village of  Komash.   

Trekking from Komash village, we might sight some endangered animals like a snow leopard or Blue sheep. The trail to Tinze is most of the time along with the leveled trial Tinze Khola and the way we pass small villages. After almost five hours of the comfortable hike, we arrive at Tinze. Size is the famous trading point in Tibet and has the first airport in the region. Overnight at Tinze. 

Today we trek toward Yak Kharka. Firstly, the trail to Yak Kharka chases the trail beside the Panjyan River to the small settlements of Chhamdang. Then trek along the river bank continues to the confluence of Chholtam Khola and Panjyan Khola. We cross the bridge over Thalum Khola, which flows from Thalum Lek, and arrive at Yak Kharka. Yak Kharka is an open grazing ground for yaks and sheep.   

We cross the bridge over Sulun Khola, as the trek begins. We arrive at Chhoila north Pass (5,040m), crossing the bridged over several streams. The tail to Chhoila North BC is a difficult trek. The top of Chhoila Pass is reached after an almost two hours steep climb, where the fascinating sights of Tokyu camps are seen. A downhill and leveled trail beside Chhoila Khola brings us to Tokyu. Overnight at Tokyu.    

Today is the free day at Dho Tarap. We will enjoy a nature tour and a cultural program of traditional Tibetan dances and songs presented by the villagers. Dho Tarap is a traditional agricultural village, surrounded by fields. It is a large village decorated with colorful prayer flags. Dho Tarap has a maze of mud-brick Tibetan houses which was featured in Eric Valli’s famous movie ‘Caravan’. This village is where Karma and his band of young Dolpo-pa and Thinley and his older group of Dolpo –pa, set off with their salt to trade for barley over the high passes. Including Ribo Bumpa Monastery & Drakmar Dewa Monastery, the vicinity around Dho Tarap has many other important monasteries which include Mekhyim Monastery, Dhoro Monastery, and a Bon Gompa of Shipichowk among others

The people in Dho are very friendly. The people closely resemble the Khampas of Tibet, the men with a ponytail and red tassel coiled around their head and women sport musk teeth necklaces. Overnight in Dho Tarap.    

Today, we are trekking a long distance. At the beginning of the trek, we walk along the flat trail beside Tarap Khola to Mirububane Khola Dovan. It's the confluence of Tarap Khola and Mirububane Khola. Then, the trek slides down to the bridge over Khola at Langa Camp. The trail continues to chase Tarap Khola with the charming view of arid landscapes. The trail emerges and crosses several villages like Sisaul, Gyamghar, Total, and Nawarpani as the trek goes further. We finally stop at Chhegur Cave. Overnight at tented camp     

Today’s trek begins on the trail that runs beside Tarap Khola. Slowly, the view in the area begins to change and the green forest starts to emerge. We slide up high above Tarap Khola to Lamchaur for a while. We descend the hill to Chhedhul Gompa, passing Lahini Odar. We arrive at Laisicap after a short walk along the trail beside Tarap Khola. We cross the bridge over the confluence of Tarap Khola and Thuli Bheri River. Then we trek along the green woodlands high above Thuli Bheri towards Tarakot. We cross the bridge over the small stream just before arriving at Tarakot. Overnight in a camp at Tarakot.     

On the last day of our trek, we are trekking on the trail that stretches beside Thuli Bheri River to Dunai via Lawan and Byasgad. The trail has a forested region on its west, Thuli Bheri River, and Cultivated terraced fields on its East. On reaching Dunai we have some lunch. Then from Dunai, the trail goes by the side of the Bheri river till Kalagawda. Now the trail ascends and in a couple of hours’ trek brings us to Juphal. Overnight at Juphal.

In the morning you fly to Nepalgunj enjoying the view of mountains valleys. After spending some time in Nepalgunj, you will be flying to Kathmandu. Overnight at Kathmandu hotel. 

It’s your last day of the Inner Dolpo Circuit trek whereas your last day in Nepal. Our representative will drive you to the airport for your flight home.

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