Introduction on Nepal
Nepal is a country of great natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Nature has been bountiful. Nepal has been a great source of attraction for her mountains, landscapes, lakes, green valleys and hill sides serrated in the form of an endless series of terraces. It has one third of the total length of the Himalayan range with Mt. Everest (8,848 m) crowning.
Nepal has some ecological zones ranging from Terai, a narrow strip of the Indo-Gangetic plain along the southern border and with Churia, Mahabharat, Valley and Mountainous zones.
Nepal’s great altitudinal variation has resulted in the occurrence of all the world’s major climates making Nepal a biological and genetic diversity. Nepal has an amazing range and variety of fauna and flora.
It is populated by about 110 ethnic groups, each of which has its own customs, dresses, languages, etc. The syncretism of Hinduism and Buddhism exists. It is a birth place of Sita, the consort of Lord Rama of the Ramayana epic and Lord Buddha, the apostle of peace.
Its vivid culture is evident in temples and monasteries and festivals observed throughout the year.
Khumbu Himal is the largest, most rugged varied Himalayan range which has the greatest concentration of peaks. The Khumbu Himal is dominated by Mt. Everest, the highest peak of the world. Namche Bazar is the mountainous base of Everest. This region is inhabited by the indigenous Sherpa People. The Sherpa villages are Syangboche, Khumjung, Kunde, Thame, Thamo, Pangboche, Tyangboche, Pheriche and Lobuche. Much of the Khumbu Himal is included in Sagarmatha National Park which is known for its fauna and flora and included in UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Brief Introduction of Everest Region
Everest region is, in fact, the backbone of tourism industry in Nepal. Since Mount Everest is the highest peak in the world, the significance of Everest and Everest region is undoubtedly matchless compared to other peaks and regions. One cannot deny the fact that the opportunity to see Mount Everest is the fulfillment of ones cherished desire in life. Just as human beings have a keen ambition in life to reach the moon, in the same way, they are also motivated by the desire to visit Nepal every year to fulfill their lofty goal of seeing Mount Everest and feeling proud and happy after the fulfillment of their highest goal in life.
Prior to reaching Mount Everest, we first enter Khumbu area which is composed of high areas like Namche, Syabgboche, Thame, Khumjung, Khunde and Tyangboche which are adorned with captivating natural scenery. In reality, this Khumbu area is the most prominent destination of Everest Region. It is from here that most of the noted Himalayas like Mount Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Tawache, Khumbila, Amadablam, Thamserku, Kusum Kangaru, Kangtenga, Kwangde, Imjatse, Tashi Lhaptsa and Nangbala can be viewed at close quartero. Also some rare wild animals, which are hardly found in any other part of the world are available here including musk-deer, Yak and some excessively beautiful birds like Lophophorous (danfe), pheasants, crow, eagle and vulture. Similarly, different kinds of trees including pine, fur and rhododendron are also found in plenty.
This Khumbu region is inhabited mostly by Sherpas. They have their own traditional customs, festivals, dresses, language and culture. They have got their own monasteries in which they worship collectively. Bulk of the people in this community are involved in the profession of mountaineering while some of them do business in Tibet.
There are others who carry out small hotel business locally and some others are engaged in raising Yak and Nak as their profession. Many schools and hospitals have been established in different villages of this region under the Himalayan Trust established by Sir Edmund Hillary. Therefore, some children go to school and some even go to college these days to pursue higher studies. Potato and buck-wheat are the principal crops grown in this area.
Thus the Khumbu area of Everest region is full of rich natural beauty and vegetation. However, since there are no other means of transport available to reach this area, helicopters and planes are the only means of transportation.
This place is accessible by a 45 minute plane or helicopter flight from Kathmandu. This is main entry points to Everest region. Although direct flights of helicopters and Pilatus Porter plane are operated from Kathmandu to Syangboche Airport, this is also entry point to the Everest region. Therefore, this is also a renowned place in the trekking route.
The tourist groups who come for trekking purpose to Everest region from Kathmandu to Lukla by helicopter or Airplane can arrive here after a three hours walk (at the pace of tourists’ walking) the same day if they embark on their journey after taking some more refreshment at Lukla they can camp here in the evening. This is the only most important and suitable halting place when trekkers are going up and coming back from the Everest region trek. This place lies along the banks of the Dudh (Milk) Koshi river.
It takes about 7 hours to reach Namche from Phakding. This exceedingly enchanting place is the main market place including a Tibetan market of Khumbu area. A large weekly market takes place here every Saturday. On the weekly market day people from low land bring foodgrains, fuel and other essential commodities to sell here and local people buy all the commodities they need for the whole week for their consumption and trade. This is a very busy market which lies within Sagarmatha National Park enroute to Namche from Phakding that can be reached after passing from Jorsalle. This is also an administrative site of Khumbu area.
Many government offices including the headquarters of Sagarmatha National Park, police check post, bank, army camp, post office and clinic are located here. The National Park headquarters lies at Chorkang Danda (La) which can be reached after a 15 minutes walk. A very good museum has been established here. This museum depicts in a very interesting way all vegetation, flora and fauna including birds found in Sagarmatha National Park and the successful mountaineers who have proved successful in climbing Mount Everest so far. This is also one of the important places for trekkers going to Everest region.
Syangboche, one of the most lovely and enchanting places throughout the world, lies at the lap of Khumbila and on the top of Namche Bazaar. This place can be reached by one hour’s helicopter and Pilatus Porter plane flight from Kathmandu, an hour’s walk from Namche Bazaar, three hours walk from Thame, 30 minutes walk from Khumjung, 30 minutes walk from Khunde and four hours walk from Tyangboche. The airport of World located at the highest altitude lies at Syangboche. Helicopter and Pilatus Porter Flight services operate regularly to and from this place. There is a good provision of electricity and telephone service here. A ten minutes climb from Syangboche Airport is all a visitor needs to arrive at Sherpa Panorama Hotels (SPH) which has been established at the exceedingly clean, beautiful, awe-inspiring and enchanting landscape. This is one of the tourist standard hotels in the Everest region. The beauty of the towering and most fascinating mountains of the world can be relished from all directions of hotel. Tourists can enjoy the rich natural landscape not only from outside the hotel but also from the hotel bed, dining hall and tower. The panoramic view of the important sights of Everest region can be enjoyed in the tranquil atmosphere of hotel.
From Syangboche, one can have a very clear view of Mount Everest that lies in the midst of towering Himalayan ranges dotted with rivers like Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi river, some desert-like areas and green forests which are home to rare wildlife. Prominent Himalayas that can be seen from here include Mount Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Tawache, Khumbila, Amadablam, Thamserku, Kusum Kangaru, Tashi Lhaptsa, Nangbala, etc. Therefore, the Everest Sherpa Resort (ESR) lies at such a location which is so tempting that we are beside ourselves with joy to see the beautiful natural landscape around us. It seems as if we are immediately transported to a new planet. This sense of enjoyment and fulfillment is further heightened by the warm hospitality offered by hotel staff. Any tourist, no matter whether he is a foreigner or a Nepali, is bound to feel that he has received perfect bliss and relaxation than he had expected the moment he enters this Everest Sherpa Resort (ESR) of in Everest region. In fact, this place is so lovely that it beggars all description.
Each Sherpa village scattered around Syangboche can be reached by one hour’s walk from Syangboche. Sherpa’s have their own traditional culture. They observe various festivals during summer season. Therefore, tourists may visit these villages during summer season to learn about their culture and religion by organizing a cultural and religious tours. This is also the most opportune moment to visit Everest region and study the wildlife, birds and vegetation found in Sagarmatha National Park Area.
The Sherpa village named Thamo can be reached after one and half hour’s walk from Namche Bazaar. This is where the head office of Khumbu small Hydro-electricity Project (KBC) is located which supplies electricity to the whole Khumbu area. After the sight-seeing of the Sherpa villages around this project, we can reach Thame after one and half hour’s walk. This is also a Sherpa village, a beautiful village lying in the Nepal-Tibet border area. One hour’s walk up the slope is enough to arrive at Thame Gumpa lying near a big precipice. This is the way to Tibet. This is also trekking route of Tashi Lapcha and Renjola pass to Gokyo peak trek. A police check post has been established here.
Tourists who cannot go to the Everest Base Camp and Kalapathar or those who have very little time at their disposal may clearly see all the views from Syangboche itself. Likewise, the scenery of Gongla will be highly useful for tourists who cannot go to Gokyo peak. It takes two hours to reach Gongla from Syangboche ESR. It is from here that the mountains and peaks, particularly of Thame side can be viewed and also Gejockbuk and some awe-striking and huge precipices.
Everest region is famous all over the world from tourism point of view. Khumbu valley located in this region is well renowned for the Sherpa villages. Khumbila Mountain (5,761 m) in this area has been regarded by local residents as a holy peak. There is a local tradition of worshipping Khumbila every year in various ways to achieve different objectives. Khunde and Khumjung villages lie in the Khumbu valley which is located at the lap of Khumbila mountain. Khunde is a Sherpa village which lies at an altitude of 4,000 meters. A hospital equipped with modern amenities has been established here with the co-operation of Himalayan Trust founded by Sir Edmund Hillary.
Khumjung Sherpa village lies at an altitude of 3,790 meters. This is also an old Sherpa village where there is a big Khumjung Gompa where the skull of Yeti or the abominable snowman has been preserved. Old chhortens (stupa) and “mane” are found everywhere in this village while the hillside is adorned with green vegetation of pine, fur and rhododendron dotted with wildlife and birds of different colors lending an unforgettable charm to the natural scenery. A bakery has been established here providing an opportunity to our trekking and hiking groups to enjoy the natural surroundings taking a brief rest for some cookies and cakes accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee. A high school has also been operating here with the assistance of Sir Edmund Hillary.
After touring the Khumbu valley we can reach Hotel Everest View after slowly walking uphill from the western slope for about 20 minutes. After wondering around the hotel for sometime, we move ahead towards the western direction, enjoying the beautiful view interspersed with green bush about ten to fifteen minutes walk, we reach our hotel – Sherpa Panorama Hotels (SPH) at another hill.
This area where the world famous Tyangboche monastery has been located is one of the most attractive places of Everest region for natural and religious sightseeing. It takes four hours to reach both Syangboche and Namche Bazaar. The route from Syangboche is so engrossing to the mind because of the beautiful natural landscape that tourists arrive at their destinations without realising how fast the time has passed. This is a very busy place. Though there are some local lodges, they fall far short of basic needs of the tourists. Since our hotel makes arrangement of tents for us when we are there, we don’t have to face any problem. We can have a magnificent view of many Himalayas from Tyangboche also.
- Kathmandu (KTM)
- Syangboche (SYB)
- Lukla (LUK)
- Everest Sherpa Resort (ESR)
- Khumbu Bijuli Company (Khumbu Hydro-Electricity Project) (KBC)