Jugal Himal and Bhairavkund

Jugal Himal and Bhairavkund

Days from

On a clear day you can see white tops with melodious names like Dorje Lakpa and Phurba Chyauchu from Kathmandu. These mountains are part of the Jugal Himal, a sparsely populated mountainous range east of Helambu.

Max. Elevation :  4600m Duration :  15 days
Type of trek :  Camping Starting point :  Balefi
Ending point :  Chautara Best Season :  Spring and autumn
Grade :  Moderate-Strenuous

This tour begins with a bus ride to Balephi on the Sun Kosi (Sun = gold, Kosi = large river). The path along the tributary Balephi Khola starts flat, but then climbs four days steeply up to the ridge of Bhairavkund Lekh. In the north lay the peaks of the Jugal Himal. The ridge ends at the holy lake Bhairavkund where Bhairav - the most devastating appearance of Shiva - houses. The lake is the highest point of the trip (3900 m). On our resting day we may climb the viewpoint Bhairav Peak (4600m). The descent leads through a vast rhododendron forest to Yansin, with a monastery. The route drops between terraces and through the vast Tamang villages Gombatang and Pangarpu further south to the river. Near the Balephi Kola River we set up camp, and a final climb to Chautara follows. From here we go by bus back to Kathmandu.

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Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu International Airport (1300m/4264ft) and transfer to hotel.

Day 02: After breakfast we set out for an extensive guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu valley’s cultural, historical, religious and world heritage sites. During the course, we visit the famous Pashupatinath temple of Lord Shiva situated at the holy bank of River Bagmati where we will also observe the Hindu cremation ritual. We then proceed to the Boudhanath stupa, a major pilgrimage centre for the Buddhist faith which also is the largest of its kind in the world. We then have a short break for lunch followed by a visit to Swoyambhunath stupa also known as the Monkey Temple from where we can have a bird’s eye view of whole of Kathmandu valley. Following this we then proceed for a visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square, the oldest royal palace of Kathmandu and a UNESCO world heritage site.  The whole are of Kathmandu Durbar Square is dotted with numerous fascinating Nepalese architect dating back many centuries. The site is also the home of Nepal’s living Goddess – Kumari, where we will also have the opportunity to experience firsthand this unique Nepali tradition.  In the evening we will attend the welcome dinner hosted by Makalu Adventure with live Nepalese culture shows.

Day 03: Kathmandu – Balephi – Jalbire(800m) 3 hours:
Today we drive by bus in about 3 hours from Kathmandu to Balephi, the starting point of the trek. A trail leads along the Balephi Khola, a tributary of the Sun Kosi, we reach our lunch spot in one half hour. The Nepalese staff prepares a fine meal, before the trip continues to Jalbire. This southern French-like mountain village is the first campsite on the river with great swimming possibilities!

Day 04: Jalbire - Patichaur. (1900m) 6 hours:
This second day is a challenging one. In the early morning, a steep climb upward through terraces, fields and villages. We bridge 800 altimeters before reaching the lunch spot in Yanlakot.  After lunch the path is gets less steep! Camp above the Tamang village Patichaur.

Day 05: Patichaur- Gol Kharka, (2500m) 7 hours:
After two days of villages with Nepalese culture, nature slowly takes over. The route rises further through moist forest with many ferns here and there and open spot (kharka). Several times a stream is crossed. We lunch at around 2200 meters. At noon the path is initially steep, then gradually up the ridge with beautiful views. The highest point of the day is a pass of 2700m altitude. A short (half hour) steep descent leads to Gol Kharka (Kharka = meadow or open area), a great camp spot with an unbeatable panorama.

Day 06: Gol Kharka - Tsogormu Kharka (3350m) 6 hours:
The landscape continues to fascinate. We continue through (sometimes steep) rhododendron forests with views on both sides of the ridge. Lunch at a beautiful kharka (2900m). The rest of the day we walk over the ridge through an unspoiled forest on a not-too-easy path. Camp at Tsogormu Kharka.

Day 07: Tsogormu Kharka – Bhairavkund (3900m) 6 hours:
The path is sometimes steep and rises gradually to the 4000 meter limit. Slowly, the vegetation decreases and the view increases. In the north are the peaks of the Jugal Himal. To the east stretches the Rolwaling Himal range. Lunch is in a mostly abandoned shepherd's cabin. After lunch it is 3 hours to the Bhairavkund, where the camp is set up.

Day 08: Bhairavkund
If the weather and walking schedule permits, it is nice to use the extra day to climb to higher levels to reach the viewpoint Bhairav Peak (4600m). A half day is also possible, while the porters take the loads to a lower camp, where the participants arrive in the afternoon.  The choice is made in consultation with the Sirdar, the Nepalese guide. The view extends over the mountains of the Jugal Himal in Tibet.

Day 09: Bhairavkund – Kyansin (2700m) 6 hours:
The first part of the stage is over the same path as two days ago. Later in the day it leads to the northwest. The lunch spot is reached after about 2 ½ hours. After lunch, the path is reasonably flat. Then the trail drops off steeply through forests to the camp spot above Kyansin, about 1300 meters below the place we left in the morning.

Day 10: Kyansin – Pangarpu (1900m) 6 hours:
After another 20 minutes descending, we return to the inhabited world. In the Sherpa village Kyansin the gompa can be visited before the long descent to the beautiful Tamang village Gombathang starts. The area is dominated by vast terraces of mainly millet and potatoes. The trail leads along many huts of farmers who like to put down their work to look at a trekking group. In Gombathang (or Gumbasthan) we can have lunch and/or camp. This depends on the choice on day 6/7. If we choose to lunch, we continue to the remote village of Pangarpu.

Day 11: Pangarpu - Balephi Khola (1300m) 3 hours:
From Pangarpu a long descent follows to the river. The morning stage is short and leads through a deforested area to a tributary. However, the country is beautiful and pure. Villages are inhabited by lovely people - especially Tamangs and Chhetri's - with terraces and fields where children try to draw your attention. The suspension bridge needs revision! We are approaching the valley bottom and the banks of the Balephi Khola, where we lunch and camp.

Day 12: Balephi Khola – Near Chautara (1700m) 6 hours:
Once again we climb to the right ridge of the valley. It is a tough climb, but after the previous days it does not seem too hard. We lunch at half way and see once again the views of the valley. The last camp site is located on the ridge a few hours walk away from Chautara. At night we leave most of the porters and the Nepalese guidance. It is a nice farewell to end this with a party.

Day 13: A short descent to Chautara means the end of the hike. In Chautara, the bus is waiting to take us in 3 hours back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival we will be transferred to the hotel and the rest of the day is kept at leisure or self exploration.

Day 14: A day in Kathmandu, with a guided sightseeing tour of the city's main attractions. This will include some of the city's colourful Buddhist shrines and Hindu temples, followed by farewell dinner in the evening.

Day 15: Final departure.

Trip Cost Includes
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All accommodation in Kathmandu
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • All accommodation and meals during the trek
  • Domestic flights (wherever stated on the itinerary)
  • Trek leader, assistant trek leader) Sherpa porters including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
  • Down jacket, sleeping bags, Trekking kit bag/duffel bag, trekking map and trekking Poles
  • All necessary paper work and permits (National Park permits or entrance fees etc if required)
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All government and local taxes
Trip Cost Excludes
  • Nepal visa fee
  • Airport departure tax
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and in Pokhara
  • Extra night accommodation
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, showers etc)
  • Tips for guides and porters

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