Want to soak in the remote region, hidden valley, and ancient shrines, then the Dolpa region is best for your holiday.
Dolpa region is the largest district of Nepal with an area of 7,889 km2 and Dunal as its district headquarter. The elevation ranges between 1,525 meters as lowest and 7,625 m as the highest elevation of this district. Dolpa district is surrounded by Tibet on the north, Jumla, and Mugu on the east, Myagdi, Jajarkot and Rukum on the south, and Mustang on the east.
This district is a remote area of Nepal and the central point of this district is Shey Phoksundo National Park. It is originated in the 12th century from Shey Monastery and the deepest lake in Nepal, Phoksundo Lake, both lie in this district. This park is the home of different endangered animals like snow leopard, Musk Deer, and Tibetan wolf. This park is only the Trans-Himalayan National Park in Nepal and also the largest national park in Nepal.
As you are trekking to Dolpa, it presents exposure to remote Himalayan valleys, Tibetan Highlands, beautiful lake, and spiritual monasteries. This district is decorated with the Dhaulagiri range in south and east, Mt. Sisne and Kanjiroba in the west, and the Tibetan plateau in North. Other notable features of the Dolpa region are snowy peaks, ancient villages, rich wildlife, and yak caravans. You will also be welcomed by local people as locals are very simple and warm-hearted with amazing culture and traditions. The culture and traditions of local peoples are mainly influenced by Tibetan culture.
A. How To Reach Dolpa District
Road to Dolpa only recommends to those people with adventure seekers or has a tight budget. As the Himalayan region is full of adventure and bumpy so you may get tired easily.
From Kathmandu to Jumla via Surkhet it may take up to 24 hours by road. From Public Bus it takes 14 hours and then 8-9 hours in a small Jeep. The bus will take you to Jajarkot from Kathmandu through Nepalgunj. From Jajarkot we will go from Jeep to Talubagar via Rari which takes about 9 hours ob bumpy ride.
There is no direct flight to Dolpa so you have to go to Nepalgunj first by flight. It takes about a 50-minute scenic flight which will take you there. That day you have to stay at Nepalgunj and take an early morning flight to Juphal. Nepalgunj to Juphal flight is about 35 min which will be adventurous too.
Another flight is from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj afternoon flight and night stay there. The next morning, fly to Talcha airport which takes 45 min flight. From there you can trek through Rara Lake and the Upper Part of Dolpo.
You can also take a reserve chopper from Kathmandu which will take you directly to Juphal.
By Air and then drive
Take a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara which is about 45 minutes. From Pokhara drive to Beni which takes 4-5 hours. Again from Beni drive to Takam which will take you about 6 hours. Then from Takam, you can enjoy the trek.
Permits and Regulations
Opened in 1989, the Dolpa district is isolated from the outside world. In this region, there is lots of preserved culture and untouched from modern society. Tourists need special permits to enter Dolpo Region this is the restricted area. Trekkers should take Trekking Permit from the Department of Immigration in addition to a TIMS card to trek in this region.
The trekking permit to visit the Dolpa region is quite expensive. The trekking permit costs
Lower Dolpo Region: USD 10 per week
Upper Dolpo Region: USD 50 per day (minimum 10 day required.)
For updated price please visit here.
Limited tourists can only visit the Upper Dolpo region. According to the Nepal Government rule, only 250 foreigners can trek inside the Upper Dolpo region. Also, treks cannot enter Upper Dolpo without a guide. Government licensed guide must be with the trekkers. If you are willing to enter Shey Phoksundo National Park then you have to pay an entry fee of USD 15 for SAARC and USD 33 for other countries.
Best Destination Inside Dolpa District
1. Shey Phoksundo National Park
Shey Phoksundo National Park is only a trans-Himalayan national park and also the largest national park in Nepal. This national park is scattered in 3,555 km2 and established in 1984. This national park ranges in elevation from 2,130 in Ankhe to 6,885 at the summit of Kanjiroba peak.
This national park is the home of various endangers floras and faunas. The northern part of this national park is a barren land and the Trans-Himalayan slope lands where you can find rhododendron, Himalayan birch, silver fir, and other Himalayan shrubs. The Suligad valleys vegetation consists of blue pine, spruce, hemlock, cedar, fir, rhododendron, and bamboo. The national park contains 286 species of ethnobotanical. Some notable wildlife is Himalayan Bear, Tibetan Sheep, Himalayan That, Leopard, Jackal, grey wolf, and Blue sheep. This park is also rich in butterflies where you can see 29 species of butterflies. There are also 200 species of birds which include wood snip, Tibetan partridge, yellow-throated marten, and crimson-eared rosefinch.
2. Tinje Village
Tinje village lies at Upper Dolpo at Panzang Valley above the confluence of the Panzang River and Polte River. This village is located at a height of 4,110 meters above sea level. This village is a small terrain village and has historic fort remains in Upper Dolpo.
3. Chharka Village
This village is sitting at an altitude of 4,200 meters and also the highest settlement in the world. As you enter this medieval fortified village, you feel like stepping back in history. The houses are built in a congested way. You can also see Sachen Gompa which carries religious significance. This Gompa is built in 1400 AD by Dorje Choekyong Sampo and re-constructed in 1996 by villagers.
4. Shey Phoksundo Lake
The shining lake with turquoise color is the made beauty of Shey Phoksundo Lake. This lake is situated at an altitude of 3,612 meters above sea level. Surrounding nature, white peaks, and stupas makes Shey Phoksundo Lake more beautiful.
This lake is declared as a Ramsar site in September 2007. The southern end of this lake had a landslide many years ago and formed this lake. Waters of this lake plunge over 167 meters tall waterfall.
5. Dho-Tarap Valley
Dho-Tarap is a combination of 3 villages, where Dho village and its neighbor Lang and Tokyou are called. This village is settled in a stunning valley with a beautiful view of landscape, hills, and mountains. The valley ranges from the lowest 3,900 meters to 4,200 meters above sea level. This valley also follows Bon religion with eight different monasteries including Bon monastery. This village is located at a very strategic center because you can reach 9 villages of Dolpo in just a day.
6. Mt. Putha
Mt. Putha is the seventh peak of the Dhaulagiri range. The sacred mountain is mostly covered with thick snow. The peak is famous for the mountaineering expedition. Mt. Putha is technically safe to climb and a better option for people who want to climb mountains without much technical difficulty. It leaves a delightful memory for a lifetime. This mountain can also be a preparation expedition to climb technical mountains such as Mt. Everest and other 8,000m peaks.
7. Kanjiroba Peak
Kanjiroba Peak is also another beautiful option for mountaineering expedition in the Dolpo district. This unique icy peak is worth climbing to experience the adventure standing tall in 6882m. The peak hasn’t been explored by many travelers, so this is a journey of a lifetime to step your foot in the least explored beautiful peak. Along with adventure, the beginning route of the peak contains religious and culturally authentic people.
Related Topic: 5 Best places to visit in Salyan District