Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek

Arrival City

Kathmandu

Departure City

Kathmandu

Lodging level

Accommadation: Hotel, Lodge (Tea House)

Meals

3 Course Meals

Trip Grade

Fairly challenging

Maximun Altitude

8586m

Attractions

Kanchenjunga (8586m) is world’s third highest peak

Activity

Trekking and Sightseeing

Overview

An amazing adventure that rewards you with unforgettable memories of Kanchenjunga region, the home to world’s third highest mountain!

Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek is an adventure to the base of Mt. Kanchenjunga through the less-frequented trails of eastern Nepal. Kanchenjunga (8586m) is world’s third highest peak and second highest peak of Nepal. It is located in the north-eastern part of Taplejung district. The Kanchenjunga trek traverses through the diverse landscape of Kanchenjunga Conservation Area amidst the subtropical lowlands and alpine forests with flora like rhododendrons, magnolia, orchids, and fauna like snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, red panda, and many other species. This incredible Kanchenjunga trek is a combination of tea house and camping trek with spectacular Himalayan views of many 8,000m peaks. The experience of South Base Camp is extraordinary as you will be surrounded by glaciers, lakes and mountain likes Kangbachen (7903m) and Yalung Kang (8505m) which are inside Nepal and Kangchenjunga main (8586m), Kangchenjunga central (8482m) and Kangchenjunga South (8476m) at the border of Nepal and India. This off the beaten trek in Nepal offers the unique cultural spectacle of Rai and Limbu people, the main ethnicities of the region.

Itinerary

You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your trip activities.

Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Boudhanath- the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath- the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. At Patan Durbar Square, you will delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square.

From Kathmandu you take a flight to lower land of Nepal, Bhadrapur and drive to Ilam, the heart of the tea plantation area of Nepal and stay overnight at Ilam.

After a night at Ilam, you will drive to Taplejung, your Kanchenjunga trek starting point. 5/6 hours of drive will bring you to Taplejung, Suketar. Taplejung is gateway to the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. There is Pathibhara temple where many pilgrims go to pay homage to the Goddess.

Today your trek begins and for the next three weeks you will be wandering in the places dominated by wilderness. The trail crosses the rhododendron-covered ridge and passes through DeoraliKhola and four more rivers to a pass. Descending through the forests to Lali Kharka, then continuing through fields, you reach to a Limbu village of Thembewa. After several descents for 6/7hours, you arrive at Kunjari, another Limbu village.

From here the trail passes through Bhanjyang, a Gurung settlement with several small huts. Then headed towards north just below the top of a ridge descends to the scattered village of Keswa. And you pass below waterfalls and landslides to PhunPhun. Then you descend steeply through rice terraces into a side canyon and cross a stream on a long suspension bridge. After several hours of walk you reach then to Mamankhe, a prosperous Limbu village.

Leaving behind the Limbu village,you take an easy walk to Yamphudin, a trail which is the hillside above the KabeliKhola. Yamphudin is the most remote settlement in this area and the last habitation you will see until you reach Gunsa. It is a charming place covered beneath the ridge of the DeuraliDanda.

Beyond Yamphudin you reach Omje Khola. On the way there is a couple of bamboo poles and follow the Kabeli Khola. Passing through fields of corn and barley to Darachuk, and climbing past meadows to Dubi Bhanjyang, a pass-through ferns and big trees, you reach Omje Khola.

The trail makes a steep climb through bamboo to a Kharka. After a short descent, you climb to the trail that passes through a forest of pines and rhododendrons to a pond at Lamite Bhanjyang. Then after the trail becomes pleasant. It passes through damp, orchid-filled forests, crossing waterfalls to reach Tortang.

This morning, you follow the river, passing through pine and rhododendron forests. After 5/6 hours walk, you reach Tserma where you can see the great view of mountains ranges.

A relatively short day's walk today to your stopover at Ramche. The scenery is magnificent as you ascend past the snout of the Yalung Glacier and into a series of ablation valleys. A frozen lake, crystal clear streams and views of Kokthan, Rathong and Kabru are the highlights of this walk into Ramche which is situated on a broad, flat ablation zone.

Leaving your campsite, you cross Yalung Glacier to climb onto the hill. After the short distance beyond the Chorten you see the view of Mount Jannu. You must climb down the rough hills onto the Yalung Glacier. Following Yalung Glacier, you get to Yalung Base Camp.

After exploring the base camp, you go back to Ramche following Yalung Glacier. On the way, you see juniper jungle, yak herds, and landslides. Ramche is occupied with few teashops and houses made of stones.

While trekking, you can enjoy the views of different mountains. While trekking, you pass the junction with the trail to Mirgin La. The trail goes alongside the moraine of Yalung Glacier. Somewhere during the trek, you cross the rhododendron forests and landslides.

Your descent through a flat path following a thick jungle. At a certain point your trail begins to gently ascend. After a short walk, the trail starts to descend to Omje Khola where you stop for the night.

A steep descent from your campsite brings you to Yamphudin, Yamphudin is a big town inhabited by a mixed community of Buddhists and Hindus.

You descend to the Kabeli Khola through the less dense forest and then ascend gradually to the Tenguwa Khola. The trail is on cliffs high above the river to get to Kabeli Khola, then Mamangkhe.

Leaving the Limbu village you cross several waterfalls, forest to reach Keswa which is a village inhabited by Limbu and Gurung, the ethnic groups of Nepal.

The trail is mixed with ascents and descents. As you leave the valley, you continue ascending along the ridge for about 6-7 hours to Taplejung village. You can wander around the village getting familiar with village life, cultural richness, and custom and village people. Thereafter, 2 hours of drive will bring you to Phidim where your Kanchenjunga trek concludes officially.

About 5/6 hours of drive bring you to Ilam. Ilam is famous for tea gardens. On the way to Ilam you can witness many tea farms. In Ilam you can get churpi, local tea grass and many local products.

After 3/4 hours of drive, you reach to Bhadrapur and then fly back to Kathmandu.

This is a contingency day in case of Bhadrapur flight delays. If you have free time, you can let go the strains of your trip. You can explore around the Heritage sites in the city, stroll down the streets of Thamel for local cultural experience, visit nearby monasteries, relax at a nearby spa centers or do some souvenir haunting in the local bazaar.

Our Nepali support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. Or if you prefer to stay longer you can go for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking, etc.- ask us.

General Information

TRIP GRADE – Strenuous Trek

This is a longKanchenjunga trek that goes far beyond the normal haunts of trekkers and tourists, to remote areas of the country where the landscapes are wild and untamed and the local inhabitants have seen little change in their way of life for centuries- untouched corners of an increasingly crowded planet. It is physically challenging, likely to include unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities, such as, climbing/ scrambling across high passes.

 

TREKKING TYPES

Trekking in Nepal is categorized in three different types based on their way of organization (Camping Trek, Tea House Trek and GAP Trek). Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is organized in two ways (Tea House Trek and GAP Trek) due to the abundance of accommodation facilities available in the region.

  1. Tea House Trek: This trek includes services like guide, food, accommodation in local Tea Houses and porters.
  2. GAP Trek: This trek includes services like Guide (G), Accommodation (A) in the Tea Houses, and Porters (P). Food bills are to be paid directly by the client.

 

ACCOMMODATION

You will find clean and friendly lodges along the trail of Kanchenjunga trek. You often have to share rooms but you can also stay in single rooms where possible. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric blanket, hot bags (luxury lodges) and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in a comfortable local lodge each day. The Guide coordinates with the local lodge owners to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot always be booked in advance). Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary.
In Kathmandu, we have a pool of hotels under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection to this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise, or clients have a special choice.

 

FOOD

LODGE TREK: Meals are included in our price and are taken in lodges available along the trail. You can find a considerable variety of Nepali (rice, curry & lentil, momo, noodles, chapatis etc.) and Western food (pizza, pasta, sandwich, chips, porridge, toast, pancake, soup etc) as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer). The Guide suggests you the best option as per the availability.

GAP Trek: You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around $25-$30 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.

 

WATER

On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be provided filtered water about 3-4 liters per person per day. The good thing about such water is it doesn’t smell chlorine. We normally use Sawyer Filters. However, you can also buy bottled water in tea houses. You can also bring water purification pills in case you want to drink water from local taps.

 

PERSONAL EXPENSES– MONEY TO TAKE ON TREK

Money requirement depends largely on type of trek style, duration and trekking region.
For a two-week Kanchenjunga trek, you can take about $200-$300, more if you intend to get more table drinks (alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas), souvenirs, battery charge, internet, hot shower (available in some places) etc. If you are on ‘GAP’ trek style you need to pay for all your meals. Approximately $25-$30 a day should be enough to cover your meals. We pay for your accommodation at mountain hut (tea house) along the trail and bear all the expenses of staffs assigned by us, plus extra bar bills, snacks, hot shower, battery charge, internet etc.

 

CHANGING MONEY

You can change money at a bank or the money exchange counter in city like Kathmandu. Many Tourist class Hotels have money exchange facilities. These days, there is availability of ATMs in Kathmandu.

 

TIPS

Tips are appreciated by your support team after the completion of your trekking in Nepal. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips. It is recommended that you talk to the members and hand it over individually as per the hierarchy on the last day of the trek.

 

GROUP SIZE ON FIXED DEPARTURE

If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 2 pax and the maximum is 15 people.
For a Private Booking, any number size from 1 pax to 20 pax is acceptable and can be comfortably organized. We go for special planning for handling group size bigger than 20 Pax.

 

GROUP LEADER AND CREW

We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:

1) Western leader

2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)

3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)

The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. We provide 1 porter for 2 members.

 

COMMUNICATION

For using internet during Kanchenjunga trekking, Wifi service is available in lower altitudes. You can also use Ncell and NTC network (both for internet and mobile network) but they don’t work properly in some places as you go higher. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request).

 

FLIGHT AND LAND TRANSFERS

First you get transferred from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur by flight and then you drive from Bhadrapur to Mithlung via Ilam. The starting point of the Kanchenjunga Base camp trek is Mithlung. On your return, our car/bus shall pick you from Taplejung to Ilam, from where you will continue to Bhadrapur to catch a flight to Kathmandu. We will arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu).

Note: There is a high probability of cancellation of domestic flights in remote sectors due to bad weather conditions. Hence, we advise you to keep at least one or more day extra in Kathmandu before your flight home.

 

LUGGAGE WHILE TREKKING

During Kanchenjunga trekking, your main luggage will be carried by porter. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 to 15 kgs for flight safety and porter welfare as per IPPG standard. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel in Kathmandu while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel’s safekeeping.

 

TYPICAL DAY ON TREK

Lodge/ Tea House Trek, GAP Trek

A typical day while trekking in Nepal consists of about 7-8 hours of activity. Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day’s walk. After walking for 3-4 hours, we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.

 

TREKKING GEARS & EQUIPMENT

You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack. Comprehensive list of equipment will be provided once you book your trip. It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.

 

GEARS AVAILABLE IN KATHMANDU

There are numerous suppliers of trekking gears in Kathmandu supplying genuine branded items or imitations depending on your choice and price. You can get anything from down jackets and sleeping bags to socks or thermal wears that you need for your trek. They might not be the best but good enough for the trek considering the price.

 

TREK SECURITY

Security of our clients is our foremost priority. All our guides are licensed by Nepal Government. Our guides and support crew are carefully chosen for your trips. They will ensure your safety and security throughout your trip. During your trek, you will be sleeping in local teahouses. You have to take precautions yourself at all times. Never leave your baggage unattended and keep your lodge room locked when you go out.

 

MEETING AND GREETING AT AIRPORT

 You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass the customs desk and come out of the terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.

 

TREK DURATION

We ensure liability as indicated in itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay for hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.

 

CLIMATE AND BEST TIME TO GO

The best seasons for trekking in Nepal are Autumn (from mid-September till November end), and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. The nights are cold (between -10 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 20C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon and winter is not recommended, as the visibility during monsoon is limited, upper parts and high passes could be covered with snow in winter.

March, April, October and November are the most favored months. Please choose the date that is convenient for you. 

 

ITINERARY CHANGES

The itinerary for this Kanchenjunga Base camp trek is a standard itinerary. Depending on the prevailing situation while on trek, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.

 

HEALTH ISSUES AND VACCINATIONS

As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio. The main health consideration in this Kanchanjunga Base Camp trekking is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and handle the low oxygen rate.

If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you to consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude areas before booking. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions.

 

FIRST AID KIT

We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors and a user’s manual. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have.

 

VISA

All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. You can also get “On Arrival Visa” at entry points. For doing the trek, you can come with a 30 day visa which costs US $ 50. You should have a passport size photo to get it at airport upon arrival. Some countries’ nationals need to get visa prior their arrival. Please check http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa for detailed information.

 

JOIN A GROUP OR PRIVATE TRIP

Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this Kanchenjunga trek, please check our ‘Fixed Departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues, you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 20 at a time).

If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list, we are ready to tailor your trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to meet your needs.

 

RESCUE / EVACUATIONS

We take your safety and security very seriously, and make sure that nothing untoward happen to you. However, if anything serious like sickness or a casualty occurs, we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. As you are responsible for all the expenses incurred in evacuation, please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it.

 

INSURANCE

Before joining this Kanchenjunga trekking, we recommend you take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. Our staff will collect your insurance details before you leave for the trek.

 

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

We are among the few companies in Nepal to receive Travelife Certificate Award https://www.travelife.info for our long-term efforts in sustainable practices.

 

1.Care for porters and staffs

We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions during the Kanchenjunga treks are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. All our porters carry less than 30 kg and underage porters are strictly prohibited in our operations. We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG – www.ippg.net).

 

2.Environmental Responsibility

Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible. As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have campfires and use LPG gas or kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We don’t use plastic bottles. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far eco-friendlier alternative. Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strewn with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. Our staff carry garbage bag with them all the time and collect our garbage and other litters they find on trail, and dispose them on the designated area. We also volunteer to bring garbage down to Lukla while returning back. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.

 

3.Social Responsibility

Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) has been conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal. Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agro practices and culture preservation. A certain amount of your trip money goes to these projects. For more details on our CSR initiatives, please visit https://www.explorehimalaya.com/csr/

    The Trip Cost Includes
    • Fully Catered Tented Camping trek (FOT)
    • Domestic Airfares for Kathmandu/Bhadrapur/Kathmandu
    • English Speaking local Trekking Guide and assistants as per group size
    • Porters for carrying luggage during the trek (2 members=1 porter,1 porter carries 25kg total)
    • Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit
    • 4 nights’ accommodation at 3* Hotel in Kathmandu on twin sharing with breakfast only
    • Sightseeing tour with English speaking local guide in Kathmandu as per the itinerary
    • Entrance fees to the sightseeing monuments as per the itinerary
    • Airport transfers and tour transfers in private vehicle as per the itinerary
    • Insurance for all staff & porters only
    • Equipment & clothing all staff & porters only
    • First Aid Kit bag carried by guide

    The Trip Cost Excludes
    • Nepal Visa fees
    • International flight and airport taxes
    • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu
    • Personal expenses (like, communication, laundry, bar bills, internet, camera/mobile battery recharge, hot water/shower on trek, extra meals, snacks while walking etc.)
    • Personal gears & clothing
    • Tips for guide, porters, drivers, local staff etc.
    • Personal Insurance and Medical Expenses
    • Any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/rescue due to any unforeseen reasons
    • Any other services other than mentioned under “Price Includes”

Pay Now

BOOKING PROCEDURE

Your booking of this Kanchenjunga Base camp trekking will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of $500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract. The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you cancel your booking, the following scale of charges will apply: • 2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 500) • 29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost • 10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost • Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost

TRIP EXTENSIONS

In addition to your Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan etc. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet or Bhutan, whichever seems more appealing to you.

DISCLAIMER

It is fundamental to acknowledge that Kanchenjunga trekking is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken only as a guideline. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives which will be decided upon mutual agreement. If you have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com or directly by phone: +977-1-4518100. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours.

KANCHENJUNGA REGION

Kanchenjunga region is named after the mountain Kanchenjunga, which is also world’s 3rd highest mountain. Kanchenjunga region is the border between Nepal and India. It is located in the remote northeastern corner of Nepal. Kanchenjunga Region features natural and cultural richness. It is very popular for stunning views of various high Himalayas and is popular trekking destinations in Nepal. There are various ethnic groups especially Rai and Limbu inhabiting the region. They follow their own culture, traditions and occupation.

CLIMATE, FLORA & FAUNA

The weather up in the mountainous region is quite challenging and unpredictable. The ideal weather and climate to trek in Kanchenjunga region is during spring and autumn season. Kanchenjunga Conservation Area is the habitat of a lot of endangered species like snow leopard, red panda, Asian black bear, blood pheasant, Assamese macaque, musk deer, etc. The region is also popular for a variety of butterflies and other insects. Rhododendron, orchids, lilies, primula, and around 200 different species of flowering plants are found in the region.

PEAKS

Kanchenjunga Massif
The Kanchenjunga Massif is in the form of a gigantic cross, the arms of which extend north, south, east and west. Mount Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world residing at 8586 meters above sea level. It is the second highest mountain in Nepal after Mount Everest. Kanchenjunga was first climbed on 25 May 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band, who were part of the 1955 British Kanchenjunga expedition. The name Kanchenjunga is derived from four words of Tibetan origin, usually rendered Kang-chen-dzo-nga or Yang-chhen-dzö-nga which means “Five Treasuries of the Great Snow”.

Kanchenjunga Main is the highest elevation of the Brahmaputra River basin, which forms part of the Southeast Asian monsoon regime and is among the globally largest river basins. Kanchenjunga is one of six peaks above 8,000 m (26,000 ft) located in the basin of the Koshi river, which is among the largest tributaries of the Ganges.

 

PLACES

Kanchenjunga Conservation Area
Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, established in 1997, is a protected area in the Himalayas of eastern Nepal. It covers 2,035 km2 (786 sq mi) in the Taplejung District and comprises two peaks of Kanchenjunga. In the north it adjoins the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in Tibet, and in the east the Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim. To the west it borders the Sankhuwasabha District. It ranges in altitude from 1,200 m to 8,586 m (3,937 to 28,169 ft). The landscape of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area comprises cultivated lands, forests, pastures, rivers, high altitude lakes and glaciers. Mammal species include snow leopard, Asian black bear, and red panda. Bird species symbolic of the area include the golden-breasted fulvetta, snow cock, blood pheasant, and red-billed chough.

Pathibhara Temple
Pathibhara temple is one of the most significant temples in Nepal, located on the hill of Taplejung. It is also considered one of the holy places for Hindu people. The pilgrims offer animal sacrifices, gold and silver to please the goddess. From the Pathibhara hill, which is also being developed as a natural lookout tower, the view of the beautiful gorges and the silver-shining mountain range to the north is breathtaking. Pathibhara Temple is also a side route to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek.

Taplejung
Taplejung is the third largest district that lies in the eastern region of Nepal. It is a mountainous district near Mt Kanchenjunga. Kanchenjunga Conservation area is extended to Taplejung. Forest, pastures land, rivers and high-altitude lakes, glaciers and different species of animals and plants can be seen in the area. Pathibhara Devi Temple is located in the Taplejung hill and is a sacred shrine Hindus and Limbus. It’s a major attraction of the district.

 

PEOPLE

Lepcha people
Lepcha people are among the indigenous peoples of Sikkim, India and Nepal. They speak a Tibeto-Burman language which some classify as Himalayan language. Most Lepchas are Buddhist and some of them are Hindus.

Rai
Rai are the Kirati ethnolinguistic group of people who are mainly found in the eastern parts of Nepal, some states of India like west Bengal and Sikkim and also in the southern western Bhutan. Rai are one of the dominant tribes of Kirati group. They are nature worshippers and engaged in farming. A significant number is also recruited in Gurkha army.

Limbu
Limbu or Yakthung are the Kirati people, native to the eastern Himalayan region of Nepal, and are also found in some parts of India and Bhutan. In Limbu language “Yakthung” interprets as Heroes of hills. They have their own culture and tradition that they follow. Their mother tongue is known as Limbu bhasa.

Sherpa
The Sherpa, originally from Tibet, live at higher elevations. They follow Buddhist traditions similar to Tibetans. Prior to mountaineering and trekking, the main occupation Sherpa were engaged in was trading (butter, meat, rice, sugar, and dye from India; and wool, jewelry, salt, Chinese silk and porcelain from Tibet and beyond). Now the Sherpas are known as the unsung heroes of mountain because of their amazing climbing power. In mountains, climbers and trekkers can rarely imagine doing a Himalayan adventure without their support.

 

FESTIVALS

Saga Dawa
One of the most famous and biggest festivals of Buddhist people, Saga Dawa is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor every year. The festival is very sacred for the followers of Mahayana Buddhism who commemorate Lord Buddha’s birth, his attainment of enlightenment and salvation from this corporeal world. For all travelers and cultural aficionados seeking a sneak-peek into vibrant Buddhist culture, Saga Dawa provides a perfect platform offering a visual treat of various religious ceremonies and street processions.

Pang Lhabsol
Pang Lhabsol is celebrated to offer respect and homage to the third highest mountain, Mount Kanchenjunga. Pang means ‘to witness’ and apart from paying homage it also commemorates the treaty of brotherhood among Lepchas and Bhutias.

Futuk
Futuk festival is celebrated from the fifth day of Kojagrata Purnima of Dashain till the day of Ounsi (Laxmi Puja) of Tihar. In Futuk festival, locals as well as outside guests set up tents near the monastery so that the lama could watch the dance and seek the blessings of the Lord. The festival has historical significance and is celebrated only in Olangchungola, Nepal.

Lhosar
Lhosar” means New Year. Known as the festival of mountain people or highlanders, it is celebrated by various ethnic groups following Buddhism like Sherpa, Hyolmo, Tamang and Gurung. Interestingly, these groups don’t celebrate the festival on the same day. There are three types of Lhosars namely Tamu Lhosar (Gurungs), Sonam Lhosar (Tamangs) and Gyalbu Lhosar (Sherpas and Hyolmos) celebrated on different dates based on lunar calendar starting from January to February. During the festival people offer prayers for good health and prosperity at homes and monasteries. They exchange various goods and gifts, organize feasts and perform dances.

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Anuj Pandey

+977 9801024990

sales@explorehimalaya.com

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