Gosaikunda, marked by 7 sacred Hindu lakes and spectacular mountain views, is the ultimate tourist destination in Nepal. Everything from the snow-capped Himalayan peaks to the lovely weather and breath-taking sights is inviting and welcoming. The calmly flowing pristine waters of holy lakes of Gosainkunda, Saraswatikunda and Bhairabkunda make this trek more worthy. Like other trails in the Himalayas, Gosaikunda has a rough terrain and offers a healthy challenge to trekkers. This is what makes trekking there more thrilling and adventurous, inviting tourists from all over the world to satisfy their wanderlust.
Every full moon in July, Hindu pilgrims from across the globe visit Gosaikunda and bath in the holy waters of lakes there. They believe that the water from these lakes purifies their bodies and souls while washing away their sins. This sacred pilgrimage is an adventure of its own and the non-Hindu trekkers love watching these sacred rituals too. The place offers them an immensely spiritual experience which touches their souls while their hearts sing praises of the beauty surrounding Gosaikunda trek.
Gosaikunda trek is one of the best off the beaten path treks in the Himalayas with all the scenic beauty around it. The beautiful scenery makes a rather impressive and worth experiencing amalgam with the local culture. The trekkers can not only satisfy their wanderlust here but get much more out of this trek. This trekking trail is relatively new so it doesn’t usually have many tourists, swarming the place. The added attraction is the presence of views of Tibetan peaks like Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, Hiunchuli, Langtang Lirung along the course.
The location of the trek:
Nepal’s Langtang National Park has Gosaikunda Lake which lies in the north of Kathmandu. The Helambu villages in the vicinity add a touch of their culture to this trek making more enjoyable and memorable. The altitude reaches 4200m and it is far less-visited as compared to Everest and Annapurna. The Tibetan mountains, Ganesh Himal and Langtang along the trek make this location more noticeable and attractive.
The starting and ending points of the adventure:
Gosaikunda trek has definite starting and ending points encompassing pristine waters and magnificent mountain views. As soon as you reach Nepal at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), your adventure begins. You take lodgings in a hotel to relax for a while after your flight and get ready for all the excitement awaiting you. The trek ends at the cessation of the trail, but adventures do not. You can prolong your adventure as much as you want, depending on your affordability and availability of time.
Map of Gosaikunda trek:
The duration of trek:
The trek takes 11-12 days on average, but the number of days varies from person to person and group to group. It really comes down to individual stamina, speed, supplies, and planning. People who are athletic, complete the trek earlier than 11 days while non-athletic but motivated people may take more than 13 days. Sometimes, people who are less accustomed to the climate of hilly areas fall sick and have to return mid-trek or wait until their sickness subsides. To sum it all up, it is you who determines your pace and duration of trekking and nobody else unless you are trekking in a group.
The best time to visit the Gosaikunda trek:
Gosaikunda trek is open to trekkers throughout the year and people do come here when they please. The best times to visit the Gosaikunda trek are spring (March, April, and May) and autumn (September, October, and November). During winters, there is heavy snowfall which makes trekking there more difficult and challenging. The accumulation of snow even blocks the trail during winters and visibility is poor as well. Whereas in summer, it gets hot and taking the long trek becomes almost impossible under the sun. During the monsoon, there is a higher risk of land sliding due to which tourists avoid Gosaikunda then. There are all kinds of bugs and worms out on the path too which might not seem very inviting.
This is why spring and autumn is best for trekking in Gosaikunda. During the spring, the rhododendron and bamboo forests are forests are in bloom. They are full of refreshing wildflowers and trees which make trekking there quite pleasant and refreshing. Then in autumn, the visibility is great and it is neither too hot nor too cold out there. The weather is pleasantly tolerable so most people go there during autumn.
Lodgings and accommodations during the trek:
There are locally run teahouses at small distances from each other along the trek. They offer rooms for lodging and food to build your energies and stamina. The tea houses have small dorms for sleeping and shared bathrooms. They are very basic when it comes to amenities and accommodation facilities. There are common areas for chilling out and interacting with other trekkers. They offer you a nice opportunity to share your experiences and learn from other trekkers.
The tea houses on lesser altitude have Wi-Fi which is available at a very low price usually. However, as you ascend further high up the trail, the availability of Wi-Fi decreases and becomes more costly too. You can get hot showers by paying some extra Nepali rupees to tea house runners. The food provided at these tea houses is delicious and nutritious which helps you to revitalize for the trekking ahead. The local food is simple and has the signature Nepali touch which tourists love when they are away from home.
The places and route of the trek:
- The trek begins at Syabrubesi which has a very low altitude and normal temperature significant of the weather there. Then you steadily ascend from the Bamboo Lodge going towards a village at Thulo Syabru. The Sherpa village in Thulo Syabru has nice lodging tea houses where you can stay the night.
- Next up is Dursagang at 2550m which is the major trail up till now. Ten the trek is quite straightforward and you do not need to ascend much until you reach Lurebina (3910m). This is where you will start getting glimpses of the real beauty of the Himalayas in Ganesh Himal, Annapurna, Langtang Lirung and Manaslu.
- As you proceed further, you reach the place where the adventure gets really scary – the Gosaikunda Lake. The altitude there is 3490m and you get the real spiritual refueling there as this is the lake opened up by Lord Shiva himself. The clear blue water of the lake, the smooth currents of water and exquisite mountain views make for the perfect rejuvenation spot here. Tourists usually prefer to stay the night here to feel all and absorb the spiritual energy there overnight. The towns nearby are great to visit and explore the local culture too. You will stumble across many Hindu and Buddhist devotees in those towns as well.
- From then on, the path starts throwing more challenges your way as the terrain starts getting rough and irregular. The hike up to 4,610m of Laurebina La Pass is extremely challenging and then the descent from there is quite sloped. However, after a while, the path becomes less steep and you reach Ghopte after trekking through Phedi (3500m).
- From Ghopte, a series of alpine forests begins and leads to Tharepati (3690m). From there you get to the Tamang village in Kutumsang, which has breath-taking views waiting for you to explore and admire.
- The next in line are Gul Bhanjyang, Namche Danda, Chipling, Chisopani and then finally Sundarijal. The Gosaikunda trek ends at Sundarijal which leaves you with memories, experiences and of course pictures.
Some FAQs regarding Gosaikunda trek:
- Is it compulsory to hire a guide?
No, it is not mandatory for you to hire a guide. A guide can surely make the trek easier for you to help you stay on the path and to tell different folk stories. However, you can do just fine without a guide if you have had some trekking experience earlier.
- Will the food provided in tea houses be enough to supply the required energy?
Yes, the local Nepali food offered in these tea houses is more than enough to fulfill your nutritional requirements while hiking. Daal Bhat, offered at most tea houses, has the right proportion of proteins and carbs to keep you active and full of energy. You can even get second and third helpings if you feel that you need more food.
- How physically fit do I need to be for this trek?
Any person with properly functioning limbs and body is good to go there. Just try to do exercises to build your stamina for physical exertion before you leave. Also, consult your doctor for appropriate guidance if you are on any meds or therapy.
- How likely is someone to get AMS?
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can happen to anyone as trekkers might need time to acclimatize themselves with the weather. The lower air pressure might cause dizziness, nausea or severe headaches. Take rest for a few days and it will get better.
So, plan your trip fully and make any reservations that you might need later on in your trip. This beautiful and sacred is a must-to-visit for those who love adventure and spiritual re-energizing.