Nepal’s rendition of Heaven: Tsho Rolpa

29, Mar 2022 |

Tsho Rolpa resides in all her glory at the bottom of Rolwaling Valley

Text by: Ankita Maharjan

Being adventurous was never my cup of tea. Growing up as a couch potato confined to reading fiction, binge-watching entire shows, and doing house chores. Never did I think that I would get an opportunity that would change the entire perception of my life that I had built up. My very first ticket to a new life manifested itself in the form of Tsho Rolpa.

Tsho Rolpa is one of the biggest glacier lakes in Nepal located in the Rolwaling valley of Dolakha district near the Tibetan border. The lake is at an altitude of 4,580 meters (15,030 ft) from sea level. It is believed that this lake has grown considerably over the last 5 decades due to glacial melting.

photo: Avish Maskey

Charikot to Simigaun

My very first adventure started when I and some of my friends decided to hit the road for a 2-hour long journey from Charikot to Chet-Chet (one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Singati).

Chet-Chet is the point from where our 6 days and 5 nights journey begins. Throughout the journey to Chet-Chet from Charikot I had multiple thoughts running through my mind doubting my better judgment; Would I be able to complete what I have started? Is this really worth my time? Despite all of my anxiety and a general utter lack of confidence, I started my trek to Surmuche where we found our shelter for the night. Due to our last-minute plan, we started our journey a little later than we should have, which is why we had to rest our night at Simigaun. Simigaun lies at the altitude of 2,019 meters just 2-hour climb from Chet-Chet. This is also the last place where we could charge our electronic devices.

Simigaun to Tungaun

The next day after having breakfast we started what we had left yesterday at 8 in the morning. We passed through many beautiful villages, jungles and struggled our way up steep slopes, enjoying the beauty of nature as much as we could. We made our next stop at Surmuche (2470 meters) after 2 hours of climbing. There we had our lunch along with a much-needed break.

Around 11 am we started our journey again to Tungaun which approximately took us 5 hours to reach. In my 22 years of life, I have never thought that I would be able to climb for 5 hours straight. The joy of finally reaching the resting point where I can sit without worrying about the journey ahead which is yet to come and freeing my toes from trekking shoes is indescribable. Tungaun is a beautiful place with few houses here and there and only 2 hotels. This is also the last place where we get a mobile network. 

Tungaun to Naa

Jumping to the third day we begin to climb at 8 am after having breakfast. Small signs boards placed and villagers throughout the route helped us navigate the trail even without a guide. After climbing for 4 hours we reached another beautiful place called Beding (3690 meters) where we had our lunch while taking an hour break from the painful climb.

photo: Manjeev Kayastha

photo: Nimesh Kayastha

As we climbed our way to Tsho Rolpa from Chet-Chet we were blessed with the sight of many beautiful rivers, streams, jungle, and more importantly wonderful people and their kindness to give us shelter for the night and later the right direction to reach our destination. After climbing for another 4 hours we finally reached our last point of the journey, the Naa valley (4183 meters) where we rested for the night, excitement in all of our hearts for our destination was inching ever closer.

Naa to Tsho Rolpa

With the newfound energy and high spirits, we begin our journey for the last time to finally arrive at our destination. After Naa valley, the way to Tsho Rolpa is a flat plain covered with thorny bushes throughout the way. It took nearly 3 hours to travel 4.5 kilometers; the great athletic stamina that I had, forced me to take a break every 30 minutes.

After all the hardship, second thoughts, cold, and comfort we finally made it to Earth’s very own rendition of heaven, Tsho Rolpa sitting beautifully with all her glory at the bottom of Rolwaling Valley. The lake is in plain green with a tall and mountainous background. We spent a good amount of time there enjoying and capturing the striking beauty of nature. When the time to leave the place finally came, pangs of sadness resonated amongst all our faces.

photo: Nimesh Kayastha

photo: Avish Maskey

No amount of words will be enough to describe the beauty of this journey and the moment I spent with nature and my friends. The moment I got in the jeep to Charikot, reality hit me like a train knowing that I have to get back to the normal routine of my life. This experience will stay with me for the rest of my life, addicting me to the pursuit of these heavenly abodes.


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