• SHEY FESTIVAL 2024

shey festival 2024

In Dolpo, a spiritual community celebrates Shelri Dugra with four days of festivities including archery and meetings. The area is stunning, with colorful landscapes and traditional villages blending into the Himalayan scale. Our trek through Dolpo is carefully planned to avoid new roads, offering an authentic experience. Despite the monsoon bringing occasional challenges, it also brings life to the crops and enhances the beauty of the surroundings. We start with a road trip to Dunai and then trek through rustic landscapes, encountering charming villages and breathtaking panoramas. Our journey ends at the Shey festival before we decide which pass to take for our exit. Although some parts of Dolpo are now accessible by road, we opt for a more traditional route to preserve the authentic trekking experience. Despite the occasional heavy rain, most of the time, the weather is pleasant, offering vibrant landscapes and picturesque villages adorned with wildflowers.

Country
Nepal
Duration
33 Days
Difficulty
moderate
Activity
Trekking
Max. altitude
5300
Best season
Auguest
Accomodation
Hotel-Guest house-Tent
Meals
Included
Start/End Point
Kathmandu - Jhupal- Dunai/Dunai- Jhupal - Kathmandu

67th - 12th yearly of shey Festival 

Dolpo is a “bé-yül” in Tibetan, which means hidden country. These mythical high valleys were long forbidden to foreigners. Apart from a few villages where chörtens stand, the mountain is wild and empty. In August 2024, the “Shey Ribo Druk Dra” festival will take place which only takes place once every twelve years, during the year of the Dragon, at Shey Gompa (the Crystal Mountain monastery). To reach Shey, located in Upper Dolpo, you must first reach the superb Phoksundo Lake (3600m) with turquoise waters then cross the Nangda La pass (5300m) to finally arrive at Shey Gompa (4330m). According to legend, a long time ago, a yogi/lama named Drutob Senge Yeshe arrived in Shey on the back of a flying leopard. After defeating the demons who lived in these places, he built a “crystal mountain” through meditation. Normally, pilgrims come here to collect rock crystals, but every twelve years, for the year of the Dragon in the Tibetan lunar calendar, an extraordinary festival takes place: the "Shey Ribo Druk Dra". Shey comes from the Tibetan “shel” which means “crystal” and Ribo Druk Dra for Thunder Dragon Mountain

Itinerary

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Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, our local team warmly welcomes you at the airport. You will then be escorted to the hotel, where you can enjoy some well-deserved relaxation. The itinerary includes a briefing about the trek's progress and presentation, followed by leisure time. If you arrive in the morning, you'll have the entire day at your disposal. This can be used for rest or for those interested, to explore the surroundings freely. It's an ideal chance to deeply experience Nepalese culture and indulge in the local culinary delights.

Transfer to hotel
Final altitude: approximately 1350 m
Meals: Dinner
Accommodation: night in the hotel
Transfer to the airport then one hour flight to Nepalgunj (280m). On a clear day, beautiful view to the right of the plane over Manaslu, Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri. Nepalgunj is a little touristy town of 60,000 inhabitants near the Indian border. The climate is hot and often humid.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
in hotel
Flight of approximately 45 minutes to Juphal (2450m), the small airport which allows you to approach Dolpo. Please note: this flight is particularly subject to climatic and operational hazards. It may be postponed or even canceled and therefore force us to modify the stages of the trek. In Juphal, we take the road to the town of Dunai where we spend the night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
After getting to know our local team, we begin our trek to the junction, at an altitude of 2080m, of the Thuli Bheri and Suligad rivers. The latter comes from Lake Phoksumdo which we will reach in 2 days. We continue along a path that runs along this river to arrive at the hamlet of Chhepka (2770m) where we set up our camp.
We continue to follow the Suligad river on a “flat Nepalese” path (succession of short climbs and descents). We cross a few bridges used by yak caravans and therefore very solid. On the way we pass through a few hamlets only used in winter. Bamboos and ferns now give way to junipers and conifers. Setting up our camp at Chunuwar (3110m). Here an Amchi monk keeps a small dispensary based on medicinal plants (visit possible if the monk is present).
After an hour of walking in the forest, the vegetation becomes scarce. We pass by Palam, the winter village of the inhabitants of Phoksundo then a steep climb allows us, at 3760 meters, an extraordinary view of the waterfalls of the spillway of Lake Phoksundo. By a short and easy descent we reach Ringmo (3640m), a superb village with a gompa in the center of the village and another nearby. Camp by the lake; swimming prohibited (religious beliefs).
Day of rest but above all acclimatization before heading further, higher. We take advantage of the day to visit the gompa of Pal Shenten Thasung Tsoling (Bön sect) but also to make some purchases of local products such as , for example, the famous traditional weavings of Dolpo.
Absolutely splendid stopover on a path overlooking Lake Phoksundo. We enter the Haut Dolpo area where a special permit is required. After a steep climb which takes us towards 4000 meters, we descend to the other bank of the lake. We continue our walk up the Phoksundo Khola valley to finally arrive at our camp (3630m).
Throughout the day we walk along and cross the river several times. Beautiful view of Kanjirowa Himal (6612m) and the many surrounding 6000 meter peaks. At the confluence of two valleys (3750m) a steep climb takes us to pastures on a plateau around 4100 meters. After lunch, another steep climb winds through a moraine to reach an "upper valley" where our camp is located.
Gradual climb in a mineral and wild setting to finally reach the Kang La pass (5240m) where the eternal prayer flags fly. This pass marks the “geographic border” between Dolpo and Haut Dolpo. We descend a scree slope to reach the beautiful valley of “the crystal mountain”. Here, numerous caves pierce the rocky cliffs. Sometimes some monks come to meditate in these caves. For the inhabitants of the region, doing the khora (circumambulation) of the “crystal mountain” brings great blessing. The Shey sanctuary is one of the most sacred in Dolpo: legend has it that it was founded by a yogi monk riding a flying leopard.

We stay 4 full days in Shey Gompa for the "Shey Ribo Druk Dra" festival which only takes place once every twelve years, during the year of the Dragon in Shey Gompa (the monastery of the Mountain of Crystal). The many villagers of upper Dolpo (the Dolpo-pa) who made the trip dressed up in their most beautiful clothes for the occasion. During the festival, we attend masked dances, archery competitions, horse races and also yak races!
By an easy path we go up the wide valley crossing a few nomad camps. We continue our walk until reaching the Sheyla pass (5100m) from where the view towards Tibet is magnificent. An easy descent then a balcony path takes us to Namgung (4360m), a small hamlet nestled at the foot of a colorful cliff. The hamlet is made up of a few fields and houses around a very old gompa dug into the rock.

By an easy path we go up the wide valley crossing a few nomad camps. We continue our walk until reaching the Sheyla pass (5100m) from where the view towards Tibet is magnificent. An easy descent then a balcony path takes us to Namgung (4360m), a small hamlet nestled at the foot of a colorful cliff. The hamlet is made up of a few fields and houses around a very old gompa dug into the rock.

We start the day on a path cut into the cliff which allows us to exit the gorge. Then, the walk continues in “Nepali flat”. Here it is not uncommon to see some wild animals: partridges, vultures, mountain hares, large bharals ("blue sheep")... From the Saldang La pass (4400m) the view allows us to realize the immensity of the region. The easy descent takes us to the village of Saldang (4050m).
We go up the valley to the hamlets of Namdo then Sibu (small, partially fortified village) to finally arrive at Cha (4030m) where we set up our camp. We continue our trek crossing the last inhabited villages of Upper Dolpo and cross a few more fords then go up a wild and austere valley before arriving at the village of Khomas.
We walk from Komash village where we can spot endangered animals such as snow leopards or blue sheep. On the way, we pass through small villages. The surrounding landscapes consist mainly of high desert plateaus with little vegetation. We arrive at the small village of Shimen where we spend the night.

Today, the trail runs along the Panjyang Khola to the beautiful Tinje valley. We pass through several villages on the way and come across a few gompas. We arrive at Tinje where we can observe a natural airstrip where a British plane once landed and took off.
From Tinje village, we follow the course of the Panjyan River to Chhamdang village. Beyond Chhamdang, the trek along the riverbank continues to the confluence of Chholtam Khola and Panjyan Khola. Continuing our trek, we cross the bridge over the Thalum Khola, which flows from Thalum Lek, and arrive at Yak Kharka. Yak Kharka is an open grazing ground for yaks and sheep. The grassy meadow of Yak Kharka is an excellent camping site.
We start the day by crossing the bridge over the Sulun Khola. The trail to Choila North base camp located at 5040 meters is difficult and demanding. After almost two hours of steep climbing, we reach the top of Choila Pass from where we can see the Tokyu camps. We then descend along the Choila Khola to Tokyu. We then walk towards Dho Tarap, a large village decorated with colorful prayer flags. There are chortens, mani walls and monasteries. Villagers grow wheat, buckwheat, barley, potatoes and green vegetables in terraced crops. Dho Tarap is made up of a maze of Tibetan mud-brick houses that were featured in Eric Valli's famous film 'Himalaya: A Chief's Childhood'.
The next 3 days we will descend into spectacular gorges, mainly along the Tarap Chu. In the morning, easy walk with lunch stop near the river at Suchi Khola. In the afternoon we cross a few small bridges: the gorge narrows as we progress. The path skillfully cut into the walls is nevertheless easy. Camp at Nawarpani (3475m).

In 1989 following the rupture of a glacial pocket, this gorge was devastated by a huge wave which swept away the existing bridges and paths. The passage remained impassable for several years. Thanks to a Dutch NGO, work was carried out and the path redeveloped, thus once again allowing exchanges between the valleys. We move during this wide and aerial path, high above the river. After a good descent we reach the “tea shops” of Lahini. The valley widens and we find trees and crops again. In the afternoon, steep descent into the forest to reach the river. Setting up camp before the large Lasicap bridge in the middle of the juniper trees.

After crossing the bridge, we go down the Barbung Khola valley: we find villages perched on the hills and fields of corn, millet and buckwheat. Check Point at Lingdo (2355m) below Tarakot (2410m), an ancient fortress and caravan town perched above the Bardung Khola. After following the river, we cross a bridge protected by "dokpa" (protectors in the form of wooden man and woman sculptures) then reach Dunaï (2105m), administrative capital of Dolpo. Setting up camp and visiting the village.

We walk on flat terrain then a final climb takes us to Juphal (2450m), starting point of our trek. Farewell dinner with our Nepalese staff.

Flights to Nepalgunj than Kathmandu (flights particularly subject to climatic and operational hazards). Transfer to the hotel then free time.
Safety day which can be used during the trekking or as a free day in Kathmandu.
free time depending on the departure time of your flight and our representative will drop you at the airport, ending your journey in Nepal. We hope to be of service to you again. Thank you and safe travels.

Trip Included

  • AIRPORT PICK-UP & DROP : Airport - Hotel transfer – Airport (Pick Up and Drop).
  • ACCOMMODATION IN KATHMANDU : 3 nights sharing a twin bedroom at the hotel (3 Star category) in Kathmandu on a bed & breakfast basis.
  • WELCOME DINNER : One Welcome Dinner in a tourist standard restaurant in Kathmandu with Office’s Staff.
  • PERMITS : All necessary paper works: Trekking Permit
  • SPECIAL PERMIT:  Lower dolpo special permit
  • STAFF INSURANCE : Insurance for all involved Nepalese staff during the trek.
  • MAP :  Region Trekking map.
  • MEMBER TRANSPORTATION : By flight  as per itinerary)
  • MEMBER LUGGAGE : Up to 25 Kg per member for personal baggage during the trek carried by porters.
  • FOODS & LODGING : 3 meals a day (BLD; including tea and coffee) along with accessible accommodation sharing basis in tea house/camp during the trek.
  • CAMPING EQUIPMENT : All necessary camping equipment during the trek if required.
  • GUIDE : Government licensed Guide (English speaking) during the trek and sight-seeing in Kathmandu valley.
  • PORTER : Porters (2 trekkers: 1 porter) during the trek.
  • STAFF SALARY & ALLOWANCE : All Nepalese staff & porter’s daily wages, salary, equipment, food & clothing.
  • MEDICAL KIT : Comprehensive Medical kit.

Trip Excluded

  • INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE : International flight airfare (from and to Kathmandu).
  • NEPAL VISA FEES : Nepal Visa fee is US$ 40 per person for 30 days (to be applied for 60 days (USD$ 100).
  • LUNCH & DINNER : Lunch & dinner during the stay in Kathmandu & Pokhara (also in case of early return from Trekking than the scheduled itinerary).
  • EXTRA NIGHTS IN KATHMANDU & POKHARA : Extra nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu & Pokhara. In case of early arrival or late departure, early return from Trekking (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary.
  • INSURANCE : Travel and high altitude insurance, accident, medical & emergency evacuation.
  • PERSONAL EXPENSES : Telephone calls, Internet, Toiletries, battery recharge, hot shower, laundry, soft drinks, beer, and any alcoholic beverages.
  • PERSONAL EQUIPMENT : Clothing, Packing Items or Bags, Personal Medical Kit, Personal Trekking Gears, etc.
  • TOILETRIES : Soaps, shampoos, toilet and tissue papers, toothpaste, and other items used to keep yourself clean.
  • FILMING : Special Filming, Camera, and Drone permit fee.
  • INTERNET SERVICE : Internet facility during the trek is not included.
  • TIPS : Tips for Guide, porters, and staff.
  • EXTRA : Any other services or activities, which are not mentioned in the itinerary. Any other item not listed in the “Cost Includes” section.
Notes: Costs may prone to change in itinerary. So costs will be recalculated if the trekking/tour days get modified.

Note: For unforeseeable reasons at this stage of climatic hazards, form or deformity of the participants or others (state of the roads, traffic, case of force majeure . your guide or guide may have to adapt the program, if necessary for the smooth running of your trip. He remains the sole judge and guarantor of your safety. Walking times are given as an indication and may vary from one participant to another.

Your personal trekking gear

Your personal trekking gear


  • woolen hat 
  • fleece hat 
  • T-shirt 
  • Thermal full t-shirt (base layer) 
  • Fleece jacket 
  • Down jacket
  • light insulating wear (mid-layer) 
  • Gore-Tex jacket 
  • Thermal Trouser (base layer) 
  • Trekking trousers (flexible ) 
  • down pant 
  • Gore-Tex pants 
  • Gore-Tex gloves
  • thin/warm gloves 
  • Rain punch 
  • woolen shock (thick) 
  • sandal 
  • camp shoes (sports shoes) 
  • Trekking boot 
  • sun /glacier glass (uv protect ) 
  • snow gaiter 
  • sleeping bags   -20
  • personal first aid
  • pocket knife
  • washing soap, towel, toothpaste/ brush
  • sun lotion enough +30 /50 & lip guard 
  • Trekking poles (u can buy in Nepal as well) 
  • headlights, water bottles, Thermos 
  • books, a camera, playing card


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Highlight

  • A trek on the occasion of the Shey festival which only takes place once every 12 years
  • The discovery of one of the greatest Himalayan myths
  • The isolated and preserved dolpopa culture
  • The turquoise water lake of Phoksundo

Why choose us

  • Our goal is to satisfy you by offering you a quality service at reasonable and affordable prices
  • Our guides are well-trained professionals with large knowledge about different places, cultures, and history
  • Clear designed itineraries, accommodation with locals or in simple hotels, use of local transport, etc

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