Dolpa region Dolpa is the biggest district of Nepal lies in the Karnali provenance and Dunai is the headquarter. Dolpa is derived from the Tibetan word Dhol- pa in the local dialect and is connected to the rest of Nepal via Juphal airport. There are no precise population numbers for the region, with estimates including less than 50000. The remote region has preserved its Tibetan culture in relatively pure form, making it attractive to westerners. Dolpa was the location for the 1999 oscar-nominated film Himalaya(French-Nepalese movie Himalaya which gives insight into the local customs, was the first Nepalese film to be nominated for an Oscar award and also a huge success in Nepal itself, drawing the country's attention to this region) and more recently for the german documentary Dolpo-tulku. The Upper Dolpo trek route usually goes above 4000 meters and also explores the isolated places above the Phoksundo National Park.
This trail takes you through ancient paths created by Tibetan salt traders crossing high passes, steep valleys, Tibet villages settlement, lush green forest, and arid landscape. The route also passes through several picturesque traditional villages like Dunai, Chhepka, Jharana hotel, and Shyanta. You also trek past the beautiful valley of Tarap Chu and the village of Dho Tarap surrounded by a jagged stone wall. As well as being a remote district, the Tourism industry in Dolpo is not what it is in much of Nepal, and it is a kind of campaign trek so food and other accommodation must be carried by self. The trek is about four weeks so it is challenging and consequently you cannot trek in Upper Dolpo independently. Kang La Pass is the highest pass in this biome i.e 5,151m. It is the connection point of the Phoksundo valley and it takes you to the ancient Shey Gompa situated on the foot of the holy Crystal mountain, which is one of the main attractions of inner Dolpo. It allows trekkers to traverse through the unexplored land of Dolpo and to experience the purity of Tibetan Buddhism practiced widely in the area.
Dolpa region is a distant region of Nepal and the central point of this area is Shey Phoksundo National Park. The east and south of Dolpa are surrounded by the Dhaulagiri and Churen Himal ranges and to the west is the Jumla district. Trekking to Upper Dolpo offers you the remarkable and breathtaking experience of a lifetime. The notable features seen here are snowy peaks, ancient and remote villages, rich wildlife, lovely Buddhist monasteries, and wonderful lakes. The people of this area are simple and warm-hearted with an enthralling culture and traditions. The cultural traditions of this area are basically linked with Tibetan culture. It is surrounded by Himalayan mountain chains including the Dhaulagiri(8,172). These cloud barriers cause a semi-arid climate, with reported annual participation of less than 500mm. The crops like barley, buckwheat, millet, mustard, wheat, potatoes, radishes, and spinach can be found.
Throughout the trek, you get to visit many ancient monasteries as you ascend and descend from the open valley with the dry and barren landscape to vegetation, an old fortress, terraced field, and abundant wildlife (Snow leopard, blue sheep, Tibetan sheep, musk deer, Ghoral, Himalayan black-beer).
The Dolpo are generally adherents of Bon-PO, a religion where origins predate Buddhism but whose modern form is officially accepted as a fifth school of Tibetan Buddhism. The remote region has preserved its Tibetan culture in relatively pure form, making it attractive to westerners.
Permits are quite expensive. The trek is lengthy as trails are difficult, high, steep, shaky, and sometimes barely there. Long walking days at high altitudes are the norm with several high passes to cross, but for those with the stamina, fitness level, and sheer willpower, this trek is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trek.dolpo biome is also known as SHangri-la village for the trekkers.
Highlights of Upper Dolpa Trek
- Explore mesmerizing Shey Phoksundo Lake, which is crucial for its crystal clear water and turquoise shape.
- A unique camping experience together with the various landscapes of the area and its hidden treasure.
- Buddhist holy place, Crystal mountain, and Shey Gompa observe the unique Bon Buddhist culture.
- High passes over 5000 meters extraordinary mountain views, meet locals and visit monasteries.
- Visit the medieval village of Saldang and nomad camps at Dho Tarap, the highest human settlement in the world.
- Explore diverse flora and fauna in the Shey Phoksundo National Park.