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Adventure Samsara - Cultural Homestay Treks

"Nepal is veritable mosaic of different ethnic groups whose languages, cultures and religion have over the centuries penetrated and settled the hills and valleys from all four directions". (Insight Guides p43).

 

Siraichuli Trek (The Chepang Hill)

Best Seasons: September - May
Duration: 6 days
Max Elevation: 1945 m

The route walks amidst the Mahabharat Range of central Nepal. It is positioned to the north of Royal Chitwan National Park, and linked via the Barandabhar Corridor Forest. There is a mixture of dense, broad-leafed deciduous forest along with chir-pine forest, and areas of settlement and cultivation. There are also beautiful groves of Nepal's National Flower, the rhododendron, which burst into flower in the early spring. The highest point along the trek is Siraichuli Hill (1945 meters). The trek features a community of mixed ethnicity, including Magars, Gurungs, Giripuris, as well as Chepangs. You can take advantage of this diversity as each group offers its own cultural program. A typical Chepang staple is dhindo (millet, buckwheat, corn, or barley flour mixed into a thick paste) served with a vegetable curry of eggplant, string beans, leafy greens, potatoes, wild yams, and or stinging nettles. From Jandala, it is just a short two-hour hike back up to Siraichuli Hill to watch the sunset over the highest mountain range in the world. The Chepang ethnic group, usually, live on fruits and roots of the nature. This group still practice shamanism and have strong belief in natural deities, Fire, Water, Wind, as they put it. The sunrise view from Siraichuli is spectacular with 29 different ranges of the Himalayas in view on a clear day. From west to east, some of the major Himalayas in view include: Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I & II, Manasulu, Ganesh, Langtang, and Gaurishanker-Rowaling. This trek is ideal for bird watching. The birds like, Eurasian Jay, White-Browed Shrike Babbler, Mountain Bulbul, Kalij Pheasant, Warblers, Flycatchers, Cuckoos, as well as Laughing and Rock thrushes. When in full bloom, the Rhododendron groves, and several varieties of orchids create a dazzling and colourful landscape. The climate of the area is generally cooler than Kathmandu or the Chitwan lowlands. In winter, be prepared with warm clothing, but during summer months the climate is generally warm.

Day 1. Kathmandu - Hugdi Trek to Jogipuri (4-5 hrs)
Day 2. Trek to Hattibang (4-5 hrs)
Day 3 Trek to Hattibang (5-6 hrs)
Day 4. Trek to Jandala (7-8 hrs)
Day 5. Trek to Shaktikhor (6-7 hrs)
Day 6. Bus to Chitwan National Park or Kathmandu

 

Sirubari

A taste of Gurung Hospitality: Sirubari is a Gurung Village situated South of Pokahra at an attitude of 1700m. It is an hour away from the main trekking trails and offers excellent views of the Himalayan Peaks including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu. One of the most interesting aspects of visiting Sirubari is the opportunity to "homestay" in the houses of the Gurung Village. It has established itself as the model Village in Nepal.

For visitors who are seeking a cultural exchange, this village is one of the most recommended cultural sites in Nepal. As there are no teahouse or lodges, the only choice is to live with local families. This is the opportunity to live the Nepali way of life. While five days is not enough to fully experience Nepali village life I guarantee it will be a rich experience that will make a lasting impression.

 

Tansen (Palpa)

The world of the Magars: Tansen lies between hills and plain (Pokhara & Bahirawa). The main town sprawls over a steep ridge and quite a few of the main streets are too steep for cars which helps to keep some of the unpleasant aspects of modernity at bay. There are attractive Newari Settlement in the older section of the town which has lined cobbled streets. The major attraction of this town is the views over the bowled shaped valley and a spectacular view over the gorge of the Kali Gandaki river to the paomramic view of Himalayan. The view stretchs from Kanjiroba in the west all the way to Dhaulagiri, Annapurna in Manasalu and Langtang in the east. There are many interesting Temples to visit. This trek make an ideal one week Himalayan adventure.

 

Ilam

Trek Around the Tea Garden: This is a trek for those who prefer moderate walking in nature. This trek is not a mountainous trek and so is comparatively warm. I therefore can recommended it for couples travelling wtih children. It combines winding foot trails with terraced tea-gardens in the eastern hills of Nepal.

The region is populated mainly by Rai, Limbu and Magar ethnic groups. The country walks are ever welcoming since as this trekking region is among the less trekked areas oin Nepal.  Here the smiles from the locals are instinctive. The trekking trail overlooks the beautiful village with the high Himalayan range in the backdrop. Shri Antu Danda offers Sunrise and Sunset view with panoramic view of the High Himalayas.This region produces some of the best tea in the world. This trek also provides opportunities to stay overnight in local houses, howeever teahouse accommodation is available. This trek requires 10 days but I'm sure you will feel that wasn't enough!

 

Briddim

Experience Tamang Hospitality: Briddim is a beautiful village situated inside Langtang Valley in Rasuwa District. This Z shaped village is at the altitude of 2229m provides fascinating view of the Langtang Range with warm welcome of the Tamang community. The Tamangs are the major ethnic group dominating this village and have close affinity with Tibetan culture. Forty-three households will welcome you with their Himalayan smiles. It is a model village sensitive to ecological and cultural matters. If you feel like tasting this Himalayan exotica you will need at least 7 days and remember it takes two days to get there and two to get back to Kathamndu.

 

Indigenous Peoples Trail

It was a moment of heightened awareness, and in that hut in the mountains of Nepal, far away from my birthplace, I knew the world was my home. Bhante Y. Wimala, Lessons of the Lotus

Trek Duration: 7 days minimum
Highest Altitudes: Sailung (3146m)
Trekking Season: September- December and Mid-February to May
Type: Home-stay + Lodge
People: Six different ethnic groups- Sherpa, Newar, Thami, Tamang, Yolmo and Majhis
Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism merging with the prevalent Nature worshipping rituals.

To escape the traffic of commercialized Coca-cola trekking routes and walk on "off-the-beaten path" to experience the rural Nepal, take the Indigenous Peoples trail in West Ramechhap District, 130km east of Nepal's capital, Kathmandu.

The trail offers trekkers a rare opportunity to experience the culture and life style of six different Nepali ethnic groups. The fascinating trail takes the trekkers from starting point of 3146m at Sailung to 533m at Lubughat by the Sunkoshi River.

Sailung Peak, a viewpoint, offers enchanting Himalayan panoramas of the entire 400km Himalayan range including the Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh, Langtang, Jugal, Rolwaling, Everest, and Knchanjunga Himal ranges. It is against this magical Himalayan backdrop that trekkers are welcomed into the culture and lifestyle of indigenous communities including Sherpa, Newar, Thami, Tamang, Yolmo and Majhis. The final trail destination, Lubughat on the Sukoshi River, provides trekkers the memorable culture of the host Majhi community. One can take a dip into the Sunkoshi River while watching the Fishermen fishing.

Day 01: Kathmandu- Dhunge-Sailung(3146m) - 7hr Uphil trek from Dhunge to Thulo Sailung with Himalayan views.
Day 02: Morning himalyan views and walk in the surroundings and overnight at Kholakharka (2950m).
Day 03: Kholakharka- Rajveer-Surkey (2025m)- 4.30hrs
Day 04: Surkey-Tinghare- Doramba (2025m)- 4 hrs.
Day 05: Doramba- Galba- Khanadadevi (1985m)- 4.30hrs
Day 06: Khandadevi- Hiledevi/Dongme (1980m)- 4hrs.
Day 07: Dongme- Sunapati- Lubughat (533m)- 4hrs.
Day 08: Lubughat- Nepalthok- Dhulikhel/ KTM - 4hrs.