It was mid-autumn, 10th of September 2019 last year. My friend Wangyal Lama made an instant plan to trek at Gosainkunda. Our plan was to go only up to Thadepati located at an altitude of 3400m. We were both in our village in Nuwakot. But suddenly we decided to do an unplanned trek all the way upto Gosainkunda. I have been to Gosainkunda during the rainy season at Janai Purnima in 2017 but I decided to go again as I wanted to see what the scenic beauty was like during autumn.
We started our trip to Gosainkunda on 11th of September. We packed some boiled potatoes, biscuits, noodles, and water and stayed at Mangengoth on the first day. It was a moderate trek that day.
The trek next day was a difficult one. We left Mangengoth and reached Thadepati at around 10 am in the morning, had lunch there and did some sightseeing. As our initial plan was going only up to Thadepati, I was in slippers and had not carried any shoes. It was easier for me to walk in slippers. On the way we met some trekkers, had some chitchat with them all the way up to Phedi (4000m). Meeting new people, sharing new experiences has been always the best part of travelling for me. We reached Phedi in the evening around 6 pm and spent the night over there.
The next morning, we woke up early at 5 am, took breakfast and marched towards Gosainkunda. It was our third day and the trek was challenging. After about 3 hours of steep ascent and 600 m altitude gain, we reached Surya Kunda located at 4610 m, the highest lake located in Gosainkunda premises.
Then we descended towards Gosainkunda. On our way down, we passed through Nilkantha Kunda on our right, followed by Barda Kunda. Soonafter, we reached the alpine freshwater holy lake Gosainkunda at the altitude of 4380m.
We drank the holy water from Trisul Dhara and also filled our water bottles with it. Then we walked by the side of the lake enjoying the stunning view of the lake. We reached Hotel Tibet at around 10 am, ordered our lunch, rested for a while and climbed up towards the view point. It took us about 30 minutes to reach the view point. Oh, what a sight it was from the viewpoint! Spectacular and amazing overhead view of Gosainkunda and Bhairab kunda on the east side, Lang tang Himalayan Range on the west and north, Lauribinayak and Chhyolangpati on the south. We saw water flowing from Gosainkunda to Bhairab kunda. There were some trails along the side of the Bhairab kunda. We got curious about that trail and decided to explore it.
We spent about half an hour at the view point and headed down, had lunch at Hotel Tibet, asked the hotel owner about the trail, gathered some information and left Gosainkunda at around noon.
After about 15 minutes, we reached Bhairab kunda; the mysterious lake that keeps changing its colour multiples in a day. Then following the trail besides Bhairab kunda through steep rocky path, we saw Saraswati kunda at the bottom.
Then, the uphill hike began again, and after about 45 minutes of steep but gentle walk, we reached a valley of lakes. The first lake on the right is Lamu kunda (long lake). It was truly a long lake, it took us about 20 minutes to cross that lake. After leaving Lamu kunda behind, the next lake on the left is Raja Rani kunda and Nau kunda on the right. There was another lake on the left corner which was interestingly shaped like love symbol, <3, . After that, we trekked uphill for another 15 minutes and reached the pass.
After crossing that pass, we almost took the wrong trail. We climbed up and crossed another high pass. Fortunately, I remembered what the hotel owner had told us, to descend from the pass. We did as he’d instructed and reached Ekle kunda. We saw some old sheep and yak goths (sheds). It was already early winter. The sheep and the yak herders were descending towards lower hills. We hadn’t seen a single human being till now. It was already 2pm and we still had a long way to go. We took a deep breath and hit the trail again. The trail after Ekle kunda was the toughest. We had already walked for about 8 hours and were getting exhausted. The trail was difficult and challenging.
We had to pass numerous landslides. There were two places where the trail was completely destroyed. We had to cling to the cliff side and descend holding the rocks. It drained a lot of our energy. The same time, rocks fell from up the hills, due to the strong wind. We somehow crossed that landslide area. Luckily after that the trail got better.
After about 2 hours of hike, we took rest again and had boiled potatoes, noodles and biscuits with water that we had carried from our village. Then we hiked for another 1 and half hours and reached Chyauche Kharka. It was about 5:30 pm in the evening and dusk began to set.
Wangyal and I had a discussion over what to do next, as it was going to be dark very soon. Bad weather could jeopardize our trip as we were at the altitude of 4000 m. There weren’t any people around; nor any lodge and hotel except some Inns (Dharmasala) built for pilgrims. I even thought of staying at the Dharmasala, we had some potatoes and biscuits left, a torchlight and a lighter to make fire, but had no sleeping bag. So my friend refused that idea and we moved on. We were ready to tackle the trail ahead. It was already dusk when we approached Rauchhuli (approx. 4000m). We had travelled about 11 hours that day. We were really exhausted and our pace was slow.
The descent after Rauchhuli was really treacherous. There was the also fear of attack by wild animals in the jungle. Fortunately, it was a full moon night and the trail was clearly visible. With the help of full moon light and torch light, we reached Sagar kunda (approx. 3000m) at around 8 pm. I heard the noise of dog barking, there was a cow shed. We asked for shelter but his family was with him and there was not enough space in his cow shed. I had been to Sagar kunda before from another route.
My uncle’s cow shed used to be in Sagar kunda before. I asked the cow herder about my uncle, he told me that my uncle was also there a moments ago and left towards Malbyanjyang in his house. The cow herder told us to stay but we decided to leave and thanked him for his offer. Now, we marched towards Malbyanjyang hoping we would meet my uncle on the way. We were exhausted. After 2 and half hours of difficult descent from Sagar kunda, we reached Malbyanjyang (approx. 2200m) in my uncle’s house at 10:30 pm. That day we had travelled an impossible 17 and half hours. We wanted to rest as soon as possible. We knocked on my uncle’s door; they were fast asleep. After knocking the door several times, my uncle opened the door and welcomed us. My uncle and his family were surprised to see us so late at night. Everyone was awake. They prepared dinner for us and we had some conversations with them. After having dinner around 11 pm, we slept like a logs that night.
The next morning, we left Malbyanjyang after breakfast. We advanced towards Bagmara (approximately 1800 m). Two of my brothers joined us from here, they were returning to Kathmandu. We reached Bagmara at around 10am, the best picnic spot with chir pine forest and green grass land.
Another one of my brothers from Bagmara joined us again. Then we descended towards Ramti Bazar, had lunch and returned back to Kathmandu.
To conclude, despite the trek being difficult and challenging, it was unforgettable and an adventurous trek. Though we were under prepared and the trip was unplanned, we completed it in just 4 days. We travelled some parts of the Helambu-Gosainkunda trail and Shivapuri-Gosainkunda trail. We would like to thank all the people who helped us on the trek. We would also like to suggest everyone to trek with proper planning and trekking gears; not like me wearing slippers in such a high altitude during autumn-winter season. At pressent, Camping trek will be best for this trail as there are places without hotels and lodges (especially the trail after Bairab kunda to Malbyanjyang).
I would also like to express my gratitude and appreciation towards the Click Nepal Family from where I learned photography. Without Click Nepal Family, I would not be able to photograph such beautiful landscapes.
We have come up with a new route to Gosainkunda after completing this trek. Here’s some information about it.
Gosainkunda trek ranks after the Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp and Langtang trek among the popular trekking destinations in Nepal. Gosainkunda trek can be done through various routes via, Sundarijal, Dhunche, Melamchhigyang Helambu and Shivapuri Gosainkunda trail. This new circuit trek route to Gosainkunda, just seven wonderful days, is unknown to most trekkers and trekking guides although its so close to Kathmandu.
This route gives trekkers an exclusive experience of a mystical land, with more than a hundred freshwater lakes on the way. We trekked through nearly twenty of them. The trail is full of excellent vantage points offering the panoramic view of Himalayan ranges like Rolwaling, Jugal, Langtang and Ganesh Himal. The trekkers will also get to experience the lifestyle and culture of Tamang and Hyolmo Ethnic people.
The trek starts from Dupchheswor, the pilgrimage site of both Hindus and Buddhists. The trail ascends along a wide range of vegetation, sub-tropical, sub- alpine and alpine climatic regions. Different types of alder, rhododendron, mountain oak, birch, juniper with chirping birds gives the calm experience along the trek. And if you’re lucky, you may encounter the rare and cute Red Panda as well. The trek consists of mesmerizing landscapes, full of adventure, trekking along the steep rocky mountains, rocky terrain and dense forest.