Exploring Untouched Dolpo
Dolpo, pronounced “Dolpo-pa” in Nepali, is a region located in the Shey-Phoksumdo National Park, which was established in 1984. The National Park lies in the distinctly remote and isolated corner of mid-west of Nepal. Its area covers more than 3555 square kilometers.
Dolpo-pam, as it is called in the local language, lays behind the Dhaulagiri massif which boarders the Tibetan Plateau. Thus, its culture is often equated to be more akin to the Tibetan culture than that of the Nepalese as the Tibetan culture of today has been more predominate within the Dolpo region of Nepal. Adding to this basis, Dolpo’s seclusion has often been compared to the secretive world of the Tibetan people.
Only recently has the Nepal Government permitted the journeying into the undisturbed and vague ecological mystery surrounding Dolpo. Since ancient times, the locals in Dolpo have lived, traded and cultivated as was done by counterparts in Tibet. The symmetry has led to a rich cultural arena privileged to live in its virgin past and with only a minimal degree of influenced from the dominating Western world.
In Dolpo’s ecological system, the wild fauna and flora are at their most prominent and innocently beautiful state. Within this picturesque forum the dramatic Snow Leopard, prized Blue Sheep and Himalayan Black Bear reside in this vastly undisturbed conservation area. The majestic awe is further displayed when one considers the unquestionable beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Dolpo’s rich habitat can be seen through the forests which are made up of the delicate Silver Fir and Birch forests as ones makes their way to Chaurikot. It’s a tranquil yet memorable encounter that includes both exciting and emotional experiences. Suddenly and without realizing you have come across a mystical cloth of mist over the rugged narrow hilltops, the scenes of the North Jagadu Himal and Patrasi emerge partially shrouded in the distance through the unstable weather systems that are manifested by changing cloud formations.
Within this latitude of Nepal, which is similar to that of Cairo, the horse shoe with rising majestic mountain peaks soars over 21,000 feet. These and other dramatic changes take place as travelers wander deep into the center of Dolpo. Here an unexpected desert takes shape, cold in frame but home to the undisturbed Tibetan people of times past.
It’s here that the hidden secret protected by unclimbed peaks and deep valleys that you will find secluded monasteries. Treks through these parts are breathtaking and a once in a life time experience as few have made the effort because of the challenging geography known centuries back. Its richness is being discovered now in Nepal and in all its beauty as one travels through the Dolpa area.