Fly to: Kathmandu, Nepal
Visa required: Yes if British
Time Zone:+5hrs 45mins GMT
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Journal:No journal for this trip
Langtang Valley & Gosainkunda - Nepal
This is a spectacular introductory trek into the depths of rural Nepal; providing the trekker an opportunity to explore a region of Nepal which is still relatively untouched by Western influence. Granted you still get the odd BP solar panel and Mars bar but this trek takes you culturally much further than that which is offered by the standard, tourist routes of the Annapurna & Everest regions.
From leaving the Hindu temples and maroon-robed Buddhist monks of Kathmandu the trail begins in Syabrubensi; at the foot of the great Langtang Valley. The route is one of many features and numerous terrains which begin with a few days spent trekking through varied & wooded countryside, over looked by the vast snow covered peaks of the mighty Himalaya. Once on this trail one never strays far from the turquoise Langtang Khola gurgling in its deep, expansive gorge.
The trail is gracefully adorned with monkeys basking on surrounding rocks, bamboo, wild lilac, rhododendrons and a spectacular array of orchids, all of which are shrouded by the gentle but eerie sound of the mysterious birdsong.
Once above the tree-line a land of striking contrast is entered; a land which is wild and rocky, a land which houses the weathered people of Tibetan descent tending to their herds of yak. Prayer walls line the route and prayer flags gently flutter in the wind giving a real sense of simplicity, peace and serenity; these senses are held in contrast by the grand Lammergeiers that circle overhead.
At the top of the valley is Kyangjin Gompa (3,800m) a small village overlooked by the mighty peaks of Langtang Ri and Langtang Lirung. Also found here is Kyangjin Ri 4,350m; an accessible ascent which offers the trekker spectacular 360 degree view for relatively little extra effort.
From here the journey heads back down the valley to Syabru; a captivating route surrounded by hemlocks, rhododendron and sandier. From the broad path rise deciduous trees, lipodendrons and marijuana; while wild butterfly gently caress the air. It is from here that the trail steadily raises to the sacred & mystical high lake Gosainkunda and the Laurabina Pass (4,610m).
Situated at 4,380m above sea-level, Hindu mythology has it that the Lord Shiva dipped in this pond to relieve excruciating pain after he swallowed poison to save the world; and thereafter this pond was named as Gosainkunda. Due to its religious value every year on the occasion of Janai Purnima, a religious fair is organized at Gosainkunda where thousands of pilgrims visit to take a dip in the sacred water.
For me time spent here at Lake Gosainkunda signaled the start of my spiritual journey; its beauty & sheer presence stirred within a deep seated current. At that time I knew not of the call or how to recognise it but something was amiss, something within me changed; a yearning for the possibility of another existence, an existence beyond the realms of the here and now. My time in Nepal ignited my passion to discover my own understanding of worldly teachings & practices, for me it formed the start of an awakening process; the awakening of that sleeping beast known as 'potential'.
A journey into Nepal is both breathtaking and spiritually captivating; along this rural path the trekker is taken back through time; to a place uncontaminated by Western cultures and influence, a place of purity. The peace and serenity I experienced here was simply indescribable and it is because of this that the trek itself pushes the 'standard' trekker outside of their normal comfort zone: a combination of altitude and long ascents/descents mean a good degree of stamina is required. Life in the high mountains is simple; accommodation comes in the form of very welcoming & comfortable tea houses and the food is based on a traditional diet of lentils, rice, potatoes and chapattis.
Nepal is a wonderful place and its people are an absolute joy. If you are interested in the above trek or any other Nepalese treks that take you away from the over populated tourist trails then visit: www.responsibletreks.com where the delights of the Hidden Himalayas await you.