Inner Dolpo has a magical, mythical appeal. The landscapes here are even more desolate than on the Dolpa Circuit and the villages even more isolated and pure. In Inner Dolpo century old Buddhist traditions, interwoven with shamanistic influences, are still an important part of daily life. The villages, gompa’s and people you meet during this trek will leave an unforgettable impression on you.
Inner Dolpo is a restricted area, for which a fee is charged of US$ 500 for the first 10 days, and US$ 50 for each additional day. Besides, there is a maximum of the number of foreigners that can enter Inner Dolpo each year. Currently this maximum is put at 250 people. This makes Inner Dolpo a very special and exclusive place.
The trekking brings you to Shey Gompa, which is often referred to as the spiritual heart of Inner Dolpo. It’s a magical place, situated at the base of Crystal Mountain, which is visited by hundreds of pilgrims each year. They make a kora (circuit) of the Crystal Mountain, Dolpo’s own version of Mount Kailas. The trek is an extension of the Dolpa Circuit, done in the other direction.
It is a very strenuous hike. You have to cross three passes, Kang La/ Ngadra La of 5350 m, the Shey La of 5000 m and Jeng La of 5110 m. These crossings involve long climbs and long descends. Besides, you stay above 4000 meters for a long time, with very cold nights. But the unforgettable landscapes, the views from the passes and the contacts with an untouched culture make it all worth it.
Leaving from Kathmandu, it’s a 20 days trip, but it can be extended as well, depending on the length of your walking days.
There are guesthouses in Juphal, Dunai, Kageni, Chhepka, close to Sanduwa (next to the Amchi Hospital), Ringmo, Shey, Saldang, Dho and Lingdo. At the other places you have to camp.
Walking times are of course a guideline and differ from person to person. The times mentioned, are excluding breaks.