Lapche Valley Trek
– Sacred Spot –

Lapche Kang Pilgrimage Tour takes you to the phenomenal visit of more than 50 monasteries and hermitages which are mostly caves in mountains. The Lapche Mountain, belonging to the sacred triad of Jambudipa as mentioned in the Puranas (Ancient Holy texts), is the magnet of this tour. This tour takes you to the ancient roots of Buddhism in Nepal.

Lapche Kang Pilgrimage Tour’s center of attraction is the Lapche Monastery, which is as much sacred for the Hindus as for the Buddhists. The monastery showcases the religious and spiritual heritage in the grand architecture that is very old. Also called ChuraGepheling, the monastery stands atop a tree-covered ridge that commands the impressive view of the confluence of two rivers. In Buddhism, the confluences are highly charged with spiritual significance. The fifty or so monasteries and caves of this area are related to Milarepa, a tenth and eleventh century Buddhist sage and poet who served as the spiritual figurehead of the Kagyu-pa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The area lies in the border between Nepal and Tibet.
The Lapche Kang (Valley) Tour is not just for the followers and believers in Buddhist belief. The place offers an enviable trekking route in the high mountain region. There are plenty of pleasant sights and serenity to take in here. Even a detached traveler finds a lot to appreciate the art and architecture of the monasteries and caves, the scenes of surrounding mountains and other natural formations of this high alpine region. It is as much a Buddhist pilgrimage as a charming destination for travelers.

Furthermore, you can experience an adventure quest in the region if you follow a two week circumambulation route around the area. In this case, you will cross as many as seven high mountain passes. If you want to choose an easier option, the other route takes about 4 days. Even when following this convenient route, you will not lose any of the spiritual and scenic treasures of the area. The choice is entirely yours. Whether you are a pilgrim or an ordinary traveler, choose the route that suits your time, health and your interest.

Now for something completely different, close to the Tibetan border. So many people seeing on photos have commented that the Lapche Valley looks like the land of the Lord of the rings, that some quotes from that famous epic seem in order.

The Lapche valley is virtually the last frontier of Nepal to be opened to outsiders. So unknown is this valley that there is little information about it other than it was once a small trading route. Apart from its remoteness, its most outstanding claim to fame is that it was one of Milarepa’s retreats. The great sage is thought to have sat in meditation in a cave high up near the headwaters of the valley. The trek will appeal to Buddhist pilgrims, botanists, birds and animal seekers and trekkers looking for a remote “Lost horizon” with challenging trails.

Within sight of the frontier, the cave shrine of Milarepa has long been an objective for especially devoted Buddhist pilgrims, such are the hardships to be endured in order to reach this sacred spot. Protected by the cirque of spires of the Raling and PamariHimals, the valley is lost to the outside to this day. In the deep canyon of the LapcheKhola, the al-enclosing mountains almost shut out the light of day.

Apart from the extreme remoteness of the valley, there are no specific factors other than the periodic vertiginous exposure to deter anyone on this trekking route. The valley is fairly kind to those affected by high altitude, since for campers the height can be gained in comfortable increments almost all the way from Lamabagar.

This route is only a camping option for the time being and likely to remain so far a while. Bear in mind that the region has seen almost no outsiders and lacks any kind of amenity found on popular trails. That means no lodges, no tea houses, and no medical facilities. This is a wild and rugged trek.
It might occasionally be possible to hire ponies in Upper Lapche for a different kind of day trip but ridding a yak is only for those who have succeeded (or failed) at the Calgary Stampede.

There is basically only one way in and out of the valley, unless you are inclined to sneak across the border into Tibet, a very unwise option. The trekking part takes 7- 8 days, with an extra day for relaxing and exploring around the Milarepa shrine and border area. In addition, days must be added for the drives in and out Kathmandu to Lamabagar. Much of the trail is poorly maintained and landslips, exposed areas and dense forest tangles impede progress. The camps depend on having enough space for the group size, water sources and the rate of progress of the trekkers. Some hikers manage to get beyond Rock Camp to the Lunch meadows but it’s a really tough plan for most trekkers fresh-faced from beyond Nepal.

The Summary of Lapche Valley Trek
Start: Lamabagar(2,100m)
End: Lamabagar(2,100m)
Distance: Approx. 65 – 75 Km (40 – 46 miles)
Maximum altitude: Lapche (3,800m/12,465ft.)
Transportation: Bus, Private Jeep
Trek by Camping