Shey Phoksundo National Park
Shey Phoksundo National Park is situated in the Trans-Himalayan region of northwest Nepal in the districts of Dolpa and Mugu in the Mid-Western Region. It is Nepal’s largest National Park covering an area of 3,555 sq. km. It was established in 1984 to preserve a unique Trans-Himalayan ecosystem with a diversity of flora and fauna. The park’s headquarters are in Palam, Dolpa District.
Shey Phoksundo National Park provides a diversity of spectacular landscapes. Elevations in the park range from 2,130m in Ankhe to 6,883m at the summit of Kanjiroba Himal. Much of the park lies north of the Himalayan crest. Nepal’s deepest and second largest lake, Phoksundo Lake, lies in the upper regions of Suligad. Near the lake’s outlet is the country’s highest waterfall. The major rivers in the park are the Khung, Nmajung and Panjang, The Suligad, and Jugdual Rivers, which are the major tributaries of the Thuli Bheri River; and the Langu River, which drains the high Dolpo plateau to the east and flows westward.
Flora & Fauna
Apart from the beautiful views of the Himalayas, the Park also offers a wide variety of flora and fauna. The flora of this region is very diverse. The northern region of the park consists of barren areas of the upper Himalayas. The trans-Himalayan slope has Caragana Shrubs, Rhododendron, Salix, Juniper, White Himalayan Birch and you will see the occasional silver fir mostly covers the high meadows of the Himalaya. While the valley of Suligad has blue pine, hemlock, cedar, spruce, silver fir, bamboo, poplar, and rhododendron. The park also has 268 species of ethnobotanical importance. Ringmo village, a typical Tibetan village, is scenically nestled in the area. Many beautiful glaciers can be found near and above the lake area. The Park contains many Gompas (Monasteries) and religious areas.
The park is home to more than 9,000 people and their village’s area among the highest settlements on Earth. Most of the inhabitants of the park practice Bon Buddhism, an ancient religion with roots in Animism and Buddhism. The people here are Tibetan in both culture and lifestyle. Shey Phoksundo National Park has many religious sites including gompas. The most famous one is the Shey Gompa, which was built during the 11th century. Near the lake of Shey Phoksundo, there is Thashung Gompa which was built about 900 years ago.
Shey Phoksundo National Park Trekking
Phoksundo Lake Trek
The aquamarine blue-green lake set in the enchanting backdrop of mountains is a visual treat to the eyes. The oligotrophic lake is considered sacred by the Buddhists monks and visited by 2,000 people every year. The deepest lake in Nepal, you will even find endangered species like musk deer and blue sheep grazing by the lake. Even on the way to the lake, you will be greeted by waterfalls and spectacular scenery.
Shey Gompa Trek
Located in the Upper Dolpo region, Shey Gompa Trek is a doorway to heaven. The trek takes you to the desolate landscapes and isolated authentic mountain villages like Ringmo and Pungmi. The main attraction of the trek is the Shey Monastery located on the base of the Crystal Mountain. The whole place looks heavenly as if carved by the creators with utmost patience.
Helicopter Ride Over The Park
There are a number of tour operators in Nepal that organize helicopter tours around the region to have an experience like never before. This will not only save your time and energy but will also provide you scenic vistas of the mountains and preserved region from above.
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