“Apart from the amazing landscape and age-old Bon and Buddhist monastries, Dolpo is remote, rugged, unexplored and seeming unharmed human settlements of West Nepal. In proximity to the Chinese occupied land Tibet, Dolpo strongholds the Tibetan culture along with their own Dolpo-Pa culture. The hardship life on such arid and deserted land is relying on agriculture, animal husbandry, and trading. Dolpo the land of Bon and Buddhism is last a remnant of Shamanistic Bon religion, an earlier form of ancient Tibetan Buddhism is still practicing. Dolpo the land beyond the clouds enthralls the trekkers, with its stony trails and high passes leading beneath the sky, electrifying the muscles and switches on the mind.
Among the Dolpo trekking itinerary, the Dolpo to Jomsom Trek is about 230km from Juphal airstrip to Kagbeni in the Kali Gandaki valley of Mustang district. The first few days of the trail is followed by lush vegetation of Shey Phoksundo National Park and stunning Phoksundo lake, a turquoise blue colored lake certainly changes its color after exposing sunlight over it during the day time and second part of the trek is draining into the barren and deserted landscape of Upper Dolpo.
Beyond the Phoksundo lake, the trail leads onto the upper river valleys and the notorious Kang La (5310m) pass guarding the approach to Upper Dolpo, Shey Gompa, and Crystal Mountain.
A rest day at Shey is followed by a day-long walk crossing over the next high pass Shey La (5100m) a gateway to Nakhong valley (Saldang), the largest village of Upper Dolpo.
From Saldang our route heads up to the North Yangjer Gompa and Nisal village, along the isolated fortified village Musi gaon to the unspoiled Panzang Valley villages Simen, Phalwa and Tinje before the long wild terrain valley Upper Panzang crossing another high pass Mo La (5027m), along the ruined village wilder route is Chharka Bhot.
The Fortified Chharka Bhot
Unlike the many other villages in the Dolpo region, Chharka Bhot is one of the highest human settlements on the earth. High walls, narrow twisting streets, mani wall and Chorten adjacent to houses alike fortress village was selected village for Eric Vallie’s movie ‘Himalaya’ or ‘Caravan’. Dating back from 12th century, Chharka Bhot is still practicing Bon and Tibetan Buddhism.The Fortified Chharka Bhot
Beyond Chharka, the trek leads along a beautiful wild valley drained by the Thasan Khola with warm autumnal colors glowing above the crystal stream. Then, following the river for a day to a higher camp at (4900m), and next day crossing high wild trail Jungben La (5557m), setting up two more camps, bring us to the last pass which opens the view of the broad flood plain of Kaligandaki valley and Jomsom.