Best and Nearest Monsoon Destinations from Kathmandu

ghangri circuit trek

The monsoon season in Nepal starts in early June and ends in early September. It is most definitely not the best time to travel compared to the spring and autumn seasons. Traveling throughout the nation is challenging due to heavy rain and widespread landslides. Many tourist attractions will be closed for the duration.

Trekking has benefits of its own when done during the monsoon season. The monsoon season brings growth and freshness. The valleys are in flower, the villages are vibrant, and the trails are less crowded during the season. The monsoon revitalizes the flora makes it luscious green and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. In addition, the fragrance of the monsoon rain will take you to a different, frequently sentimental era.

Despite the monsoon season bringing clouds, haze, rain, and hot temperatures. And it’s a terrific season to visit some parts of Nepal, several treks should be avoided. Some short treks are accessible and can be done with safety precautions.

Leeches are the most common blood-sucking parasites during the monsoon treks in Nepal. Leeches are most active during the monsoon season on wet days, especially in areas with dense vegetation. So, keep in mind, that the monsoon treks are for only those adventurous people who love the magic monsoon madness. And who are used to the leech bites. So, we have come up with two best and nearest monsoon treks from Kathmandu. And if you never go you know.

Gosainkunda via Nau Kunda Valley Trek

monsoon at rani kunda

The famous holy Gosainkunda Lake Trek is among the most traveled trekking destinations in Nepal. It is an extremely beautiful alpine lake having religious significance and true jewel of Nepal. The trek is doable through various routes via Sundarijal, Dhunche, Helambu Budhanilkhnata, and Shivapuri Trail. This new trail to Gosainkunda via Nau Kunda Valley is just a wonderful day trek. The trekking trail is unknown to most trekkers and trekking guides too even if it’s near Kathmandu.

ghangri circuit trek

 According to the Holy Hindu book Shriswastani Katha and Himbatkhanda, this new trail is believed to be the route followed by Lord Shiva Parbati to reach the Gosainkunda from Dupchheswor Mahadev Temple. The trail ascends along a wide range of vegetation,sub-tropical, sub-alpine, and alpine climatic regions in the Langtang National Park where you can enjoy the wildlife. Different types of alder, rhododendron, mountain oak, birch, and juniper with chirping birds give the calm experience along the trek. The trek consists of mesmeric landscapes full of adventurous walks. It includes the walk along the steep rocky mountain between the boulders, rock terrain, and dense forest.

nau kunda valley

Nau Kunda valley is the valley of nine lakes namely Ekle Kunda, Agni Kunda, Jyakhyung Kunda, Shera Kunda, Nau Kunda, Raja Kunda, Rani Kunda, Lamu Kunda, and Andra Kunda which have their myths, beliefs and beauty. These lakes bloom with beautiful varieties of wildflowers during the monsoon. The trail is full of the best spots offering a panoramic view of Himalayan ranges like Rolwaling, Jugal, Langtang, and Ganesh Himal. In this trail there lies the vintage point Jyakhyung Peak located at about 4600 meters above sea level from where you can enjoy the Himalayan glimpses and have an eagle-eye view of the valley as well.

The trekker will get the lively experience of the lifestyle and culture of the Tamang and Hyolmo Ethnic groups. One can experience a unique Bon dance and Shyabru Dance during the Janai Purnima festival. You can also observe the lifestyle of Nomadic sheep herders along the trail.

sheep herder

The trek starts from Samakushi, Kathmandu and after 4 hours of ride, we reach Ramati Bazar. Then after walking for half an hour, we reach Dupcheshwor Mahadev Temple (also known as the second Pashupati Nath), the pilgrimage site of both Hindus and Buddhists. After that, you can hike to Shikharbeshi or Bagmara and go to Malabhanjynag and stay there. After hiking for about 3 hours, you can reach Sagar Kunda (approx. 2900m), the first lake of this trek, also known as the second Gosainkunda of Nuwakot, the pilgrimage site of Lord Shiva and Parvati. And after ascending about 4 hours of uphill you reach Rauchhuli (approx. 3750m) and have a stay over there.

paddy farming in nepal

Next morning you can enjoy the mesmerizing sunrise above the clouds if the weather clears up. You can hike towards the Nau Kunda Valley and stay there where you can enjoy the beauty of nine beautiful lakes unknown to many. There are higher and lower routes to Nau Kunda Valley after reaching Shyaure Kharka. You can take a right from the Kharka leaving the main trail, climb the steep uphill, and reach Khukuri Dhar and Jogimara in about 3 hours.

nuwakot

After walking for about 2 hours you reach the Jyakhyung Bhanjyang and after descending for about half an hour you reach Shera Bhanjyang where you going to stay for the night. The higher route is adventurous along the ridge and rocky boulders. So, I highly recommend you to go the higher route with a local guide, and if you are an adventurous guy having a risk-taking ability. The lower route is better with the walking stone-pebbled trail. You can reach Chyauchhe Kharka, Ekle Kunda, and finally Shera Bhanjyang from the lower route. If you get confused, have a look at the yellow marking on the rocks from the Shera Bhanjyang I have put recently.

wildflowers of nepal

On the fourth day of the trek, you can hike along the valley of Nau Kunda reach Gosainkunda, and celebrate the Janai Purnima festival. On the fifth day, you can descend towards Dhunchhe, Nuwakot (Ghangri Circuit Route), or Helambu from the Surya Kunda side. You can also start your trek from Dhunchhe or Helambu side and descend from the Nau Kunda Valley towards Dupcheshor Mahadev and Kathmandu.

sheep shed

The Nau Kunda valley of nine lakes is overshadowed even though it is so close to Kathmandu. The accommodations and other facilities are not readily available. But the trekking trail up to Gosainkunda through this trail is already stone steps except only in some places. So it is always advisable to travel with the local guides who can arrange the accommodation and food. Only the temporary tea houses will be there for the Janai Purnima festival from Malabhanjyng to Nau Kunda. So it’s better to travel to fix the accommodation at first. These contacts will be very useful for the trek.

Tshering Sherpa (Aau Tshering) (Malabhanjyang): 9861227413

Lhakpa Gyalbu Sherpa: 9849631562

Panch Pokhari Trek

panch pokhari sindhupalchowk

Panch Pokhari is a collection of five (panch) Hindu holy lakes namely Surya Kunda, Naag Kunda, Saraswati Kunda, Ganesh Kunda, and Bhairab Kunda. During Janai Purnima, the lakes are a well-liked pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus. Panch Pokhari (Five Lakes) is an alpine freshwater oligotrophic lake series of alpine meadows, lakes, ponds, and streams that showcase a unique natural wetland in the high Himalayan of Nepal. 

Panch Pokhari is located in the Sindhupalchowk District of Nepal. It lies at an altitude of approximately 4,100 meters above sea level. It is the 9th highest wetland in the world. This is a well-known Hindu pilgrimage site located in Nepal. There is a Shiva temple, the Hindu God of Destruction, and places to bathe in sacred water for self-purification.

Panch Pokhari is a new trekking destination popular for both local and foreign trekkers and travelers. Just 80 km to the northeast of the Kathmandu valley, the Panch Pokhari Trek is a 5-day wonderful journey that offers fantastic cultural experiences, breathtaking natural panoramas, and wildflowers. The five lakes are stunning, and the views from the vantage point are incredible.

The trek offers magnificent views of the Jugal Himal mountain range, which contains Dorje Lhakpa (6,966 m), Madiya (6,257 m), and Phurbi Chhyachu (6,637). Despite being close to Kathmandu, this area is secluded with stunning natural settings.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Chimti (1,850m/6,069ft)

Day 2: Trek from Chimti to Noshyampati (3,650m/11,975t)

Day 3: Trek from Noshyampati to Panch Pokhari (4,100m/13,451ft)

Day 4: Hike to Viewpoint (4,300m/ 14,107ft) and trek back to Deurali

Day 5: Trek to Chimti and drive back to Kathmandu.

These two peaceful places get crowded with pilgrims during the Janai Purnima festival that falls in the month of late July or early August or the month of Shrawan or Bhadra according to the Nepali Calendar. This is one of the main festivals of Nepal. If you don’t love the throng of people on the trail and want to feel the tranquility. It is better to trek to these places a week before this festival. But for those who wish to observe the shaman culture of Nepal, one should not miss this festival.

 Every year, on the day of the full moon in the month of Shrawan, people celebrate this holy occasion. “Janai” means sacred thread in Nepali, whereas “Purnima” refers to the full moon. When morning breaks, men wear the holy thread known as Janai bathe in the closest river or pond, and exchange the Janai that the priest gives them. Hindus often adorn their wrists with a sacred thread on this day.

Blog and Photos by: Lhakpa Gyalbu Sherpa

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