“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” — Susan Sontag.
Nepal that is nestled between India and China, has the Himalayan wonders, and its name goes along with the highest mountain in the world, that is, Mt. Everest, which is not a glimpse that you will see, but one of the best identifications that you need to consider as a trademark. This trademark might look like a castaway identification, or you can use this as a synonym to the Nepalese; if it is so, then the Nepalese can use it as a referral? But to some, Everest is a goal, and the best way to score this goal is by making a commitment or by doing an expedition or trek, which has its own pros and cons. It is its pros that outweighs its cons, and it is this pros that you cannot say NO because there is a plenty of Himalayas to see in Nepal.
Since there is no barrier of anything, since the Nepalese are the happiest people, to stand on the base of Everest is an achievement of a lifetime, this is how the trekkers look at, while to summit it, means Everest will put you in the list of the famous climbers of the world, which is uncommon, and which makes you feel huge.
The world also knows Nepal because of the Himalayas that were formed millions of years due to the collision of two continents. And this is how Everest evolved, and the trekking trail that connects to it, is man-made, but this trekking trail became vigorously famous with the passage time, far and wide, and it was named as Everest Base Camp Trek which became more and more popular with the willingness of the people, which not only pull the Europeans, but also the Americans and Australians with top marks.
Along with these, there are also so many trekking trails in Nepal, and they may not be as popular as that of Everest Base Camp Trek, but they do come under the list of off-the-beaten-trek. And it is this characteristic that has made these treks famous, and other reasons for its popularity include hidden treasures, such as unspoiled flora and fauna, exceptional mountain views, natural attractions, less crowded trekking trails, beautiful nature, and overall values, which blend ultimately with one another to become the best off-the-beaten destination not only in Nepal, but also in the world. And this is not the tourism for the Nepalese but for you.
Here are the most popular and beautiful off the beaten treks in Nepal.
We trekked in the Upper Dolpo, an unseen land and met the ancient societies that have lived for many years, where the wind blows cold, and the blue sky that had impressed our eyes was bound to change, and it gave us a sign of weather change, but we wanted to make sure that we would cross the pass of 5000 m plus in a fine sunny weather by looking at a spectacular view of the driest region of Nepal that had been formed due to geological affects, which consist of hills, plateau, valleys, snow-covered mountains, and rocky peaks, whose beauty was above everything else than we had expected normally.
We were dazzled by the beauties of Dhaulagiri I and Phoksundo Lake, and we soon forget how much difficult trail we have conquered that spoke of the history of that place and that headed further to unmanaged man-made trail, that was excavated along the hill, and for a while, we thought we had become slaves to this trail because the steep hill plunges into the depth of immeasurable magnitude from the point where we were standing, and it was made of small rocks, big rocks, movable rocks, as well as immovable rocks, and the trail looked as old as hills, and it is also this kind of trail that makes the Upper Dolpo Trek off-the-beaten-trek, which we realized, and which has been lying as well as hiding from the eyes of the trekkers, who want something extra in their treks.
In our list, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek was the longest trek that we have ever done. As we stepped into the trekking trail, we realized, we had reminded our life to see the conditions of the hilly people, mostly of Rais and Limbus. And as we headed deeper into the heart of the Kanchenjunga region, we were lucky to see snow leopard, old cultures, as well as life, which was as old as century’s story. Our trekking experiences also took into the smiling faces of the children. From the hotel where we stayed and within its area, we saw the yak entered into the house, and on the way, we saw the people whose life seems to be triggered by the wilderness of the Kanchenjunga Region. The trekking trail that we followed had a transformation when it took us to the pass and showed us a range of mountains. And all we could say was WOW! There was a feeling that Kanchenjunga Region includes the best of beautiful nature that the eastern Nepal has to offer to the trekkers like us.
Later, we found out it was a perfect excuse to be the trekkers of the Kanchenjunga Region because the trekking trail offered us more floras and gave us an access to be in touch with different species of plants, including an opportunity to see different varieties of birds. The uphill killing trekking trail also took us to a long steel bridge, and we continued to come across such bridge as we moved further and further or as we moved from lower elevation to higher elevation. Through paddy field we walked, and it was an amazing experience. Our trekking trail took us to the region, much of which was covered with green vegetation. Beautiful nature was what we saw, but above all, we were in the remote place and had been isolated from the modern world. Indeed, this became a new memory to our life. In addition to this, this trek features the third highest mountain in the world, and we felt that we have signed a rewarding contract of trek as we reached the base of the mountain.
I became a routined person from the day I started my trek to the day I ended my trek. Right from the beginning, I started to having amazing experience from Hari, my trekking guide. He was the one, who guided me safely and perfectly from the starting point to the ending point, making me familar with natural beauties and sharing his experience, for examples, this is a scenic way and this hotel is best to stay. And all this, he has acquired with his years of experience.
Trekking in the Manaslu Region made me familar with the infrastructrue of Nepal as well, this I came to know when I was travelling in a jeep on the road to Arughat; the road was really rough, and this is even so, according to the Nepalese Standard. Variety is what makes Manaslu Circuit Trek different because it has uphill and downhill trails, includes hot spring and river, makes me walk on a sandy river bed, leads me to the valley, and showcases the beautiful view of the Himalayan Ranges that I have never seen even in my dream.
The trekking trail traverses the woodland and even the Budhi Gandaki River, one of the biggest rivers of Nepal, and I also crossed smaller river than this, and from the trekking trail, I saw the rivers- what a magnificnet view it was. As I ascend more and more; I became closer with the natural beauties, especially the view of Sringi Himal- it was awesome as well as outstanding. I was further enriched when Hari took me to nearby villages and inroduced me with villagers’ ways of living. Above all, the view of Peak 29 was so impressive that I took a lot of photos. Also, it was a great fun to trek up to the Pungen Glacier, from where I saw the most satisfying view of Manaslu that I could ever see from this trek. Equally, I saw the outstanding view of Himlung Himal (7126 m), Cheo Himal (6820 m), Gyagi Kung, Kang Koru (6981 m) and Annapurna II (7937 m) from the difficult pass but it was rewarding, last but not the least, how can I forget walking in the forest of fig and rhododendron trees.
It was my first experiences walking in the midst of corn fields, but in the beginning, I found the trail so steep that I lost my balance; however, I recovered it. But in this trail, there was a fun. Ahead was a suspension bridge that swung as I walked, and it created a fear in me, but I crossed the Arun River, and from the bridge’s end, I climbed uphill. On the way, I come across several streams and meadows and also Sherpa villages. These different aspects of Makalu Base Camp Trek were so compelling that I did not regret for choosing this trek.
The trekking trail further headed towards to ridge and then to forest and of course to switchbacks. From rhododendron forest, I walked to mani walls, Buddhist holy symbols. And it is from here that I got a change to see the fantastic view of Chamlang, Peak 6 and Peak 7. Following the ongoing trail, I reached the pass called Kike La from where I descended to the lake and walked through boulders and later descended to the forest of firs. After that, I had a unique experience to spend a night in the forest. This experience was the first time for me. Also for the first time I walked on such a rough trekking trail in the Barun Valley that I will never forget. I came across several villages, but I did not brother to remember their names, but what I remember is a beautiful Gompas, and the reason is it offered a breath-taking view of mountains, which won my heart. Above all, it made me recall its name several times. Wooden bridges, an amazing shape of Barun Valley, moraine, and alluvial valley are where I walked on and what I saw as I headed to my final destination, seeing Mt. Makalu.
In this world, there are some landscapes that exist above our beautiful thoughts. Also, there are some that exist below our extreme thoughts. Whether it is above or below, even the desert has its beauty, or for another instance, even the sea water has its beauty although its water is too salty to drink.
Each Himalayan landscape is beautiful, and who knows this better than the mind of a trekker. Many says that the land of Mustang is mystical, but how far this is true because nothing magical happens in this land, nor is it an undiscovered place because it has been already trekked. But one thing is true that Mustang is different, yes, it is completely different from the rest of the world.
Although Mustang means a fertile land in the Tibetan language, yet in reality, it has a lot of dry lands. Still, life exists in these lands, and I wondered it must have been difficult.
It has been more than 800 years that in Kagbeni, people have been living, and they say “we are the eight generation.” They have adapted to the hardships of Kagbeni like we have adapted to the charms of city life.
In the dry land of Mustang, it is amazing to see a river, white washed houses, as well as the fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat, and apple orchards. Moreover, I wondered when I saw snow-covered Nilgiri Peak. How did it exist there? All I could say is that’s the way it is and praised to the mightiness of nature.
The different landscapes of Upper Mustang Trek are cliffs, tunnel, valley, streams, up hills, down hills, and Annapurna Mountain, while the impressive man-made things of Mustang are gompas, and it is one of these gompas, which was five-storied, and where I saw the collection of statues, including thankas and seated Buddha.