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Kali-Gandaki Valley Trek

Trip Route: Ktm-Pokhara-Nayapul-Tikhedhunga-Ghorepani-Sikha-Tatopani-Kalapani-Marpha-Jomsom-Muktinath-Ktm
Max Altitude: 3,760 m. at Muktinath
Trip Duration: 16 days
Transportation: Car / Van / Tourist bus / Flight
Best Season: Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Oct, Nov
Kali-Gandaki Valley Trek

"between the massive 8,000 meters peaks, from the subtropics to the high alpine region, traditional warm culture, on the ancient Trans-Himalayan trade route, in the world's deepest gorge, charming villages and friendly locals, in one of the Hindu & Buddhist holiest place"

Trek follows one of the most ancient traditional route in the Trans Himalaya Trade Route or Salt Trade Route, passing through many interesting villages, local people, and traders, donkeys and mule trains. The trail also follows through beautiful enchanting forests of rhododendrons, oaks and pines with constant views of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri mountain range. From Tatopani onwards walk follows on the deepest gorge in the world between the two towering massifs of Dhaulagiri 8,172m and Annapurna 8,091m with only 35 km apart, turning the plunge to the Kali Gandaki at Tatopani from their high top peaks into a staggering 6,660m gorge. The trail at one time served as a major trade route linking India and Tibet. Yak caravans loaded with salt descended from the Tibetan plateau, whilst mule trains carrying grain headed up river from Nepal's hills, meeting halfway to barter their precious commodities. The Thak Khola region you enter after Tatopani was the centre of this vital and ancient tradition of trade. As you enter the cobbled streets of Marpha, you have entered another world, a reminiscent of the Tibetan Plateau. From Jomsom the trail stretches on the Kali Gandaki Valley and up towards Kagbeni and Muktinath Tibetan-like villages with the ruins of fortresses set in the upper reaches of the Kali Gandaki river Valley. Headquarters of the Mustang district, Jomsom is an important government centre. The location of a landing strip allows trekkers to fly in and out of Pokhara in a fraction of the time it took to walk in. In the heart of this sunny, magical valley lies Muktinath, one of the most sacred of pilgrimage places in all of Nepal. Here, the natural elements are displayed in miraculous form-flickering blue flames of natural methane gas burn on water, stone and earth in an offering said to have been first lighted by Brahma, the Hindu creator. After a peaceful stay here, the trek ends at Jomsom for the short twenty minutes flight back to Pokhara and then heading back to Kathmandu.
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Outline Itinerary Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu.1,300m. 
Day 02: A day in Kathmandu. 
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara 820m. 5-6 hrs. 
Day 04: Drive to Nayapul and trek to Tikhedhunga 1,450m. 
Day 05: Trek to Ghorepani 2,874m approx 5-6 hours walk.
Day 06: Trek to Sikha 2,200m. 3-4 hrs.
Day 07: Trek to Tatopani. 1,190m. 5 hrs.
Day 08: Trek to Ghasa 2,010m. 5-6 hrs. 
Day 09: Trek to Kalapani. 2,530m. 3-4 hours. 
Day 10: Trek to Marpha 2,670m via Tukuche 2,590m. 5-6 hrs.
Day 11: Trek to Jomsom 2,710m. 2-3 hrs. 
Day 12: Trek to Muktinath. 3,760m. 5-6 hrs. 
Day 13: Trek to Jomsom. 4-5 hrs. 
Day 14: Fly to Pokhara and to Kathmandu. 
Day 15: In Kathmandu. 
Day 16: International Departure.
Service includes
  • Free pick up and drop by car/van/ from/to international airport. Hotel in Kathmandu
  • All meals during the trekking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Dessert with tea/coffee).
  • Lodge accommodation during the trekking.
  • One highly educated, experienced, first aid trained, fluent English speaking, friendly and government authorized trekking
  • guide and required porters (one porter for two clients).
  • Guide/ Porter's food, accommodation, salary, insurance, transportation and equipments.
  • Both way Luxury tourist bus (green line) Kathmandu/Pokhara/kathmandu.
  • Annapurna conservation area project ( ACAP) and Trekking information management system(TIMS) card.
  • Two nights Luxury 3*** hotel in Pokhara.
  • Trekking equipments as sleeping bag, down jacket etc.
  • Farewell dinner in Nepali chulo.
  • First aid medical box.
Service does not include
  • All meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara except farewell dinner and breakfast.
  • Hard and soft table drinks such as coke, fanta, mineral water, beer.
  • Personal Travel insurance.
  • Rescue operation.
  • International airfare and tax (approximately $ 24).
  • Nepal tourist visa fee ( $ 25 for 15 days and $ 40 for 30 days multiple entry visa).
  • Tips for guide and porter.( They highly expect but not compulsory).
Detail Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu.1,300m. 
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport you will be received by our staff and will escort you to the Hotel, where our guide will give you a brief orientation of the Hotel, Kathmandu, Trekking, do's and don't and other related information that you might require while in Nepal.

Day 02: A day in Kathmandu. 
After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about the time for your half day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest. Sometime, depending upon your flight arrival if it's late in the night we will do this tour in the afternoon instead of morning to give you a nice rest before you venture out of the Hotel for our interesting tour.

Day 03: Drive to Pokhara 820m. 5-6 hrs.
An early start by the main east-west highway leading towards west to Pokhara, Nepal's second largest city and a remarkable touristy spot. Leaving the city suburb the road climbs to the valley rim and begins its descent along the Trisuli River valley. This scenic journey drives takes us on the long winding road through many villages and farmlands. As the drive continues one can have a glimpse of Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna snow capped peaks.

Day 04: Drive to Nayapul, begin trek to Tikhedhunga 1,450m. 
An hour or more drive after breakfast takes you up the newly built Chinese highway to Nayapul (new bridge) where we begin the (approx 3-4 hours) trek, in the beginning the trail passes through the busy areas where you will encounter all types of people from merchants, traders, local, trekkers, mules and donkey trains, as you come to Bhirethati village the trail splits into many ways, our route follows the main trail on the ancient trans-Himalayan trade route, from here trek passes through many farm villages and waterfalls till Tikhedhunga is reached for the overnight stop, a good first day walk of approx four hours.

Day 05: Trek to Ghorepani 2,874m approx 5-6 hours walk. 
From here the track leads to a steep climb for nearly two hours on the stone steps unto Ulleri village, after Ulleri the trail winds up gradually passing through the cool rain forest for few hours, as the trek comes near to Ghorepani, you will be gaining altitude as you can feel the cool breeze and the change in vegetation, walk continues through the rhododendron forest till Ghorepani Deurali village is reached for the overnight stop with superb views of Dhaulagiri mountain range.

Day 06: Trek to Sikha 2,200m 3-4 hrs walks.
Early morning, an hour hike from Ghorepani to the top of Poon-Hill (3,210 meters), if the morning is promising with a clear sky and it’s worth the walk uphill for the beautiful sunrise over the superb panorama of the Himalayas from Mt.Dhaulagiri-Mt.Annapurna to Mt.Manaslu range, after a wonderful time at Poon-Hill, return back to Ghorepani for breakfast. From Ghorepani the track descends through rhododendron and magnolia forest to Chitre & Sikha villages for the overnight stop with time to visit the Sikha village or just marvel the surrounding views.

Day 07: Trek to Tatopani. 1,190m. 3-4 hrs walks.
A pleasant walk on the downhill path leads through Ghar Khola, after crossing the river, route leads upstream following the Kali-Gandaki River all the way to the Tatopani Village. Tatopani (Hot Spring) situated near the banks of the Kali Gandaki River and it is etiquette not to pollute these pools by using soap in them. Here you will have time to immerse in these hot pools.

Day 08: Trek to Ghasa 2,010m. 5-6 hrs. 
After a pleasant stay at Tatopani, trek leads you along the gorge of the 
Kali Gandaki River, the trail is gradual most of the way with few ups as you come to the spectacular Rupsi Charra (waterfall). After passing by this beautiful waterfall, the path is spectacular with carved out of the cliff side. Climbing up to the ridge and then descending again towards the same river. At the bottom cross the bridge over Kali-Gandaki River another hour of nice walk brings you to the beautiful Thakalis village of Ghasa for the overnight halt.

Day 09: Trek to Kalapani. 2,530m. 3-4 hours. 
After Ghasa, two hours of good walk leads along the western bank of the Kali-Gandaki river and crossing the Lete kola (stream) river and passing through the village of Lete , a short climb from Lete reaches to another nice village of Kalapani for the overnight stop and for lunch, along with the magnificent view of the Dhaulagiri and its icefall to left and to the right Nilgiri's near the peaks of Annapurna I, at Kalapani afternoon at leisure.

Day 10: Trek to Marpha 2,670m via Tukuche 2,590m. 5-6 hrs.
From this village, the walk is gradual most of the way, then reaching back to the Kali-Gandaki River Valley, where there is a two path one for the winter dry season and the other long one by crossing the suspension bridge for the rainy season, most probably at this time of the year will be taking the short route to Larjung through the Kaligandaki river valley using several log bridge to cross the rivers. After the bridge it is about an hour walk to the village of Larjung situated at the bank of the Kaligandaki river valley, with a brief break here, journey continues for another hour to our overnight stop at Tukuche village, the trail meanders past the village of Larjung just 50 meters above from the river, passing through apple orchard and eventually reaching at Tukuche village, nestled just beneath the great peak of Tukuche and the towering Mt.Dhaulagiri. From Tukuche, two hours of nice walk will leads to the charming village at Marpha for the overnight stop. 

From Marpha and Tukuche onwards are well into the Tibetan-like region; the trail passes through the sparsely vegetated areas of this windswept country, the Kaligandaki river lies below the main road. The walk continues on the wide path near the riverbed, fantastic view of the Nilgiri's on route to Jomsom. In the early afternoon the wind can be quite strong which continues till the late afternoon. 
With the overnight stop at this lovely Marpha village, here you will have time to marvel the surrounding view and the village and perhaps try the local apple products, cider-juice or a potent brandy.

Day 11: Trek to Jomsom 2,710m. 2-3 hrs. 
The trek from Marpha is well defined, but there are two routes depending upon the season, one is by the river bed which is 20 minutes shorter than the main higher route, the walk is gentle on the slow climb following the River upstream till Jomsom reached for lunch and for the overnight stay. Jomsom, the largest village town and the administrative headquarter of the whole Mustang zone. Jomsom with its airstrip is a thriving spot for both tourist and pilgrims.

Day 12: Trek to Muktinath. 3,760m. 5-6 hrs. 
From Jomsom, the trail leads on the Kaligandaki plains in the rainy season
the road diverts to the right bank of the river plain, the walk is very pleasant with few ups and down most of the way to the place of Ekale Bhatti (lonely inn) where at present there is three or four tea-houses, from here the path splits into two ways the higher up leads to Muktinath well the other one leads you to upper Mustang and Tibet via Kagbeni, from Eklebhatti the trail leads to an uphill climb with gradual section enroute to a place called Jharkot.

You will need to take things very slowly as Muktinath is at the height of 3,750 meter, the highest spot of this trek. Initially the route leads along the busy road that joins from Kagbeni, the road widens as passing through the interesting village of Jharkot, this place looks old and withered, as it was been for many hundred years ago untouched by modern civilizations, from Jharkot the trail climbs gradually for another hour and half to the holy place of Muktinath.

Muktinath, located in between the popular trek to Manang via the high pass of Thorang la and the trail also joins from upper Mustang region, in the auspicious time this place is flooded with pilgrims of both Hindu and Buddhist, a nice walk to the Temple of Muktinath and with its 108 water spout, which is also the source of Kaligandaki river. Superb views of Mt.Dhaulagiri, Tukuche peak can be seen from Muktinath itself including the Tilicho and Nilgiri's peaks to the left.

Day 13: Trek to Jomsom. 4-5 hrs.
Retrace the journey back to Jomsom passing the path to Kagbeni, leading straight to Jomsom with another two more hours for the final night of this great trek.

Day 14: Fly to Pokhara and to Kathmandu. 
A morning short sweeping scenic flight from Jomsom brings you at Pokhara, and then to Kathmandu, a panoramic view of the snow capped peaks can be seen from the plane, on arrival our staff will receive and escort you back to the Hotel.

Day 15: In Kathmandu. 
A free day in Kathmandu, please inform our staff if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley.

Day 16: International Departure.
Today as per your international flight time, keep your air ticket, and your passport handy. Our Office staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from this amazing country, Nepal.

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