A new foot trail ‘Hunga Valley Everest Trek’ identified in Solukhumbu will be promoted. The Hills Development and Conservation Group, Nepal have recently produced a documentary, booklet, and tourist map to promote the trail. After the Corona pandemic, the group will promote it as a new destination for domestic and foreign tourists said Bhalakaji, chairman of the group. “This trail is short, sweet, and cheap,” he said. “Once Covid-19 is under control, we will welcome tourists with new enthusiasm and energy.”

There are two routes in the trail that offers views of the mountains, including Mount Everest, biodiversity, and the taste of Kulung and Sherpa culture. Pedestrians from Kathmandu need to set aside 13 days for the first route and 10 days for the second route.

Hunga Valley Trek: New Trekking Route to Everest

The trek on both routes starts from Bung village in Mahakulung rural municipality. To begin, travelers have to ride to Pattale on the first day and to Bung on the second day. On the first day of trial, or the third day of the journey, you have to walk from Bung to Chharakhar (2,975 meters). Similarly, on the fourth day, you have to reach Kholakharka (4,223 meters) from Chharakhar and stay there for the day. Meanwhile, there are settlements up to Chharakhar. On the fifth day of the journey, the travelers reach Kothe(3,580 meters) from Kholakharka. In Kothe, there is normal food and accommodations for tourists. Above Kothe, there is no alternate to camping.

Rai Women Community of Mahakulung village on Hunga Valley Everest Trek.

On the sixth day of the journey, the tourists stay at Mera Base Camp in Khare (5,000 meters). Similarly, on the seventh day, cross the Mahalangur Bhanjyang from Khare and reach Khongmading Valley (4,850 m). On the eighth day, you have to reach Watelma Dobhan (3,159 m) from Khongmading and stay there.

Both routes offer the best view of the mountains including Mount Everest, biodiversity, and Experiencing Kulung Rai and Sherpa culture

The trail is thrilling. The hikers must walk through the jungle. On the ninth day of the journey, one reaches to Veikho Telm (3,000 m) through the jungle and Dobhan, Watelma. Consequently, on the tenth day, hikers travel downhill to Muddhikharka (2,590 m) from Weikho Telm. On the 11th day of the journey, tourists can reach from Muddhikharka to Cheskam. And, on the 12th day, you can reach Kathmandu or Salleri by jeep from Cheskam. If you stay in Salleri, you have to travel by air from Phaplu Airport on the 13th day.

Khongmading Valley is also called Hunga Valley as it is the head of Hunga River. Before the start of the Maoist conflict in the country, tourists sometimes trekked in the area. With the onset of the Maoist People’s War, tourist traffic dropped to zero and has not taken place since then. In the past, it had been promoted as the Hongku Valley Trek. Also, recently in 2074 BS, the group has explored some new trails and networks.

11 Days Trek is an Alternative Route

Apart from the natural beauty, this trail is also filled with the scent of the unique culture and lifestyle of the Kulung and Sherpa community. Furthermore, if you go uphill from Chharakhar to Hurhure, you will see Numbur, Kongde, Choyu, and other mountains. Similarly, you can study hilly geography, forests, waterfalls, herbs, ponds, etc.

The Mahakulung is an intermediate zone of Makalu-Barun National Park. On the fourth day of the trek, after reaching Hurhure from Chharakhar, the parking area starts. The park is up to Muddhikharka. Additionally, this footpath is also a shorter and less expensive route to climb Mera Peak, Barunche Himal, and Chamlang Himal,” says Chairman Kulung. Furthermore, they can now use the Hunga Valley Everest Trek as an alternative footpath. Nowadays, tourists use the route of Lukla to climb Mera Peak. And, they return from where they left off. But with the introduction of this route, tourists can now go to or return to Mera Base Camp from Hunga Valley via Mahakulung.

The Hill Development and Conservation Group, Nepal have produced documentaries, booklets, and tourist maps of the trail. It also plans to attract domestic tourists.

Village on Hunga Valley Trek
Village on Hunga Valley Trek.

Similarly, on the third day in the second route, the trek starts from Bung. In the evening you have to reach Dimbul or Nurkum (3,014 m) and stay there. On the fourth day, they settle at Ghyangkharka (3,600 m) from Dimbul or Nurkum. Ghyangkharka is a beautiful viewpoint from which you can see the sunrise, sunset as well as the long-range of the mountains. From there, tourists can observe mountains like Mount Everest, Pumori, Lhotse, Choyu and Makalu.

On the fifth day of the journey, the travelers reach Salpa Bhanjyang (3,458 m) from Ghyangkharka. Similarly, on the sixth day, the tourists reach Saune Tham (3,661 m) from Bhanjyang. It takes 3 hours from Saune Tham to reach Silucho (4,153 meters). Furthermore, from Silucho, you can see the long picturesque view of the mountains. On the seventh day, early in the morning, the tourists can climb the Shilucho and return to stay at Saune Tham. And, on the eighth day, you reach Goodell or Bung from Saune Tham. On the ninth day of the journey, one can depart from Bung to Kathmandu or Salleri.

Alternately, you have to go to Salleri and take a flight from Phaplu on the tenth day. You have to walk 5 to 7 hours daily on both the routes. Tarzan Kulung, a tourist activist from Mahakulung, has seen a bright future for the region. He said that there is a plan to build a Mahakulung circuit in collaboration with the local village municipality for the development of cycling tourism. In a short time, the trek to Mt. Everest can be easily completed, the ethnic culture can be studied and the biodiversity can be enjoyed. Hunga footpath seems to be attractive even for domestic tourists.

Due to the coronavirus, foreign tourists are unlikely to come in the next few years. Therefore, it would be better for the group to launch a ‘Let’s go to Mahakulung’ campaign for domestic tourists and promote our Hunga Valley Everest Trek.  

“If Nepalese want to go around in the group, we will do it, and also, it doesn’t cost much,” said Kulung, the group’s chairman.
Nepal Tourism Board, DDC Solukhumbu, Mahakulung Village Municipality, The Great Himalayan Tail, etc. are assisting in the development of the footpath. The group said it placed signs on the footpath for the assistance of the tourists.

Hunga Valley Everest Trek Map
Hunga Valley Everest Trek Map

There is still some work to be done on the footpath. Work including footpath improvement, bush clearing, construction of tea house, and porter shelter, training has become necessary. Similarly, concrete bridges will have to be built on the river in some places. Also, the camping site needs to be improved. The group said it would interact with stakeholders by releasing maps, videos, and booklets in Kathmandu after the Corona epidemic subsided. He was assisted by Mahakulung Village Municipality and The Partners Nepal to produce these promotional materials.

Due to the coronavirus, foreign tourists are unlikely to come in the next few years. Therefore, it would be better for the group to launch a ‘Let’s go to Mahakulung’ campaign for domestic tourists.