Helambu valley is one area where the sublime beauty flows with the flora and fauna; the cool breezy climate is so worth a holiday that can be topped off with heartwarming views of silver-grey snow-covered mountains. During Helambu Circuit Trek, we enter a zone that’s characteristic with upland Sherpa villages amidst refreshing Rhododendron forests.
The region goes beyond the north to Taramarang by the Gosaikunda Lake and the lower Jugal Himal as we look northwards. We enter the valley from the scenic Trishuli River Valley, north of Kathmandu and ‘ Helambu Circuit Trek’ begins on a high note with the sweet chirping of birds that welcome us into their environs for a holiday never to be forgotten.
The added attraction of mountainous landscapes nearby to the roof-of-the-world Tibet and tranquil monasteries take us into a world that’s so different from where we hail from. The local folks who reside on these highlands of the Langtang region are surely Nepalese citizens, but since they are direct descendants of Tibetan origins, they are almost like true Tibetans who can be seen just across the borders of this region.
‘Trekking on the Helambu Circuit’ offer trekkers some fantastic interactions with highland Tamang and Sherpa communities who live in colourful villages dotted on both sides of the Melamchi Khola. These ethnic tribes are considered to be the most friendly you could meet up within the Himalayas of Nepal and striking up a conversation with these folks and sharing some butter tea which they happily offer you is an opportunity to learn about the culture and traditions of these folks who battle it out year in – year out in the tough geographical conditions that is ubiquitous in the mountains of Nepal.
The Himalayas are truly bitterly cold in the winters but meeting up with these welcoming people warms the heart to a great extent; Trekking on the Helambu Circuit is billed as a pretty soft trek because of the negotiable altitudes that vary between 900-3600m and this gives us less climbing and livable temperatures.
Perhaps, the biggest merit in this region is you don’t come across too many trekkers as you would on the Annapurnas and the Everest region…it's only you, the fauna, the birds…and yes, those magnetic mountains and the blue skies that shelter them…so, welcome friends to the Helambu Circuit…such a lovely place!
Day 01: Kathmandu-1340M (Arrival & Transfer to Hotel) - Hotel.
Day 02: Full Day sightseeing of KTM Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath & Patan city - Hotel (B/B).
Day 03: Drive to Sundarijal &Trek to Chisopani (2194 m) - Lodge (B/L/D).
Day 04: Trek to Gul Bhanjyang (2,140 m) - Lodge (B/L/D).
Day 05: Trek to Tharepati (3,600 m) - Lodge (B/L/D).
Day 06: Trek to Melamchigaon (2,530 m) - Lodge (B/L/D).
Day 07: Trek to Tarke Gyang (2,550 m) - Lodge (B/L/D).
Day 08: Trek to Sermathang (2,693 m) - Lodge (B/L/D).
Day 09: Trek to Malemchi Pul Bazaar (846m) and drive back to Kathmandu - Hotel (B/L).
Day 10: Departure to Airport and Fly Back to Home (B).
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.
It is fantastic flying into Kathmandu on a day with clear blue skies. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks spread down below you are almost rapturous, & begins a whole sequence of memorable experiences that stay with you for a really long time. An escort from Rupakot holidays will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel.
At the hotel, you will be oriented about your daily activities. This is your first overnight in the valley of the gods. Breakfast
Day 02: Sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley heritage sites.
Kathmandu is the cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal allowed visitors into its borders. The city presents a wonderful combination of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. There will be a half day Sightseeings to Pashupatinath temple and Soyambhu monastery. Overnight at your hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Drive to Sundarijal &Trek to Chisopani (2,194 m) Drive 1 hour, Trek: 4 hours.
After a warm b/fast, we get set to do a scenic drive down to Sundarijal (1,350 m) by a private vehicle for about an hour and trek up to Chisopani (2,100 m.) all this takes about 5 hours. The cobblestone road from Kathmandu turns into a trail near a small hydroelectric plant. The trail will enter through the Shivpuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve. The first settlement we bump into is Mulkharka inhabited by the ethnic Tamang community. The route heads down the ridge through a forest of oaks and rhododendron to Chisopani at (2,100 m.). We spend our night in a pretty comfortable lodge down here - B/L/D.
Day 04: Trek to Gul Bhanjyang (2,140 m), 6 - 7 hrs.
In Gul Bhanjyang, we experience excellent open views and a gentle downhill start of the trek. We pass through the village of Pati Bhanjyang at a pass over the ridge. We contour around the next hill on the ridge and then start a steep climb to the village of Chipling. A further climb again after the village, up to a steep stone staircase, takes us over the next hill on the ridge, passing through forest and before descending the main ridge to Gul Bhanjyang (2130m.). On the way we pass a couple of large 'chorten', indicating that we are already crossing into Buddhist country. Gul Bhanjyang is a delightful, classic hill village and is also situated at a pass on the ridge. We will stop for the night here or further on up the next climb - 'Dragon Lodge' and the campsite here is quiet and has a superb outlook back towards Kathmandu. B. L. D.
Day 05: Trek to Tharepati (3,600 m), 6 hrs.
We climb above Gul Bhanjyang on a steep trail mostly through fir and rhododendron forest where there are no permanent settlements. The trek continues to Yurin Danda(hill) with stunning views of the Himalayas. The trail gradually ascends through the enchanting forest enriched with beautiful rhododendron, oak and other trees. Tharepati, in fact, is a great viewpoint from where we can get a glimpse of the breathtaking snowcapped mountains such as Dorje Lakpa, Gaurishankar, Langshisa, Jugal, Numbur and many others. From Tharepati the trail gradually descends through the pine and rhododendron forests with great views down into the Helambu valley and across to Jugal Himal and Numbur in the Solu Khumbu. Finally, we arrive at Tharepati for our overnight stay. B. L. D
Day 06: Trek to Melamchigaon (2,530 m), 5 - 6 hrs.
From Tharepati the trail gradually descends through pine and rhododendron forest with lovely views down into the Helambu valley and across to Jugal Himal and Numbur in the Solu Khumbu. Melamchi Gaon is surrounded by gorgeous shady forests, which is mainly inhabited by Sherpa people with their unique culture. You will also find some serene Buddhist monasteries hereabouts. Stay overnight at lodge. B. L. D.
Day 07: Trek to Tarke Gyang (2,550 m), 6 hrs.
After a king size b/fast, today we start our trek for Tarkeghyang. During the early part of the trek, the trail descends until we cross the Melamchi River. Then we trek up to Tarkeghyang passing through Sherpa settlements. We enjoy the Himalayan peaks which appear before us glistening in the sunshine. Discover the village and its monastery which is one of the oldest and biggest monasteries in the region. This village is better known as Helambu since most of the inhabitants who live around here belong to the Helmu mountain tribe of this region. B. L. D.
Day 08: Trek to Sermathang (2,693 m), 3 - 4 hrs.
Today its heyday for us because we do not gain altitude that much, reckon it's going to be a pretty cool walk today. The trail makes a sweep around the wide valley end between Parachin and the Sherpa village of Gangyul. From Gangyul, we arrive at Sermathang. We explore this lively village and visit a Buddhist monastery at the highest point of the village. We bunk out hereabouts for the night at a lodge. B. L. D.
Day 09: Trek to Melamchi Pul Bazaar (846m) and drive back to Kathmandu. 3 - 4 hrs trek/ 2 hr drive.
This is where we wrap up our wonderful trek; we hike down to Melamchi Pul Bazaar. The village is mostly occupied by the Sherpa community, but there are also people of other ethnicities found hereabouts. From the Bazaar, we get on to our bus to Katmandu. Upon reaching Kathmandu, Rupakot holidays will host a farewell dinner for our guests. This dinner will also include a scintillating cultural dance performed by the local belles of Kathmandu. We reckon that you’ve enjoyed a great trek in a lovely region. Overnight at your hotel in Kathmandu - L. D.
Day 10: Drive to the Airport to head back to that lovely place we call "home’’ – farewell amigos!
A ‘TH [Teahouse Lodge] is a term used for sleeping in teahouse lodges on the trails. These teahouses are pretty basic but provide all the comforts that you would expect when hiking in remote conditions, they are cosy and warm – you’d like the homely environment. We crash out in single rooms wherever available, but often times we sometimes have to adapt to sleeping out in dormitory type rooms for a night. Generally, it’s just a bed with a pillow and blankets. It’s a matter of choice, if you want, you bring your own ‘Air pillow’ and freak out anyways, this is adventure in the wild…the rougher it gets the better. We accommodate our trek groups in local lodges available each day. Our porters hike ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot be booked in advance). Please note, that some of them are very basic and a spirit of adventure is the call of the day. It is cheaper to stay in lodges rather than organizing a camping trek.
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection with this itinerary unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website. Accommodation is never a problem, the choice exclusively yours.
To start the day, breakfast is ‘king size’ [the first meal of the day] consisting of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereals followed by omelette, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional bread.
After a lengthy gritty day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3-course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetables, meat, rice and pasta dishes completed with a simple dessert. Don’t be surprised if the delectable ‘apple pie’ lands on your plate, it’s literally ‘yummy’’, even better than the ones you come across in Thamel. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The local trek leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene.
This itinerary is only a guideline pattern which we can offer; this is a potentially difficult climb under rigid conditions that will test your patience to the limits; a trekking tour of this type is prone to unpredictable calamities related to mountain weather, seismic eruptions, local politics, and transportation etc, which will be beyond Rupakot Adventure’s control in the event of any unseen circumstances. In the event of any such occurrence, this may require a change in your itinerary. However, it is very unlikely that such circumstances may occur but our effort is to minimize its effect, and Rupakot holidays will not be responsible for any situation developing in delays or changes to your program. In the event of any changes, your senior guide will make the final decision after consulting with the group.
The best time to visit for a trip of this kind would be in the Spring and Autumn. It is wonderful during this time of the year when an overall beauties of the landscapes found in these trips are so distinct & stunning, due to clear weather pattern & sunny blue skies. Our program could be changed to accommodate individual group choices and preferences in order to give you proper holidays that become signature ventures for a lifetime.
Trip length: 10 Days
Grade: Moderate Adventure Trek…This is a trek you’d love to do with the loved ones…its great for honeymooners too…
Trek duration: 08 days on gentle trails where you listen to the merry chirping of birds who seem to welcome you into their abode…
Starts in/Ends in Kathmandu
Trek type: Tea House
Accommodation: Hotel and teahouse lodges
Meals: Healthy meals provided on the trails
Transportation: Private car or a tourist coach depending on the number of people
Maximum altitude: 3600m…just above Thare Danda where the vistas stir your imaginations…
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