Khotang to Everest new Trekking Trail Possible

Immediate first Constituent Assembly (CA) had proposed Khotang as a future state capital among of 14 proposed that came in debate of its´ name but not more in place where it had been proposed can be forecasted future of Khotang in the upcoming new constitution. But what Khotang does, if the new constitution determines capital of a new state in the federal structure? What is the vision to make capital with sufficient infrastructure and well managed city with sufficient facilities? What Khotang thinks as a leader of the future of sub provinces around it? Under those development visions it may be tourism development, infrastructure, hilly and mountain herbal plantations and its´ exports and development of electricity as well. This article I have here has been prepared after when we completed 36 days new trekking trails survey from Solukhumbu Phaplu to Setipokhari and then Lamidada and Tumlingtar through Bung, Chheskam, Kenpa, Salpa Danda in collaboration with Samas Media Pvt, Ave-news national television and district technical office Solukhumbu Salleri in coordination of an NGO Hill Development and Conservation Group Nepal. This article also can be said a report of that survey works.

Recent trails to Everest and its´ weaknesses: The highest mountain Everest is in Khumjung village of Khumbu valley Solukhumbu Nepal. Under the Khumbu valley there are dozens of mountains including Lyhotse, Kalapatthar, Kongde, Amadablang, Pumori, Choyu, Nupse, Iceland peak, Gokyou, Labuche and many more. However the only one enter gate to access those mountains is Lukla. Each time tourists who go there by plane take risk of their life, since this is a world´s top 10th dangerous airport. The landed tourists then have to follow the Khumbu glacier to access those all mountains. They can observe dozens of mountains in the Khumbu valley but they have to follow the same visited route to back from that valley, because tourists have to pass either Amphulapcha pass 5,800 m to make round trek through Hunga valley or Tashilapcha pass 5,700 m to make round trek through Tamakoshi valley of Dolakha which are not easy accessible to all tourists. Even those geographical difficulties, tens of thousands tourists go to Khumbu valley each year. The busiest airport of Nepal records by the Lukla airport with around of daily 75 flights. Namche VDC keeps record of more tourists´ number each night than the number of locals.

Setipokhari Valley and Lamidanda from there: Setipokhari is the origin pond of Saptakoshi the greatest river of Nepal falls under Setipokhari valley. Setipokhari can be found after when passed Amphulapcha 5,800 m. from Chhikung of Khumjung under Khumbu valley in Solukhumbu Nepal. In the Setipokhari valley there are several mountains including Barunje, Chamlang, Mera, Hungu Chuli I, Hungu Chuli II and Charpate. Trekkers can reach Tumlingtar from this valley by passing Sherpeni- col 6,135m of the east, but by passing Merala pass 5,415 m trekkers reach Naulekh village of Bung under Ingkhu valley. Similarly by passing Mingbola pass 5,817 m. trekkers reach Tengboche village of Khumjung nearby Amadablang peak.

Similarly tourists reach Muddikharka of Chheskam, if they flow the Hunga River from Setipokahri through the places Magandovan, Watelmadovan and Jurekom. But yet to be finished to constructed this way (Feb.2015). As per a technical survey report of district technical office Salleri the total cost to construct this new trekking trails is Rs. 6 million 800 thousand. Locals have already implemented construction of Rs. 1.8 million while they are preparing to implement of Rs. 2.2 million very soon (status of Feb.2015). Locals are trying to find out further needed funds to success their dream to open this trails.

Except the aforementioned four alternatives it can be reached Kenpa the middle point of Sangkhuwasabha and Solukhumbu from Setipokhari through a next possible new trekking rout that goes through the 4,483 m. Bagaledeurai pass.

Except the proposed new trail from Setipokhari to Muddikharka this will be the easiest pass to come back from Setipokahri valley among the 5 alternative passes. An NGO Salpa Shilucho Mera Tourism Promotion Centre based on Sangkhuwasbha has been initiating to construct the trekking route. Report of district technical office Sangkhuwasabha has mentioned that total 8.2 million budgets is needed to construct the whole trail of Kenpa to Setipokahri. The NGO has raised Rs. 0.7 million budgets in 2015 (status of Feb.2015).Tourists who arrive Kenpa from Setipokhari can reach Khotang through Bhukur Danda and Salpa Danda ranges. But they also can go Bhojpur Bazar and Tumlingtar from Kenpa. Under the proposed way there are two famous pilgrim places in Kenpa and Salpa (Please see details annex about pilgrim place in Kenpa). Tourists can view the mountain range of Makalu, Mera, Everest, Dhudkunda, Chamlang, Kanchanjanga and many more from Kamire Danda, Bhukur Danda and Shilucho peak. In this way water can be found easily in October season. This trail will be suitable for mountain views but in case of snowing in Setipokhari the way to Muddikharka will be a rescue way since trekkers do not have to pass any peaks to come back from the Setipokhari valley.

In this case tourists from Khotang can chose either through the bank of Hunga River or through the hill ranges of Bhukur and Kenpa to reach Setipokhari. In case of lack of water in Bhukur area tourists can go Kenpa through Mamerku, Bhaisiri and Mekato one of the most solitary Jungle of Makalu Barun National Park.

Concepts of Cable car in Amphulapcha pass for round trekking in the future:

After the proposed two trekking trails construction Trekkers from Khotang, Bhojpur or Tumlingtar can go to Setipokhari through the proposed two trekking trails. Simply there is way of Sheeps and Yaks that can be followed before well construction.

In overall, there are possibilities of three ways from Khotang to Setipokhari that can be said lower, middle and upper trail. Trekking through the hills to view mountain ranges are upper, Jungle safari covers major Jungles of Bhaisiri and Mekato areas under Makalu Barun National Park is middle and in case of snowing that can be used through Muddikharka as a rescue way is lower way. In the future it can be constructed a mountain cable car in Amphulapcha pass that will joint Setipokhari Valley and Khumbu valley. In this case the tourists landed in Lukla by 75 flights daily can easily access Setipokhari valley and will end their trip at Khotang, Bhojpur and Sangkhuwasbha. Karma Tschiring Sherpa the first vice Chairperson of Trekking Agent Association of Nepal (TAAN) said ´it can be fixed rope initially there in Amphulapcha that can be developed in cable car in the future when we can do´.

If we recap the points with explaining from Khotang Halesi, tourists who arrive to visit Halesi pilgrim can visit local indigenous cultures of lower Solukhumbu and upper Bhojpur and Khotang can access mountaineering of Setipokhari valley and Khumbu valley by passing Amphulapcha finally will end their trip at Lukla and can back Kathmandu. In this situation, it will be the best round trek of religious, cultural and mountaineering in the same time. Khotang is demanding to be capital there with demonstration have to start to implement this dream, why not it takes two decades or more.

(Author is a management coordinator of the 36 days´ survey work)

Annex: Kenpa Gaubitta Kalpokhari ( Death lake)

Around in the sixteenth century, a Gurung person with more than 1000 sheeps had come in this Kenpa area. Gurung wanted to cook some foods. He used 3 stones as kitchen milestone. When he cooked some foods like milk and such kind of foods, it didn´t create any problems. But when he cooked some meats or such kinds of food, the milestone brokken and spelled all his foods. This event repitted more than 5 times and finnaly he becaome very angry and he cut that stone. As result there was very big stromming and all his sheeps died there. He forcasted that the stone should be God and he kept it separately and made a temple there. When a local Kulung Ancestor namely Thimra listen that event, he decided to go there for worshiping. He went there with his other more team members on the occassion of Janai Purnima (special date as Nepali callender comes in each year of Auguest). When he reached there he said to his assistants and he promised to go inside the lake and bring a buffelo. But it was a term for his assistants that they had to play his drome very loughly. But when he brough a buffelo as he said his assistants affried and they run away. Then the buffelo backed him inside the lake. It indicated some bloodshed in that lake. The Thimra person never returned. Since this day, it started to be recognized as a death lake. now also tourists can see that cut sore of the God at the temple and the lake at Gaubitta. Since that event many peoples from Bhojpur, Solukhumbu, Sangkhuwasava have been worshiping in this place on the accasion of Janai Purnima. The temple can be found under the proposed trail.

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