Dolpo Trekking in Nepal- Journey of Culture and Lifestyle
Untouched by modern society and influences, Dolpo region is famed for its indigenous inhabitants and, their culture and tradition. The region is located in western Nepal surrounded by Dhaulagiri range to the southern and eastern sides, and the Sisne and Kanjirowa mountains to the west. On the northern side, it touches Tibet, with which it also shares a large proportion of its cultural heritage. The region is home to the largest national park of the country, the Shey Phoksundo National Park and bears cultural heritage in staggering amount. Dolpo trekking in Nepal is a famous trekking destination in Nepal.
Culture and Lifestyle
The human settlement of Dolpo is located at one of the highest altitudes in the world between 3,600 to 4,070 meters above sea level. Here, you can still witness the traditional barter system in Dolpo that dates back to centuries. Locals use yak caravans to travel through the long and difficult terrain to exchange goods for their livelihood. As Dolpo has close proximity with Tibet, the locals are mostly of Tibetan origin. Most Dolpalis continue to follow Tibetan Buddhism. The region is riddled with Buddhist monasteries with the locals practicing the same rituals as their northern neighbors. Some of the inhabitants also practice Bon Po religion and Shamanism.
Shey Gompa is one of the most revered monasteries in Dolpo which is located on the foothills of the Crystal Mountain. The monastery holds rich history which reflects the ties of the monastery with Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. Apart from the religious significance of the monastery, it is also famous for its setting amid the arid barren lands.
Shey Phoksundo Lake
Another highlight of Dolpo is the magnificent Phoksundo Lake which is the epitome of natural beauty. The deepest lake in the country, it is bordered by rocky cliffs and deep forests of the Shey Phoksundo National Park. The reflections of the surrounding landscapes off the lake surface offer surreal views inexpressible in words.
Yaks caravan is another interesting activity to see during the Dolpo trekking in Nepal. These yaks are used by the locals for trade and transportation. Yak caravans are the prominent transportation medium of goods as these beings have adapted to the harsh climate and topography of Dolpo. They are even used for seasonal trade expeditions to Tibet.
If one is lucky one might come across a strange caterpillar looking insect during the winters of the Dolpo pastures. It is an insect for half of its life and an herb for the other. These herbs are considered medicinal properties by the local. These herbs/creatures fetch a large sum of money for the locals.
It is suitable to trek when temperatures are modestly pleasant with clear blue sky and has a low chance of snowfall in high altitudes. However, traveling to Dolpo is possible all around the year as the region falls under the rain-shadow of the Dhaulagiri range.
Without a doubt, Dolpo is a land of marvel that reflects the natural and cultural aspects of the region. Although one of the most remote parts of the country, the people still offer smiling faces and warm hospitality. The cultural brilliance of the Dolpo coupled with the natural majesty creates a travel destination that is a must-visit in Nepal.
Hidden Fact about Upper Dolpo Trekking
Located in the far northwestern region of Nepal, Upper Dolpo lies within the Dolpa district of Nepal. Despite being located far farm Kathmandu, Upper Dolpo comes as a blessing for tourists who prefer isolated trips. As such, the journey to Upper Dolpo begins at Juphal. An airplane flight from Nepalgunj takes you to the trail head for the trips to Upper Dolpo. Thereon, travelers head north to reach Phoksundo Lake and further north to reach the heart of Upper Dolpo. There are some hidden facts about Upper Dolpo trekking that you should know about. Such as:
Upper Dolpo: Land of Mystery
The wild west of Nepal- Upper Dolpo is the gem that is ripe for explorations to all adventure fanatics. Upper Dolpo is one of the least visited sites in Nepal; thus, opens the door to visitors who can unravel tons of facts and mysteries. Be the ancient monasteries oozing of glorious history or the barren virgin landscapes, Upper Dolpo offers endless
possibilities to travel. The Tibetan heritage, Bon Po history, and the authentic lifestyle are a few other attractions of Upper Dolpo and its facts about Upper Dolpo trekking.
Serenity and Peace for Mind and Soul
Phoksundo Lake, located within the Shey Phoksundo National Park, is the most famous attraction of Upper Dolpo. With an elevation of 3612m and depth of 145m, it is the deepest lake in Nepal. Its intense blue coloration and the scenic surrounding around the banks are what make the lake area so magical. The lake is only one face of the card
nature plays in Upper Dolpo. The other face shows off irresistible experiences of the valley, wildlife, vegetation, and mountains within the Shey Phoksundo National Park. Wildlife like Blue Sheep, Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Himalayan Thar, and Himalayan Black Bear are abundant in the cedar and birch forests of the national park.
Similarly, Upper Dolpo houses some of the most exotic scenery and majestic viewpoints to relish those beauties. Unlike the snow-laden Himalayas, the barren lands of Dolpo come as a different treat to the eyes of the travelers. Treks and trips in Upper Dolpo help you to traverse and admire these sights as well. Passes over 5000 meters like Kang La and Jeng La guarantee scenes of the majestic landscapes of Upper Dolpo and Himalayas looming in the distant horizon.
Glorious History, Culture, and Lifestyle of Upper Dolpo
History books and historians state the ties of Upper Dolpo with ancient Tibet and the esteemed Silk Route. As such, the region bears a strong resemblance in terms of culture and geography with Tibet itself. The history between date back centuries. Upper Dolpo offers the perfect harmony between the Buddhists and the Bon Po religions. Shey Gompa, an ancient Buddhist monastery, is the biggest monastery in the region. The monastery and its location on the foothill of the Crystal Mountain have gathered worldwide accolades.
Nemjung Monastery, Sandul Gompa, and Yangtze Gompa are few other illustrious religious hubs in Upper Dolpo. As for the inhabitants of the region; they are adherent followers of Tibet Buddhism and Bon Po. Their lifestyle and traditions are derived from these religions as well. Some of the festivals celebrated there are Lhosar, Shey Festival, Yungney, and so on. Similarly, the people here still live a traditional life. The use of rocks and mud for making houses, animals, and porters for carriage of goods and transportation are prevalent here.
Upper Dolpo is the perfect place to experience raw natural and cultural glory. As a matter of fact, Upper Dolpo is a great option to travel throughout the year and welcomes travelers around the world to explore the forgotten paradise of Nepal. Have a trip of a lifetime in this magical land and witness mystery, scenery, and peace all at once.