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Mountain Goal Adevnture Activities:-
THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES TRAIL (IP TRAIL)
New trekking trail traversing one of the most culturally diverse areas in Nepal
Ramechhap, only 100km east from Kathmandu, offers a trekking experience unequalled in Nepal. Sandwiched between the high Himalayan range to the north and the rolling Maharbhata range to the south, trekking in Ramechhap offers magnificent Himalayan panoramas, lush rhododendron forests, and unique cultural experiences. The elevation ranges from 488m at the Sun Kosi River to Numburchuili peak along Everest Himal range at 6959m. Vistas of the rolling foothills dotted with isolated farming communities, rhododendron forests and bamboo groves, all crowned by an array of snow peaks are bound to leave you breathless. The cultural rituals surrounding Buddhism and Hinduism are another major attraction. But the foremost prize of the whole experience is the chance to meet people from 21 different Indigenous communities, learn about them and their culture- yes, all of the above in one trek. You will feel good knowing that your visit is genuinely helping your hosts. And what's more, you can relax on one of the best beaches in Nepal!!
ITINERARY AND PACKAGES
A 7-night/ 8-day package is recommended for IP Trail, while an exciting 4/5-days package can appropriately be customized for tourists with less time. The IP Trail formally starts at the Dhunge/Chaichhap bazaar of Dolakha district followed by a short hike thereafter to Sailung Peak, the trek's highest point. The trail meanders through ethnic communitiey settlements at Rajveer, Surkey, Doramba, Khandadevi and Dongme, and ends at Lubughat. A separate 4 days Majhi fishing experience can also be experienced either as a part of IP Trail package or as a standalone product to Lubughat and Seleghat.
Day 1 : KLIA to athmandu.
Pick up from air port and to Tibet Guest house. Free and easy.
DAY 2: Kathmandu-Dhunge-Sailung (7 hours)
The starting point is Dhunge village in Dolakha district, accessible by local bus from Mudhe (on the Kathmandu-Charikot-Jiri hardtop road), a 3-hour drive from Dhulikhel or 4.5 hours from Kathmandu. From Dhunge, a short 90-minute climb will take you to Sailung hilltop. Follow the short trail down to the Sherpa village of Khola Kharka where you will spend the night in the newly established Khola Kharka Community Lodge run by local Sherpa and Tamang.
DAY 3: Sailung & Rajveer Environs
Rise early to reach the summit of Thulo Sailung as the sun rises over the Eastern Himalaya. At 3,146 m Sailung offers magnificent views of the Annapurna, Manalsu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Dorje-Lhakpa, Rowaling, Everest and Kanchenjunga ranges. To the south the Mahabharata hills roll over the Sun Koshi River sliding down to the Tarai lowlands. Thulo Sailung is regarded by the Tamangs as the abode of their territorial deity, Sailung Phoi Sibda Karpo, which literally means ‘White Male Lord of the Earth'. The chorten atop Sailung is the seat of this divine protector and the Tamang Community are the age-old ‘custodians' of the land. The souls of the ancestors together with the ‘Lord of the Earth' guarantee the wellbeing of the people and the fertility of the soil. The four clusters of stone chhorten on the summit are related to the Tamang Communities in the surrounding area – the groups on the highest point facing south over Ramechhap, today in ruins, are the largest. At the chhortens Buddhist Priests perform ‘mandala offerings' for the rebirth of the souls of the deceased. The lingams surrounding the Chorten are erected during Tamang death rituals and are left there to succumb to the forces of nature. The main rituals held here are Buddhist offerings to the souls of the deceased. During the festival of Janai Purnima (Saun Purnima), held on the full moon of July/August Tamang pilgrims crowd around the ruined Chortens at the highest point of Thulo Sailung. No blood sacrifices are permitted on Thulo Sailung as the shamans surrender to Buddhist Dominance and refrain from offering blood to the fierce female deities. Other sites of interest around Thulo Sailung include three formations of a tiger, snake and cow representing the coexistence between Buddhist, Shamanic and Hindu beliefs.
The King of the Tigers lived on Thulo Sailung. One day he was pursuing a cow grazing on the meadows of Thulo Sailung. Suddenly a snake appeared from the soil and came between the tiger and the cow. The three turned to stone and thus the cow was saved from the tiger. Two rocks below Thulo Sailung bear the footprint of Padmasambhava and his sword. Located below the summit of Thulo Sailung is Gaurighat cave.
It is believed that on full moon nights ‘milk' is said to ooze from the stalagmites inside the cave. The cave is believed to be a source of fertility and health. Pilgrims pray for the birth of sons, relief from illness and for personal success and wealth. The cave is also considered the entrance to the netherworld, the realm of the nagas serpent deity. Legend has it that when a yogi meditates inside the cave for five years, a door leading to the interior of the mountain appears.
A second cave locally known as ‘Buddha's Gate' or the ‘Door of Dharma' has an exit hole almost too small for human passage. Only the most devout Buddhists who have not committed sin may pass. Squeeze through in the hope of purging yourself of sin and emerge pure! The third small cave, the Godavari cave, is believed to see flow of whitewater every twelve years at the full moon of August/September during which Hindu's take a sacred bath to ritually purify the body. These caves are also associated with the Hindu God Mahadev, the popular form of Shiva, together with his female consort Seti Devi, the ‘White Goddess' Parvati.
According to a legend, a shepherd discovered his cow giving milk at a large phallic rock inside the cave. The rock as it turned out was Mahadev himself. Enjoy lunch in Khola Kharka and continue along the trail, passing through rhododendrons blossoming along the way amidst the chirping of birds and insects. A short downhill stroll brings you to the Rajveer Monastery built by the Bhutanese Drukpa Kagyu School in 1972. The monastery also offers meditation stays. The craftsmen responsible for the paintings and frescoes came from Bhutan. Savour the evening Sherpa cultural programme before your overnight at Kholakharka.
DAY 4: Kholakharka-Rajveer-Surkey (4.30 hours)
During the descent to Surkey Village through the Sailung forest, you will see a wide variety of native tree, shrub and bird species. Tourists are welcome at Rajveer monastery to receive a blessing from the Lamas. Along the route you pass through the Sherpa village of Dadhuwa-Dara and a Tamang village, each with their own Buddhist Gompas. Prayer flags, chortens and mani stones are scattered along the route.
The trail continues to descend where the spectacular 40 foot 'Thinghare' water fall crashes onto the rocks below. A short climb brings you to the beautifully terraced settlement of Surke where you will spend the night in one of five newly renovated Newari Home-stays houses.
Spend a day in the village, enjoy Newari cultural, and visit the endangered Thami Community.
The local Thami band is on hand to entertain and visitors can sample the local Raksi! Thangmi, known in Nepali as ‘Thami', is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by around 30,000 people in eastern Nepal.
DAY 5: Surkey-Tinghare-Doramba (4 hours)
Experience the Thami cultural programme at Tinghare village before taking lunch at Deurali. Then move towards Doramba valley where the trail traverses along the forested hillside around to the terraced fields of Doramba. The trail leisurely follows the contours of the valley leading to the bustling Doramba Bazaar, where you can purchase cold drinks, snacks and music cassettes of a local Tamang singer, Shashi Moktan.
Tonight you will sleep in a local Tamang Homestay. Doramba is one of the largest Tamang settlements in Nepal; in fact, most of the Thangka painters found in Bhaktapur and Bouddha are originally from this remote village. Enjoy a superb evening cultural performance.
DAY 6: Doramba-Galba-Khandadevi (4.30 hours)
After a pleasant walk out of the Doramba valley, the route ascends to the sacred Hindu shrine atop Agleshwari Danda where you will be rewarded with stunning views of the Himalaya and the rolling Mahabharat hills below. Descend through the local slate mine, through pine forests to emerging at Galpa Bazaar. Galpa Bazaar is a bustling centre where you can purchase cold drinks and snacks, an ideal place to break for lunch. About 2 more hours walking brings you to the Khandadevi temple. Perched on top of a 1985m peak, Khandadevi is situated around a captivating Hindu Temple complex encircled by ancient stone walls. The temple, dedicated to Goddess Khada Devi, was discovered in 1458 AD by a shepherd who discovered milk oozing from a sacred stone, an emanation of the Goddess. The site also served as a fortress during the Anglo-Nepal war. The setting is dominated by high hills of lush green Maharabharat Range with snowy peaks of Numburchuli and Gaurishankar on the northern horizon and southern views over the flat Tarai. Daily animal sacrifices, ‘Panchabale', are still carried out today. Enjoy your night at the newly developed Home-stay.
DAY 7: Khandadevi-Hiledevi/Dongme (4 hours)
Following the pre-dawn and sunrise photographic experience start your trek towards Hiledevi following a long ridge of thick pine forest.
The trail traverses up and down through thick pine forests before crossing into another valley. Amidst the forest you encounter with the several birds and mammals as well as the enormous rock adorned with a Shiva image before emerging at Dhonghme, an ancient Yolmo or settlement, inhabited by many Lamas. Much of the Yolmo youth are employed as Thangka painters in Kathmandu.
In the evening, make the gradual climb to the summit of Sunapati, well-known for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Here amongst the Buddhist Chortens you can enjoy sunset over the Himalaya before returning to the monastery lodge to spend the night and enjoy a Yolmo cultural evening.
DAY 8: Hiledevi-Sunapati-Lubughat (4 hours)
The next morning you get to enjoy an equally stunning sunrise before the final descent to the village of Lubughat on the renowned golden Koshi River. You will be enjoying the newly renovated eco trails while reaching the Sunapati hilltop. After arriving in Lubughat, you will meet the Majhi people, renowned for their fishing expertise and extraordinary culture.
Roaming through the rivers, men, women and children repeatedly hurl nets in hopes of catching fish. You will spend your last day and night here in Lubughat participating in Majhi fishing and enjoying a cultural demonstration before rising early the next morning.
The Majhi fishing and BBQ experiences at Lubughat and further down at Seleghat have additional business potential as standalone products for short duration tourists due to close proximity to Kathmandu. Seleghat and Lubughat can also be a nice stop for rafting visitors as well.
DAY 9: Lubughat-Nepalthowk-Dhulikhel/Ktm (4 hours)
A 45 minute walking through the River valley takes you to Nepalthowk. Catch the bus for the one-hour journey up Dhulikhel where you can find luxurious hotels and stunning Himalayan views before returning to Kathmandu. Take an extra night at one of the many comfortable lodges in Dhulikhel or continue direct to Kathmandu. Kathmandu to KLIA.
MAJHI FISHING EXPERIENCES
Fishing with the Majhis offers an experience not found elsewhere in Nepal. On the white sand banks of the renowned Sun Koshi river you will learn traditional fishing skills from the Majhi peoples, enjoy a fresh fish BBQ and/or pig roast, and gain appreciation for Mahji culture throughout the day and during the Majhi music concert. Relax on the sandy riverbank and sunbathe. The Majhi Fishing Experience is located in the riverside Majhi villages of Lubughat and Seleghat in the remote west and southern parts of Ramechhap District. This unique experience can be added to your Sun Koshi rafting trip (Seleghat) or can be a day trip arranged from Kathmandu/Dhulikel (Lubughat).
BEST SEASON AND EVENTS
IP Trail is possible throughout the year. However, March to June and September to December are the best seasons for trekking the IP Trail. Saune Sakranti (mid of July), Sorha Shradda (mid of September), Janai-puirnima (end of August) and Maghi (mid of February), Lhosar (February), are some of the important festival where various traditional events, rituals are celebrated.
IP Trail is a home-stay accommodation based cultural trekking trail built on the local cultures. The ‘Indigenous Peoples Trail' has comfortable accommodation available to meet the basic tourist standards.
Throughout the IP trail, home-stay accommodation offers closer contact and greater insight into ethnic lifestyles that cannot be found along the more developed trekking venues where interactions can be more commercially oriented. Visitors can enjoy the basic accommodation and lodging facilities at the traditionally managed home-stays of various ethnic communities. Boiled and filtered drinking water and hygienically tiled toilets are available at all accommodation options and bucket hot shower can be available upon request.
The ‘IP Trail' allows you to stay overnight in private homes in traditional villages far from commercialized tourist trails. Rooms in local houses are renovated, but otherwise expect a few tourist-style comforts. Host families are trained to prepare meals hygienically. When staying with a Nepali family guests live the life as the local people do, and are treated as part of the family. The homes reflect the traditional and simple atmosphere of the people and their culture. Apart from the pleasure of being in a peaceful and serene environment, tourists can also enjoy the traditional folk dances and music presented by the local men and women in their colorful traditional attire. The focus for the guests is on experiencing and learning from an authentic and enriched culture. Visitors are often involved in local activities that range from cooking classes to attending a traditional wedding, watching a local cultural dance and farm work activities. The Home-stay allows visitors to discover the real Nepal and to enjoy untouched countryside.
Copy Right by Mountain Goal Adventure Consultant.