Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa Trekking (27 Days)
Ba-Yul, the hidden land of Dolpo, was first settled by Rokpa farmers and Drokpa nomads from Tibet in the 10th century.
It is one of the highest inhabited places on earth, with scattered fortress-like villages and monasteries nestling amongst mountains of stark, ascetic beauty.
Though part of Nepal today, Dolpo remains culturally and economically firmly tied to Tibet, the people of this desolate area are cut of from their southern neighbors by snow-covered passes for much of the year. This is fascinating and difficult country to travel in.
Most of Dolpi is protected by Shay Phoksumdo National Park. It is bounded in the east and south by Dhaulagiri and Churen Himal ranges and in the west by the Jumla district. Dolpo has been bypassed by development and until recently by tourism. Although a few Anthropologists and geographers had explored the region, the entire district was closed of to foreigners until 1989, when southern parts of Dolpo was opened to organized trekking groups.
Peter Matthiessen’s the Snow Leopard and David Snell grove’s Himalayan Pilgrimage has contributed to the mystique and attraction of Dolpo. Both writers visited the Shay Gompa, to the north of the Phoksumdo Lake, in inner Dolpo. This is the goal of most trekkers but this Dolpo trek will take you even further into this mysterious land…
Dolpo is Bon-pro country, where people practice a shamanistic religion predating Tibetan Buddhism.
Much of Bon-po symbolism is the opposite of Buddhist practice. You should walk to the right of ancient mud chortens, which are inscribed with swastikas with their arms pointing in the opposite direction to the Buddhist chant of “om mani padme hum”, the Bon-pos chant ‘om ma tri mu ye sa le du”, in Tibetan means “in clarity unite’.
The lake is spectacular, it is 4.8km long, 1.8km wide and said to be 650m deep. It is known for its aquamarine color a greenish blue similar to a special Tibetan turquoise .There is no aquatic life in the lake, which helps to make the waters brilliantly clear. If you toss a rock in, you can watch it for a long time as it sinks to the bottom. According to legend, Phoksumdo Lake was formed by a spiteful female demon
In Buddhist Himalaya, David Snell grove recounts how the demon was fleeing from the saint Padmasambhava and gave the village people a turquoise after they promised not to tell that she had passed by. Padmasambhava turned the turquoise into a lump of dung, which upset the local people so much they revealed the demon’s whereabouts. She, in return caused a flood. It is said you can see the remains of a village below the lake’s surface.
2 persons: USD 3300 per person on twin sharing
3-5 persons: USD 3130 per person on twin sharing
Here’s recent picture gallery from Upper Dolpo and Shey Gompa Trekking.
Trip Facts, Itinerary and booking form:
Trip length: 27 Days
Grade: Strenuous - Grade Explanation
Starts in: Kathmandu
Ends in: Kathmandu
Trek Type: (Fully Organized Trek or Camping Trek)
Accommodation: Hotel & camping
Transportation: 3 flights transfer
Maximum altitude: 5460m
Day 01 Arrive Kathmandu
Day 02 Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
Day 03 Fly to Nepalganj
Day 04 Fly to Juphal, Trek to Dunai
Day 05 Trek to Chepka
Day 06 Trek to Renje
Day 07 Trek to Ringmo
Day 08 Rest and exploration
Day 09 Trek to Chunemba
Day 10 Trek to Lar Tsa
Day 11 Trek to Mendok Din
Day 12 Trek to Shey Gompa
Day 13 Rest-Exploration
Day 14 Trek to Namgung
Day 15 Trek to Karang
Day 16 Trek to Mugaon
Day 17 Trek to Shimen
Day 18 Trek to Tinje
Day 19 Trek to Rakpa
Day 20 Trek to Chharka
Day 21 Trek to Norbulung
Day 22 Sangda Phedi
Day 23 Trek to Sangda
Day 24 Trek to Dhagarjun
Day 25 Trek to Jhomson, fly to Pokhara
Day 26 Drive/Fly Kathmandu
Day 27 Depart Kathmandu