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2 weeks ago

Prospective Upper Helambu Circuit 

  • Kanchi Dolma Hyolmo and Sanjib Gurung

Kathmandu: Recently, we have returned after exploring the new route of “Upper Helambu Circuit” in Helambu.  Even though there are several trekking routes in Helambu, the devastating earthquake in 2015, the ongoing development works, and new roads being constructed many of these trekking routes have been damaged.

The new trekking route begins from Chomathang which is 80 km far from Kathmandu. Chomathang is the first camp for most travelers. The travelers can move to Aama Yangri the main tourist destination in Helambu, which is also popular for Buddhist pilgrims.

Aama Yangri is located at 3700 meters in height and pilgrims can worship at the peak of Aama Yangri and go ahead. This destination is suitable for acclimatization too. Dukpu is the second camp which is also a sacred place for Buddhist people. It is elevated at 4000 meters. Hundreds of pilgrims visit this place every year.

The route from Dukpu goes to Gyanjala pass which connects to Langtang and Bemathang. Bemathang located at a height of 3600 meters can be reached in 2-3 hours by walking.  Bemathang is also a religiously sacred place for visitors. It is a big plain area. Its length is almost one and a half kilometers. This is the place where Jhatta Rimpoche had meditated for 14 years. So, a Chorten has been built here in his memory.

The next camp from here is Gubula situated at a height of 4000 meters where many cattle sheds are found at present. Then we reach Pokhari. From Pokhari leaves one route for Melanchi Gyang and one route for Thadepati.

After walking for nearly one hour one can reach the upper Semi Sidang pass. Helambu rural municipality has explored this Semi Sidang pass and opened routes to connect to Ghodatabela of the Langtang region.

After that from Lebarma we can reach Thadepati by walking for nearly 6 or 7 hours. Lodges are available here from where you can view mountains such as Jugal ranges and Dorje Lakpa. Then we can reach Ghoptegyang which can be reached in 4-5 hours. Great Trail is being constructed at Ghoptegyang which is as long as 60 km that covers the eastern region of Helambu. Ghoptegyang is the last camp of this trekking route from where Kathmandu can be reached in 5-6 hours via vehicle.

The possibility of Upper Helambu Circuit is very prospective because Helambu can be reached via vehicle from Kathmandu in 3-4 hours. The tourists in this route can experience various new things such as view of Jugal ranges, Ganchherpo, various other mountains including major and minor passes above 3500 meters.

This new route offers chances for tourists to cross not even one or two but four to five passes. It is significant for religious pilgrimage too.  It is one of the tourist destinations and the abode of various local deities and is famous for Dhuppu, Ama Yangri, Bemathang, Chhuyalagyaljan, Chhuyalagyaljan is considered to be the main source of Melamchi water.

Bemathang can be used as a base camp for Upper Helambu. A new mountain peak located at a height of 5800 meters locally known as Ama Pangrima was also explored recently.  Bemathang and Tsu Yanla Geden can be good destinations to climb various mountain peaks in Helambu too.

In the past, there was only one pass known as Gyanjala pass to reach Langtang but today we have Semi Sidang pass and one more pass from Dukpu to reach Langtang. The same route can also be used to reach Gosainkunda too which is one of the short routes.

At the same time, the shortest route to connect Kathmandu to Lantang is via Kathmandu-Melamchi Gyang-Le Brma-Semi Sidan pass and the next camp of Ghodatabela of Langtang can be reached. Helambu is a tourist destination where various tourism activities can be done, such as canyoning, mountaineering, trekking, and paragliding.

Kanchi Dolma Hyolmo is the first Mt. Sagarmatha (Everest) summitter from Hyolmo community and Sanjib Gurung is a mountain guide. 

– All Photos by Sanjib Gurung

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