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Langtang National Park

Langtang National Park, established 1976, is Nepal’s first Himalayan national park and the country’s fourth protected area. It exceeds an elevation range of 6450 m (21160 ft) and covers an area of 1710 square km (660 square miles) in the Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchok Districts of the central Himalayan region. It also encompasses 26 village communities and includes the Langtang valley, a Himalayan valley in north-central Nepal. The park borders and is  linked with Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in Tibet Autonomous Region towards north and eastern sections. The eastern and western boundaries follow the Bhote Koshi and the Trishuli river, respectively. The southern border lies 32 km (20 mi) north of the Kathmandu Valley.

The national park is mostly visited by locals for Gosaikunda lake, an alpine freshwater oligotrophic lake located at an elevation of 4380 m (14370 ft), for being one of the most sacred and holy lakes for Hindus and Buddhists in the country. Together with 108 lakes in the vicinity, the Gosaikunda Lake complex is 1030 ha (2,500 acres) in size and was designated a Ramsar site on 29 September 2007. The lake remains frozen for three months during mid winter and melts to form the Trishuli River. The famous ‘Lauri Binayak Lahigh pass at an elevation of 4,610 m (15,120 ft) also lies on the outskirts of Gosaikunda Lake.


The park contains a wide variety of climatic zones, from subtropical to alpine. Approximately 25% of the park is forested with a wide range of trees including deciduous oak and maple, evergreens like pine and various types of rhododendron. Animal life here includes the Himalayan black bear, Himalayan tahr, Assam macaque, the very famous snow leopard, yak, red panda and more than 250 species of birds.


Among themselves, the local inhabitants of the Langtang valley refer to each other as ‘Langtang Pa‘. They generally follow Tibetan Buddhism, and speak a Tibetan language that is closely related to the Tibetan spoken in Kyirong, southern Tibet. The Langtang Pas regard the mountain Langtang Lirung as their ‘yu-lha’, their local country god. However, in the state census, the Langtang Pas are categorized as Tamang. Langtang valley is believed to be the Beyul Dagam Namgo, one of the many hidden valleys blessed by Guru Padmasambhava.


The nearest motorable road that heads for the Langtang valley is Syabrubesi, and is also the base for most treks into the Langtang valley. The distance of Syabrubesi from Kathmandu is 122 km. Just as for the Langtang National Park, entering the Langtang valley requires everyone except locals to have the TIMS permit and the Langtang National Park entry permit.


The Langtang valley trek, from Syabrubesi to Kyanjin Gompa and back, is known to be the third most popular trek in Nepal, after the Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp treks. There are several treks that go through the Langtang valley and link it to nearby valleys, like the Helambu valley. In most of these treks, one can stay at local ‘Tea-Houses‘ for their lodging and fooding. 

There are several mountain-climbing options available too in the Langtang valley, ranging from relatively easy-to-climb peaks around 5,000m high, such as Kyanjin Ri and Tsergo Ri, to technically challenging peaks, such as Dorje Lhakpa and Langtang Lirung.

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