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Gyajikang Expedition

Abhishek Subedi July 10, 2020

Mount Gyajikang is one of the highest peaks of Nepal. This mountain is the popular destination that follows through the remote Tibetan settlements villages of Nar and Phu near to the border between Tibet and Nepal northern part of Manang. This trail passes along one of the most popular trekking destinations of Annapurna circuit trekking route. Mt. Gyajikang peak is situated in Peri Himal North-East of Manang Valley that was opened only after 2002 as a climbing peak expedition. Since that only very few teams have been successfully climbed with their main object of research. While located at Nar Phu Valleyit is one of the most popular parts of Manang District. For the approach of the Gyajikang base camp, there are several routes such as the direct route from Kathmandu to Nar and Phu as well as the Marshyangdi River from Besi Shahar. 

Gyajikang Expedition

Travelers trek along the Himalayan foothills and around the eastern end of the Annapurna Region. before reaching Qupara. As being one of the most popular trekking adventure trekking trails it offers the best opportunity to experience Tibetan settlements, settlement of influenced culture, tradition, the most striking landscape of Manang Valley and an ancient remarkable monastery and an incredible mass of Himalayan ranges. The surroundings become more fertile on the last stretch before returning to the starting point. Nar Phu is becoming increasingly accessible to ordinary ”carry your own pack” trekkers.  

Day 1 Kathmandu to Koto

The first day of the trek starts with the drive to Besisahar. The trekkers will eat lunch at Besisahar and will ride in the four wheel vehicle from here. The road can be almost as challenging for the passengers as well as drivers. But the outside scene through the  whole ride is incredible and amazing. It travels along the old Annapurna Circuit Trek route, through amazing gorges and past stunning waterfalls. The trekkers will arrive in Koto at dinner time.

Day 2 Koto to Meta

The trekkers will start the day as early as possible because they have lots of distance to cover. You have to cross the river to enter the Nar and Phu valleys. The towns that are nearby to the Annapurna Circuit are relatively much more developed than the other valleys. But these valleys are a total remote area in terms of development.  The trekking route passes through beautiful woods, past small cave shelters and pilgrims, resting places. The trail emerges from the narrow canyon and passes under a wide waterfall. The woods from the canyon become thinner and the vistas wider. The route of the Meta involves climbing a steep hill. The hill offers the travellers the amazing and stunning views of some of the giant snow capped peaks of the area.

Gyajikang Expedition

Day 3 Meta to Phu

The trail starts with some of the unique, colourful Tibetan Buddhist chortens that Nar and Phu valley are famous for. The trail meanders along the ridge with a stunning view of the magnificent Nar Phedi Monastery. This is the place usually trekkers take some break time enjoying the harmonious and peaceful view of the monastery. After about 2 hour of hiking through amazing canyons and gorges you will reach a monolith that guards the steep trail up to Phu.

After passing through these trails, you can get the first view of the three villages in the area as well as the old ”dzong” (Tibetan-style fortress) and the remains of the two ruined forts, impressively situated at the top of the flatlands before reaching the village. The trekkers can watch the beautiful and wonderful  line of the color of chortens on the landscape just after crossing the bridge in to Phu. After a rest and refreshments, trekkers can walk around through the famous Tashi Lhakhang Gompa. They can pay respects to Lama Karma Sonam Rimpoche who came to Nepal with the Dalai Lama in 1959.

Day 4 Exploring Phu

It is good to spend an acclimatization day in Phu. The travellers can explore the tiny alleyways of the town or hike up to Himlung Himal Base camp. Phu is an interesting village. The travellers can spend their day sitting with the villagers, watching them spin their yak and sheep wool, pound mustard seeds into a paste for an oil or observe their culture and traditions. The travellers who are extra energetic and enthusiastic can hike up to Himlung Himal Base camp which will take you through a glacial valley. The 7125 metre peak was recently opened for climbing. On this beautiful trail you will see herds of blue sheep skillfully clambering up the steep cliff. The return trip from this peak takes about four to five hours.

Gyajikang Expedition

Day 5 Phu to Nar Phedi

The Nar Phedi is about 3490 metres above sea level. The trekkers have to back down towards Meta and stop at the Nar Phedi monastery. The monastery is the only accommodation for the night at Nar Phedi. The rooms of the monastery are neat and clean and the nuns here are extremely humble and welcoming. The travellers can help them in a kitchen and watch them prepare dinner on a modest fireplace. Around 5 pm they usually perform a ritual which is the blissful and amazing scene to witness. The monastery also has a small donation box outside the entrance of the monastery where you can leave some contribution for the maintenance of this beautiful and friendly place.

Day 6 Trek to Nar Village

The trekking starts with the climb out from Nar Phedi and following a windy path up a hill towards Nar. The trail passes through the line of wonderfully painted, bamboo-topped chortens on the way into the ancient village. You will arrive in the village around lunch time. Even though Nar is not far from the main Annapurna trail, it rarely gets its visitors. But the scene around the village is really picturesque. Nar village is a bit more social and lively than Phu village. During day time you can witness the village square teeming with chatting women with their back strap looms weaving wool fabric for rugs and blankets.  There are few teahouses on the outskirts of Nar and you can stay in a comfortable lodge with an extensive menu.

Day 7 Trek to Gyanjikang Base Camp

You will be walking through the rocky path covered with white and soft snow. Throughout the whole journey you will be accompanied by the beautiful views of the Himalayas.

Day 8 to 24 Climbing period of Mount Gyajikang

You will spend several days for acclimatization and climbing training practices. Fully acclimatized and properly equipped with all the climbing equipment you will follow the guidance and footsteps of  experienced Sherpa climbing experts. Several camps will be set up above the base camp before attempting the main summit of Mt Gyajikang. Taking weather conditions into consideration, you will overcome several technical sections and head towards the summit.

Gyajikang Expedition

Day 25 Trek Back to Base Camp

After successfully achieving the target – the summit of Mt Gyajikang, you can prepare yourselves for the return journey. Following the same trail back, you will retrace your steps and trek to reach back to Base Camp.

Day 26 Base Camp to Dharmasala to Dharapani

As usual as other days, you will start your trek in the early morning. Once, enjoy the great views of Mt. Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, and Himlung Himal. You will descend towards Tilije by passing through a high pasture, rivers, and rhododendron forests. Finally get in Tilije. 

Day 27 Dharapani to Shyangje

After crossing a suspension bridge came across Chamje. And the trail goes along the Marsyangdi River valley which opens beautiful landscapes, villages and dense forest of pines to Shyange. 

Gyajikang Expedition
Дхарапани

Day 28 Syangja to Kathmandu Valley

The last day of the trip that leads you to arrive in Kathmandu by bus. It is an opportunity to enjoy landscapes along the route. Alternating you have a chance to walk till Besi Shahar then take a bus to Kathmandu by the following day.  

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