Days: 22 / Difficulty: 4 of 5 (Strenuous)
MUSTANG DAMODAR KUNDA
The Damodar Kunda (lake) is famous for Hindu religion, it is situated rain shadow are of High Himalayas north of Annapurna range. The elevation of the Damodar Kunda is just 4890 meters; it is cold and windy place. We will recommend to you visit during the full moon of August every year, because every year there is a big festival up there many pilgrimages Hindu and Buddhist visit full moon of August. Usually, you can visit April to September every year. Festival time will be great for visit Damodar Kund. From Damodar Kund, the views are great from some viewpoints a bit higher than the lakes, just a short climb up some of the hills. The Tibetan plateau & Damodar Himal to the north and the Annapurna Himalayan massive to the south. The Damodar lakes are located three days walk north east of the main Mustang trekking route & very close to Tibetan border. Damodar Kunda lies on restricted upper mustang between Kagbeni and Muktinath.
Damodar Himal, mountain range in Nepal Himalayas, in MUSTANG district. Includes Muktinath Himal (6,706m), Bhrikuti Peak (6,364m). There are 65 peaks in this Himal range. MARSYANGDI River takes origin from this range. If you're planning a trip to the illusive and infamous Damodar Kund here are some priceless bits of information that could be the difference between life and death, and negatively eventful pilgrimage and a relatively clear trek and pilgrimage.
Damodar Kund (Lake) situated in a basin in the Damodar Himal and flows southward through a rain shadow valley on the eastern edge of the Annapurna Range. The are two versions of the Origin of the Kali Gandaki river; One will say, the river comes from a lake near the Tibetan border by the name of Damodar-kund north east of Muktinath (a 2-3 day trip per foot away). Others will say the river appears from a crack of the Dongmar mountain north west of Lo Mantang (what is much further north than the first description) and that the waters of Damodar kund are unique to themselves. There are several lakes, the area being locally called "Charang the land of hilly lakes."
The Damodar lakes are located three days walk north east of the main Mustang trekking route & very close to the border with Tibet. From Damodar Kund, the views are great from some viewpoints a bit higher than the lakes, just a short climb up some of the hills. The Tibetan plateau & Damodar Himal to the north and the Annapurna Himalayan massive to the south. The walk to the Damodar Kund (lake) is not so difficult but quite long walking distance and only sometimes a bit steep and almost flat. Only problem is the altitude and I have been aware of this while working out the itinerary for you.
Don't take unnecessary chances, for some there is a need to worry about the altitude. However, with some for-thought if you feel you may be at risk in high altitude, with such things as breathing problems, heart problems, over-weight - blood pressure, get head aches, please see your health professional before attempting the walk. If you're healthy and fit but still worried about Altitude Sickness before leaving Katmandu arrange a Gamo Bag - Air pressure bag. The highest camp is at the Damodar Kund just 4890 meters. As Damodar kund (at 6100m = 21,000 ft approx.’) comes under the Upper Mustang region which is a restricted area, the Nepali government has an access fee for permits into the area. For many years, especially during times of India-China-Nepal troubles over Tibet you couldn't even get a trekking permit for love or money. Now permits are readily available for a pretty hefty price.
Highlights of the trip
- Visit temple, Art/architecture and Pogadas, Heritage sites in Kathmandu .
- Explore the Himalayan Kingdom.
- Interesting and picturesque places.
- Buddhist Monastery, Chorten and Mani walls.
- Tibetan life-style in refugee camps and the mystic Landscape.
- Snow capped Himalayan peaks.
- The famous Damodar Kunda, possible to festival observe if trip on full moon of August.
- Ancient and isolated villages.
- Mixed culture and purely Tibetan cultural.
- The pilgrimage site of Muktinath.
- Lake valley of Pokhara.
Itinerary in details
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrival in Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and you will be met at the airport by our representative who will be waiting with a Swiss Family Treks sign outside the terminal and transfer to Hotel by private car. Welcome drink and after you settle into the hotel there will be a group briefing with your tour leader. He will discuss the trek details and co-ordinate any last minute arrangements. Stay overnight at Hotel.
Day 2: Full Day Guided Sightseeing Tour in Kathmandu Valley by private van.
After brekafast in the hotel, Drive to Swayambhunath Stupa which is very close form the centre of Kathmandu. It takes some minutes to be there. This Temple is also known as Monkey Temple which is considered to be self made Stupa. Then visit to Boudhanath Stupa: the biggest stupa in Nepal and one of the bigger stupa in the world. You can basically experience Tibetan Buddhism, culture and way of life in Boudhanath Area. Boudhanath area is the authentic place to buy Tibetan stuffs. Again you will be visit Pashupatinath Temple and it is one of the most sacred temples in the entire Hindu world. It is a sacred place where Hindus come to die and to be cremated. The temple of Pashupatinath is a large double roofed, gilt pagoda, decorated with brass, the gateway is plated with silver. There are images of Shiva along with other statues, shrines and temples dedicated to other deities in the complex. A circuit of the Pashupati area takes visitors past a sixth-century statue of the Buddha, an eight-century statue of Brahma the creator and numerous other temples. There are rows of Shiva shrines and Hindu pilgrims from all over south Asia offering ceremonies to worship Shiva, the Lord of Destruction. Stay overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Morning fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Half day Sightseeing in Pokhara Valley with our Trekking Guide by private car. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom 2720m and trek to Kagbeni 2800m/4 hours,
Early in the morning we fly from Pokhara to Jomsom with viewing a scenic and majestic Himalayan Ranges just above the deepest Kaligandaki gorge and after arrival in Jomsom, we meet with our support staffs and will have a breakfast. After breakfast, we prepare our trail goes along the Kaligandaki River passing the Jomsom’s main village. Then, we walk on the wide bank of the Kaligandaki and move on in the wind. We have a short glimpse of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Himal. On this bank ammonite fossils are often found. From the trail on the bank, we make a small ascent and go down again, and then we reach Eklebatti. We will have our lunch there. After lunch, we continue slightly ascends and level trail until reaching Kagbeni Village, which is doorway to upper Mustang. We will visit the peculiar colors and shapes of the Chhorten and Kani in the village and ancient Sakya-Pa Sect Buddhist Monastery. From the top of monastery, we have a great view of Nilgiri Himal, Tilicho Peak and other snow-capped mountains as well as scenic terraced field. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 05: Trek from Kagbeni to Tsaile 3100m/6 hours (via Tangbe/ Chuksang),
In the morning after breakfast, we check in our restricted area permit and we are taking first step into Upper Mustang. The route will continue on the left bank of Kaligandaki with small ups and downs along the Kaligandaki River. After a long walk, we cross small stream and climb up on the terraced hill; we will come to Tangbe, the first Mustang village where the village has a medieval atmosphere. We will have our lunch here, and then we continue the trail traversing upward and will reach Chhusang village. From Chhusang, we will go back again to the river shore and move in the upstream direction of the Kaligandaki. When there is an iron bridge where Kaligandaki River runs through a tunnel built in the huge rock that blocks the river shores and just above the bridge, there is 16 small caves. After cross the bridge, we make a steep ascent onto the terrace ahead and we will reach Tsaile from where we can see the zigzagging Kaligandaki and Nilgiri Himal further in the interior. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 06: Trek from Tsaile to Syangmochen 3800m/7 hours (via Samar),
Morning after breakfast, we leave the village and climb up the unstable pebble road and will come to a plateau. We keep climbing the gentle slope and enter an area with the big canyons. We follow the trail that cut out of the cliff and after passing the canyons we will reach a small pass. Then, we move to a gentle mountain flank and continue the slightly descent and will reach Samar village surrounded by a poplar grove. We will have our lunch here. After lunch, we descend steeply to a stream, then climb up and descend steeply to another stream, then climb up to a plateau. We keep climbing up the right fork to the Chungsi-La and countering through the amazing canyons until reaching Ranchung Cave whose large stalactites resemble Rangchung (self-arisen; ie not man-made) chhorten. The Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche is said to have meditated here in 8th century during his traveling in Mustang. Himalayan griffons nest in the surrounding cliffs. After visiting the cave, we climb gradually past pasture to Syangmochen. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 07: Trek from Syangmochen to Tsarang 3560m/7 hours (via Geling, Ghami),
In the morning after breakfast, we climb up to a small pass where there is a colorfully painted square chhorten. We will see a large valley of Ghiling spreading out in front of us. We continue descending to the right towards Ghiling, cross a stream and move on along the stone walls in the farm fields. Here are two ancient monasteries and big huge chhortens and we will visit it. After visit the monasteries, we walk through the big village and climb up the gentle slope with shrubberies and will join in mail trail. From here, a long ascent continues to Nyi-La. When we cross over this pass, we will enter the center of the Mustang, which used to be called the Lo Region. We descend the gentle slope and go around the valley ahead towards the left. We will be overlooking Ghami village and we descend steep zigzag slope and will reach the village. We will have our lunch here. After lunch, we leave the village and cross a river using the suspension bridge. We climb onto the terrace and pass along the longest Mani Wall in Mustang. The effect of the erosion on the cliff ahead attracts attention by its strange forms and the varieties of colors such as red, blue, white, etc. it is like a Mandala painted on the cliff. The trail goes around to the right and a steep ascent start in rocky gully, then traverses to the Tsarang-La. On the top of the pass we find a big stone pile and the Annapurna Himal in back looks beautiful. The, we keep walking a long and gentle descent until reaching Tsarang Village. There is a huge Chhorten in the entrance of the village. This village is long greenery settlement and can see farm fields spread out and surrounded by stone walls. We also can see the Gompa, which is painted in stripes of Red, White and Black as well as can see the prominent five-storied Old Palace. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 08: Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang 3840m/4 hours,
In the morning after breakfast, we will visit the Old Palace and Ancient Buddhist Monastery which is said to be that the Tibetan Buddhism flourished in Upper Mustang from this Monastery. Then, we descend to the gorge of the Tsarang Khola, making a big traverse upstream and cross by an Iron Bridge over the River. We ascend to about the same height as Tsarang on the rocky gully. Now we enter the valley and the dirt road turns north and climbs gently to a large isolated Chhorten that marks the boundary between Tsarang and Lo-Manthang. The road crosses a stream, and then becomes a wide thoroughfare traveling across a desert-like landscape painted in every hue of grey and yellow. Finally we arrive in Lo-La from where we can see the first view of the wall city of Lo-Manthang and the player flags are flapping in the wind. A short dusty descent leads onto the plain of aspiration; the, the trail crosses a stream by wooden bridge. Now we climb up onto the plateu of Lo-Manthang, crossing an irrigation canal at the southern wall of the city of Lo-Manthang. In the evening, we meet with King of Lo and visit the insight city as well as ancient Buddhist Monasteries. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 09: Explore to the Lo-Manthang City and Hike to Surrounding mountains.
Today, we will explore eastern valley of Lo-Manthang is Chhoser, the site of Garphu and Nyaphu Gompas and some fascinating cave-dwelling structures. This is the main trading route to Lhasa. The ruins of numerous forts along the trail lend credence to this ovservation. First we descend to the small stream and cross by a wooden bridge. Then we ascend for a while and continue along the level trail until reaching Garphu and Nyaphu village. We visit the scenic Monastery situated inside the Cliff and Cave with numerous rooms, then we return back from the opposite side of the valley after passing old villages. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 10: Trek from Lo-Manthang to Yara 3900m/6 hours (via Dhi),
We start our trek after breakfast; we leave the village and keep by gently ascending until we reach Day-La with dusty trail from where the last view of the Lo-Manthang. We continue our trail for a while and follow the left trail after skipping the trail to reach Tsarang. The trail gently climbs on the ridge viewing the scenic landscapes until reaching small pass. Then, we climb down a steep and dusty descent in the narrow path. We again come to a wide plateau and descend rocky gully and knee crunching trail until reaching Dhi village. We will have lunch here. After lunch we cross by a suspension bridge over the Kaligandaki River and make a short steep climb. Then, we follow along the upstream of Puyung Khola viewing the unbelievable landscapes and innumerable caves at the stone walls until reaching Yara village. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 11: Trek from Yara to Ghuma Thanti 4800m/7 hours (via Luri Cave)
Today, we climb up to reach Luri Cave Monastery and visit that interesting Cave Monastery. After that, we follow the barren valley after crossing 5100meter pass; today we prepare pack lunch due to no appropriate cooking possibilities on the trek. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 12: Trek from Ghuma Thanti to Damodar Kunda 4890m/10 hours,
In this day, we start after breakfast, the trail continues with ups and downs. After crossing another 5600meter pass we will reach High Altitude Damodar Kunda. We need to make lunch pack due to no appropriate cooking possibilities in the trail. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 13: Exploring the high altitude Damodar Kunda/Lake, Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 14: Trek from Damodar Kunda to Ghuma Thanti 4800m/8 hours
Today, we return back all the same way passing over the 5600m high pass. The trail again ups and down same like before. We will make our lunch in some small stream in the trail. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 15: Trek from Ghuma Thanti to Yara 3900m/7 hours,
In this also we come back all the same route which before we climb up. The trail continues downhill until reaching Yara Village. We prepare our lunch on the trail. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 16: Trek from Yara to Tangye 3240m/8 hours
Today is also difficult and long day for us. Therefore we start really early in the morning. We first have short and steep ascent and then long flat way trail. Then the trail continues steep down to Dechhyang Khola which origin is from Damodar Kunda. It takes about 30 minutes. We find everywhere Saligrames (the black fossils of marine animals). Then the trail steeply ascents and leads us to the top of the pass where we have our packed lunch break, so we need to make pack lunch in Yara due to no appropriate cooking possibilities in the trail. After lunch, the trail goes up and down and then we are on a huge plateau and cross it for reaching to Tangya village. We can see several big Chhortens. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 17: Trek from Tangya to Tetang 3040m/10 hours (via Paha)
Today is also long day again. Therefore we start again really early in the morning. We leave the village, cross the suspension bridge and follow the short river route. After crossing the river, we steeply climb up to reach a small pass. Then the trail goes straight to Paha (shelter house) where we make our lunch. Here is small water tap for drinking water. After the lunch break we continue crossing many small passes until we reach the top of the hill. It takes about 2 hours. Then the trail steeply descends and we encounter strong winds until we reach Tetang village. We have a superb view of Nilgiri Himal, Dhaulagiri I, Tukuche Peak, and other snow peaks during the trail. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 18: Trek from Tetang to Muktinath 3700m/6 hours,
In the morning after breakfast, we follow our trail through the village after passing the scenic Mani walls. Then, we climb up to the wide valley. After walking the plateau, we keep ascending until reaching small pass from where we can see the high mountains and picturesque view of Muktinath. Then, we drop down to the small stream and cross by a suspension bridge. After that, we enter in the village of Chhyongar and follow the level trail until reaching Muktinath passing Kani/gate. In the evening, we explore to secret place for Hindus and Tibetan Buddhist in about 30 minutes in its compound. We can visit the 108 brass water spouts, Muktinath temple stands enshrining Vishnu, a Hindu god. When we visit to Muktinath Temple at once, we are free/salvation of escape from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Below the temple there is another Buddhist monastery where the combination of earth-water-fire that gives for Muktinath’s great religious significance. And we can also see the magnificent view of Nilgiri Himal and Daulagiri I. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 19: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom 2720m/5 hours,
In the morning after breakfast, we leave the village and drop down to Jharkot village where we visit the ancient Sakyamuni Buddhist Monastery and Traditional Medical Center. Then, we follow the dusty road trail for a while and choose short cut left trail until reaching Eklebatti where we have our lunch. After lunch, we follow again dusty and strong wind road level trail along the Kaligandaki River to reach Jomsom. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 20: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara 820m,
Early in the morning after breakfast, we fly back to Pokhara which takes about 20minutes approximately, then, transfer to Hotel in Pokhara. After lunch, we visit in and around the valley. Stay overnight in Hotel.
Day 21: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu, domestic airport pick up by private car and transfer to Hotel. Refreshment and Relax. Farewell dinner with SFT Staffs.
Day 22: Final Departure from Kathmandu
Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements and transfer to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport by our private van around 3 hours before your flight schedule and flight back to your home/other travel destination.
Our Trek Package Cost Includes:
* Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & transfer by car / Van.
* Domestic Flight Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara and domestic airport tax
* 5 nights accommodation with breakfast at 3*** Standard hotel in Kathmandu and Standard hotel in Pokhara.
* Kathmandu city tour as per the above itinerary.
* Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea & coffee and hot/cold filter water during the trek.
* Restricted area special permits (USD 500/ 10 Days) and ACAP permit and TIMS
* All transportation
* All trekking equipment (Tents and Kichten Utensils).
* 1 experienced, helpful and friendly guide, 1 cook and 1 helper, 1 sherpa, porters
(1 porter for 2 peoples), their food & accommodation, salary, equipments and
* Annapurna conservation permit and all necessary permits.
* Office Service charge.
* Guide & support staffs insurance and salary
Our Trek Package Cost doesn't include:
* Any meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara other than breakfast.
* Travel insurance.
* International air fare to and from Nepal.
* Nepal Tourist Visa fees.
* Items and expenses of personal nature.
* Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, snacks, laundry, phone call, internet.
* Personal Trekking Equipments.
* Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
* Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, domestic flight delays,political disturbance, and strikes etc.
* Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
* Horse renting and additional porters during the trek.
* Tips for guide, porters, driver...
Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory.
Customize Your Trek: This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailormade”. The trek package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste, For more information please e-mail us at email@example.com
NOTE: In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss Family Treks & expedition GmbH. The charges must be paid by the clients themselves.