The Shangrila Trek, is a newly opened trail which reminisces about how Maoist combatants fought People’s War in Central and Western Nepal. On Guerrilla trekking visitors will see the remnants in some conflict areas particularly in Myagdi, Rukum and Rolpa districts where Nepal’s ten years conflict (from 1996 to 2006) was rampant between Nepalese Army and the Maoists. In the present context, this historic trail is named ‘Guerrilla Trekking’ and has been promoted as ‘War Tourism Product’.
Myagdi, Rukum, and Rolpa districts are the homeland to many Maoists combatants as well as they are abundant in wide-ranging natural resources and biodiversity. 60% of Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve lies in Rukum. Here one can explore waterfalls, rivers, caves, and beautiful lakes and the eye-catching, sublime Himalaya to the north. Along the trail, one can experience immense peace, the beauty of nature and warm hospitality of the friendly locals.
Guerrilla Trek begins in Beni, where the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri treks begin and end in Sulichaur. The trekking trail passes through the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve and goes on up to Rukum and Rolpa districts.
Trek Himalayan has launched Guerrilla trekking as a promotional new trekking product for researchers and travelers around the world with great opportunity to explore the Post Conflict territory, encounter the real guerrillas who were recruited at the People’s war and share their experiences.
Arrive at the (TIA) Tribhuwan International Airport where you will be welcomed by Trek Himalayan representative and transferred to your hotel if you have booked Airport Pickup facility at the time of booking your trip. Otherwise our representative will meet you at the hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free until evening when you’ll enjoy a welcome drinks with your guide and introduce each other. Overnight in Kathmandu
Hotel Accommodation (Kathmandu)
Harati Manor Inn [or similar standard]
This is an example of the hotel we may use in Kathmandu city. Your actual hotel will be specified when your booking is confirmed. Please check your email or booking confirmation.
Today our representative will work on all necessary permits and transportation confirmation.
After breakfast around 7 o’ clock in the morning we drive to Beni passing through Phedi and Nayapul (trekking starting points for the Annapurna Sanctuary and Circuit treks) on the way. The journey takes up to ten hours or more.
Beni is 8 miles (13 km) from Pokhara. Beni (2705 ft, 823 m) lies in Dhaulagiri zone at the con¬uence of the roaring Kali Gandaki River and the Myagdi Khola and is the District headquaters of Myagdi. It is a hub for trans-Himalayan trade and for travelers heading northward along the western half of the Annapurna Circuit. Beni was selected for attack by the Maoists on March 20, 2014. Nearly 6,000 Maoists (3,000 soldiers and equal number of support sta ) descended on the town under cover of darkness. The attackers incurred 109 casualties over 200 injuries and of 120 police on duty, 20 died in combat and 34 were captured and later released for bounty, a nearby army unit su ered 13 losses. The district headquarters building was razed during the attack and a statue of King Mahendra was toppled and demolished. Capturing a major district center close to the city of Pokhara was a momentous achievement by the Maoists that jolted the nation. Most of the guerrillas gathered in Dhorpatan and came to Beni for the raid following the trail described below.
Leaving Beni, we head for Darbang which takes about 7-8 hours walk past scenic villages and accommodation along the way. The route follows a road up the Myagdi River and a river side hot springs. The rough road heads to the west along the north bank and can take two or more hours if intact, but likely you will have to cross steep sections on foot and change to vehicles waiting on the other side.The market area and lodges of Tatopani (2920 ft/ 890 m) and hot springs lie below the motor road near the riverside. The road after Babiachaur (3220 ft/980 m) passes a steep section prone to landslide which might necessitate crossing on foot to meet a vehicle at the other side for continuing to Darbang.
During the Beni raid, Maoists maintained a week long blockade at Lamputa, 5-10 minutes beyond Babiachaur, and allowed no one into or out of the area.Maoists controlled much of the area west of Babiachaur and constructed the section of road between Babiachaur to Darbang.We nally reach to Darbang (3510 ft/ 1070 m) which lies at the junction of two river valleys and has been a commercial nexus for transition of goods between Myagdi with Dolpo, Rukum and Baglung districts. The settlement has many shops and simple lodging for overnight camp.
From Darbang, the road heads west to Bhurtibang but although built, no vehicles use it for lack of a bridge. Another road is being pushed north towards Dhorpatan but much work has to be done including bridges over the Myagdi and Dang rivers. Until connections are erected, vehicles cannot ply beyond Darbang on the east side of the Myagdi River. A road continues on the west side of the river to Morang Village perched on a shelf above the valley. From Darbang, you will cross the Myagdi River to the northwest and catch an inspiring although brief glimpse of snowy peaks as you start over the bridge.
On the other side is a small nettle (allo) cloth production facility. Bolts of natural cloth made here are sold to regional tailors and pashmina wool is also processed in lesser quantity.We head north past Devisthan in 15 minutes. The Dhaulagiri Range begins to peek over the high hills as you advance to Phedi with food and lodging. Cross the Dang Khola on a suspension bridge and begin a steep climb with excellent preliminary views of the mountains along the way to Dharapani (5120 ft/1560 m), reached in 1 ½ hours. Dharapani is an idyllic hamlet with broad mountain vistas. Several hotels and solar power are available here that might attract trekkers for a pleasant stopover. We gently ascend to equally magni cent place called Takam (5500 ft/ 1675 m) in another 45 minutes for overnight camp
From Mattikhanna we descend directly to Sibang. If we come from Takam, we pass through Sibang (5510 ft/ 1680 m) in 30 minutes, where food and lodging is available. We reach a junction in 15 more minutes. To the right (north) diverges a route that circumnavigates the world’s 7th highest peak, Dhaulagiri, and crosses high passes along the way (technical skills, crampons and ice axes as well as sufficiency in food, shelter and fuel are necessary and a knowledgeable guide is recommended) and emerges near Tukche and Marpha along the Kali Ghandaki River in the west valley of the Annapurna Circuit.
We stay left (north west) to continue to Dhorpatan by ascending to Macchim (6185 ft/1885 m) in 10-15 minutes. We make round a ridge to the Dar Khola Valley and descend to Gatte Khola Village (5825 ft/ 1775 m) in another 15 minutes. Stay right as you leave and contour to the rst houses of Phalegaon in 5-10 more minutes. Contour below the main village of Muna and cross the Dar Khola to its north bank in 30-45 minutes and head left (west).Within 30 minutes we cross a tributary called the Narja Khola, over a suspension bridge near a magni cent waterfalls. Climb to the large village of Lum-sung (7180 ft, 2190 m) in 45 more minutes, with tea shops and simple inns. From Lumsumg, we descend again and cross the Dar Khola in 20 minutes and ascend to Moreni (7465 ft/2275 m) in 30-40 more minutes.
This will be a long day trek with least facilities en route. We begin our trek early in the morning carrying snacks with us. We pass the upper houses of Moreni in 45 minutes. After 30-45 more minutes, we cross a ridge near a chautaaraa as the snowy mountains appear through the trees. We reach Jaljala Pass (11, 200 ft/ 3414 m) and a long, wide grazing meadow in 2-2 ½ more hours.
The expansive views are astonishing. Herders occupy this high, broad meadow during the rainy months and a seasonal tea shop might be in operation.Gradually we descend through another large pasture meadow in 45 minutes and cross the Uttar Ganga River which will be followed on its right bank all the way to Dhorpatan. Pass through a magni cent valley which will be extravagantly covered in ¬owers during summer and post monsoon. As you continue further, much of the area has been scorched by wild re and is slow to recover. The trail passes through rhododendron, pine and juniper trees. Then, we reach seasonally occupied goTh (herders huts) in 1 ½ hours.
The extensive pasture area of Gurjaghat (9,890 ft/3015 m) is another hour walk without lodge facilities. It will be bustling with livestock and the lowlanders who tend to them during the monsoon. Lodges in Gurjaghat and beyond do not have signs and you will have to ask the locals.After the Maoist raid on Beni, the army pursued the guerrillas and blocked retreat at Niseldhor, a day’s walk to the west. Guerrillas ¬ed north to Maikot from this point as well as heading north from Chhentung and Syal Pake, hamlets that lie ahead. Overnight in camp
Within 30 minutes the trail branches to the right to detour up a tributary to cross a suspension bridge 10-15 minutes upstream and then returns for 10 minutes back down the tributary. Notwithstanding the detour, the direction of the route is straight and to avoid the deviation to the suspension bridge, keep straight and wade through ice-cold waters to meet the trail on the other side. Then, we continue our trek through Khalta Kulte in 30 minutes and make a short ascent to Chhentung (9660 ft/ 2945 m) with comfortable lodging in another 15-20 more minutes. From Chhentung it is a gentle walk of 30-45 minutes to Chisapani. We continue our trek through rangeland with seasonally occupied dwellings and pass a settlement of Tibetans with an unoccupied Kagyu lineage gomba 10 minutes above the trail that has a strikingly impressive mound of mane stones stretching behind it. Overnight camp
From the former airstrip we ascend to the shelf to the northwest and pass a police post to continue through Syal Pake and stay left at a junction in 15-20 minutes before descending to a bridge over the Uttar Ganga in 45 minutes (the trail on the other side of the bridge leads to Bobang, Burtibang, and Baglung; vehicle service is available at Bobang, a half day’s hike away). Head west along the river’s right bank (facing downstream) and pass through the rst dwellings of Bhuji to cross the Bhuji Khola and more of this settlement in 45 minutes. Continue to Kanga and cross the Kanga Khola in an additional 30-45 minutes. We gradually ascend through Masa with abun-dant apple orchards in 45 minutes, crossing the Masa Khola mid-village. Then, we pass through the few houses of Gaba to a bridge to the left bank of the Uttar Ganga at Niseldhor (8595 ft/2620 m) with shops and basic lodging in 1 ¼-1 ½ more hours. Overnight camp
The seasonal settlement of Niseldhor extends 20 more minutes beyond the bridge. Contour high above the river through a magni cent, isolated forest where water may be scarce until reaching a cement water tap near the junction with a another valley high above the river in 2 ½ -3 hours (on the way. We pass through Kore Dharamsala and upper Damchan to descend to lower Damchan in 1 ¾ -2 more hours.
Ghumilibang is the settlement across the valley and location of a Christian church built by a foreign missionary who lived in Taka village for many years with his family.Cross the Damchan Khola and the trail is much nearer to the banks of the Uttar Ganga now. The river here is popular for trout shing by locals between March and April. We pass through Korelibang before reaching Upallo. A bridge is 15 minutes downriver (Tallo “Lower” Sera is just beyond the bridge on the left bank and a motor road is being pushed to Tallo Sera from Kankri Village). We cross to the right bank to reach the large settlement of Taka, a large community with closely interconnected homes, 15-20 minutes from the bridge. Overnight cam
This section is physically strenuous and the path can be di cult to follow. We start early in the morning carrying snacks as it is a long day of hiking through isolated areas. From Taka it is a 15-20 minute stroll to a bridge over the Uttar Ganga River and along the way pass by a Shiva Temple near a police post and another whitewashed shrines above that is feted during festivals.
From the west end of Sera, we follow a trail that ascends steeply into the gulley to the south. The hill becomes nearly a 45o incline. Climb to cross a ridge with a bird’s eye vantage of Taka and Bacchigoan far below to the north. Then, we descend to a stream and follow the route south up the valley and cross another bridge and ascend the hill on the other side while following upstream above the tributary. Keep climbing southwest to a stone gate-way at Tila Pass (9860 ft/ 3005 m) in 1 ½ more hours. From the pass, Lukum Village can be made out far below to the southwest. We descend steeply into a gully along the Jhari Khola to Lukum (6875 ft/2095 m) in 1 ¾ hours and overnight camp.
The village is inhabited largely by Magar and Kami caste. The French anthropologist Anne de Sales lived in Lukum for several years and has written extensively on the Kham Magar people and their unique culture and traditions. Lukum is well-known for Shamanism and hosts a large, lively gathering of Shamans between July and August with ritual singing, chanting, drumming and dancing.
Again, this section is physically strenuous and the path can be di cult to follow. Leave early and pack food for along the way. From the west end of Lukum, we follow the trail to the west and within 5 minutes keep to a lower, left-hand trail (the upper branch continues to a road at Kankri Village, also famous for Shamanism and home to a Kham Magar museum, and site of the death of Dhanmaya Shrestha in March 1996, considered the rst female Maoist killed during the con-ict). We descend to cross the Sedabang, aka, Lukum, River on a log bridge below a school in 10 minutes. Then, we head into the canyon to the south to follow the Ruji Khola River upstream. We will pass below Ruji Khola Village and the valley bottom trail can be a bit of a scramble. After 1-1 ½ hours, we reach a tributary that comes in from the west.
We ascend from the Ruji Khola along this tributary up the gully to the right. The path can be overgrown with vegetation as it climbs to the gateway, Syaubari (“Apple Orchard”) Pass (8780 ft/ 2670 m), in 1 ½ hours. (A ve- minute ascent to the south of this gateway leads to an open ridge that provides commanding views of the surrounding valleys as well as Mount Sisne and a short cut route to Thawang that is not recommended without a guide). Leave Rukum district behind as you cross through the gateway into Rolpa District and the Mangra Khola valley to the west. The trail reaches the valley ¬oor and crosses the Mangra Khola in 1 ½ -1 ½ hours to the left bank (facing downstream). We continue downstream and the trail is pleasantly level as the stream drops below the path. Pass several tributaries and a power plant and after 30 minutes, the Mangra Khola Valley opens to the wider Thawang Khola Valley.
The trail heads east up this valley and crosses more tributaries to a new bridge over the Ri Khola. We ascend stone steps to be greeted by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao at the top, a giant, black and white mural at the entrance to Thawang (6480 ft/ 1975 m) in 30 minutes. Thawang is one of the oldest communist centers in western Nepal and experienced some of the heaviest ghting during the war when army helicopters frequently arrived in waves of 3-4. Many dwellings were burned to the ground and destroyed at that time, and recently, the settlement has seen many improvements and the lanes of this village are uncommonly wide. The village is made up chie¬y of Dalit and Magar. Overnight in camp
This will be yet another long day over a remote, high pass. We begin our trek early in the morning carrying some snacks. We cross the Daut Khola on the way east out of Thawang, and after crossing the next tributary, the Fiba Khola, the path diverges. The main route to Jaljala continues across the Rachibang Khola (northeast or left) and the Gong Khola (southwest or right). We ascend, to a ridgeline that straddles both streams to a pair of Dharma-sala (rest shelters) and Chautaaraa (6970 ft/ 2125 m), 1 ½ hours from Thawang. The route to Jaljala Pass, high above to the south, heads right.
From the two Dharamsala and Chautaaraa, we continue high above the Gong Khola before dropping rather gradually to cross it (7330 ft/ 2235 m) in 30 minutes. Again we ascend uphill from the west side of the river. Just above are two dwellings of Tejibang, and on the ascent pass a goTh (herders huts) at Bedi Kharka and rest area of Harpinang before reaching Jaljala (10140 ft/ 3090 m), an open grassland, seasonally inhabited by herders in 2-2 ½ hours. There are many goThs and two small, rock built temples as well as a stone walled, central pond. We ascend any of the smaller hills to improve views of the snowy Himalayan peaks. The area and environs was a former highland training ground for guerrillas. Dharampani, the name of a ridge top (11,572 ft/ 3527 m) to the southwest, has a Maoist memorial.
The trail continues to the southeast, passing a newer, multi-storied temple, Bujuthan, with three water taps, to a stone-laid path in 20 minutes. 5 minutes up this path is Bhangma Pup (“Torch Cave”) a large cavern that also serves as a shrine. We continue to follow the stone-laid trail down to cross the Galphu Khola and ascend to the southeast. The stream drops below as the trail contours with minor ups and downs, passing through two boulders, referred to locally as Paramsori Dhoka (“Gateway of the Sun God”) before descending steeply along the Jumja Pakha (“Zigzag Slope”) to cross again the Galphu Khola in 1 ½ – 1 ¾ hours. Contour through an area known as Sukulbang and the rst houses of Jemthan and another cluster of homes known as Sirbang (6925 ft/2110 m) in 1 ¼ hours. Overnight camp
From here, Jelbang can be seen below to the south. Contour through a slide area and follow a ridgeline steeply down, passing Nimkung, a legendary location where a bear was long-ago known to hibernate, to cross the Naibang, aka, Jelbang, Khola in an hour. Ascend to the left (downstream) to Jelbang (5370 ft/ 1635 m) in 5 to 10 minutes, the site of a skirmish between the Army and Maoists in 2002. The German aid organization, Deutsch Gesellschaft fur International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), has an outpost here. Overnight camp
We descend from Jelbang and cross a tributary to then follow the Naibang, aka, Jelbang, Khola downstream on the right (south) bank. We cross a suspension bridge in 15 minutes and pass Rulbang and follow the valley downstream as you contour around many tributaries en route. Cross a ridge named Kenganath Chheda, also known as, Are Bhanjyang (4085 ft/ 1245 m) with a tea shop in 3 more hours to the Lungri River Valley. We follow the road down all the way to Sulichaur (a shortcut drops down to the road from the right of the shop at the pass). Sulichaur (2275 ft/ 830 m) has several hotels and many facilities and is 2-2 ½ hours downstream along the road. Overnight camp
Today we catch a night bus to Kathmandu, a 13-14 hour journey depending on route and traffic conditions. We reach the large town of Bhalubang at Mahendra Rajmarg, the main east-west highway of Nepal, 50 miles (80) km from Sulichaur. From Bhalubang there is frequent bus service to Kathmandu, Pokhara and other destinations
Our representative will transfer you to the international airport for your onward journey…
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the airport or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph.
* Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).
On arrival in Kathmandu, our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our pre-booked hotel. There won’t be any activity on this day. We will host a pre-trip meeting at the hotel lobby on the 2nd day of your itinerary in the evening. It will be an opportunity for you to meet your trekking guide and introduce each other. The guide will brief you about the trek and check your gear to ensure the smooth running of your trekking trip.
We organize this trek away from the more frequented trails and provide a wilderness experience in both natural and cultural aspect. You can observe the remote mountain villages of Nepal where people are surviving by growing their own food, untouched by modern civilization, no development. Despite the fact the local people are still leading happy life with their own distinctive culture and traditional lifestyle that might be very interesting & unique for you to observe. If there are no tea house/lodges along the trail we organize on full board camping basis and it is only an option.
Accommodations will be in tents, and your food will be well cooked by one of our cook and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. 20- 30 Minute Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic and Potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Staff will carry all the necessary equipment, leaving you free to enjoy the scenery. You carry your small backpack with a water bottle, camera and your day clothes. We employ the appropriate number of porters to carry all equipment, trekking gear & necessary stuff.
We choose our spots wisely, disturbing as little of the eco system as possible. We take nothing but pictures and leave only footprints behind. We provide unique and fresh food without harmful chemical by using less number of tin foods, as much as possible we will use fresh fruits and vegetable. High quality of kitchen equipment, sleeping tents, staff tents, dining tents, toilet tents, dining table, Chairs, mattress, foods, sleeping bags are provided.
Small groups provide a more intimate atmosphere allowing you to get to know your Sherpa guides better and to develop lifelong friendships. Therefore, the maximum group size for this trek is 16 people. The minimum is 2 people.
All our trek leaders and crew come from different parts of Nepal with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, but we all share our valuable experience, accept each other beliefs and work together to give our clients the best experience in Nepal. Whatever the ethnical background they belong to, differ in sex or age all members of our team work together as a family that makes us what we are.
At 6.30 am your guide wakes you up. Then it’s time to have breakfast, tight up your bag pack and head off for today’s trekking for the next three to four hours then stop for an hour at pleasant spot along the way for a well-prepared hot lunch. Afterward, walk another three hours or so, before you stop for the overnight. The evening can be spent reading or chatting with your fellow hikers or trekking crew about the trip of the day. Pack of games can be an asset to these nights; your trekking crew love teaching various Nepali card games and learning new Western games. Eventually, it’s time to bed for a well-deserved night.
The climate in the Dhaulagiri region varies from subtropical to alpine. The southern slopes of the area has the highest rainfall rate in the coun-try-3000mm per year, whereas the northern slopes lying in the rain shadow has the lowest rate–less than 300mm per year. The di erence in the climatic conditions in this region is responsible for its varied ¬ora and fauna.
Summer: Max 26-280c/Min: 12-150c (May-July)
Winter: Max 10-120c/Min-2/5oc (Oct-December)
The southern subtropical lowlands are enriched with lush subtropical forests consisting of juniper and alder and in the northern highlands temperate forests of oaks, rhododendron, r, and blue pine. The wet regions yield a variety of bamboo species. The higher altitude further North give rise to forests of birch, blue pine and juniper trees, which are replaced by juniper and rhododendron in the far North.
This region is rich with several species of wildlife. There are around four hundred and seventy-four species of birds, and around a hundred species of mammals. The region serves as an excellent habitat for rare and endangered mammals like the snow leopard, musk deer, blue sheep, red panda and many of Nepal’s brilliantly plumaged pheasants
Annapurna (8091m) Nilgiri(6940m), Tilicho peak(7134m) Dhaulagiri (8167m),Manaslu (8156m), Api (7132m), Saipal (7031 m), Machhapuchhare (6993m), Nilgiri (7061 m)
The Magar form the largest ethnic group in the western region of Nepal. They come from Tibeto-Burman stock. 74.60% of ethnic Magars are Hindus, and 24.47% are Buddhists. They dwell the higher northern slopes of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Dhorpatan National Park area. A large number of Magar youths serve in the British and Indian armies. The other part of Rolpa and Rukum is largely populated by Thakuri, Bahuns (Brahmins) and lower caste people. The Magars inhabit the lower trail between Baglung and Thawang. They live high on the steep ridges along the tributaries of the Kali Gandaki.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take out a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. Please send us the following details such as your full name, policy number and the insurance company’s 24 hour emergency contact number prior to departure. We also strongly recommend that your policy must cover personal liability, flight/trip cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
Though we hope for the best trip, you sometimes might be in need of rescue or evacuation in case of a serious sickness or a personal prolonged health issue. During such emergency you will be rescued by a helicopter. You are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation services. We request you to make sure when you purchase insurance from your country that your policy must cover these expenses or you should remain prepared to pay or sign on Helicopter Evacuation Form before you get on the Helicopter.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home – you don’t need it while travelling. Many of hotels in Nepal have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage
Many trekking porters come from villages. They live hard and frugal lives and work to carry heavy loads using the traditional ‘doko’ (the bamboo latis basket supported from the forehead). Heights up to 3,500m are part of everyday life and they resist wearing what they consider to be unnecessary personal equipment.
Above that altitude, Trek Himalayan urges them the use of kit suited to the varying levels of more extreme conditions. It’s an incredible job that they do and we really appreciate their working nature and try to reward accordingly.