Yearender 2022: Where to trek? Here are 7 off-the-beaten-path destinationsHere is a list of seven trails recommended by the Nepal Tourism Board, the country’s tourism promotional body, worth visiting.
March is the starting month of the beautiful spring season in Nepal. It is the month for warm temperatures, blooming wildflowers, low rainfall and clearer skies which makes the trekking experience wonderful. If you are wondering where to start, here is a list of seven trails recommended by the Nepal Tourism Board, the country’s tourism promotional body, worth visiting.
Makalu Base Camp
The trek begins from Tumlingtar in eastern Nepal through lush rhododendron forests, picturesque Gurung villages, river valleys and the Makalu Barun National Park. The 15-day trek offers you a chance to explore waterfalls and places of religious significance like Shivdhara and Parbatidhara.
The destination of the trek might be the Makalu Base Camp situated at 5,100m but the journey towards the base camp is what makes this trek memorable. The entire trek takes you on a journey through rugged terrain and lets you be a part of the local rural lifestyle. The Makalu Barun National Park is home to 3,000 species of flowering plants, 440 species of birds and 75 species of mammals including the snow leopard, red panda, musk deer, wild boar, wild yak and the Himalayan Thar. There are a few hotels and lodges along the route but the best option is to pitch a tent in a suitable location for a good night’s rest.
Tinjure-Milke-Jaljale (TMJ) Trail, also known as the Rhododendron Trail, spreads across Taplejung, Terathum and Sankhuwasabha districts in Province 1. It is home to 28 out of 31 species of rhododendron. Many rhododendron species bloom from March through early May. Hille, north of Dharan, is a good place to start the trek.
Alternatively, you can start from Phidim passing through Ilam's tea estates. There are many hotels and lodges along the trail to accommodate trekkers. To assist visitors, the locals of Gupha Bazaar have opened an information centre. The TMJ route begins from Tinjure and passes through different places including Paachpokhari, Gufa, and Milke Danda and ends at Jaljale. Tinjure is about two hours walk from Basantapur. And to reach Basantapur, one can catch a bus from Dharan. The best time to trek Tinjure Milke Jaljale is from March-April and October-November.
Numbur Cheese Circuit Trail
Numbur Cheese Circuit located in Ramechhap, around 190 km east of the capital Kathmandu, is deemed an epic trail. It is a two-week circuit trail connecting two beautiful river valleys—Khimti and Likhu—in the lap of Everest and Rolwaling region. The trail has been named in honour of the yet unclimbed peak Numburchuli (6,959m) as well as for one of Nepal’s first yak cheese factories established in 1957.
If you are looking for an off-the-beat trek then the Numbur Cheese Circuit Trail may be just right for you. The trail takes through magnificent views of Himalayan peaks, including Everest, Numburchuli, Gaurishankar, Jugal, and Langtang Himal. The trek also offers you the opportunity to experience the vibrant Sherpa culture.
Through the midst of the rugged mountains of Dolpa, the trail provides experiences of all remoteness in the Shangri La. Dolpa is a land of exotic landscapes, rich culture and nature. The hidden valleys of Dolpa, isolated from the outside world, have been fascinating travellers for centuries. Shey Phoksundo National Park, Lake Phoksundo and Shey Gompa are the prime attractions when trekking in Dolpa. People in Dolpa once used to carry salt on their yaks from Tibet and sell it in the lower regions of Nepal. This trade is portrayed in the movie “Himalaya” by Eric Valli. Nowadays, Dolpa is famous for the harvesting of Yarchagumba, the caterpillar fungus popularly known as the Himalayan viagra. The harvest season begins in the summer months. Thousands of people comb the slope of the mountains to find one of the world’s most expensive herbs. The trek starts from Juphal airport, also called Dolpa airport, in Lower Dolpa.
Mardi Himal is a challenging and beautiful four-day trek in the Annapurna region that offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain range. It’s one of the shortest treks for people who have little time to spare. The Mardi Himal trek offers a view that is sublime.
Lush ridges, and an uninterrupted view of Annapurna South, Himchuli and Machapuchare enthral trekkers. Most start their journey from Kande, then stop at Forest Camp (2,600m) for the day via Australian Camp. The second night is usually spent at High Camp, and then the third at Low Camp. Most descend on the fourth day.
The trail in Bajura provides magnificent landscapes. The week-long hiking trail passes through some remote villages of the far west, like Tribeni Badimalika, Natshwori, and Moura. The trail passes through national parks and forests. So, you will also get a glimpse of some rare flora and fauna, including different species of birds, musk deer, and leopards.
As the place is pasture land, shepherds from Bajura, Achham, and Kalikot bring their sheep and cattle for grazing in Tribeni Patan. A grand fair is organised in the Badimalika shrine every year on Janai Purnima, a Hindu festival that often falls in the month of August. Visitors from India come here with the belief that one’s wishes are fulfilled if one visits the shrine.
Api Himal Trek
Api Himal Trek in Darchula, one of the country’s remotest areas, offers the ultimate experience of the wild and beautiful far-west Nepal. This region home to the Himalayan peaks Api Himal (7,132 m) and Jethi Bahurani (6,850 m) is protected as Api-Nampa Conservation Area which ranges in elevation from about 500m to above 7,000m.
It is perfect for an offbeat nature and cultural experience of real Nepal. Api Base Camp lies at an altitude of 3,861m from sea level.