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Langtang National Park

Langtang National Park
Nepal Travel Destination

The Langtang National Park, named after the Lantang Lirung peak (over 7200 meters) is located north of Kathmandu and extends all the way up to the Nepal-Tibet border. It was first established as a national park in 1970 and is a really special park because not only is it a conserved home to many flora and fauna, but local people also call this semi-jungle semi-alpine oasishome.

The park stretches over 1700 square kilometers and has a diverse range of treasures tucked away like glaciers, rural villages, Himalayan peaks, and lakes. One of the water attractions would be Gosaikunda Lake which is believed (by Hindus) to have been created by Lord Shiva. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims gather here in the month of August for the Janai Purnima festival (For more information on Janai Purnima see our festivals page).

Below 1000 meters is the sub-tropical forest home to various rhododendron species as well as chirpine, maple, fir, and hemlock trees. As the elevation increases the vegetation is replaced with alpine scrub and grass until the snow and rock covered peaks.

Some animals that call these lush and immensely different climates home are the wild hog, muntjac, snow leopard, rhesus monkey, and the endangered red panda. The park is also home to many migratory birds during the spring and autumn seasons due to its two major rivers (both popular for rafting adventures) that run through the park are the Trishuli and the Bhote Koshi Rivers.

Since the park is also home to over 50 villages it is not just a beautiful nature destination, it is also a first hand look into how local people live and thrive from this land. The majority of residents here are cattle breeders and farmers and they are also known for handcrafts and weaving. Some of the families do run “guest houses” for those visitors who are exploring their hometown or trekking through the park.

It is a great opportunity, since there are so many locals in this area, to first-handedly see the monastaries and other places of worship that are used on a daily basis. There are daily, monthly, and yearly celebrations in the Nepali culture so you have a really good chance to see some of these in this specific national park.

The easiest way to reach the Langtang National Park is by bus or taxi from Kathmandu to Dhunche. From here there is a seasonal road that links to Syabrubensi. You can also reach the park from Melamchi Pul, or Sundarijal (around 3 hours drive from Kathmandu).

From Dhunche it will take about three days of trekking to reach Langtang Valley where you can either turn around to head back or you have an option (depending on time of year and weather conditions) of going over Ganja La Pass (over 5100 meters). The Ganja La Pass is usually safe from April-November but conditions are sensitive to change as unusual weather is never predictable.

Although Dhunche the park headquarters, and a guard post at Ghora Tabela, each have a radio for emergencies, there is no medical facility in the park so it is advisable to carry a first aide kit as well as some minor medications for stomach problems and be aware of your chances to have altitude sickness.

Thousands of people depend on the parks natural resources to survive so it is expected as a visitor that you bring in your own camping needs (i.e. fuel you are not allowed to use found firewood). Also because there is always changes in climate, you should wear layers which can also lighten your fuel load. Both men and women are required to dress by local traditions, men always wearing a shirt and women not wearing shorts or revealing clothing. (see Tips for traveling in Nepal).

To view pre-designed Nepal travel packages, see our programs page orĀ the encyclopedia for more Nepal Travel items.