I need a break- break from the daily schedule: wake up before 8 am, get ready before 9 and reach office before 10, and work until 6 pm. May 2019, after thinking for a few days and with the consent of one of my colleagues from my office, we decide for a short trek to Gosaikunda Lake- the two of us, like-minded but he is frolicsome, and I am introvert. The plan incorporates 4 days visit to Gosaikunda Lake and return to Kathmandu and resume the work of stroking the keyboard in an attempt to write good blogs and copy for social media.
I book two tickets for us from Maccha Pokhari the day before our trek starts. Backpacked, ready with hiking shoes and poles, I reach the bus station at 6 am and waited for 30 minutes for the bus to heat the engine. The basic idea I am revealing here is that the bus never heads on time. Takes an hour or so. We all know it!
Relaxing and contemplating for a brief time, I frame the delicious Dal Bhat and masu (meat) in my mind. I could not wait for another hour- my stomach growls for Dal Bhat. Finally, after 7 hours of ride, we reach Dunche. In search of restaurants with Thakali Khana, we walked for 10 minutes and enjoyed delicious Dal Bhat to the point of no space for a single bread in our tummy.
The trail begins now. Trudging along the path, I realize my backpack weighs around 5kg. Continuing to hike and relish the views around, I can see beautiful thatched roof-houses with few modern concrete houses on either side of the road and green hills. Children playing around, and some of them watching us go by, staring at our backpack. Maybe they are wondering what is in the bag that makes it look so bulky. The fact here- I carry warm clothes, a pair of sandals, toiletries, and a bottle to stay hydrated. And a tripod stand for some mobile photography and videography.
First night in Khepdi
After walking for about 3 hours from Dunche, in the evening, we reach Khepdi. The trek is easy; we want to continue, but it is already dark, and we decide not to move any step further- our first night in Khepdi. With us, there are three other guys at the lodge. The lady owner ushers us to a room with 2 beds. After hearing our Dal Bhat order, she returns to the kitchen.
As we wait for our hearty Dal Bhat in the communal room, we indulge in conversation with fellow travelers. Glad to hear that we will reach Gosaikunda by tomorrow evening. With the promise to wake up early and hit the trail, we sleep early. After having delicious Dal Bhat, I eagerly dive into the bed, hoping for a good sleep.
Today we will be continuing through unrelenting ups and downs. The trail meanders through a forested trail that commands stunning views of Langtang Lirung and Ganesh Himal. After trekking for about an hour, we reach Deurali. It has the only guesthouse that boasts spectacular views of the lofty mountains. Continuing our journey, we walk past the lush rhododendron forest. En route to Gosaikunda, Dhimsa, Sing Gompa, and Lauribina are the popular resting grounds.
By the mid-afternoon, we reach Sing Gompa, a picturesque Tamang village with a monastery. There’s a sign that reads Local Cheese Factory. We could have tried local-made cheese, but we didn’t. Continuing the rugged trail, our next destination is Laurebina.
Gosaikunda Lake Beckons
After an arduous hike to Laurebina, we stop at one of the hotels. We had light lunch and continued to Gosaikunda Lake. This time, the trail is mostly uphills. En route, there are no hotels. You will have to reach Gosaikunda Lake to stay overnight.
I stop every 10 minutes to catch a breath and relax my aching knees and feet. Looking up, there is the clear blue sky, ahead of us is a rocky path and to the right is a deep valley. After a couple of hours, we finally see the guesthouses- our resting ground for today.
Finally, we made it! We rest and click some photos just before continuing through the flat trail that stretches to Gosaikunda Lakes. To the right is a grazing field where we see 4 or 5 horses. Those horses probably are the means of transportation here. Thanks to them, they provide food for every trekker here.
By the time we reach Gosaikunda, the sky is dark, and light-black paints the horizon. We step inside one of the hotels and order black tea. A wood-burning stove heats the dining room. The bathroom to the back is a couple of steps walk away from the guesthouse. The windows of the guesthouse are full of stickers.
We can see the lake from the window. The lake is frozen, and the hills are snow-clad. After having a hearty Dal Bhat, I head to my bedroom. The room is so cold that I have to bundle myself in a down-jacket, another pair of pants, socks, and blanket. Struggling to sleep for a few minutes and hoping to wake up early to embrace the beauty of the sacred lake, I didn’t know when I fell asleep.
The next morning, we explore the area. Gosaikunda Lake at 4,380m is a holy lake, believed to be an abode of Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims visit this lake, especially during the Janai Purnima festival. Legend has it that if you bathe in this lake, you will get rid of your sins. It is said that there are 108 lakes in the vicinity.
Retracing our steps to Dunche
The same day, after enjoying quality time at Gosaikunda, we retrace our steps to Dunche. This time, the trail seems moderately pleasant. We continue to Laurebina, Sing Gompa, Deurali, and finally to Dunche. We sleep at one of the hotels in Dunche. From Dunche, we catch a bus to Kathmandu.
Gosaikunda Lake Trek Overview
- Duration– 4 days (you can customize your itinerary)
- Permits– Langtang National Park entry permit
- Trip Difficulty– Easy
- Accommodation– lodge and tea houses
- Maximum Altitude– 4,380m at Gosaikunda Lake
- Walking Hour (per day)– 5-6 hours
- Best Time– Spring and Autumn
- Starting Point-Kathmandu, Dunche
- Ending Point– Kathmandu, Dunche
Gosaikunda Lake Trek Highlights
- Beautiful Tamang Villages
- View of Dhaulagiri, Ganesh Himal, and Langtang Lirung.
- Lush rhododendron and pine forests
- chance to encounter red panda, snow leopard, and musk deer and more.
- 108 lakes and Gosaikunda lake.
- And obviously, yak cheese factory.
Best Gosaikunda Lake Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Kathmandu to Dunche to Deurali
Day 2: Deurali to Sing Gompa to Laurebina to Gosaikunda lake
Day 3: Gosaikunda Lake to Dunche
Day 4: Back to Kathmandu
Gosaikunda Trek Cost for Nepali
It should not cost you more than Rs. 10,000. We completed the trek with the cost of Rs. 5000. I can assure you that you will not need more than Rs. 7000- 10,000. (Your miscellaneous expenses excluded.)
The cost of a bedroom and Dal Bhat (collectively) in the lower section is Rs. 500, and at Gosaikunda, it is approximately Rs. 1000-1500. (Note: the price may vary but represents tentative costing.)