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Trekking in the Himalayas?

The country mostly identified with the Himalayas is Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, including Everest (8,848m). Himalayas dominated by Mount Everest is a majestic landscape of mountains, deep valleys and glaciers. Himalaya region is home to some spectacular high-altitude trekking routes that enrich diverse cultural experiences. Himalaya is also the dream destination for those world travelers who are in search of a trip of a lifetime.

A traveler primarily dreams to go for mountain trekking in the Himalaya region with the hope of viewing spectacular fresco of world’s tallest mountain range. Whether it is Everest region or Annapurna region or other remote Himalayan regions, all are spectacular. Some Himalaya regions are popular for trekking and some are recognized for enjoying off-the-beaten travel experiences. The moment a trekker reaches at the close proximity of the numerous mountain peaks he or she remains stunned looking at the beauty of the Himalayas. To be precise, the impressive beauty of Himalayas makes a trekker speechless.

Trekking in the Himalayas means stepping into the world of road-less, industry-less and a pollution free environment. Travelers from the industrialized, highly populated, and developed regions generally find the Himalayan environment a paradise for them. Once a trekker makes a step in the Himalayan area, he or she will start to breathe fresh air in the pristine environment. It is a paradise in the sense that the regions where people are trekking are in isolation with no access to modern means of transportation, urbanization, and industrialization.

Out of tremendous options, a trekker in the Himalayas can delve into the world of adventure. Whether it is the joy of adventure trekking in Himalayan regions or tasting the experience of sky dive or going for peak climbing trek or even going for mountain expedition, all will be full of breathtaking experiences. For the most, Himalaya region is basically world famous for adventure trekking purposes, whether it is within short span of time or long duration of time. The joy of adventure trekking specifically in the Himalayas remains throughout a trekker’s life as a trip of a lifetime.

Making a trip in the Himalaya region leads to mental calmness. If a traveler is in search of a world where life runs in natural pace free from the madness of civilization and material quest then the Himalaya region is suitable for them. Humans have made tremendous progress by destroying themselves and reached in a state of insomnia. Hence, this is a kind of disease which needs a place where man can no longer run after material happiness. So, Himalaya region is suitable place for hearing the call of nature and thereby attaining the state of spiritual happiness.

Modern human progresses have made human life much more complicated deviating from nature. People live in skyscrapers, fly in the sky, and live very much complex life. Basically, the modern means of science and technology have made life to live in a mediated world where nature has nothing to do with the life. The simplicity of nature seems that it is something exotic. But there are still some places on this planet where life goes in a simple way with the nature side by side. Being close to this simplicity is the reward of trekking in the Himalayas. Once a trekker goes in the remote regions of the Himalayas, he or she can know what this simplicity of life means.

The Himalayas (2,400 kilometers) begin in Pakistan, stretching across India, Bhutan and Nepal until reaching China in the east. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of South Asia. Many Himalayan peaks are sacred in both Buddhism and Hinduism. Three of the world’s major rivers, the Indus, the Ganges and the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra, all rise near Mount Kailash and cross and encircle the Himalayas. Thus, a trekker in the Himalayas can see a wide range of cultural diversity. India and Nepal are culturally incredible where as Bhutan and Tibet are culturally something unique. Besides the cultural diversity, travelers can also see the colors of the festival in this untouched land.

Trekking in the Himalaya region is itself a tremendous opportunity to be acquainted with a massive diversity of alpine flora and fauna. The Himalayan regions have large numbers of nature and wildlife conservation centers. Those conservation areas play a significant role to protect the endangered as well as rare species of wild lives in the Himalaya region. Wherever a trekker trek (Indian Himalayan region or Nepal or Bhutan or Tibet) he or she remains bewilder looking at the wide variety Himalayan flora and fauna. For the most, Bhutan is the top Himalayan kingdom where one can see the vividness of wildlife in their natural habitat.

Traveling in the Himalayas apart from capturing the chance of viewing sights of spectacular Himalayan peaks creates the opportunity to meet with global human diversity. Himalaya is one of the top dream destinations for world travelers. Hence, people from the entire planet travel in the region carrying their unique cultural background and history. In this respect, Himalaya is a meeting point of the world travelers to exchange their ideas, experiences and cultures. In the Himalaya a traveler from one continent can share his experience of trekking to the trekker from other parts of the world and thereby can develop a friendship.

Living in the present world is very much routined, ordered, and manipulated. It means life is absolutely monotonous running after money, artificiality, and falsity. These situations condition human life to live in a passive way. But, life is colorful, creative, and imaginative. So, a person who travels in the proximity of Himalayan region lives life in full bloom. He knows what nature is and what is hidden in the beauty of the Himalayas. Once a traveler goes for trekking in the Himalaya region he can listen what the nature calls him. Feeling the mysterious beauty brings a kind of change in the life a traveler in the Himalaya region. Thus, going for trekking in the pristine Himalaya region brings the new beginning in the life of a traveler.

No travel experience is unique than the trekking experience attained in the Himalayas. The trekking experience in the Himalayas is associated with the cultural experience to wildlife encounter, homestay tour to mental calmness, and the adventure wanderlust to capturing enchanting views of snow covered Himalayan vistas.

TAAN felicitates new exe committee of NMA

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) organized a program on March 3 at TAAN Secretariat to felicitate newly elected office-bearers and executive members of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA).

TAAN President Ramesh Dhamala and General Secretary Sagar Pandey felicitated NMA President Ang Thsering Sherpa along with office-bearers and executive members by offering khadas and bouquets.

Speaking on the occasion, Sherpa said TAAN and NMA should work together for building infrastructures like trekking shelters and hospitals in major trekking areas of the country. He also solicited TAAN’s support in celebrating diamond jubilee of the first ascent of Mt Cho Oyu this year, Mt Kanchanjunga and Mt Makalu in 2015, and Mt Manaslu and Mt Lhotse in 2016. “The government should simplify the process of issuing trekking permits for controlled areas. TAAN and NMA should jointly press the government in this direction,” he added.

Sherpa also said TAAN and NMA should work jointly to tackle key issues like climate change and global warming and their impact on the Nepal Himalayas.
Similarly, NMA General Secretary Thakur Raj Pandey said NMA has planned to establish International Mountaineering School in Nepal. “We are also devising a program for social security of Nepali mountaineers,” he added.

Earlier, TAAN General Secretary Sagar Pandey welcomed the NMA office-bearers and executive members. “TAAN and NMA should work together as most of the members of TAAN operate groups on NMA peaks. The two associations should jointly uphold the interest of their member agencies,” he added. Saying that mountain tourism is a key aspect of Nepali tourism industry, Pandey suggested that TAAN and NMA launch joint programs for development and promotion of mountain tourism products.

source: TAAN, 12 Mar 2014

Now apply for trekking permit online

The Department of Immigration (DoI) has introduced online application system for trekking permits.Issuing a notice, DoI has asked trekking agencies to file online application for trekking permits. The department has also stated that it won’t accept paper-based application system now onwards.According to the notice, trekking agencies should apply for trekking permit by visiting www.online.nepalimmigration.gov.np or www.nepalimmigration.gov.np. After filling up the details, they would get electronic receipt through email. Trekking agencies will then have to produce bank voucher and receipt as well as other documents to the Immigration Office within 15 days of the filing of application. In a bid to simplify the permit issuance system, DoI has said that trekking agencies will need to submit company registration certificate, license issued by the tourism ministry, foreign exchange certificate issued by Nepal Rastra Bank, PAN certificate and tax clearance certificate once a year only.DoI issues trekking permits to different controlled trekking areas in the country like Upper Mustang, Upper Manaslu and Upper Dolpa, among others.

source: TAAN, 23 Feb 2014

Number of trekkers in Annapurna region up

The number of trekkers in the Annapurna region increased to 113,495 in 2013.

According to Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), a total of 106,499 foreign trekkers had visited Annapurna Region in 2012.

ACAP´s Tourism Officer Narendra Lama told Republica that the number would have gone even higher had the political situation in the country remained better. “Many tourists cancelled their Nepal trip owing to the political uncertainty due to Constituent Assembly (CA) polls in 2013,” he added.

The number of trekkers in the Annapurna region has been increasing even though trekking trails are getting shorter due to construction of roads. “Many trekkers, however, have shortened their stay due to poor roads and pollution,” he added.

Narayan Sapkota, chairman of Trekking Agencies´ Association of Nepal (TAAN) Pokhara Chapter, said the rise in the number of trekkers was not encouraging. “The number trekkers used to rise at a higher rate in the past years. The small growth is no encouraging,” he added.

source: republica, 10 Jan 2014

2014’S Hottest Mountain Trekking Trails

Discover the 2014’s hottest mountain trekking trails in South Asia’s remote Himalayan region. The 2014’s hottest trekking trails let you explore vivacious cultural diversity, fervent faith in religion, ferocious mountain dwellers, tremendous variety of flora and fauna, and spectacular mountain vistas of the Himalayas. Latent with the motive of extreme mountain trekking adventure, the following mentioned mountain trails let you experience the true spirit of Himalayas.

Annapurna Base Camp Trail
Annapurna Base Camp Trail
  • Everest Base Camp Trail, traverses through the land of world’s ferocious mountaineers – Sherpa, and the center of Buddhism in the tallest mountain region of the world. The hottest mountain trail for 2014 offering the tastes of life time adventure trekking takes you to the yard of Everest Region where four of the world’s six tallest peaks Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, and Cho Oyu rise above everything else. The legendary trail in the Khumbu region even passes through the landmarks of Everest Region, capital of Sherpa Culture – Namche Bazaar, various Buddhist monasteries, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and flora and fauna found in the higher altitudes. To the most, the adventurous trail lands you to the base camp of tallest mountain in the World.
  • Mt. Kailash Trail, one of the hottest mountain trails for holy trips in 2014, is basically known for its religious value, cultural significance, spiritual importance and awesome nature. The heavenly beauty of Mount Kailash is not only fascinating, it is also one of the greatest pilgrimage destinations for Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon religions from around the world. The Kailash Region also includes the two turquoise-blue, pristine high-altitude lakes and that are Mansarovar and Rakshesa. Another uniquely contributing fact to the spiritual aspect of Kailash is that four most sacred rivers of the Indian sub-continent begin from here and those are Sutlej, Karnili, Brahmaputra and Indus. The trail helps you discover almost all the treasures found in the Kailash region.
  • Everest High Passes Trail, one of the hottest mountain trails for 2014, helps you discover the world famous demanding high passes of Everest Region and these are namely Kongma La (5,535), Cho La (5420m) and Renjo La (5,340m). Climbing these high passes reward you breathtaking views of the most of the world’s tallest mountain peaks in the world. Adding to this, the hottest mountain trail also encompasses the must see landmarks of Everest region which include Gokyo Valley, Khumbu icefall, Kalapatthar, Sherpa Culture, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche Monastery, and many more. And to the extreme the hottest trail reaches at Everest Base Camp – the dream destination.
  • Tibet Everest Trail encompasses the beautiful Himalayan landscapes of Tibet at the one hand and on the other side the mountain trail exposes you with rich Tibetan culture and history. Besides, introducing you with the popular landmarks of Tibet – Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace, Tashilhunpo Monastery, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Rongbuk Monastery, and Sakya Monastery the trail ultimately reaches to the advance base camp of Everest. The mountain trail in Tibet also covers Namtso Lake – one of the holy lakes in the Himalayas.
  • Everest Gokyo Lakes Trail takes you to the yard of fabulous Gokyo Valley, the large Ngojumba Glacier, the famous Cho La pass, the celebrated viewpoints – Gokyo Ri and Kala Patthar, and at its utmost Everest Base Camp. The trail further traverses through the landmarks of Everest region in the company of majestically soaring mountains, friendly Sherpas, colorful monasteries and prayer flags, the Namche Bazzar, the Sagarmatha National Park, and many more. The entire region that you are passing through this trail is blessed with abundance of naturally beautiful shimmering lakes.
  • Makalu Trail reaches to the base camp of world’s 5th highest mountain in the vicinity of Mt Everest.  Though Mt. Makalu is a close neighbor of Mt. Everest, you take a different trail to reach there. At first Kathmandu connects you with Tumlingtar and next the trail passes through the beautiful Barun River Valley in the Makalu Barun National Park. While heading to the Makalu Base Camp, you will enjoy the views of the highest mountains such as Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Chamlang, Mt. Baruntse and other mighty Himalayas along with Makalu (8481m) itself. Passing through the trail you will also encounter with a large variety of endangered flora and fauna protected in the region.
  • Annapurna Circuit Trail, one of the most popular trekking routes for 2014, covers the entire Annapurna massif reaching at the summit of Thorong La Pass (5,416m). The circuit trail while taking you in the yard of Annapurna region passes through a diverse geographical and cultural variation of the region. The undulating trail passing through terraced rice farms, forests and friendly villages brings you the taste of a thrilling walk through the world’s deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge. While climbing up in the company of soaring Annapurna I (8,091m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167m) the trail brings you even at Manang and Muktinath.
  • Upper Mustang Trail following through the off-the-beaten path in the spectacular Trans-Himalayan Region brings you into Lo-Mangthang- a walled city of Upper Mustang at the top of the Kaligandaki River. The Upper Mustang region hidden behind the majestic Himalaya ranges is full of some of Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Monasteries, ancient and isolated villages, and inaccessible caves. In addition, the undulating trail passing through the world’s deepest Kaligandaki gorge Region in the company of panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks helps you explore the centuries old isolated culture, lifestyle and heritage prevailed in the region.
  • Kanchenjunga Trail lets you intermingle with the thriving culture and society of north eastern corner of Nepal Himalayas. Kanchenjunga (8,586m), the third tallest in the Himalayan Range, is considered as one of the most beautiful mountain massifs in the world. The circuit trail is popular among nature enthusiasts as it is a long adventure to the most remote and beautiful area of Himalayas in Nepal.
  • Annapurna Base Camp Trail, one of the most stunning trekking trails for 2014, takes you to the base camp of Mt. Annapurna (8091m) – the 10th highest mountain in the world. This stimulating trail passing through waterfalls, villages, farmlands, rhododendron forests, and snow capped mountain vistas of Annapurna Region brings you at a diverse geographical and cultural variation of Annapuran region and eventually let you experience the soaring eight thousanders – Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri

Refresher training for trekking guides begins

A four-day refresher training for trekking guides kicked off at Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) Secretariat on December 10.

Twenty-six trekking guides from different member agencies of TAAN are participating in the training organized jointly by TAAN and High Impact Tourism Training (HITT) under SNV Nepal.

TAAN President Ramesh Dhamala inaugurated the training amid a function. Speaking on the occasion, Dhamala said TAAN has been organizing number of trainings to enhance professionalism of trekking workers. “I am hopeful that the training will be important to keep your clients safe and happy,” added Dhamala. He also requested the participants to implement in practice what they have learnt in the training.

Dhan Prasad Gurung, coordinator of TAAN’s Training and HR Department, said the training is part of TAAN’s effort to prepare trained human resources for the trekking sector. “We will keep on designing and organizing trainings based on the need of our member agencies,” Gurung said, requesting the participants to share knowledge they have gained from the training to other trekking workers.

Tanguy Cariou, international associate advisor of HITT under SNV Netherlands, said the training will be important for trekking guides. “SNV Nepal has been investing a lot in trainings for the trekking sector in partnership with TAAN,” Cariou said, requesting the participants to implement what they have learnt in the training while taking clients on trekking.

Chandra Niroula, Chandra GT, Sunil Gurung, Jayanath Bhandari, Govinda Shrestha, Machhindra Acharya and Gelbu Tshering Sherpa are the facilitators of the training. The facilitators are the graduates of the training of trainers (TOT) organized jointly by TAAN and HITT/SNV Nepal.

source: TAAN, 09 DEC 2013