The Exploration of this trek took place in JUNE 2014 in cooperation with ICIMOD. Photographs: ICIMOD: Jitendra Bajracharya and Corinna Wallrapp
What to Experience ?
Api Nampa Conservation Area is one of the remotest areas of Nepal and was just recently established in 2010 to conserve the natural beauty and ecosystems in the northern part of the Far West Nepal. Thaisian is a beautiful plateau of grasslands inside of the Conservation Area. From May to October the grassland is used as summer pastures. We will have a chance to experience the way of life of herders and in the evening gathered around a bonfire to listen to some mysterious stories. From the plateau we will have an amazing view over the Himalayan Mountain ranges and the lower cultivated areas.
The first two days of the trek lead along the Mahakali valley which opens the view of fantastic sceneries of nature and traditional villages. On the third day we will reach Thaisian.
On the fifth day we will hike down through the Thade Odar valley, which is another highlight of the journey. You will be impressed by the beauty and untouched nature of the valley. Over here it seems that we are totally out of civilization.
- Day 1:
Khalanga - Huti (Ghoreto Bazaar) Our trek starts in Khalanga and leads to the village called Huti. On the trek we will enjoy the beautiful sceneries along the Mahakali River with steep mountains on both sides. Along the way we will cross several small villages and small streams. Next to the Bhadi stream we will find small teashops which offer traditional tea and snacks. Passing Timurbata village and a steady climb, we will reach Jaitikot, where we will have our lunch. After around an hour from Jaitikot we will cross a suspension bridge over Bhadi River. Along the way we will pass traditional cultivated terraces with potatoes, maize and other grains. After a decent climb we will reach the challenging, but beautiful Kalagaad cliff, having an amazing view over Mahakali valley and the Indian mountains. One more hour and we arrive at the Ghoreto Bazaar of Huti Village. Dinner and overnight in Huti Village. Lodge or Camping. [6-7 h trek]
- Day 2:
Huti (Ghoreto Bazaar) - Sina After breakfast we will start our hike in the morning through a great community forest with best spots for bird watching. You can observe a variety of birds, among them the endangered vulture species. Do not forget your binoculars! Two hours from Huti we reach Chandakot, Dhaulakot, where a cup of tea is waiting for us. We will continue to Sunsera (2h hike), where we will have our lunch. If we find time we should explore a little bit the traditional way of life and houses. From Sunsera it is another 40min hike to Gorakhanath temple, located at a fantastic place overlooking the Mahakali valley. From the Gorakhnath temple, we will follow a side valley of Mahakali into the mountain area. After, a comfortable two hour trek we will reach the picturesque village of Sina, which is famous for its agricultural products especially the potatoes. We will overnight in tents close to Sina Village. [5-6 h trek]
- Day 3:
Sina - Thaisain (Grassland Plateau) Today in the early morning we will start our hike to the grassland of Thaisain. On the way we can see beautiful landscapes, that gives us a feeling of unexplored wilderness. It is nearly a thousand meters climb from the Village of Sina to Thaisain Grassland but walking through the thick forest with different types of Rhododendron and walnut trees let us forget the challenges and difficulties of walking. Just before Thaisain there is a lower grassland area called Ijar ko Munta, which literally means head of the cultivated land. The view from this place is fantastic! After Ijar ko Munta, another one and a half hours of quite steep climb through thick broad-leaf forest leads us to the Thaisain Grassland Plateau. Here since centuries herders from nearby villages come every year for some months for grazing of their cattle, buffaloes, goats and sheep. In the evening after lightning a bright bonfire we can submerge into the stories of hardship, labor, myths, legends and love that as they say are flowing around since the beginning of time. You can lose the sense of time hearing these stories, so better prepare food in time (you could bring some potatoes from Sina) and go to sleep and dreaming. Camping. [5-6h trek]
- Day 4:
Rest Day at Thaisian (optional) Today we have a rest day. The plateau is fantastic for small hikes, to explore and discover different flora and fauna or just to enjoy the awesome views of the Himalayan mountain ranges and surroundings. Or if you like you can make an approx. 2 hours walk to the famous religious sites of Siddhatopi (holy mountain) and Bramhadaha (a holy lake, where it is believed that Lord Bramha, the Creator, has visited and blessed it).
- Day 5:
Thaisain - Godani After some good rest we continue towards Khalanga via the Village of Godani. The hike starts with a pleasant walk along the plateau, leading to the beautiful valley that the locals named Thade Odar, which crudely means steep downhill. Walking downhill we will pass through Rhododendron forests and cross several streams, which can rise extremely after heavy rainfalls. During the hike we will pass several campsites of the herders, places for resting with their livestock, which seems have not changed over centuries. Except of some livestock we will see for hours no sign of modern civilization, just nature. After four hours we will reach Jatra Village, the first village on that day. We will continue alongside the small stream just below the Jatra Village and cross a small sleepy village called Ghanghal. Half an hour later we will arrive at Godani lodge, next to Godani River. The lodge in the valley has good and clean facilities, where you can even have coffee. Here we will have dinner and stay overnight. [5-6h trek]
- Day 6:
Godani - Khalanga From Godani we will start our descend to Sundamunda village. It is a two and half hours trek following a beautiful gorge with some beautiful waterfalls along the way where you may just want to rest and cool your feet. The Village of Sundamunda is our lunch station. From there we have a gentle climb of about 400 m through the village. We will see the traditional village life, women doing the household chores, carrying firewood and water, men are working in the agricultural fields and children are playing or have to help with housework. Some kids will smile shyly, some courageous one may even say hello to you. If you are there in April or May, we can also buy delicious plums, picked right in front of you from the trees. One and a half hours from Ssundamunda you reach Dallekh village. From Dallekh there is a pick up service to Khalanga or there is also an option to hike to Khalanga (2h—hike). Dinner and overnight in Khalanga. [6-h trek] FOR MORE INFORMATION: The Exploration of this trek took place in JUNE 2014 in cooperation with ICIMOD. For more information regarding route, accommodation facilities available on the route, and contact information of local persons to assist you in organization of this trip, please feel free to contact: Tourism Development Society ( TDS ) Dhangadhi 5 Kailali Phone No. +977-091-521900 firstname.lastname@example.org Photographs: ICIMOD: Jitendra Bajracharya and Corinna Wallrapp