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Dolpo - The Bon Kingdom

Trip Route: Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Tarakot-Kami Gaon-Ringmo-Sumduwa-Dunai-Ktm
Max Altitude: 4000m
Trip Duration: 24 days
Transportation: Car / Bus/ Ban / Flight
Best Season: Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Oct, Nov
Dolpo - The Bon Kingdom

"on the old Trans-Himalayan caravan route, ancient Bonpo (pre-Buddhist) culture and on the legendry snow leopard trail, least visited area, Nepal's wild-wild west, ancient tradition and villages on the backdrop of the high snow capped peaks, serene forest and pristine lake"

Remote and less developed region – Dolpo Trek in Nepal is popular trekking areas, less explored by trekkers and few anthropologist and geographers have explored the area so far. The area was opened in 1989 when the southern part of Dolpo trekking region was started to arrange trekking groups. Peter Mathhiesen’s the snow leopard and Snell grove’s Himalayan Pilgrimage have contributed to the mystique and attraction of Dolpo. Laying midway between the Tibetan Plateau and the Dhaulagiri Himalayan range is one of the highest inhabited land of Dolpo regions.  Geographically a southern extension of Tibet, it lies within the borders of the kingdom of Nepal, since 1994 has been the country’s largest national park and conservation, the park sustains an profusion of wild life including Musk deer, Himalayan Blue Sheep and the legendry elusive Snow Leopard, as well as being home to a fascinating race of Tibetan Speaking people. The hardy highlanders of Dolpo are traders, exchanging barley for Tibetan rock salt and they take their yaks into the Tibetan plateau during the summer for grazing.
From Jhuphal Village, we starts this  massive journey, meeting interesting places and lands, people, cultures and valleys and jungles of pines, oaks and rhododendrons. The Dolpo trekking crosses viewing the massive snowcapped mountain ranges over Numala Pass at 5,400 meter will we arrive the Phoksundo Lake at Ringmo town in the Phoksundo national park. At Ringmo, the highlight of our trip we will have two nights here to take pleasure the beauties of the deep blue waters of the Phoksundo lake and the surrounding snow peaks of  Kanjibro Himal with wonderful visit to remote Tingmo village and Monastery. 
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Outline Itinerary Day 01: Arrive  Kathmandu.1,300m.via respective airlines.
Day 02: Half Day sightseeing tour in  Kathmandu.
Day 03: Fly from  Kathmandu to Nepalgunj & transfer to Hotel.
Day 04: Fly from  Nepalgunj to Jhuphal2,320m. Trek to Dunai 2,850m.
Day 05: Trek to Tarakot 2,850m. approx 5-6 hrs.
Day 06: Trek to Kami  Gaon. 2,543m. approx. 3-4 hrs.
Day 07: Trek to Tarap  Khola. approx. 3,450m. 4-5hrs.
Day 08: Trek to YAK KHARKA 3,850m near Lang chu or Pigo  Phu Cave.
Day 09: Trek to Dho  Tarap 4,090m. approx. 6 hrs.
Day 10: Rest Day at  Dho Tarap for acclimatisation and local hike.
Day 11: Trek to Tokyu  Gaon. 5 hrs.
Day 12: Trek  below NUMALA PASS.
Day 13: Cross NUMALA 5,190m and camp at PHEDI or Pelungtang.
Day 14: Trek and cross Baga La. 5,070m and camp on  the other side of the Phedi. Approx.4,470m.
Day 15: Trek to  Ringmo. 3,600m. 6-7 hrs.
Day 16: Rest Day at  Ringmo village.
Day 17: Trek to PUNGMO village. Approx. 3,320m. 3-4  hrs.
Day 18: Trek to  Sumduwa, approx. 3,400m. 5 hrs.
Day 19: Trek to Ankhe  2,896m 6 hrs.
Day 20: Trek to  Dunai. approx. 6 hrs.
Day 21: Trek to  Jhuphal.approx. 2-3 hrs.
Day 22: Fly  Jhuphal-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu.
Day 23: At leisure in Kathmandu.
Day 24: Transfer to  Airport for the International departure.
Service includes
  • Dolpo National Park Fee,
  • Trekking Map of Dolpo region
  • Full Board Plan (breakfast, lunch, dinner, accommodation, tea or coffee) during trek,
  • Join Nepali Cultural Program with dinner,
  • Hotel in Kathmandu as your requirements,.
  • An experienced licensed holder Guide and required porters
  • Food, drinks, salary, insurance, equipment, transportation, accommodation, and local tax for guide and porters,
  • Transportation by bus, car or by flight,
  • Medical kit box
  • TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management Systems)
  • Trekking Equipments
  • All government tax
  • All guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu and entry fees
  • All necessary transportation while sightseeing
  • Airport pick up and drop with an escort
Service does not include
  • All meals in Kathmandu 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 via respective airlines.
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 / Camping, do's and don't  and other related information that you might require while in Nepal.

Day 02: Half Day  sightseeing tour 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: Fly from  Kathmandu to Nepalgunj & transfer to Hotel.
As per the flight schedule for Nepalgunj we transfer to the  domestic airport for one and half hour scenic flight to Nepaljung. At Nepalgunj  we will have time in the late afternoon or evening to have a look around the  town which is situated on the southern Nepa border with India. Here it is quite  hot and tropical in character.

Day 04: Fly from  Nepalgunj to Jhuphal (Dolpo) 2,320m. Trek to Dunai 2,850m.
After a pleasant overnight at Nepalgunj, early morning transfer to airport  for the 45 minute flight to Jhuphal over the Himalayan foothills, with views of  Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks to the north. On arriving at Jhuphal our  trekking staffs will receive you, who have walked all the way from Nepalgunj  with the camping gear and food supply taking 5-6 days. Here at Jhuphal a short  2-3 hrs walk from the airstrip leads to our overnight camp at Dunai village.  Our first day adventure begins with an hour downhill walk through the village  below the airstrip, then leading through the terraced fields to the Bheri River  and the narrow gorge taking 2-3 hours to camp at Dunai. This is a much larger village or a small township, and a headquarter of the  Dolpo region. Here with ample time for leisure walk around the village.

Day 05: Trek to  Tarakot 2,850m. approx 5-6 hrs.
Today's trek leads through many small streams and then  follow the Bheri and Barbung river in a tremendous gorge with pine trees and an  ingenious path built about seven meter above the river, after a good walk  coming to Tarakot where colourful terraced fields greets us. Tarakot is an old  fortress town built by the local people as Dzong or fort. Tarakot was a capital  before Gorkha dynasty. The famed Sandul gompa lies farther east from Tarakot  and at the junction of Barbung khola and Tarup chu (river). The village stands  on a hillock to the south of Bheri River at one time supervised collection of  tolls for the trading caravans. Overnight camp is made by the river about 150m  below the village, near the police post or we climb a steep ridge for an hour  to the village on a spur, where there are chortens a gompa on the edge of  grassy plateau, with a solitary tree.

Day 06: Trek to Kami  Gaon. 2,543m. approx. 3-4 hrs.
Our route from here follows the Tarap chu river upstream,  crossing by bridge and criss crossing the same river twice. The path leads  through the farm terraces and rural villages of Sahartera and winding gradually  towards a small settlement of Kola after 3-4 hrs of good morning walk. From  this place descend with few ups to reach our overnight camp at Kamigaon with  another 2 hrs of trek, overnight camp near by the village backyard.

Day 07: Trek to Tarap  Khola. approx. 3,450m. 4-5hrs.
The trek continues walking up the gorge of the Tarap River,  at times alongside it, at others rising high above on a trail built out from  steep slopes. On the way we are likely to encounter people from Dolpo herding  their flocks of sheep’s and goats to lower pasture for the winter, on route  there are many possible campsite by the river. The walk is quite exciting as the valley becomes narrow  gorge that in some places you can jump from one side to another. Sometimes the  path vanishes for a while, making our own path across stone slabs fitted on  logs in between the walls which act as a bridge. The gorge also provides  unexpected adventure and thrills. In some places, the bridges are either  damaged or washed by the monsoon flood, and we may opt to cross the cold  torrent on foot, overnight Camp by the river near before Kamattarka village.

Day 08:Trek toYAK KHARKA 3,850m near Lang chu or Pigo  Phu Cave.
The walk from here leads to the upper valley following the  Tarap Chu (river) most of the way, the trek passes through the summer grazing  pasture and few farm settlements and criss crossing the same river twice  reaching to our overnight camp
near the tributary Lang Chu (River).

Day 09: Trek to Dho  Tarap 4,090m. approx. 6 hrs.
Morning walks begins with a gradual up leading towards  Kamattarka at the confluence of the Tarap Chu and Lang Khola, a stream flowing  from the east. After few hours of good morning walk leaving the narrow gorge,  from here the path leads just above tree lines for juniper bush and wild rose,  typical of dry inner Himalayan valleys. Another 3 hours or more walk brings us  to the village of Dho Tarap surrounded by an irregular stone wall. At Dho,  thirty -four houses are divided into three groups and built in a randomly way.  In this Valley both Bon Po and Chaiba sects reside together. Tarap is also  inhabited by few Tibetans and mostly Magars who have lived here for many  generations, overnight Camp by the village yard.

Day 10: Rest Day at  Dho Tarap for acclimatisation and local hike.
Well deserved rest day chance to make friends with the  locals who have hardly seen westerners for ages. The Dolpo people wear home  spun clothing that is sometimes dyed maroon and they favour Tibetan style somba  or dhocha (boots with upturned toes) for foot wear, both men and women often  wear religious amulets and strings of coral, amber and turquoise. The people of  the region are both Bon po and Nyingmapa of Buddhist sect. The Buddhist gompa  is nearby to the camp while the Bon Gompa (pre Buddhist) is about half an  hour's walk.

Day 11: Trek to Tokyu  Gaon. 5 hrs.
After a wonderful time here at Dho Tarap, journey continues  towards upper Tarap valley, the walk follows in this plain valley with patched  of lush verdant grass on both sides of the river, which is completely different  from other parts of inner Dolpo. The trek on this pleasant track leads by the  Tarap chu upstream all the way. Tarap is certainly a dream valley with vast  plains in high mountains extending twenty kilo meters along the river Tarap Chu,  having ten villages with cultivated fields of barley, buck wheat, wheat and  potato. After 3-4 hrs of good walk in this perfect tranquility coming to the  village of Tokyu, it has a monastery belonging to the Chiba sect. After a break  here our walk continues farther up this valley climbing up the rough track for  almost another three hours to reach our overnight camp beneath the Numa-la,  over night camp on the pasture field.

Day 12:Trek  below NUMALA PASS.
After a wonderful time here, our route diverts north-west  coming across sheep, goat and yak herders with great scenery of the surrounding  landscapes and finally coming to the base of Numa-la for the overnight camp  with afternoon free for extra hike exploring the near area.

Day 13: Cross NUMALA 5,190m and camp at PHEDI or Pelungtang.
Our journey continues with the crossing of Numa La pass at  5,190m, the track leads to steep climb all the way to the top ridge of Numa la  with great views of the surrounding landscapes scenery of valleys, mountains  including north face of the Dhaulagiri massif along with other distance snow  capped peaks, after a glorious moment at the pass, almost three hours of  downhill walk takes to Palungtang 4,465m or further for the overnight camp just  before Baga-la or Basi-la pass.

Day 14:Trek and cross Baga La. 5,070m and camp on  the other side of the Phedi. Approx.4,470m.
Trek continues with the crossing of Numa La pass at 5,190m,  the track leads to steep climb all the way to the top ridge of Numa la with  great views of the surrounding landscapes scenery of valleys, mountains  including north face of the Dhaulagiri massif along with other distance snow  capped peaks. after a glorious moment at the pass, almost three hours of  downhill walk takes to Palungtang or farther for the overnight camp just before  Baga-la or Basi-la pass, depending upon the duration of walk and fitness of the  people, if everybody is all right and on time, our trek might leads over the  Baga-la to camp on the other side of this pass making it easier for the next  day.

Day 15: Trek to  Ringmo. 3,600m. 6-7 hrs.
Morning trek starts with a steep climb to reach the ridge  top of Baga-la at 5,070m, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding  landscapes and of the distant snow capped peaks of Kanjiroba Himal range, after  a great moment here our walk leads to a descend for 2 hours through the pine  forest, on leaving the forest behind the country and the vegetation changes for  pasture field and alpine shrubs most of the way to Ringmo on the gradual slopes  with few ups and downs as we reach our final destination at Ringmo and the  crystal serene Lake of Phoksumdo.

Day 16: Rest Day at  Ringmo for a hike to Phokshumdo lake and around the  village of Ringmo.
The nearby Tibetan Buddhist monastery is well worth a visit,  as is the village of Ringmo. A walk part way round the lake is also very  enjoyable and relaxing.

Day 17: Trek to PUNGMO village. Approx. 3,320m. 3-4  hrs.
After a great time at Ringmo, today's short walk leads to  the edge of southern Phokshindo Lake and leaving the village, a short climb  with grand view of the lake below brings you to the overnight camp at Pungmo a  small village.

Day 18: Trek to  Sumduwa, approx. 3,400m. 5 hrs.
Return journey to Dunai will be via the southern route, the  walk climbs through birch forests to the ridge offering distant view of  Phoksumdo Lake and a spectacular 300 meter high water fall, the highest in  Nepal. The path leads to descend on the open country and then to Palam, a  winter settlement used by the people of Ringmo village, the houses here are  almost buried in the sandy soil. From here another two hours of good walk leads  to our overnight stop at Sumdawa, the path passes through the cedar forest and  crossing the Phuksumdo khola via a wooden bridge and then arriving at the end  of this day's walk at Sumdo village.

Day 19: Trek to Ankhe  2,896m 6 hrs.
From this camp, walk continues along the valley floor  following the river down stream to a bridge near Ryajik 2,940m, the trail here  becomes a collection of rocks and sticks that form a dyke along the river bank,  the walk climbs on the steep wobbly stone staircase from the river bank the up  hill path continues to the cliff and through the forest, traversing the grassy  slope high above the river, the walk finally enters the forest the path from  here onwards are more of up and downs in between and finally emerging at the  entrance of Shey Phuksumdo National Park at Ankhe for the overnight

Day 20: Trek to  Dunai. approx. 6 hrs.
The walk gets better as you loose the altitude day by day  and some time camping on almost the altitude of previous camp like at Dunai  which is mere forty meter lower from this place Ankhe. The three villages that  we pass through have a strange name connection: Parela, meaning eyelash,  Rahagoan meaning eyebrow village and Ankhe itself meaning eye. The path from  here follows to a large stream and then climbing through the deep dark forest  and passing into another side canyon and coming to the village water supply,  the Phuksumdo Khola. The trail continues on the lower part of Rahagaon, a  Thakuri village t 2,909m. There is a gompa dedicated to the local god, Mastha,  which overlooks the village. Our route from here descends to Dhera below the  stream, a winter settlement where people from higher villages keep herds of  cows and goats. From the stream leads trek leads to a gentle climb past  scattered houses and walnut groves coming out of the large side canyon, after  leaving the Phoksumdo river valley as the path leads past the ridge marked by  cairns at 2,499m with good view of Kagmara peak up the valley then descending  down the side of the treeless Thulo Bheri valley and walking past the hospital  to cross the new suspension bridge coming to the familiar statue of late King  Mahendra at Dunai for the overnight camp before Jhuphal.

Day 21: Trek to  Jhuphal.approx. 2-3 hrs.
Retrace the journey back to Jhuphal for the last camp of  this great memorable adventure.

Day 22: Fly  Jhuphal-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu.
orning time a sweeping wonderful flight a 35 minute to Nepalgunj over the  Himalayan foothills, overlooking stunning views of the main peaks including  Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the north. On arrival at Nepalgunj depending upon  the connecting flight schedule to Kathmandu.

Day 23: At leisure 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 24: Transfer to  Airport for the International departure.
Today as per your international flight time, keep your  confirmed air ticket and your passport handy. Our Office staff will take you to  the airport for your final departure from this amazing country, Nepal.

Useful Information

AREA  (3,555 SQ.KMS)

LOCATION:Shey-Phuksundo National Park  is situated in the mountain region of western Nepal, covering parts of Dolpo  and Mugu Districts. It is the largest national park in the country.

FEATURES:The park contains luxuriant  forests, mainly comprised of blue pine, spruce, cypress, poplar, deodar, fir  and birch. The Jugdula River valley consists mostly of Quercus species. The  trans-Himalayan area has a near-desert type vegetation of mainly dwarf juniper  and caragana shrubs.

The  park provides prime habitat for the snow leopard and the blue sheep. Other  common animals found in the park are goral, Himalayan Thar, serow, leopard,  wolf, jackal, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan weasel, Himalayan mouse hare,  yellow-throated marten, languor and rhesus monkeys.

The  park is equally rich in many species of birds, such as Impeyan pheasant  (Danphe), blood pheasant, cheer pheasants, red and yellow billed cough, raven,  jungle crow, snow partridge and many others.

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