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Restricted Areas Trekking

Abhishek Subedi July 23, 2020

While Nepal was ruled completely by the Shah Dynasty, many areas of Nepal were beyond the reach of foreign travelers. After the introduction of multiparty democratic constitution. The remote areas have been opened for tourists from all over the globe since 1991. However, tourists require special permits from the Nepal Government to trek in these areas. Moreover, they are provided by the local travel agency licensed by the Government of Nepal. Trekking alone in restricted areas is also strictly prohibited. And hence two or more than two people should be in a group to be able to trek in this region. These prohibited regions lie behind the Himalayas in the rain Shadow. The areas which are restricted are “Paradise on Earth” due to the numerous natural beauty, hidden valleys, people and their unique culture and custom. 

Trekking in restricted areas is extremely challenging and you may need assistance because travelling with an authorized trekking guide is a must. The regulation is designed primarily to protect the environment and culture of the remote regions and provide security and safety for both foreign trekkers and Nepal’s northern border with China.

1. Nar Phu Valley Trek

The Nar Phu Valley trek is a trek through the Nar and Phu valleys that combines high peaks and passes, glaciers, remote villages, narrow canyons, lovely forests, amazing rock formations, yaks, gompas and uniquely ethnically Tibetan cultures. This trekking route was not opened till 2002 AD. Only a few outsiders have explored these virtually untouched villages or climb the many 7000 metres peaks surrounding them. The last route of the trek will take you over the high Kang La Pass, and then go down hill to Ngawal, a popular stop on the main Annapurna circuit route. 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. 

Nar Phu Valley Trek

2. Manaslu Trekking

Manaslu Trekking An exciting new route circumnavigating the World’s eighth highest peak, Manaslu (8,163 m) was officially opened to trekkers in 1991, but mountaineering expeditions have long had access to the area. The attraction of the under trekked trails and high mountain scenery is hard for the seasoned trekker to resist. This trek gives an insight into both Nepalese Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist cultures. Manaslu trek passing through Lubumbashi is an unfolding natural phenomenon of biophysical dynamics. Leaving behind the historical town of Gorkha and Arughat. The trail follows the magnificent deep blue waters of Buddhi Gandaki. While entering a wild gorge that cuts between Ganesh (7,429 m) and Himalchuli (7,893 m), where villages are linked by precipitous trails that make few concessions to the knees. 

Manaslu Trekking

3. Tsum Valley Trek

Tsum Valley, also called “beyul” literally meaning “Hidden valley in which people can take refuge at times of political disturbance. And where Buddhism can be practiced safely” is yet being explored and the right place to trek for the travelling passionate. The valley is blessed with a Himalayan Buddhist pilgrimage site located in the northern part of Gorkha district, Nepal. In another sense ‘Tsum’ meaning vivid against the majestic backdrop of the Ganesh Himal, Shringi Himal and Boudha Himal Ranges, this serene Himalayan valley is rich in ancient art, culture and religion. It is said that the Buddhist saint Milarepa is believed to be meditated in the caves of these mountains. 

Tsum Valley Trek

The valley is home of some of the unique and historic monasteries, including Mu Gompa and Rachen Gompa, mani and prayer walls which lie on a pretty highland nestled in the lap of the valley. And Gompa Langtang, situated at the base of a conical hill against the main slope of Ganesh Himal. The tribes here celebrate many Buddhist festivals, perform ritual burning of juniper sense to purify the air and Mother Nature, place the prayer flags and install Mani Walls for the happiness of the entire sentient living beings. The area is left behind from modernity so their culture remained as it is as it was centuries ago. The palace is really tempting for the trekkers. 

4. Upper Dolpo Trek

The Upper Dolpo trek is one of the harder and longer treks in Nepal, with several camps above 4500 metres and some high passes. Organised tours are essential, as there is virtually no tourism infrastructure here. As with the Lower Dolpo trek, this one begins with a flight to Juphal, and a trek to Lake Phoksundo. Past this, high snowy passes, hidden valleys, the Shey Gomba monastery, and many fortified villages await. Virtually everyone who makes the effort to trek here finds it to be an incredible experience.

Acclimatisation days and contingency days are built into itineraries to Upper Dolpo. Flights are often delayed or cancelled, and some members of the party may need to take some parts slowly. If you don’t encounter any delays, these extra days can be spent on side trips.

5. Damodar Kunda Trek

Damodar Kunda Trek is one of the famous journeys which offers panoramic views of the stunning Annapurna range, lush valleys, beautiful landscapes and Tibetan monasteries. The views are great from some viewpoints a bit higher than the lakes, just a short climb up some of the hills. Damodar Kunda is situated in Mustang District of Nepal. A basin in the Damodar Himal and flows southward through a rain shadow valley on the eastern edge of the Annapurna Range. The elevation of the Damodar Kunda is just 4890 meters and it is a cold and windy place. The kunda has its own history in the column of Barah Puran; Lord Krishna has said that whoever pays a visit to this Kunda and takes a dip, they will be freed from all sin. 

Damodar Kunda Trek

It is also mentioned in Puran that two sons of Kubers were suffering from their wrong doing & sin, which they did in their previous birth but lord Krishna suggested them to take bath in this Kunda. And immediately after taking bath in this Kunda they were released from all their sin. Festival time will be great for visiting Damodar Kund. From Damodar Kund, the views are great from some viewpoints a bit higher than the lakes, just a short climb up some of the hills. The Tibetan plateau & Damodar Himal to the north and the Annapurna Himalayas massive to the south. The Damodar lakes are located three days walk north east of the main Mustang trekking route & very close to Tibetan border. Damodar Kunda lies on a restricted upper mustang between Kagbeni and Muktinath.

6. Mustang Trek

Mustang Trek to the hidden paradise of Mustang is a tremendous tour. The travellers can experience the best ever holiday trip in their life in Nepal. Trekking in this region will allow you to undergo the way of living of true mountain people. The Upper Mustang Trek escorts you into the old Buddhist Kingdom of Mustang. Despite being geographically situated in Nepal, the region encircled by this trek bears a palpable Tibetan influence as Mustang is a part of Tibetan Plateau.

Mustang Trek

 This area is remote and isolated to the Himalaya region. The trekking in the Upper Mustang region was restricted before for people from outside the country. But from around 15 years ago the Trekking was opened for everyone. Though it is open for everyone to trek around this region, the permit is only available to registered travel agencies. High peaks, glaciers, and alpine valleys can be seen during the trek. Also you will be able to visit the Holy Muktinath Temple. Similarly, together with picturesque villages including Lo-Manthang, Charang and Ghami village. 

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