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October 21, 2019

Trekking through Nepal’s indigenous peoples’ habitat

  • HB Kham
Indigenous trail

Trekking through Nepal’s indigenous peoples’ habitat will offer you a different experience of wonder and mysticism as they are the living legends of the past and history. If you ever think of what would have been the past of any country, you can just peek into the lives of the natives of that country, you will get the answer to many of your questions that normally surge in your mind.

So, if you wish to peek into the lives of Nepali indigenous peoples you may do so by trekking through the local habitats of these indigenous peoples in Nepal during your short sojourn.

Although Nepal comprises of over 125 ethnic groups including over 100 groups coming under the umbrella of indigenous categories as enlisted by the government, the prominent indigenous groups of Nepal are better represented by the term they usually use such as “SETAMAGURALI” which stands for Sherpa, Tamang, Magar, Gurung, Rai, and Limbu including Newar of Kathmandu valley.

Nepal has both Indo Aryan racial stock people and Mongoloid stock people of which the indigenous people fall under the category of Mongoloid racial stock.

Buddhist Monks in Monastery

Most of these indigenous groups believe in Buddhism, animistic and Kirant religion with few sections of their population believing in Hindu religious faiths and rituals. Their cultures are corresponding to those Tibetan types of rituals and traditions including their cultural attires. They also belong to a legendary martial race which makes Gurkha regiments in India, Britain, Singapore police and Brunei still most sought after soldiers in the world for honesty and bravery.

You can find these indigenous peoples of Nepal in all the development regions of Nepal. After the promulgation of the new constitution, the country is now restructured into seven federal states. And you will find these indigenous people in almost all the seven provincial states of Nepal. Most of their habitats are situated at lower and higher altitudes, so they like to live in elevated areas like hills.

So, trekking through the indigenous peoples’ areas means exposing yourself to the unique, exotic living styles and cultures of indigenous peoples. The trekking also offers you majestic and magnificent scenic views of mountains at around 3000 meters. For example, you can see Thulo Sailung peak in the north, the golden Sun Koshi river flowing along the South and the Tama Koshi in the east.

The cultural blend, linguistic and ethnic diversity is what you will enjoy while observing the captivating and soothing panorama of mountains like Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, and Annapurna during such treks. The beautiful sight of ancient monasteries will give you a different spectacular experience.

Nepal is a mysterious land where people believe in various gods and goddesses for which there are hundreds and thousands of temples and monasteries including some churches for Christians.

Diverse cultural and religious practices are increasing in this country after the new constitution declared the country as a secular state. Trekking through indigenous people’s areas means you will have to depend upon either tea houses for homestays for accommodation.

Indigenous trail

Sometimes you also have to stay in private homes as some of the trekking trails that pass through these traditional villages do not have modern amenities. The local foods are generally organic and hygienic. But you just have to order for the local foods. The famous native places of Gurung people in Lamjung and Ghale gaun can give a real picture of what and how the indigenous people welcome you with their ancient hospitality manners.

In Nepal, the visitors and guests are treated as an envoy of gods and goddesses. So, they will do their best to make you happy as far as possible. The only thing that you should remember is that you do not take the undue advantage of their honesty and humble manners. As far as possible you can participate in the dance, music and merrymaking events that these local people organize for you while staying with them.

For detailed information, you may log in to the websites of some of the private trekking agencies that operate such trekking for you at suitable rates.

Best time

The most suitable seasons to trek through the indigenous people habitat are the months of March, May, September, and November.

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