When you envision Nepal, Mount Everest, Sherpas, Momos, and Dal Bhat come to your mind. What about a sacred off the beaten track destination where Hindu’s and Buddhists from afar come to worship? One highly sacred and sought after destination is the picturesque Langtang Valley. The truth be told, you don’t have to travel far to see Nepal’s hidden gems. This stunning national park is situated 61.8km North of Kathmandu and is accessible via car, bus or helicopter. However, there are more reasons than its close proximity to why you must trek this destination. To share with you the justice Langtang Valley deserves, here are five reasons why you must trek Langtang Valley.
Nepal is a country filled with diversity having over 100 ethnic groups contributing to different influences on food, clothing, and lifestyles. Three main indigenous groups which inhabit the Langtang region are the Sherpas, Tamangs, and Gurungs. Come face to face with mesmerizing lifestyles much different from your own and try local delicacies! Particularly Tibetan Bread and Tibetan tea. Place your head to rest each night under handcrafted stone houses with thatched roofs.
While there, you may be lucky and experience first hand sacred ancient Buddhist ceremonies performed by such ethnic groups. Speaking of Buddhism, in the Langtang region, there is Kyangjin Gompa, a holy Buddhist monastery. Many monks come and make pilgrims to this spiritual site. This monastery is beautifully decorated with images, statues, and surrounded by ancient tales.
Tales, legends, and religions preserve the culture of Langtang and have allowed the generations of today to inherit it. Many trekkers don’t get to witness this, as this region has been an off the beaten path destination for many foreigners due to the devastating earthquake in 2015.
Lakes and Rivers
Langtang is home to Gosainkunda. This picturesque blue beauty is an Alpine and freshwater lake situated at 4,380 meters. Which is visited by many Hindus each year. Why? A sacred festival occurs every year called Janai Purnima, where Hindus come to bathe in the holy water washing their skin.
Similarly, it’s renowned as a destination of where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati reside. Legend has it, Lord Shiva, dug up this lake with his mighty trident. Further to this, holy Hindu Scriptures also reference Gosainkunda. Likewise, the main Langtang river coming from Tibet spills out into the Bhote Khosi River. A river which comes from the Tibetan glacier where people raft and bungee on. There is also the Trishuli River.
Be greeted by marvelous snow-capped mountain ranges, glaciers, and forests. Come into contact with vistas of the Annapurna range, Manaslu, Langtang peaks, and Ganesh Himal. Also encounter lakes like Gosainkunda, rivers, and waterfalls such as Chisapani. The beauty of trekking in this national park is the scenery is not consistent, and you get to experience an abundance of landscapes.
Home to high meadows, plains, bamboo forests which have a multitude of flora and fauna. Inside these areas are rare inhabitants such as the red panda, snow leopards, clouded leopards, musk dears, black bears, and monkeys, to name a few. Walk, sleep, and eat sharing nature with these remarkable creatures. Not to mention Langtang has lots of varieties of flora, housing the Rhododendron, Nepal’s national flower. Likewise, over 800 different types of lichen plant species. You must trek Langtang Valley, as this region is filled with such natural beauty.
Ability and Distance
When you visit Nepal, you arrive at its only international airport Tribhuvan International Airport. Depending on when choose to travel, to reach the starting point of this trek it’s only maximum a day’s car/bus journey from Kathmandu. While other trekking routes you have to factor in flights, buses, and timetables. Langtang is an accessible destination. Similarly, should become unwell or there is an urgency requiring you to return to Kathmandu, it’s not a long journey.
On another note, you don’t have to be a seasoned trekker to enjoy everything Langtang has to offer. The maximum elevation of a typical trek is not high in comparison to others out there and is usually spread out over a period of 8-10 days. The exercise is moderate and does not demand a high level of fitness. Making it an ideal trek for families.