Just north of Kathmandu Valley, lies the Langtang region, bustling with spectacular scenery and adventurous treks, with fewer tourists visiting the area. To the west of Langtang is Ganesh Himal, ranging from 6,000 to 7,000m. To the south life the Gosainkunda and Helambu regions which can be combined into the trek increasing it from a 7 to a 21-day trek. Designated as Nepal’s inaugural National Park in 1971, the area is home to the Tamang and Sherpa people, their religious practices, customs and dress resemble that of Tibetan culture. The forests in the Langtang region are lush with sub-alpine vegetation and exotic wildlife such as; migratory birds, deer, monkey, Tahr and Pika. The best time for trekking in the Langtang region is spring and autumn. Most of the trekking routes in Helambu and Langtang are well served with teahouses making solo treks safe and possible. There are no such facilities in the Ganesh Himal or Ganja La areas. An exploration through the Langtang valley offers an opportunity to discover the Tamang villages, climb small peaks and visit glaciers at a more comfortable altitude than other trekking regions in Nepal.
Access to Helambu is particularly quick and easy, Sundarijal, our starting point into the region, is on one hour’s drive from Kathmandu. There are other roads to choose from, Budhanikantha, Kakani and a four-hour drive away at Melamchi Pul. For Langtang and Ganesh Himal the choice is limited driving to Dhunche in the Rasuwa district. The road then continues to Sybrubensi from where Ganesh Himal and Langtang treks can start.
Attraction of the Langtang Region
Langtang National Park
The Langtang National Park was established in 1976 to preserve the rare flora and fauna that grows within the region, we will get the opportunity to walk through an area of this preserved beauty. It is one of the closest national parks to the capital city, Kathmandu. The park is 710 sq. km in the central Himalayan region, it extends over parts of Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchowk districts. Meeting with the southern mountainous terrain of the Nepal-Tibet border.
In 1998 an area of 420 km square in and around the park was declared as a buffer zone. The park represents a meeting point between Indo-Malayan and Palearctic realms, and holds a rich biodiversity. The Buffer zone management is a joint venture between the park office and the local communities. Local communities have a decision-making role in the management of such areas. Additionally, the local communities or the BZ receive 30 to 50 % of the park revenue to ensure strong management of the abundant natural resources to ensure sustainable community development.
From the beginning of September through to the end of May the region offers a vast array of natural splendors, warm river valleys, screeching langur and spectacular old forests next to glacial cliffs to name a few. The weather is also relatively dry except January-February when snow is likely to greet your adventure. Autumn is the most highly recommended time to visit the national park, by April bursts of red, pink, and while rhododendrons stretch into the towering canopies of fir and oak forests. Due to the warm weather climate, the yak and chauri herds ascend to higher altitudes, following years of tradition by making camp in the pasturelands. From June to august the skies are full and heavy with the rains of the monsoon season. During August, a lively festival at Gosainkunda Lake attracts thousands of Hindu pilgrims and September witnesses' spectacular display of wild flowers, while livestock herds, once again, return to lower pastures
Flora & Fauna:
Alpine and Sub-tropical vegetation characterized by Sal (Shorearobusta) forest are found in the southern section of the park, they are gradually being taken over by hill forest (2000-2600m) consisting of Chirpine, Rhododendron, and Nepalese Alder.
The temperate zone (2,600-3,000m) is mainly covered by grand forests of oak, silver fir, hemlock, and larch in the lower sub-alpine zone (3,000-3,600m). The Nepalese larch (larixnepalensis), the only deciduous conifer in the region, a rare plant found in the park and few places outside of it. Throughout these zones different species of Rhododendron such as R. arboretum, R. barbatum, R. campanulatum, and R. lepidotum (scrubs) to name a few, form a colorful backdrop to your story. Tree species such as birch, silver fir, Sorbusmicrophyla and twisted Rhododendron campanulatum are found near the tree line. It is here at 4,000m Juniper and Rhododendron shrubs (R. anthopogon) slowly dissolve into expansive alpine grassland meadows.
In the Langtang region there is a high expansion of meadows, they provide a summer habitat for many beautiful species, the musk deer and Himalayan tahr both graze here. The endangered and rare red panda is also found in the protected area of the park. Himalayan black bears, snow leopards, wild dogs, ghorals, serows and more than 250 species of birds all live within this paradise.