- Bidhya Rai
The Mundhum trek is the ‘fresh trekking trail’ located in the eastern part of Nepal where you will find a variety of flavors of trekking such as hills, mountains, and Terai to experience within a short span of time.
The population of the Kirat Rai Community is dominant here. The Mundhum trail was named so because of its profound connections with Kirati myths, hills, and rivers including affinity with natural and cultural heritage. Trekking can be done throughout the year in this trail but the autumn and the spring seasons are the best.
Ultra marathons, hiking, mountain cycling, horse riding, paragliding, honey hunting are some of the adventures that you can enjoy here. The government of Nepal has also included this trail in the top hundred destinations for Nepal Visit Year 2020.
This trail is 107 km in length and can be covered in 14 days via Chakhewa, Dhotre – Maiyung – Rawadhap – Salpa Bhanjyang – Silichung-Hyakule – and ends at Hanspokhari.
On the first day, you arrive in Kathmandu and stay in hotels.
On the second day, detailed information is provided and necessary arrangement for the trek is made.
The journey of Mundhum trek begins on the third day from Kathmandu to Diktel, situated 1,650 meters above sea level. You have to travel for about 9 hours by bus.
On the fourth day, the beautiful view of Diktel bazaar can be enjoyed. Then, a three and a half-hour bus ride will take you to Chakhewa in Bhojpur situated 2,300 meters above sea level. There are 5 teahouses in Chakhewa and also a Gothesingh homestay. Tongba (local wine), Langsa and local chicken dishes are considered the special delicacy here.
Situated at an altitude of 3,010 meters above sea level, Temke danda can be reached after a 2-hours’ walk. You can return to Chakhewa after sightseeing or you can camp on the top of Temke danda.
Five mountains above 8,000 meters such as Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Sisapangma, Makalu, and Choyu, can be seen from Temke danda. From the Temke-Mayung range and other mountains like Dorje Lakpa, Gaurishankar can also be viewed.
Darjeeling (hill queen), Kalinga Pong, and Siliguri of India, some parts of Tibet and Bhutan, and 16 districts of eastern Nepal can be easily seen from Temke danda.
During the trekking, you can see the forest filled with the beauty of Rhododendron, Chimal and other species. Tourists often stay in hotels in Chakhewa. The sunrise in the morning and the sunset in the evening are seen from Temke.
On the fifth day, the journey begins at 6.30 am after breakfast. On that day, after a 7-hour drive from Chakhewa, you will stay in Dhotre situated 2,752 meters above sea level. There are two tea houses. Village lifestyles can be observed closely in Dhotre.
On the sixth day, you will reach Hanspokhari, situated 3,122 meters above sea level. Here, due to the lack of teahouses and lodges, you have to do camping. On the way to Hanspokhari from Dhotre, you can enjoy the scenic beauty of Chautara, Mattim danda, and Baaspani Devisthan.
On the seventh day, after breakfast, you will trek through Satdobato, Hyakule, Lauri Danda and camp at Rawadhap situated at an altitude of 3,486 meters. This is the longest hike of this trail where you have to walk for about 7 to 8 hours. There is also the absence of tea houses.
On the eighth day, you will reach Salpa basecamp from Rawadhap situated at an altitude of 3,348 meters from sea level after two hours hiking.
On a ninth day, you will trek from Salpa base camp to Silichung Danda (4,200m). It is the highest point of the Mundum Trail. It is also known as the natural view tower. The majestic views of Himalayan ranges, valleys, green forests, and avalanches can be observed from here.
From here, you can see many peaks over 8,000 meters, like Kanchanjunga, Choyu, Lhotse, and Makalu, etc. Mountains like Thamserku, Kangtenga, Amadbalam, Dorje Lakpa, Kusu Khungaru, Numur can also be observed from Silichung danda.
There is the presence of Salpa pond at the bottom of Silichung situated at an altitude of 3,700 meters. The pond has no origin and drainage. It is the center of faith in all religions. Salpa-Silichung is located on the border of Makalu-Varun National Park and Sagarmatha National Park.
The first Mt. Everest mountaineers, Edmund Hillary, and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa walked through this trial in their first Everest expedition. Thus this trail is also known by name of the Tenzing-Hillary trail.
On the tenth day, you will return via the same route and camp at Hyakule (2,972m) after walking 7 to 8 hours.
On the eleventh day using the same route you will walk from Hyakule to Haaspokhari, Maiyung. Those who want to visit Maiyung, Haaspokhari can stay here or you can stay at the Mundhum homestay of Timma Sawagaau.
On the twelfth day, you will reach at Bhojpur headquarter situated at an altitude of 4,600 meters through Ekraate, Kakhuwa, Barshe Danda , Suntale, and Dhapkharka. There is the presence of middle-class hotels here. Anyone who does not want to walk on this day can travel by bus or jeep from Sawagaau.
Mundum trek- Khukuri
The thirteenth day is the day to return to Kathmandu. Returning from the plane takes about an hour, and direct bus travel takes all day. But for those who want to visit Bhojpur, on this day, they can visit Siddhakali Mandir, Bhojpuri Khukuri and Taksar which carries historical, religious and tourism importance.
The fourteenth day is the last day. Tourists staying in Bhojpur for 13 days return to Kathmandu on this day.
Overall, the cost of traveling around this route for foreign tourists is around US 1500$ to US 2000$ per person. There is a group of 2 to 8-10 people. Around 28,000 NRs to 60,000 NRs is enough for Nepalese to complete this trail. Visitors can visit and return to their destinations according to their interests and desires. It may take less or more than 14 days to complete Mundhum Trek.
All Photos : Bidhya Rai
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