Days: 12 / Difficulty: 3 of 5 (Moderate to strenuous)
This trip is the shortest and yet one of the most culturally and scenically striking trips in Humla. The 'Nhin'(sun) valley is reached in a day walk from Simikot at elevations between 3000m and 4100 m.
Nyinba(Nhinba), a Bhotia community(in nepali; Bara-Thapalya), inhabit this valley.(Humla Bhotia is one of the many vernacular Tibeto-Burman languages lying on the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountain range. The language is classified as: “Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bodic, Bodish, Tibetan, Central.) Nyinba ancestors moved from the north, into the Himalayas, from their arctic native place, ‘Zhang Zhung’, in the western Tibet, near Holy Mt. Kailash They moved into Humla, seeking the shelter of the Himalayan gorges. The Nyinba community consists of four villages; Tangshyod (Buraunse), Barkhang(Baragaon), Todpa(Torpa) and Nyimatang (Limatang), which are all around half to two hours walk, from the famous pilgrimage site, Raling Gompa."
The attractions are the unique village structure, the houses resembling a Buddhist Mandala and the culture, practiced within these villages that deeply carry the ancient pre-Buddhist tradition blended with the Buddhist culture and religion.
Mt Shelmogang(5300m), also known as Mount Crystal Peak, Raling Gompa and the Siddhi caves of Guru Rinpoche are some of the places to visit. The trail has been planned to visit Kharpunath temple where the Karnali from west Tibet and Chang/Dozam river meet, forming the main Karnali, the longest and holiest river of Nepal.
Itinerary in details
Day 1: 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 3: Flight Kathmandu-Nepalgunj.
To get to Humla, you have to fly to Nepalgunj first. Nepalgunj is a steaming hot city in South Western Nepal, in the lowlands of Terai, close to the Indian border, which is just 8 km away. Culturally the area more resembles India than upland Nepal. Take a cycle rikshaw for a ride in town. You pass the hustle and bustle of the bazaar and see horse carts full of colourful people going to or coming from the Indian border. The Bageshowri temple is one of Nepal’s most important Hindu temples and is worth a visit as well. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 4: Flight Nepalgunj-Simikot (2980 m); walk to Buraunse (3200 m) via Buraunse Gompa (3430 m) 3 ½ hrs
It’s a 50 minutes flight to Simikot over steep mountain ridges with beautiful views of snow-capped mountains, among which Mount Saipal (7030 m). Simikot airport is a blacktopped airstrip amidst the mountains, which guarantees a spectacular landing.Stepping out of the plane, you enter in a completely different world. From a hot city in the plains, you arrive in a small mountain village, situated in the midst of the Himalayas, breathing in crispy cold air.Simikot is the headquarters of Humla and has a mix of Hindu and Buddhist people.There is a small bazaar. Simikot has one hotel (Sun Valley Resort) and a couple of guesthouses and places to camp. From the airport you walk up through the village till you reach a water tap, which is usually quite busy with people washing or doing laundry. The trail going left is the trail leading to Hilsa at the border with Tibet. This trail is quite popular as a gateway to Mount Kailash. For the Nyinba Valley however, you head right. After about 1 ½ hour gradually climbing, you reach some prayer flags and a school. This place is called Limbuk (3227m).You leave the main trail, and go left under the prayer flags, on a small trail behind a little house. You walk on a small steep trail for a while, to the right of a fence. The trail flattens and goes through the fields at first and then along nicely smelling bushes of juniper. In front of you you can see the snowcapped mountain of Pungrikar (also called Panchauli;around 6000 m) and Cristal Peak; and behind you the Ribuche range (only snow in winter and spring). It takes about 1 to 1½ hour to Buraunse Gompa, a home with a small monastery (gompa) inside, where the priest of Buraunse lives. From here it is about 45 minutes down to Buraunse.Buraunse is a small Tibetan Buddhist village, surrounded by fields with barley and millet.The hauses are in typical Tibetan-Buddhist style, with flat roofs. There are 5 homestays in Buraunse; each of which has 1 or 2 rooms for guests. It is a great experience to stay in a homestay, as it offers you the opportunity to have direct contact with the local people and to learn a bit of how they live their daily lives. You have dinner with the family; all food is organic and quite tasty! You will be served delicious dal bath (rice with lentils), potato curry, tsampa (barley paste) buckwheat pancake, thukpa (soup with vegetables and thick wheat noodles), etc. Besides, you will be offered chang, a locally brewed beer, made of millet or barley. Be prepared for the refills, which can’t be refused! Overnight at tented camp.
Day 5: Buraunse (3200 m) to Nimatang (3325 m) 4 hrs
You leave Buraunse going down to the Ghatte Khola (river), which you cross by awooden bridge. (3050m). The trail climbs gradually and you pass the village of Langdu (3172 m). It is easy walking through beautiful countryside, with terraced hills stretching out in front of you and at the horizon the snowcapped mountains of Changla Himal (6563m) and Cristal Mountain.Once and a while you pass a small Buddhist stupa or mani wall. A mani wall is a low wall with flat stones, with Buddhist mantra’s carved into them. The most famous mantra is “Om Mani Padme Hum”, which means roughly “Blessed is the jewel in the lotus”. This mantra honors Avalokiteswara, the Boddhisatva (an enlightened being that decides to come back to the earth to help others) of Compassion.
After about 2 hours you enter the village of Thorpa (3180 m) through a Kangni (gatestupa), with beautiful Buddhist paintings inside. The Kangni protects the village from bad spirits entering. Thorpa makes for a good lunch break.Shortly after Thorpa you pass a small site, called Bhibuck Cave (a meditation cave), with next to it a huge prayer wheel. Inside the wheel, the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” is written thousands of times, so turning the wheel will make the mantra go into the universe for thousands of times as well.You pass the village of Hutick (3242 m). From here it is more or less one hour gradual climbing to the village of Nimatang (3325 m), which has a Kangni (gate stupa) at its entrance as well. Nimatang is slightly bigger than Thorpa and Hutick and is the last village before Raling Gompa. There are a few homestays. You can also pitch your tent on the roof of one of the houses! Overnight at tented camp.
Day 6: Nimatang (3325 m) to campsite Raling Gompa (3930 m) 3 ½ -4 hrs
Today you leave the countryside behind. You walk through beautiful pine forests, with lovely smelling juniper trees and bushes. The trail goes down for about half an hour to the Ghatte Khola which you cross by an iron bridge (3215 m). From here the long climb to Raling Gompa starts. It is a beautiful, small trail, climbing up gradually through the forest. You have beautiful views of the entire Nyinba Valley, with to the southwest Ribuche Moutain, the Changla Range to the southeast and Pungrikar (Panchauli) Mountain to the north.A pole with prayer flags high above you is your aim. It takes about 1 ½ hours to the pole.This place is called Tokra (3547 m). Here most Nyinba people camp during the annual Saga Dawa Festival. The Saga Dawa festival is celebrated in Raling Gompa in May. It marks both the birthday, enlightenment and passing of Sakyamuni Buddha. During this festival lots of rituals, ceremonies, and mask dances take place. All people from the valley gather in their most beautiful dress to attend the ceremonies. The Saga Dawa Festival is one of the most important Buddhist festivals. The most important place for the festival is Mount Kailash, but the festival is also celebrated in Raling Gompa. It is believed that good deeds and prayers are multiplied thousand fold during this event, so many people will be immersed in prayers and trying to appease the gods.Going up slowly, it takes another 1 ½ to 2 hours to the campsite just below Raling Gompa (3930 m). From the campsite you can see Raling Gompa being stuck to the barren rock, with behind it the beautiful Cristal Mountain. A spectacular sight!It takes about 20 minutes from the campsite to Raling Gompa (4000 m). Raling Gompa belongs to the Nyingmapa Sect of Buddhism, the oldest Sect within Tibetan Buddhism.Followers honor Guru Rinpoche (also called Padmasambava), the famous Guru who introduced Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet and neighboring countries in the 8th century.Follow the Tibetan tradition and walk a kora (circumambulation) around the monastery for 3 times, before entering. Next to the monastery you can find the famous Milarepa Cave, the cave where Milarepa used to meditate. Milarepa is one of Tibet’s most famous holy figures. He was a yogi and poet, and is generally pictured with a hand at his ear to hear the sounds of the nature, by which he got his inspiration. The story goes that Milarepa was being attacked by a demon, who threw a huge rock down at him. However,he used his extraordinary magical powers and the rock mysteriously molded around his body. In the cave you can witness the molded rock. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 7: Campsite Raling Gompa (3930 m) to Bargaun (2940 m) 4 hrs
Today you descend again, back to the iron bridge over the Ghatte Khola (about 2 hrs).You follow the river downstream. After about 15 min you pass a junction, the right trail up goes back to Nimatang. To Bargaun you take the left fork, going down. The trail goes high above the river again. It is easy walking through juniper bushes and fields. After about half an hour you pass the settlement of Nimatang Gomba (3185 m). Nimatang Gomba consists of just a couple of houses. Inside one of these houses is a small gompa (Buddhist monastery).The trail continues above the fields for a while, and goes high over a slope. It takes about 1 ½ hours to Bargaun (2940 m). Bargaun is a charming village surrounded by fields and has a few homestays. It is mostly Buddhist, but there are also Hindu people living in Bargaun. As with Nimatang you can also pitch your tent on the roof of one of the houses. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 8: Bargaun (2940 m) to Karpunath (2106 m) 3 ½ hrs
After a nice and filling breakfast of buckwheat pancake and/or potato curry, you proceed again on a small trail going down through terraced fields. After about an hour you reach Tehe (2624 m), the biggest village of Humla, with about 600 seholds. Tehe is a Hindu village. The contrast with Bargaun, which is just an hour away, is quite stunning.Whereas Bargaun is relatively wealthy, the people in Tehe are one of the poorest in Humla. From Tehe there is a trail going straight down to Gyackru Khola (river) (1-1 ½ hrs).Reaching the river, you follow it downstream to Karpunath (2106 m) (1 hr). Karpunath is located at the confluence of the Gyackru Khola (here also called the Karpu Khola) and the Karnali Khola. In Nepal, a confluence of 2 rivers means a holy place, and there is a small, simple temple which you can visit.The location of the campsite is spectacular, next to the river with steep rocks towering high above you. Behind you can see Cristal Peak, the peak towering above Raling Gompa. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 9: Karpunath (2106 m) to Simikot (2980 m) 5 hrs
The trail of today is mostly going up. For the first 2 hours it climbs gradually, following the Karnali River upstream, to the small Hindu settlement of Syamne (2347 m). From Syamne the steep climb to Simikot starts with the trail climbing zig zag over a steep slope. When you get higher, you have a beautiful view of Buraunse and the the Nyinba Valley. After 1 ½ -2 hrs you get the first views of Simikot. You enter via the bazaar (market; 2980 m) with lots of small shops. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 10: Flight Simikot-Nepalgunj-Kathmandu
A 50 minutes flight brings you back in the steaming hot town of Nepalgunj, from where you can catch a plane to Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.
Day 11: Visiting Bhaktapur, afternoon for shopping, and stay overnight in Hotel.
Day 12: 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.
Notes: The crystal peak also can be scaled, (June-October) via pilgrim trail leading to the top. It requires extra day while you reach Raling Gompa. It also can be shortened returning back from Bargaon to Simikot depending on the availability of time of the visitors.
At returning from Simikot there is the possibility to visit the Bardia Nationalpark for 2 nights/3 days please check our homepage.
Our Trek Package Cost Includes:
* Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & transfer by car / Van.
* 4 nights accommodation with breakfast at 3*** hotel in Kathmandu.
* Kathmandu city tour as per the above itinerary.
* Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with Tea & coffee and hot/cold filter water during the trek.
* Domestic flight ticket KTM/Nepalgunj/Simikot/Nepalgunj/KTM and domestic airport tax.
* 1 experienced, helpful and friendly guide, 1 cook and 1 helper, porters (1 porter for 2 peoples), their food & accommodation, salary, equipments & insurance.
* Tented accommodation during the camping trek.
* Humla-Simikot Restricted Area permit.
* All transportation by private car.
* Necessary permits.
* All Camping Equipments (Tent, mattress, dining tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent, kitchen utensils etc.)
* First Aid Medical Kit box.
* Office Service charge.
Our Trek Package Cost doesn't include:
* Any meals in Kathmandu 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 due to Natural Calamities 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
Important: 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.