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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ghale Gaun-Ghanapokhara Village Tour

This is a pristine area newly opened for village tourism. Apart from the stunning landscape and views of the Annapurna region, Ghalegaun offers a real opportunity to become a part of village life, lodging with local Gurung families. This area is also home to the famous honey hunters of Nepal. This short trek is the perfect complement to discovering some of the other highlights of Nepal – historic towns, white water rafting and the country’s most famous conservation area. Ghalegaun is an exotic pristine village endowed with an unparallel scenic grandeur and a home to Gheles the famed Gurungs the legendary mid-hill people of western Nepal. Repository of a unique ethnic culture Ghelegaun is a true microcosm of stunning natural beauty mixed with an unspoiled ethnic life style.
Located is the district of Lamjung, Ghale Gaun is approximately 20.5km north west of Kathmandu and 12.5 km north east of Pokhara, the picturesque hill town of western Nepal. Perchedatop a ridge at an altitude of 2016 meters from the sea level, Glalegaun is probably the only place which commands a superb breathtaking view of majestic western Himalayas including Machhapuchhare(6693m) Annapurna(8091m), Annapurna II (7939m) Annapurna IV (7525m), Lamjung Himal, Bouddha Himal((6974m), Himalchuli(6747m) and many more smaller peaks.
Taking advantage of such a unique location, Ghalegaun- a picturesque hamlet of about 95 Gorung style houses, has recently been marketed as a new destination to experience Village tourism. Accordingly quite a number of houses have been prepared for domestic and international visitors with comfortable basic amenities.
Besides the scenic extravaganza of the peaks, the warm and sincere hospitality of the Gurung people is also bound to overwhelm the visitors. Here food items such as grain, vegetable, meat, milk, eggs, are all locally produced and are indeed for any chemical fertilizers. In addition, the life-style of the village truly reflects an exotic living ethnic tradition handed down since ages. The social life is replete with interesting rituals of life cycle; birth wedding, death etc., religious events and a lively cultural tradition of dance and music and it is well augmented by interesting locally produced exotic handicrafts and utensils.
Activities around Ghalegaun include bird watching at Talangyo Lake and visits to the Utter Kanya Temple, Pempro Fall, Batase Cave and the Khudi hydroelectric dam site.
 
Cultural Attractions
Ghalegaun -Ghanpokhara are model villages for experiencing the typical culture and lifestyle of the Gurung people. Traditional customs are still followed during births, deaths, marriages and at other important times in a person?s life. Age-old cultural dances like the Jhyaure, Serka, Dohori, Ghantu, Ghyabring, Krishna Charitra and Jhakri are performed on various occasions accompanied by different musical instruments with the dancers in traditional dress.
Visitors to Ghalegaun-Ghanpokhara are welcomed with offering of garlands and tika while music and dances are performed and traditional farewell songs are sung when guests depart. Nepali New Year and Buddha Jayanti are celebrated with traditional dance called Ghatu.
 
Handicrafts
The people of Ghalegaun-Ghanpokhara keep goats and sheep and use wool from these animals to make woolen products. They make clothes and bags from nettle fiber (allo cloth) and scarfs, towels and shawls from the wool of angora rabbits. Ironsmiths make different iron products. Craftsmen produce a whole range of different products from bamboo.

Honey Hunting
Honey hunting which is the collection of honey from the nests of wild bees built on steep cliffs is an age-old tradition. Local honey hunters show their exceptional skills by hanging themselves form cliffs as high as 300 meters using bamboo ladders and hemp ropes, while harvesting the honeycombs. Everyone is thrilled to watch honey hunters at work.
 
Ghalegaun situated at an altitude of 2100 m is a northern part of a lamjung district in western Nepal. Since a decade ago concept of village tourism, eco tourism, cultural tourism and wildlife tourism has been exercised in this region .ghalegaun is famous for its maintained rustic flair of traditional gurung village. To understand the lifestyle, biodiversity and culture, ghalegaun is like a university and truly a beautiful village with spectacular view of mt manasalu range in the east. lamjung himal an annapurna in the north and mount machhapuchhre in the west . ghalegaun trek has it’s own uniqueness.
 
Ghalegaun is a village with a big heart because of its enchanting Himalayas with thrilling experience of panoramic view. The utterkanya mandir a sacred temple constructed by former ruler, the Gale king. gurung museum with its collection of various artifacts , agricultural tools , dress ornaments will give insight of the cultural and historical aspects .
 
The residence of this village wear the traditional dress of their own people and perform dances for the visitors , the handicraft locally produces from local raw materials are also attractive . The people of this area are hospitable, honest, social and laborious, their culture rituals, birth death rites are unique. Home stay of ghalegaun can be best shelter for natural lover. ghalegaun is a wonderful place viewing from different angle . in conclusion all the above aspects from an ideal environment for learning cultural diversity . Viewing unspoiled landscape of countryside. There are several villages and places in Nepal a ghalegaun where managing village tourism, cultural tourism, eco tourism is essential.
 
Ghale gaun nepali village offers the magical feel of Himalayan fairy tale. Tourist will get chance to take local food items and drinks as chang( rice beer), flows, dhindo and many more varieties.
 
Organized tourist groups are welcomed into Ghalegaun and Ghanpokhara with traditional dances. Handicraft exhibition and other entertainment programs are also performed for visitors. Tourists can participate in traditional musical program of Rodhi every evening. Trekking to and staying at Ghalegaun and Ghanpokhara is an exciting and enjoyable experience for both international and domestic visitors. Special discount facilities are offered to groups of students, forest users, women and community members.

Lodging and fooding
Comfortable rooms with clean restrooms are available at selected Gurung houses. Although there is no electricity in the village, lamps and water heating system facilities are available through solar power. There are a few Pahuna Ghar (Guest House) belonging to the Aama Samuha (Mother’s Community) that also provide accommodation. More than 100 tourists can be accomodated both in Ghalegaon and Ghanpokhara seperately. Good camping sites are also available at both Ghalegaun and Ghanpokhara.
Organic local food like cereals, vegetables, milk products, eggs and meat prepared in traditional way is served to visitors. Basic menu includes plain rice, vegetable curry, vegetable fried rice, chicken curry, dal-bhat, egg curry, dhendo soup, chapatti, garlic soup, bread, vegetable mixed soup and momo.
 
Country: Nepal
Area: Around Nepal
Activities: Village Tour
Total Duration: 12 days

Grade: Moderate
Max Grp Size: 1 Above
Min Grp Size: 1 Pax
Season: March-May; September-December

Sirubari Village Tour

A famous name for village tourism, the Sirubari Village is without doubt one of the most attractive village in Nepal. The village is neat and clean very colorful and warm, while the people are friendly, well educated and are enthusiastic about tourism. Sirubari is a compact farming community village. For the adventure lovers, Nepal has been identical with trekking, mountaineering expeditions, jungle safari and river rafting, but for those who are looking for insight of Nepal , Sirubari village tour has always help them by letting them know the people, culture & the religion. Sirubar won the PATA GOLD AWARD 2001 in the category of ‘Heritage & Cultural Heritage’.
 Sirubari village is a totally unspoiled Gurung settlement in the hills at 1700 meters above sea level and short drive / walk (soft adventure) from Pokhara. The climate is ideal at any time during the September to June season with warm days and cool nights. This program is especially designed to know the locals and their culture staying in an unaffected village atmosphere living as a family member. You will be welcomed into the community and invited to stay in the home of one of the village families. The accommodation is simple but comfortable with good bedding and clean toilet (not attached one) facilities. The food is delicious and you will be eating as one of the family. Each night there will be entertainment provided by the community. This will be in the form of traditional Gurung and Nepali dancing and singing, you can join in if you like. During your stay you will be able to feel what is like to live the life of a Nepali villager.

Country: Nepal
Area: Around Nepal
Activities: Village Tour
Total Duration: 8 days

Grade: Easy
Max Grp Size: 1 Above
Min Grp Size: 1 Pax
Season: Throughout the year

Bardia Jungle Safari

Bardia National Park is the largest park in the lowland Terai of Nepal covering an area of 968 sq. km. The park situated in  the mid far western Terai, east of the Karnali river was established to protect representative ecosystems and conserve tiger and its prey species. The park offers a variety of experiences in its vast undisturbed wilderness. About 70 % of the forest consists of Sal trees with a mixture of grassland and reverine forests. The park is home to endangered animals such as the Royal Bengal tiger, wild elephant, Greater one-horned rhinoceros, swamp deer, and black duck. The other endangered species include gharial crocodile, marsh mugger and Genetic dolphin. Endangered birds found in the park are Bengal florican, lesser florican and sarus crane. More than 30 different mammals, over 400 species of birds and several species of snakes, lizard and fish have been recorded in the park. In addition to the resident species, several migratory birds visit the park. An elephant ride provides a different view of the park as one can go off the main trail.
What makes a visit to Nepal's Royal Bardia National Park particularly special is not just its large and intact habitat area and its isolated location, but also the presence here of one of the last known herds of wild Elephants in South Asia. The herd, numbering less than two dozen, roams these remote jungles in western Nepal.
Bardia also boasts the greatest number of deer species in Nepal. The six deer species found in the park are: Chital or spotted Deer with its ubiquitous white spots on a brown coat; Hog Deer; similar to but smaller than Chital; Sambhar, the largest Deer on Indian subcontinent with a shaggy coat and thick antlers; Swamp Deer; Barasingha; and reddish-colored Barking Deer, the park's smallest Deer.
Other large mammals are: Gaur, the largest wild oxen in world; wild Boar, an omnivorous black-coated creature with large tusks; the agile sloth Bear, a shaggy black bear with a distinctive white "V" on its chest; Blue Bull or Nilgai, the largest Antelope on the Indian subcontinent; and Himalayan Tahr. Serow and Goral, two goat-Antelope members, are also found. Small mammals include: Langur Monkey, Rhesus Macaque, Jackal, three species of cats (jungle, leopard, and fishing); yellow-throated Marten; Mongoose; and Indian Otter. 
Two species of crocodiles swim in the Karnali, Girwa, and Babai Rivers - the blunt-snouted Marsh Mugger and the fish-eating gharial with its long thin snout. These creatures share the water with the fresh-water Gangetic Dolphin. The Karnali also supports the great mahseer, which weigh up to 90 lbs, an angler's prize catch.  Birds are the park's most conspicuous fauna with over 300 resident and migratory species. Avid bird-watchers will want to visit the park in November or from February to April when migrants arrive, depart or pass through.
History-  Bardia was a royal hunting reserve of Nepal's Rana rulers from 1846 to 1950. In Nepal, wildlife lost whatever protection the royal hunting reserve conveyed when the Rana rule ended in the 1950s. A well-meaning malaria eradication program in the 1950s and 1960s opened the Terai for settlement, and transformed about 75% of the native Terai to agricultural land. Wildlife populations declined with the combination of increased settlement and widespread poaching. Bardia was declared a wildlife reserve in 1976, first measuring 134 square miles (347 km²) and expanded in 1985 to 374 square miles (968 km²), it became a National Park in 1988. The approximately 1500 people who used to live in this valley have been resettled elsewhere. Since farming has ceased in the Babai Valley, natural vegetation is regenerating, making it an area of prime habitat for wildlife.
 
Country: Nepal
Area: Birdia National Park
Activities: Jungle Safari
Total Duration: 4 days

Grade: Easy
Max Grp Size: 1 Above
Min Grp Size: 1 Pax
Season: March-May; September-December

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is situated on the alluvial flood plains of the Sapta-Koshi River (one of the three tributaries of Ganges) in Terai, Eastern Nepal. Established in 1976 with area of 175 sq. km. to protect the grassland and islands in the floodplains of Sapta Koshi River, it is also the last habitat of the Arna (wild water buffalo). Bird watchers arrive here in search of the beautiful Bengal florican and the flamboyant sarus cranes. More than 440 species of birds have been recorded here including those that arrive from Siberia and Tibet around November to February. The reserve is also home to wild boar, jackals, pythons and crocodiles. The endangered Gangetic dolphins are seen occasionally when they surface in the river.
Reverine and Sal forests and grasslands dominate the vegetation of the reserve. This combination of vegetation and wetland proves a special site for birds and animals. Around 300 species of birds have been recorded in this reserve. These include waterfowl, birds of prey, waders, and other water birds. The globally threatened Swamp Partridge (Francolinus Gularis) is also a familiar sight. The nearby Koshi Barrage has created a vast expanse of water. This makes it the most important staging point for migrating birds. At the same time it is an all year playground for resident ones. Makalu, the world's fifth highest mountain (8,463m), can be glimpsed on a clear day. This enhances the beauty of the scenery dramatically.
History - A study of the reserve was conducted between 1997 to 1998 by the Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. The study found serious conflicts between the reserve wildlife and the local people living adjacent to the reserve. The people suffered crop depredations and animal harassment while the reserve managers had the problems of illegal poaching, cattle grazing, and other other illegal activities in the reserve. The study has several recommendations, one of which is the promotion of tourism to the area with the reserve using local tourist guides trained by wildlife experts.
You can explore the forest of Koshi Tappu safari riding on elephant back. Here you will see the hattisar (elephant stable) where elephant breed regularly and which is one of few such facilities in Asia. During the Koshi Tappu Safari at dusk and dawn time you will see many varieties of birds and animals sitting along the river. The best place to watch the bird species is the Barrage, downstream of the river.
 
Country: Nepal
Area: Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
Activities: Jungle Safari
Total Duration: 4 days

Grade: Easy
Max Grp Size: 1 Above
Min Grp Size: 1 Pax
Season: March-May; September-December
 

Dolpa Circuit Trek

Dolpa District is one of the five districts of Karnali Zone and the largest district in Nepal covering 5.36% of the total landmass of the country. The elevation in Dolpa ranges from 1,525 to 7,625 meters above sea level. The district borders Tibet (China) in the north and northeast, Jumla and Mugu districts of Karnali in the west, Myagdi, Jajarkot and Rukum in the south and Mustang in the East.
A large portion of the district is protected by Shey Phoksundo National Park. The name is derived from a 12th century Shey Monastery and the deepest lake in Nepal, the Phoksundo Lake, both of which lie in the district. The park protects endangered animals like the snow leopard, musk deer and the Tibetan wolf. Shey Phoksundo is the largest and the only trans-Himalayan National Park in Nepal.
It is also one of the two districts that lie beyond the Himalaya or the trans-Himalaya, Mustang being the other. Dolpa region is distant region of Nepal and the central point of this area is Shey Phoksumdo National Park. The east and south of Dolpa is surrounded by the Dhaulagiri and Churen Himal ranges and to the west by Jumla district. Trekking to Dolpa offers you the remarkable and breathtaking experience of lifetime. The notable figures seen here are snowy peaks, ancient and remote villages, rich wildlife, lovely Buddhist monasteries and wonderful lakes. The people of this area are simple and warm-hearted with enthralling culture and traditions. The cultural traditions of this area are basically linked with Tibetan.
The Dolpa trekking starts at “Juphal” and follows the track to “Dunai”, then continues to “Tarakot”, way up to “Bang la” Camp, the uppermost point of Dolpa trekking, after passing through the “Sanu Bheri” village, we then descend to the good-looking “Phoksundo” Lake, which is a piece of the “Shey Phoksundo National Park”.
 
Country: Nepal
Area: Dolpo Region
Activities: Trekking
Total Duration: 16 days

Grade: Strenuous
Max Grp Size: 1 Above
Min Grp Size: 1 Pax
Season: March-May; September-December
 

Pokalde Peak Climbing

Pokalde Peak or Dolma Ri situated 12 km southwest of Mount Everest is one of the shortest and easiest trekking peaks in the Everest Region. The majority of the 650m climb from base camp requires little more than walking with short sections of scrambling up rock.
During the trekking seasons this rocky peak is scarcely covered by snow. Despite its lack of any great technical difficulty, it offers trekkers the prospect of reaching 5,806m in elevation and superb views from the summit, particularly to the South East, North West and West. Other prominent mountains visible from the summit include Makalu, Ama Dablam and Pumori. Because of its relatively low difficulty and impressive summit vista's for this altitude, Pokalde is a popular commercial tourist peak in Nepal for those wishing to climb a Himalayan peak without needing to use ice axes and crampons.
The first ascent of Pokalde Peak was made in April 1953 via the ridge adjoining the Pokalde summit with the Kongma La high pass (5535m). This ridge continues from Kongma La to the slightly higher Mehra Peak (Kongma Tse) at 5820m and beyond. Hence the prominence of Pokalde Peak is modest at 271m (889 feet). Most ascents of Phokalde Peak nowadays are made by skirting the opposite Makalu side of the mountain.
A fit and acclimatized group with appropriate leadership can easily climb Pokalde Peak in half a day. Despite its low difficulty, sections of Pokalde are quite exposed so it shouldn't be attempted in poor weather. Doing so would significantly increase the difficulty of the climb above that of a "simple trekking peak". The final pitch to the summit also involves a short section of near vertical scrambling which for amateurs should definitely be protected by rope.
The base camp of Pokalde Peak is situated in a raised "amphitheatre" style valley with a large circular lake in the middle below the Kongma La pass. About 40 minutes from the base camp is the Kongma glacier. This glacier offers ice walls suitable for ice climbing training by appropriately equipped and motivated groups. The glacier is said to be receding in size.
Foot print evidence of significant Snow Leopard activity has been witnessed in the vicinity of Pokalde Peak base camp. This is despite the popularity of the area in being the gateway to both a major trekking peak as well as a high pass.
Even during the trekking seasons, it is not uncommon for overnight temperatures at base camp to be in excess of twenty degrees below freezing.

Country: Nepal
Area: Khumbu Region
Activities: Nepal Peak Climbing
Total Duration: 22 days
Grade: Strenuous
Max Grp Size: 1 Above
Min Grp Size: 1 Pax
Season: March-May; September-December






Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tamang Heritage Trek

The trekking region is located on north of Kathmandu and close to Langtang range, with very easy access distance of 30 kilometers from the capital. The inhabitants of this area are Tamang, a little known ethnic group of Nepal, who are believed to be the descendants of Tibetans from Kerung who amalgamate with Tamang of the Helambu area. Tamang communities are generally found on higher elevations with the peasants engaging in shifting cultivation and extraction of forest products. They are mainly sheep and yak herders but grow some hardy grains and vegetables. Their daily life activities include raising livestock, agriculture, making baskets and mats from mountain bamboo and trading with Kerung in Tibet.
With effort of some Nepali NGO’s to the improvement of the trails, it has been opened up for tourist allowing exploration of the fascinating culture of the Tamang people. Besides displaying the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Tamang people, this treks offer breathtaking mountain scenery, beautiful farming hamlets and rich jungle land. Additional highlights of this trek is the opportunity to do ‘home stay’ in the villages of Tamang people. With such variation and an easy-going route through pristine mountain scenery, this trek will definitely become one of the most popular short trekking routes in the years to come as it offers a great general overview to the Himalaya and its cultures.
Starting with a bus ride from Kathmandu the beginning of the trek will take you into the lower foothills of Langtang region, where your trek to the heart of mountain regions begins. Tamang Heritage trek either start from Dhunche or Syabrubesi and passes through Goljung, Gatlang, Thuman, Timure, Briddim, Lama Hotel, Langtang valley and Kyangjin Gompa. During the trekking journey you will observe Tamang rituals, Tibetan culture, religious festivals, native dress, traditional architecture, cultural displays of song and dancing and the warmth and hospitality of the people. Additionally, you will witness the stunning mountain views of Langtang Lirung (7245m.), Langtang Kerung, Chimse Danda ridge crossed by Ganjala Pass (5122m.), Dorje Lakpa (6989m.), Jugal Himal, Ganesh Himal, Paldor peak, Shringi Himal, Manaslu and Sanjen Himal ranges. Moreover, you will be bystander of 70 glaciers of varying sizes and high altitude lakes including Goshaikunda, Parvatikunda, Bhairavkunda and Dudhkunda. Visit to the local tamang monastery and the holy Parvatikunda lake will add an excitement to your trip.

Country: Nepal
Area: Langtang Region
Activities: Trekking
Total Duration: 13 days

Grade: Moderate
Max Grp Size: 1 Above
Min Grp Size: 1 Pax
Season: March-May; September-December

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