Top 3 Monsoon Treks and Hikes in Nepal
In the month of June the summer heat is in Nepal its top form and there is no indication of monsoon raindrops till the first week of June. However, if you are travelling to Nepal or plan to travel during monsoon season June-September you can participate in many activities in Nepal. You can go for a short hiking/trekking or chose adventurous sports like rafting or bungee jumping or zip flyer. If you are a trekking lover then you can either go for trekking in a rain shadow area of Upper Mustang or can visit Lake City of Pokhara. There are unlimited activities that you can involve yourself in Nepal during your monsoon visit. If you are visiting Nepal in the mid of the monsoon then you can also participate in rice planting competition during July/August.
Normally the monsoon rain is active on night time but it pours also in a day and the monsoon turns the vegetation and scenery colorful more lush green and sometimes you will be surprised to have wonderful views of the mountains playing hide and seek with the clouds. However, people who wants to trek and want to see mountains and ancient Buddhist culture similar to Tibetan plateau area there are some places in Nepal like Upper Mustang, Upper Dolpo and Humla’s Limi Valley trek Kathmandu-Chandragiri.
1. Chitlang/Chandragiri Trek:
Duration- 2 nights 3 days.
Mode of Transport: Walking and Jeep or Public Transport
Accommodation Type: Homestay/Hotel
Kathamandu to Chandragiri-Chitlang trek is not so far from Kathmandu Valley but it is totally different. It is far away from the city humdrum and located only 22 Km away from the Kathmandu Valley. There is a newly build cable car connected to the Champadevi from Thankot, starting point of the Cable car stretched only 2.5 km at the altitude of 2550m. The entire view of Kathmandu Valley to high mountain peaks covered with snow and lush green forest makes Chandragiri a great destination. Views of Ganesh Himal, Langtang range,Gauri Shankar and Annapurna to Everest are the major attraction in the clear days whereas you can avoid the heat of the summer to make your holiday more enjoyable.
Historically Chitwan is an ancient village gifted by the ancient ruler’s to Shepherd known as Gopali’s and the community are still present till the day. In Chitlang Village, you can enjoy the homestay and visit one of the Sheep Farm and many caste, creeds and communities. From Chitlang, the walk to the Indrasarowar dam is just two hours of walking where you can enjoy a boat ride or take a hike around the dam. This dam is known as Kulekhani and it is one of the major dams for the electricity production in Nepal. Take a jeep or local transport ride from Kulekhani to Kathmandu generally takes two hours.
How to get there?
Take a bus ride to Thankot from Kathmandu and start your trek to reach Chandragiri or you can simply enjoy the newly opened Cable Car from Thankot to Chandragiri. Capture your moments in your cameras, take a lunch and continue your trek to Chitlang from Chandragiri. It will takes you two and half hours to reach Chitlang Village from Chandragiri. Stay overnight in the homestay at the Chitlang Village. Next day, take a breakfast and continue your hike to Indrasarowar or Kulekhani dam and enjoy boat ride. After the boat ride you can take a public transport or private jeep to return to Kathmandu which will normally takes two-and-half hour.
2. Upper Mustang Trek:
Duration: 2 weeks
Mode of Transport: Aeroplane, Bus/Jeep, Trekking
Accommodation Type: Hotel, Mountain Lodge, Tent
Upper Mustang lies on the north part of the Annapurna mountain range. It is located in Dhaulagiri zone of Nepal nearby Tibet and it also resembles Tibetan plateau semi desert area with mountains and hidden valleys and the major river flows in Upper Mustang area is Kali Gandaki river which main source is in Tibet. Upper Mustang is newly opened area for the foreigner visitors. Till 1992, it was forbidden area for the foreigners and nowadays people can travel there with a special permission from the Nepal government.
The semi desert mountain area is mesmerizingly beautiful and the residing population of this area is quite low in compare to other area of Nepal. Upper Mustang has influences of Tibetan culture and religion and people here practices Tibetan Buddhism since a long time. It was a walled Kingdom since 2008 but afterwards the tradition of King was stopped when Nepal is declared as a Republic on 2008 but people of Mustang still respect the Late King and continues their ancient traditions. It was once a silk road between India-Tibet-and Nepal till 1950’s. It is rain shadow area where the monsoon rain were stopped by high mountain area
How to enter in Upper Mustang?
There are many options available for Upper Mustang Trek. The first one is to take a direct flight from Pokhara to reach Jomsom. It is a 25 minutes flight from Pokhara with a wonderful view of Annapura, Dhaulagir, Nilgiri, Tuckuche, Manaslu ranges. Jomsom is a capital city of Upper Mustang then from Jomsom you can start a trek to Kagbeni. The distance can be covered either by walking or by jeep.
To enter in Mustang region, you need a licensed guide and special permit to enter in this area which is provided by any trekking agency in Kathmandu or in Pokhara. You can take a jeep directly from Kathmandu or Pokhara to start your trek. From Kagbeni onwards, the special trekking area of Upper Mustang starts and then you have to continue 11 days on these places Chuksang-Samar-Geling-Ghami-Charang-LoManthang-Ghami-Chuksang-Muktinath-Jomsom and back to Pokhara. Enjoy different landscape and influenced Tibetean Culture of Upper Mustang in Nepal.
3. NamoBuddha Village and Monastry Trek:
Duration: 2 night three days
Mode of Transportation: Bus/Car/Trekking
Accommodation type: Monastery stay/Resort/Hotel
If you are in Kathmandu, Nepal and looking for a short hike to breath a clean air, to meet local people, to meditate in a monastery with monks or to explore the village lifestyle Namo Buddha Village/Monastry could be a good option. It is only 45 km away from Kathmandu and situated in the top of the hill from where you can able to see the green valleys, mountain ranges, sunrise and sunset on the North-East part over the top of the Gauri-Shanker and Langtang mountain range.It’s a most important pilgrimage site for the Buddhist people where there is an ancient Stupa and a holy tree.
Believers believed that under the shade of the tree the generous Prince had donated his holy body as a food for a hungry tigress and its five pubs and then later on he was reborn as a Siddhartha Gautama in Lumbini as a Buddha. There is an outstanding views of the prayer flags hanging in the hilltop at the NamoBuddha.
How to Reach NamoBouddha?
Take a regular public bus from Kathmandu-Dhulikhel.. Visit old town of Dhulikhel and then continue your walk to Dhulikhle Bhanjyang to climb 1000 steps which leads to Shanti Ban at the middle of the Dhulikhel hill. After climbing 10 more minutes you will reach the top of the Dhulikhel hill where there is a view tower (now damaged by 2014 earthquake).
There is a arrow landmark in the top of the hill which will show you the way to go to Namobouddha. Going downwards to the village takes you to Namobuddha Bhangyang. The distance to Namobouddha from Bhangyang is 5 km. Taking a shortcut upper route to avoid traffic. The second option is you can either take a taxi or a private vehicle to reach Namobouddha and stay in a monastery for a night or then return back to Kathmandu passing through the old ancient Newari town of Panauti and then take a bus ride to Kathmandu.