Mundum Trek: New Destination in the East Nepal

पर्यटन बजार२८ कार्तिक २०७८, आईतवार मा प्रकाशित

Mundum Trek: New Destination in the East Nepal

14 Nov, 2021                                                  Ramesh Rai
President, Maiyung Temke Salpa Silichung Tourism Promotion Center

Mundum Trek is a newly explored trail in the mid-hill region of eastern Nepal, enriched with full of natural beauty, rich bio- diversity along with Kirati Rai civilization their culture and lifestyles in eastern Nepal. The trail offer long stretches of Himalayan view towards and north, simultaneously far and wide scenery of mid-hill and terai regions.
Falls in the common border of Bhojpur, Khotang, Solukhumbu & Sankhuwasbha districts, and the regions are predominantly inhabited mainly by Kirati Rai with Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung, Brahman, Chhetri, Magar and Dalits in minority. The ridges and various important places like Temke, Meherung, Maiyung lauri, Salpa pokhari and finally the highest point of Silichung hills and crest were pilgrimage corridors of Mundumi since ancient days.
The trail meets Arun Valley trek at Kulupankha bhanjyang pass (3348m), through the romantic trail of lush green forests and wonderful landscape. The fascinating and rewarding trail follows gentle ascending and descending trails. Towards reaching the top Silichung hill (4155m) has steep climb and strenuous climbing.
Side trip to Tempke Danda (3010m)
Towards the south of Chakhewa pass (2250m) 3 hours of gradual ascending hiking journey reaches Tempke hill, famous for religious purpose, which is a popular tourist destination for the surrounding districts. The pristine hilltop is perfect for sunrise, sunset and great landscape view of snow clad mountains including world top Mt. Everest and 3rd highest Mt. Kanchenjunga.
It is steady uphill hike through rhododendron forest. Temke hilltop is situated at 3010m from the sea level sited in border-line between Bhojpur and Khotang district. The hilltop provides excellent panoramic 180 0 view Himalayan ranges from Lamtang , Dorje Lakpa, Numbur, Karyalung, Gaurishankar, Kwangde, Choyu, Kusum Kangaroo, Thamsekrku, Khangtega, Kyasar,Mera Peak, Nuptse, Mt. Everest, Lhotse.Chamlang  Makalu, Kumbhakarna  to Kanchenjunga in the east. There are Kirateswor temple and Jogi cave nearby and great place to stroll around.                                   
Trail Name become to Mundhum:
‘Mundum’ is the constitution of indigenous Kirat people.  It is Kirat Veda like the Holy Bible, Kuran, Tripitak etc. Mundum explains kirat civilization, kirat history, culture, customs, rituals, technology, language etc. Till before mundum was only in verbal form and transferred verbally generation to generation. It was folk literature.  But nowadays it is going to be written down in script form.  Mundum is a synonym of Kiratism.
Most of the Mundum trail parts are spiritually and religiously   important for the Kirat community.  “Mundumi” (priest of kirat) did sacred rituals and worship at those places and finally reached holy salpa lake. They take bath on holy Salapa Lake 3750 mtr.  And climb up to the Silichung peak (4155mt.) where they believe that the god stays there. They pray and worship there and get more spiritual power. Finally they pray to” Chomolungma”(MT. Everest ) According to Kirat Rai language  chomolungma means ; chomo-world biggest, lung- stone, ma- Mother (world biggest mother of stones).  So it has been named “Mundum Trail”.                             
The trail details:
The moderate trek from Chakhewa bhanjyang heads northward, followed by a long ridge-walk that offers beautiful landscape far and wide. The vast pastureland area is rich in wildlife and vegetation. These highlands are grazing areas for livestock. Centuries-old practice by the local people for centuries. Over 12 different types of rhododendrons bloom during the spring season. There are several ponds along the ridges and meadows that are the main source of water for wild animals, birds and livestock. A moderate 5-6 hours of trek along the ridges reaches Dhotre Deurali (2752m).
Basic local lodges and Nepalese foods are available at the pass.The trail continues at a similar altitude level passing through pastureland of alpine and sub-pine forests. Continuous ridge-walk continues, providing a breathtaking Himalayan view throughout the trek along forested land with mid-hill landscapes viewed far and wide. The next stoppage point convenient for camping is Hans Pokhari (Duck Pond, 2962m) an easy 4-5 hour eastward. Maiyung Danda, a side trek worth visiting, lies north-east, perfect for landscape views.
The dense forest of rhododendron, Oak, Orchid, Chap, ChestNuts, Lokta, Juniper and medicinal plants are widely grown in the forest. Walking through open ridges with clear blue sky, spectacular views are a lifetime experience. The area is peaceful and quiet, free from altitude sickness suitable for all levels of tourists. On both sides below the highland scattered Kirat Rai settlement are found. The forest are richly inhabited by wild animals like wild boar, thar , barking deer, red panda and birds like peasants, wild duck , partridges and others.
There are several Chautara (resting places) built by Kirati ancestors for the passerby. Heading north, with some ups and downs, the trek reaches Saatdobate (3122m). As there are water sources nearby, lunch can be taken near Saatdobate and Hyakule. Shepherd is frequently encountered along the trail. After a steep climb of Lauri dada for 2-3 hour will reach Rawadhap, where few goths are available. The place is suitable for camping .Continuing 5-6 hours gentle trek onward, Chhorten, Prayer flags, and Choutara are encountered.                                                             
Kulupankha Bhanjyang (3348m) a pass that adjoins Arun Valley trek has a basic local lodge. Regarded as a sacred pond, Salpa Pokhari (3500m) walking distance of 500m north receives hundreds of devotees to pay homage to fulfill their wishes. The trail returns the same way from Kulupankha Bhanjyang towards Rawadhap, Hyakule, Saatdobate, Maiyung. Finally descend via Suntale to Bhojpur bazaar. Alternatively, follow a descending trail via Salpa pass  Gudel, Sotang to Kthamnadu or Arun valley trek via Fedi, Dobhane, Kartike to Tumlingtar to Kathmandu.
Highlight of the trek:
Mundum trekking trail is a newly explored trail in eastern has been selected as 100 destinations of Nepal.  It is an easy ridge-walk, which passes along several ridges of Tempke, Chakhewa, Dhotre deurali, Maiyung, Satdobate, Raba Dhap,Lauri dada   and Kulupankha  bhanjyang.

The trail is suitable for all age-groups, and promoted as an all season trekking destination. The wide range of Himalayan views from World top Mt. Everest to the third Mt. Kanchenjunga, with long stretches of snow-clad mountains towards the north. Over dozens of mountain ranges can be observed while trekking through the rhododendron, Himalayan bamboos, Red panda, Himalayan Honk Eagle, Bhir Mahuri( cliff bee )  , wild KIWI fruits and rich flora and fauna. There are ponds, meadows, shepherd hut and rivers and rivulets. It is an easy and excellent trek at an altitude ranging from 2000m to 4155m for 10 days. Fascinating landscape views, Kirati Rai people with their rich culture and lifestyles along with taste of indigenous cuisine are major highlights of the trail.

Best time to visit: October, November, December, March, April & May. Level of Trek: Easy /Medium/Strenuous.
Type of accommodations: local lodge/homestay/camping.
Foods and beverage: Rice, lentil soup, seasonal vegetable and Raksi/Tongba (Dal- Bhat and Kirati food)
Clothing and equipment: Light trousers for summer and warm for winter trekking. Boots, pair of shocks, Jackets, Raincoat for summer. Tent, sleeping bags, Food supplies, medicine kit.

Day 1: Kathmandu to Diktel 1650m (265 km by Jeep)
Day 2: Diktel to Chakhewa 2300m (42km jeep/bus) & Temke hill 3010m (Side trip)
Day 3: Chakhewa to Dhotre deurali (2752m)
Day 4: Dhotre Deurali to Has pokhari  (2962m)
Day 5: Has pokhari  to Rawadhap (3426m)
Day 5: Raba Dhap to Kulupankha Bhanjyang (3348m)
Day 6: Kulpankha Rest day ( hike to Salpa lake)
Day 7: Day hike to Silichung (4155m) back to Kulpankha Bhanjyang
Day 8: Kulpankha  to Hyakule (2972m)  if you go the same way back/ Gudel if you go to Kathmandu via  Sotang  Bazar/ Fedi if you go to tumlingtar.
Day 9: Hyakule to Hanspokhari (2962m)/ Sotang/Chewabeshi
Day 10: Hanspokhari to  Bhojpur (1600m)/ drive to Kathmandu/ trek to tumbling tar
Day 11: Explore Bhojpur and Taksar, rest day / fly to Kathmandu
Day 12: Bhojpur- Kathmandu (by bus /Air)
How to reach:
1) Kathmandu – Khurkot – Halesi – Diktel – Chakhewa ( Jeep/Bus 12 hours)
2) Kathmandu – Sindhuli Bardibas-Dharan-Hile-Bhojpur (Bus/minivan/ jeep)
3) Kathmandu- Bhojpur (By Air 45 min)

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