Langtang Valley Trek with Ganja la Pass
The Langtang valley is aptly called ‘the valley of glaciers’. Here, mountain rise, soaring towards the sky. The valley offers pine forest, swift mountain streams, rugged rock and snowcapped peaks, grassy downs and meadows strewn with daisies and wild primal. A variety of sights including Buddhist monasteries, a cheese factory, yaks, glaciers and mountain lakes make this trek an exciting one. This trek offers the experience of being in a typical Sherpa village and many ancient monasteries. It is a golden chance to learn about life in our villages.
You follow a rugged trail with dramatic views; to the west Himal chuli (7893m) Manaslu (8156mm) and Ganesh Himal (7406m). On a clear day, even the Annapurna range can be seen rising up behind and to the north across the valley is Langtang Lirung. You pass a few huts in the high picture of Laurebina, cross a small ridge and have our first views of the holy lakes. There are about a dozen lakes in the Gosainkunda Basin, the main three being Saraswatikunda, Bhairabkunda, and Gosainkunda. According to legend, Shiva created Gosainkunda when he pierced a glacier with his trident to obtain water to quench his thirst after having swallowed a poison that threatened to destroy the world.
This trek brings you to the Langtang Valley surrounded by Himalayan Peaks. Langtang Lirung-7240m and Ganesh Himal are the highest in the region. Trek up to Kyanjingompa and excursion to Tshergo Ri would acclimatize you well for further trek to Ganja La pass. The trek then turns straight south into the valley of Helambu via the Ganja La pass which is more exciting and challenging as well.
Drive from Kathmandu to Dhunche (1966m.) which takes about eight hours. You head north out of Kathmandu driving through scenic foothills and ridgeline vistas to Dhunche. The first part of your drive upto Trishuli Bazaar is quite smooth. The path now moves along the gravel road. During the rainy season, the way is sometime blocked due to landslides. Your drive from Kathamandu to the destination is to be made by either local bus or land cruiser.
Trek from Dhunche to Syabru Gaon (2581m.) which takes about five and half hours. Trek to Syabru Gaon (6950ft, 2120m). The trek today is very leisurely through forests and terraced hill slopes. As you enter Syabru, you descend to the ridgeline that separates the Langtang Khola from the Trisuli River. Syabru is a beautiful village stretched out along the ridgeline. You will continue through the village to your campsite about fifteen minutes beyond on the slopes below the village. The sunset is spectacular; brilliantly backlighting the houses perched on the ridgeline above. From here you can enjoy spectacular view of Lantang Lirung (7245m.), Tibetan Himal ranges and so on.
Trek from Syabru Gaon to Lama Hotel (2470m.) and it takes about five hours. The trail descends along the ridge on Syabru's main street and then drop to the Ghopche Khola (2050 m.) and again descends to the Landslide (1810m.). Afterwards, you trek ascends gently to Rimche (2400m.) through Bamboo (1960m.) and at the end your trail is level to the Lama Hotel. En route you could see red pandas, monkey and bear if you are lucky. There are few lodges and shops which provides the trekker supplies.
Trek from Lama Hotel to Langtang village (3430m.) via Ghore Tabela which takes about six hours. As you continue climbing there are occasional glimpses of Langtang Lirung between the trees. At Ghora Tabela [3000m], the trail emerges from the forest. While walking here, you can catch a glimpse of white monkeys and local birds. Once there was a Tibetan resettlement project here, but now it is a Nepalese army post though it has no permanent inhabitants. The trail continues to climb gently and the valley widens, passing a few temporary settlements used by herders who bring their livestock to graze in the high pastures during the summer months. There is a monastery which we can visit shortly before arriving at the village of Langtang, the headquarters of the Langtang National Park. The houses of Langtang and its neighbouring villages are of the flat-roofed Tibetan style, surrounded by stone walls enclosing fields of buckwheat, potatoes, wheat, turnips and barley.
Trek from Langtang Village to Kyangjin (3870m.) which takes about three hours. The trail climbs gradually through small villages and yak pastures as the valley opens out further and the views become more extensive. After crossing several small streams and moraines, the trail reaches the settlement at Kyangjin. Here there is a small monastery and a government-operated cheese factory. We should arrive at Kyangjin by lunch time allowing time to acclimatise and explore the area. It is a dramatic setting, with snow covered peaks surrounding us in all directions. At this point, you can enjoy the panoramic view of Dorje Larpa (6990m.), Langtang Ri (6370m.), Langtang Lirung (7245m.) and so on.
Rest day at Kyangjin Gompa and excursion in and around. This is day to rest and explore the area. You can visit the monastery and the cheese factory, walk up the moraine to see the spectacular ice faces and tumbling glaciers of Langtang Lirung or ascend Kyangjin Ri [4350m], directly behind the village, for a breath-taking panorama of the Langtang peaks.
Trek and climb up to Tserko Ri (5033m.) and trek back to Kyangjin Gompa which takes about seven hours. This you trek through steeply ascent path all the way to the top. The path you follow is rocky and you pass through small bushes along side. You can see Himalayan peasants, Himalayan deer and outstanding views of surrounding peaks and mountains. From Tserko Ri, you are quite captivated by the panoramic views of Sisapangma, Langshisa Ri, NayaKang, Yala peak, Langtang Lirung and many others.
Trek from Kyanjing Gompa to Ngegang (4000m.) which takes about five hours. There you can not see any villages. The trail goes on ascending and area is covered with little natural vegetation. Since there are not available any lodge, you need to camp.
Trek from Ngegang to Keldang (5106m.) via Ganja La (5100m.) which takes about five and half hours. This day is comparatively strenuous as you need to cross the Ganja la pass. On the Ganja la pass, you can find it covered with snowy ice most of the times through out the year. You need to camp. Day 10 Trek from Keldang to Dukpu (4080m.) which takes about five and half hours. Your camping site will be inside the forest. This day will be long day walking along ridge, grassland with amazing views of Mountains.
Trek from Dukpu to Tarkeghyang (2740m.) that takes approximately five hours. The trail descends about 200mtrs, climb the 4100m pass. Views from Pass are spectacular to the Annapurna Region and Mt. Everest region too. From pass trail descends through pine forest, rhododendron forest past tiny herder’s settlement to Tarkeghyang. You can visit one of the oldest Buddhist monastery and Sherpa villages. These villages are well settled where friendly and cheerful natured people inhabit.
Trek from Tarkeghyang to Shermathang (2621m.) which takes about four hours. This day the trail is quite easier through flat land with beautiful forests on the way. You trek on crossing some small streams on the way. There is situated a beautiful village on the half way to Shermathang. To add your joy, Shermathang is another pretty Sherpa village where you can visit many ancient monasteries. There you can see Jugal Himal range at the north face of Shermathang village.
Trek from Shermathang to Melamchi Pul Bazaar (846m.) and it takes approximately five hours. The trail gradually descends all the way to Melamchi Pul Bazaar through meadows ad cultivated fields. On the way, you come across several old villages with their own particular tradition. Walking this day is quite pleasant with mountain views and interaction with local and friendly people.
Drive from Melamchi Pul Bazaar to Kathmandu which takes about six hours. You travel through gravel and bumpy path up to Lamidanda and then you follow the pitched road up to Kathmandu.