Humla in Nepal is known for being the gateway to the exceedingly popular Mount Kailash trek. A trek to Humla is often even combined with the Limi Valley by adventurers. But what remains overlooked often is the Nyimba Valley to which Humla opens up. It’s a piece of nature that so many have overlooked amongst its more popular neighbours. And just what makes it so special? Well, from Humla to Nyimba the trek has you passing through some exquisitely quaint Nepali and Tibetan influenced villages, making your way to a Buddhist monastery and more. For the ones who find cosiness through nature’s forms even as they pursue an adventure, this is a good pick.
How to reach: Fly down to Kathmandu firstly, from there you shall have to fly down to Nepalgunj and then eventually a flight to Simikot which is the starting point of a number of treks in the area.
Best time to trek/visit: March to May, September to November
Duration: 9 – 10 days
Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult
Altitude: 4,000 m approximately
Trek route: The route will of course depend on what you decide with your local trekking guide, but possible options include:
Kathmandu – Nepalgunj – Simikot – Buraunse – Nimatang – Raling Gompa – Bargaon – Karpunath – Simikot – Nepalgunj – Kathmandu
Day 1: Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
Altitude – 150 m
After arriving in Nepal, you could spend some time in and around Kathmandu during the beginning of your trip. Make your way through its busy streets where you can meet travellers from all over the world or head to some of its quieter parts by getting a little from the city. And then fly down from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj.
Day 2: Nepalgunj to Simikot
Altitude – 2,910 m
Simikot is the trek starting point for a number of treks such as Mount Kailash, Limi Valley and of course, Humla. As you fly down from Nepalgunj to Simikot, the excitement of the upcoming adventure is sure to come knocking!
Day 3: Simikot – Buraunse via Burause Gompa
Altitude – 3,200 m (and the gompa is 3,400 m)
And, your trek begins! So, day 3 has you starting off from Simikot, the small town which serves as the administrative headquarters for the Humla district. From there, you shall be making steep ascents to head towards the Gompa. On the way you will pass through terraced fields which breezily look back at you, letting you know that you’re far from that city life. As you reach the Gompa and then make your way to the village, you know you’re in the thick of the Tibetan community as their cultural influence starts to show around here.
Day 4: Buraunse to Nimatang
Altitude – 3325 m
To add to its rustic charm, today you shall tread gently upon a rickety wooden bridge and descend down to Ghatte Khola. From that point onwards you shall again start ascending gradually. Here comes the beauty of this trek because not only do you get to witness nature but also the Buddhist presence. So, your trail has you crossing stupas and Mani walls along the way. The occasional local inhabitants pass by and what could be a better way to know about this are tat you’re visiting then a little tete-a-tete with the locals themselves?
Day 5: Nimatang to campsite Raling Gompa
Altitude – 3,930 m
Greet the thick forested land as you pass through it. Cross over the iron bridge and surrender to the trail. Today, you get your first proper glimpse of the Nyinba valley sprawled in its green and natural glory. The mountain lover in you gets further excited as you find yourself reaching a point from where you can gaze at the Changla Himal Range. You shall even cross the place Tokra which sees the local folks visit during the Sagar Dawa Festival, a colourful cultural affair. After ascending further, you shall reach the campsite near Raling Gompa.
This is quite the scenic campsite as it offers you views of the Crystal Mountain and the Raling Gompa. You can stare back at them for as long as your searching eyes wish to. But that’s now where your day simply ends as its time to pay a visit to the Gompa! You can go pay your respects at the monastery of the Nyingmapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and be further intrigued by the Milarepa Cave too. If you find a monk, then why not interact with to learn more about their practice and life in this part of the world?
Day 6: Campsite Raling Gompa to Bargaun
Altitude – 2940 m
This day offers you a relatively lighter terrain. So, you shall pass over the iron bridge over Ghatte Khola and head over the gushing river below. From there you shall once again ascend to make it to the Bargaun village, a picture of serenity laying gently amongst the hills. The fields surround you and the hills play peekaboo at a distance, it’s your time with nature so let yourself soak each moment in.
Day 7: Bargaun to Karpunath
Altitude – 2106 m
You shall pass through one of the biggest villages in Humla which is that of Thethe. And, then this day also rewards you to seeing the gorgeously blue Humla Karnali river. Take a few moments to just sit near it, to watch the waves run wildly into each other with glee and to hear their whispers to one another. As you proceed towards the village of Karpunath and make it your campsite, why not stay up with the rest of the group to go over the memories made through the course of the last week?
Day 8: Karpunath to Simikot
Altitude – 2980 m
The last day of your trek should surely be one that you spend doing whatever you please. So, as you head to the small Syamnae village, make sure to look back at the terraced fields, the trees, and at the valley at large before you have to bid farewell to it.
Day 9: Simikot – Nepalgunj – Kathmandu
Altitude – 2,910 m, 150 m, 1,400 m
You could either fly all the way back to Kathmandu on the same day or spread it over two days if you have the time. Humla is sure to call back the mountain child in you to visit it once more!
Which of the treks starting from Humla are you most keen to go on first?