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Gosaikunda Trek

A Trek To Remember

Gosaikunda Trek

People believe that a dip in the scared Gosainkunda — a freshwater lake situated at an altitude of 4380 meters — wash all your sins. Gosainkunda is a holy destination for Hindu pilgrims all over the world. Every year in August during the Janai Purnima festival, it attracts a large number of Hindu pilgrims who come to take a dip in the holy pond. The sacred pond and the vicinity, being a part of Langtang National Park, not only attracts Hindu Pilgrims but also trekkers and the adventure lovers all over the world. Gosaikunda Trek is the best trekking trails for both adventure seekers and nature lovers.

There are altogether 17 ponds- Gosaikunda, Bhairavkunda, Sarswati Kunda, Kyamachho Kunda, Dudh Kunda, Rakta Kunda, Chandra Kunda, Surya Kunda, Ganesh Kunda, Batas Kunda, Lam Kunda, Ekle Kunda, Raj Kunda, Tinchuli Kunda, Nau Kunda and Jhyakunchuli Kunda — in the Gosainkunda area. Gosainkunda and associated lakes have been listed in the Ramsar list of wetlands.

A visit to the sacred pond and beautiful Langtang region is something that every adventure seekers dream of. I was already when I was offered a chance to cover a sporting event being organized in the Gosaikunda area. The event was ‘1st TAAN Gosaikunda-Half Marathon 2016′ being organized by Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal(TAAN).

My Experience

I was ready for the trip. We were invited for a briefing at TAAN Secretariat where TAAN officials informed us that the event was being organized to spread the message that Gosainkunda region, which was hit hard by the 2015 earthquakes, is now safe for trekking.

On the morning of May 26, a team of around 30 journalists left for Dhunche under the leadership of TAAN Media Coordinator Surya Bahadur Ghimire. TAAN Operation Officer was to be our liaison officer.

After negotiating the valley traffic and the bends below Nagdhunga, we reached Naubise from where the road is bit wider and comfortable. Our first stop Galchhi where we had our breakfast. After resting there for a while, we continued with our drive to Dhunche- the district headquarters of Rasuwa.

The trip was enjoyable. Talking with fellow journalists, it felt good to know that I was not the only one going to Gosainkunda for the first time. Our liaison officer, Mr Dangol was with me all the way and he was putting all efforts to make the trip memorable. This was his seventh trip to Gosainkunda. He was informing us about the major milestones along the road. When we reached Devighat, he informed that it was at this very place that Late King Prithvi Narayan Shah breathed his last. We could see the statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah standing tall there. It felt good to be at the historically significant place.

The trip was enjoyable. Talking with fellow journalists, it felt good to know that I was not the only one going to Gosainkunda for the first time. Our liaison officer, Mr Dangol was with me all the way and he was putting all efforts to make the trip memorable. This was his seventh trip to Gosainkunda. He was informing us about the major milestones along the road. When we reached Devighat, he informed that it was at this very place that Late King Prithvi Narayan Shah breathed his last. We could see the statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah standing tall there. It felt good to be at the historically significant place.

We continued our trip and on the way we had to pass through the landslide-hit Ramche section of the Kathmandu-Syafrubesi Road. After negotiating with the treacherous section of a few kilometres, we finally reached Dhunche at around 1  pm. Dhunche is the district headquarters of Rasuwa and also the gateway to the Langtang and Gosainkunda region. After lunch and a brief rest at Dhunche, we started the trek to Gosaikunda at around 3 pm.

Lifetime Experience

We were on the trip of our life time. After some descent, we reached a place called Ghattekhola. As it started raining before we reached the place, most of us were using raincoat or umbrella. While climbing up, we could see people repairing the trail that suffered minor damages during last year’s earthquakes.

The more we climbed, the more we felt delighted. Though the trail passed through dense forests, we couldn’t sight any animal. We, however, could listen to chirping of birds. Passing through the jungle, we could even see a rejuvenating sight of waterfall cascading down from a hill across the river. We continued our trek passing through small settlements at Deurali and Dhimsa before reaching our destination for the day – Chandanbri. Chandanbri which lies at the 3300 meters,is the most preferred site for camping and night stop for trekkers along the route.  We stayed at a teashop where we had a good rest after a tedious day of drive and trek.

It was a fine morning. Last day’s rain had made the weather pleasant for trekking. We started our second days trek after having breakfast at Chandanbari. From there, we walked through pine forest on straight trail as well as some steep climb before reaching Cholangpati. After taking photographs and enjoying the view, we continued our climb.

Similarly, after a trek of about five hours from Chandanbari, we reached Lauribina. The word ‘Lauribina’ literally means without walking stick. Perhaps it is to tell people that it is impossible to continue the trek if one does not have a walking stick or trekking pole. We resumed our trek after having lunch at Lauribina. It was a risky ascent. The steep climb was really a treacherous one. May be because of the altitude or the harsh weather condition, we couldn’t see signs of any floras there. Somewhere there was rocky surface and somewhere plain like a meadow.

Information

Up on the hill, we could see ruins of a small Buddhist temple destroyed by last year’s earthquake. The treacherous part ended there.From there, it was a pleasant trek ahead with the trail going straight and downhill in some places. After a walk of few minutes, we saw the first glimpse of Saraswati Kunda. It was quite a sight there. It seemed like the pond was playing hide and seek with the clouds. We, however, were successful to take some snaps of the pond. After a walk of some minutes, we could see Bhairavkunda up in the horizon. As we continued further, we got the first glimpse of Gosainkunda. It was an amazing experience not only for me but many of us. We could even see some snow in the area which was the proof of the heavy snowfall that the place had received few days ago.

It was already 4 pm when we reached Gosaikunda. Some took rest in the hotel, some were busy taking pictures, and some were sprinkling holy water of the lake on them. The lake was completely different from what I had heard from others. We could see snow in the mountains surrounding this sacred lake. The view was mesmerizing.

More Info

I heard a lot about a Trishuldhara which is the place from where the water of Gosainkunda originates. Mr Dangol showed me the place and informed me that the place was a few minutes’ walk away from where we were. I asked some friends if they would like to join me for the short stroll to Trishuldhara. No one was interested; possibly they were tired by the day’s trek. But I was determined. Only a fellow trekker, Ms Shova Khanal, a TAAN staffer, showed some interest to come along.

After sprinkling the holy water on us, we headed toward Trishuldhara. It took us 20 minutes to reach the place. The place offered us some of the best possible views of Gosaikunda Lake and the surrounding areas. While at Trishuldhara, it made me realize that heaven can be experienced when nature gives you a company. After spending some time there,taking some pictures and enjoying the mesmerizing views of the area, we returned back to the hotel. Hotel Lakeside was our accommodation for the day.

Thunderstorms greeted us in the morning of the third day. I was worried that it would rain and make the trail slippery. But to our surprise, there was no rainfall. There was a snowfall. It snowed for nearly one and half hours, depositing one-foot deep snow in the Gosainkunda Lake area.

TAAN & Gosaikunda

Furthermore, some journalists started playing with the snow while some were busy taking pictures. After enjoying the snow for about an hour, we started the descent to Dhunche to cover the concluding ceremony of the half-marathon being organized by TAAN to celebrate its 38th Establishment Day.

Similarly, some stayed back at Gosaikunda to cover the opening ceremony, while others were at Chandanbari to photograph athletes running toward Dhunche. Mr. Dangol stayed at Gosainkunda for the preparation of the event.

Moreover, it was quite a learning experience on the way back talking to our coordinator. We discussed about culture, economy, religion and politics, among others. The trek was more pleasant than the previous days it was mostly downhill. We reached Chandanbari at around 2 pm where we had our lunch. After some rest and lunch, we started our trip back to Dhunche. It was already 7 in  the evening when we reached the place.  As we had to get up early to cover the event, we ended the day with chitchats and a friendly dinner before calling it as day.

Conclusion

The trip to the holy lake Gosaikunda was a grand success. Our trip also proved that Gosaikunda trek is as safe as any other places in the world. The success of half-marathon too played a role in spreading the message that the trails in Langtang-Gosaikunda region are in good condition, hotels have been rebuilt and are ready to host tourists and that there is no risk as such.

If you are an adventure d enthusiast and nature lover, a trek to the Gosainkunda or the Langtang
region can be the trip of your lifetime as you can experience local culture, tradition, lifestyle of the locals as well as the natural attractions of the place. So grab your gears and head to the adventure of your lifetime… Happy trekking! !

Source:Text-Image Nepal Magazine-A Trek to Remember – Mohan Prasad Mainali

Image- https://goo.gl/jq5mQ0

 

 

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