Best Side Trips of Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest Base Camp trek is the most thrilling and adventure of a lifetime.  Everest region is a popular trekking destination where Sir Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa have first stepped their foot on this region and top of Everest.

Trek to Everest Base Camp rewards with great mountain terrain and cultural diversity. The trail takes you through the rugged landscape, massive Mountain View, heart-throbbing high suspension bridges lined with fluttering prayer flags, lustful forest trails, exceptional wildlife, quaint Sherpa settlements, and spiritual monasteries.

Beyond the legendary peaks and landscape, trekkers get insight into the culture of Sherpa. Additionally, the trekker will also get an opportunity to taste the authentic local foods in these region made from the firewood.

This trek is all about admiration and enthusiasm which captivates all adventure seekers to the core of your own heart. One can join this marvelous trek as a family trekker, solo trekkers or with school groups to touch this peak, reaching Everest Base Camp.

And one of the perfect things that makes the Everest Base Camp Trek unforgettable is the extensive range of side trips offered in this region. Everest Base Camp Trek side trip excursion is also part of acclimatization. The trekkers are acclimatized sufficiently to fully relish the main trek. Here is a list of side trips of Everest Base Camp:

1. Thame Legendary Hike (3,899m) from Namche; Hiking Duration Approximately 5 hours

Namche is the is an ideal place for acclimatization and trading hub of traders come from all corners of the Khumbu and as far as Tibet to trade their products. Village dweller makes their weekly trek to Namche Bazaar to purchase goods.

Thame is the home to numerous well-known Sherpa mountaineers, comprising Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, the first man to ascent Mount Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary, Ang Rita Sherpa, known as “Snow Leopard” and Apa Sherpa, 21 times Everest summiteer.

This side trip leads trekkers through a part of an ancient trade route joining Khumbu to Tibet. The walk itself is serene with outstanding views of the mountains as it winds in and out of the woodland on the side of the gorge. Along the trail, we encounter abundant wildlife such as Tahrs and Monals, numerous stupas and vibrant prayer paintings on rock walls.

Clinging to the side of the massif far in the distance, Thame is the last Sherpa settlement to the border of Nepal and Tibet in Khumbu called ‘Namgpala’. Thame monastery is also one of the three ancient monasteries in Khumbu. The annual ceremony of the Mani Rimdu festival takes place in  Monastery.

2. Khumjung and Khunde (3,790m) from Namche; Hiking Duration Approximately 2 hours

Khumjung is one of the most charming Sherpa hamlets and can opt to hike up to Khumjung as well as Khunde. These are twin green villages with rock walls dividing stony fields have beautiful landscape views on all sides.

The cluster of houses in Khumjung topped with consistently green roofs that intermingle seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. It is dominated by Khumbila to the north and the valley encircled by a beautiful forest of fir and rhododendron. The views of Ama Dablam, Everest, Lhotse, and other almighty peaks are awe-inspiring. Khumjung is the traditional village along with another village Khunde. Trekkers can often spot Himalayan Monals and Blood Pheasants while Lammergeiers and Golden Eagles are not an irregular sight in the skies above.

This short side trek will be worth visiting where you will come across the Sherpa people and their distinctive culture. Moreover, trekkers get an opportunity to be close to these fascinating mountain people and experience their generosity. Learn more about Khumjung’s attraction.

4. Syangboche (3,450m) from Namche; Hiking Duration Approximately 2 hours

A side trip to Syangboche provides panoramic vistas Nuptse (7,855m), Everest(8,848m), Lhotse(8,516m), Ama Dablam(6,812m).  This day`s trek trail is steep, yet Syangboche hill offers unrivaled 360º views of snow-white mountain peaks. The landscape is sublime and we could witness the entire Namche Bazaar after a short climb toward Syangboche. On a hill overlooking Namche Bazaar is the Syangboche Airport, an unpaved airfield which is not licensed for commercial operations and has few facilities. If you hiked up to Everest View Point Hotel (3,800m) then you can see the closer vistas of Mount Everest including other accompanied peaks.

3. Amadablam Base Camp (4,570 m)  from Pangboche; Hiking Duration Approximately 4 hours

Amadablam Base Camp is a less trekked path side trip that leads trekkers right up to the base of one of the Khumbu region’s most magnificent mountains. The trail from Pangboche to Amadablam presents a succession of lofty and rugged mountains abounding in charming and sublime scenery. Trekkers can enjoy the 360-degree surreal mountain views including Mt. Lhotse-Nuptse massif from base camp. Trekking to Amadablam Base Camp makes feel as if you are wrapped in the arms of this splendid mountain, known as the jewel of the Khumbu. 

4. Nangkartshang Peak (5,050m) from Dingboche; Hiking Duration Approximately 4 hours

Trekkers spend a few rest days acclimatizing in Dingboche before ascending to a higher altitude, for example, Kala Pattar, Everest Basecamp, or Island Peak.  

For acclimatization, most trekkers take Nangkartshang Hill from Dingboche as a side trip. Nangkartshang Peak looms above Dingboche that offers a commanding panoramic view of the Khumbu region, comprising Makalu, Ama Dablam, Chukhung and Numbur.

Locals called this peak Nangar-JOONG. Whatever the name of the peak is, it is an extremely remarkable viewpoint to immerse in the views of the several towering mountains in the Khumbu region.

Depending on the speed, it takes 3-4 hours to ascend the peak. The trekkers can either start the hike from Dingboche (4,410 m) or Pheriche (4,371 m). The route encompasses a steep climb all the way with roaring winds as one goes higher.

5. Chukung (4,730m) from Dingboche; Hiking Duration Approximately 3 hours

The Chukhung Valley is a small village in the northeast of Dingboche where it connects the Pheriche Valley. The trail passes through the vast landscape, stone-walled fields, and Imja Khola valley before entering glacier moraines amid the lofty peaks.

Chukung is an acclimatization day trip for trekkers before heading on to Gorak Shep and Kala Pathar. The walk is easy, less crowd and the mountain views are simply spellbinding. As you go higher the scenery grew more and more outlandish.

Besides acclimatization, the side trip to Chukung helps trekkers to know about diverse alpine shrubs grown in the alpine region. The trail winds through the beautiful rhododendron and juniper shrubs.  The medicinal plant such as Alpine Shrubby Horsetail or Somlata is also found here. The multi-colored alpine shrubs along the route certainly captivated the trekkers. During spring, the entire trail covered with rhododendrons along with honeysuckle and cinquefoils.

The mountain panorama is simply awe-inspiring. Trekkers can soak the view of almighty peaks including Ama Dablam, Imja Tse (Island peak) Nuptse, Lhotse, and Everest.

6. Hike to Kala Patthar (5,550m) from Gorakshep; Hiking Duration Approximately 3 hours

Kala Patthar (5,550m), literally called “black rock” is the most popular vantage point in the Everest Base Camp trek route.  One can witness the closet spectacle of the world’s highest Mt. Everest along with several adjacent peaks and dazzling views of Khumbu Glacier.

The iconic mountain view that can be seen from Kala Pathar are Lingren (6,714m), Khumbutse (6,636m), Changtse (7,550m), Lho La (6,036m), Everest (8,848m), Nuptse (7,863m), Ama Dablam (6,856m) and Kangtega (6,635m). While some trekkers make a real early start to catch the mesmerizing glimpses of sunrise from this viewpoint.

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FAQ about Everest Region

What is the difficulty level of Everest Base Camp trek?

Everest base camp trek does not require professional trekking experiences.  However, one should be physically fit and sound mental determination. It is advisable to involve in hiking, cycling, uphill climbing prior to the trek. 

 What is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness, the mildest form being acute mountain sickness (AMS), is the negative health result of high elevation. It occurred by speedy exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high elevation. To know more about Altitude sickness link  the article: Altitude Mountain Sickness: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Can I apply for a visa online?

You can get visa online – filling the form and following the step by step procedure at

Do I need to get a visa to travel to Nepal? What are the documents required to visit Nepal?

All nationals must hold a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your expected date of departure from Nepal. An entry visa for all except Indians for Nepal is required. You need to arrange these prior to departure with the relevant embassy/consulate or you even get a visa on arrival. Learn more:  Visa and Documents requirement

Do I need to take permits to trek in the Everest region?

The trekkers who wish to trek the Everest region need a TIMS card, Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit and  Sagarmatha National Park permit.  If you are trekking Pike Peak at Lower Everest region then, the trekkers require to obtain TIMS and Gauri Shankar National Park Permit. Nepal Sanctuary Treks is here to arrange all the permits and organize the customize treks for you.

Makalu Base Camp – Trek into the heart of the wildest Himalayas

Looking for a new Himalayan journey? Why not try Makalu Base Camp with Nepal Sanctuary Treks? If you are considering a remote trek of remarkable scenic variety and ecological diversity then Makalu has got it all.

Situated between the well-known Everest and Kanchenjunga chains, Makalu (8463 m) is regarded as one of the hardest 8000 m peaks to ascent – even the legend Edmund Hillary failed to summit twice. Whereas the Great Himalayan Trail (GHT) connects directly with the Kanchenjunga section through the isolated Lumbha Sumbha, and to the Everest section via the challenging three cols (i.e. Sherpani Col (6,150m), West Col (6,143m) and Amphu Labtsa Pass (5,800m), most will experience the Makalu section of the trail via the lush Arun and Barun river valleys.

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Kanchenjunga to Makalu over Lumba Sumba Pass

Kanchenjunga Everest over Sherpeni Col

Makalu to Everest Trek

Trekking to Makalu Base Camp offers an incredible off the beaten trail experiences and hidden gems in Nepal that are just waiting to be explored from serene trails, beautiful terraced farmland, countryside vibrant cultures, towering cliffs, hanging glaciers, exotic wildlife to exceptional vistas of numerous 8,000 meter-plus mountains. Spend your trekking days through ethereal landscapes, witnessing the mountain life of varied ethnic groups and keep your eye out for the elusive red panda and snow leopard that dwells in this region. For avid trekkers who like a challenge, this is a perfect trek with plentiful rewards. Moreover, trekking to the base camp of Makalu- the world’s fifth highest mountain is indeed an adventure for a lifetime.

The Makalu region was entirely restricted to the foreigner until 1952 when Eric Shipton visited, traversing what became known as the Shipton La (4,220m/13,845ft). The area receives very few foreign trekkers due to its relative inaccessibility and remote wilderness. However, a journey to base camp is an unforgettable experience for those wishing to venture into an authentic adventure in Nepal.

Makalu- Barun National Park and Conservation

Established in 1992, Makalu – Barun National Park and Conservation Area is Nepal’s eighth national park. The park is 2,330 sq. km, which encompasses an isolated area, with few settlements and seasonal herding in a meadow. The varied types of orchids and more than 3,000 species of flowering plants flourish in a diverse climate of this region.

The area is a domain to rare species of wildlife comprising red panda, musk deer, Himalayan tahr and the elusive leopard.  More than 400 bird species and 75 species of mammals are found in this region. Especially rich in biodiversity, with a remarkable collection of vegetation and wildlife, the area spans a vast array of elevations, from lush river valleys to alpine highlands.

How can you get to Makalu Base Camp?

The trek commences from Tumlingtar in the east of Nepal. You can take a flight directly from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar. From Tumlingtar it’s few hours’ drives to Num towards Seduwa – the entrance to Makalu Barun National Park

The trek follows the Barun Valley which comprises some of the last remaining parts of untouched woodlands and alpine pastures in Nepal. The trekkers get to cross the high passes like Shipton La Pass (4,210 m) into the upper Barun river valley and then to Makalu Base camp. From Makalu Base Camp there are unrivaled vistas of the rarely seen Kangshung face of Everest, in addition to Everest, Lhotse, Chamlang, and Kanchenjunga in the Far East.

Reaching the base camp is a cherished moment and a huge sense of accomplishment of standing directly in front of the almighty view of Makalu and several other adjacent mystic massifs. Moreover, one can catch the sight of numerous Tibetan snow cocks, hill pigeons, black redstarts and mountain finches around the base camp. The trek from Base Camp retraces down to Tumlingtar where trekkers can catch a flight back to Kathmandu.  Makalu Base Camp Trek Itinerary

The alternative route is to carry on from Makalu Base Camp headed to Everest. After reaching Makalu Base Camp, one can traverse the Sherpani Col (6,150m) over to Baruntse Base Camp, then cross the West Col to Panch Pokhari, Amphu Laptsa, and the Amphu Lapsta pass (5,850 m./19,192 ft.) into the Everest region. From then on, the trails take to classical Everest Base Camp trekking route, winding through Pangboche, Namche Bazaar, and Lukla, from where you would get a return flight to Kathmandu.

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Diverse Nature and Culture

The Makalu Base Camp trekking trail winds through an extensive range of ecosystems and cultures. The impressive scenery, spectacular waterfalls flow into deep canyons, steep granite cliffs soar from verdant green forests, and vibrant flowers bloom beneath snowy glittering mountains make the trek more rewarding and delightful. Indeed, this trek incorporates all the elements to make an authentic unforgettable and delightful journey; high passes, rising 8,000m peaks, incredible backdrop, and splendid isolation.

Additionally, the trekkers get to experience the diverse culture and get insight into the life of mountain people. The Rai people, an ethnic group found mainly in the hills of eastern Nepal settled in terraced countryside. Whereas as the elevation gain, one can find the Sherpa and Bhotia (Shingsawa) settlement. The region’s isolation illustrates that its unique culture, wildlife have been well-preserved.

Let’s start trekking into the far-flung regions on a tailor-made trip that’s off the beaten track.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Makalu Base Camp?

Do I require a permit to embark on Makalu Base Camp Trek?

Trekkers who wish to venture Makalu Base Camp trek requires Makalu Barun National Park Conservation Area permit and Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) card

How fit do I need to be for trekking to Makalu Base Camp?

Makalu Base Camp considered a strenuous trek. Therefore, the trekkers need to be physically and mentally sound with prior trekking experiences. Nevertheless, Nepal Sanctuary Treks itinerary designed to ease altitude acclimatization and let trekkers enjoy the vibrant scenery, affluent cultural interactions, and remarkable experiences of wilderness trekking to the fullest.

The mountaineering experience required for those trekkers who want to take an alternative route from Makalu Base Camp onwards to Everest and Lukla.  For more information check out our detailed Itinerary

How difficult is it to trek Makalu Base Camp?

Generally, the time duration to complete the Makalu Base Camp trek involves more than 20 days. In addition, throughout the trek, you will gain more than 5,000 meters in elevation and walking trail is also adventurous and challenging. The wilderness trek comprises crossing high passes, trekking through rough terrain and many demanding to ascend and descend. While trekking in the high elevation, altitude sickness is the most significant factor.

If you are planning to trek Makalu to Everest then the trekkers need to traverse several challenging cols (i.e. Sherpani Col (6150m), West Col (6143m) and East Col (5800m). Amongst, Sherpani Col Trek is a technical and demanding trek to an isolated and uninhabited region of the Great Himalayas.  This trek requires full logistic support and climbing gear as the trails comprise a continuous period at altitude with steep slopes. Besides, trekkers must be skillful of hiking with crampons, ice axes, harnesses, and ropes.

Nepal Sanctuary Treks itinerary involves many rest days, which will use for proper acclimatization. This trip considered difficult due to extended periods of walking at a higher elevation.

What kind of accommodation and meals available during Makalu Base Camp trek?

In 2016, Makalu Base Camp trek opened as a teahouse trek. So the lodges dotted along the trail and meals are basic than the established trekking region of Nepal. Further, there is the inaccessibility of the tea houses as you trek to a higher elevation. So in these locations camping is an option.

What is the best time to trek Makalu Base Camp?

The ideal time to do Makalu Base Camp trek is during April-May and October-November. The trails and passes are less likely to cover with snow during these seasons. Likewise, the wide range of vibrant rhododendron and orchid forests decorate the trails throughout the spring season. Snowfalls and extreme cold throughout the winter season make the trekking tougher. While heavy downpour can be expected during the rainy season (Jun – mid-August).

Where is Makalu base camp?

Makalu Base Camp Trekking route located in the area of Makalu Barun National Park and Conservation Area in the Eastern part of Nepal. The National Park extends in Solukhumbu district and Sankhuwasbha district.

 What is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness, the mildest form being acute mountain sickness (AMS), is the negative health result of high elevation. It occurred by speedy exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high elevation. To know more about Altitude sickness link  the article: Altitude Mountain Sickness: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Can I apply for a visa online?

You can get visa online – filling the form and following the step by step procedure at

Do I need to get a visa to travel to Nepal? 

All nationals must hold a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your expected date of departure from Nepal. An entry visa for all except Indians for Nepal is required. You need to arrange these prior to departure with the relevant embassy/consulate or you even get a visa on arrival. Learn more:  Visa and Documents requirement

What gear do I need?

Trekking to the Makalu Base Camp needs a number of important pieces of trekking gear. Due to long trek, you have to come across with extensive range of altitudinal and climatic variations. Check out Trekking Essentials 

Top Treks in Everest Region 2020

The Everest region is the most well-known of all the trekking routes all around the world. This region is one of the best trekking for adventure devotees with full of ultimate natural splendor. The region encompasses Sagarmatha National Park, home of the tallest mountains like Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Amadablam, Cho Oyu and other several mountains.

Besides the captivating scenery, one has the opportunity to witness the local Sherpa culture, a people recognized for their friendliness, faithfulness, and incredible strengths and endurance in the high mountains of Nepal. Trek to Everest region gets to experience extensive ranges of flora and fauna in Sagarmatha National Park, a world heritage site. The trails wind through secluded valleys, through small picturesque villages across high mountain passes and past isolated monasteries.

Nepalese states massive peak as Sagarmatha which means the goddess of sky likewise, Tibetan people say Chomolungma which denotes the goddess of the universe. The Everest Region, also recognized as the Solukhumbu region, featured with sweeping glaciers, magnificent snow-clad mountain, fragrant forest trails, and world well-known monasteries. 

The Everest Region sited between 86˚31′ – 86˚58′ East longitude and 27˚47′ – 28˚71′ North Latitude. Lies about 90 km northeast from Kathmandu. It encompasses three sub-region – Khumbu (Namche and Khumjung Village Development Committees) in the north, Pharak (Charikharka) in the middle and Solu in the south.

Nowhere in the globe is more remarkable than in the Everest region. The Everest region offers several treks that is suitable for family with children, school groups and solo. Here is the list of the best trekking  in the Everest region that must not be missed in 2020:

1.      Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp trek lets you soar from 2,800 meters to 5,300 meters. Annually, thousands of trekkers visit to catch a sight of one of the globe’s most renowned mountain Mount Everest Base camp- the foothills of the tallest mountain on the globe- Mount Everest.

 Getting a glimpse of the notorious Khumbu Icefall and viewing expeditions getting ready for their bid to the highest summit on earth from base camp is another attraction of this trek. Also, jaw-dropping sceneries of Pumori (7,145m), Lingtren (6,697m), Khumbutse (6,623m), etc will greet as trekkers trek to Kalapathar nestled at the elevation of 5,550m from the base camp.

Further trekking on the Everest base camp route is like working your system through a spiritual art piece combined with the most inspiring soaring peaks you have ever imagined of. The trekkers get energized with the prayers wheels, fluttering prayer flags and enormous hand-carved prayer stones dotted along the trail.

The route also weaves through awe-inspiring high suspension bridges adorned with prayer flags, milky river (Dudh Koshi), stunning alpine landscapes, quaint Sherpa settlement and enjoy a delicious meal in cozy tea houses. Even trekkers get a chance to encounter rainbow-colored vibrant Himalayan monal pheasant, snow cock, magnificent eagles and many wildlife along the trail.

Moreover, trekkers get to retrace the footsteps of world-famous mountaineers, comprising Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay who made their historic Everest expedition in 1953. The ideal period to trek the Everest Base Camp is during April – May (spring) or October – November (autumn) which are regarded to be pre-monsoon and post-monsoon period respectively. There are less likely of rain and the colors of the season are in full swing at these times.

2. Everest High Passes Trek

Everest High Passes trek integrates all of the places of interest of the other treks in the Everest region into one single challenging journey.

Numerous trekkers make it their mission to traverse the notorious ‘high passes’ in addition to getting Everest Base Camp. Stunning and unparalleled mountain views, including the almighty Everest, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse can catch sight in a mere distance. The passes are challenging, and present an opportunity to acclimatize before reaching Base Camp and Kalapathar.

The route leads trekkers on a complete ring of the Sagarmatha National Park, passing through all the countless viewpoints and picturesque villages. The trail takes less trodden trails into the more isolated valleys adjacent to the main Everest Base Camp trail. Get ready for some solemn hiking and high-altitude mountain passes, as trekkers will be traversing over three passes, beyond 5000m: Kongma La, Cho La, and Renjo La. The trekkers have an option to take either two high passes trek or three passes trek.

3. Everest Base Camp Comfort Trek

Embarking into the base of the world’s highest peak is in almost everybody’s bucket list! Almost all of us have imagined of hiking through the beautiful lush landscapes and blooming flora with the mountains glittering in the backdrop for an experience of a lifetime!

Everest Base Camp Comfort Trek reaches the base camp of the highest peak whilst staying in the comfort lodges of the Everest region. This trek incorporates the trekking to the famous Everest Base camp trek but with added comfort. The Itinerary has been designed for those who prefer to undertake the trek to the base of Mount Everest with comfort.

The trek further provides a huge opportunity to explore around the world heritage site of the Sagarmatha National Park which hosts a diverse range of wildlife, vegetation. Many well-known flowing rivers, deep lakes, sunset and sunrise over the Himalayas are also the highlight of this trek. Morning sunrise view from height and traversing Dudh Koshi River (milky river) across through several short and long suspension bridges make the trek more thrilling. In addition, trekkers can gather overwhelming experience of walking through stone steeped hamlets and glacial valleys. Moreover, trekkers can indulge themselves in the jaw-dropping mountain backdrop with four of the world’s six tallest peaks of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, and Cho Oyu soaring above everything in view. 

4. Everest Comfort Lodge Trek

Everest Comfort Trek itinerary has been designed to accommodate trekkers who wish a relaxed stay while trekking on the classical route to Everest. The trek allows trekkers to soak the beauty of the Everest region in comfort while being able to experience the local culture of the nearby villages.

The trek commence from Lukla and takes into the core of the Khumbu region with an opportunity to stay in the comfort mountain lodges. Along the trails, you can have a close insight into the different landscapes and the traditional Himalayan lifestyle.

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5.  Gokyo Lakes Trek- The Himalayan gems

Gokyo Lakes trek is the popular trek in the Everest a region that takes you up a corresponding valley to the small lakeside settlement of Gokyo and then onto a series of isolated lakes even farther up the valley.

Any trekkers would be captivated by the turquoise waters of Gokyo lakes, glaciers draped on the Himalayas. Furthermore, the trekkers can soak the panoramic views of the 360-degree mountain ranges beyond 8,000m.

Gokyo Lake is the fresh alpine lake, comprising six main lakes which are believed to be the highest collection of freshwater lakes in the globe. Those who love the trekking in the Himalaya glacier, this is the best site to visit.

The first portion of the trek to reach Gokyo Lakes follows a similar trail for Everest Base Camp, so trekkers can include a visit to Gokyo Lakes to the approach to Everest Base Camp, or their return.

After reaching these Himalayan gems, trekkers have the option to ascend Gokyo Peak, which nestled 5,357 above sea level.  The peak offers commanding views of four of the six highest mountains in the world: Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu.

6. Pikey PeakTrek to Lower Everest Region

Situated at the altitude of 4,065m/ 13,335ft, Pike peak comprises some of the world’s best mountain vistas, which are not to be missed. Trekkers can witness Kanchenjunga in eastern Nepal right across to Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, and Cho Oyu and all the way to the Annapurna range west of Kathmandu. Legend has it that Sir Edmund Hillary himself stated the peak to be the best place from which to gaze upon Mount Everest. The name Pikey originates from the name of a Sherpa Clan god and the locals observe to worship their clan god.

Trekking to Pikey itself is a delight as trekkers hike through woodlands of birch and rhododendron. If trekkers visit in spring (March-May) then entire forests adorn with colorful rhododendron flowers. From May-October one can witness cattle grazing to meadow all over the area, reminding trekkers of why the newly opened trails from Shivalaya are called the ‘cheese trail’.

This trek is an ideal choice for those seeking to experience rural Nepal and provide jaw-dropping vistas of Everest on a full scale. From Kathmandu, trekkers have opted to drive or fly in to access the trek.

7. Everest by Helicopter

Everest by Helicopter Tour is ideal for those who have a limited amount of time but still want to savor the sight of Everest from the close proximity. This tour is one of the most unforgettable experiences you can do in Nepal.

Everest Heli Tour will give you electrifying views of the globe’s tallest mountain “Mt. Everest”. Besides, one can witness several neighboring peaks such as Mt. Lhotse (8,516m), Mt. Makalu (8,463m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8,201m) and an additional 27 mountains in the Everest area. You will get an opportunity to have hearty breakfast at the hotel (Kongde or Syangboche) of the highest elevation while drenching the view of the Mt. Everest at a close distance.

Even one can combine trekking with a thrilling helicopter tour by choosing Everest Helicopter Trek. Trekkers can start the trek from Lukla passing many villages all the way to Everest Base Camp and Kalapathar’s viewpoint. Then trekkers can descend to Gorakshep for the Helicopter ride back to Kathmandu. During the helicopter ride, you can enjoy aerial vistas of massive Mount Everest, Sherpa settlements and glacial valley.

Indeed, the Everest Helicopter trek and tour filled your life with more enthusiasm and delight once you step your foot to the Kalapathar vantage point that grasps surreal vistas over the whole Everest range. 

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8. Amadablam Base Camp Trek- Trek to the world’s beautiful mountain

Amadablam recognized widely as ‘Matterhorn’ among westerners due to its high ridges and steep faces. The title of the peak ‘Ama Dablam has a distinct meaning.  Mount Ama Dablam (6,812 m) derived from the traditional language. The long glacial deposit on each side of the peak is formed resemble the arms of a mother “Ama” protecting her child. The glacier represents a necklace “Dablam”, the traditional pendant with pictures of god worn by Sherpa women.

Ama Dablam attracts any person who sets eyes on her.  Ama Dablam Basecamp provides the marvelous backdrops of the Himalayan range of Everest the region with the world’s tallest Mt. Everest (8848 Meter), Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse Shar and numerous adjacent peaks.

This splendid Ama Dablam Base Camp Trek commences from Lukla following classic and renowned Everest Base Camp Trek. This trek designed for those who would like to see Everest, but do not have an adequate period to trek all the way to Everest base camp. Even the trekkers planning to embark on Everest base Camp can add Amadablam Base Camp as a side trek for acclimatization.

FAQ about Everest Region

How long does it take to walk to Mt Everest Base Camp?

Usually, the trek to Everest Base Camp consumes 14 days to complete on a 130km round-trip. It takes eight days to get to Base Camp and four days to get back down. Generally, the trek involves 9-day long trekking and 3-day acclimatization days.

Can you take a helicopter to Everest Base Camp?

The helicopter ride takes you to the base of Kalapathar picturesque hill for a magnificent backdrop of Mt. Everest. This tour can be done within a short span of time without exertion. Even you can combine Helicopter tour with EBC treks. For more information contact us.

What is the difficulty level of Everest Base Camp trek?

Everest base camp trek does not require professional trekking experiences.  However, one should be physically fit and sound mental determination. It is advisable to involve in hiking, cycling, uphill climbing prior to the trek. 

 What is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness, the mildest form being acute mountain sickness (AMS), is the negative health result of high elevation. It occurred by speedy exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high elevation. To know more about Altitude sickness link  the article: Altitude Mountain Sickness: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Can I apply for a visa online?

You can get visa online – filling the form and following the step by step procedure at

Do I need to get a visa to travel to Nepal? What are the documents required to visit Nepal?

All nationals must hold a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your expected date of departure from Nepal. An entry visa for all except Indians for Nepal is required. You need to arrange these prior to departure with the relevant embassy/consulate or you even get a visa on arrival. Learn more:  Visa and Documents requirement

Do I need to take permits to trek in the Everest region?

The trekkers who wish to trek the Everest region need a TIMS card, Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit and  Sagarmatha National Park permit.  If you are trekking Pike Peak at Lower Everest region then, the trekkers require to obtain TIMS and Gauri Shankar National Park Permit. Nepal Sanctuary Treks is here to arrange all the permits and organize the customize treks for you.


Annapurna Circuit Trek: Classic Himalayan Trek

As the name suggests, the Annapurna Circuit is a trail that circumnavigates the Annapurna massif. Further, Annapurna Circuit designated as one of the best long-distance treks in the world until half a decade ago. Spellbinding panoramic vistas and unbelievable experiences that lay on the Annapurna trial makes it one among the beautiful trekking trails in the globe.

Sanctified with the most almighty peaks, the trek offers close-up views of Annapurna II, III, IV, Lamjung, Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Manaslu, Machhapuchhre (6,993m), Tukuche peak, along with Gangapurna, Julu peak, Pisang peak, Mt Nilgiri and Tilicho peak.

The trek has gained high admiration among trekkers of Nepal since its opening in 1977 to foreigners. Annapurna circuit receives thousands of tourists annually. As stated by Annapurna Conservation Area-based Dharapani Check post of Manang, the trek route was visited by 28,534 tourists in 2018 in contrast to 27,068 tourists in 2017

NATTs (Natural Annapurna Trekking Trails)

As the construction of the road has been increasing to a greater extent in the Annapurna region, in 2011 ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) planned to design a new alternative trekking route in Annapurna, known as NATT (New Annapurna Trekking Trails). And finally, back in 2012 new waymarked routes are renamed as Natural Annapurna Trekking Trails (NATT). These trails signify the first-ever use of European-style waymarking in the Himalayas.

This project has transformed a lot since roads have replaced trails along an important part of the classical trek. The route encompasses the traditional circuit of the Annapurnas chain, Tilicho Lake, & Poon Hill, Annapurna Base camp trek and the new Khopra Community Trek and Mardi Himal trekking and Dhaulagiri’s incredible icefall.

Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek

1.   Thorong La Pass

Thorong La Pass is the climax point on the entire 300 km Annapurna Circuit trek. The mountain pass is at an altitude of 5,416 meters above sea level in Damodar Himal which is obviously the most thrilling part of the trekking journey. The pass present trekkers with the soaking sight of the sprawling river valleys below and the tapestry of ivory Annapurna and Dhaulagiri snow-clad peaks that adorn the skyline.

Reaching the zenith of highest passes gives trekkers a sense of accomplishment. The pass itself nestled amid two 6,000 meters soaring peaks called Yakwakang and Thorong Peak, and greets trekkers with a traditional Chorten, fluttering vibrant prayer flags, and congratulation board.

Generally, its high difficulty of traversing pass is determined by its high elevation, long ascent, and descent rather than technical difficulty.

2.   Manang

Manang is renowned to be an ideal place to stop on the Annapurna Circuit for acclimatization. Located at an altitude of 3,519 meters, there are plenty of options to kick back and enjoy an acclimatization day.

Gangapurna Lake

The glacial lake sited at the elevation of 3,540 meters formed from Mt Gangapurna (7,454m), Annapurna IV (7,525 m), Khangsar Kang and Glacier Dome. Gangapurna Lake looks like cyan throughout the spring and autumn, white during monsoon and blanketed with snow in winter. Due to its dramatic transformation, the Gangapurna Lake considered as the second most preferred trekkers attraction after Tilicho Lake

The trekkers can stroll for 15 minutes and reach marvelous Gangapurna Lake and Glacier. One can explore the local cultural heritage, culture, and tradition of the people living in this secluded region. The vistas over the village, the valley, and the snow-blanketed peaks are absolutely breathtaking.

Braga Monastery

If you want to witness the local cultural heritage, there are numerous gompas and monasteries in the smaller hamlets around Manang. The most prominent and one of the ancient in the region is the monastery in Braga, which is about 45 minutes’ stroll from Manang. The monastery perched on top of the Braga village.  The main attraction of the monastery is the prayer hall and the big Buddha statue. The main prayer hall display many fine-looking thankas, masks, and religious objects. There are hundreds of Buddha figures lined up on the wall inside the monasteries.

The highlight of this monastery is a huge golden Buddha. Traditional chortens, mani walls and prayer wheels around the Braga village depict something about the intense spirituality of the locals up there. During October, the monks of the monastery travel to Kathmandu for teaching, and village dwellers look after the monastery.

Visiting the 100 rupee monk in Praken Gompa

Praken Gompa is secluded religious building hidden from sight in a mountain wall towering above Manang in height of 3945 m. The trip is a gradual ascent from Manang town, and the trail goes up the hillside from its eastern end. A few meters above Manang lies a stupa where a Buddhist monk (Lama) attained enlightenment, resides in Praken Gompa.  The trekkers and visitors receive blessings from Lama for safe passage over Thorung La.

The views from this place are incredible as you can witness Annapurna IV, Annapurna II, Gangapurna and Tarke Kang. The round trip to Praken Gompa takes about three hours.

Hike to Ice lake- Kicho Tal

Located at the elevation of 4,600 m, the lake is often ice-covered except during the months from May to October when it converted into a crystal clear blue lake.

Trekkers can venture this hike either from Manang or Braga. It is one of the arduous side treks as trekkers ascend from 3,500 to 4,600 meters in four steep, long uphill sections. This glorious ice lake reached after an uphill hike above the yak meadow, picturesque villages with spectacular views of soaring peaks.

This makes it a perfect half-day destination for acclimatization. Trekkers get an opportunity to enjoy the marvelous and breathtaking views of the entire Annapurna and Tilicho ranges.

Marshyangdi and Kali Gandaki gorge

The Annapurna Circuit Trek takes trekkers to two river valleys connected by the Thorong La Mountain Pass. These river valleys take up northern-central Nepal and are sanctified with remarkable topographical aspects that trekkers can relish along the journey. The Annapurna circuit trek leads Marsyangdi River up to Manang valley and then climbs down to the valley of Kali Gandaki into a lower Mustang.

Kali Gandaki River cuts deeply between Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) to the west and Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m) to the east. This gorge is five times deeper than the Grand Canyon, making it the deepest gorge in the world.


Muktinath is one of the cultural attractions of the Annapurna Circuit Trekking that shelters the prominent holy temple.  To Hindu devotees, Muktinath is a holy site of salvation. They consider that taking a holy bath removes the sin and they often take some holy water back home in bottles.

It has assumed that Hindu divine, Brahma, have lit the eternal flames that burn at Muktinath. Further, many ammonites called saligrams are found in the Mustang region. Saligrams are regarded as a real and direct manifestation of the Hindu god Vishnu itself. To Buddhists, Muktinath is a place where the great sage Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) who brought Buddhism to Tibet, came to meditate.

The temple and its area are loaded with relics and architectural magnificence like the 108 water-fountain that are carved into the walls of the temple. People believed that taking a holy bath eradicate the sin and they often take some holy water back home in bottles.


Kagbeni is an absolutely mystic place and no one should miss the opportunity to visit it. Situated at the confluence of the Jhong River and the Kal Gandaki River, you can see the old village center which looks rather like a fortress. Officially Kagbeni is a settlement that links the gap between Lower and Upper Mustang, right at the base of Muktinath Valley by the River Kali Gandaki.

In ancient times, Kagbeni used to be the main trading hub for Tibetans and Indians. The well-known Salt Trade Route among the two countries went right through the village. Thousands of caravans used to descend from the Tibetan plains and met the merchants from the plains of India with their supplies and goats

Visiting Kagbeni, one will feel like being in a medieval village as you pass through the cobbled streets and tunnels between the old mud houses. The most prominent landmark of Kagbeni is Kag Chode Thupten Samphel Ling Monastery or, the Red Monastery built-in 1429.

Tiri Village

About 30 -45 minutes north of Kagbeni is a little village of Tiri (2,800m) that lies on the western bank of the Kali Gandaki. It is home to an 800-year-old nunnery. This place was not allowed to foreigners as lately as 2007 since the village is part of the upper Mustang and therefore it was in the restricted area and access was forbidden. Now those trekkers are permitted to visit there during the day time.

To get to Tiri, we have to traverse the bridge in Kagbeni following the only path north, towards the green terraced farmland in the distance strolling the off the beaten trails.

From the small village of Tiri, the trekkers can take the steep trail up to a monastery with grand views of the Kali Gandaki, the bare stony hills, the snow-capped Himalayan peaks and Upper Mustang in the distance. Along the trail, you can notice the color pattern of the Buddhist chortens in Mustang–white, red and blue-gray. These colors are unique to the area.

 Lhungfu Cave

The trekkers can take a side trip to Lhungfu Cave, a holy site for Buddhists. This cave is a frequent destination for pilgrims of various places. Located near Phalyak and Dhakarjhong village, Lhungfu cave is about two and a half hours stroll from Kagbeni.

Local people believed that during summer the deity lives in a cave and throughout the winter in Gurusangbo Cave near Kobang. Many Buddhist devotees visit the cave annually and worship for rain. Further, Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) is said to have meditated in this cave.


Jomsom is a renowned village that is often an overnights-stay destination for trekkers doing the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Located by the banks of the Kali Gandaki River, the village is notorious for its Shaligrams- fossilized stones that are thought to be the natural state of Lord Vishnu by the Hindu.

The name Jomsom originated from the Tibetan word “Dzong Sampa”, which translates to “New Fort”. King Thang Mig Chen of Thini established the fort to monitor the movement of people on the north-south trade route. The fort and the town were built near the trade route. The locals later called the place Dzong Sampa and gradually people visiting the place started to pronounce as “Jomsom”.

The soaring peaks of the Annapurna and the Nilgiri Peaks also form a picturesque backdrop to the village. The trekkers can trek following road less trail to Dumba Lake as well.

Dumba Lake

Dumba Lake is a sacred hidden lake among the rocky terrains and dotted pine trees. At a distance of around 5.5 kilometers from Jomsom, this crystal clear and serene lake is a picture-perfect day hike destination, while you are in Jomsom. It takes approximately two hours to reach the lake from Jomsom.

Trekkers can kick off the trek by getting Jomsom bus Park and traversing the wooden bridge there to reach the left side of the airstrip. There you’ll see a signboard indicating the way to Dhumba Lake/Thini Village. The first landmark of the trek will be Thini Village which is about 5 km from Jomsom. The next half kilometer trek will take to Dhumba Village and subsequently to Dhumba Lake.

Regarded as a holy place by Buddhists, the lake is decorated with prayer flags. The lake sited the base of Nilgiri Mountain and the crystal turquoise blue water reveals a mirror image of backdrops on the tranquil and cool breeze. Locals believed that the fish from the lake is never consumed. Some locals claim to visit here to pray for some kind of change in their lives for their betterment.

If the trekker wants to hike further then there is a monastery at a ridge over the lake. An additional stroll of 15 minutes leads to the monastery that provides a panoramic backdrop of the surroundings.

Diverse topographies feature

The entire circuit of Annapurna commenced in the sub-tropical forests below 800 m in elevation, passing through rice paddies, pine woodland, and Tibet-like rustic area from Manang and above on the northern slope of the Himalayas.

The trekkers traverse swinging suspension bridges over roaring gorges encircled by the eight-thousander peaks; pass deep green terraced rice fields, a cascading waterfall along the trek. The trekkers get to see the narrow stone villages filled with playing kids and in the Buddhist monasteries, you can listen to the low hum of the meditating monks.

And above the elevation of 4,000m, you only witness mountains, rocky hills, glaciers, and snow. The views of Annapurna summits, the Gangapurna or the Dhaulagiri were hauntingly beautiful.

With a varied climatic difference and diverse biological biospheres dispersed throughout the valleys, trekkers can enjoy an innumerable of freezing alpine and sub-tropical forests that offer an incredible canopy.

The area is also home to rare species like Snow Leopards, Tibetan Argali, Musk Deer, Tibetan Wolf and six species of Himalayan pheasants.

 Cozy Accommodation and authentic meals

There is a long practice of Nepali people trekking in the Himalaya, as it is very common for them to visit their family and relatives for numerous festivities. As the first roads were built in the 70 s, it was the norm for people to walk for days.

Several family-oriented tea-shops started to operate along the trails to provide meals and shelter to travelers. At these tea shops, one could get tea, traditional Nepalese meal and at night trekker could sleep on the floor, benches or some time is bed when available.

In recent days, the standard of tea house started to improve and on the Annapurna Circuit, the trekkers can find numerous nice lodges.

The tea house along the trail has a cozy and welcoming common area with a fire and good company to chat with. Wi-Fi is accessible, though it is spotty and unreliable, and once you’re higher than Manang, it’s almost non-existent.

One of the finest things about the Annapurna Circuit is the meals and hospitality trekkers will get in the tea houses. Every evening, after a long exhausting day, the host of teahouse welcomes the trekkers with their smile and hearty meals. The food is appetizing and very satisfying, and your body will be gratifying for it the following day when you feel revitalized and prepared to head out on the trail again.

Other common offerings in tea houses comprise garlic soup, a local cure for altitude sickness. Furthermore, apple pie is the famous Annapurna Circuit’s dessert since there are several villages with apple farms along the trail. Trekkers can find snicker bars and delicious bakeries in the Annapurna Circuit as well. Therefore, Annapurna Circuit entitled “The apple pie trek”.

 Encounter with diverse People and culture

Besides sceneries and diverse climatic zones, the Annapurna Circuit trail is rich in its authentic Himalaya culture. The trek provides perfect opportunities to interact with diverse ethnic groups, their culture, and witness their lifestyles & livelihood.

The trail initiates in the lowlands, where Gurung Villages and farmland inhabit most of the trail, before going up into the infertile, arid Manang District, you’ll find settlements with a strong sense of Tibetan culture.

The richly varied trails take trekkers through layers of mesmerizing landscape and culture. The route winds from the subtropical Marsyangdi Valley where a majority of Gurungs and Thakalis reside, to the arid Tibetan Plateau, where prayer flags reveal its Buddhist heritage.

Interested to know more about Annapurna Circuit Trek?

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Annapurna Circuit Side Treks

  Nar Phu Valley

For those who have the time, Nar Phu Valley Trek is a distinctive version of the Annapurna Circuit which comprises the isolated valley of Nar Phu. The trekkers choose this side trek which will take to the ancient Tibetan style villages of Nar and Phu.

Nar Phu is a true hidden jewel situated between the well-known Annapurna and Manaslu regions. The trek that provides trekkers an exceptional chance to discover pristine valleys, unexploited Himalayan nature, and primeval Buddhist culture. The trails incorporate high passes, glaciers, high cliff, woodlands, rock formations, and Tibetan cultures.

After an exploration of the Nar Phu Valley, the journey lead to traverse over a picturesque Kang-La pass (5,306m/17,408 ft.). The trekkers reach back at the main Annapurna circuit route at Manang village. and beyond towards the highest pass Thorang-La at 5,416 m.

Want to combine Nar Phu and Annapurna Circuit Trek in your journey?

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 Tilicho Lake

Tilicho lake is the most thrilling side trip that can undertake during the Annapurna Circuit. Trekkers can add two to three nights for Tilicho Lake (4,920 m) trip.

During winter, the lake freezes and in the other seasons the lake is that unimpeachable blue. Tucked between Jomsom and Manang at an altitude of 4919 m, Tilicho Lake is a beautiful lake encircled by glaciers and landslides.

FAQ about Annapurna Circuit Trek

What trekking essential should I need to carry to the trek Annapurna Circuit?

  • A pair of good hiking shoes or boots;
  • Flip-flops for evenings;
  • Warm socks
  • Long pants;
  • Waterproof pants
  • Thermal pants;
  • t-shirts;
  • long sleeve thermals;
  • warm fleece jacket;
  • Face mask, buff
  • Hat;
  • Waterproof jacket.
  • Backpack;
  • Trekking poles;
  • Sunglasses Water bottle;
  • Sleeping bag
  • Waterproof pouch for your valuables.
  • Mobile and charger
  • Camera gear

Toiletries and Accessories

  • Personal hygiene essentials
  • Sunscreen (SPF 50);
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste;
  • Nail clippers or scissors;
  • Microfiber towel.
  • Prescription medicine and first aid essentials
  • Water purification tablets or Steripen

How far is Tilicho Lake from Manang?

The distance from Manang to Tilicho Lake is 19.7 kilometers / 12.2 miles. It is 2-3 days side trip of world-renowned Annapurna circuit trek.

Is the Annapurna Circuit dangerous?

Thorung La pass (5,416 m) is the hallmark and the highest point of Annapurna Circuit Trek. In the matter of altitude acclimatization is the safest to traverse the high passes and to complete the entire trek.

How long does it take to reach Annapurna Circuit?

Usually, the trek incorporates 15 to 20 days and is about 160 to 230 km in length. The duration of a trek depends on the exact starting and ending point,

Is it difficult?

The Annapurna Circuit trek does not encompass technical climbing. However, it would be great to possess some hiking experience. It is also advisable to join physical fitness training for at least a month prior to the trek.

The trek incorporates diverse topographies such as rocky terrain, several precipitous descents, narrow path, steep ascents, and stone steps. It is important to acclimatize the body as you ascent higher to prevent altitude sickness.

Can I join Annapurna Circuit Trek?

Anyone with a good level of fitness can embark on this trek. This trek is perfect for solo, school groups, and families with elder children.  Altitude sickness is the main concern than fitness. Nevertheless, Nepal Sanctuary Treks design the itinerary incorporating with slow pacing and plenty of time for acclimatization and rest days.

Is it possible to tailor-made the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

Nepal Sanctuary Treks specialize in creating the customize itinerary as per need, time-frame, and preference of the trekkers.  Depending on time, level of fitness and interest trekkers can undertake either half or full circuit.

Do I need a permit?

To venture the Annapurna Circuit the trekkers will require permits. The trekkers required to obtain Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) and the Annapurna Conservation Area Project. Nepal Sanctuary Treks is here to arrange all the permits and organize the memorable treks.

When is the best time to trek the Annapurna Circuit?

Most of the trekking in the Himalayas don’t undertake in the rainy season. However, the Annapurna circuit situated within a rain shadow which means trekking is possible all-year-round. This trek can undertake in the summer however the rainy season invites problems due to lots of blood-sucking leeches.

The ideal time for trekking the Annapurna Circuit is October-early December and Late February-April. The weather during  December and January can be extremely cold.  Therefore, the pass Thorung La can be impassable due to snow.


The First Peace Corps Volunteer to Nepal hosted by Nepal Sanctuary Treks

“People are guests in our story, the same way we are guests in theirs. But we all meet each other for a reason because every person is a personal lesson waiting to be told.”― Lauren Klarfeld

It’s a great privilege and an honor to have the experiences and opportunities to host and interact with Dr. Peter Hodge Prindle- the well-known anthropologist and author.
Dr. Prindle served in the first US Peace Corps group to work in Nepal from 1962 to 1964. He contributed to Nepal in the health and education sector. After completing the Peace Corps, he joined a graduate school and received his M.A in 1968 and PhD. in 1974.

Based on his research, he wrote the book called “Born in Bigutar, Nepal: Socio-economic Relation of a Brahmin- Bhujel Village”, 1971-2001. The book provides detailed documentation and analysis of the economic and social processes of a Nepali village and examines how this data relates theoretically to studies of rural and peasant communities in other regions of Nepal.
Additionally, he published another book named Tinglatar: socio-economic relationships of a Brahmin village in east Nepal. The book states about the research on two sites, Okaldunga Bazaar and Tinglatar, both located in the Okhaldunga District. The investigation related to the social system of the agricultural village of Tinglatar. It also comprises a section concerning the significant changes which occurred in Tinglatar between 1972 and 1977. Besides, he published several articles such as Marriage by Exchange in East Nepal, Fictive Kinship (MIT) in East Nepal. His contribution to the area of anthropology is highly commendable.
Thank you so much for being our guest and sharing your insightful thought and experiences. We are looking forward to meeting you again soon in Nepal.

Mani Rimdu Festival: The sacred festival of the Everest region

Nepal is not only home to the almighty Himalayas and lush hills, but it is also a destination that drenched in charming culture. These cultures and traditions are deeply influenced by spirituality and religion.

Nepal celebrates many festivals depending on religious, ethnicity and castes. Not only has our ethnicity decided the festivals we celebrate, but the region where we belong too.

Offering fascinating insights into the religious beliefs and ancient customs, these celebrations also let travelers enjoy significantly and enriching interactions with the locals.

Overflowing with vibrant colors, sacred customs and primeval rituals, these festivals, and cultural celebrations are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for travelers and will make any trip to Nepal unforgettable.

The festivals offer a glimpse into Nepal’s ancient history, culture, and rich heritage; and while the majority of Nepal’s festivals are cultural ceremonies, there are also certain celebrations that are specific to certain cities or regions.

Amongst numerous festivals, Mani Rimdu Festival is the most iconic and interesting high Himalayan cultural festival observed annually in the Everest region. This Himalayan festival has delighted several trekkers throughout the year, who still wanted to observe it.

In addition, the festival happens right in the autumn season, which is one of the most popular trekking time of the year. If you are planning to undertake trekking to the Everest region then grab the opportunity to witness this festival. It is a very interesting and perfect festival to combine with a trekking expedition in the Everest region.

Are you interested to participate Mani Rimdu Festival in November?  If so, you can choose to venture one of the following treks:

Everest Base Camp

Everest High Passes

Gokyo Lake Trek

Everest Base Camp trek with comfort

Pikey Peak Trek

Alternatively, if you are pondering to trek in lower Everest then Pikey peak trek is the ideal one. One can join Mani Rimdu Festival Trek in Chiwong Monastery.

What is the Mani Rimdu Festival?

Mani Rimdu is a traditional festival passed on from the mother monastery of Tengboche monastery, the Rongbuk. The festival is a re-creation of legendary events; the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet by the great saint, Guru Rimpoche/Padmasambhava. 

Mani Rimdu is the worship of Phakpa Chenrezig, the god of Compassion and the locals believe that his blessings bring peace and good luck to the region. One of the rituals invokes the blessings of the God of Compassion on the rilbu, the long-life pills.  “Mani Rimdu” comprises two words, ‘Mani’ means “part of the chant of Chenrezig” (A Bodhisattva who symbolizes all the compassion of Buddha) and ‘Rilbu’ or ‘Rimdu’ means small red pills that are blessed during the festival. The red pills are purified repeatedly during the festival and then distributed among attendants of the festival.

These sacred ceremonies are a series of events of empowerment. It is a sequence of 19 days festivities, which culminate with the last three days allotted as a public display of the festival. 

When and where Mani Rimdu Festival does take place?

As per the Tibetan lunar calendar, the Mani Rimdu festival observed from the first day of the tenth month which takes place between October –November. The chief lama of the Tengboche monastery announces the dates of the festival. This year the festival celebrated on 12th, 13th and 14th November 2019.

The festival is widely celebrated in the monasteries of Tengboche, Chiwong, and Thame of the Everest region

The main site for the Mani Rimdu festival is at Tengboche Monastery (3867 m). Perched in Tengboche village, it is the biggest monastery in the Everest region.  In 1916,  Lama Gulu constructed the monastery with strong connections to its mother monastery called the Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet.

Furthermore, the remarkable aspect of Tengboche Monastery is that it is situated in the Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded with a breathtaking backdrop of majestic renowned snow-clad peaks comprising Everest, Nuptse, Nuptse, Tawache, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and Thamserku.

What happens during the Mani Rimdu festival?

Mani Rimdu festival is a time where Sherpa and Tibetans get the opportunity to gather and rejoice together with the monastic community. People of the surrounding region gather around in a monastery for 5 days (for the welfare of the world) to celebrate the festival.

The main first day of the festival comprises prayers, second day for an interesting monk dance performance. The final day involves some hilarious dances and chanting prayers. When the festival concludes, and all prayers make their leave, the monks carry out a fire rite to disperse all troubles and evil of the world. The ceremony encompasses prayer, 16 ritual dance with interludes of comical effect, fire rituals and feasts.

Before exhibiting the ritual dance, the monk take oaths at an empowerment ceremony with Truslshig Rinpoche. They have to go through the preparation of festivals such as Sand Mandala, the Empowerment, and the Fire worship.

Main Preparation of Mani Rimdu Festival

During the 19 days, monks carry out several sacred ceremonies and rituals purifying the unique Mandala called Mani Rilwu (the sacred red pills).

The Sand Mandala

The festival initiates with a decorative portrayal of the Mandala drawing made with color sand collected from the sacred hills.  The colored sand used to prepare mandala and create a  fine-looking design that is highly emblematic in nature.

It signifies the palace of Garwang Thoze Chenpo (Lord of the Dance). The protective defensive blade signifying deities kept around the mandala while sacred Mani Riluwa pills bowl placed above the center.

Monks chant the ceremonial mantras constantly during the weeks of the ceremony before the public festival. During meditation, they visualize compassion flowing in the form of the mantra, into the Mandala and the Mani Rilwu pills and empowering them with kindness.

It usually takes four days to construct mandala and covered. This mandala is significant for the religious festival that continues for the next 10 days.

Wong (The Empowerment)

The Wong is the opening public ceremony carried out on the full moon day, of the tenth month in the Tibetan lunar calendar.  The holy and sanctified Mani Rilwu (sacred or blessed pills) and Tshereel (pills for long life), then distributed to spectators and attendees by Trulshig Rinpoche.

Ritual Dances

1.  Chham (The Dances)

The Chham (dances) exhibits on the second day of Mani Rimdu. The monks dressed up in brocade gown and wonderfully decorated masks. The elaborate mask symbolizes the old ghosts.

Then sequence ceremonial Lama Dances depicts the victory over demons, dispersed, to Dharma Protectors, as positive forces clash with those of chaos. The dances express Buddhist teaching on numerous levels from the simplest to the most philosophical.

During the dance, the monks are thought to turn out to be a divine being. The dances performed during Mani Rimdu regarded to be holy, and not for ordinary amusement. 

2.  Ser-Kyem

Ser-Kyem is two pieces of the larger raised dish-shaped bowl and a smaller raised offering bowl used to make tea offerings to Dharma protectors such as Mahakala

The smaller positioned in a standing position in the larger dish when the offering is being made. The smaller offering bowl placed upside down in the larger bowl when not in use. The food offerings can also, be sited in the larger dish when in use.

The six dancers exhibited the dance portraying a tantric magician known as Ngag-pa. Throughout the performance, they offer tormas and alcohol from silver vessels to numerous deities such as Yidam (personal deity) and Khandro (wisdom dakini), as well as to Shi-Dak (Earth deities) and the Lama (spiritual guide).

A crucial theme in Tibetan Buddhist practice is to make offerings to these beings so that they will support the righteous actions which lead to Buddhahood.

3.  Chhingpa

The next dance depicts the Four Protecting Ghings, who are defenders of the Buddhist religion. Among four, two of the Ghings are women who carry drums whereas the other two are males carrying cymbals.

The males signify skillful means and the female denote wisdom; these two aspects are made-up to help in achieving enlightenment.

 Each dancer wears magnificent vibrant paper masks exhibiting a continuous smiling expression.  Their dances are musically escorted by the beating of cymbals.

The priests performed the Dakini dance pleasantly. They executed dance in a gentle motion dance steps, keeping perfect time with the soft jingle and relaxed beat of bells and drums in their hands.

The dancers without masks represent female spiritual figures; consorts of Padmasambhava. There is a belief that they originate from his pure land of Shangdok Palri where they reside in his mandala. They symbolize the forthcoming arrival of Guru Rinpoche at the Mani Rimdu.

The Fire Puja (Jinsak)

The fire rite carried out in the yard once the three-day public festival concluded, and the viewers returned to their home.

The fire ceremony is an offering to Agni (the god of fire), and to the Gods of the mandala. The harm imagined as liquefying into the grain and burned the butter. Subsequently, the sand mandala dismantled and give as an offering to the serpent gods (Nagas). Thus, the 19-day Mani Rimdu completed partaking bestowed numerous with pills and blessings for long life, bliss, and success in the future.

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Tihar Festival- Celebration of lights and spreading energy and bliss

 About Tihar Festival

The festival of Tihar heralds winter, vibrantly lighting up the horizon of towns and villages of Nepal. Tihar, the most anticipated festival for Nepalese is approaching which falls after two weeks of Dashain. It is mostly evoked as a festival of lights and color where diyos are lit both inside and outside the houses to make it brighten at night to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, who gives blessings of wealth and prosperity. In the meantime, one can feel the aroma of Sayapatri and the purplish radiance of Makhamali all around the streets and homes.

Generally, Tihar occurs between mid-October and early November. This year Tihar date falls on October 26-29, 2019. If you’re planning to visit Nepal to do one of the amazing treks with family, solo or school groups then you will get an opportunity to experience this unique celebration and create some incredible memories. Besides, one can witness the lively atmosphere, vibes of happiness, and the feeling of harmony. With colorful lights embellishing the entire city, this blissful occasion is also when the travelers can actually revel in the religious performs presented in quite an extravagant manner.

Deepawali is another name of Tihar. Literally, Deepawali means rows of Diyos (clay lamps). The word “Deepawali” comprises of two words; “Deep” means “light” and the word “avail” means “a row”. Therefore, “Deepawali” means “a row of lights”.

This five days festival celebrated in honor of Yama–the god of death and Lakshmi–the goddess of wealth and power with great zeal, grandeur, brightness, and happiness. The festival considered to be of great significance as it shows admiration to not just humans and the deities, but also to the animals like crows, cows, and dogs who maintain a deep relationship with humans. 

As the festival is all about rituals, a variety of delicacies, firecrackers, colors of blessings and flowers like marigold (Sayapatri) and globe amaranth (Makhamali). Everything that creates from nature is thought to have some implications for human life.

Day 1: Kaag Tihar- mediator between the human realm and the realm of souls

The five-day celebration of Tihar begins with the worship of crow. Crow is appreciated for being a messenger who fetches news when it crows and also regarded to be the mount of Yamaraj or the god of death. Crow is a bird with a high sense of identifying human souls. According to Hindu mythology, the cawing of the crows signifies bad luck, sadness, and grief. So, worshiping them is deemed to bring good fortune.

Another reason for worshiping crow is it feeds on the insects that invade and destroy the harvests. When crows fly around growing crops, it is reflected a good indicator, and a healthy crops is predicted.

Therefore, on this day, people offer home prepared delicacies placed on the roofs of houses in the morning to please the crow to protect the crops and to avoid death.

Day 2: Kukur Tihar or Khicha Puja: Symbolize special relationship between dogs and humans

 The second day of Tihar also called the Khicha Puja (worship of dogs) by the Newars dedicated to dog and represent the special bond between humans and dogs

The dog is a faithful and favorite companion of humans and, much cherished for their loyalty. Humans have an exceptional connection and affection with dogs since they are intelligent beings, who have the skill to empathizes with their caretakers and respond according to their feelings.

In Hindu Mythology, dogs considered as Yamaraj’s doorkeeper of Naraka, (Hell) that ensures the soul’s journey to judgment. So this day also celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi. Likewise, Dog is regarded as a vehicle of Bhairava, a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva.

On this day, dogs garlanded with marigold flowers, vermilion on their heads and make special offerings to them. The best part about this day is that, those who don’t own a dog pay homage to homeless dogs and treated with special food. In addition, the dog involves in public services, such as police dogs, are held in high honor and show adoration for their diligence.

In 2016, Mexico started to celebrate Kukur Tihar as they were motivated by the Nepali festival to raise awareness there about the reverence humans owe to all animals. Since then, the festival has increased popularity, and dogs have been chosen for a special honor.  

Day 3: Gai Tihar and Laxmi Puja- Honor to cow and divinity of wealth and prosperity

Cows, revered as earthly manifestation, are bathed, blessed and the sacred thread of protection knotted to the tail. There is the practice of tying the holy thread that is tied around one’s wrist on the day of the Janai Purnima festival on the tail of the cow while carrying out Gai Puja. It is said that doing so the cow would facilitate the person’s soul cross the Baitarani River, a mythical river, to paradise, after the person’s demise.

People worship cows in this day as cows have benefited humans in several ways by giving dairy products, and dung as a source of fuel and fertilizer. Henceforth cows became a symbol of ‘caretakers’, or a maternal figure. On this day, devotees pay respect to cows by feeding her with the best grass and put flower garlands around the neck.

In the afternoon, people clean up their homes and coat walls and floors with a mixture of red mud and cow dung. There is a practice of making footprints of Laxmi from the main entrance to the worship room.  There is a belief that the footsteps bring wealth, good health and prosperity to the family.

They drew a mandala with colorful pigment powders, decorate with flower petals in front of the house and light candles inside small, lively work of art. The mandala signifies a sacred area, welcoming the divine into houses and businesses.

The ritual for the goddess performed on the eve of the moonless sky leaving the doors open for the deity and wealth to glide in. As dusk started, oil lamps and decorative lights are illuminated and fill the gloomy night as constellations in the sky.

The echoes of special carols called bhailo are another fascinating feature in the eve of Laxmi Puja day.  A groups of girls go door to door and perform Bhailo songs and dances asking the gods to sanctify the family with prosperity and sound health. There is a belief that Vaili blessings bring bliss and fortune to the family. In return, the host families offer money and homemade treats.

There is a custom of offering auspicious vegan food to Goddess Laxmi on this day. The main highlight food of this festival is sel roti,  prepared in almost all houses especially in Tihar. Apart from this, people of every household prepare other varieties of popular confectioneries and delicacies.

Likewise,  people purchase gold and silver, new utensils on the day of Laxmi puja as a sign of good fortune and prosperity. People engaged in the financial sector and businesses hold Laxmi puja as extra significance.  They celebrate this occasion with more gusto as this specific worshiping of the Goddess associated with money. Therefore, people adorned shops and other business organizations with flowers, oil lamps, and candles and even LED lights.

Another entertaining way of enchanting Tihar vibes is witnessing sparks of vibrant firecrackers up in the sky that leaves you fascinated.

Day 4: Govardhan Puja, Nepal Sambat and Mha Puja- Praying for good harvest and worship of self

The numerous communities celebrate the fourth day of Tihar in their own way. Farmers reverence their implements and their bull since they till lands and help in harvesting to sustain life. Most people carry out Gobardhan puja by making hillock of cow dung. The cow dung hillock represents the mountains, and farmers pray for rain, productive fields, and plentiful harvest.

Govardhan Puja is the instance of winning over the intellect. The rituals are related to the Hindu Lord Sri Krishna who, according to the myth, raised Govardhan Mountain (problem) on his one finger (one point determination) to protect the people of a place called Gokul from heavy rains made by Indra, the God of rain. 

This day symbolizes the advent of the New Year for the Newar community, traditionally known as Nepal Sambat. It is believed Shankhadhar Sakhwa, a local merchant from Kathmandu paid off the debts of people on his own during the rule of Lichchhavi King Raghadev in 880 AD. The government declared Shankhadhar Sakhwa who propounded the Nepal Sambat calendar and made notable contribution to society and the nation as national luminary in November 18,1999.

Newar community on the night conduct Mha puja (worship of self). The worship of the soul is a uniqueness of the community. Mha Puja is centered on the religious belief that the soul or self is the most significant in the world and that if the soul is happy, the gods are also satisfied and one’s life becomes meaningful and successful. Read more to learn more about Mha Puja. 

As dusk falls, a group of males gathers and visit houses with musical instruments singing and dancing called Deusi. As stated in the chorus of the songs, deusi-bhailo has started a part of admiration to the Treta Yuga King Bali. According to Hindu legend, King Bali was very kind that all who went to visit him give back with all wishes fulfilled. He deceived into giving up his kingdom through the conspiracy of Devas and their chief plotter, the Lord Bishnu. It stated that during Tihar, Bali gets his kingdom back for five days and that is what the deusi and bhailo song started. 

Day 5: Bhai Tika: Warm bonding between brothers and sisters

Bhai Tika marked the relationship of Yama with his sister which has exceptional importance in fostering deeper affection and respect. The myth behind the tradition states that one-day Yamraj, the god of death visited her sister, the Yamuna. She offered delicious dishes, the garland of makhamali and sayapatri flowers and blessed tika on his forehead. They relished eating foods and sweets, chatting and sharing their moments. Being so much delighted, Yamraaj gifted the Yamuna a blessing that any brother who receives the tika and garland of flowers from sisters will be surpassing death for that day.

To initiate the ceremony, the sister draws three mandaps at a selected place for Lord Ganesh, Janmaraj (the God of Birth), and Yamaraj. The worship follows a traditional procedural in which sister encircle brothers, with sacred water and mustard oil as a boundary over which death and evil spirits cannot come in. Then after, they apply oil to their brother’s hair, following which a seven-color tika applied on the brother’s forehead.

Along with the tika, the sisters offered their brothers with the garlands of flowers along with sweets and fruits. Then sisters break the walnut with the stone by placing it in the middle area of the house entrance. And pray the god to avoid every problem that may fall on their brothers in forthcoming days. In return, the brothers bring special gifts to the sisters and each other prays for the success and wellbeing.

Bhai Tika in Newari Community

 Newari communities called Bhai Tika as Kija Puja. People draw mandala in the designated place for god and brother. Then, long-burning wicks placed next to the mandala, along with sacred threads, masala- (a mixture of nuts) and fruits.

The sisters then offer Sagun to their brothers which comprises of auspicious food varieties. The five items wine, meat, fish, lentil cake and egg indicate the five tantric concepts of light, earth, water, air, and sky respectively.

After concluding the ceremony, sisters treat their brothers with lavish meals. As per family tradition, the ceremony performed either at sister’s home or at the brother’s home. On this day, those who do not have brothers and sisters visit Rani Pokhari to worship Lord Shiva. The temple opens to the public only on the occasion of Bhai Tika. The joyous day comes to an end with feelings of love and rejuvenation of the sibling’s connection.


When is the best festive season in Nepal?

The festival and carnival take place all year round. The major festival Dashain and Tihar falls during October and November and these months are the ideal month for trekking.

What is the festival of the mountain region?

Nepal is famous for its mountains as well as vibrant festivals. The Nepalese festival calendar sees over fifty festivals observed across the country annually. Nepal celebrates several festivals depending on religious, ethnicity and castes. Not only has our ethnicity decided the festivals we celebrate, but the region where we belong too.  i.e. Tiji festival, Mani Rimdu Festival

What is the popular festival in Nepal?

Festivals are a perfect way for travelers to experience the local culture first-hand. Apart from Dashain and Tihar, there are several festivals that trekkers can participate in. Want to know more about numerous interesting festivals celebrated in Nepal? Read more

Can I participate with locals to celebrate Tihar?

Nepal Sanctuary Treks integrate the festival events in the Itinerary.  We organize a trek or tour in Nepal with a celebration of the festival. If you are planning to venture trek or any other tours in Nepal with family, individual or school groups.

Do you need to get a visa to travel to Nepal? 

All nationals must hold a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your expected date of departure from Nepal. An entry visa required for all except Indian nationality. You need to arrange these prior to departure with the relevant embassy/consulate or you even get a visa on arrival. Learn more:  Visa and Documents requirement

Can I apply for the visa online?

You can get visa online – filling the form and following the step by step procedure at

Best Short Treks for Spring and Autumn 2020

Join short treks in spring 2020 and mark the calendar. Seek to escape the everyday lives and relish the delight of the mountains. Trekkers can combine trekking with other activities as well such as safari, rafting, bird watching, mountain flight and many more. 

Nepal rewards every trekker with magnificent vistas of snow blanketed mountain, verdant meadows, high elevation glaciers, a marvelous assortment of flora and fauna along with the exotic culture. The existence of the immense Himalayas in the region and the incredible landscape provide the country the tag of being one of the perfect trekking places on the earth.

The country promises a number of thrilling treks, and they are not just the popular trails but also some exciting off-the-beaten and newly discovered trails. The Himalayas provides numerous trekking routes, which range from being easy, moderate to extremely challenging. Such trails are a blend of exquisite wildlife man-made structures, beautiful scenery, cultural experiences, religious delights and much more.

To savor the adventure of trekking like never before, try the incredible short treks in Nepal. The short trek is ideal for both novice and proficient trekkers, family with children, solo and school groups.

Also if you’ve limited time, and you’re keen to escape to the wild, these short treks in Nepal are perfect for mini adventures. On these short Himalayan treks, you’ll get to spend a few nights out in remote areas, enjoy staying at a local tea house and camping experience and witness some remarkable sights.

 Nepal trekking is an experience that you would not want to miss out on if you’re an adventure devotee. Here is the list of top short trekking trails in Nepal where you can make memories that are forever to keep in 2020.

1.  Pikey Peak: Renowned for superb Himalayan range

Located in the lower Everest region Pike Peak is one of the beautiful and less trodden trekking trails.  From the Pikey peak 4,065 meters, you can witness the superb views of the eight of the world’s peaks over 8000 meters including Mt. Everest 8,848m, Mt. Lhotse 8,516m, Mt. Makalu 8,463m, Mt. Kanchenjunga 8,586m, in addition to several other breathtaking snow-capped mountains.

This peak is popular for its amazing sunrise and sunset views. It is a really spectacular sight taking in innumerable giant peaks to the north and deep valleys dropping away into the clouds to the south. The vistas from Pikey Peak is said to have been Sir Edmund Hillary’s preferred view in all of Nepal. This Pikey Peak Trek is ideal for those who prefer to see the finest view of Everest and beautiful landscapes within a few days.

Trekking in the Pikey Peak region has been gaining popularity due to rewarded quiet trails, scrumptious home-made meals from local produce and incomparable backdrops of Everest along with accompanying peaks. This newly discovered trekking route definitely offers trekkers with the off-beaten trail trekking experience. 

2.     Langtang Trek: Valley of Glacier

“Nepal Sanctuary Treks organized 11-day trek into the Langtang Valley for our family (two parents, two teenagers).  Fantastic as per past experiences. They care for their staff, have a genuine commitment to the places and people that you visit and walk the talk in terms of a responsible future of tourism in Nepal. ” Matt Francey & Maggie Scott

Situated about 30 km north of Kathmandu near the Tibetan border and extending in an east-west direction, Langtang is encircled on the north by the Himalayas, dominated by Langtang Lirung (7,245 m), the highest peak in the area. 

Langtang is beautiful and famous for its diverse vegetation and villages with affluent culture. What sets this trek apart is its incomparable experience. Everything about this trek is aesthetically pleasing: authentic picturesque hamlets, snow-capped peaks, sweeping glaciers, ancient monasteries, alpine freshwater oligotrophic lake, diverse flora, and fauna.

The trek also takes you through the rose tree and the dense bamboo woodland to the snow-blanketed peaks which comprise Kyangjin Ri (4,350 m), DorjeLakpa, and the only 8,000 m high peak in Tibet, Shisha Pangma.

While hiking to the Kyangjin Ri Peak one can see the imposing 360-degree vistas of the massifs of Langtang Region. Together with Kyangjin Gompa, there are numerous other monasteries that can be spotted during the trek. Gosaikunda Lake is an incomparable destination for spirituality. The Lake is bounded by other Lakes and bordered by the snowy peaks.

Have a look at other treks offers in the Langtang region

3. Gokyo Lake Trek: The highest freshwater lake system in the world

The glittering, crystal clear turquoise waters of the Gokyo Lakes are one of Nepal’s most remarkable sights. They encompass the highest freshwater lake system in the world, at around 5,000 meters comprising six lakes.

Trekkers get an opportunity to ascend to the summit of Gokyo Ri (5,357m) that rewards trekkers with the incredible views of soaring mighty peaks such as Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Mt. Kanchenjunga and Makalu.

One of the main attractions of the trek is the remarkable Khumbu Glacier which is also the largest glacier in the entire Himalayan region of Nepal. The quaint & tranquil lake in the Dudh Koshi Valley overlooks the majestic Everest and will certainly make your jaw drop. It’s simply spectacular to see the tranquil valley comprises wide meadows for yaks to graze throughout summer and indulges in the serenity of the Gokyo Lake.

The perfect period to do the Everest Gokyo Lake Trek is in the seasons of spring (March-May) and autumn (September-December). 

4.  Annapurna Base Camp Trek: Witness endless beauty of Annapurna region

Also known as Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, this enjoyable trek takes you deep into the mountains. The location of the base camp is so wonderful, set amid the impressive six major peaks over 7200 meters comprising Annapurna I, II, III and IV, Annapurna South and Gangapurna. & fishtail peak. Likewise other mountains like Dhaulagiri (8167m), Manaslu (8156m).

Annapurna Base Camp Trekking most preferred and well-known moderate nature trekking trails in Nepal that incorporated paddy fields, colorful rhododendron forests, bamboo groves, fluted glaciers, affluent culture, natural hot spring, suspension bridges, cascading rivers and waterfalls and varied landscapes.

The Annapurna Base Camp trek trail looks dazzling in spring since the entire forest on the trail turns red, pink and white with shrub flowers. This trek is also popular for its many stone steps and which you will experience from Hille to Ulleri with a very steep segment taking up to 2 hours.

There are some memorial chortens and stupas to visit in ABC and one in specific is dedicated to one of the most well-known mountaineers, Anatoli Boukreev who was an important figure in the rescue on Mount Everest noted by Jon Krakauer in his book, Into Thin Air.

5. Amadablam Base Camp- The most beautiful mountain in the world

Trek to Amadablam incorporated culture, adventure, and world-class mountain viewing. This trek provides an opportunity to get closer to the world’s highest mountains including Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, and Nuptse. Literally, the term Ama Dablam means Mother’s Necklace. When we view Mt. Ama Dablam it looks like to be an arm of the mother protecting her child on each side. And, a hanging glacier signifies the shape of a pendant worn by a Sherpa woman.

Trekking towards the base camp of Ama Dablam, one of the planet’s most attractive mountains is a lifetime wish of passionate travelers as the trials to the mesmerizing place comprises ascend and descend that traverse verdant low land, alpine woodlands, glaciers, cascading rivers.  On the cultural side, the trek provides an opportunity to explore the traditional way of life of the highlanders, their culture, practices, and festivities

Take the next step towards achieving your goals of reaching the base of one of the world’s most stunning mountains?

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6.     Lamjung Trek: Camping under the stars

Situated south of the Manaslu range and north of Gorkha, Lamjung Himal Trek takes you through the affluent cultural heritage of Gurung village to the unexploited area of Lamjung. Lamjung Himal is low altitude trek that cuts through the unique and diverse terrain from low land picturesque hamlets and terraced fields up to the high hills.

The route presents a beautiful verdant valley, monasteries, rhododendron forest, varied species of vegetation and mountain ridges. Trekkers get a chance to encounter local welcoming people and get a rare insight into the preserve cultural heritage and tradition.

Throughout the trek, the trekkers get to witness the imposing vistas of majestic Himalayan backdrop comprising the Annapurna Himalayan range, the Dhaulagiri Himalayan range, and Manaslu Himalayan range. The best time to do Lamjung trek is during autumn (Mid-September to December) and spring (March to May).

Interested in Lamjung Himal Trek?

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7.  Khopra Ridge Community Trek: Classic Trekking adventure

Khopra Ridge has emerged to be the best off-beat trek in Nepal. The trail of this trek goes off the busy trekking trail and presents wonderful mountain backdrop, wilderness, and varied terrain from forest to high alpine, diverse culture and classic trekking adventure in the Himalayas. .In addition, the trekkers get to stay at community-based lodges set up by local villagers. From Khopra ridge vantage point, the trekker is rewarded with panoramic views of the magnificent peaks such as Mount Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna South, Varaha Shikhar and many more.

If you believed the Grand Canyon was full of deep gorges, on this trek you can overlook the deepest gorge in the world — Kali Gandaki from the ridge. It divides the summits of the Dhaulagiri range from the Annapurna range. The religious attraction of this trail is the sacred Khaire Lake, which is located at 4,600 meters from the sea level. The ideal time to do the journey would be in autumn (September, October, and November) and spring (March, April, and May).

8.     Poonhill Mulde View Point Trek: Spectacular Vantage Point

Poon Hill (3,210m) and Mulde Sunrise trek are one of the shortest and most desirable trekking destinations in Nepal where you can savor the marvels of nature and culture of Nepal with your entire family, solo or school groups. This ever-popular trekking trail takes you to the charming ethnic villages and accomplishes your craving to be in close proximity to the massive snow-capped Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range.

The trek offers the marvelous Himalaya trekking experience with no stresses of altitude sickness. Trekking the main trail to well-known Poon Hill, you’ll also be getting the chance to go a little off the beaten route to Mulde (3,640m) — which considered the best hill for sunrise, sunset views.

Further, Mulde viewpoint offers to witness the world’s renowned Kali Gandaki river gorge, numerous mountainous hills, lush forests, diverse flora and fauna which is well-preserved by the Annapurna conservation area project.

9. Mardi Himal Trek: Hidden Gem of Annapurna region

Want to get closer to the almighty mountains, experience the real local culture and get into the wilderness but don’t have sufficient time? Then, the Mardi Himal trek is the ideal option for you. Mardi Himal is the best alternative short route to escape away from the bustling of the other trekking routes.

This trek is a hidden gem, just east of Annapurna Base Camp, marvelously located at the foothill of Mardi Himal. This trek amazes trekkers with an exclusive and fascinating natural and rich cultural assortment from starting to the endpoint. The region is also renowned for affluent biodiversity and panoramic scenery.

Throughout the journey, the trekkers’ winds through delighted rhododendron forests, quaint villages, lush rolling hills, waterfall, varied flora, and fauna, bloomed aromatic flowers, sparkling rivers until you ascend out of the forest at the altitude around 3,300 meters. The terrain dramatically changes from spectacular valleys, lush forest, into an uneven soaring silvery mountain landscape, with superb vistas of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. These peaks play hide and seek with you whilst you ascend to the Mardi Himal base camp. You’ll find them soaring above the sky, right in front of you!

The ideal time for Mardi Himal trek is from autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May). During spring the entire trail covered with colorful rhododendron flowers which are completely spectacular particularly and as the altitude gain, the terrain change.

10. Kathmandu Rim valley Trek: Explore medieval cities, villages with mountain views

If you have limited time and want to embark trekking with the blend of nature and culture, then Kathmandu Valley Rim Trek is another option. This trek is a well-known trekking destination around Kathmandu valley and sightseeing places around the valley. Kathmandu valley rim trek takes you to different popular places like Chisapani, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Panauti and several temples and stupas. You’ll sightsee prehistoric cities and settlements along a short trek and wake up to magnificent views of the Himalaya.

Whilst you savor the superb views of almighty Himalayas, the trekkers will be fascinated by the mystic sunrise over the Himalayas. So this trekking is definitely the perfect way to experience nature and culture around. Even though the journey goes around natural and cultural surroundings, it always brings some breathtaking Himalayan views too.

Interested in Kathmandu Rim Valley Trek?

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11. Ruby Valley Cultural Community Trek- Ethnic Villages and Passes

Ruby Valley Cultural Community Trek is a newly explored trail where trekkers experience secluded trails and rare insights of a rural lifestyle. If you wish some first-hand experience than tourist hub trek routes, then Ruby Valley Trek is the one to explore.

Since, this is a very new trekking trail in Nepal, lodges, and guesthouses have not been established yet so home-stay is the mode of accommodation, which lets you get a first-hand experience of Nepalese countryside life as you stay with locals and share their food. The region host diverse communities such as Brahmin, Chhetri, Gurung, Magar, Newar, Tamang, etc. But Tamang who are Buddhists forms the majority of settlers.

During trek, trekkers traverse several passes like Pangsala pass (3,850 m /12,631 ft.) and Khurpa Pass (3,610m/11,843 ft.)  that present superb vistas of Mt. Ganesh I, locally called Yangra peak (7422m), Ganesh II (7118m), Lapsang Karbo (7043m), Pabil (7,104m), Manaslu and Langtang.

Also, have a look at Ruby Valley and Ganesh Himal Trek offers in the Langtang region

11. Tamang Heritage Trek- Traditional villages of ancient hill tribe with primitive traditions

Tamang Heritage trail is recently discovered trail and feature off the beaten trails experience which highlights a primeval lifestyle of people. These trails are away from the busier trails and put the main stress on culture than some of the more classic trails.

The trail is predominately resided by the Tamang ethnic community who are the oldest horse merchants who migrated between Nepal and ancient Tibet. The civilizations and practices of the region are influenced by Tibetan culture. Indeed, numerous of the dwellers of this area have traveled from Tibet and many have converted their surname to that of Tamang.

Tamang Heritage Trail treks present an entire wilderness experience where trekkers walk through the less-trodden path, quaint villages of Tamang ethnic groups, and explore virtually unexploited culture lifestyle, customs, and crafts.

Likewise, warm hospitality by the locals rich in their unique vibrant dress and ornaments, their houses built with beautiful wood crafted doors and windows are the main highlights of this trek. The cluster authentic hamlets with the backdrop of magnificent snow-clad mountain ranges, terraced fields are simply breathtaking. If you are trekking in March-April, the entire trail is dominated by colorful rhododendron flowers.

Frequently asked questions about short treks in Nepal

Q 1: What is tea house trekking? How is it organized?

In Nepali, the word for tea house is known as Bhatti that caters freshly cooked meals and accommodation for the night. Originally, teahouses were little shops where trekkers could take a break for a rest and a cup of tea. Gradually, as more and more visitors start to discover the mountains in Nepal, these tea houses have established into complete lodges offering meals and accommodation to trekkers. And it’s not a place where you will only be served tea. Nevertheless, it’s where you will get home-prepared meals and where you can also spend the night.

To know more about Tea house link the article below:

5 reasons to choose teahouse lodge trekking

Q2: What is Camping Trekking? How is it organized?

Camping is a classic style of trekking conducted where the trekking takes place in remote areas and the place where there are fewer tea house lodges. The camping trekking is based on the trekking where the night will be resting at the camps. Camps are set up in various areas of the trekking route. Our team of leaders, guides, cooks, Sherpas, and porters will accompany our clients and take care of all the technical and logistical parts during camping treks. We will have our meals at the camps where our cooks prepared and serve scrumptious meals for our clients.

Q 3. What is the best season to trek in Nepal? 

Trekking in Nepal can be carried out all the year-round. Nepal comprises four major seasons and each season has its distinct attractions to offer. To know more about seasons please refer to the link

Q 4. Should I be fit for short trekking?

For the easy, moderate and low elevation trekking the trekkers do not need technical or previous trekking experience. However, it is recommended to do jogging, swimming, walking and bicycling for a few weeks before the trekking commences. To learn more please click the link

 Q 5. How many hours do I walk in a day during the short trekking?

You will walk normally for about 3-6 hours per day.

Q 6. What is the suggested packing list for a trek?

Gears required depends upon destination and season you plan to trek. However, Trekking shoes, down jackets, sleeping bags, hiking poles are the important ones. Learn More

Q 7. Does your company organize solo trek?

Nepal Sanctuary Treks organize trekking holidays to solo female and male trekkers.  All programs are prepared by the travel specialist to suit clients’ personal needs and preferences. To know more about it refer to the link

Q 8. Do I need to get a visa to travel to Nepal? What are the documents required to visit Nepal?

All nationals must hold a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your expected date of departure from Nepal. An entry visa for all except Indians for Nepal is required. You need to arrange these prior to departure with the relevant embassy/consulate or you even get a visa on arrival. Learn more:  Visa and Documents requirement

Q 9:  Can I apply for the visa online?

You can get visa online – filling the form and following the step by step procedure at

Q 10. Are there any age limits to do short treks in Nepal’s Himalayas?

There are no age restrictions for trekking. Lower altitude regions are ideal for a family with children even solo and school groups.

Q 11. What is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness, the mildest form being acute mountain sickness (AMS), is the negative health result of high elevation, which happened by speedy exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high elevation. To know more about Altitude sickness link  the article: Altitude Mountain Sickness: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Q 12. Does your company organize Family?

 The trekking trails for family range from easy to moderate hiking trail with beautiful mountain and Himalayan views to enjoy the local culture and villages. We designed the program considering the children’s age, family trekker’s interest preference and let trekker walk on their own pace, take numerous breaks and generate new stamina to walk more. Learn more about tips and age range for a family trek.

Q13: Does your company organize the CAS trip?

Over the last 20 years, Nepal Sanctuary Treks has made the CAS trip (Creativity, Action, and Service) for several schools. Specifically, our school trip to Nepal is customized to your learning requirements and our specialty centered in handling school groups on special missions, keeping in mind the anxiety of parents and teachers when sending children away on such excursions. If you want to learn more about CAS Trip in Nepal, have a look at CAS Blog.

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Dashain – The Auspicious Festival of Nepal

Nepal’s grand yearly festival, Dashain falls during the post-monsoon period when the sky is vibrant and flawless, the air is freshest and the rice is all set for harvesting. Post-monsoon weather is not only suitable for trekking in the Himalayas but this is also the period to celebrate the biggest festivals in Nepal.

As the festival occurs after the end of lengthy rainfall, the farmlands and woodlands display verdant greenery; the sky opens itself up in its full splendor, the spectacular views of the Himalayan Mountains is merely awe-inspiring. If you are planning to visit Nepal during Dashain with family, solo or school groups then you will get opportunities to participate in grand and the most auspicious festival.

The biggest and the longest festival, Dashain is also known as Vijaya Dashami takes place at the end of September or the beginning of October of the solar year. The Newar community calls this festival Mohani whereas in general call it Dashain. In Nepal, this time of the year where the weather smells of festive aroma and the climate is calming with slight wind sunny days and clear blue sky. Vibrant kites soaring in clear sky, crowded markets and shopping streets blasting signature instrumental Dashain song “Mangal Shree Dhun” and people of all ages line up for their turn on the Ping (a traditional Nepali swing) signifies the advent of Dashain.

This festival is the celebration of the defeat of good above bad, of positive over negative, and of good quality over immorality. The Dashain festival continues for fifteen days and begins on the day of Ghatasthapana and concludes on the day of Kojagrat Purnima.  In the first nine days of the festival, devotees worship Goddess Durga and her different manifestations. 

 This year Dashain festivals start from September 29 to October 13, 2019. The tenth day of Dashain – Vijaya Dashami, the tika day is on October 8, 2019.

Reasons behind celebrating Dashain

Different Dashains relate to nature

Most of the festivals are celebrated in honor of the deities on astrologically auspicious days. Numerous others are associated with the departed souls of ancestors. Still, others are performed to signify the start or end of the agricultural cycle of the land, others are just family festivities and community culture.

The festival of Nepal connects to nature, be it Dashain or Janai Purnima or Asadh Pandhra (15th of Nepali month Ashar). Back in days, when people used to worship nature, Dashain was observed four times annually according to the seasons — Sharadiya Dashain (Autumnal, neither summer nor winter), Hemantik (winter), Basantik (spring) and Grismiya (Rainy). Hemantik and Grismiya Dashain.

Among these Dashain, Sharadiya Dashain and Basantik Dashain are still prevalent in Nepal. Basantik Dashain is celebrated as Chaite Dashain or small Dashain which generally falls in the final month, Chaitra, of Bikram Sambat calendar.

Sharadiya Dashain became a grand Dashain observed today as Bada Dashain or Vijaya Dashami. As Sharadiya Dashain starts after the season of harvest. During this time, farmers have already seeded barley, paddy, and millet. So farmers have the leisure period to meet with relatives and friends and they are contented as most households are filled with rice and grains. In addition, the season is considered as Sarad Ritu since it is the utmost pleasant time in the year.

The great harvest festival of Nepal, Dashain is a time for family gatherings, receiving and giving gifts and blessings, and carry out the worship of goddess Durga. This is the main reason for celebrating Dashain in this season, and hence Dashain became popular.

Mythological version

Dashain celebrates the power of the female. One of the Hindu legends reveals that in Satya Yuga(Era of Truth) there was a huge battle between gods and demons. The gods could defeat the demons headed by MahishasurThen the Goddess Durga with 18 hands was created, through the light of all gods. It is believed that there was continuous war between Goddess Durga and Mahissasur in the first nine days of Dashain. On the tenth day, the Goddess won the battle and gained a triumph over evil. Vijaya means the victory and the Dashami means the tenth day, which made the name of the festival. Thus, Dashain signifies the victory of well-finished evil while also celebrating women’s power, by worshipping Goddess Durga.

Likewise, another Hindu legend Ramayana denotes Dashain as the day when Ram (vice) gained a triumph over the Ravan (virtue) with the blessing of goddess Durga. In Sanskrit, Dasain denotes taking away the ten sins. The ten heads of Ravana symbolize these ten sins and Rama destroys each one of them.

Whatever could be the legend, we can conclude that Dashain is observed to mark the victory of good over evil. The people believe that the festivity of Dashain will lead an individual towards the right path. Also, the goddess Durga will protect the members of the families forever. They also believe that it is good to receive the tika and blessings from as many people as you can.

Days of the festival

The rituals are believed to have begun from the deities and people in this legendary time praying and worshipping the mother goddess at night, gathering around her chariot. Alternately, Dashain denoted as ‘Navaratri’ and ‘Navaratha’. In the Sanskrit, ‘nava’ means nine, ‘ratri’ for a night and ‘ratha’ for the chariot. The definite period of the festival, observed for 15 days, beginning with Gatasthapana and ending on the Kojagrat Purnima (full moon day).

During nine days of Navaratri, devotees pray nine different manifestations of Goddess Durga, which every Goddess being worshipped on the dedicated day. The nine forms of the goddess are:

  • Day 1: Shailaputri
  • Day 2: Brahmcharini
  • Day 3: Chandraghanta
  • Day 4: Kushmunda
  • Day 5: Skandmata
  • Day 6: Katyayani
  • Day 7: Kalratri
  • Day 8: Mahagauri
  • Day 9: Sidhidatri

The first, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth days of the Dashain considered as Ghatasthapana, Foolpati, Mahaastami,  Mahanawami, and Bijaya Dashami respectively hold special significance.


Ghatasthapana (sowing Jamara) manifests the commencement of Dashain or Navaratri. A special place is set up for Ghatasthapana, the ritual installation of a sacred water vessel (Kalash) in the center of a rectangular sand block seeded with grains. The goddess is believed to reside in the vessel during Dashain.

The room is darkened to get golden sprouts, generally called Jamara, from the seeds. The shoots, which represent a good harvest, will be beautifully put on the head of family members as blessings on the tenth day of the festival. In this auspicious day, the head of the family plants the jamara and worships the vessel. According to the ritual, the outsiders aren’t permitted to go in or see the place where it is planted.

As stated in Vedic rituals, sprouting of the auspicious “Jamara” is also started at Hanumandhoka Dashain Ghar.  This room is used to plant barley and maize seeds called Jamara and to worship the Astha-Matrikas (the 8 Tantrik Goddesses) along with the Nava Durgas (the 9 Goddess Durga) for remaining 9 days. 

Dashain Festival Days 2-6

From the 2nd day to the 6th Day of the festival is the preparation days for the approaching celebration from the 7th to the 15th days of the Dashain festival.

Throughout these durations, the prayer to Goddess Durga is performed. People are engaged in shopping to buy new clothes and gifts and purchase animals like goats for sacrifice. People visit shrines of goddess Durga Bhavani in the early morning. Whereas, people staying away from home return to their families with gifts.


The seventh day of Vijaya Dashami, Fulpati marks the commencement of official weeklong Dashain holidays in government and private offices and schools.

On this day nine kinds of fulpati (flowers and leaves of sacred plants) are brought into the worship room of the house. Fulpati comprises an assortment of a banana plant, pomegranate, rice stalk, turmeric, manabriksha, kachuki, belpatra, ashok, and jayanti adorned outside the house and later is carried into the house with the faith that bringing these nine elements into the house would bring the goddess related with those plants

Fulpati is also observed by an official ceremony in Tundikhel. During the day of Phulpati, five Magars bring a palanquin of flowers and sacred leaves from Gorkha on foot all the way up to Dhading district from where six Brahmins brought them to Kathmandu.

The parade is about three days long. The government officials wait for the arrival of the Phulpati in Tundikhel and join the parade to Hanuman Dhoka. The Nepalese army observes the continuous firing of the weapons for about fifteen minutes to celebrate the arrival of the Phulpati. Then a variety of sacred shrubs brought it to Nasalchowk to offer Goddess Taleju Bhavani: another popular name of Goddess Durga Bhawani.

But since 2008, after the Royal family was overthrown from the country, the tradition of the arrival of the Phulpati has changed. The Phulpati now goes to the residence of the President.

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Maha Ashtami

The 8th day of Dashain, Maha Asthami, is dedicated to Kali, the fiercest form of the goddess Durga. This day is the most significant day of the Dashain festival because it is said that Goddess Durga achieved power on this day.

Devotees visited several temples and shrines of the goddess in Valley and throughout the country from the early morning. People offer worship and sacrificing of different animals to the goddess at various shrines. After offering the blood of these animals, the meat is brought and cooked in homes of devotees as a “Prasad” (food blessed by the divine).

Additionally, it is offered in small leaf plates to all the household deities and then shared amongst all the family members. This food is regarded as blessed and auspicious. Devotees who do not sacrifice animals offer sacrifices of numerous vegetables and fruits instead of animals. Also on this day, a special ‘Kalaratri’ or dark night worship is taking place at midnight at the ‘Dashain Ghar’ of Hanumandhoka.

People worship and offer flowers, coconut, animal blood and vermilion to their tools, equipment, and vehicle. It is said that worshiping the vehicle and tools equipment prevents accidents and businesses thrive for an entire year. According to legend, Arjun, one of Pandav’s brothers, took his Ayudha (weapons) from the Shami tree after 14 years of exile from his country and did worship of the weapons on this day. Ayudha Puja or Astra Puja is the main ceremonial on Mahasthami day. On this particular day, people worship weapons, vehicles, and machinery parts. 

The Newar Community perform the feast called Kuchhi Voya in which ritually people should consume two pathi of beaten rice including bhuttan, (fried intestine and other abdominal part), tori ko saag (mustard leaves), bara, (beancake), chowella, (marinated meat) aaloo ko achaar, (potato pickle) bhatmaas, (soybean) aduwa, (spiced ginger) bodi (blacked- eyes peas) in a banana leaf including Aila (liquor) and thoo (Newari alcohol).

Before initiating Kuchhi Voya, the main person of a household offers a feast to nine Goddesses distributing one each to nine Goddesses on a banana leaf cut into small pieces. During feast, family members sit in a row for the feast with the eldest taking the place of honor at the top and the youngest at the bottom.

Maha Navami

The ninth day of the festival; is called Maha Navami. Temple of the goddess is filled with devotees from dawn till dusk. Until this day, the ceremonies reach to the peak. The state offers the sacrifices of the buffaloes under gunfire salutes in Hanuman Dhoka Royal Palace. Special worship is done to Goddess Durga and ‘jamara’ (germinated seed) strewed on the first day of the festival is offered to the goddess at different temples and shrines.

Also, many people pay homage to Nawa Durga in the form of nine girls in the pre-puberty age. These young girls signify the goddesses who participated in Durga for war. Many have faith in that one can cleanse oneself by consuming water from the hands of these nine girls. The girls are served all kinds of fruits and delicacies, along with gifts.


The Taleju Temple situated at Hanumandhoka in the capital city is also opened on this day for prayers to worship.  The queue of people lining up to worship in the Taleju Bhawani temple, which only opens once a year, is a memorable sight for the foreigner. On this day, people of the Newar community also worship to Bhimsen, a Hindu god.

The Newar community prepared Mohini tika (black tika) on this day.  It is prepared by burning cotton wick rope continually, it’s kept enclosed with another earthen pot on which thick black soot formed. This black soot is applied on the forehead, just beneath the red tika on the 10th day of Dasain.

On this particular day, god Vishwa Karma, the God of creativity is also worshiped. All factories, vehicles, any machinery instrument and anything from which we make a living are worshipped.

Vijaya Dashami

Vijayadashami is celebrated on the tenth day of the Dashain festival. According to legend,  Maa Durga defeated Mahisasur and Ravana (King of Lanka on the Hindu epic Ramayana) was killed by Rama (a prince of Ayodhya, an incarnation of Vishnu) on the tenth day of Dasain. So Vijaya Dashami symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. 

On this auspicious day,  elder members of the family applied red tika (a mixture of rice grains, curds, and vermillion powder) on the forehead of young ones. Along with it, the younger ones also receive jamara (barley sap-lings), a small sum of money called “Dakshina” and blessings from the elders. 

The jamara is considered a token of Goddess Durga and the elders blessing as well. While the red tika is taken as a symbol of the blood that ties the family together forever. The relatives and the family members away from their home come to receive tika on the following days of the tenth day.

Kojagrata Puja

The fifteenth day of Dashain is the last day that falls on the full moon day called Kojagrata Purnima. The actual meaning of the Kojagrata is ‘who is awake’. On this day, people worship the goddess of wealth; goddess Laxmi. They believe that the goddess will descend down to the earth in this day and bless her with prosperity that is awake for the whole night. The people enjoy the night by playing cards and much more.

The Newar Buddhists believe that Swoyambhu appeared on this full moon day. So, they clean Chaityas and stupas and carried out worship to Buddha called Buddha Puja on this day. 

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Dashain is actually the ceremony of worshipping, gathering with lavish food, and good clothing. Its a time for bonding and quality chatting and enjoying with families and relatives. People living far away from home or homeland, come back to their home and get together with their families. It’s a great festivity where people invite guests, organize a grand feast, visit their relatives’ houses, fly kites, build bamboo swings and engaged in various entertaining activities.

If you are here in Nepal during late September or in early October then you must participate and witness the Dashain festival. The important thing that should not be missed during your visit to Nepal during the Dashain festival is swinging on bamboo swings. Traditional Swings (Ping) are set up across the country during the festival. It is believed that we should at least leave the ground once during Dashain.

Even you can visit the local market especially Asan bazaar to witness the locals shopping for the festival. Likewise, visiting places like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Hanuman Dhoka and several temples as city tours provide an opportunity to observe the activities of people in the temples like how they perform the worship. One of the fascinating things that you can involve during your visit is participating in kite flying. You can see the various colored and sized kites in the sky over most parts of Nepal.

The kites are also considered as the messenger to the god for more rain. Numerous small fairs are conducted throughout the country with Ferris and wheels and other rides and entertainment. Even you have the opportunity to indulge in the taste of festive cuisine. You can listen to Dashain music all around the cities which are called “Mal Shree Dhun”. Most prominently, the Dashain procession that passes through the three cities of the Kathmandu Valley is something that will astonish the foreigners.

Dashain Procession and events

Panchali Bhairav

The Pachali Bhairav Jatra is a parade takes place on the fifth day of the fortnight in Kathmandu. It is celebrated to honor the god Pachali Bhairav whose idol is situated in the southern part of the historic section of the city.  On the night earlier the main day, a “Kalash” or a sacred water gold-gilded copper Jar bearing the mask of Bhairav is carried to his shrine of Pachali Bhairav, People pay homage with prayers, rituals, and offerings of meat and Jaad and Raksi (Nepali local liquor). There is a custom of offering spirits and liquors to deities in Nepal in Newari culture in Nepal. A priest escorted by a musical procession brings an idol of Shiva’s Son “Ganesh late in the night to the temple. The “Kalash” is then taken out from the shrine and carried on the shoulders of devotees to Durbar Square. In Durbar Square, goats and buffaloes are sacrificed to the performers clad up as Bhairav, Kumari and other deities. During the event, various dances of Bhairav are also executed.

Shikali Jatra

The Shikali Jatra is a sacred masked dance festival which is believed as part of the celebrations of Mohani. It is celebrated on the seventh day of the fortnight by the ethnic Newar community residing in Khokana, a medieval Newari heritage village in the southern part of Kathmandu valley. The festival involves dance performances and religious rituals and lasts for five days. The dancers signify 14 deities of the Hindu pantheon. A wooden chariot with the statue of Goddess Rudrayani is carried through the village streets, finally resting in front of the Shikali Temple situated on a verdant hill just outside the village.

Nava Durga Dance

 The masked dance of Nava Durga is performed in Bhaktapur and nearby localities. Nava Durga is a group of nine goddesses who are said to protect the city from outside harm. Nine shrines devoted to the deities mark the city’s perimeter.

Asta Matrika (eight mother goddess)

At a courtyard inside the old royal palace at Patan, masked dancers signifying Asta Matrika reenact the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahisasur. The performances were originated in the 17th century. The Asta Matrika dance is also carried out to eradicate obstacles in the city caused by bad spirits. It is thought that worshipping the eight goddesses bring good to the country and the people.

Goddess Manakamana procession

 On the ninth day of the fortnight, a festive procession of Goddess Manakamana is held in Bungamati, 9 km south of Kathmandu. A dance highlighting a masked man riding a hobby horse is also presented, among other performances.

Asanbhalu Dyah Jatra

Asanbhalu Dyah Jatra, also called Annapurna Jatra, is celebrated on the 11th day of the fortnight. An idol of the goddess Asanbhalu Ajima, the patron goddess of Asan, Kathmandu, is sited on a palanquin and carried around town escorted by musical bands. Also, the Asan Paya sword parade takes place on this day, with the youngest member of the community leading the parade. The day is the final day of Mohani for the locals of Asan and is known as Asan Chalan.

Kumha Pyakhan

The sacred Kumha  Pyakhan dance used to be done at Durbar Square and Asan as representative protection of the idol of the deity Taleju when it is brought out of her temple during Mohani.

Champadevi-Chandragiri Hill Hike: The best views of majestic Himalayas

Kathmandu, the city that reflects Nepal’s culture, tradition, and civilization, is a tiny world in itself. Kathmandu is well known for its centuries-old temples, shrine, and bustling markets. Apart from affluent culture, ornate temples, and shrines, Kathmandu city lies under the shadow of majestic hills and mountains.  If you’re considering experiencing the natural wonders that exist around Kathmandu then hiking is the best way to indulge yourself into the serene nature.

The valley surrounded by fascinating hills and mountains holds historical and religious significance. Likewise, the mountains and hills that ring Kathmandu Valley present some exciting walks with spectacular backdrops. The hike range from relaxing weekend strolls and day hikes to moderate ridge treks that can last numerous days.

Among myriad hiking trails in the valley, Champadevi and Chandragiri hill are one of the charming and spectacular sites amidst the verdant forest, snowcapped mountains swarming with birdlife which is a nature retreat that allows hikers to rejuvenate.

About Champadevi and Chandragiri Hill

Champadevi and Chandragiri Hills are adjacent hills situated at an altitude of 2,561 meters and 2,278 meters respectively. These hills are a perfect and exciting hiking destination of Kathmandu valley.

Champadevi Hill


Champadevi is the third tallest hill around the Kathmandu Valley, with an altitude of 2,278 meters. Champa-wati is the real name for Champadevi, a place with a temple on the high verdant hill dedicated to Goddess Champa Devi one of the several manifestations of Goddess Parvati or Durga. It is believed that Champa Devi, the patron deity of the hill protects the forest and nearby areas from evils.

 Situated towards the south of the capital, one can enjoy wonderful vistas of Kathmandu valley from the summit. In autumn and winter, the summit offers commanding views of the Himalayan range such as Gauri Shankar, Dorje Lakpa, Langtang Lirung.


Each year, a religious and cultural fair takes place at Champadevi on 1st Baisakh (April), the Nepali New Year’s Day. It is believed that worshipping the goddess shrine on this particular day fulfills the wishes of devotees.

Chandragiri Hill

Chandragiri hill nestled at the elevation of 2,551 meters above sea level on the South-West of Kathmandu valley, and seven kilometers by road from Thankot. This hill has been a religious and historical destination as well as the best vantage point for Himalayan views and entire Kathmandu covered with verdant blanketed forest.

According to legend, Chandragiri Temple is home to one among millions of Lord Shiva’s incarnations, Bhaleshwar Mahadev which is believed to possess wish-granting power.  The temple of Bhaleshwara Mahadev is perched on the top of the Chandragiri hills overlooking the Kathmandu valley.

From the historical perspective, it was from the peak of Chandragiri hill that Prithvi Narayan Shah, King of Gorkha first set eyes on the charming and prosperous Kathmandu valley in 1760 and was so mesmerized by it that he desired to conquer the three kingdoms.  

 According to myth, Prithivi Narayan Shah is believed to have combined spiritual powers for the unification process after undertaking arduous ‘sadhana’ or meditation at these very hills. The Gorkhali King veiled himself while climbing the hills so as to evade being recognized by the Malla Kings of Kathmandu Valley.

Indeed, snow-blanketed peaks of the Himalayas will take your breath away while down below is the charming valley of lush rice fields and the ever-expanding city.  From here, you can see the commanding views of the mountain range, which comprises, Mt. Kanchanjunga, Mt. Makalu, to Mt. Everest and Mt. Api, from the east to the west. It was once the doorway to the capital city and rises above Thankot at the edge of the valley.

The combination of Champadevi to Chandragiri hike is an ideal hike for the novice, family with children, solo and school groups. The hill is easy to summit on a day trip making it perfect for those hikers who have limited time but need to experience the best of what Nepal has to offer –adventure, hiking, and almighty Himalayas.

You can try this hike by contacting Nepal Sanctuary treks. We arrange a guide, transportation, and packed lunch for the hikes and will also customize the hikes to suit your interests, needs, and preferences.

Champadevi-Chandragiri Hike Route

Champadevi to Chandragiri Hiking trail takes you not only through the rich serene environment but also through the picturesque hamlet with diverse culture and religion. To commence hike, we take an hour’s drive to Hattiban Resort where you will take a short rest before you start your hike to Champadevi Hill. Hattiban resort is a nice spot to take a tea break and savor the surrounding nature.

Hike from Hatiban to  Champadevi and Chandragiri hill trail starts at Hattiban Resort and the route is easy to follow and well-trodden. We hike through the beautiful pine forests draped with vibrant prayer flags that give a good vibe while walking around.


The trail is well developed with the stone-paved path and stone steps all the way to the top with some part of the trail comprise of unpaved pathways. While hiking along the stone stairs, the knees might be painful so the walking pole can be your best friend or pain in the butt.

As we walk higher the landscapes open up to provide us the mystifying backdrops of Mountain range and massive hilly dunes. The summit presents breathtaking views of the mountain such as Shankar, Dorje Lakpa, Langtang Lirung.  If the climate is favorable, you catch a glimpse of the complete range from Dhaulagiri, the seventh highest mountain in the world, all the way to Everest.

As the trail is precisely at the edge of a hill we will have 360 degrees sight of dense Kathmandu Valley and its adjacent hills, green fields, and scattered village. This is an exceptional opportunity for the hikers to experience totally different picturesque delight from a single place. Once you reach the summit, you can see the open shrine of Champadevi.

If you are planning to stay for a while at the summit then make sure you take enough water and snacks with you. As there is no shops and restaurant at the top. After relaxing and soaking view of nature, we continue to the next destination, Chandragiri hill.

From Champadevi we take a walk through flat terrain for about 15 minutes. Then continue walking up to Bhasmasur ridge for 2 ½ hours. Bhasmasur ridge (2,460m) is the highest altitude viewpoint that provides an attractive view of both valleys (Kathmandu and Kulekhani with Himalayan range). After savoring the marvelous vistas, take a descent trail for approximately 11/2 hours through dense forests trails to a teashop. From teashop, there is an easy flat trail followed by several ups and downs and meandering trails all the way to Chandragiri hills.

Throughout the hiking journey, you are essentially in a different world, the sound of bird melody and swishing leaves lead to take a deep breath of fresh air. The chirping birds and leaf of pine trees make us forget the difficult route and appreciate the gift of nature. The cool and fresh air with a serene atmosphere makes us feel as if we are far away from the fast pace and bustling life

Along the trail, you can find 135 diverse species of medicinal plants and do a spot of bird watching too. There are several different bird species like Red-vented Bulbul, Great Egret, Grey Wagtail, Oriental Turtle Dove, Spotted Dove, and Steppe Eagle that you might be able to catch a sight of.

Once you reached the top of Chandragiri Hills you will be encircled with magnificent mountain views. When the weather is clear, a superb vista from the eastern part of the Annapurna range to Gaurishanker in the east welcomes you when you reach the summit. The viewing tower at 2,547 m above sea level provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the mountain ranges, adjacent views of nearby villages and the rich vegetation around them.

Next to the Bhaleshwor temple, you can observe many sculptures to commemorate historical figures, such as King Prithivi Narayan Shah who was the pioneer to unite Nepal into one kingdom. 

Also, you can see a children’s playground and several restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops around. After enjoying the views and spending quality time at Chandragiri, you can take a 2.5 km long ride from a height of 2,520 m to 1,564 meters in about 14 minutes.

On a foggy day, you may get goosebumps as the cable car passes in the mist and a little later you are out of it. This ride is like no other adventure as it transports you into an enigmatic world inside a sea of white. Once you reach Godam cable car base station you can take a vehicle back down to the valley.

What do you see from the cable car ride?

During the ride, you will gaze over the verdant forest, vegetation, and panoramic vistas of soaring mountains like Ganesh, Manaslu, Lantang, Dorje Lakpa and sweeping views of entire Kathmandu Valley.

The ride mostly follows and overlooks the primeval trade route connecting Kathmandu to the plains. The trail is still observable in places, however, most of it has been tumbledown by a recent motorable road with numerous hairpin turns that ascend the impossibly steep sides to Chitlang Pass. 

Before 1957, the construction of the Tribhuvan Highway, the first motorable road to the capital, the ancient route used to be a gateway to Kathmandu for a king, students, citizen, and soldiers. The Bhimphedi-Kulekhani-Chitlang-Thankot trail along which the Ranas had their first automobiles porter-carried up and down the steep trails is at this time is only a distant memory. 

There’s still a relic of Nepal’s first cargo ropeway constructed by British engineers brought in by Chandra Shumsher Rana in 1922. Later in 1964, the American aided to build the 42km Hetauda-Thankot ropeway to transport necessary stuff to Kathmandu from the plains.  The riders can observe the rusted ruins of both ropeway towers stand while going up and down from Chandragiri.

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Packing list

  • Comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Refillable water bottle/ carry at least 2 liters of water
  • Snacks
  • Sunglasses and cap/hat
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Hiking pole
  • Rain poncho (monsoon season)

Primary Care and Altitude Related Illness for Trekkers and Guides

The three-day “Primary Care and Altitude Related Sickness” training for trekking guides and staff organized at Grande International Hospital concluded on September 17, 2019. Altogether 24 trekking guides and 3 office staff from Nepal Sanctuary Treks participated in the training.

The program inaugurated by Emergency Medicine specialist Dr. Ajay Singh Thapa, Medical Director, Chairman of Orthopedics and Traumatology Dr. Chakra Raj Pandey  & Tulsi Gyawali, Managing Director of Nepal Sanctuary Treks.

This insightful 3-day training delivered the skill and confidence required to make informed medical decisions when ultimate care is away and learned about preventive measures and preparedness.

The session covered the broad range of topics including hand hygiene sanitation, proper waste disposal, waterborne diseases, use of basic antibiotics, High altitude sickness, use of life-saving devices, a technique of lifting and moving an injured person, along with the role of Helicopter Evacuation, communication, and coordination. Trekking guide got an opportunity to share their trekking experience and health & safety practices with medical professionals in this training.

The training also provides trekking guides about the knowledge and skills required to render support on-site to wounded trekkers, stabilize their state and prepare them for transport to a medical facility.

The training conducted in a participatory approach and methodologies like a demonstration, simulation and interactive lecturing in a unique and enjoyable friendly atmosphere.

On September 17, 2019, Tulsi Gyawali, MD of Nepal Sanctuary Treks received a letter of appreciation from Dr. Chakra Raj Pandey and Dr. Binod Bijukashey. Likewise, Dr. Chakra Raj Pandey and Dr. Binod Bijukashey handed over a Primary Care and Altitude Related Illness Certificate of participation to all successful participants. 

On this occasion, Nepal Sanctuary Treks would like to express simple, heartfelt, and well-deserved thank you to Chairperson Dr. Ajay Singh Thapa for delivering the training and arranging the resources to make this training come together to become a success. Also, thank you, Medical Director Dr. Chakra Raj Pandey,  Consultant, Orthopedic & Spine Surgeon Dr. Binod Bijukashey and General Manager for the immense support.

The same gratitude goes to Dr. Olita Shilpakar, Emergency Medicine Nurse Ms. Anu Shahi, Ms. Puza Shah, and Mr. Madhav Sharma for taking out time in providing educational and hands-on learning experience to our trekking guides and staff. 

Thank you Grande International Hospital Management and medical professional for taking valuable time from respective schedules to plan, organize these three days of training.

We believe that field staff including all staff members should receive periodic guidance, training and/or information about their roles and responsibilities with respect to environmental practices, primary care,  altitude-related illness, health & safety practices. Such training and skills can save lives and minimize the impact of an injury or illness.

Indra Jatra : The Grand Street Festival of Nepal

Nepal is a country of lively culture, and every Nepalese rejoices numerous festivals enthusiastically throughout the year. Festivals in Nepal is an integral part of Nepalese culture that symbolizes the beliefs and customs of the country. Nepal is a land of innumerable cultures and ethnic groups and these festivals show the devotion of the people for their respective deity. The country’s heritage and culture are reflected in the vibrant festivals observed at different times in Nepal.

Every festival is distinctive in its way. Celebrating them while you plan to visit the country for trekking or tours with family, individual or school groups is a great opportunity to discover the affluence of Nepalese culture and heritage. 

Among the several festivals, Indra Jatra is the main week-long festival of the Kathmandu Valley celebrated in late monsoon. The celebrations take place according to the lunar calendar, so the dates are variable. This year the festival falls on September 13, 2019, and is one of the most thrilling and well-regarded festivals of the Newar community of the Kathmandu Valley.  This also symbolizes the advent of a month-long festival season of autumn. In the 10th century, King Gunakamadeva introduced Indra Jatra to commemorate the founding of the Kathmandu city whereas Kumari Jatra began in the mid-18th century.

In the Newari language, Kathmandu valley used to be called “Yenya Dey”, and Indra Jatra was popular as, “Yenya”. The meaning entails “celebration inside Kathmandu. Even nowadays, the day of Bhadra Purnima is generally denoted to as Yenya or Yenya Punhi by the Newars, and not as Indra Jatra. The term “Indra Jatra” was introduced much later. Locally known as Yenyā, the festival dedicated to the god of rain and king of heaven Indra, celebrated with much gusto and dedication and not only by Newars, but people of diverse ethnicities, and backgrounds in Kathmandu.

The Newars of Kathmandu valley celebrate Yenya Punhi or “Samaya Baji” festival by lighting up an artistic Diyo, named Dalucha and worshipping the same with worshipping ritualistically by offering Samaya Baji. The Samay  Baji is an authentic ritual  Newari dish comprises of various items – flattened rice flakes (cheura or baji),  puffed rice (samaya, swaya baji), fried-saandheko black soybean, fresh ginger rhizomes, julienne and  fried (palu, aduwa),  marinated grilled or boiled meat (choila), dried fish fried in oil (sanya, sidra-maacha), boiled-fried eggs, fresh fruits, lentil patties (baara, woh), several kinds of Newari Mari breads,  and alcohol (ailaa)

Legend behind Indra Jatra Festival celebration

According to myth, Lord Indra came down to the earth in search of Parijat flower for her mother on his ride “Airawat” elephant. They reached the jungle near “Ye” desh Kantipur. He ordered the elephant to stay in jungle while he went to fetch the flowers. He found a beautiful garden with abundant flowers and searched for the parijat flower. Indra disguised himself as a human and started to pluck parijat from the garden of a farmer named Yomari. The farmer noticed some intruder messing in his garden. Yomari annoyed with Indra of plucking flowers without permission and tied him with a rope. Indra attempted all his power to break free from rope but it went to vain. After Indra realized that the farmer uses his tantric power in the rope, he unveils his identity. Indra told the reason for picking the flower and requested him to set free. However, the farmer denied to release him since Indra stole the flower which is an offense and punishable.

So as a punishment of plucking flowers without permission he was tied up and put for display in the town square of Maru in Kathmandu where people from all around came to watch him. Meanwhile, Airawat who was waiting in the jungle started to get anxious for his master, Indra. As he went to search Indra in the town, locals were amused to see the mystic white elephant and attempted to seize him. Airawat was bothered by the deed of the locals so he started to destroy everything. Despite failing to catch it, people were so amused that they started running behind it.

When Indra didn’t show up for a long time, his mother appeared on the earth in search of her son. Also known as Dakini Devi, Indra’s mother wandered around the town to search her son and finally found that her son is captivated by the farmer. Indra’s mother requested the farmer to forgive and release him. Then the farmer refused to set him free. Halcho Bhaila’s manifestation of Mahadhyo appeared in the town and asked people to release Indra. As the Bhairav, manifestation of Mahadhyo were people’s respected god, the farmer could not reject their order. The farmer (Yomari) also realized that he was getting too hard on Indra and release him. Dangi was very glad and also impressed with love for plants. So she promised to provide them with enough fog and dew during the winter for better productivity. It is thought that Kathmandu starts to experience foggy mornings from this festival onwards because of this blessing.

Yomari showed his gratitude towards Dakini for blessing and requested Indra that they would like to celebrate this incident as a festival every year. Lord Indra could not refuse the humble request of people and gave his banner “Hari Patah” to display the flag towards the sky so that he would know its time to come for the festival. This banner will prevent evil spirit to enter the land. Every year, this story is presented through the parades, dances, and music during the eight-day celebration of Indra Jatra. Also, the idol of Lord Indra in captivity is shown during the festival. As time passed by, various other procession was added to the festival-like Kumari rath, Devi Pyakha, Mahakali Pyakha, etc.

According to belief, the first Malla king brought the Goddess “Taleju” – a Hindu Goddess with him. The Malla kings used to have a direct conversation with the Goddess “Taleju”. The Goddess later denied having a personal conversation with the king due to the wrong deed of one of the Malla kings. Nevertheless, several years of penance, the Malla king succeeded to convince the Goddess to appear in person. The Goddess agreed to appear as the Living Goddess Kumari. So, both “Taleju” and “Kumari” is the similar Goddess, only a different name for a different belief. 

When a demon called “Lakhe” didn’t find his patron Goddess “Taleju” simply trailed in the footprints of the Malla king and ended up at the Hanumandhoka where the Malla king preserved “Taleju”. Therefore, the Lakhe dance merely portrays how the demon went in the search of Goddess Taleju. 

According to another legend, the three Lords (Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar) sent Lord Indra as a representative along with an “Indra Dhwaja” (victory banner) when the war preparation between gods and demons was going on.

In the war, the deities conquered over demons and the Indra Dhawja was worshipped, and the ritual ever since continued. With the purpose of bringing out happiness and fortune, Indra Dhwaja is erected and worshipped. It is believed that Indra had received this Indra Dhwaja (flag) from Lord Vishnu for protection

The significance of this festival even implicates Nepal Unification times. It is on this day that King Prithvi Narayan Shah conquers Malla King Jaya Prakash Malla in the seizing of Kantipur valley.

Highlights of Indra Jatra

Erection of Ceremonial Pole

The erection of ceremonial pole marks the beginning of the Indra Jatra Festival. The great care is taken to select the lingo or wooden ceremonial pole for this festival. And the special ritual ceremony takes place to select the trees wood for ceremonial pole.

For the selection of wooden pole, the goat release in a forest after worshipping using “Tantric power”, and the tree it touches is brought down.  The tree is worshipped ritually and prepared into a Lingo on the day of Ekadashi. Since the lingo is supposed to be straight, it is not easily available in any of the forests. That is why every year the forest is chosen with great care for lingo selection from any one of either Bhaktapur or Kavre districts.

The 36 feet long ceremonial pole made of pine brought from Kavre or Bhaktapur, on the day of Bhadra Shukla Dwadasi are installed at Basantapur Square in front of the old Hanuman Dhoka Palace. The erected lingo is then called, “Indradhwajotthan”.


The ceremony showcases giant masks of Akash Bhairav at Indrachowk and Seto Bhairav at Durbar Square. Seto Bhairav is one of the several wrathful forms of Shiva who protects the Kathmandu Valley, is unveiled only on the occasion of Indra Jatra each fall. The gruesome appearance of Seto Bahirab is put on a show and for the next three days, his horrific face stares the entire proceeding.

Akash Bhairava’s head is associated with the Mahabharata story. It is also believed that the head of Aksh Bhairav represents the head of the first Kirat King Yalamber. During this festival, Newari ethnic groups flow Jaad (home-brewed beer) into the mouth of Bhairav which later competes to get a sip.

Another popular one is Indraraj Dyah with extended hands tied with rope on a soaring platform at Maru near Durbar Square and Indra Chowk, which are showcased.

Likewise, the ten avatars (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu are displayed in the Tri Lok Narayan Temple, in front of the Kumari Ghar (House of Kumari). The “Manandhar” community of the Kathmandu valley prepare a garland out of bamboo and lit on fire and make rounds of the valley. In addition, Buddhists also celebrate Indra Jatra for the prosperity of their family members.

Another major attraction of the evening will be a display of the lavish variety of the well-known Samay Baji and other food of the Indra Jatra feast. A little red clay vessel of rakshee (local liquor), and Jaad (local beer), chhang or thon (the milky white, tart, slightly sweet liquor made from fermented rice) is placed around Samay Baji display. The whole food items are carefully chosen according to traditions and customs that are being offered to goddess Kumari, Shree Ganesh, and Seto and Kalo Bhairav.  There are many displays of Samay Baji in the different areas of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan. 

In this exhibition, the smoked entire fish is kept on top of Samay Baji tower, which signifies blessing and fortune for the coming years ahead. Toward the end, Samaya baji will be shared and distributed among devotees as an auspicious sacred food.

Ritual Masked Dance

The significant aspects of Indra Jatra are a ritual dance featuring masked demons, deities during chariot procession in different parts of the valley. 

During the festival, masked dances in the form of deities and demons are performed among which Majipā Lākhey is the most well-known dance. The word Majipa derived from the word Manjupattan which means ‘the city established by Manjushree’ and  Lakhey comes from two Nepal Bhasa words “laa” meaning meat and “khen” meaning egg means a carnivorous demon and thus meaning to ‘the carnivorous demon of Majipa.’ The Lakhey dances in the music and moves ahead in the procession.

Likewise, Pulu Kisi (elephant) dance is also shown by the locals dressed a white-colored elephant structured attire wrapping their entire body. The white elephant represents Lord Indra’s transporter and therefore the dance of the elephant is celebrated with gusto. The elephant roar and does some mischievous things from time to time and swing the tail which is funny to watch.

The Sawa Bakhhu Dance is performed by a dance group in Halchowk. The dance continues along the festival route, stops at the junctions and receives an offering from the devotees. The dance is characterized by the Bhairab (in Blue) with a sword and two attendants (in Red).

Devi Pykhan is performed at Kilagal, Hanuman Dhoka, Jaisidewal, Bangemuda, Indra Chowk, and Kilagal. Dancers wear the mask of different gods and goddesses such as Bhairab, Kumari, Chandi, Kawan, Beta and Khya. It is believed that this dance is performed for peace to people suffering from diarrhea.

The Mahakali Pykhan is performed at Bhaktapur in Durbar Square and the streets of Kathmandu. The characteristics feature of the Mahakali dance is the representation of the Khyah, a fat, hairy ape-like creature. The dance performed is full of fun and humor with a lot of falling.

Chariot Procession

The chariot of Bhairav, one of the forms of Lord Shiva, Kumari, the living goddess, and Ganesh, the elephant-headed god is taken out in the procession through the main streets of Kathmandu. The energetic men, powered by local alcohol, pull the chariots around the Kathmandu Durbar Square.

The first day of the chariot procession is considered the main day of the festival.  The chariots of Living Goddess Kumari also known as Kwaneyā, Ganesh, and Bhairav are pulled through the southern part of the town.

The heads of the state also visit Hanuman Dhoka to pay their respect to the shrines. Also, during this day, the participants offer wick lamps on clay dishes to honor deceased family members who pass away in a year. This is known as Upaku-wonegu.

 Therefore, some people consider that the main purpose of celebrating Indrajatra at the time of Licchavi was to make special offerings to the souls of departed loved ones before celebrating a grand festival called Dasain.

In the night, after Kumari returns back from the procession accompanied by the traditional musical band, another procession of Dāgin beings. The goddess Dāgin represents Indra’s mother roaming around town in search of her son. When the Dagin procession returns from the upper part of town and reaches Maru that is the signal to start Bau Mata procession. Bau Mata involves an illustration of a divine snake made of stems on which a row of oil lamps are placed. Then that image is suspended from poles carried on shoulders and taken along the processional route.

The second day is the full moon day called Yenya Punhi. Thaneyā is the second day of the chariot procession where the chariot is dragged through the northern part till AsanThe third day is known as Nānichāyā. The procession passes through the central segment at Kilāgal. Since 2012, the palanquin of Kumari has been drawn by a women’s group on the third day of the chariot festival.

On the final day of the festival, the Lingo that carries the Indra Dhwaja is dragged down and floated away in the Bagmati River which marks the end of festivities.

The entire week festival incorporates traditional dance, feast and witnesses the chariot of Goddess Kumari, Lord Ganesh and Lord Bhairav being pulled through the older parts of the Kathmandu city. A day has been added to the original seven days of celebration and on that day called Nanicha yaa, the chariots are dragged through places like Naradevi, Nhyokha, Ason, Indrachwok and Hanuman Dhoka. This additional day of chariot pulling was introduced by King Jaya Prakash Malla in 1765 B.S.

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If you also want to experience the delight of this magnificent festival, then it is a great opportunity to participate while you are in Nepal . The grand celebration will certainly bring a great amount of excitement and enduring memories.

Altitude Mountain Sickness: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

About Altitude Sickness

By 37 BC, the ancient Chinese documented an unusual and strange illness when they trudged the passes of what they later called the Little Headache and Great Headache mountains. They named these mountains for the splitting headaches and vomiting they inflicted on passing travelers and their donkeys.

Jesuit priest, Jose de Acosta, was the first westerner to define mountain sickness, who accompanied the Spanish Conquistadors in Peru. Thereafter, researchers have described the consequences of travel to high altitudes and named the syndrome acute mountain sickness (AMS). Generally, acute mountain sickness occurs if you walk or climb too rapidly to a higher elevation.

Travel to the altitude above 2,500 m is related to the risk of developing 1 or more forms of acute altitude illness: acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE).

The Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) has recently published a 2019 update on its guidelines for the prevention and treatment of acute altitude illness. The WMS guidelines, collected by a team of ten experts from across the country and published in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine.

The guidelines address the acute altitude illness, which can strike to the person who travels rapidly to an altitude that he/she is not familiar with or used to with, as contrasting to the chronic mountain sickness that can affect people who reside permanently at high elevations.

 Particularly, the risks of high altitude arise when ascending beyond 2,500m /8,200 ft. People who suffer from severe lung, heart, and blood diseases are prone to develop AMS. Even, healthy young adults who take part in energetic activity upon arrival at elevation are also likely to suffer from AMS

The “susceptible individuals” can develop AMS and possibly HAPE at altitude as low as 2,000m/ 6,500 ft. Individuals with a previous history of high altitude sickness and who have been living at low elevation prior to climb are mainly susceptible. Diagnoses of AMS, HAPE, or HACE should not be let off based on the fact that a susceptible individual is below 2500 m.

The early symptoms of AMS is followed by mild headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, which are pretty non-specific.  Therefore, it’s significant to think through other possible reasons like severe dehydration and hypernatremia, pneumonia, carbon monoxide poisoning, and hypoglycemia.

Therefore the preventive procedures should be considered depending on the elevation to which the individual is traveling and also considered for the other aspects like a history of performance at high altitude, rate of ascent, and availability of rest days.

Generally, there are three types of acute altitude sickness which are detailed as follows:

Acute mountain sickness and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE)

Acute mountain sickness is the mildest form and very common sickness that happens when a person who is used to being at a low elevation ascends to a higher altitude. The symptoms of AMS include headaches plus there is one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, poor appetite, nausea or vomiting, light-headedness, and sleep disturbances.

The Lake Louise consensus group described acute mountain sickness as the occurrence of headache in the non-acclimatized individual who has lately arrived at an altitude above 2500 m and the presence of one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Gastrointestinal symptoms like anorexia, nausea or vomiting, b) insomnia, (more than the just usual waking) c) dizziness d) tiredness or fatigue

Typically, symptoms develop within 6 to 12 hours after ascent but occasionally as early as 1 hour and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms usually improve after 1 to 2 days unless one has moved to a higher altitude but they can sometimes last longer.

In AMS, the sufferer’s level of consciousness is normal. The Lake Louise Score can be useful as a guide to measure your diagnosis of AMS and assess progression.

In less than 1% of cases, symptoms can progress to high-altitude cerebral edema, (HACE), in which the brain becomes dangerously swollen with fluids.

HACE is the most severe form of altitude sickness which takes place when three is an accumulation of fluid in and around the brain. It is a life-threatening state marked by severe headache, confusion, lethargy, lack of coordination, irritability, vomiting, seizures, coma, and eventually death if untreated. A person with HACE may look like a confused, disoriented drunk person, fumbling with clothing, unable to walk a straight line, and with slurred speech.

From a clinical perspective, HACE denotes a very severe form of AMS; so, preventive and treatment procedures for the 2 disorders can be addressed simultaneously

The distinct between AMS and HACE is that AMS generates a number of symptoms which, in medical terminology, are feelings reported by a patient. HACE also produces signs which are indicators that can be detected and noticed independently by a doctor. For instance, Feeling dizzy is a sign of AMS, but if the dizziness is so worst that then the patient has to undergo through the type of balance test to get in a sobriety check, that indicates ataxia (a neurological sign comprising of  absence of voluntary coordination of muscle movements that can include gait abnormality, speech changes, and abnormalities in eye movements.), a possible sign of HACE brain collects extra fluid, swells and stops working properly.

Prevention from AMS and HACE

Rate of Ascent and Acclimatization

The foremost emphasize and reasonable approach to avoid all sorts of altitude sickness is to ascent slowly. Even before you reach to possibly precarious altitude, it may aid to spend a night at an intermediate altitude. WMS guidelines recommend that while you climb beyond 3,000 meters/ 10,000 feet, you should not exceed your sleeping altitude by more than 500 meters each day.

In addition, an extra rest day must include once every three to four days. On acclimatization day, do not over-exert yourself. However, If the landscapes and other logistics issues influence you to ascend beyond 500 meters per day then, plan an additional day for acclimatization to keep the average ascent below 1,500 ft./day over the whole trip. (i.e. The total altitude gain divided by the number of ascent throughout the trip) For those at low risk, prevention is primarily a gradual ascent without medication

Preventive treatment with medicine

The rates of acclimatization and physiologic responses to high differ significantly between individuals. The approach to the prevention of AMS and HACE should be a function of the risk profile of the individual traveling to high elevation.

Medicine is the next best alternative to prevent altitude illness which can be used depending on the risk profile of both the trekker and the trip. It is easy to predict your future susceptibility if you had altitude illness previously. Whereas, if you have a prior history of high altitude illness then you might want to consider preventive drugs that might help you if you are trekking in an inaccessible and secluded area.

Risk categories for acute mountain sickness

Risk category



• Individuals with no history of altitude illness and ascending to ≤2800 m

• Individuals taking ≥2 d to arrive at 2500–3000 m with subsequent increases in sleeping elevation <500 m·d−1and an extra day for acclimatization every 1000 m


• Individuals with history of AMS and ascending to 2500–2800 m in 1 d

• No history of AMS and ascending to >2800 m in 1 d

• All individuals ascending >500 m·d−1 (increase in sleeping elevation) at altitudes above 3000 m but with an extra day for acclimatization every 1000 m


• Individuals with a history of AMS and ascending to >2800 m in 1 d

• All individuals with a history of HACE or HAPE

• All individuals ascending to >3500 m in 1 d

• All individuals ascending >500 m·d−1 (increase in sleeping elevation) above >3000 m without extra days for acclimatization

• Very rapid ascents (eg, <7 d ascents of Mt. Kilimanjaro)

Extracted from Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Altitude Illness: 2019 Update 

According to WMS, the preferred choice of preventative drug is acetazolamide (Diamox), to treat both AMS and HACE. This drug should be taken beforehand you initiate ascending and keep on having till two days after you reach your highest elevation or you start descending, whichever comes first.

 The usual adult dose is 125 mg which should intake every 12 hours. For those intolerant or allergic to acetazolamide, dexamethasone may be used. In special, emergent situations necessitating rapid elevation gain, both drugs may be used simultaneously. For example Military or rescue teams that must ascend speedily beyond 3,500 meters without acclimatization.

Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen can be used to treat and relieve headache at high elevation but has not been found to improve the full spectrum of AMS symptoms or effectively treat HACE


The best way to prevent AMS and HACE is decent to lower altitude ranging from 1000 to 3000 feet but the required decrease in altitude differs among individuals. Individuals should head down till warning sign resolve if terrain, weather, or injuries make descent impossible.

Lake Louise Questionnaire

AMS, HACE, and HAPE can be assessed daily using the Lake Louise Consensus symptom score. It is a questionnaire-based indicative tool that can be applied to diagnose acute mountain sickness. This system is the most general technique to check how bad your altitude illness symptoms are. A score between three and six is an indication of mild to moderate altitude illness, scores over six-show severe altitude sickness.

Supplemental Oxygen

If you’ve got HACE, there are some more complex countermeasures like supplemental oxygen and portable hyperbaric chambers.

Supplemental oxygen provides an appropriate alternative to descent. The Oxygen supplied by nasal cannula or mask at flow rates adequate help to get rid of symptoms

A peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2) >90% is generally adequate. Usually, the oxygen used in the condition when the descent is recommended but not possible (e.g. dangerous terrain or weather, not enough helpers to carry an unconscious victim, waiting for a helicopter) or to relieve severely ill individuals during descent.

Portable hyperbaric chambers

When descent is not feasible, and supplemental oxygen is unavailable then portable hyperbaric chambers should be used for a victim with severe AMS or HACE.

Once the individual is taken out from the chamber, the symptoms may still remain however this should not stop the use of the chamber when indicated

In many circumstances, ill individuals may recover sufficiently to allow them to assist in their evacuation and descend after symptoms improve.

The suggested Treatment approach to AMS/ HACE

One should take careful attention to prevent disorders whose symptoms and signs were similar to those that appear with AMS and HACE, for example, carbon monoxide poisoning, dehydration, exhaustion, hypoglycemia, hypothermia, and hyponatremia. Persons with AMS of any severity or HACE should stop ascending and may require heading down depending on the nature of illness and the conditions.

Patients with AMS can stay at their existing elevation and can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen for the headache, and an antiemetic like Gravol for nausea and vomiting.

These individuals should be thoroughly and carefully observed for signs of progression of altitude sickness.

If the symptoms deteriorate or didn’t see any improvement after 1 or 2 days then the victim should move to a lower altitude.

 Acute mountain sickness classification


Mild AMS

Moderate–Severe AMS

High altitude cerebral edema (HACE)


Headache plus 1 or more other symptoms (nausea/vomiting, fatigue, lassitude, dizziness)

Headache plus 1 or more other symptoms (nausea/vomiting, fatigue, lassitude, dizziness)

Worsening of symptoms seen in moderate to severe AMS

All symptoms of mild intensity

All symptoms of moderate-severe intensity




Ataxia, severe lassitude, altered mental status, encephalopathy

Lake Louise AMS Score



Not applicable

 Extracted from Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Altitude Illness: 2019 Update

High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE)

High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), is completely different from AMS and HACE. HAPE is mainly a pulmonary disorder, whereas acute mountain sickness (AMS) and the much less frequent high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE), are neurologic disorders.

It is a life-threatening emergency in which vessels in the lungs compress causing increased pressure. This causes fluid to leak from the blood vessels to the lung tissues and eventually into the air sacs. When this occurs, the person will be more breathless, which in turn deteriorates the condition from the build-up fluid in the lungs.

HAPE may develop very rapidly (in 1 to 2 hours) or very gradually over days. It often develops during or after the second night at a new altitude. HAPE leads to dyspnea (shortness of breath), reduced physical performance (tiredness, fatigue), tachycardia (rapid heart rate), and the lips may go blue and body temperature may rise and decreased arterial oxygen levels. HAPE varies in degree from very mild to potentially fatal. If it is not treated on time then the condition of the victim progress to unconsciousness, coma, and death.

Mostly, this symptom occurs in a non-acclimatized person who rapidly ascent to an elevation greater than 2,500-3,000 meters and has remained in that environment.


Gradual ascent is the main recommended method for preventing HAPE. If you trek at high elevation, acclimate yourself slowly.  At elevations above 3000 m (approximately 8,200 ft), sleeping altitudes should be limited to an ascent rate of 500 m. An extra acclimatization day with rest should be added.

Nifedipine aids to reduce chest tightness and ease breathing. Pharmacologic prophylaxis is recommended as an adjunctive treatment for individuals with a previous history of HAPE, particularly multiple episodes.  In such case, Nifedipine is the preferred drug; it should be taken the day before ascent and keep on having either until descent is started or if the individual has stayed 4 days at the highest elevation, possibly up to 7 days if the individual’s speed of ascent was quicker than suggested

The recommended dose is 30 mg of the extended-release preparation administered every 12 h.

It should be noted that periods are longer than the use of acetazolamide for AMS prevention. For individuals rising to a high point and then heading down toward the trailhead, prophylactic (preventive) drugs should be ceased when the descent is started.

Likewise, an additional examination is required before tadalafil or dexamethasone can be recommended over nifedipine for prevention. Tadalafil can be used for HAPE prevention in identified susceptible individuals who are not candidates for nifedipine. Likewise, Dexamethasone can be used for HAPE prevention in known susceptible individuals who are not candidates for nifedipine and tadalafil.

Acetazolamide medicine can be taken for the prevention of reentry HAPE in people with a history of the disorder. In general, this drug helps acclimatization but should not be depended upon as the sole prophylactic mediator in known HAPE-susceptible individuals.

Treatment of HAPE

The most consistent and best treatment for HAPE is immediate descent, supplemental oxygen and rest while remaining at high altitude are sufficient treatment for mild to moderate HAPE

Before starting treatment, consideration should be given to other reasons for respiratory symptoms at high elevation, such as asthma, bronchospasm, mucous plugging, pneumonia, pneumothorax, pulmonary embolism, viral upper respiratory tract infection, or myocardial infarction.

If HAPE is suspected or diagnosed, oxygen should be started if obtainable, and the patient should be headed down to lower altitudes.

If descent is not possible (harsh weather, delayed helicopter evacuation), then supplemental oxygen should be continued or the individual should be kept in a portable hyperbaric chamber.

Patients who have access to supplemental oxygen and can be effectively supervised and observed in a medical setting may not require to descend to a lower altitude and can be cured with oxygen only at the existing altitude.

 In more remote settings, early descent should be considered. if oxygenation cannot improve with supplemental oxygen, if the patient’s condition worsens even with achieving an oxygen saturation >90%, or if the patient didn’t show the sign of progress with proper interventions for HAPE.

In the scenario or circumstances, where resources are inadequate, nifedipine can be used as an aide to descent.  

It should only be used as key therapy if none of these other measures (supplemental oxygen, or portable hyperbaric therapy) is available.

A phosphodiesterase inhibitor may be used if nifedipine is unavailable, but concurrent use of multiple pulmonary vasodilators is not recommended.

Likewise, Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) can be taken as an assistant to supplemental oxygen and nifedipine can be added if the patient fails to react to oxygen therapy alone.

In the treatment of HAPE, there is no proven role for beta-agonists, diuretics, acetazolamide, or dexamethasone

However, dexamethasone should be considered when a concern is raised for existing HACE.

Individuals who develop HAPE may consider further ascent to higher altitude or re-ascent only when symptoms of HAPE have completely resolved and they maintain stable oxygenation at rest and with mild exercise while off supplemental oxygen and/or vasodilator therapy.

Consideration may be given to using nifedipine or another pulmonary vasodilator upon resuming ascent.


Children develop a similar sort of symptoms of altitude illness as adults and have the same occurrence of AMS. Children are unlikely to suffer from acute mountain sickness or HAPE than are adults. Nevertheless, young kids cannot express or talk about their symptoms well and there is some concern altitude illness may be under-diagnosed in this group. AMS in young children may happen as any of the following symptoms:

  • Fussiness and irritability
  • Increased crying
  • Refuse to eat food
  • Lack of energy, or increased drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness/ fatigue

The same principle of prevention in adults apply to children:

  • Gradual ascent, and spending a night at a moderate altitude considerably reduce your child’s chance of AMS.
  • Ibuprofen or Tylenol will avoid the headache
  • Children may also take Diamox to get rid of AMS. Special pediatric dosing of 3-5mg/kg per day applies for children.
  • Mild symptoms can be cured with rest, Tylenol or ibuprofen. Children that seem ill should be taken to a physician for medical care. Treatment is similar to adults and comprises oxygen, Diamox, dexamethasone, or mediations for nausea and vomiting.
  • HAPE can develop on a child, just as adults do., Children who reside at high elevation seem to get return HAPE more easily than adults.

Nepal Sanctuary Treks furnished with indispensable medical supplies like comprehensive first aid kit, trained guides, and Portable Chamber. Our itineraries contemplate many gradual ascents, depending on the duration of the trek. We design the itineraries considering the rest days and altitudes that suit family, solo and school groups.


Interesting Facts about Teej that you should know

Nepal a popular country for numerous vibrant and interesting festivals besides mountain views, dramatic landscapes enriched with lush vegetation, and rich biodiversity including picturesque hamlets with ancient affluent culture and traditions.

The culture of Nepal cherishes and respects every relation, they not only worship God, but they also worship brothers for being the protector of a sister, worship mothers, and fathers, worship dogs for their loyalty and friendship, and worship the husbands as to the ultimate pride.

Teej is a prominent festival celebrated by women to show their devotion to their husbands, wishing happiness and prosperity in their life and wellness of the family. This joyous festival observed throughout the country with full zeal and enthusiasm.

The festival usually takes place on the third day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the month of Bhadra according to the lunar calendar. This year the Teej will be celebrated on Bhadra 16 (September 2, 2019.)  whereas Rishi Panchami on Bhadra 17 (September 3, 2019)

The three-day-long festival incorporates gatherings‚ singing‚ non- stop dances,  scrumptious feast, and tough fasting. The festival accompanied by traditional music and dances that enhance more zest to traditional values of Teej. It is fascinating to see women, in “Red” dancing and singing on the street, going to a temple in the sacred and fasting mood.  It’s also the festival of creating a bond of sisterhood. Long before the main day of Teej, women exchange gifts and tokens with each other. These gifts comprise red bangles and bracelets, bindis, and clothes.

Facts about Teej Festival

Hari Talika Teej

Teej is short for Hari Talika Teej. Hartalika derived from the word “Harat” and “Aalika“‘ which denotes “abducting of a woman friend”. According to a myth related to this Teej festival, Goddess Parvati requested her friend to kidnap her to thick forest so that her father could not marry her to Lord Vishnu against her will. Goddess Parvati made an idol of Lord Shiva with sand and worshipped with the quest to have Shiva as her husband. Impressed by her determination, Lord Shiva revealed his identity. And finally, Lord Shiva married Parvati and since then the day stated as Haritalika Teej as Goddess Parvati’s friend (aalika) kidnapped (harit) her so she could attain her goal of marrying Lord Shiva.

Festival dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati

It is believed that Goddess Parvati has gone through many hardships and took 107 birth on the earth to finally unite with Shiva. According to Hindu Legend, on this day, Parvati came to the Shiva’s abode, symbolizing the union of the husband and wife. The union of a supreme couple of Lord Shiva and Parvati reflected the representation of ultimate love and dedication. Teej exemplifies the sacrifice of a wife to win the mind and heart of her husband. Some scriptures stated that Parvati performed a rigorous fast for 108 years to prove her love and sacrifice for Shiva before he accepted her as his wife. Teej exemplifies the devotion of a wife to win the mind and heart of her husband.  So it is thought that observing and worshipping Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on this day will bless a woman with marital bliss, sound health of husband and children, and peace in conjugal life.

“Teej” the name comes from a red insect

Teej is a small red insect (Red Velvet Mite or rain bugs) that emerge out of the soil during the monsoon season. It is believed Teej got its name from the same red insect. Therefore, Teej is celebrated in red. As red is also considered as an auspicious color for married women. On this particular day, married women put on bangles, ‘pote’ (a necklace made of glass beads), and ‘Sindur’ (vermillion powder) as the signs of marriage and clad in exquisite red dress along with ornaments.

First day: Daar Khane Din (Scrumptious feast day)

This day is known as Dar Khane Din which means feast day, before Teej. The first day of Teej starts from having a special delightful meal called the ‘Dar’. Dar is a grand feast with several varieties of food and sweets. The women gather in one place clad in an exquisite dress and ornaments and perform dance and sing devotional songs. This festival not only observes the triumph of a women’s love and devotion towards her husband but also gives a considerable opportunity for a family reunion. Women get invited by their maternal and relatives where they gather and join a feast on the eve of the Teej. The feast continues till midnight, after which the fast for 24-hour begins.

Second Day: Rigorous Fast and worship of Lord Shiva

This is the main festival day of Teej related to fasting, worship and praying Lord Shiva for longevity, happiness, and prosperity of their husbands. After having a grand celebration, women fast for the next 24-hours without consuming food and drink throughout the day for the long life and prosperity of their husband and family. While unmarried women and girls take fasting and pray to the deity for an ideal groom. Women fast in their own way, some prefer fruits and liquid while many prefer to fast without taking a single drop of water and no food and fruits.

On the second day, women adorned in a beautiful dress of red color and visit the nearby temple of Lord Shiva where they offer their prayer.  They enjoy the entire day with songs in traditional lyrical melodies and dances, at temple premises and public places.

The sacred Pashupatinath area and other Shiva temple covered by the mass of devotees for the religious ceremony, to pay homage to Lord Shiva Lingam. They offer flowers, sweets, and coins along with the burning lamp inside the temple area. From several rituals of the worship, the lighting of an oil lamp is a significant aspect of the worship ceremony. It is believed that the oil lamp should be lit throughout the night to bring harmony and prosperity to the husband and family and to avoid bad omen.

Third-Day: purification of own body and soul

“Rishi Panchami is the last of Teej also known as the act of cleansing. This is the day to wash off all impurities to mark the end of Teej. Women rise up early at dawn to have a ritual bat at Holy River, using the red mud, leaves, and roots of the sacred datiwan bush to help with the cleansing and to scrub the skin.

 It is said that taking a ritual bath removes all sins of the previous year. Finally, after completion of bathing, they sit in a semicircle while a priest sitting in the center chants religious prayers. Then they offer food, money and several other offerings to seven sages with a clean soul.  After the prayer, they break the fast-eating pure dishes especially Karkalo vegetables (Taro leaves) with rice and ghee (caramelized butter).

Expression of  feeling through music

 Teej festival also considered a day in a year that lets women full freedom to express their pain and emotion by the means of beautiful devotional songs.  The essential aspects of this festival are all women have a gathering where they celebrate by dancing, singing, and storytelling. Married women leave their in-laws’ homes and gather at their maternal place, with their friends and relatives. This gathering accompanied by music that reminds nostalgic memories. Therefore it also serves as a medium to share and flood out their distresses and life struggles. Music is the main mood setter of this festival as all their bottled-up emotional states conveyed through music.

This is also the festival that meets up in a maternal home for married women. There is a practice that, a married woman comes to her maternal home only at the invitation of parents or brothers. So the  Teej festival is a celebration of gatherings with family and relatives. So this festival brings joy and happiness to every woman where they can share their joys and sorrows.

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Chaurchan festival: Moon Festival celebrated by women on the day of Teej

While the country is rejoicing Hartalika Teej, Nepal’s Mithila region in Terai also celebrates the Chaurchan festival. According to the lunar calendar, the festival takes place on Bhadra Shukla Chauth, the same time around which Teej is celebrated.

This festival observed mostly by girls and women in the Terai where they go on fast throughout the day and pray the moon after the sun has set. The festival is about celebrating the moon wherein the people offer fruits, curd, pudding, flower to the moon. The way and purpose of celebrating this festival are much alike to that of Teej.

Despite this, rigorous fasting Teej brings smiles on the faces of women as they feel blessed fasting for the longevity of their husband and well being of the family.  Also, married women to visit their maternal home during this festival as women living in the countryside of Nepal get a rare chance to meet their parents and siblings. Therefore,  Teej is one of the prominent and rich festivals of Nepal celebrated by women with great enthusiasm and devotion. Let us enjoy the days that lead to this lively and auspicious festival with spirits of unity and harmony. Happy Teej!

Bird watching in Nepal: Indulge your passion for birds in this abundant land

Bird Watching trails is a very fascinating adventure. It’s extremely enjoyable to observe birds in different colors, shapes, and sizes. Rich in biodiversity, the Himalayan country Nepal commended as one of the best birding holiday destinations in the world. From the almighty Himalayas in the north to the flat land Terai in the south, Nepal can be divided mainly into three geographical areas with the hilly region sandwiched in the middle.

                                                                          Himalayan Monal  (Lophophorus impejanus)

The avifauna of Nepal comprises 873 bird species, which is 10% of the total species of birds found in the world. The varied array of charismatic and vibrant birds comprising indigenous and migratory birds spread across an incredible range of habitats and locations of Nepal. The weather and topography of Nepal allow hundred of migratory birds of diverse feathers flock together in the land of Nepal. Some of the unique species of migratory birds are Eurasian Cuckoo, Pied Thrush,  Asian Paradise Flycatcher, red-necked phalarope and many more.

                                                                     Pied Thrush (Geokichla wardii)

It will be an incredible experience for anyone who desires to visit Nepal particularly for bird watching, trekking, and safari. The bird watching tour, trekking, safari, and hiking provides distinct birding opportunities for bird lovers and professional birders.

Several treks present fine introductions to Nepal and its birdlife. Among these, the Everest area provides almighty mountains along with high altitude birds. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna peaks are remarkable on the Kali Gandaki trail and one may encounter Tibetan species birds, native and migratory birds around Jomsom which is north of the Great Himalayan chain. There are also innumerable birds found in the Langtang routes. The trekkers can relish the melodious sound of various birds and observe them along the trail.

                                                                                 Tibetan Snow Cock

One of the interesting attributes of birds of the Himalayas is that birds fly to exceptional altitudes. Mountain climber’s often reported that birds such as choughs, bearded vulture (lammergeirts), ravens, and eagles can soar up to an elevation of 7,625 meter/25,000 ft.; while some birds fly even higher. Seemingly birds acclimatize readily to low oxygen pressures and can adjust without adaptation to elevation that would rapidly reduce a person’s unconscious. (Fleming, Birds of Nepal, 1984)

                                                                           Bearded vulture (lammergeirts)

Also, one can get an opportunity to see the vibrant birds during the safari and walk around the lake. If you are keen to undertake hiking, or safari then there are several places where you get to encounter with indigenous, migratory and endangered birds. Some of the prominent places for bird watching are Koshi Tappu Reserve, Bardiya National park, Chitwan National parkLumbini Crane Sanctuary (LCS), Jagdishwar Reservoir in Lumbini, and Beesh Hazar Tal. 

Whether you’re a novice seeking for your first pair of binoculars or an experienced bird watcher, Nepal is a perfect destination for bird watching. For receiving an ultimate bird watching experience, one does not even have to travel far from Kathmandu.

Birding in the woodland of Kathmandu offers a chance to learn and understand the plenty of diverse birds in Nepal. Although Kathmandu has been greatly urbanized, the charisma of the rural setting and the atmosphere of medieval Nepal are still well-preserved and unspoiled. The pristine environment in the surrounding lush hills of the Kathmandu Valley is still intact. There are around 120 species of migratory birds and around 400 species of native birds reside around the valley itself. You can appreciate birds along with irresistible views of Kathmandu valley and a range of snow-capped mountains.

If you do not have adequate time then short trekking or hike around Kathmandu valley suits your bird watching cravings. The ideal spot for bird watching in Kathmandu valley is Phulchoki,  Nagarjun, Shivapuri, and so on. The bird watching combines the short hike where the hiker can soak into the serene nature and harmonious chirping of birds.

Bird watching is a fascinating interest that is suitable for individuals of any age group. If you are traveling with family, individual or school groups then Nepal is a perfect destination for bird watching accompanied by trekking, hiking, cycling, and safari. Along the trail, you’ll be escorted by our expert guides who’ll assist you to make the best trip, and for the most part, you’ll stay at locally run teahouses and eco-friendly lodges, deep in the heart of serene environment, where you can spot birdlife from the coziness of your accommodation.

Bird watching has seen to it that more parents are enthusiastically inspiring their kids to indulge in bird watching. Watching birds can take on various different forms. For some individuals, it is a relaxing activity that lets them set out into the fresh air and visit places they may not generally go. Some bird watchers are persistently fascinated to know more about the objective and subjective things about bird species, such as their behavior, appearance, feeding, and location. 

Whatever drives birdwatchers, they like observing birds appreciate their magnificence and freedom, and since it’s entertaining and rewarding. When you’re birding, you’re essentially in a different world, the sound of bird melody and swishing leaves lead to take a deep breath of fresh air.

                                                          Asian Paradise Flycatcher

A chirp of a different array of birds in a melodious sound all around will certainly soothe the mind and body. According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, the study had found that just listening to bird songs contributes to perceived attention, restoration and stress healing.  The research published by the journal of Environmental pollution stated that “While waiting to catch a sight of your preferred bird, you’re deep in nature and can spread out in its benefits. Spending time sipping fresh air can help prevent respiratory problems.

                                                                 Maroon-backed accentor

Nepal Sanctuary Treks is happy to organize birding trips throughout Nepal. Standard tour and fully tailor-made privately guided tours of any duration are led by our passionate and experienced professional guides.  The birdwatching trip can be combined with hiking, trekking, safari. So let’s go on and start discovering the popular bird-watching destination in Nepal. 

Wondering where the best places in Nepal for bird watching? Read on to discover the top sanctuaries for bird watching in Nepal.

Birding Sites in Nepal

Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve

Shivapuri is a fascinating place following the lorry beaten path through the blanketed forest offering a spectacular birds-eye view of the city. Apart from serene nature, Shivapuri is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. It is a domain to several ranges of stunning birds and other wildlife. A total of 318 bird species has been reliably recorded from the park and neighboring zones.

Located on the northern peripheral of Kathmandu valley, Shivapuri National Park (144 km2) is about 12 km away from the center of the capital city. The park was declared a protected area in 1975 managed by Shivapuri Watershed Development Board.  Later in 2002, the park was stated as the nation’s 9th national park and recognized as Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve. The park situated in the transition area between subtropical and temperate climates. The vegetation comprises of an assortment of natural forest containing pine, oak, rhododendron, etc., depending on elevation and features.

Birdlife International (BLI) has recognized Shivapuri National Park (SNP) as an Important Bird Area (IBA) due to its international significance for endangered species and for their habitat conservation. The forests hold an important population of three restricted-range bird species: Hoary-throated Barwing, White-throated Tit, and Spiny Babbler which is also Nepal’s only endemic bird.

Apart from restricted bird species, one can take a delight observing the several other species of birds such as the Hill Partridge, Yellow-browed Tit, Great Barbet, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Eurasian Jay, Kalij Pheasant, Red-tailed Minla, Nepal Fulvetta, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Mountain Scops Owl, Speckled Piculet, Rufous-bellied Niltava, White-throated Needletail, Yellow-bellied Bush Warbler, Northern Goshawk, Maroon-backed Accentor, White-tailed Rubythroat, and Grey-winged Blackbird. 

 The park is also the home to birds of prey comprise various eagles, and a diverse range of robins, warblers and laughing thrushes. Two internationally threatened birds, the White-rumped Vulture, and Hodgson’s Bushchat can also be seen during a hike. The Nagi Gompa is an ideal spot to catch a glimpse of eagles and, since they frequently fly pretty low, to capture them in your camera.

Phulchowki Hill 

Phulchowki is the most popular bird-watching spot situated 20 km southeast of Kathmandu. Phulchowki, being the highest point of the hills surrounding the valley, is also a well-known place for a short one-day hike. Encircled by the verdant hills, the area encompasses the lush forest on the upper slopes of the Phulchowki hill and those on the lower slopes, extending into the Godavari. The hills surrounding Kathmandu valley serve as nesting places for a great density of bird species around 300 species.

                                                                                    Chestnut-headed Tesia

After you reach the Godavari, you will just have to hike for approximately 4 hours through a blanketed sub-tropical wooded area to reach the Phulchowki hill. You can visit the shrine of Phulchowki Mai and get an eagle-eye vista of Kathmandu valley along with spectacular snow-capped mountain backdrops. Over here you can catch a glimpse of birds such as the Rufous-gorget Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Yellow-browed Tit, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Red-billed Leiothrix, Whiskered Yuhina, Besra, Bronzed and Racket-tailed Drongos, Greater Yellownape, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Nepal Cutia, Ultramarine Flycatcher, and Black-winged Cuckooshrike.

Other birds comprise diverse kinds of warblers, babblers, and thrushes. In addition, various sorts of an eagle are can be spotted in this area. The area is also the home to numerous vultures, including the White-rumped Vulture, the Slender-billed Vulture, and the Cinereous Vulture.

The endangered bird named Blue-naped Pitta found in the area. Likewise, if you are lucky enough you might spot Spectacled Finch, a passage migrant. Due to snow in winter in Phulchowki Hill, many birds fly down to the lower hills. This is an exciting feature of bird watching in the area and can save bird enthusiasts time and energy.

Godavari Botanical Garden

Situated in the base of Phulchowki Hill (2,715 m), Godavari Botanical Garden (1515m), records over 100 species of birds comprising the lesser racket-tailed drongo, rufous-gorget, slaty-backed and rusty-tailed flycatchers, orange-breasted Hodgson’s redstart, pygmy Asian barred owlets Tibetan siskin and the spotted forktail. 

A visit to the botanical gardens is a perfect getaway to escape the city for a day and unwind in soothing energy of nature with the bird chirping all around. The garden is termed after the Godavari Spring that can be found just a few hundred meters away from the main gate. 

Godavari Botanical garden is an ideal spot for those who do not want to hike Phulchowki hill for bird watching. Founded in 1962 AD, the area of the Garden is 82 hectares surrounded by evergreen natural forests and plants comprising exotic and local flora, and dwelling place for birds and butterflies. There are over 500 diverse plants to be seen in the gardens. Bird watching in and around the Godavari Botanical Gardens, one can encounter the similar birds as on the lower slopes of the Phulchowki hill. In winter, Flocks of Tibetan Serins are generally seen in this area.

Nagarjun Forest Reserve 

Nagarjuna also called Rani Ban (Queen’s Forest) or Jamacho, located North-West of the Kathmandu. It is about 5 km from Kathmandu valley on the way to Kakani from Balaju. The forests of Nagarjun has a royal sanctuary and haven for members of the royal family and thus was and remains a protected area. It is also a well-known Buddhist Pilgrimage site, with a shrine dedicated to Guru Rinpoche built on the summit, at an elevation of 2,095 m.

 This spot delights bird devotees with Blue magpies, kali pheasants, Bonelli’s eagles, Great Himalayan barbets, and other interesting birds ring through the forest Also the Nagarjun area hosts birds such as the Northern Eagle Owl, Red-billed, Long-tailed Mountain Thrush, Chestnut-headed Bee-Eater, Maroon Oriole, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, and Eurasian Woodcock. Likewise, the owl named Brown Wood Owl has also been recorded here.

Bardiya National Park

The Bardia National Park in the western Terai is significant for their populations of grassland, forest bird species, and wildlife. The park covers an area of over 968 sq. km. that remains untouched wilderness and largely covered of Sal forest scattered with huge grasslands and savannah. The area surrounded on the north by the Churia Hills and skirted on the West by the Geruwa River. The park used to be a hunting reserve for Nepal’s royalty in 1968. Later in 1988, the park was declared as the national park.

The park is an excellent example of a destination for its wildlife, sustainable conservation, and indigenous Tharu culture. Bardiya received the recognition and award of “Best Eco-Tourism Destination of Asia Pacific Region” in 2019 at the world’s leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin. This award was in appreciation of the initiative for sustainable tourism and outstanding conservation efforts. The Lonely Planet, a reputable and trusted guidebook listed Bardiya National Park as one of the best places to see the Bengal Tigers in their natural habitat.

According to the WWF statistics, the population of tiger in 2018 is about 87 whereas its number is 50 in 2013 and 18 in 2009 respectively. Also, the park is known as the shelter of the trinity of the big three mammals- Royal Bengal Tiger, One-Horned Rhino and the Asiatic elephant. The area hosts 30 different mammals and several varieties of reptiles and water animals. In addition, the park constitutes over 250 species of beautiful migratory and native birds including several species of geese, duck, and parakeets.

Keep your eyes peeled and your binoculars ready as you search the trees to spot the attractive colorful birds of Bardiya. The protected zones cover with tall grasslands where the world’s most significant grassland birds, like the Bengal Florican shelters here. This place is a domain to rare varieties of birds like  Bengal florican, lesser florican, silver eared mesia, and sarus crane.

The birds such as Swamp Francolin, Ferruginous Pochard, Great Hornbill, Black-bellied Tern, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Grey-headed and Lesser Fish Eagles, White-tailed, Indian Spotted, Great Spotted, and Imperial Eagles, Darter, Painted and Black-necked Storks, Rufous-rumped Grassbird, Jerdon’s Babbler, Plain Prinia, and Finn’s Weaver also shelter in this area. Visitors can enjoy the bird watching in the park by jeep safari, rafting, canoeing, jungle walk accompanied by a naturalist.

KoshiTappu Reserve 

                                                                                                Grey-headed Swamphen

The smallest of the Terai’s national parks, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is ecstasy for a birdwatcher. The reserve encompasses an area of 348, with the buffer zone of 173 In 1976, it was designated as a Wildlife Reserve and is under the control of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. In 1987, Koshi Tappu Reserve designated as the first protected wetland in Nepal under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands signed at Ramsar

The area includes the assortment of habitats; its 17,500 hectares include grasslands, riparian vegetation, ox-bow lakes, marshes, and sparse forests. Koshi Tappu is also one of the Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Nepal. The area shelters 485 bird species including Siberian ruby throat, swamp francolin, Baer’s pochard, Pallas’s fish eagle, black Britten, greater spotted eagle, lesser adjutant, and spot-billed pelican. It is a perfect place in Nepal for birding destination with its extensive wetlands, grasslands, and islands offering exceptional wintering and staging areas for countless migrating waterfowls and waders. 

On the occasion of International Wetlands Day, a week-long Bird Festival is organized annually by the locals residing around the reserve, commencing on the 2nd of February. During the festival, the people perform the indigenous cultural dance and organize a long bird watching trips that are free of charge for everyone, including tourists. Let’s grab an exhilarating opportunity of sighting 485 species of birds as you discover the swampland on foot, isolated sandbanks, and islets of the huge Koshi River.


Chitwan National Park

Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park covers an area of 932 sq. km. and is situated in south-central Nepal. In 1973, the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act was enacted and Chitwan National Park declared the first national park of Nepal.

In 1996, an area of 750 sq. km. surrounding the park declared a buffer zone, which comprises of forests and private lands. In 2003, Bishajari and allied lakes in the buffer zone of the Chitwan National Park have stated wetlands of international significance under the Ramsar Convention.

Recognizing its distinctive ecosystems of international importance; UNESCO listed the park as a World Heritage Site in 1984 and is also notorious as a significant bird area (IBA) by BirdLife International. The park host 68 species of mammals, 544 species of birds, 56 species of amphibians and 126 species of fish.

The park also a shelter to the One Horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger and Gharial Crocodiles. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the total number of population of Tiger for Nepal in 235. Out of which, 93 tigers are in Chitwan National Park.

Chitwan National Park is a major attraction for enthusiastic bird watchers where one can see the abundant species of native and migrant birds here. About 160 migratory birds visit at Sauraha during the winter from as far as Siberia and other cold nations to escape the chilling cold. The birds migrate the wetlands of Nepal, in search of warmth and prey during winter.

                                                                                        Cigogne épiscopale

Some of the names of migratory birds are Greater Spotted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, and Pallas’s Fish-eagle. Common sightings include Brahminy ducks and goosanders. Large flocks of bar-headed geese.  

The vibrant Bengal Pittas and numerous sunbird species are common breeding visitors during the rainy season. Among the several flycatcher species, the Paradise flycatcher with long undulating tail in flight is a remarkable view.                                                                              

Particularly, the park’s alluvial grasslands which are an essential home for the threatened Bengal florican, lesser adjutant, Grey-crowned Prinia, swamp francolin and numerous species of grass warblers. The nearly extinct vulnerable Oriental darter is a local breeder around the numerous lakes.  Whereas there are also abundant of egrets, bitterns, storks, and kingfisher found around the lake.

The park is one of the lesser-known breeding places of the internationally endangered spotted eagle. Peafowl, jungle fowl, White-eyed Buzzard, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, White-eyed Buzzard, Shikra bird, Red-breasted Parakeet Rhodesian ducks are some birds that are found in Chitwan National park.

While you are in Chitwan, you can observe the birds right outside the hotel rooms. During canoe ride where the visitors even can see them sitting nicely on the Rhino backs. You can set out on a Jeep Safari or take a jungle walk to observe the birds and listen to their melodious sound.

An early morning walk through the bush and along the Rapti River, let you spot several kinds of exotic birds, comprising the Giant Hornbill, Lesser Florican and Paradise Flycatcher. Besides, one can get an opportunity to observe the movement of the migratory birds in the Beesh Hajar Taal.

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Twenty Thousand Lake (Bish Hazari Tal)

Beeshazar and Associated Lakes, also called Bishazari Tal, was listed in the Ramsar site on 13 August 2003. It forms a wide, typical oxbow lake system of the tropical Inner Terai area in Central Nepal within the buffer zone of the Chitwan National Park, a World Heritage site.

The forested wetland area is rich in diverse flora and fauna which comprise 26 mammal species, 25 species of fishes, 18 species of herpetofauna, 37 species of insects and 131 species of plants. The area is home to 273 bird species of 61 families, of which 60 are wetland species.

Bird species include the Grey heron Large Cormorant, Darter, Stork-billed kingfisher, Ferruginous duck, Painted stork, Black-necked stork, Indian black vulture, Grey-headed fishing eagle, Black-bellied tern, and Great hornbill

The globally threatened and critically endangered birds are found in this area such as White-rumped Vulture, Lesser Adjutant Stork and ferruginous duck it is very well known for bird watching as Migratory Siberian birds can be seen around this lake in the winter season.

Likewise, the lake is a shelter for crocodiles and gharial as well. On sunny days, the visitor can witness the gharials/crocodiles relax in the sun on the shores of the lake.

Sukhlaphanta National park

Shuklaphanta, the country’s newest national park, was recognized as a hunting reserve in 1969 and declared as a wildlife reserve in 1976 with the main objective to protect swamp deer. Recently, the national park is a domain to 2,000 swamp deer, an estimated 16 wild tigers and over 350 bird species to date have been recorded within the park. 

Situated in South West Nepal; it is the largest grassland area in lowland Terai. The notable birds found in the park are Spiney Babbler, Ibisbill, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Bengal Florican, Bristled Grassbird, Hodgson Bushchat, Black-capped Kingfisher and Finns weaver. Rani Tal inside the reserve is one of the attractions for the animals and migratory birds.

Lumbini Crane Sanctuary (LCS)

Lumbini is not only the birthplace of the Buddha and a place to embrace peace, contemplative values, and spirituality but also the shelter to the sacred Sarus Crane. Lumbini entice naturalists, ornithologists, botanists, and zoologists with its rich natural biodiversity.

This place is a soul of the Terai arc where faith, nature, and culture converge in perfect harmony. An iconic species of wetlands, Sarus Crane holds a special place within the ancient culture of Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha.

According to myth, when Buddha was a young prince, he fought to save this wonderful bird. The Buddha is seen in numerous historic illustrations with a crane, and scholars consider that these resident cranes have resided Lumbini for at least the last two millennia. These tallest flying bird in the world still soar over skies of Lumbini swamplands.

So, a visit to the nearby villages and natural sites also give the visitor an opportunity to come across the most preferred birds of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha, the Sarus Crane, the most desired plant-like Ashoka tree, sal tree, the pipal tree, and crops such as rice, peas, golden gram, sesame.

                                                          Grey-backed Shrike

Lumbini Crane Sanctuary (LCS) along with the associated farmlands have identified as an International Bird Area (IBA) due to its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystem with hundreds of cranes and other birds.

There are more than 250 bird species in Lumbini Crane Sanctuary including the world’s tallest flying bird sarus crane, endangered birds such as lesser adjutant, painted stork, slender-billed vulture, red-headed vulture, white-rumped vulture, etc. The Telar and Dano flood plains are recognized as important habitats for birds.

 Special birds include Sarus Crane, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Gray Hornbill, parakeets, Blue Bull Antelope, and Wild Boar. During October, around Lumbini, the popular migratory birds such as the Demoiselle Crane and the Indian Sarus Crane, which fly from Dar E-Salaam and over the Himalayas on to the Gujarat and Rajasthan in India, can be observed.

Lumbini include the serene natural environment within the Sacred Garden and Monastic Zones. Lumbini Crane Sanctuary located in the New Lumbini village several natural wetlands including Karbala Lake near Karmahawa village, Monkey tree and Punnihawa Lake in Chainpurwa (Khudabagar), Tharunika Lake in Mahilwari village.

Likewise, important rivers for bird watching include Telar, Dano and Kothi rivers. Gaidahawa lake is famous for vulture and blur bull whereas Gajedi is popular for the beautiful lakes with a blooming lotus flower. Gaidahawa is an important place for globally endangered species like Sarus Crane Grus Antigone, Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus, Indian Spotted Eagle Clanga hastata, Indian Eyed Turtle Morenia petersi and also serves as shelters for numerous species of indigenous and wintering birds. 

Jagdishpur Reservoir

Declared a Ramsar site on 13 August 2003, Jagadishpur Reservoir is one of the wetlands of International importance for threatened species and their habitat conservation. It is the largest man-made reservoir in Nepal and has featured in the Directory of Asian Wetlands.

The reservoir was built for the purpose of irrigation over Jakhira Lake and agricultural land for irrigation in the early 1970s. The water in the reservoir is fed by the nearby Banganga River in the Churia Hills catchment area. The area spreads over 225 hectares with 157 hectares covered by the water surface. It has the capacity to hold 47,500,000 cubic liters of water.

The reservoir is encircled by cultivated areas with two smaller lakes called Sagarhawa and Niglihawa that serve as a buffer territory for bird movements of nearly 150 recorded species. The site is a shelter for native, wintering migrant, wetland and small passerine birds.

The remarkable birds found in this area are the grebes, cormorants, herons and egrets, storks, ducks and geese, terns and gulls, birds of prey, rails, coot and waterhens, jacanas, in addition to cranes and kingfishers.

 Eight globally threatened and near vulnerable bird species have been recorded comprising White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis, Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris, Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus, Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga, Indian Spotted Eagle Aquila hastata, Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus and the tallest of all the flying birds, Sarus Crane Grus Antigone.

                                                       Red-Necked Phalarope

Also, the endangered migratory called Red-necked Phalarope can be seen in Jagdishpur Reservoir. The unique features about this bird are that females take the lead in courtship (polyandrous mating), and males are left to hatch the eggs and care for the young.

During winter visitors can observe the water birds, which have roamed from Siberia and Tibet, traversing the Himalayas, inhabiting, breeding and hatching in this area. The visitor can see the interesting sight of birds floating and playing in the lake whereas the native birds also join them.

Annapurna Conservation Area

Launched in 1986, the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) is the largest undertaking of National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC). It is the first Conservation Area and largest protected area in Nepal that encompasses an area of 7,629 sq. km. ACAP is considered as one of the richest reserves of biodiversity in the world that host for 1,233 species of flowering plants, 105 mammals, 518 birds, 40 reptiles and 23 amphibians. The area consists of the Kali Gandaki Valley, which is taken as an avian separating line between two Himalayan regions, the east and the west.

                                                                     Golden babbler

Trek to the Annapurna region lets you discover the cross-section from Subtropical forest to the Alpine meadows. Trekkers trekking along the Annapurna Conservation Area also takes delight by watching the varied types of birds. The area’s a domain to rare birds like the Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Golden Babbler, Golden-breasted Fulvetta and Fulvous Parrotbill. Lammergeier and Himalayan Griffon Vultures can also be seen soaring on the mountain thermals.

All six pheasant species of Nepal: Blood Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Kalij Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan and Cheer Pheasant are found in this area. The region is also habitat to some internationally endangered species like White-rumped Vulture, Wood Snipe, near-vulnerable species like Satyr Tragopan, Cinereous and Red-headed Vultures, restricted-range species like Hoary-throated Barwing, White-throated tit and Spectacled Finch, and nationally threatened species like Pygmy Blue Flycatcher, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, and Great and Fulvous Parrotbills. 

                                 Male Gandala

The area is the only residence where the Spectacled Finch is seen during winter. The special birds such as Golden Eagle, Himalayan Monal, Himalayan griffon, Kalij Pheasant, Spiny Babbler, Red-billed Blue Magpie, male gandala, and Small Racquet tailed Drongo, Green-shrike Babbler, Green-tailed Sunbird, Booted and Bonelli’s Eagle, Ibisbill, Slaty-backed Forktails, Himalayan Griffon, Lammergeier, and Crested Serpent Eagle are seen in Annapurna Conservation Area.

Likewise, ACAP is the only sheltered area in Nepal where all six of Nepal’s Himalayan pheasant species are found. The small Pipar Pheasant Reserve on the forested south slopes of Machhapuchare peak is generally known as main Himalayan pheasant habitat

It has been recorded that there is Demoiselle Crane migrates to the Kali Gandaki area. There is a yearly migration of Demoiselle Cranes flying from Mongolia to the southern Indian Sub-continent during the first week of October. The flight of the birds commences from the Steppe grassland of Mongolia, Tibet and finally flies over the Great Himalayan range. The best part of this “once-in-a-life-time-trip” is to observe an unusual view of Golden Eagles attacking the cranes in the air. This exceptional tour takes you to Jomsom and enters unique trans-Himalayan highlands.

Other special birds that can be seen in this area are Chukor Partridge, Golden Eagle, Alpine Accentor, Rock Bunting, White-browed Tit Warbler, Wall Creeper, Spotted Forktail, Lammergeier, and Himalayan Griffon. If you are trekking to Annapurna Base Camp, Upper Mustang, Poonhill / Mulde Peak, Mardi Himal trek then you will get an opportunity to spot diverse birds.

Everest Region (Sagarmatha National Park)

The best part of trekking in the Everest region is to enjoy the birding and at the same time observe a unique mixture of fauna and flora of the globe’s well-known Everest region. Sagarmatha National Park is an area of worldwide importance in terms of avifaunal diversity as it signifies the ecosystems from the highest point of the earth’s surface. About 219 species of birds belonging to 32 families have been recorded in Sagarmatha National Park and its Buffer Zone.

                                                                                   Blood Pheasant

The area is a shelter to some of the threatened species such as Wood Snipe, Imperial Eagle. Himalayan Griffon, Lammergeier, Satyr Tragopan, Ferruginous Pochard, and Cinereous Vulture, Danphe, the National bird of Nepal, Blood Pheasant, Large-billed Crow  Red-billed Chough, Yellow-billed Chough, Snow Pigeon, Snow Partridge, and Oriental Skylark are some of the commonly seen bird species in Everest region.

 According to the ornithological survey of Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) and its Buffer Zone, it has recorded three new species of birds for Sagarmatha National Park and its Buffer Zone which is as follows.

  • Black-necked Grebe: Two birds were seen diving and feeding at Gokyo Lake 4,800m on 5 December 2015, this species is a rare winter visitor and passage migrant in Nepal.
  • Maroon-backed Accentor: Ten birds were seen feeding on open ground at Furte near Furte Post (Between Thamo and Namche) on 25, 27 and 28 November 2015.
  • Tibetan Serin: A group of 12 birds was observed feeding on birch tree at Debuche area on 29 November 2015

Langtang National Park

Established in 1976, Langtang National Park covers an area of 1,710 sq km, is situated to the north of Kathmandu. The park comprises Rasuwa, Nuwakot, and Sindhupalchok in the south to Tibet border. It is also, one of the most well-known trekking destinations in Nepal.

It is also the domain to many rare, endangered wildlife; rare and mysterious Red Panda and Snow Leopards dwell here. Other animals include Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan Black Bear, Common Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Leopard Cat, Musk Deer, Assamese Monkey, Red Wolf, and Tibetan Sheep, etc. Likewise, there are many wetlands within this park; among which most holy alpine lakes, Gosainkund is one of the main lakes and enlisted as the Ramsar site of the world.

                                                                                           Red-billed Chough.

The area is the natural heaven for adventure lovers, nature devotees, birdwatchers and ornithologists. More than 250 species of birds have been recorded in Langtang National Park.  One of the iconic bird is ibisbill that spends its summer and breeds in this area. The Himalayan monal, the national bird of Nepal and satyr tragopan are protected birds shelter in the park.

Upper Langtang valley offers an exceptional breeding ground for Ibisbil, a globally endangered bird species. Wood snipe, another internationally threatened bird species, is found in the birch woodlands of Kyangjin. In the summer, the Snow partridge is often seen in the Gosaikunda valley. Tibetan snowcock, Himalayan snowcock, Tibetan partridge, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Himalayan Griffin, Eurasian Griffin, and the Red-Headed Vulture is some of the eye-catching birds reside in the park. Trekkers are often attracted by the gliding Lammergeier in Lauribinayak and the upper Langtang valley. The significant wetland reliant birds in Langtang is the Bar Headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Teal, Tufted Duck, and Common Merganser.

There are 12 globally vulnerable bird species recorded in Langtang National Park consisting of the satyr tragopan yellow-rumped honeyguide wood snipe, cinereous vulture, red-headed vulture, pallid harrier, greater spotted eagle, imperial eagle, yellow-breasted bunting, hoary throated brawing, Nepal wren babbler, and ibisbill. The park has the highest number of wren babbler, a restricted range species.

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Essential packing list for bird watching

Brimmed Hat, Sunscreen (sun/rain protection gear.)

Comfy shoes.

Bird Book

A pair of binoculars and a notebook (to note down the names or descriptions of birds you have seen).


Refillable drinking water bottle


Nepal’s First Birdwatchers

The history of ornithology in Nepal initiated in 1793 when Col William Kirkpatrick collected a few bird skins for observation. Back in the day,  birds had to be killed for observation due to the unavailability of basic equipment needed for bird watching.

Kirkpatrick’s work was a predecessor to the broad ornithological work in Nepal. Brian Hodgson, a diplomat in Nepal for over two decades from 1820-1843 is recognized with the first significant work on the birds of Nepal. His collection of bird skins add up to 9500, the largest collection made by anyone. Raj Man Singh, a Nepali artist, painted over 1800 watercolor sketches of Hodgson’s collection. Some samples of Hodgson’s collection are currently kept in the British Museum of Natural History.

John Scully, a resident surgeon was the pioneer to study birds in the Kathmandu valley. From the period of 1876-1877, he collected almost 2000 samples of birds.

Lt-Col Frank Bailey assembled 2,146 skins between 1935 to 1938, and in the 1940s whereas Dr. S. Dillon Ripley continued the study of the birds of Nepal. He mounted the first true ornithological excursion into the hills and is accredited with the finding of Nepal’s only endemic bird, named Spiny Babbler.

Nepal’s ornithology in the period from 1950 to 1970 was led by  Robert Fleming, Sr, and Robert Fleming, Jr. The father and son duo were the prominent ornithologists to travel throughout the country. They accumulated a huge collection of bird skins, several of which are now kept in the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History. They wrote some 35 papers and articles on Nepali birds. Their single chief contribution to the development of ornithology in Nepal came in 1976 with the publication of their field guide Birds of Nepal, co-authored by the renowned artist, Lain Singh Bangdel.

The publication of the book happens together with a period during which the concern and importance in the birds of Nepal was increasing worldwide. Nepal was perceiving an entry of young ornithologists and bird devotees, mainly from the United Kingdom. Pioneering ornithological works such as that of the Flemings were projecting Nepal as a significant and exceptional avian paradise.

In 1980 Flemings brought out a checklist of birds of the Kathmandu valley and made another important contribution to Nepali ornithology. At the same time, Hari Sharan Nepali gathered  many bird skin and some of which are at the present kept in the Kathmandu Natural History Museum. Throughout his life, he has recorded 30 new species in total.

At the beginning of the last decade of the 20th century, Nepali ornithologists took over the helm of the ornithological work from their foreign counterparts. This change of precursors is reflected in the fact Nepali ornithologists account for almost 80% of all new species discovered in Nepal after 1990.


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