Humla ‘The Hidden Himalaya’ of Western Nepal is the land of contrast and one of the most culturally fascinating places of Nepal. Humla is a rugged, remote and northernmost district of Nepal elevation range from 1,524m at the lower basin of Karnali river to 7,337m in the Saipal range. As the season changes the temperature of Humla also changes as a result winter is harsh in Humla and Upper Humla is totally isolated from the world for few months.
Humla comprises the cultural tapestry of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and ancient Shamanism. Lower valleys of Humla is the home of Khas ‘Hindu’ people whilst Upper valleys of Humla is the home of mango-loid ‘Bhotiyas’ people and are the follower of Bon and Buddhism.
The most remote and least developed Humla region makes one of the worth visits in the Himalaya. Humla is also the gateway to Mount Kailash, and the northern to east frontiers of Humla is protecting by borderline Mountains such as Nalankar Himal, Chandi Himal, Kangun Himal and Changla Himal.
On the foothill of Nalankar Himal and Chandi Himal, a mystic valley inhabited by Mongolian people is Limi Valley. The picturesque valley offers the enchanting beauty with mythical Shangri-La of West Nepal. Trekking in this mysterious land begins from Simikot (2,910m; the district headquarters) following the ancient salt route to Hilsa(3,720 m), a border town of Humla, then the trail switches left through the Manepeme to Limi Valley.
The remote and wild barren natural beauty of the region touches in heart and makes something extraordinary. Though the journey is somehow knee jerking along the many steep ascents and steep descents all it is rewarded by awesome scenery. As the day passes, the trail winds through neatly aligned terraced fields, deep gorges, cascading waterfalls, amazing lakes, forests of pine trees, and rocky tracks.
Trekking in Humla region is an evocative and mesmerizing journey. The glimpses of snow capped peak on the horizon, the mighty Karnali River bank, grazing Yaks peacefully on the meadows and caravan of sheep are additional souvenirs of trekking in Humla region.
Limi Valley is a confined trans-Himalayan Valley of North-West Nepal, and home of Tibetan speaking people. This last and remote valley of Humla is located on the South-north of Simikot. Untouched by the modern changes and the valley is the mythical Shangri-La of Hidden Himalaya. Historically agro-pastoralist people of Lime Valley are the follower of Tibetan Buddhism. Limi Valley is consisting the three ethnic Tibetan Buddhist villages; Jhang, Halji, and Til. Halji (3700m), is the biggest village of Limi Valley, located in middle and it is the home of Rinchenling Monastery the central monastery of the Limi Valley.
Limi is connected through Nyalu pass (4988m), to its district headquarter Simikot. Limi links to Tibet by two trails one leading Purang trading center all year round and other through Labse la. Limi Valley is the only one place where one may witness the Tibetan culture and custom still alive. People of the Limi Valley has cultural as well as an economic relationship with Tibet. Himalayan Companion’s Limi Valley Trek is perfect trip that immerses in to mystic Humla Limi valley.
Some Facts of Trekking in Humla Region
Trekking Season: Pre-monsoon and post-monsoon are beast trekking season in Nepal. However, Humla is lying on rain shadows and connecting to Tibetan plateau and except the harsh winter, all season is feasible for trekking.
Environment: The elevation range of Humla is from 1,524m in the lower basin of Karnali river to 7,337m in the Saipal range. And the climatic zone of Humla is sub-tropical river valley to great Himalayan range and winter is harsh in Upper Humla.
Getting to there: Flight/drive to Nepalgunj and then from Nepalgunj flight to Simikot by twin otter plane.
Facilities: There is no basic lodge except Simikot and Hilsa, hence full board camping trek is compulsion.
Duration: Duration of trip range from two weeks to four weeks long within Humla region and cross-border to neighboring districts.
Difficulty Level: Trekking in Lower Valleys of Humla is moderate and easy but trekking in Upper Humla and high valleys need good physical fitness.
Formalities: Nepal visa (US$30 to US$100 ), Humla permit for the first 7 days US$ 50 per person and after 7 days US$7 per day per person or equivalent convertible foreign currency.