Everyone that comes to trek in Nepal comes for mountains. Why not? The country has eight out of ten highest peaks in the world and limitless other satellite peaks that form beautiful massifs and ranges. The views are simply outstanding. Now add glaciers, icy lakes, high passes, and crystal-clear rivers to the scenery. The beauty of the mountains and the hills draw tens of thousands of tourists every year. But there’s something that many trekkers only realize after they commence the trek. And that thing is the incredible cultural beauty one gets to witness and experience.
Anyone who knows even the littlest bit about this country would know that the people here take their heritage and culture pretty seriously. That is why, during your trek, you will get to visit some of the most iconic temples and monasteries of Nepal and witness very ancient and earliest traditions of Hinduism, Buddhist, and even Bon religion. Here, we have prepared a list of four best culturally rich trekking trails in Nepal.
Tamang Heritage Trek
The Tamangs are the native inhabitants of the Himalayan foothills and outskirts of the Central Nepal. Primarily Buddhist, they are known to be very friendly, warm, and straightforward people with a very simple life. The Tamang Heritage trek in the beautiful Langtang Valley that is only 30 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu encompasses the best of Tamang history, heritage, and culture.
The trek begins from Syabrubesi and comes to an end in Rasuwa. The trek route traverses the ancient path taken by traders heading to Tibet. Throughout the trek, you will be staying in beautiful teahouses that are colorfully decorated with various painted motifs and carvings depicting Buddhism. Although the region is very close to the capital, due to the hard accessibility, it wasn’t in touch with the rest of the world until recently. Thus, it is a great chance to witness the authentic and unique culture of the Tamangs.
Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang is more famous for its mystique kingdom than its surreal mountain views. Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang is an ancient kingdom that even had an officially recognized king until recent times. The native inhabitants of the Mustang region are the Thakalis, who are today known for their impeccable business skills and delicious cuisine.
While in Upper Mustang, you can visit the ancient Royal Palace that maybe in not so great condition now but is still very intriguing and impressive. You can walk through the narrow alleyways, look at the traditionally built wooden houses, and visit centuries old monasteries like the Thubchen Gompa that was built in the 15th century. If you happen to trek during May, you can witness the amazing Tiji festival that is celebrated for world peace and is characterized by ferocious dance rituals.
Dolpo trek is undoubtedly one of the most enriching treks in terms of both adventure and cultural exposure. Located in the biggest but remotest district of Dolpa in mid-western Nepal, this region is located just behind the Dhaulagiri Massif and is in close proximity Tibetan highlands.
Here, you won’t come across the magnificent temples and monasteries that you would have encountered during your other treks. Instead, you will come across ancient and primitive gompas and mani walls that almost serve as the relics of the region’s rich past. Also, unlike other regions in the Himalayans, Buddhism isn’t very widespread here. People still follow the ancient Bon religion that worships nature instead of personified gods. That will definitely be interesting to see.
Everest View Trek
A trek that takes you to the Everest and also offer the cultural revelation you are looking for. What else could you ask for? This trek is short and can be completed within 5-7 days. It is designed for those who are on a tight time schedule and budget.
Everest View trek takes you to the very heart of the Khumbu region – Namche Bazaar. It can even be called the unofficial capital of the Sherpa people. This amphitheater-like town offers the best of the Sherpa culture – be it their religion, hospitality, tradition, or history. Here, you can visit the beautiful monasteries, Sherpa museum, memorials and iconic hotels to experience the very best of the Sherpa culture.