High atop one of many hills in Dolkha district, Kalinchowk lies at a formidable altitude of about 3840 meters. Gaining popularity among local tourists in recent years, Kalinchowk is among the favorite destinations these days, specially during winter. With the onset of winter, a thick blanket of snow covers the already majestic landscape, literally adding icing on the cake. There’s not much information about the trek in the internet. If you try looking for one, there’s a high chance that you will end up in one of my blogs! I’m just doing this as a part of trekking introduction in Rolwaling region for my personal blog.
The gateway to Kalinchowk is Charikot, the headquarter of Dolkha district. The easiest way to reach Charikot is to get a bus from Old buspark, near Ratnapark. The ticket fare is around Nrs. 325. Charikot is about 140 km away from Kathmandu, it should take around 5 hours for the bus to reach Charikot. But it’s Nepal so we can’t always be sure!
Let’s talk about options now!
Depending upon your limitation or flexibility of time, you can either take the earliest bus from the Ratnapark and make your way upto the village of Kuri the same day or you can rest at Charikot on the first day and then make your way up to Kuri the next day! The catch is, it will take about 5-6 hours of normal walk from either Charikot or Makaibari to reach Kuri. So depending upon the time you reach Charikot, you can aim for Kuri or you can stay at Charikot. If you can only spare two days i.e. Friday and Saturday, I’d suggest you to take the shorter option. You could reach Kuri on the first day and if you start early the next morning and reach Charikot by the time the final bus leaves, you might as well make it back to Kathmandu the same day! (I have done that once). Or else if you’re not in a rush and would not mind spending a day or two up there you can take it slow.
If you take the slower option, you can take the last bus from the Kathmandu and still make it to Charikot before the dusk. If you take the earlier ones, you can do a small tour of Charikot, visit the Dolkha Bhimsen temples and wander around the town. The next morning you will start your trek to Kuri, and regardless of how slow you walk you will end up in Kuri by the evening. Kuri village is about 14 kilometers from Charikot.
The hike to Kuri is comparatively easy. After walking for about an hour, you’ll reach a place called Deurali, a small yet beautiful settlement, one might as well say the hike beings after Deurali. The trail is easy to find and easy to climb as well. “Just follow the poles” as the locals say. There’s nothing much to see around the trail, but you can enjoy the chirping of birds and silence of the forest, with occasional view of mountains of the Rolwaling range. You climb all the way up for about 5-6 hours and at the end, you have to descend down to the village of Kuri. There are plenty of hotels at present but its always better to pre-book. For that particular information follow my blog on Kalinchowk Hike on My Holiday Nepal . The price for hotel rooms in Kuri starts from 300+ You could get a good room for two for just 300 or 400 (they might hike it during the peak season, but still you should be able to get one at 400 Nrs). Daal Bhaat with meat costs around 200-250 Nrs depending upon where you stay.
But if you decide to stay at Charikot, then there are plenty of hotels in Charikot as well, the price range can start from 500 Nrs to 4000 Nrs for room. But a good average but a decent hotel room will cost you around 1000 Nrs and 250 for a plate of Daal Bhaat.
The next day you can start early and then make your way up to the temple. The temple is about an hour walk from Kuri village. For someone who can walk fast, it doesn’t even take that long! (I’ve carried a 14 kg cycle up to the Kalinchowk temple from Kuri and reached the top in less than an hour!) It does go steeply up, relatively so it’s better to take it comparatively slower if you’re struggling. There’s a chance that some people could get altitude sickness, so it’s always to take it slow. The temple sits on top of the hills over looking one of the amazing landscapes you’ll ever see. You can see absolutely amazing views of different mountain range from the temple. I have included the photo of the mountain range along with the labels on the mountains.
Descending down to Kuri won’t take a long time. A quick meal at Kuri and then you can make your way down to Charikot and catch a bus back to Kathmandu the same day, or you could spend the whole morning at Kuri, descend down to Charikot slowly and then make your way back to Kathmandu the next day! It all depends on your flexibility.
A totally different option would be to hire a Tata Sumo and then directly reach Kuri instead of going to Kalinchowk, if your’re not looking forward to the hike!
I have been there many times, and I’d love to go there over and over again, Kalinchowk trek definitely falls on one of the highly recommended of mine!
It doesn’t cost much and its definitely worth it! Around 4000 will be more than enough for the whole trip. If you exclude staying at Charikot, then you might as well get away with around 3000, but it’s always better to be safe and carry enough!
Cycling trip to Kalinchowk: “They called me crazy- but it was worth it!”
Mountain range from Kalinchowk
Mountain range from Kalinchowk