"The Shortened Helambu Circuit" Top 5 Page for this destination Nepal Off The Beaten Path Tip by into-thin-air
Nepal Off The Beaten Path: 106 reviews and 150 photos
If you are looking for a short trek close to Kathmandu then I can recommend the Shortened Helambu Circuit.
This trek takes 5 days + ½ day by bus from Melamchi Bazaar (End Point) back to Kathmandu by bus.
It is a Teahouse Trek so you can either do it entirely independently or take along a Porter Guide (As I did), there are no Large National Park Fees to pay to this trek is ideally suited to the Budget Trekker on a tight timeframe.
Day 1) Taxi or Local Bus to the starting point at Sundarijal (1463m). Then a full days walking to Chisapani (2194m), The trail is well defined and passes through The Shivapuri Watershed Wildlife reserve (Small entrance fee payable at the park gate)
The day is mainly up with a height gain of about 1.000m crossing Borlang Bhanjyang (2438m)) but there are plenty of small villages en-route to buy refreshments.
Day2) From Chisapani the trail drops steeply down to Patibhanjyang (1768m) before heading steadily back up to Gul Bhanjyang (2141m)
You have a great variety of terraces with small sections of jungle on this day; again there are plenty of small villages en-route to buy refreshments.
Day 3) From Gul Bhanjyang it is up again crossing Jogini Danda (2667m and the highest point of the trek) before a gentle decent to Kutumsang (2471m).
Again a lot of variety of scenery during the day with more terraces and small sections of jungle, only a few small Bhati’s en-route but sufficient for you to get snacks to keep you going
Day4) Here I departed form the main Helambu Circuit Route and descended through terraces all the way down into the valley of the Melamchi Kola and found a lodge near Mahankal (Aprox 1,000m) to spend the night.
A Beautiful days trekking on small paths descending though terraces all day with no facilities en-route.
Day 5) Not the most exciting day as you follow a dirt road from near Mahankal to Melamchi Bazaar (846m). But there is very little traffic to contend with and as you are following the river it also make for quite a pleasant days trekking – From Melamchi Bazaar we caught the bus back to Kathmandu the next day, but if your timeframe is really tight then you could pick up an afternoon bus.
We Really enjoyed our trek so I have no hesitation of recommending it to anyone, either as an introduction to trekking in Nepal or if you just can’t do a longer trek for whatever reason.
Good Luck and Happy Trekking
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