Standing on the central Himalayan region of Nepal, Gosaikunda Lake holds equal significance for Buddhists as it does for Hindus. An alpine freshwater oligotrophic lake lies in the Langtang region and is very close to Kathmandu. It is believed that once you take bathe in holy lake, all your pain, sorrows and sins are washed off.
Every Nepali must visit Gosaikunda once in their lifetime just to encounter the thrilling trekking and experience of mountainside weather in Gosaikunda trek.
Origin and location of Gosaikunda
Among 5,358 Lakes of Nepal, Gosaikunda is a purest holy lake. Situating above 4,380 meters above from sea level Gosaikunda is located in the Langtang National Park of Resaca. The lake covers a surface area of about 13.8 ha (34 acres) and lies at an elevation of 4,380 m (14,370 ft). The lake melts from the Trishuli River and remains frozen for six months in winter October to June. This alpine freshwater lake has 108 associated lakes including Saraswati Kunda, Bhairab Kunda, Surya Kunda, and Naga Kunda.
Religious Importance and link of Gosaikunda
Gosaikunda Lake is a sacred lake for both Hindus and Buddhists. It is believed that the Lake was the home of the Hindu deities Gauri and Lord Shiva according to Hindu legend. It is also said that Gosaikunda has been created by Lord Shiva when he thrust his Trishula (Trident) into a mountain to extract water to calm over his poisoning throat. Thus, we can say that it has a direct correlation to Samudra Manthan. It is also mentioned several Hindu scriptures like the Vishnu Puran, Ramayana, Bhagwat Puran, and the Mahabharata.
On the other hand, the lake is also sacred by Buddhists who connect it with the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. While the Newars call Gosaikunda also a silu.
As of August more than thousand Hindu and Buddhist devotee travel there to pay homage to Lord Shiva on the full moon day. According to them if they take dip in the lake their sins and sorrows are washed away once.
Gosaikunda trek and required permit
Gosaikunda trek is a thrilling one and it takes place on the high hills and Himalayas. If you are curious to walk on barren and steep trails, then this trek is the best one for you. To go on this trek you need to have permits, TIM’s card, whose cost depends on whether you are trekking alone or in a group. You can get those permits from Kathmandu or Pokhara.
Similarly, you need another permit that is Langtang National Park permit, Shivapuri National park permit and so on. If you get the permit you can adore the view of Dorje lakpa, Jugal Himal and Melamchi village as well. After passing lake you will reach at the Helambu. October is also regarded one of the best months for the trekking as weather and temperatures suit the trekking activities all over Nepal at that time.
Routes that will take you to Gosaikunda
The trip may take five or six days to reach Gosaikunda and returns back to Kathmandu. On first day you have to reach Dunche from Kathmandu. It covers about 2030m and you can reach in 6 or 7 days by four wheeler. On day two you have to reach Chandan Bari which is 3330 m far from Dunche. It might take 5 to 6 hours by walk. Similarly, on day three you have walk for more than 7 hours to reach Gosaikunda Lake. The distance covers between the lake and Chandan Bari is 4380m. To return back to Kathmandu you need two or three days. This is the shortest trek and best trek for Nepali to be in the mountain for the short period at a very low cost.
Apart from that there are other three alternatives routes as well. One can use Melamchi-Kutumsang-Thadepati-Gosaikunda route, Sundarijal-Kutumsang- Gosaikunda route, and Ghyangphedi-Yarsa-Gosaikunda route. By chance if you have a lot of days then you can do more doable Langtang Helambu circuit via Gosaikunda lake trek 11 days. The trek covers more landscape Helambu region trek and cross the Shivapuri National park.
Cost expense during the trek
To see the majestic wide verdant fields, valley, waterfalls, beautiful crests, culture, and etiquette more than thousand people travels per years. The traveler includes domestic as well as international tourist.
For the Gosaikunda trek per person it takes around NPR 16,000. The cost of trekking trip depends on which area you hike, the group size, what mode of transport, and kinds of hotel. If you are planning to do the Gosaikunda trek then do it with the group that can reduce a cost.
Meanwhile if you are a foreign national, Langtang National Park Entry Permit costs $30. If your country falls on SAARC Nationals then it costs only around $15. In total it cost around $400 USD to $550 USD that includes trekking permits, transportation, and accommodation with full boards meals.
What to expect after doing Gosaikunda trek?
The route offers spectacular views of the snow-clad mountains. Along the route, spots like Ghattekhola, Deurali, Dimsa, Chandanbari, Cholangpati, Laurebinayak, Buddhadanda, and Ganesh Gauda make for good points to observe the rolling hills and mountain peaks such as Mt Langtang, Mt Ganesh Annapurna, Himchuli, Langtang Lirung, etc. The central attraction of this hike is an exotic 108 glacier lakes including Saraswati Kund and Bhairav Kund. The Gosaikunda region is bounded by beautiful Himalayas range, charming jungle, attractive scenario, and lush wild nature. In those dense forests we can see at least 16 different species of rhododendron. If you are lucky then you can also see some rare wildlife such as red panda, musk deer and several species of birds.
The trek offers you a variety of religious food and authenticity. During the trail you will meet some Tamang people who speak their own language. You will be amazed after interacting with them,
Altitude problem and danger of trek
Compare to other trek, Gosaikunda Trek is relatively easy and moderate. However, to complete trip ones need good physical endurance as the trekkers has to walk about 5-7 hours on average daily. One of the most common problems people face during trekking is Acute Mountain sickness. In the case of Gosaikunda trek trail sees an increase in altitude by at least 300 meters daily. The maximum height reached in this trek is 4000 meters. Thus, there is a high risk of altitude sickness. Beginners can experience some symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and sickness when they reach Laurebinayak. Sometime, the trail might get steeper and challenging so, trekkers need to be careful. During winter time the narrow carved paths were full covered with snow and it is very dangerous.
Weather and best month to travel Gosaikunda
Talking about the weather of Gosaikunda it is quite unpredictable and can change in a minute. During winter the lake remains frozen.
Autumn and spring season are the best time to visit Gosaikunda. During spring the forest around the lake come alive and beautiful will colorful rhododendron, and various wildflowers.
As of autumn, the field is full of crops and the forest is very green and there is less chance of rain. The sky remains clear and that time the maximum temperature reaches up to 33-degree Celsius (day) and the minimum drops to around 6-degree Celsius (night). Because of the weather instability, the best month to visit the lake is at the end of February to the beginning of June and the beginning of September to the end of December.
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