Dolpo Region has opened for trekking in 1989, the Dolpo region is hard to match for it’s pristine beauty and rugged charm, where one can still have opportunity to meet the nomadic people and their life style almost untouched and unexplored. The Himalayas offer an endless variety of landscapes, cultures and great people. This unbounded diversity makes it a destination you can visit over and over again. It even becomes more interesting and fascinating with all those beauty and attractive nature every time you return.Lying in the rain shadow area of the Himalayas, the landscape resembles that of the Tibetan Plateau instead of the lush, green, monsoon watered hills, elsewhere in Nepal, at comparative altitudes.
The Dolpo are generally adherents of Bon, a religion whose origins predate Buddhism but whose modern form is officially accepted as a fifth school of Tibetan Buddhism. The remote region has preserved its Tibetan culture in relatively pure form, making it attractive to Westerners.Not much was known about Dolpa in the outside world until quite recently. This mid-western district of Nepal was closed to foreigners until 1989 (certain areas still require a special permit) and the little people knew had been learned from literary and cinematic accounts like Peter Matthiessen’s book “The Snow Leopard” and Eric Valli’s epic adventure film “Himalaya” (Caravan) and more recently for the German documentary Dolpo Tulku. In spite of the near inaccessibility of the region and tourism restrictions for the more remote parts, Dolpa is a popular destination for trekking tourism.
Shey Gompa, the crystal mountain, and Phoksundo lake have evolved into a trek that is almost a pilgrimage. It is the highest inhabited land on earth, where the elusive snow leopard moves as soundless as a shadow, stalking small herds of Bharal on forgotten hillsides. Remote and romantic, it has no major 8000 m peaks to entice with vertical adventures, but those who are drawn to its mystery are changed forever. For a single visit here to visit this ancient land has a way of haunting ones dreams with a demand to return.
Prime Highlights of Dolpo Region.
- It traces the sixth stage trails of the GHT Trek
- You get an insight into the life and culture of the followers of Bon Buddhism.
- You will follow the footprints of the ancient trans-Himalayan traders.
- You will be freely exploring the region in a dry weather without worrying about the rain as the region lies in the rain shadow area of Dhaulagiri ranges.
- Challenges crossing high passes including Jungben La Pass 5550m
- You will have an amazing time inside your tented camp on this trek around the Shey Phoksundo lake, Crystal mountain, and the crisp views of Dhaulagiri ranges.
- You can catch a view of diverse flora and fauna in the Shey Phoksundo National Park.
Dolpo Trekking Season
The preferred seasons to complete the Dolpa Trekking is April to November. However, please check with a local tour operator if lodges are open in April and if passes are open in November as this will depend on prevailing weather conditions. This is a recommended trek to do in monsoon season as the Upper Dolpo region lies in the rain shadow. However keep in mind that travel to and from the trailhead can be interrupted by bad weather in the lowlands so give yourself an extra day or two on both ends of your trip to accommodate flight cancellations and road blockage.
A minimum of two trekkers accompanied by a Nepali guide or Porter is required for a permit to trek Dolpo region. So, make sure you have a Trekking Partner or a trekking agency for the trek.
Dolpo Trek Difficulty
Due to its remote location, Dolpa is still an “off the beaten track destination”. Tourists are few and far between, especially in the summer months. The Dolpa Trek is a quite strenuous trekking with some steep climbs. The trail ascends to two high passes, Numa La (5318 m) and Baga La (5190 m). These crossings involve long climbs and long descents. That being said, the scenery on the way , the views from the passes and the encounters you will have with the Dolpa people will make it all worth it.