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Kagmara La Trek

Abhishek Subedi July 27, 2020

Kagmara La Trek is a trek into the least explored and untouched parts of western Nepal. Kagmara La Trek is one of the finest treks of the western region. It offers superb views of the mountain ranges, valleys, ancient monasteries and rural life of the culturally enriched people. During your trek, you will also get a lifetime experience to witness two of the most popular lakes of Nepal. Rara lake is situated at an altitude of 2,910 meters above sea level. It is the biggest lake of Nepal which you will be visiting on this trek. Similarly, with an altitude of 3,640 meters above sea level, Shey Phoksundo Lake is the deepest lake of Nepal. In addition, Kagmara La Pass at an elevation of 5,115 meters is the highest elevation of the trek which joins the Shey Phoksundo and Rara lake. 

Kagmara La Trek

About the Trek

Kagmara La Trek is one of the moderate levels of treks in the western part of Nepal. It is the only pass that joins two of the most popular lakes of Nepal. The trek starts from the Shey Phoksundo National Park and ends at Talcha after exploring the magnificent Rara Lake. There are only a few teahouses and lodges during the trekking trail because camping is required for the larger groups of people. It’s a remote area of mild west Nepal and lower part of Dolpa. It is the best trekking destination for international trekkers. This trek gives a mixed variety of experiences. During the trek, one can find the diversity of culture and nature within close strides of the walk. The trail goes through low land to the elevation of 5115m. The settlements of different sects of people like Khas, Bon, Thakali, Chhetri and other sects can be explored. 

The north west of Nepal is guarded by a group of Himalayan peaks known as Kanjirowa Himal. Despite its natural beauty, the area is rarely visited. The trek passes to the south of Kanjirowa to Rara lake in the far west of pristine Phoksundo in Lower Dolpo. The area offers a huge diversity of trekking, passing through terraced farmland, along high ridge tops, through pristine forest along with astonishing Himalayan peaks. March, April and May and September, October and November are the best times for Kagmara La Trek. During those months of the year, the weather is perfect and the temperature is moderate and you will have splendid views of the mountains, lakes and valleys. Similarly, during March and April, you will have amazing views of the rhododendron blooming in most parts of the trekking trail. 

Day 1 Kathmandu to Nepalgunj

From Kathmandu, you will take a flight to the Nepalgunj. It is the town in the Western Terai and is very close to the Indian Border and the Bardia National Park. The town is a major transport hub for western, mid- western and far- western regions of Nepal.

Kagmara La Trek

Day 2 Nepalgunj to Juphal and Trek to Dunai

You will have a 35 minute long flight to Juphal. The trail from Juphal to Dunai is comfortable and easy as the trail on this part of trek also has few jeeps running to and fro. The first forty five minutes of the trek descends down to Kalagauda followed by two hours of hike along the trail above Thuli Bheri River.You will trek by the riverside and pass Roop Ghar with the water mill and finally reach the Dunai (2150m) a small town, the headquarter of the district. Dunai has some schools government and private, college, police check post and some government offices.You can also visit the Bon Stupa and school, Central Buddhist monastery and the very first English medium school across the river, From the Stupa you can have the view of whole town and another village, upper Dunai too. 

Day 3 Trek to Chhekpa

After breakfast, you will leave behind Dunai village and continue to descend down to cross the Bheri river and continue your trail to the northern bank of the river. The trail then takes us to the Sulighat which is followed by Shey Phoksundo national park check post. The trail ascends up from here and passes through the hemp fields before reaching Kageni village. The view of magnificent waterfalls, lush vegetation, and the tropical forest is throughout the trail reaching Chhepka.

Day 4 Trek to Jharana Hotel

You will start our trek towards the Jharana hotel. Today you will get the first view of Phoksundo lake from a distance. The trail today passes through the wide meadows and forests. The gorge of Phoksundo is just below you when you will pass through the meadows. After the climb, you will see one of the most beautiful and largest waterfalls.

Day 5 Trek to Phoksundo Lake

You  will be leaving the Jharana hotel and then continue toward the Ringmo village which is the bank of the Phoksundo lake. The trail first passes descending down inside the birch forest and then ascends up to reach the Phoksundo Khola. After crossing the bridge you will be heading towards the north to reach the ranger station at Phoksundo lake.

Trek to Phoksundo Lake

Day 6 Exploration Day

Today you will explore the Ringmo village., Phoksundo lake, surrounding areas and monasteries. Phoksundo Lake is an alpine turquoise-coloured freshwater lake and the deepest lake of Nepal at 3,600 m. You will visit a 900-year-old Bon monastery,  Tshowa Gompa. The lake is famous for its striking turquoise colour and spectacular scenery.

Day 8 Ringmo to Pungmo

Today you walk down to Pungmo, which is very rewarding as huge rock walls guard the upper valley and as you leave Ringmo village, the lake can be seen. Impressive is the huge waterfall falling from the Phuksumdo River. From the prayer flags, a pleasant half an hour’s walk leads to the small settlement of Chunuwar; a lodge and an AMCHI hospital that are dedicated to providing traditional medical services for the local people. Way down to Sanduwa where you will meet a junction of the river comes from Phoksundo, and Kagmara Lekh crosses the bridge and immediately takes the right side way approximately 2 hours walk up to Pungmo.

Day 9 Pungmo to Lasa

A big climb, approximately 1,000m passing through the small settlements, forests numerous chortens and monasteries cross the bridges along the Yulun Khola. The Himalayan blue sheep and wild fox are seen from the path as well as the numerous birds in the barren pastures. 

Day 10 Lasa to Kagmara Pass to Kagmara Phedi

It is a big day as you will be crossing the Kagmara La.  The trail goes uphill towards Kagmara –La; reaching on the pass is marked in the traditional Tibetan way with hundreds of prayer flags, and the view is quite stunning. The short climb to the summit of Kagmara RI (5370m) takes no more than half an hour, but the other view is well worthy here. The stunning views of Dhaulagiri Massif in the east and Shay-Shikhar, Kanjiroba Himal in Northeast and Api and Saipal Himal in the west are equally impressive. The path steep and big descends and follows the path of Garpung Khola that leads an excellent view of Kagmara and an opportunity to see the Himalayan Blue ship.

Day 11 Trek to Tojium

You will start your trek towards Toijum. You will pass through forests and different human settlement areas to reach Toijum. 

Day 12 Trek to Chaurikot

You will start your trek towards Chaurikot. From Kainigaon you can have a beautiful view of the dense forest of pine. The trail to Chaurikot from Kainigaon goes uphill through the village. 

Day 13 Trek to Chotra

You will start your trek towards Chotra. You will have to cross a pass named Maure Lagna pass situated at an altitude of 3,894 meters above from sea level. After the pass, you will trek downwards through the forest with mixed species of plants before reaching Chotra.

Day 14 Trek to Gothichaur

You will start your trek towards Gothichaur. The trail to Gothichaur passes through different small villages and can experience the variation in culture. Situated at an altitude of 2,820 meters above sea level Manigaon is a village with khas people mostly. It will take about 3 hours to reach Gothichaur from Manigaon.

Day 15 Trek to Jumla

After breakfast, you will start your trek towards Jumla. You will pass through different villages throughout the day. You can also see the motorable road during the day. 

Trek to Jumla

Day 16 Trek to Chere Chaur

You will head towards today’s destination, Chere Chaur. Initially, a fairly easy but a steady climb will take us through the villages, Campus, Karnali Technical Institute and Khalanga Bazaar to the Jugad Valley. The trekking continues through the small settlement of people exhibiting traditional houses and temples to Sisnamul. From Sisnamul, the trail passes through the forest and meadows as we continue to Chere Chaur. Chere Chaur, a high altitude meadow greets us with a very beautiful view of the Jumla Valley.

Day 17 Trek to Chala Chaur

From Chere Chaur you have two trail options: one leads to Jaljala pass, and the other leads to Daphne Lagna Pass. However, following the trail leading west of Chere Chaur, you will first climb all the way up to the Jaljala pass on a steep trail. The Jaljala pass greets us with distant views of beautiful high altitude mountains. Leaving both the pass and the view behind, we will now continue on a moderately easy trail towards the gigantic meadow at Jaljala Chaur. Continuing further, a steep trail, along the Syaule River will finally take us to Chalachaur.

Day 18 Trek to Sinja Valley

The trail to Sinja Valley passes through a number of small settlements. The trail is accompanied by the Jaljala River. Soon, we will reach a settlement of Brahmin and Chhetri at Sinja Valley. The Sinja Valley, the capital of the Malla Dynasty from 12th -14th century offers a number of remains of ancient palaces, temples and the settlement to the trekkers to explore. The beautiful paddy fields add more beauty to this settlement. 

Day 19 Trek to Goru Singhe

The trail following the Hima River heads east till Laha. On the way, it also passes the settlement of Gani. From Laha, the trail heads west. Continuing alongside the Ghatte River on a steep trail, you will reach Ghoru Singhe. A big campsite with an army post marks the arrival of Ghorosingha.

Day 20 Trek to Rara

After breakfast, you will climb the steep trail alongside Chuchamare Danda. As you reach the top of the hill, you will be greeted with a very beautiful view of the Himalayas, Rara Lake and the vegetation of the Rara National Park. Leaving the hill, we now enter the meadows on the ridge. Now through the forest of rhododendron, pine and spruce, we will continue towards Majhghat. As we cross Majhghat, following the Khatyar River, through the Chhapri village, which is also the headquarters of the Rara National Park, we hike up to Rara Lake.

Day 21 Exploration Day

Today you will spend your day exploring the Rara Lake and the surrounding area. Rara Lake is the biggest lake in Nepal. It is surrounded by dense forest that houses a number of plants and animals. Lucky ones get to spot otters, langur, Himalayan Tahr, musk deer and many other animals. you will visit the village of Murma, hike up to the Murma Top and enjoy the view of the lake and the western mountains.

Day 22 Trek to Talcha

After breakfast, you will start your trek towards Talcha Airport. The trail passes through the jungle and besides the lake. It will take about 2 hours to reach Talcha airport from Rara lake. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to a hotel. You will have free time after that. You can interact with the locals or explore the village. 

Trek to Talcha

Day 23 Flight to Nepalgunj and to Kathmandu

After breakfast, you will take a scenic flight to Nepalgunj. It will take about 45 minutes to reach Nepalgunj. Upon arrival at Nepalgunj, you will take another domestic flight back to Kathmandu. It will take about 55 minutes to reach Kathmandu.  

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