The foothills of Everest is one of the best trips in the lower Everest region. This new trip offers the view of Everest and other eight-thousanders peaks in just a few hours drive from Kathmandu. The lower part of the Everest region is unexplored and home to different century-back monasteries. The land of Sherpa and the valleys view of the lower Everest region is increasingly becoming the place to be for mountain lovers, and nature enthusiasts. The region is home to the Sherpa people whose livelihood depends upon the mountaineering and agriculture.
On a clear day, one can see almost eight “8000-meter peak of Nepal” stretching from East to West from Jhapre and Pattale viewpoint. Everest (8848 m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), Makalu (8463m), Lhotse (8414m), and Cho Oyu (8201) are visible in the East and to the west; Manaslu (8163), Annapurna 1 (8091), and even Dhaulagiri 1 (8167).
The most dream come true moment from the foothills of Everest tour is when the first rays of sunrise slowly cast upon the snowy mountains including Mt.Everest, turning a whole white mountain into golden, and seeing how nature unfolds the treasure she has been holding from the night. And the joy of seeing Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world, from this lower Everest trek region with real eyes is something you couldn’t forget in your lifetime.
Apart from this, this foothills of Everest tour is a perfect chance to explore the history old Sherpa tradition and culture. The route is dotted with the monasteries, villages, paddy fields, completing it with the astonishing view Himalayas. This monasteries of the Everest region trip takes you to the land of the monasteries that is dated back 100 years old, which is home to current 32nd reincarnation of Kyabje Trulshik Yangsi Rinpoche and Mani Rimdu festival. Besides that, one can observe the perfect dilution of the Hinduism and Buddhism in Halesi Temple -Maratika Cave. The tour offers the deep insight of the day to day life of the monks, most famous and solemn ceremonies, architecture of the hill top monasteries, ancient mural on the inside, and friendly locals who are a delight to interact with.
Tour Type: Escorted by the guide and vehicle. Leave 365 days
Trip Level: Very Easy, suitable for all levels of fitness
Kathmandu/ group Meeting
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be accompanied to the hotel. There will be time for the rest before having a brief introduction about the trip and your guide.
Drive to Halesi
Your trip starts early in the morning. It takes 8 hour drive from Kathmandu to Halesi or Maratika Cave which lies in the Khotang district. On the way, you could see the countryside of Nepal filled with fields, hills, and small settlements. You will see the conjunction of Bhotekoshi and Roshi Khola over the deadliest Sun Koshi river. Reaching the border of Okhaldhunga and Khotang districts, you will be greeted by the Dudhkhosi river, which flows right from Everest.
A scenic drive through the villages of Nepal gives a glimpse of the small settlements and culture where life goes on differently than what we see in the urban areas. Once you reach the Halesi, you can take a round over the market or even visit the temple if you wish to. Overnight at Halesi.
Visit Halesi Mahadev Cave/ Maratika Cave
Early morning you will take a couple of minutes walk to Haleshi Temple- Maratika Cave. You can see lots of pilgrimages walking towards the temple area. You will hear the Buddhist monastery chanting prayers on the way to the temple. And also the loud noise of the bell coming from the Hindu temple. This is where two different cultures dilute (Hinduism and Buddhism), who worship their respective God Shiva and Padmasambhava.
Haleshi Mahadev – Maratika Cave
Halesi Mahadev is one of the famous pilgrimage sites of Nepal. It is a famous for Hindu, Buddhist, and Kirant communities. It says, Halesi Mahadev bestows blessings on the needy and fills prayers with wisdom and knowledge.This place holds crucial religious significance to Hindus as the great deity of Hinduism, Lord Shiva, manifested in the form of Linga.
Maraktia Cave is a sacred place for Buddhists as it is associated with the legend of Padmasambhava. As per Buddhism, this cave is where Padmasambhava is said to have attained immortality.
There is also a Maratika Monastery, home to around 50 monks. It is advised to reach there in the early morning as you can witness the peaceful mediation and praying session.
As you head towards lower cave, the long tunnel until you reach the plateau where there is a Buddhist god and a massive opening on the cave roof. Padmasambhava killed the demon in this cave and flew from the top resulting huge opening. The rock head and body of the demon is still inside the cave door.
Heading Towards Junbesi
As you leave for the Junbesi, you will see the crystal clear view of Mera Peak, Mt. Numbur, and Mt. Makalu. You will enjoy seeing numerous small settlements over the hills. Once you cross the “Dhap village, if the sky is apparent in the afternoon, the impressive Rowaling Range, Mt. Numbur, Mt. Everest, Mera Peak, and several other neighboring Himalayas greets you.
You will cross villages like Pattale (Everest Viewpoint), Salleri (Headquater of the Solukhumbu district, the trading hub for the upper and lower Everest region.
Driving through the bank of the Solu Khola (river) coming direct from Mt. Numbur and karyolung, and passing several small settlements and admiring the weather change in the Lamjure Pass Peak, you will finally reach Junbesi.
Since Junbesi lies across the Solu river, you must walk past the small suspension bridge. It is a village that lies in the foothills of the Everest region consisting of two famous monasteries on Everest region.
Hike and visit Monastery such as Serlo Monastery and Thubten Choling Monastery
The early morning rise in the Junbesi village is so refreshing that it keeps you energetic throughout the day. Remember to watch over the north. The tip of Mt. Numbur welcomes you profoundly as you can also see the Serlo Monastery over the south hill of the Junbesi. After having breakfast, you will head towards the Serlo Monastery, the first attraction of the many more monasteries of the Everest Region.
It takes around o half hour walk to Serlo Monastery from the Junbesi. The soaring sound of the Solu river, the charming view of the surrounding hills, and the waterfalls will surely calm your mind. As you march near the Serlo Monastery, you can see the mighty Numbur mountain, quietly shining brightly across the green and rocky cliffs.
Serlo Monastery is dedicated to providing education to the monks. Once they pass out, they are called the “Acharyas” led by Ang Tshering Sherpa, the principal. The monastery has about 100 students monks learning in different classes. They have their principal and disciple in this Buddhist Education Centre. You can see the monk students’ curious eyes and smiling faces. Remember to say “Tashi Delek” which means hello in the Sherpa language.
Once you finish your visit to Serlo Monastery, you will hike towards the Thupten Choling Monastery, which takes around 2 hours to hike. Thupten Choling Monastery is one of the most popular and attractive monasteries in the Solu Khumbu region.As you reach the gate, you will witness praying wheels powered by windmills, along with numerous stupas, Chortens, streams, and powerhouses. You are more excited than you expected as you climb the trail because of the stunning enormous monastery, the tiny houses perched on the slopes, the prayer flags, the chorten, and the monks wandering around.
Thubten Choling Monastery (2900m)
Thubten Choling Monastery was established by the renowned Lama, Truslik Rinpoche in 1960, who had ties with the Rombuk monastery. Situated at an altitude of 3020m, the monastery and retreat community is home to nuns (Annis) and monks. It is the residence of the current 32nd reincarnation of Kyabje Trulshik Yangsi Rinpoche. You can go to this private residency and greet him as well. Trulshik Rinpoche fled from the Khumbu area with a large group of anis and monks. They reside at the Chiwong for many years before building a temporary monastery.
Currently, the monastery community is home to 900+ nuns and monks, and new arrivals join the community every year.
During their time of prayer, around 100 nuns gather in a praying hall consisting of statues of various deities, photos of Trulshik Rinpoche, and different prayers tools. The humming sound, the medication, the devotion, the discipline, and the curious eyes, make you think that you are in a whole different world filled with positivity, calmness, and relaxation.
As you roam around the different corners of the monastery, you can witness the day-to-day life of the nuns and monks.
After having lunch, you will head toward the Phaplu. It takes two and a half hours to reach Phaplu from the Thubten Choling monastery.
Visit Chiwong Monastery (2715)m
Early morning, you will be greeted by Mt. Numbur, very few yards apart. Situated uphill, the road to chiwong Monastery is entirely off-road, but it is not bumpy a pretty comfortable one. On the way to the monastery, you can see the Junbesi village, shimmering beautifully far across, and the Phaplu village, including the airport. The main gate of the Chiwong monastery is blessed with a panoramic view of Phaplu, Pikey Peak, Pattle, Junbesi, and Serlo Monastery from the entry point.
Chiwong Monastery is established between 1919-1923 A.D by Sangey Tenpa Lama. A Dharma Sangha was created at the monastery’s founding by giving food grain allowances to 50 monks. Situated at a cliff at an altitude of 2800m, Chiwong Monastery is where God dances and dates back almost 100 years. Sitting quietly uphill, this sacred place was once home to Dza-Rongphuk Sangey Ngawang Tenzing Jangpo and an earlier Trulsik Rinpoche and some other Rinpoches from 1960-1967.
Every year, the major festival of Buddhists, the sacred celebration of Mani Rimdu is celebrated in Chiwong Monastery. This festival is celebrated on the first day of the tenth Tibetan lunar month, which falls between the middle of October and the middle of November. The Mani Rimdu is a 19-day period of sacred rites and empowerments that concludes with a three-day public festival.
The surrounding walls are covered with 100 years old paintings. You can also witness the early morning praying where monks chant the holy prayer and the energetic and rhythmic sound of Silnyen, Gyaling, and Nga (drums).
Drive to Pattale
After having breakfast in the hotel, you will drive back to Pattale.On our way, we may also stop to visit the Salleri Bazar. As Salleri is the administrative headquarters of the Solukhumbu district, it is the central marketplace for the lower Everest region.
Once you reach the pattale, you can either walk 20 minutes to the viewpoint or stay in the lodge to see the astonishing sunset over Everest and Rowaling Range. And yes, you can see Everest from here. For the unobstructed view, it is better to hike to Pattale viewpoint, witness the sunset over the mountains, 360 views of valleys, and the beauty of the horizon far across the hills.
Hiking to Jhapre Tolu Monastery
Early morning you will hike towards the Pattale viewpoint to see the sunrise view over Everest and the surrounding Himalayas. The golden rays falling over Mt. Everest, Numbur, Katyolung, Mera Peak, Gaurishankar, and the other Himalayas are breathtaking. The first glimpse of Everest is something you could not forget for a lifetime.
Having breakfast, you will march towards the Jyapare village, which takes around 2 hour’s hike from Pattale. Continuing through the village, you will be offered the unobstructed and different angel views of Everest, Dudhkunda, Numbur, Karyolung, Pikey Peak, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Gaurishankar, Nuptse, Pumori, Lantang, and many more.
Jhapre Gumba Monastery is a local Buddhist center for the people of Tapting area. Situated at an altitude of 3372m, it is also one of the oldest monasteries that lies in the foothills of Everest. This area is filled with Buddhist Stupas and Mani stones.
Drive to Mulkot
The drive from Jyaparey to Mulkot is around a maximum of 3 hours. Mulkot is a small marketplace of markets, hotels, and restaurants beside the soaring sun koshi river. If you wish to, you can take a walk or relax in the hotel.
Return drive to Kathmandu
It takes around two and a half hours to reach Kathmandu from the Mulkot. On your way back, if the sky is clear, you can see the Langtang Himal Rang, Dorje Lapka, and even Sisapangama, 8000m mountain that lies both on Nepal and Tibet border.