Peekye & Dudhkunda Trekking
A Beautiful trek in the Lower Everest Region
Everest region, located in the northern part of the district of Solukumbu, within Everest National Park, is considered one of the once-in-a-lifetime trekking destinations in the world. Largely overshadowed by the glory of Mount Everest is an area less frequented by tourists in the southern part of the district. The area surrounding the district headquarters of Solu consequently retains much more traditional characteristics and is filled with just as much natural beauty. Among them, the Peekye and Dudh Kunda trek are one of the most beautiful treks of the lower Everest region.
The Peekye region is situated 250 kilometres to the east of Kathmandu and offers travellers many sources of pleasure, particularly the beauty of the landscape and the cheerfulness of the people. Some trekkers prefer the high altitude of the Khumbu area, while others enjoy walking in lower regions, where there is an extensive range of fauna, flora and ethnic cultures in the backdrop of giant Himalayan peaks.
One of the most beautiful areas and one still mostly off the tourist route is Peekye Mountain (4065m), an exceptional mountain in that it is considered the protector of the entire Solu region. It is a destination not to missed if one is planning to do trekking in the Everest region.
Along this trail, the significant villages that are visited are Jiri, Bandar (Changma) and Golla. Golla is a small Sherpa village of about 40 houses scattered over the slope of Peekye at an altitude of 3,060m and with views of snow-capped mountains: Gaurishankar, Karylung, Numbur and Katanga among others. The religious and cultural life of this village is very vibrant. The town contains four small monasteries, all belonging to the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism, in which the monks perform the sacred dance festivals such as Duwa Chhechi, Ngungne, Dumji and Mani Rimdu, each festival is lasting several days.
Peekye is a perfect area for those who have little time but wish to experience varied trek, see Everest in full scale, enjoy deep blue skies, visit typical villages, and experience the mountain climate without seasonal barriers! Each season of the year has its beauty – its feel – to make a trip to this area worthwhile.
The major attractions of the region are traditional life, delicious Sherpa food, festive Buddhist monasteries and the dense forests of pine and juniper, the varieties of rhododendron (which start blooming from March and remain on till September), and the many colourful birds including the national bird, dance, of Nepal.
The views from Peekye stretches from Kanchenjunga, in the far east, to Annapurna in the west. From the top of Peekye one can view Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, Nupse, Khatanga, Karylung, Gaurishanker, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal, Manaslu, Annapurna and uncountable other peaks. The view toward the west and to the south takes in countless hills towards an invisible horizon. And all along the trail, both sunrise and sunset views are truly breathtaking. The sunset view from Peekye has nothing that compares with it in other parts of Nepal, dipping behind the mountains that are southwest of Kathmandu.
The entire area of Peekye is pastureland of the Sherpas of the surrounding area and the period from May to October is spend in this heaven with cattle (naks and yaks). Complementing the rich pastureland are three major cheese production centres, more than anywhere else in Nepal in number and quality. Two of them are on our trail, and one can visit with a warm welcome from their managers with a cup of tasty tea or warm milk and a piece of fresh cheese!
The trek begins from Jiri, which is in a distance of 200 kilometres from Kathmandu and reached after a drive of 6 - 7 hours. Jiri was the only gateway to Everest until the Lukla airport did not build. And ends at Phaplu, the district headquarters of Solukhumbu following a visit of Junbeshi, Thupten Chholing, Dudhkunda Lake and Chiwang monasteries! Dudhkunda is one of the special places of the area both for Hindu and Buddhist. The area from Junbeshi till Ringmo is full of nature, used only for pasture by the Sherpas.
The full moon day of August is a special day for people of the Solukhumbu region and all Hindu devotees. During this day a sacred festival, Janai Purnima, is celebrated at Dudhkunda Lakes. Hundreds of Jankris (Shamans) gather, beating drums, twirling rhythmically in skirts, perspiration trickling under their peacock feather headdresses as they move from shrine to shrine, a chance to see a bit of Nepali Culture the casual visitors usually miss.
The day when this festival is observed is considered sacred all over Nepal but is celebrated in different ways by different groups of ethnic majorities. The most widely accepted model of celebration is for people to take a ritual bath and change their sacred thread. Everyone receives a string of yarn tied around his/her wrist from a Brahman as a protective mark for the whole year. The occasion is considered to be especially auspicious for bathing in the lakes such as Dudhkunda. The jhankris, attired in their traditional costume, come to bathe at Dudhkunda and to pray for their healing powers, for they are the traditional healers of Nepalese villagers.
Day 01 : Arrive to Kathmandu 1,350m.
Our personnel will be waiting at the Kathmandu international airport to receive you with a traditional welcome. After checking into the hotel and refreshment, your guide of the circuit will inform you about necessary formalities and the upcoming program. Depending on arrival time, you will have the choice of visiting nearby shrines or resting.
Day 02 :Kathmandu to Jiri 1,905m.
A 6-7 hours’ drive
The road from Kathmandu to Jiri heads toward east traversing through the mid-hill regions. The weather supporting, there are beautiful views of the snow-capped mountains while making 6-7 hours ride to Jiri.
Jiri is the centre of Dolakha district in the Janakpur Zone of northeastern Nepal, 184 km east of Kathmandu, with a population of 14000 people living in 1,560 individual households and with an altitude of 1,905 meters.
Jiri was set up as an agricultural development centre by the Swiss Government Aid in 1938, making it one of the most known towns of eastern Nepal. Jiri once enjoyed as only one trailhead to all the trekkers and mountaineering groups into the Mount Everest region. The trek to Lukla via Jiri takes seven or eight days trek and further five to six more days to Everest Base Camp. The trailhead from Jiri into Everest National Park gets referred to as the “classic route to Everest”. All early Everest expeditions- including the one led by John Hunt that put Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary put on the summit of Everest - walked via Jiri since then Jiri is called the Gateway to Mount Everest.
Jiri is inhabited mainly by Jirels, a Nepalese ethnic group but one can find Sherpas, Chhetries, Sunuwars, and other ethnic groups.
Day 03 :Jiri to Shivalaya 1,113m.
A 3½-hour trek
From Jiri, it is another 2 hours’ rough road drive to Shivalaya, a small village inhabited by Tamangs and Newars and Sherpas, on the bank of the Shivalaya River. But we start the walk from Jiri which is 3½-hours easy trek and reach to Shivalaya at around the same time with the bus. We arrive here for a hearty lunch and stay overnight and visit around the village.
Day 04 :Shivalaya to Deurali 2,706m. A 4-hour trek
A 4-hours’ rhythmic going up through scattered village above the Shivalaya River brings us to Deurali, a small hamlet from where one can see Dudh Kunda Himal, Khatanga, Karylung, Gaurishanker and Peekye Peak, one of the destinations of our trek. When we reach higher ground, there are beautiful views of the lower valley and surrounding villages. The trail passes through several villages, school and a lovely forest area before reaching to Deurali.
Day 05 :Detour to Sherpa Peak 3,070m. and trek to Bandar 2,200m.
An early wakeup may find beautiful views of lower valleys of east and west. After tea and breakfast, we take 1 ½ hour’s hike up to a Sherpa Peak at an altitude of 3,070 meters, above the main Deurali village, which provides a beautiful panorama of the entire region. Or if the weather is poor, we visit the Thadung monastery, located above Deurali to the north. At the monastery, we meet the kid-monks studying Buddhism. We interact with them to learn about their schooling, meet with their teachers and learn about their World. We retrace the trail back to Deurali, lunch and then the trail goes down for 1½ hours to Bhandar, a Sherpa village with two stupas and a small monastery. The Bandar is quite a big village and covers a big area inhabited mainly by Sherpa. Arrive and overnight at Bhandar.
Day 06 :Bandar to Namkhile 2,290m
A 4-hour trek
The trail further goes down, and after 2 hours one arrives at the Likhu Khola, a river forming the boundary to Solu-Khumbu district and Sagarmatha zone. Nepal’s’ physical division is with 14-zones, 75-districts, and five development regions. Just after crossing the river, a good climb of 3 hours leads to Namkhile, provides fine beautiful views of Numbur Himal and the trail that walked down and the villages of Bandar and all-around to the west, south, and north.
Day 07 :Namkhile to Golla 2,980m.
A 3-hour trek
From Namkhile, the path is another 3-hour gradual climb through a forest of pines and rhododendrons. The views toward the North, west and south are open and could see down from Deurali. As we approach Golla, the panorama toward the west opens with a series of mountains including Gaurishanker and Karilung.
The village of Golla is not visible until you reach its knife ridge of the hill that hides the entire village. The village is on the lap of a hill facing east with a lovely view of Peekye Peak, Mount Gauri Shanker, Khatanga and Number range. This village is rich with three monasteries including a nunnery, which makes it a typical Sherpa village, whose inhabitants are mainly farmers. Each household has some cows, and some have dzom (a cross between a yak and cow).
The earthquake of 2015 damaged two monasteries and most of the individual houses. The main monastery is under reconstruction, and the nunnery repaired.
Day 08 :Golla to Ngaur 3,350m.
A 3-hour trek
Walkthrough a forest full of rhododendrons leads to the hamlet of Ngaur, situated on the top of a hill. This area is dense with pine, juniper, different kinds of rhododendron and bamboo. The lower valleys of Peekye are densely forested and are a sanctuary for many colourful birds. From Ngaur, the view towards Tseringma (Gaurishankar) and Dudh Kunda Himal is spectacular. Ngaur contains six houses and a small monastery, which remain closed due to earthquake damage. Fifteen minutes from there is a cheese production centre, where one can taste and buy cheese made from nak (female yak) and dzom milk (if it is open). The sunset view from Ngaur has no comparison with the other sunset viewpoints of Nepal since it dips from behind the mountains that are further west of Kathmandu.
Both sunrise and sunset, from Ngaur, are truly breathtaking so one should consider to wake up early in the morning to view the beautifully changing of the colour on every mountain summits around!
Day 09 :Ngaur to Chamdingma 3,510m.
A 3-hour trek
The trail goes through barren pastureland where Sherpas from the Golla area pass the summer with their cow and yaks mainly the summer is spent in this heaven with their cattle. The snow-capped mountains are again visible in a broader form. The panorama toward the west and to the south stretches with countless hills, providing a picture of an invisible horizon. In this area, there are three major cheese production centres, nowhere in Nepal comparing to number and quality. Two of them we will visit on our trail, and we will be welcomed with tasty tea or with a cup of warm milk, where one can even buy mini cheese-rolls (small round) for souvenir or for evening celebrations (if they are open).
On arrival, we will take a hearty lunch with an excellent view toward the south and west, including the most significant Himalayan chains on the northwestern horizon.
After lunch we hike up to Peekye top, which is another 40 minutes hike with all the vast panoramas in front - one will not feel that you are hiking due to its amazing views opening from every direction. The view from there is indescribable, stretching from Kanchenjunga to the east to Annapurna to the west (can view Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Manaslu, Annapurna, and other uncountable peaks and at night the glowing lights of the Kathmandu Valley. After visiting Peekye top, we return to our camp, and the rest of the day is free to stroll around.
Day 10 :Rest day and Peekye Peak 4,065m.
Early in the morning, before breakfast, take a short sunrise hike to the Peekye lookout. It is worth the lost sleep. We’ll begin around 4 or 5 a.m., the eastern horizon brightens the stars begin to disappear against the background of the dazzling mountains from Kanchenjunga to the east of Nepal to Dhaulagiri to the west of Nepal. Time permitting one get to see the half of Nepal standing in one point. It is about a 35-minute walk to the lookout. The view from there is indescribable. Then return for a hearty breakfast and enjoy the rest of the day reading, painting, photographing, or whatever you want.
Both sunrise and sunset, from Peekye Top or your Lodge, are truly breath-taking so one might consider whether to repeat the trip also in the evening for sunset view!
Day 11 :Peekye to Pambuk 4,000m.
A 4-hour trek
We leave our camp to continue our trek. The trail goes from the top of Peekye so we will be repeating the Peekye top with different views with a different perspective. There are two summits of Peekye peak known as Gole Peekye and Chyawa Peekye (let say Peekye 1 and Peekye 2). The Peekye 1 is the central peak, but the Peekye 2 is equally beautiful and provides a beautiful view of the lower valleys. We make a photographic stop at on both Peaks and continue to trek down to Jasawarngyang, a pass at about 3,800m, an important pass between two valleys with two tea-house. Probably we may want to have a tea or cold drink stop.
From here a trail gradually climbs to north from a hill ridge, which enables us to view both valleys and magnificent mountain sceneries onward. The vegetation is thinner with juniper bushes. We finally traverse a short cliffy section and arrive at a beautiful meadow at Pambuk La, another pass 4,000m, where we will be camping overnight.
Day 12 :Pambuk to Junbeshi 2,670m.
A 3-hour trek
After going down one and a half hours through a pine and rhododendron forest, one arrives in Taktur, a Sherpa village. Another 1 hour or so later and you are in the beautiful village of Junbesi. It is one of the ancient Sherpa ancestral villages with an old monastery in the village centre. We arrive here for our lunch, allowing us enough time to explore the village, visit the monastery and for a relaxing rest.
Day 13 :Junbeshi / Thupten Chholing / Phungmoche
A 4-hour trek
This morning we visit the monastery of Junbeshi, one of the oldest monasteries of the entire region. And also visit the Thubten Chöling monastery, founded by Trulshi Rinpoche.
Trulshik Rinpoche is one of the senior-most masters of the Tibetan Buddhism tradition and the head of the Nyingma schools, and one of the teachers of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Trulshik Rinpoche was also the holder of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) and the rare teachings of which he regularly transmits the Dalai Lama. Trulshik Rinpoche was born in 1924, in a place called Yardrok Taklung, in central Tibet. At a very young age, he gets recognized as the reincarnation of the great tertön Do-ngak Lingpa and regarded as the emanation of other major masters of Tibet and India.
After leaving Tibet in 1959, following the Chinese occupation of Tibet, he founded the Thubten Chöling monastery in the Sherpa Land of Solu Khumbu region, to north-eastern Nepal and lived most of his times there. The Thubten Chöling is renowned as one of the foremost centres for the monastic traditions of the Nyingma schools.
In 2004, Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche initiated two important projects: a new monastery in the valley of Kathmandu, and a monastic institute in Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha.
Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche passed away on September 2, 2011, at his monastery in Kathmandu. His enshrined holy body is in the monastery of Solu Khumbu, at Thubten Chöling, and it is open to the devotees for homage.
His reincarnation, or Yangsi, Ngawang Tendzin Lodrö Rabsel was born in Kathmandu on July 25, 2013, and recognized in 2015. He was born in the family of father Lama Ngawang Jigdrel Chokyi Wongchuk and mother Ogyen Drolma. The reincarnated Rinpoche’s auspicious hair cutting, and enthronement completed on the date of May 29, 2018, on the full-moon day of Saga Dawa, the month of occurrence of three most sacred deeds of the Buddha.
After visiting the important places, we further trek to Phungmoche a beautiful village of Sherpas, with a monastery and school.
Day 14 :Phungmoche / Shengeephuk 3935m.
A 3-hour trek
Today we trek for around 3 hours to reach Shengeephuk. We pass through a beautiful valley slope viewing small and charming villages, monasteries and aroma of pines and a variety of flora. The legend says that the name of the cave, Sangheephuk, is given after Lama Sange Dorje, ancestor of the Sherpas’, where he accomplished the meditation of virtue. One can see his right hand imprint on the cliff.
Day 15 :Sengeephuk / Beni 3,830m.
The path begins with a regular walking through alpine and rhododendron forest. The view toward Dudhkunda Himal is in hand reaching distance. The walk takes us through barren heavenly pastureland of Sherpa people from Junbeshi, Salleri, and Taksindu. The wilderness and the beautiful landscapes with a close view of snow-capped mountains attract us all the way ahead till we reach Beni, which we will make in two tranquil and panoramic walking days.
Day 16 :Rest Day 4560m.
Today we take a short hike to reach Dudhkunda (milky lake). You can see glaciers, the screed Dudhkunda Lake and the close view of mountains. During the monsoon season, bird watchers can see migratory aquatic birds.
Dudh Kunda is one of the sacred places of this area both for Hindus and Buddhists. The full moon day of August, Janai Purnima is in one of the most scenic and holy day among the Hindus. Hundreds of Jankris (Shamans) gather here, beating drums, twirling rhythmically in skirts, perspiration trickling under their peacock feather headdresses as they move from shrine to shrine. It is a chance to see a bit of Nepali Culture the casual visitors usually miss.
During the full moon of Janai Purnima, the Brahman and Chhetri change their sacred thread. Every Hindus tie the Raktsa Bandana “protective bond” around their right wrist. The thread thought to bring good fortune and worn for three months until Lakshmi Puja (the cow festival). The wearer removes it and reties it on the tail of a Cow. It is believed that the retying of the thread the cow will help the soul, after the death of the person, to cross the river of death.
Later in the day, crowds gather to listen to the repartee group of singers. Men and women try to outdo each other with wit, humor, and poetry. They go on for hours and hours and often have the crowd in stitches. Even if you cannot understand, it is fun to watch this cultural “sport”. When a truce is finally declared, singers agree to meet in the same spot the following years, and they often do in this heavenly Himalayan cradle.
Day 17 :Beni / Ringmo 3,060m.
A 7-hour trek
Today we take a long yet gradual, sometimes steep, trek down from Beni to Takshindu. Taksindu is the name of hill ridge that separates the valley of Ringmo and Yawa. The view toward the northeast takes us to across Mera peak and to the lower valleys. At Taksindhu there is Taksindhu monastic school and several ancient stupas and mani walls.
Day 18 :Ringmo / Chiwang Monastery.
A 4-hour trek
Today we take an easy walk to Chiwang. The trail drops down till Ringmo village, and then it takes a gradual walking till below the Chiwang Monastery. We leave the main trail to Phaplu and walk-up till the monastery, which is about 30 minutes. Chiwang monastery is well known for performing the Manirildup ritual, one of the most essential annual pujas followed by a series of mask dances representing the local deities and 8 manifestations of Guru Rimpoche. The celebration is also in the memory of the establishment of the Buddhist religion by the great sage Guru Rimpoche, the Padmasamvaba.
This monastery is located on a top of a sheer cliff on the northwestern corner of Phaplu, and it is the second most active monastery of the region and monastic schools. We make a night stop at the monastery and visit the monastery and its school.
Day 19 :Chiwang / Phaplu
We make a short walk till Phaplu, which is a 1-hour walk down. The trail descends through a carved zigzag trail through the Cliffside and drops to the river below the Chiwang monastery where we meet the main trail that follows to Ringmo. The path forks left to Phaplu and through villages until we reach to Phaplu airstrip. The Phaplu/Salleri is the headquarters of Solukhumbu district with a hospital (built by Sir Edmund Hillary), airfield and a motorable road that connects directly to Kathmandu, which is 9 hours’ drive.
In Phaplu we spend our last night in the trek. This is the occasion to enjoy a farewell party with your Sherpa friends who have accompanied us. They depart separately on a bus ride to Kathmandu.
Day 20 :Phaplu / Kathmandu
This day if we arrive on the right day, we will dedicate to see local bazaar, the weekly bazaar, when local people converge from the surrounding area. People from different walks of life come here to sell their product from grain to milk and vegetable to clothes or let say that one may find everything or sell everything. The young and herders take this day as a holiday to enjoying seeing varieties including the people.
After visiting the market, we take a short flight to Kathmandu, which is 35 minutes. Arrival to Kathmandu and the rest of the day remains free.
Day 21 :A free day / optionally take a city tour
Day 22 :Departure
Breakfast and free time till the time limit. In the indicated time our office representative and vehicle arrive at your Hotel to serve you till the airport. Drive to Kathmandu international airport to see off formalities and departure.
Number in Group Costs Per Person
3-Star hotels 4-Star hotels
1 Person US $4091 US $4172
2-3 Persons US $3186 US $3306
4-5 Persons US $2989 US $3109
6-7 Persons US $2747 US $2867
8-10 Persons US $2631 US $2751
Single Room Supplement US $410 US $530
- Airport to hotel and hotel to airport transportations as per the itinerary
- 3-nights hotel accommodations in Kathmandu, twin sharing basis, breakfast included
- Gaurishanker Conservation area entry permit
- TIMS Permit and permit fee
- Private transportation Kathmandu to Jiri
- Jiri to Junbeshi in Teahouse Lodge trek and Junbeshi to Phaplu Tented camp trekking service
- 1 Guide in the group and one porter for every two members until Junbeshi and + 1 Cook, three kitchen helper, Sherpa helpers and the necessary number of porters needed as per the number of persons in the group for Junbeshi to Phaplu trekking
- Camping equipment such as two-men domed-tent (Ozark/Mountain Hardware), Dining tent, Kitchen Tent, staff tent, toilet tent, shower tent, soft and hard mattresses, dining table, chairs etc. for everyday use.
- All kitchen the equipment and all required food, fuel and beverages for trekking period
- Insurance and all expenses of local staff
- A good sleeping bag to each member
- A pair of a trekking pole to each member
- A trekking map and duffel bag
- A satellite mobile phone for communication in an emergency (Personal usage available with 4$ per minute call)
- A small Medial kit box for first add medical purpose.
- Phaplu to Kathmandu airfare (Tax included)
- Travel insurance (Should include helicopter evacuation and cancellation eventualities as well)
- International air tickets
- Nepal entry visa and visa fee (One can apply on arrival to Kathmandu airport)
- Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu
- Personal expenses
- Alcoholic and mineral beverages during the trek
- Other charges such as usage of internet, telephone, laundry services.
- Tips for Nepali staff/porters and those, not mentioned in the above price include section.
3-Star hotels 4-Star hotels
Kathmandu Marshyangdi o similar Hotel Shanker or Hotel Malla
During trek In the Lodge and tented camps In the Lodge and tented camps