Langtang Region

Langtang, the scenic Himalayan Region of Nepal bordering Tibet is one of the nearest trekking region from the capital, Kathmandu. Offering multiple adventure opportunities to trekkers and climbing enthusiasts, Langtang is one of the most loved trekking destination of Nepal.

Gateway to numerous Himalayan Peaks, Langtang showcases some of the most peaceful landscapes and alpine forests with the lifestyle, culture and celebration of Locals adding color to the land gifted by the nature.

langtang trekking langtang ri

Langtang Ri, a mountain in the Langtang Himal at an elevation of 7,205 m (23,638 ft) is the 106th highest mountain in the world.


Langtang was one of the most affected region by the devastating April 2015 earthquake. However the regions is now safe and once again open for visitors.


Trekking Trails

Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang Valley Trekking is probably one of the best treks to witness the authentic Tibetan culture because of its close proximity with Tibet. At the meantime the trek also highlights the 360 degree view of Himalayas from sacred Kyanjin Gompa. Since the region does not hold any 8000er the Himalayas in the Langtang Region is dominated by Majestic 7000er Langtang Lirung. [Detail Itinerary]

This trekking route is considered as a classical easy, relatively short trek for moderately fit persons.

The shortest approach to the Himalayas that caters abundance of authentic Tibetan culture 360 degree view of Himalayas dominated by Langtang Lirung and alpine floral and faunal species in the conserved Langtang National Park.”

Langtang Gosaikunda Trek

Langtang Gosainkunda Trek is one of the least frequented trekking routes of Langtang Region. The trekking along this trail is adventurously hilarious and at the meantime has huge religious significance as it arrives at one of the sacred lakes for Hindus Gosain Kunda. Langtang Gosainkunda Trek with is an exceptional trek to the Himalayas and the Himalayan hamlets, which cater wonderful rewards of nature and culture of the beautiful Langtang Region.

“Langtang Gosainkunda Trek- Striking alpine beauty blended with mid-hill delights, thriving Tibetan culture mixed with Hindu religious values and the lush vegetation dominated by colorful floras and faunas, the trek has it all.”


When To Go!!

Nepal basically have two trekking season Autumn (September – November) and Spring  (March – May).

  • Autumn: Excellent weather, Moderate Temperature, Clear Sky with outstanding views
  • Spring:  Mildly warm at lower elevations and quite moderate temperature at higher elevation, spectacular and excellent mountains View.

How Much Does It Cost!!

  1. TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card: USD$ 10 per Person (USD$ 15 per Person if Travelling Solo)
  2. Langtang National Park Entry Fee: USD$ 35 per Person

What To Take !!

  • Backpack to carry gears/ trekking equipment, clothes.
  • Daypack to carry your equipments for the day.
  • Good pair of light trekking shoes/boots.
  • Water and windproof outer shell jacket and pants.
  • Sleeping bag
  • First aid kit.
  • Water purifiers.
  • Sunscreen and sun hat.

Langtang Region is the third most visited trekking destination of Nepal after Everest and Annapurna.


Langtang A Year After the Earthquake

Killing almost 8000 and injuring more than 21000, the April earthquake was one of the most devastating earthquke in the history of Nepal. With most of the trekking destination surviving, the story was different for Langtang. Killing almost 300 alone, Langtang was one of the most affected tourist destination.

Langtang valley trek

Langtang Valley, the ultimate destination for trekking lovers from across the world.

However, the story is different after a year in langtang, the reconstruction work has gone accordingly as planned.

  • The disrupted routes are reopened with some re-routeing and currently almost 10 tourist (both domestic and international) visit langtang on daily basis.
  • Many Hotels and Tea House have come into operation. Sindhum and Kyanjin operates 35 hotels alone.
  • On the first anniversary of the earthquake, survivors and closed ones of the victims, treked from trekked to Langtang from Syafrubensi to pay tribute to their beloved.
  • Over 150 community members have returned to rebuild.

With new community and village slowly coming up, Langtang is ready for trekkers and backpackers. Breathtaking valleys, Stunning Himalayan vistas and Lush pine forest still make Langtang a popular destination for trekkers.


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In Pictures Annapurna Circuit

The most popular trekking trail in Nepal that stretches almost 100 miles beginning from tropical zone to elevated highland Thorung La Pass, Annapurna Circuit caters widely diverse cultural and natural aspects.

Here are some fascinating pictures of breathtaking landscapes  around Annapurna Circuit that takes you to the most enthralling trails the Himalayas of Nepal have to offer.

Around Annapurna Circuit.

Around Annapurna Circuit, walking through lush green forests , majestic mountains & miles of snow.


Mount Dhaulagiri seen from chiltre

Dazzling, White & Beautiful Dhaulagiri mountain seen from Chiltre.


Ice lake and annapurna II

Kicho Tal (Ice lake) with Annapurna II in the background.


Mt nilgiri

Mt. Nilgiri seen from Jomsom.


Manang annapurna

Annapurna III seen from Manang.


Lake Tilicho

Lake Tilicho, a popular side hike of Annapurna Circuit.


thorong la pass annapurna circuit

Way to Thorong La, a mountain pass with an elevation of 5,416 metres.


marpha annapurna circuit

Pretty stone lined village of Marpha.


braga annapurna circuit

Braga, around annapurna.


Jharkot valley around annapurna

Jharkot Valley, gateway to Manang.


mount manaslu

Mount Manaslu seen from Danakyu.


view from poon hill annapurna circuit

Mount Dhaulagiri seen from Poon Hill.


During the Annapurna Circuit trek, you walk with through a blend of exquisite culture, typical Nepalese village lifestyle, unbelievably challenging yet mesmerizingly beautiful landscape and above all pristine Himalayas.


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A Basic Guide to Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The most spectacular trekking trail of the world

One of the most popular trekking trails in Nepal, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, caters the incredible taste of Trekking in the Himalayas.

This high glacial basin, Annapurna Base Camp is located directly north to Pokhara. Surrounded by a ring of mountains, Machapuchhare,  Annapurna I and Hiunchuli respectively, this oval shaped plateau seats at an altitude of over 4,130 m (13,549 ft).

Annapurna base camp trek

Panoramic view of Annapurna Sanctuary

The magical landscape in and around the Annapurna Base Camp is also called “sanctuary” because of its natural serenity, beauty and the divine presence of the Hindu goddesses Annapurna (8,091m) and Gangapurna (7,455m).

The trekking adventure to Annapurna Base Camp starts from Nayapul which is two hour’s drive from Pokhara. Then lead to the Machhapuchhre Base Camp through Ghandruk and Chhomrong. From there it head towards the Annapurna Base Camp and the ideal trek to the foothill of majestic Annapurna concludes by arriving to Jhinu Danda through Dovan.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Drive to Nayapul & trek to Tikhedhunga

Day 2 : Trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani

Day 3 : Early morning hike to Poon Hill & trek to Tadapani

Day 4 : Trek from Tadapani to Chomrong

Day 5 : Trek from Chomrong to Himalaya Hotel

Day 6 : Trek from Himalayan Hotel to ABC via MBC

Day 7 : Trek to Bamboo

Day 8 : Trek from Bamboo to Jhinu Danda

Day 9 : Trek  from Jhinu Danda to Tolka

Day 10 : Trek  from Tolka to Phedi and drive to Pokhara


Most of the trail you walk (or any trekking trail of Annapurna Region) is through the protected region of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).

[Note: ABC & MBC stands for Annapurna Base Camp & Machapuchare Base Camp]

Annapurna Base Camp trekking

Most of the trail in ABC trek is in the protected region of Annapurna Conservation Area.

The Annapurna Conservation Area is Nepal’s largest protected area covering 7,629 km2 (2,946 sq mi) in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas.

When To Go

March to May (spring) and September to December (autumn) are the best months to trek to Annapurna Base Camp. The days will be warm and nights will be usually cold with cool breezes. Those of you who are willing to fight the cold can also do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in the months of January and February.

Cost and Permits

One must be registered in TIMS (Trekker’s Information Management System) before starting the trek. As mentioned, most of the trekking trail to ABC is inside the protected area of Annapurna Conservation Area. Fees for entering the conservation areas are as follows:

  • For SAARC Nationals Nepali Rupees 200. (Approx. US $2 per person)
  • For other Nationals (other than SAARC countries) Nepal Rupees 2,000.(Approx. US $200 per person)

Entry Permits available at the following locations:

  • Kathmandu: Karmachari Sanchaya Kosh Building, Tridevi Marg, Thamel, Kathmandu.
  • Pokhara: Nepal Tourism Board, Tourist Service Centre, Pardi Damside.

Mostly, TIMS will be registered by your trek company after you arrive in Nepal.

Note: Entrance fee not required for children under 10 years of age and two passport size photographs are required while applying for each Entry Permit.


The highlight of the trek is not only the majestic beauty of the Himalayan scenery but also the rich cultural experience of the Gurung villages and their inhabitants that you meet along the way.

Majestic scenery and a mix of cultures unmatched by any other treks in Nepal.

Not an entirely difficult trek, Annapurna Base Camp trekking is an unique experience for adventurers, beginners and experts alike.


Planning to trek Annapurna Base Camp! Remember the maximum altitude you will ascend during trek will be 4,130m. So, you need to be fully prepared for the harsh conditions.

Annapurna Base Camp trekking

The maximum altitude you will ascend during trek will be 4,130m.

Have an idea of AMS (Acute Motion Sickness) or also referred as Altitude Sickness. Headache, nausea, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, difficulty in sleeping and lack of energy are the symptoms of AMS.

The altitude sickness mostly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet) and most people can ascend to 2,400 metres (8,000 ft) without difficulty.

It is advice to not to continue (ascend) if you have any symptoms of AMS. It is better you move to lower altitude as soon as possible.

As you are constantly walking/trekking (4 to 5 hrs a day) the secret is to pack lightly as possible. Here is some gears and equipment you need to pack during your trek to Annapurna Base Camp.

Gears & Equipment
  • Hiking boots (long lasting boots) make sure you break them well before arriving in Nepal. One could spend up to 5 to 6 hours a day on the trail.
  • Soft and light shoes (Rubber shoes/sandals/sneakers) carry a lightweight shoes for after the day hike.
  • Sunglasses (geniuses UV protected) the sun rays are particularly strong the higher you go.
  • Lightweight sleeping bag, essential during peak seasons (October-December). Lodges do offer blankets, but are scarce during the peak season, therefore carrying a sleeping bag (-10 C°) can be a great precaution.
  • First aid kit containing paracetamol, burn cream, bandaids , antiseptic cream, water purification.
  • Other/Optional Extras : Trekking poles (for rough terrain), Wallet (bring lots of small changes), Trekking bars (energy bars), Gloves (windproof).

This Annapurna Base Camp enables you to enjoy the best of what the Annapurna Region has to offer making it the perfect go to adventurous holiday in Nepal for those with limited time to spend.


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Annapurna the Incredible Trekking Region

“Home to some of the  world class trekking routes.”

The north west part of Nepal, Annapurna Region is one of the most visited region and is considered Heaven by many ongoing travellers & nature lovers. Ranging from sodden bamboo forests to windswept desert, this mostly isolated landscape is home to some of the oldest buddhist communities & dramatic high mountains(including the 10th highest mountain).

The Famous city Pokhara is the gateway to Annapurna Region. Either take 6 to 7 hours bus ride or a 30 min flight for kathmandu, Pokhara welcomes you with its beautiful lakes and towering mountains.

Trek in the annapurna region all starts and end in pokhara.

Talking about the climate, being a high altitude region Annapurna Region is very cold in winter with snowfall and low in temperature. Nothing much changes in summer, the days are cooler (warmer) in comparison to winter but night can get cold and chilly.

As mentioned earlier the Annapurna region is home to several world-class treks & one of the  most desired trekking destinations in the world. Let’s start with two of the most popular and most visited trekking destination of this region, Annapurna Circuit & Annapurna Base Camp.

Annapurna Circuit 

Annapurna Circuit is considered one of the best trek in the world. The trek around the Annapurna massif is all about Nepalese village lifestyle, unbelievably challenging yet mesmerizingly beautiful landscape and above all pristine Himalayas. Annapurna circuit trek takes you to four different regions,  Lamjung and Myagdi which are of the lower elevations whereas Manang and Mustang are of the higher elevations.

This 100 miles trek passes from the world’s deepest gorge between two 8,000-plus meter peaks to 5416 meters elevated highland  Thorung La Pass.

Popular side Hikes

Tilicho lake, annapurna region

Tilicho Lake

One of the most popular side hike destination of the Annapurna Circuit, Tilicho Lake is situated at an altitude of 4,919 metres (16,138 ft) in Manang district. It is said to be one of the highest lake in the world and takes additional 2 to 3 days hike from Manang.

Naar phu valley, Annapurna Region

Naar Phu Valley

Opened to foreigners in 2002, Naar-Pho Valley has a total Tibetan character. Phugaon and Naar the two main villages of Naar-Pho are both located at over 4000 meter altitude. Listed as a restricted area trekking permit and travel guide are compulsory which are most likely to be arranged by your trekking agency. A side trip to Naar-Pho requires a total of 9 days if two nights are spent in both Phugaon and Naar.

Annapurna Circuit in Picture.

Annapurna Base Camp 

One of the most regularly visited and most loved trekking trails in Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp trekking accommodates the incredible taste of Trekking in the Himalayas. The combination of easy walking (some steep uphill climbing & crossing narrow bridge),out of the world scenery and mix of cultures are unmatched by any other trekking routes in Nepal.

The Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) is an elevated glacial basin located in the central Himalayas of Nepal. Most of the trail you tread during this trek is through the protected region of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).  The other highlight of the trek is the Annapurna sanctuary, the magical landscape around the Annapurna base camp.

Read Annapurna Base Camp Trek Guide.


Most of the trekking routes of Annapurna Region goes through 7,629 kmAnnapurna Conservation area, which is the largest protected area of Nepal. Among the three major trekking routes (Annapurna Circuit & Annapurna Base Camp) Jomsom -Muktinath is another popular destination.

JomsomMuktinath heading north from pokhara reveals Nepal’s spectacular diversity at its finest. Jomsom (2700 meters)beautiful windy valley nestles in the rain shadows of Mt. Dhaulagiri, whereas Muktinath is a sacred place both for Hindus and Buddhists located in Muktinath Valley ( 3,710 meters)at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass.

Jomsom Muktinath Trek takes you to the foothills of majestic Dhaulagiri and Annapurna catering diverse highlights of nature and culture from mesmerizing landscapes, scenic Himalayan view and the unique culture.


Not to forget Mustang “former Kingdom of Lo” bordering Tibet is also geographically a part of Annapurna Region.

Mustang remained a mystery for centuries until it was opened for tourist in 1992.If you are craving for something wilderness and exploration the long lost kingdom will surely fascinates you. Mustang is a unique experience taking you beyond the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, traveling across desert like landscape, barren ridges, deep canyon, cliffs and valleys.

Read Upper Mustang Trek Guide.


Annapurna Region is not just limited to long and tiring trekking trails. Ghorepani Poonhill is the most wonderful short trek with spectacular views of Annapurna.

Panoroma-Annapurana

View from Poon Hill with Annapurna to the right and Dhaulagiri on the left

Ghorepani Poonhill trek is another magnificent addition to Annapurna Region, this trek allows you spectacular mountains sceneries (virgin Fishtail, majestic Annapurna, grand Dhaulagiri and less known beauty Nilgiri and Dhampus Peaks), opportunities to experience the hospitality of Gurung ethnics, lets you be a part of their celebrations and understand how beautiful a life can be, regardless of tough geography in the vicinity.


Easily accessible, plentiful of guest house, unspoiled beauty & its vast bio-diversity with both high mountains and lowland villages; trekking in the region offers unique exposure and experience.


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The Everest Region

Ranked 6th best region to travel in the world – Lonely Planet

Khumbu popularly known as the Everest Region on the Nepalese side of the Mount Everest is home to the wonderful Buddhist Sherpa culture and some of the majestic mountain peaks of the world.

Loyalty and friendliness of its inhabitants with spectacular mountain peaks makes Khumbu Region one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Nepal.

Getting In

By Air : There are several flights flying the Kathmandu – Lukla. Also known as Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Lukla airport is titled the most dangerous airport in the world by a program Most Extreme Airports, broadcast on The History Channel in 2010. Flights from Kathmandu take around 25 minutes.

On Foot : Jiri “Gateway to Everest” is the nearest destination about 184 km from Kathmandu. From there it is usually 6-7 days trek to Namche Bazaar.


Lukla

Lukla Village

Lukla, at 2860 m above sea level is a village in Khumbu home to the main airport of the region caters number of hotels for travelers. It is the entry and exit point for tourists and trekkers visiting the Everest Region.

Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the high Himalaya is located within the Khumbu area at 3,440 meters. Popular with trekkers, Namche is the main trading center and hub for the Khumbu region. Namche the modern Sherpa capital is said to be the most expensive place in Nepal, almost three time expensive than Kathmandu.  Weather of Namche is mainly affected by its altitude and the summer monsoon season, having cool, wet summers and chilly, dry winters.

Everest Region has been a meeting point for many travelers and mountain climbers since Mount Everest first appeared in the telescopes of mountain surveyors. Mt. Everest & Base Camp being an obvious trademarks, Everest Region does offer many other sights.

Check out Everest Base Camp Trek in Pictures.

Tengboche Monastery

Tengboche Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Khumjung in the Khumbu region of northeastern Nepal, located at 3,867 meters (12,687 ft). Built in 1916 this monastery is the largest gompa in the Khumbu region of Nepal.

Kala patthar

Kala Patthar, meaning ‘black rock’ in Nepali is a notable landmark located on the south ridge of Pumori in the Nepalese Himalayas. The ascent of Kala Patthar is very popular with trekkers in the region of Mount Everest, since it provides the most accessible point to view Mt. Everest from base camp to peak.


The views of Everest, Nuptse Nup II and Changtse are spectacular from Kala Patthar and there are glimpses of the northern flank and summit of Lhotse.

Gokyo

The other major attraction of Everest Region & one of the most popular tourist destinations leading towards the Sagarmatha “Everest” base camp.

Located at an elevation of 4,750 meters (15,580 ft) Gokyo Valley is one of the highest settlements in Nepal and in the world.  Not permanently inhabited all year around Gokyo valley is a collection of houses which acts as tea houses for travelers and trekkers.

3 High Passes

Everest region provides a high-altitude challenge for the hiker looking to get off the beaten path and away from the crowds. This trek offers unique views of the spectacular mountain scenery in the Everest region.

The Kongma La pass is the highest pass among them. Cho La pass is an Icy and interesting glacier crossing, whereas, Renjo La pass is recently found by an experienced Sherpas.

Imja Tse

Better known as Island Peak, Imja Tse is one of the most popular trekking peaks of the Everest Region.  At a height of 6,189m Imja Tse summit was first climbed in 1956 from then Island Peak is the most commonly climbed “trekking peaks” in Nepal.

Climbing Island Peak is a sheer adventure and a big achievement for novice climbers who aim to summit higher peaks including Everest in the future.


In comparison Everest is one of the coldest regions. Early October to mid-November, and late March to late April is considered best to visit.

According to Rough GuideEVEREST is more a pilgrimage than a trek: a tough personal challenge with a clear goal at the end, it passes deep into Buddhist Sherpa country, among some of the world’s most sublime peaks.

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Nepal Travel Guide for 2016

If you are looking for something adventurous, something exciting then Nepal is your perfect destination. Nepal fascinates you with its environmental and cultural diversity like no any other countries in the world. This diverse country has something for everyone regardless of what the interests, let’s say a surprise stored for you in every corner.

The recent April 2015 earthquake has taken thousand of lives made many homeless and many ancients building turned in rebels. Now almost after eight months, Nepal and Nepalese people are back on its feet living a normal life.

Again the question IS Nepal Safe? hits you hard and thinking. Should I or should I not go to Nepal?  Lets us remind u!!

  • Many countries have already uplifted its Travel restriction to Nepal.
  • Thousands of tourist/travelers have visited Nepal after the earthquake according to Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) & TAAN.
  • Nat Geo Traveler Magazine and Forbes, the two leading magazine have listed Nepal on its “Cool list” for 2016.

So, add thrill and adventure to your holiday with some of these must to activities.

Explore the remarkable gems of the Himalayas

Nepal is an only one of its kind trekking destination. Trekking in Nepal is the best way to discover Nepal’s indomitable mixture of natural and cultural wonders while walking on pristine trails of the Himalayas. Almost all of the trekking routes in Nepal take you right through the majestic Himalayas while you walk close to the ethnic villages in the region, explore their rich culture and consider the unique landscape.

Trekking in Nepal is doable in all seasons, depending on which area you want to go and presents you with varying degree of challenges without reducing the thrill. However, the most popular seasons to trek in Nepal are Pre-monsoon (March to June) and Post-monsoon (September to November).

Witness the architectural and cultural marvels

Though holiday in Nepal refers to trekking, insightful tour around Nepal during the visit is a must do. The culture of Nepal is rich and unique. The cultural heritage of Nepal has evolved over the centuries. This multidimensional heritage encompasses the diversities of Nepal’s ethnic, tribal, and social groups. With 8 heritage site listed in the UNESCO Cultural heritage site.

Age, physical condition and time are not obstacles to explore Nepal. Note that not all but only few cultural sites have been affected by the earthquake. The affected area is barred and lanes have been marked for the safety of the visitors. You can still walk around and visit many other temples and historic buildings that remain throughout the country.

Up close and personal with the Mountains

Home to the highest mountain of the world Mt. Everest, Nepal has always attracted mountaineering enthusiasts, amateur and experienced alike. If you are upto the challenge then Nepal is right place. Among the identified 1310 peaks above 6000 meter, one quarter are officially opened for mountaineering activities. Peak climbing in Nepal gives you the experience of both trekking and mountaineering.

The growing popularity of the trekking peaks in Nepal is down to the fact that visitors not only get to trek some of the world’s popular trails, but also experience the adventure of mountaineering. Depending upon the amount of time and climbing experience you have, you can choose a peak that best suits you.

Relive the adventure

Nepal is a perfect playground for those adventure junkies who love blood pumping, heart racing, breathtaking, and thrilling adventure. Nepal caters some of the best of best adventures which will surely get your adrenalin going.

Be apart of a fascinating tales to tell your friends as you experience the thrills in the land of adventures.

Keeping close to the nature

Amidst the hype of the miraculous thrill of the Himalayan terrain and the beautiful yet challenging peaks, it is easy to forget that Nepal has a total of 14 national parks and wildlife reserves. Wildlife diversity is a notable feature of Nepal. Home for some of the mostly endangered species in the subcontinent, terai region of Nepal has some of the most exciting jungle safari destinations of the Indian subcontinent.

Experience the wilderness on a back of an elephant or a four wheel jeep jungle safari ride. Keeping up close with the nature can be perfect holidaying option.


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Khumbu Icefall Doctors

The” Icefall doctors” are back on the highest mountain !!!!

You may be wondering what doctors are doing on those high mountains before every climbing season begins and who actually are the Icefall doctors?

The icefall doctors are highly trained team of Sherpa whose responsibility is to maintain the route up the Everest.  Dubbed as the Crack team, the icefall doctors each year install mile long ropes and ladders over the crevasses, so that the commercial team of climbers can follow the ropes and ladder through the icefall safely on their way to the to the summit.

Khumbu Icefall

Khumbu Icefall

Reaching the top of the world without any hitch is every climber’s dream. Summiting the Everest does not come easy and haves many of its own obstacles to overcome. Among the number of obstacle the nastiest one is the Khumbu Icefall, striking fright and dread into the climbers. Given the name as the “Death zone” the khumbu ice fall is so unsteady, that the route often changes throughout the climbing season.  Since the instability, the route must be maintained and rebuilt each climbing season [almost each day]. There is where the icefall doctors are called.

The Doctors taking ladders into the Khumbu Icefall

The Doctors taking ladders into the Khumbu Icefall © alanarnette.com

The doctor’s carries carry the aluminum ladders, ropes, pickets, rods and ice screws on their backs into the icy web and return almost every next day to maintain and reset the routes.

crevasse on the Khumbu Icefall on Mount Everest

Crevasse on the Khumbu Icefall on Mount Everest © Telegraph UK

Earning almost $4500 each season, the icefall doctors enters the icefall each day to ensure the routes are in good condition due to the constant movement of ice. They risk their life only to make sure that the climbers have no problem passing the dangerous section and have an opportunity to reach the summit with no or less difficulties.

This brave and hardworking men, without them even the most skilled full and experienced climbers from around would not stand a chance of summiting the Everest each year.
  


Everest Ice Fall Doctors, part of Earth’s Natural Wonders


Aftermath of the Earthquake in Nepal

The most powerful disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake, the 2015 Nepal earthquake is believed to have killed more than 6100 people as on 29th April 2015. The earthquake occurred on 25 April 2015 at 11:56 a.m. NST (06:11:26 UTC) at a depth of approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) ,with its epicenter approximately 34 km (21 mi) east-southeast of Lamjung, Nepal, lasting approximately twenty seconds.

Nepal's historic landmarks Dharahara after the quake. © cnn

Nepal’s historic landmarks Dharahara after the quake. © cnn

The earthquake was firstly reported as 7.5 Mw by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) before it was promptly upgraded to 7.9 Mw and finally downgraded to 7.8 Mw. The China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) reported the earthquake’s magnitude to be 8.1 Mw.

A major aftershock of magnitude 6.7 M occurred on 26 April 2015 in the same region at 12:55 NST (07:09 UTC), with an epicenter located about 17 km (11 mi) south of Kodari, Nepal causing  fresh avalanches on Mount Everest.


Aftermath

The Prime Minister of  Nepal, Sushil Koirala, has said that the number of causalities could reach 10,000. Hundreds of people are still considered missing and more than 450,000 are displaced

Avalanches on Mount Everest have killed at least 19 climbers, including Google  executive Dan Fredinburg, with dozens injured or missing. Whereas In the Langtang valley, around 250 people have been account missing after a enormous avalanche that resulted in the village of Langtang being totaly wiped out

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu durbar square after the earthquake. Image © dailymail.co.uk

 In Kathmandu, Kathmandu Durbar Square a UNESCO World Heritage Site, collapsed, as did the Dharahara tower. Several temples, including Kasthamandap, Panchtale temple, the nine-storey Basantapur Durbar, the Dasa Avtar temple were demolished by the quake. Other monuments, including the Kumari Temple and the Taleju Bhawani Temple have partially collapsed.The top of the Jay Bageshwori Temple in Gaushala and some parts of the Pashupatinath Temple, Swyambhunath, Boudhanath Stupa, Ratna Mandir, inside Rani Pokhari, and Durbar High School have been destroyed. In Tripureshwor, the Kal Mochan Ghat, a temple inspired by Mughal architecture, was completely destroyed and the nearby Tripura Sundari also suffered significant damage.

Patan Durbar Square after the Earthquake © interserve.org.au

Patan Durbar Square after the Earthquake © interserve.org.au

In Patan, the Char Narayan Mandir, the statue of Yog Narendra Malla, a pati inside Patan Durbar Square, the Taleju Temple, the Hari Shanker, Uma Maheshwor Temple and the Machhindranath Temple in Bungmati were destroyed.

In Bhaktapur, several monuments, including the Fasi Deva temple, the Chardham temple and the 17th century Vatsala Durga Temple, were destroyed.

Outside the Valley, the Manakamana Temple in Gorkha, the Gorkha Durbar, the Palanchowk Bhagwati, in Kavrepalanchowk District, the Rani Mahal in Palpa District, the Janaki Mandir in Janakpur, the Churiyamai in Makwanpur District, the Dolakha Bhimsensthan in Dolakha District, and the Nuwakot Durbar were moderately destroyed.


Images

Buddhist Prayer Wheel

Prayer Wheel at Boudhanath Stupa

Prayer Wheel at Boudhanath Stupa

Prayer wheel cylindrical in shape (Mani Wheels in Tibet) is a devices used for spreading spiritual blessing and well being.  Mostly made from metal or wood, the prayer wheel contains rolls of prayer (mantra) OM Mani Padme Hum, written numerous times on paper and the same prayer is decorated outside of the cylinder in an ancient Tibetan and Indian scripts. Used mostly by the Buddhists of Nepal and Tibet during prayer to acquire good karma and decontaminate bad karma, and also is believed to help them develop compassion and wisdom by spinning the prayer wheel.


Origin

Three Buddha Park in Swambunath

In the center the Amitaba Buddha statue, at his left side Avalokiteshvara and to the right Padmasambhava.

According to the Tibetan tradition the prayer wheel was introduced by a famous Indian Buddhist scholar Arya Nagarjuna. The Tibetan text also says the prayer wheel was brought to Tibet by the well renowned eight century Indian Buddhist teacher Padmasambhava, and afterward practiced by the great Indian Buddhist masters Tilopa and Naropa and later passed it on to the Tibet’s well known yogis. Since then the Prayer Wheel has been passed on to numbers of enlightened teachers all around the world.


Symbolism and Spiritual Belief of the wheel

A Tibetan woman in Kathmandu with her prayer wheel

A Tibetan woman in Kathmandu with her prayer wheel

The Buddhist or Tibetan prayer wheel symbolizes the universal law and reflection of that law in the morals of human. The rim of the wheel represents the cycle of birth, death and rebirth; a cycle of suffering that Buddhists endeavors to set them free from. The core of the wheel indicates freedom, while the spokes symbolize the various pathways to achieve liberation. There are in general eight spokes or more, in multiples of eight, refer to the noble eight fold path, the way to the end of suffering as taught by the Lord Gautam Buddha.

Buddhists, mainly within the Tibetan tradition have a belief just touching and turning a prayer wheel brings inconceivable purification and hoards implausible merit. The Prayer Wheel is a physical expression of recitation of mantra, as the spinning of the wheel and the round movement of the written mantra inside and out is the same to the speech of the human voice. The rotation of the wheel is a form of speech for the turning of the wheel of Dharma, described as the Buddha’s first teaching. Always spun clockwise, It is also believed turning of the prayer wheels helps gain insight and compassion.


Om Mane Padme Hum the Mantra

The colored mantra in Tibetan with the six syllables

Colored mantra in Tibetan with the six syllables.

The prayer (mantra) on the outside and inside of prayer wheels is a six-syllable mantra has several versions. The literal translation is “the jewel in the lotus,” or “praise to the jewel in the lotus” or, basically, the “jeweled lotus”.


Types of Prayer wheels

Mani Wheel: Also known as hand wheel the Mani wheel has a cylindrical shape mounted on a metal shaft or pin set into a wooden or metal handle that rotates on a round bearing which are usually made of Turbinella (conch) Shell. The cylinder is attached with chain, the weighted chain allows itself to spin by slight rotation of the wrist.

Water Wheel: A prayer wheel that is turned by flowing water. It is said the water that is touched by the wheel is said to become sacred and carries its purifying power into all life.

Fire Wheel: Turned by the heat of a candle or electric light. It is believed that the light released from the prayer wheel cleanses the negative karmas.

Wind Wheel: Turned by wind. The wind that touches the prayer wheel helps ease the negative karma of those it touches

Stationary prayer Wheel: Many monasteries and Buddhist pilgrimage have large, fixed, metal wheels set side by side in a row. Devotees can turn the wheels simply by sliding their hands over each one.

Electric dharma Wheel: “Thardo Khorlo,” as these electric wheels are occasionally known, includes one thousand copies of the mantra of Chenrezig and many copies of other mantra, and are powered by electric motors.


Types of Prayer wheels in Pictures


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Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek (Hidden Valley Trek): A Complete Outline Itinerary

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek widely known as Hidden Valley Trek is one of the most interesting treks in Nepal, thanks to its challenging altitude, extreme remoteness and tough walking conditions.

Mt Dhaulagiri

Mt Dhaulagiri

Mountain Dhaulagiri (8167 Meters)

Standing tall at the height of 8167 meters the Mt. Dhuaagri is the sevent height peak in the world. The Dhaulagiri range in Nepal extends 120 km (70 mi) from the Kaligandaki River west to the Bheri. This himalayas is bordered on the north and southwest by the Bheri River and on the southeast by Myagdi Khola. It was first climbed on May 13, 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian/Nepali expedition.


Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek (Hidden Valley Trek)

Popularly known as Hidden Valley Trek it begins at Beni on the Kali Gandaki River, this exciting trekking route climbs the stunning and well-preserved valley of the Myagdi Khola River which flows southwards from the heart of the Dhaulagiri Himal (Mountain). As the trek begins, it winds through low alpine forest to alpine zone and finally emerges out to isolate Himalayan Regions where at places trekkers can literally touch the magnificent Dhaulagiri.

This trek offers an amazing view of Dhaulagiri enormous south face, Mt. Manaslu (8163m), Mt. Annapurna (8091m) and other beautiful snow capped mountains peaks. The trail follows glaciers and crosses through snow capped passes, blossoming valley, beautiful landscape, Jomosom- Muktinath trail and Rhododendron forest.


Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Kathmandu, transfer to Hotel; Evening welcome dinner

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Kathmandu and trek preparation day

Day 3: Drive to Beni via Pokhara 282 km 8-9 hrs drive

Day 4: Drive and trek to Darbang 2-3 hrs drive 3-4 hrs trek

Day 5: Trek to Muri 6-7 hrs Trek

Day 6: Trek to Bagar 6 hrs Trek

Day 7: Trek to Dobang 6-7 hrs Trek

Day 8: Trek to Italian Base Camp 6-7 hrs Trek

Day 9: Rest day at Italian Base Camp

Day 10: Trek to Deposit Camp 5-6 hrs Trek

Day 11: Trek to Dhaulagiri Base Camp 4-5 hrs Trek

Day 12: Trek to Hidden Valley via French Pass 5360m

Day 13: Rest day at Hidden Valley; Explore to Dhampus Peak Base Camp

Day 14: Trek to Yak Kharka via Dhampus Pass 5250m 5-6 hrs Trek

Day 15: Trek to Jomsom via Marpha 5-6 hrs Trek

Day 16: Fly to Pokhara; Sightseeing tour of Pokhara

Day 17: Drive to Kathmandu 200km 7-8 hrs drive

Day 18: Free day in Kathmandu; Evening farewell dinner

Day 19: Depart Kathmandu


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