Pick-up at Tribhuvan International Airport, meeting with your guide and transfer to the hotel. First impressions of Kathmandu (1 350 m) – walk to medieval Kathmandu Durbar Square and explore the beautiful complex of palaces, temples, shrines and courtyards built by the ancient Nepali kings between the 12th and 18th century. We bring you to our office and Thamel - the vibrant tourist area with hotels, restaurants, bakeries and outdoor shops. We get to know each other over a welcome dinner, check formalities and equipment and discuss your itinerary.
Today we discover the highlights of Katmandu and the valley. We adapt the programm to your interests and desires or what you have seen on a previous visit to Nepal. Usually, we go to Pasupatinath on the bank of the Bagmati River, where the most important Hindu temples and burning ghats of Nepal are situated. In Bouddhanath we circumambulate together with Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist pilgrims the whitewashed stupa. Our sightseeing usually ends in Patan, the city of Beauty, an astonishing center of fine art and Buddhist and Hindu culture.
You board a local charter bus for 5 hours on the road between Kathmandu and the historic town of Gorkha, the start of your trek. The road follows the beautiful Trisuli River for much for the route. By lunchtime we will reach Gorkha at about 1 200 m where the palace of Prithvi Narayan Sha the founder-king of Nepal is now a holy schrine. Here the porters and guides, who have shared your ride from Kathmandu, will help unload the bus. Off will come duffel bags, food, kitchen, equipment and tents. Then our trek will begin. We start by climbing to the palace of the old Gorkha king perched on a ridge above the town. After a 2.5 h walk we arrive at the campsite near Kalika Temple.
Today’s hike takes around five hours and offers lovely views of the Gorkha Himal. We enjoy a scenic farmer area including orange and banana trees, rice terraces, corn fields. The settlement of Kanchok (927 m) village is tiny has been created for tourist camping and has a few shops selling essential supplies.
We continue our way through cultivated terraced hillsides and villages. The trail ascents and descents to Buri Gandaki stream which we will follow the coming days. When we reach the Maudi Khola we enjoy our lunch at the riverbank. After 4.5 h pleasantly walking across streams and fields we reach Arughat Bazaar (514 m). Arughat is the second largest hill town in the Gorkha district and is particularly distinctive and beautiful, being bisected by the Budhi Gandaki River in the centre. We show our travel permits at the when we enter the Bazaar and settle down at our pleasant camping place.
We follow the stone-paved street north through the bazaar, passing a hydro-electric plant and follow the path through millet and rice fields to Maltar. The next section is forested and many monkeys swarm here. Soon we reach Sante Bazaar, where there is a group of shops and thatched houses and also a shady pipal tree, from where you have a good view of Sringi Himal (7 187m) up-valley. At this point the trek becomes harder as the valley grows steeper and the trail crosses the Arket Khola via a suspension bridge and passes the shops of Arkhet (760m). The stone-paved trail climbs through fields and across an outcrop of rock. After we walk down to a cascading waterfall and climb steep up to the Gurung and Magar village of Kyorpani situated at 820 m. The path then comes down the Soti Khola (710 m) where we camp at a small cozy camping site. The valley of Soti Khola is famed for her natural honey.
As we continue the environment changes, the valley becomes narrow and we now trek through beautiful sal forests. The valley opens again and then we climb above huge rapids on the Buri Gandaki on a trail blasted out of vertical rock walls. We head down again to the river and traverse to the village of Machha Khola (900 m) where we prepare our camp after 7 hours walking .
Today we will do typical Himalayan hiking with many ups and downs over ridges, across streams, along meandering gravel bars and up steep valleys. We reach the hot springs in the centre of the small, terraced village of Tatopani and enjoy the hot water. A mild climb through the woods past some spectacular waterfalls brings us to Doban (1 000 m), where we lunch. From this point the trail climbs high above Buri Gandaki to descend again into the wide valley. After 6 hours walking we reach the beautiful flagstone village square of Jagat (1 410 m). We camp in the centre of the village, on a beautiful grass field where you can buy a cold beer in the nearby shops.
After descending a long “Gurung staircase” to the Buri Gandaki, we climb a terraced hill to Saguleri, from where we have spectacular view over the Sringi Himal (7 187 m. ) At Gata Khola we cross the river again via a long suspension bridge and climb up to Philim, a large Gurung village with fields of corn and millet and the headquarters of the Manaslu Conservation Area Project. We visit the information center. We climb further up to Nyak (2 340 m) and arrive our camp after 7 hours hiking.
Beyond Eklai Bhattim our route enters a narrow, dramatic gorge with towering walls and a thundering waterfall. We cross the river several times by suspension bridges and leave the canyon at the village of Deng. In Deng we enter the Nubri region, which is inhabited by Gurungs who practise Buddhism. The Buri Gandaki valley turns from norh-south to east-west and the route has now crossed the main Himalayan range. We face more elevation gains and climb continously through forests and corn and wheat fields until we reach our camp, Ghap situated at 2 380 m. Since the upper Buri Gandaki region is inhabited by Buddhists, chortens - Buddhist shrines -, mani stones and walls and kani – village entry gates- will dot the landscape now. The mani stones around Ghap are particulary outstanding. Walking time: 4 h.
We ascend through dense forest of fir, rhododendron, bamboo and oaks, alive with birds. We cross the Buri Gandaki over a wooden bridge and continue our way over staircases. We can be watched by langur monkeys or the danphe, the colorful impeyan pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. We start to enter alpine territory and are treated on close-up views of Manaslu (8 156 m) and Ganesh (7 221 m). We eventually reach Namrung, the first village in Nubri, a region of purely Tibetan inhabitants by lunchtime after 5 h hiking.
Above Namrung the valley opens aout and the views get spectacular as Manaslu (8 150 m), Manaslu North (7 774 m), and Naike Peak appear at the head of the valley. In the villages, the stone houses are clustered together and share a common roof, and the people dress in Tibetan chubas - thick, woolen wraparound robes. The strange – looking platforms in the fields are watchtowers where villagers spend sit all night to scare bears away from the crops. We set up camp in Lho (3 180 m), a lively, sprawling village with a new chorten and a small gompa (monastery). From our camp we have breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset over Manaslu and Manaslu north.Walking time: 5 h.
We continue our climb onto a plateau and enjoy white vistas of Himalchuli (7 893 m), Ngadi Chuli (7 879 m). After 4 h walking we reach our lunch and camp place Samagaon situated at 3 530 m. The gompa is visible in the distance, situated against a wooded moraine at the end of the village. The extensive village of Samagaon is nestled in the valley, at this elevation the only crops grown are potatoes and barley. The villagers keep herds of yaks and also a few horses. The big occupation here is weaving and we'll see women on looms working at their craft.
We have a rest day and acclimatization day in Samagaon. Acclimatizing is best done by being active; a great full day excursion is a hike to Manaslu Base Camp, where you will have stunning views of the lake, glacier and valley.
We walk up trough beautiful birch woods to Samdo (3 860 m), only 4 hours away. On the way we enjoy beautiful mountain views. We cross the river on a small bridge and river rocks, continue along the left side of the long mani walls at Kermo Kharka, and soon afterwards spot the entrance chorten of Samdo high on a cliff. Samdo is a nice village where you can learn about Tibetan lifestyle and culture.
We trek along a Tibetan trade route through Larkya and make a steep ascent to Dharamsala. Climbing through tundra and juniper opposite the Larkya Glacier which tumbles down from Manaslu North, we may hear and see avalanches roar down this peak. After four hours of climbing past more glaciers, through open plateaus with more mountain views we come to the campsite at Dharamsala, our last camp for the Larkya La pass. We lunch here, keep us warm and enjoy a quite afternoon, so we will be fit to cross the pass tomorrow.
Today we cross the Larkya La Pass (5 100 m), the highest point of our trek. During our trek we enjoy views on Cho Danda, Ganesh Himal and Larkya Peak (6 250 m). We continue across the moraines of the glacier and past frozen lakes. Often through snow - look for footprints from snow leopard or bluesheeps - we make a gradual ascent which becomes steeper only in the last section to the pass. The climb takes about 4 h and we’ll start early in the morning to make our trip safe. From the pass we get our first glimpse of peaks in the Annapurna Massif - Himlung Himal (7 126 m), Cheo Himal (6 820 m), Gyaji Kung (7 030 m), Kang Guru (6 981 m), and Annapurna II (7 937 m). The descent from the top starts out steep gradually getting easier the more it goes down. After 7 h we arrive at camp in Bimtang – plain of sand – situated at 3 590 m.
We descend 6 hours along glacial streams through beautiful pine and rhododendron forest. We cross fields, climb and descend a ridge to camp at Gho (2 560 m). In Gho you find the first teashop and lodges since Jagat. Part of Lamjung's peak is visible.
We descend to the Dudh Khola separating the Manaslu and Annapurna ranges. At Dharapani the route joins the Annapurna Circle Trek route and Coca Cola, beer, trekkers hotels appear frequently each day as well as a dozen of other westerners. You may experience a culture shock at this point. As we leave Dharapani we follow the main Annapurna Circuit trail and soon cross the Marsyangdi River. We continue along a high, winding, stunning cliff-side trail past several small teahouses at Khorte. We descend to the Marsyangdi River and traverse it again. In front of us we see the lovely settlement of Tal and the beautiful cascades.
We descend fast during the last 2 days, returning from Tal to the lush, subtropical jungle of Besisahar. In Besisahar (800 m) we set up our last campsite and celebrate our last night's party with the staff and porters.
We end our trek with a 5 hour long private bus drive to Kathmandu.
On this last free day you have plenty of opportunity to enjoy more sights in Kathmandu: you can make a daytrip to the splendid five storied Nyatapola Temple and exquisite woodcarvings like the Peacock window in medieval Bhaktapur, clim the long stairs to the stupa of Swayambhunath (Monkeytemple) or visit the sleeping Vishnu at Budhanilkantha. You can also shop, relax and drink coffee in the bakeries of Thamel or the Garden of Dreams. Traveltimes Treks recommends you plan one extra day at the end of your trekking in case in case of delayed schedules during your travel.
Transfer to Tribhuvan Airport – we hope you enjoyed your stay!
Chadar trekking was a fantastic experience and adventure... Until the 15th I only saw one tourist, but after 15th more people showed up. The guide Lama looked behind every time danger was near for me or for my equipment. At one point he even risked his own safety by when he jumped to hold me from sliding down from a high frozen waterfall into the Zanskar river.