Langtang & Helambu Trek

Langtang and Helambu region trek is a superb introduction to trekking in Nepal among some of the most beautiful scenery trek in the whole country. Both Langtang and Helambu lying very close to Kathmandu, they are the most easily accessible highland sanctuary from Kathmandu. The trek starts from Syabru Besi. The trail gradually ascends upstream along the Bhote Kosi River, passing through the forests of the Langtang valley to the alpine meadows and yak pastures around Kyangjin. After an ascent of Kyangjin Ri (4,350m), from where the 360 degree mountain views are truly spectacular, the trail goes to Thulo Syabru. From here, we further trek to the sacred Gosainkunda Lake situated at an elevation of 4,336m and to Kathmandu via the lovely Helambu region.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Flying to Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is in itself an exciting and memorable experience. As you fly, the panoramic view of snow-capped Annapurna mountain range greets your sight. The Nepali support team will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu Valley is one of the richest cities of Nepal, both historically and culturally. It has always been a popular destination for tourists. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. Western Influence because Kathmandu used to be hippies favourite place in the world during hippie era. Patan and Bhaktapur, its two major neighbouring cities bear immense historical, cultural and religious significances. There will be a half day guided tour to the famous and biggest Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath, the 15th century Palace of 55 windows and Swoyambhunath.

Day 3: Kathmandu to Syabru Besi (1,400m)
From Kathmandu we drive to Syabru Besi. We reach a beautiful village on the banks of the river Trishuli. We can have panoramic view of the Himalayas, including the Annapurnas, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and the peaks of the Langtang region.

Day 4: Syabru Besi to Lama Hotel (2,748m)
We pass through the ridge on Syabru Besi’s main road and soon reach Ghopcha Khola. Terraced fields and dense forest with a variety of plant species like oaks, maple, alder and bamboo open up. If we are lucky enough, we may get to see yellow-throated martin, wild boar, langur monkey, red panda and Himalayan black bear en route. Further on, the trail crosses a stream and a bridge. We pass by several small tea shops. As we continue ascending steeply along the trail, we come across a steel suspension bridge at 2,000m. The route further crosses to the north bank of the Langtang Khola amid the spectacular vistas of cascading waterfalls and opens into scrub oak forest. On reaching 2,748m, we arrive at Lama Hotel where we conclude the trek for the day.

Day 5: Trek to Langtang village (3,500m)
We then continue the ascent above the Langtang Khola from Lama Hotel. As the trail progresses, it becomes steeper. We have the most exotic sights of Mt. Langtang Lirung lying at 7,246m. The trail leads to a log bridge and on climbing further, we come across lush fields of Ghora Tabela at 3,000m. We will see several lodges and a police check post. Further on, the route opens up into a wide valley of yak pastures and scattered Tamang villages with water-driven mills and prayer wheels. We arrive at Langtang village after crossing a stream and reaching up a height of 3,500m. Langtang village is the headquarters for Langtang National Park and has flat-roofed Tibetan style houses, hotels and cultivated lands yielding buckwheat, potatoes, wheat, turnips, barley etc.

Day 6: Trek to Kyangjin (3,800m)
The trail skirts gradually through rich yak pastures and interesting traditional villages of Muna to Singdun. We cross a wooden cantilever bridge and reach a wide valley after climbing a moraine. Finally, on ascending the mountain passes, we arrive at Kyagjin Gompa. There is a small monastery and a government-operated cheese factory.

Day 7: Exploration in Kyangjin
We take a day off for acclimatization and a proper rest. We get to explore interesting places like the monastery, cheese factory etc. We can climb Kyangjin Ri located at 4,350m from where amazing views of snow-capped mountains are spreading right next to you. We can walk up the moraine to see the spectacular mountain ridges and undulating glaciers.

Day 8: Trek to Lama Hotel (2,784m)
From Kyangjin, we take the route back to Lama Hotel. As we retrace our steps, we follow the Langtang Khola to Langtang village and on to Ghora Tabela. We stop briefly for lunch and thereafter continue the steep descent to Lama Hotel.

Day 9: Trek to Thulo Syabru (2,130m)
From Lama Hotel, we head back to Thulo Syabru. We can wander around the undulating path leading to the village. This gives us an opportunity to get an insight of the culture and custom of the Tamang community. We can also simply relax in the sun savoring the beauty of the majestic Himalayan Mountains.

Day 10: Trek to Sing Gompa (3,254m)
The trail to Sing Gompa climbs through forests of oak, firs and rhododendrons, then cuts across the ridge top, staying fairly level in forests as it crosses the head of a valley. We take the uphill trail at each junction and cross another forested edge. The trail continues across the head of a second valley, and then reaches a final ridge at 3650m. Sing Gompa is about 100m along the trail to the left. Sing Gompa is the main attraction at Chandan Bari, which also has several hotels and a small cheese factory.

Day 11: Trek to Gosainkunda (4,336m)
From Sing Gompa we climb a ridge to gain the main Gosainkunda trail. The trail climbs steeply up the ridge. There is rich, moist mountain forests on the northern slopes and dry scrub vegetation on the south. As the trail ascends, there are outstanding views across Langtang valley to Langtang Lirung. To the west there are dramatic views of Himalchuli, Ganesh Himal and Manaslu. Eventually the trail descends from the ridge to the first of three lakes, Saraswati Kund. The second lake in the chain is named Bhairab Kund, and the third, Gosainkunda. This lake is particularly sacred and a place of pilgrimage in the summer. The Gosainkunda (Holy Shiva's lake) is a high altitude lake. According to the Hindu legend Lord Shiva himself created this high altitude lake from the glacier to quench his thirst after drinking the poison to save the world from destruction.

Day 12: Trek to Gopte (3,359m)
The trail passes the northern side of Gosainkunda Lake and climbs further through rugged country towards Laurebina La Pass at 4610m. The trail is rough but it is well marked with rock cairns. Across the valley, there is a ridge with a step trail across its face. From the ridge, the trail descends through forests, climbing in and out of ravines across the head of the valley. Giant cliffs tower far above, forming the top of the Thare danda. Just beyond is the settlement of Gopte at 3,359m.

Day 13: Trek to Mangan Kharka (3,285m)
We continue descending along the ridge, through rhododendron and juniper forests and past herders' huts at 3,490m to a stream before climbing to Tharepati. From Tharepati the trail gradually descends through pine and rhododendron forest with good views down into the Helambu valley and across to Jugal Himal and Numbur in the Solu Khumbu.

Day 14: Trek to Gulphu Bhanjyang (2,125m)
From Mangan Kharka, it is a short climb to cross a ridge before following a very easy trail through forest with superb views across to Numbur, Jugal Himal and many other snow capped peaks. From Kutumsang we climb to a pass at 2,620m., before descending to the Tamang village of Gulphu Bhanjyang. From here, we can get splendid views, stretching from the Annapurnas and Manaslu in the west to Numbur in the east. Gulphu Bhanjyang is a village with a mixed population of Gurungs and Tamangs. There are shops and small restaurants and a couple of government offices.

Day 15: Trek to Chisopani (2,194m)
From Gulphu Bhanjyang, it is an easy climb to cross a pass at 2,470m before descending to Pati Bhanjyang, a large Tamang village. From here it is a 2 hour climb to Chisopani. A short distance above Chisopani is a high hill which is known as Chisopani Danda, where there is a temple. You will have the splendid mountain views from here. The panorama spreads from the mountains south of Everest to the Manaslu range.

Day 16: Conclude trek at Sundarijal and drive to Kathmandu (1,450m)
From Chisopani the trail passes through pastures and cultivated fields then climbs through oak and rhododendron forest to Burlang Bhanjyang. From here there are magnificent views, from Annapurna in the west to Ganesh Himal and Numbur in the east. This ridge marks the northern rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Just after Chisopani, there is an entrance to Shivapuri watershed and wildlife reserve. The trail goes through the reserve, moving up to the hill and down to Mulkharka, from which you can see Kathmandu Valley. From Mulkharka, we descend on endless stairs to the exit from the reserve and to Sundarijal. From Sundarijal we take a 45 minutes drive to Kathmandu.

Day 17: Depart Kathmandu
Our representative will take you to the airport for Final Departure.

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Reference

Dr. Deborah Akers, Professor

Peace Land Travel is a wonderful travel agency. We have used their service for over 9 year and would never think of going to anyone else! Most highly recommended!!

Miami Tibetan Studies Abroad Progarm
Dept. of Anthropology
Miami University