Lying in north-west Nepal, Dolpo is one of the highest inhabited regions in the world. Remote and isolated this region sits close to the Tibetan plateau. For centuries Dolpo remained cut off from the rest of the world with its high mountains acting as natural barriers. Today it remains one of the most isolated and difficult regions to access in Nepal. Little contact with the outside world has meant that the ancient Bon and Tibetan Buddhist traditions prevalent in the region have remained undisturbed. A trek through Dolpo not only takes you through a spectacular Himalayan terrain but lets you experience Tibetan Buddhist culture and an ancient animist religion, Bon.
The region of Dolpo consists of Lower Dolpo and Upper or Inner Dolpo. Bounded by the Kanjirowa Range and the Dhaulagiri Himal, Dolpo has no roads connecting its villages. The two airports in the region, Juphal Airport, and Jumla Airport connect Dolpo with the rest of Nepal. Most of the treks start from Jumla or Juphal and run through the Shey Phoksundo National Park, the largest national park in Nepal. The park is also the only Trans Himalayan national park in the country. The sapphire blue Shey Phosundo Lake, the ancient Shey Gompa dating back to the 11th century, and the Bon Po settlements in Ringmo, Dho Tarap, and Pungmo valley are the main attractions of Dolpo.
Trekking in Dolpo is recommended for those who want to venture away from the popular tourist routes and experience a wild and rugged terrain and unique cultures. There are only a handful of teahouses along the Dolpo trail. Thus camping equipment and a licensed guide are a must if you want to travel through this region. A trek to Dolpo requires some planning but the region is well worth a visit!
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