5 Major Highlights of the Dolpa Circuit
This post is an excerpt taken from the original blog post by Great Himalayan Trails. You can read the original blog post here
Dolpa, the mid-western district of Nepal was not much known in the outside world and was prohibited for foreigners until 1989(certain areas still require a certain permit). People learned little about that place from literary and cinematic accounts like Peter Matthiessan’s book “The Snow Leopard” and Eric Valli’s epic adventure Film “Himalayan”(Caravan). However, things have changed and to this day Dolpa receives a large number of visitors. Dolpa promises you incredible natural and cultural experience. All in all, Dolpa Circuit trek will take 14 days.
The trek starts in the lower regions of Dolpa and will eventually lead towards the barren high altitude of Upper Dolpo. Major 5 highlights of the Dolpa Circuit Trek are:
Dho-Tarap Valley – one of the highest human settlement in the world
You will come across two settlements halfway through the trek. The two settlements named Dho and Tarap are nestled together in the Dho Tarap Valley at an altitude of 40480m, making them one of the highest semi-permanent villages in the world. GHT writes .”Exploring the village life here is like stepping back in time and you can easily spend a day admiring the traditionally built houses and monasteries. Keep an eye out for carved wooden effigies adorning local buildings”.
You can find more about the Dhor – Tarap Valley here
Phoksundo Lake – Dolpa’s precious Lake
One of the major highlights of your trek is a visit to one of the deepest lakes in Nepal, Shey Phoksundo(146m). The lake lies at an altitude of 3620m and is situated within the Shey Phoksundo National Park, the largest National Park in Nepal. GHT writes ,”With the surrounding forests and snow-capped mountains reflecting in the velvet blue waters it’s no surprise this region has been described as one of the world’s “Natural Hidden Wonders”.”
You will find one of the country’s tallest waterfalls near the Phoksundo Lake. The waterfall is named Phoksundo waterfall and is also known locally as Suligad waterfall.
You will meet practitioners of the ancient Bön religion on your journey. GHT writes ,”Bön is an spiritual tradition of Tibet which origins predate Buddhism. The religion followed its devotees to the Nepali Himalayas centuries ago and is still practiced in the isolated higher altitudes of Mustang and Dolpa.Ringmo, a hamlet just above Phoksundo Lake will give visitors a rare chance to witness its ancient practices.”
As we said earlier, Shey Phoksundo National Park is the largest National Park of Nepal and it is home to rich ecosystem with diverse flora and wildlife which includes creatures like blue sheep, wild yak and snow leopard.
Courtesy: The Great Himalayan Trails