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September 22, 2019

Nepal’s guerrilla track turned into trekking trail

  • HB Kham
Kham cultural dance-Bhume dance
Kham cultural dance-Bhume dance

The guerrilla trek is absolutely a new trekking route of Nepal which commemorates the decade long Maoist triggered armed conflict in Nepal.

Since the districts such as Rolpa and Rukum were the main hotbeds of Maoist conflict and Maoist guerrillas, the guerrilla trek has been designed to pass across the districts of Rolpa, Rukum, Baglung, and Myagdi.

This exotic trek can offer you a pleasing sight of forest replete with flora and fauna of birds, rhododendrons, waterfalls, lakes, caves including murmuring creeks, hills and even mammoths hills across the region of Dhorpatan region which is the only hunting reserve in Nepal.

Exploring guerrilla trek is undoubtedly a hidden treasure of unexplored parts of Nepal where indigenous tribes and cultures of Kham people can be tracked and observed.

The guerrilla trek is named after the word “guerilla” because the trek is the same trail which was constantly used by the previous guerrillas of Nepal who fought against the Nepali armies and armed forces as militant guerrillas when they were motivated to struggle against the unitary political system from 1996 to 2006.

Hiking through this trek means experiencing the history of the Maoist war in Nepal when guerrillas marched along this route. Traversing this route means walking across the steep uphill and downhill terrains which can be moderately difficult as well yet charming and bewitching for the trekkers.

Trekking through this guerrilla trails means getting a rare chance of coming in direct contact with the cultures of shamanism, Shaman dance ( attributed to Siberian Shamanism) practiced by the local indigenous Kham people who are known as Magars of the western region although their Kham language does not match with the Magar language of the eastern region.

Kham tribes are distinctly different tribes having distinct language, culture, region and a living oral legend about their history. They had enjoyed a separate Kham kingdom before the establishment of the Khas kingdom in the Sinja area. However, some of the western writers have depicted them as the sub-clan of the Magar community which has been a distorted fact about them.

Thabang village -Center of Maoists

While crossing this trail, you may come across passes like Phalgune Pass (3915m), Myagdi’s Jaljala Pass (3414m) and Rolpa’s Jaljala Pass (3090m). The panoramic specular views of Sisne, Putha, Gurja, Kambon, Churen and Dhaulagiri and other Himal ranges.

Trekking these trails offers an insight into Nepal’s entire insurgency and real image of rural life in the remote parts of Rolpa and Rukum where the Maoist people revolted against the state machinery in the past.

The area is virgin land for many of the explorers and visitors. The local people will give you a warm welcome once they see you there. The Kham people cultivate paddy, wheat, millet, barley, maize, potatoes apricots as well as apples these days. They also collect herbal Yarshagumba to supplement their annual incomes.

Significance of this trail is ascribed to the beginning of the Maoist war from these regions before it escalated to other parts of Nepal and ultimately culminate into a three-party peaceful agreement.

The guerrilla trek starts from Pokhara city which is the Annapurna circuit region and passes through those regions where Maoist guerrillas used to dig trenches and ambush the government troops.

At the end of the trek, you will pass through the hunting reserve of Dhorpatan where if you want you can hunt certain permitted animals on seeking permission by paying a certain amount of fees to the Nepal government.

The trek is thrilling and full of excitement and your guide will show you the historical sights of crossfire and struggle between the guerrillas and troops. The locals can also testify about the war that they saw and experienced in their lifetime. The trek region is completely untouched by modernity. You can observe how the ignorant, illiterate and rustic people of these backward areas managed to revolt against the state and negotiated political power with the state.

You may ask one of the tour operators to provide their itinerary for you and plan your trekking accordingly.

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