Upper Dolpo Trek world’s highest horse racing, a glimmering turquoise lake. The Dolpi folks will welcome you with a heart that’s warm. Most of Dolpo falls behind the rain shadow zone of the Dhaulagiri Mountains (range) and this is desert land at higher elevations that’s so much like the arid plateau of Tibet. This is why you can go to Dolpo at any time of your choosing, or a time that suits your conveniences…perfectly. Some trekkers would like to compare Nepal’s mountains to the Patagonia or even the Alps of Europe, these are all mountains anyway, but Nepal’s mountains will take your breath away, maybe even forever, but for those who live to tell their stories of Nepal’s Himalayas have written books of which some are ‘bestsellers’’ on the planet…passed down to the generations till eternity…within this scenario falls the heady landscapes of the Dolpa region; which was till now, not heard off accept from artistic thangkas or spiritual accounts from the earliest of visitors.
From the early ‘90s, Dolpa began to get only a small portion of the hordes of visitors that make a beeline into the different tourism spots of Nepal. most trek operators seem to venture more into the Inner Dolpo – but with Gurkha Adventures, we begin with lower Dolpa & gradually wade into the inner & upper sanctums of mystical Dolpa with entry that goes beyond Phoksundo Lake to the ancient 800-year-old Shey Gompa – and this gives visitors a fantastic introduction to hidden cultural mysticism which is an experience to encounter when visiting this region (even in the monsoon!). Your eyes take in the vistas of mighty Dhaulagiri at (8167m), once assumed to be the tallest mountain in the world.
Tantamount to this, Approximately 3,555 km of Dolpa area has been demarcated to protect the Shey-Phoksundo National Park. This park is home to blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, leopards, wolves and the hard to pin down snow leopard – which also has a trek to its namesake. The Dolpo is more Bon-Po country, where the local folks practice an ancient shamanistic religion that predates Tibetan Buddhism. A lot of the Bon-Po cult of spiritualism is based opposite to normal Buddhist practices. As you walk to the right side of medieval mud chortens, inscriptions of swastikas point to the opposite direction to the Buddhist chant of “om mani padme hum”, whereas the Bon-pos chant ‘om ma tri mu ye sa le du”, in Tibetan jargon this translates into “in clarity unite’.
Dolpa’s mysticism is evident all over the region – stories of myth say Dolpa is a Beyul, an assumed “hidden valley” created by Guru Rinpoche as a last resort for those of remarkably pure mind. In present day Dolpa, its northern zones are inhabited by Rokpa farmers and Drokpa nomads from Tibet, who are blocked from the rest of Nepal by snow almost throughout the year. These folks live out their lives in some of the highest inhabited villages on planet earth, perched within mountains of bleak, Spartan beauty that could drive your imaginations to another world…in any case, there are no two Dolpas on earth, there’s only one…a natural phenomenon of nature’s wonders, God’s gift to a world that seems to have forgotten where true beauty lies…
Even in such desolate territory, the display of Nepal’s deepest lake, the Phoksundo, can defy the very depths of your ability to describe something. The local folks go by a legend that says Phoksundo took shape when a wicked avenging demonness flooded a village for letting the saint Padmasambhava know about her whereabouts. The dreamlike view of the lake, which has no aquatic life and seems to fluctuate between a turquoise and ultramarine hue – appears to validate the myth. If you are to walk in the footsteps of a lineage of nomads, look deep for the wretched village below the lake’s surface…is it there???. if you are the unusual unique kind that seeks a holiday that goes off the normal route, and if you want to race horses of an unknown Mongolian breed in some of the highest altitudes in the world – but then this only happens once in every dozen years, a tradition that goes back over 8 centuries in time – or pick the Yarchagumba fungus between May 15 through June 15…or just interact with the local folks & hear their stories of legends & frightening superstitions in the backdrops of massive peaks glimmering on a scary full moon night…then call up GURKHA ADVENTURES for more information on holidays that enhance your efforts in discovering the unknown…from the known
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images from trek
Upper Dolpo Trek
Lower Dolpo trek
Exploring the Mystical Upper Dolpo: From Dunai to Ghamghari via Phoksundo Lake,...
Exploring the Mystical Upper Dolpo: From Dunai to...
The Great Himalaya Trail(GHT) is a network of existing treks and trails...
The Great Himalaya Trail(GHT) is a network of...
The Lower Dolpa trek offers a real adventure in this remote, rugged...
The Lower Dolpa trek offers a real adventure...