Sailung Trek is among the least visited treks of Nepal, which makes it very special. It gives you an ample of opportunity to enjoy the real ethnic Nepal apart from the magnificent mountain views. From Kathmandu, 5 to 6 hours drive to east will lead you to Mude of Dolakha district. Next day we begin the trek past scattered villages and terraced fields dotted with tiny stone temples, with some steep ascents. Just two days of walk, one gets to Sailung Danda to enjoy the most panoramic views of the entire eastern Himalayas. You can see sunrise from Sailung Danda and the magnificent views of Everest, Gauri Shankar, Dorje Lakpa, Langtang range, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu and many other peaks in Nepal. The trail passes through the beautiful villages of Khola Kharka, Doramba Gompa, Gurase Bhanjyang, Bholung village and Timal. In Timal, we stay an additional night for day excursions.
Sailung is the name of the village of Dolakha. Sailung Timal Trek lies on the eastern remote landscape of Nepal. It is a non-tourist trekking area in Nepal which provides fantastic panoramic views of the Himalayan views including the Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Amadablam, Mt. Makalu, Rolwaling Himalaya range, Annapurna Himalayan range, Ganesh Himal etc. Sailung trek is the only trekking trail from where you will get an opportunity to view five different Himalayan region views including Everest region , Annapurna region , Langtang region, Ganesh Himal region and Rolwaling region. Sailung trekking is not only for Himalayan views but this trekking trail is also culturally rich. You will see different cultures among the Pahari people. These peoples’ culture is more interesting than other ethnic groups which you can only see while trekking this trail.
At Timal village you can take healing and other spiritual practices with Shamans. Main highlight of Sailung Trekking is to see the magnificent views of eastern part of Himalayas of Nepal and encounter with several different ethnic people and interesting experiences about socio-economic situations, lifestyle and their professions. On the way to this beautiful Sailung trek you will have a chance to observe the social lifestyle, culture, and natural environment of local villagers. Most of the villages are resided by Tamang and Rai, Limbu community. The trail is also the home to several indigenous communities, namely Sherpa, Newar, Thami, Tamang, Yolmo and Majhi. The main occupation of the local’s is agriculture. In this trekking you will also see the Buddhist Monastery and temples. The route is covered by beautiful rhododendron forest. The trail is very rich with different varieties of flora and fauna.
The pristine forests of Sailung, Rajveer, Augleshwori, Galba and Khanda Devi offer ecological heaven for such wildlife as pheasant, deer and Langur monkeys. Further passing through Bhakunde Besi, Namobuddha, Naya Gaon, Lato Bhanjyang and then to Godavari, we drive towards Kathmandu. The Botanical Garden, a fish hatchery and a marble quarry are also located in Godavari. Sailung Timal Trek is a newly opened trekking trail which takes you to the rural areas of Nepal which are yet very remote being so near to the Capital of the country, Kathmandu. This trekking route is especially opened in order to promote this area’s tourism to facilitate the place. Thus, this trek is ideal for those travelers who want to discover the virgin lands.
Embarking your journey, you will drive from Kathmandu to Mude Bazaar which is 100 km far away located in Dolakha district. Driving northeast of Kathmandu along the Araniko Highway, you will pass through different small villages and settlement, forest and ridges. En route Bhote Koshi will give you company. You can see there is a spot for Bungee Jump too. Then the climate slowly rises up until and unless you cross the bridge of Khadi Chaur and ascends the slope on right. Then the temperature gradually drops. After a short drive, you will arrive Mude. Mude is a nice little town perches on the height of the valley. From here, you will commence the soft hill trek to Lamche Ahal walking through the beautiful pine forest. Lamche Ahal lies 7,545 feet above sea level. Lamche Ahal is a small beautiful village with good views of Himalaya.
After breakfast at Lamche Ahal, you will continue your trek. You can enjoy the panoramic views of hills and mountains while you hit the trail. Similarly, you will pass a couple of tea shops where the locals stop for a cup of tea and then head gradually towards Sailung Danda. You will pass by the Hindu Temple where the locals visit with pure devotion. Today the landscape changes dramatically from subtropics to alpine. You will be under the trees for a while then suddenly we are in an exposed area. The views start to get better and better as you climb up. You will gradually hike upward to Khola Kharka (9,671 feet) via Thulo Sailung. Sailung Danda lies 10,321 feet above sea level and is the pilgrimage site for both the Hindus and the Buddhist.
If you have got quite enough time, you can also visit Sano Sailung sacred caves, Tiger rocks and Chortens. Thulo Sailung is regarded by the Tamang people at the abode of the territorial deity, Sailung Phoi Sibda Karpo, (“Sailung’s White Male Lord of the Earth”). You can also visit Raj veer Gumba and forest after lunch. Enjoy its history and breathtaking views of Himalaya. Sunset view on Mount Gaurishanker (7,134 m) from here is photogenic. Along you walk; you will enjoy the panoramic views of Himalayas with their beautiful hills and quiet villages. En route, you could also see the stunning view of Charikot Bazaar. Then you will descend down to the valley bottom and reach Khola Kharka village. This village is located in a nice open ground with beautiful views of Gaurishanker, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Range and other snow capped peaks.
The trail descends through forests of Sailung that offer a wide variety of local vegetation and different species of birds. Most of the walking is through the rhododendron forest. If you are a rhododendron lover then March and April are the best time to visit this place as the forest is ablaze with red, white and pink. Today most of the walking will be in the canopy as you will be walking through the forest most of the time. During your walk, you will see a wide variety of native tree, shrub and bird species down towards Surke. Tourists are welcomed at Raj veer monastery to receive a blessing from the Lamas. You can also enjoy a soothing foot bath at the cooling waterfall near Surke. You will experience a Newari culture at Surke village.
The first bit of walking for an hour will be in the forest and then you get to the village. During your course you will receive splendid views of the Himalayan and the rolling Mahabharat hills below. Continue walking through the terraced landscape and pine forest. Enjoy a stunning sunset view and sight of the Sun Koshi River 1500 metres below. After a walk for about six to seven hours, you will reach Gurase Bhanjyang .
The trail descends through the river bank and then steadily climbs upward in order to reach Kafle Damara. The destination is visible on the other side of the valley. En route, you will be visiting the old village monastery and the school. After spending some time there, you will further descend down to the river where you will have lunch in the river bank. Keep your swimming suite and sun screen handy as you will get a chance to cool your body in the river. After lunch you will cross a suspension bridge and then climb steadily until you reach Kafle.
Leaving Kafle Damara, you will continue your trek towards Chaubas hill. Chaubas area is called “Koshipari ” village by the people of Kathmandu. Standing at about 6,889 feet height, Chaubas region has prospects for typical green vegetables, herbs and other crops suitable for the altitude. Today, the locals produce squash, pumpkin, cauliflower to a great extent, yet proper marketing is still lacking. These items are now used as animal feed. Very few people are using these items as trade items. Maize, millet and buckwheat are the staple food here, but excess production of these items could also be targeted for the market.
People are now trying cardamom farming and increasing their experience. In some areas, this seemed very successful with bright prospects. What is necessary is proper advice to the people on multiple use of the farm. Overnight stay at Chaubas Hill will be a wonderful experience. You will have a beautiful sight, overlooking a grand vista of green hills rolling one after the other all the way to the plains.
Today after breakfast in Chaubas Hill, you will be trekking towards Bholung Village. While trekking to this village you can see spectacular views of the waterfall, can observe the rural and hard life of Nepali people and also the mountain views quite captivate you. Bholung village lies 3,018 feet above sea level. In Bholung village you will find the people of different castes like: Brahmin, Chhetri, Pahari, Majhi, Kami, Damai, Tamang etc. following their own traditional lifestyle. Most of the adults are farmers whereas young people are engaged in the field of tourism as porters and guides. Though this village is not far from Kathmandu, it still is very remote. There is still no electricity, health post or hospital, police post, water supply and rather no good school. You will stay overnight in this village.
On this day, you have to ascend mostly uphill. The breathtaking views of mountains and the Tamang villages will be the highlight of the day. Along the way don’t miss out on observing a small pool of water a few meters away from the road, considered to be the navel of SunKoshi River. The water in the pool never dries up and is unusually very deep. There is a local school nearby the camping ground. After walking for about six to seven hours, you will reach Chapkhore. Chapkhore lies 6,013 feet above sea level. This place is very famous for Tamang people.
There is a Losar festival celebrated by Tamang people which offers Tamang cultural dance, Tamang foods, drinks and their prayer flags. Local’s enthusiastically gather here in Chapkhore to observe the Red Berry Festival or Chuthra Jatra, during April full moon when red berries grow all over turning the whole area into one color. This place is the origin of Tamang King who was the ruler before 1800 B.S.
On this day, after breakfast at Chapkhore, you will continue your journey. Today, you will also get chance to visit Timal Narayan Temple. This temple is located at top of the hill. You will pass by several Buddhist stupa enroute. Continuing our trek with the stunning scenario of Mountain View, you will reach Kot Timal. Kot Timal lies 6,430 feet above sea level. Once you are in Timal region, enjoy and embrace Tamang tradition and hospitality. You will be welcomed with Khadas (silk scarf), brimless flat hat of Tamangs, special coat made of local cotton and wang or local liquor. In fact Kot Timal is regarded as the birthplace of Tamang people. Timal was originally called ‘Teermaal’ meaning a place of prosperity and luck, a place where true dharma existed and a sacred place.
Being atop a hill there are a few open spaces available for camping- one of them is situated 200m south from Kot Timal chowk. From here one can view an obstructed and a most panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges including Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Dhaulagiri, and Gauri Shankar to Rolwaling spanning almost 360 degree. Visible also is the wide view of hills, ridges, rivers to the farthest corner your eyes can reach. There used to be a pond right in the middle of the field but is said to have dried up because of the years of drought.
There are many things to explore while in Kot Timal. One can visit local gangs of chortens (Buddhist stupas) which are important sites of spiritual reverence for local populace. Two white chortens right in front of the chowk were made as early as 1991 B.S. One of the attractions of this place are the small ruins left of the kingdom of King Rinchin Dorje. Locals are slowly taking initiative to develop this site for local heritage as well as tourism. It will take 30 minutes walk from the Chowk to visit the site, now adorned according to Buddhist rituals, where Rincihin’s palace was.
Sadly almost everything was destroyed by the conquerors. Visit the Rinchin memorial site cum museum being constructed at main chowk to see the rare artifacts and historical documents discovered recently that dates back to the time of Rinchin. Moreover, Gyalbo Renzin Dorje Pratisthan is looking after the preservation and promotion of Renzing and Tamang heritage in the area. The department of archaeology is yet to continue exploration and excavation in the area. You could also visit another camping ground which is located north of the chowk, 45 minutes walk. The site offers equally splendid views of the valleys and hills across. There is a new home stay being constructed nearby this site under local investment.
The day begins with a hot cup of tea. Today, you will hike for around four to five hours. Much of the trail passes through under pitched roads offering distant views of hills and distant Himalayas and features typical Nepali houses. You will descend downhill until you reach Khardar Patti. The stone inscription on the wall of the Patti mentions that it was built in honor of a Bhote man (middle hill man) in the year 1666 B.S. Moreover, it is believed that the person who constructed this building had his hands chopped off by the Rana rulers at Hanuman Dhoka fearing his skills.
The Patti is three floors high made out of wood and recently renovated with strut from Patan, consisting of carved windows and a small stone statue of a bull, believed to be the transport of Lord Shiva. You will have a picturesque view of paddy fields and maize. This ancient trail passes through small but serene settlements of various ethnic groups of Nepal including Tamangs, Bahun Chhetris and Newars. You can also visit a small local market while trekking towards Bhakunde Besi. Bhakunde Besi lies 2,296 feet above sea level.
You will comfortably walk uphill partly through backwoods from Bhakunde Besi. The trek approximately takes anywhere between 4 to 5 hours. This used to be an old trade route for locals from the east to bring their supplies such as rice and oil to Banepa to take back salt. Along the way plants like nettle, pine, lapsi, bougainvellae and rhododendron can be observed. Moreover, after walking for about four to five hours, we reached Namo Buddha. Namo Buddha lies 5905 feet above sea level. It is the fourth most important Buddhist sanctuary after Lumbini, Swoyambhu and Boudha in Nepal. Situated in Kavre district just 10 km east of Panauti, the stupa is believed to have been built on the bones and hair of a Prince Mahasattva who is believed to be the former reincarnation of Shakyamuni Buddha. You can stroll around the monastery and the surroundings.
Today you will descend down through the well leveled path. Throughout the journey you will be accompanied by the farmlands, trees and beautiful settlements of the people.
You will be walking towards the uphill to reach the Nayagaon.
In the early morning you will enjoy the beautiful sunrise with the spectacular views of the mountains. Then you will be descending downhill of forests and farmlands to reach Lato Bhanjyang.
On the last day of your trek, you will descend down from Lato Bhanjyang through lush green forest towards Godawari. Further, drive from Godawari to Kathmandu which takes about 45 minutes only.
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