Trekking On New Paths In Nepal

13th Oct 2013
Photo of Trekking On New Paths In Nepal 1/5 by Fatema Diwan
Hongu River
Photo of Trekking On New Paths In Nepal 2/5 by Fatema Diwan
Dolpo Region
Photo of Trekking On New Paths In Nepal 3/5 by Fatema Diwan
Arun Valley
Photo of Trekking On New Paths In Nepal 4/5 by Fatema Diwan
Naar phu Valley
Photo of Trekking On New Paths In Nepal 5/5 by Fatema Diwan
Pisang Peak

If you are on the look out for a destination that provides the serenity of nature with the thrill of adventure- Nepal is your place. This little landlocked country that resides amidst the gigantic countries of China and India, is completely covered by the Himalayas, and sometimes its beauty is lost amidst the commercial tourism of India and China. But, lately more and more people are flocking here. Not just adventurists or daredevils, but even those who don't want normal vacations of sight-seeing, but an experience that they can take back. Snow covered peaks, melting glaciers and magnificent valleys makes Nepal one of the top places in the world for adventure, especially trekking. Home to the world's ten highest peaks and a UNESCO world heritage site, Nepal is also as much about its culture and heritage.

Trekking through Nepal doesn't just mean walking up and down the mountains and the valley. Trekking here means exploring the culture, the beauty, learning local languages, eating local cuisines (rugged mountains are hardly the place for 5 star restaurants), meeting the local people (these hilly tribes will teach you a thing or two about adaptation and survival), enjoying the soothing climate (It is plesant on the ground, but as you go higher it might get chillier. Carry woollens, for sure), and lastly, getting a taste of some mountain adventure.

There are so many treks in Nepal that you will have to keep coming back to complete all. There are local companies that organise treks, you can pick one that grabs your attention- from Kathmandu Valley to the Kanchanjanga Mountains, they cover it all. If you are a first time trekker, you should probably opt for this option.

If you want to add some more excitement to the adventure, I suggest you pick a map and trek on your own. But, surely take a local guide along. Independent treks will help you find more places that are off the beaten track instead of walking with the herd. And lets accept it, routinely planned trips are not as fun as spontaneous ones. The good thing about a country that is entirely covered with mountains is that new routes to trek open up almost every season. There is no need to go on a crowded trek to a already known place. Save yourself from the mainstream places that are on the bucket list of almost everyone and go find a new way in this country. It will be worth the effort. So, here are some off-beat beat recommendations for trekking in Nepal.Of course, this is just a tip of the iceberg, there are many more new paths that you can travel along!

This is not an extreme trail, but more of a relaxed one that will let you ponder over the scenic beauty and the local culture. Start from Koto villiage in the Annapurna Circuit Trail and follow the small river that flows through narrow gorges and cliffs. At one point this trail even passes from under a majestic waterfall. Situated in the northern border of Nepal, Phu has two abandoned Khampa settlements on the way along with two local villages that constitute of lovely Buddhist monasteries. Naar, is towards the west underneath the beautiful Pisang Peak. This trek is a nice peak into the local culture and some out of way beauty. And to cap it all off you can cross the 5322m Kang La pass back onto the Annapurna Circuit, and see the entire northern sweep of the Annapurnas.

Photo of Naar and Phu, Nepal by Fatema Diwan

Situated in between two highly trekked peaks of Mera and Island Peak, this valley has a charm most tourists fail to see. Walking amidst the snow-cladden mountains, you will encounter a lake with lovely white sandy banks, come across the beautiful plain created by the Hongu River and admire the white walls of Kali Himal and Baruntse across the valley. There is a massive black rock wall of Lhotse at the top end of the valley with the background view of the Great Everest. Cherry on the cake, your trek will end at the lovely glaciers of Panch Pokhari. One of the most scenic treks in Nepal, The Hongu Valley is recommended to everyone who wants to explore the country rather than just visit it. The best part is since this is a new route, there is a chance you might not meet a single fellow trekker!

Photo of The Hongu Valley, Nepal by Fatema Diwan

This trail is not long. It is just that you might want to walk it slow since there is a lot of flavour to savour here. You can take a bus from the capital of Kathmandu to this silent corner of the Himalayas. This trek is beginning to slowly develop into a more personal experience. You get to live with the local families instead of a guest house, which is a whole new experience on its own. These local wooden houses are a treat. Also, since Hinduism is the state religion, your heritage experience begins with the cool lake of Parvati Kund to the hot springs of Tatopani. If you want to extend your trek you can even walk back to Kathmandu via the sacred lakes of Gosainkund and terraced hillsides of Helambu.

Photo of Tamang Heritage Trail, Nepal by Fatema Diwan

Manaslu Trek is an adrenaline filled trail. It gets riskier as it passes through gorges that are narrower and covers landscape that is more dramatic, at times converging to just a few meters wide as steep cliffs rise up on either side. En route are amazing lakes, waterfalls, Buddhist monasteries and Tibetan villages. The inhabitants of these villages are direct descendants of the Tibetan Immigrants and thus their dressing, language and culture is purely Tibetan. It runs parallel to the Annapurna Circuit but is much quieter and less crowded. In fact, some trekkers call this the new Annapurna Circuit.

Photo of Manaslu Trek, Gandaki, Western Region, Nepal by Fatema Diwan

Word of advise, this is a tough one. So if you are new to trekking, give yourself some more time before coming here. It begins at Tulimlingtar, which is at sea level and slowly rises up the altitude. Makalu is the fifth higest mountain, east of Everest and so you can only imagine the intensity of the trail. But, it is worth the effort. The trail drops down to the lovely Arun Valley before it rises up again into the Bamboo forests. The Barun valley part of the trail begins in pleasant green meadows, but quickly rises into an alpine zone of long ridges of lateral moraine. The Barun Glacier provides an unusual and rare view of the Everest. A must take trek for all the adventurists.

Photo of Makalu, Sankhuwasabha, Eastern Region, Nepal by Fatema Diwan

This trek was restricted to mass tourism to preserve its heritage in the Upper Dolpo Region. After it was opened in 1989, adventurists come here to experience the true wilderness of the Himalayas. This trek gives you a chance to see abandoned Buddhist monasteries and a diverse mountain wildlife like the Blue sheep, Mountain Goat, Jackal, Wolf and the legendary Snow Leopard. A walk through the Shey Monastery is a peak into the heritage of this land. The best time to trek here is from September to November.

Photo of Dolpo, Mid-Western Region, Nepal by Fatema Diwan

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