Dolpo – The Little Tibet of Nepal

The world came to know about Dolpo back in 1999 when Eric Valli captured the region in his Oscar nominated movie “Caravan.” The unique landscape and lifestyle of the ethnic Dolpo tribe shook the world. It opened Dolpo as the popular tourist getaway. Since then, thousands of tourists have visited the region.


Overview

Dolpo is a culturally Tibetan region located in the upper part of Dolpa District in western Nepal. Part of the region falls under Shey Phoksundo National Park, the largest national park of Nepal. The inhabitants are the adherents of Bon, the religion that predates main-stream Buddhism.

The region is historically divided into four valleys: Tsharka (good growing-place), Tarap (auspicious excellent), Panzang (abode of monks), and Nangkhong (innermost place). Most people divide the place into two different regions; Upper Dolpo and Lower Dolpo.

The acute location of the region makes it one of the rain-shadow areas of Nepal, hence, you can visit Dolpo even during the monsoon. The region receives less than 500 mm of rainfall in a year.

Inhabitant of Dolpo
Inhabitant of Dolpo

The inhabitants of the region are predominantly traders. They trade salt from Tibet to lower parts of Nepal in return of other household goods; and their journey from home to farther distances is facilitated by Yak Caravans. This very culture inspired the story of a popular movie Caravan which later came to be nominated in the Oscars.

Only 200 tourist permits are provided by the government in a year, to control the arrival of tourists and to preserve the ethnic culture of the region. Hence, the permits tend to cost expensive than most other parts of Nepal.

Check complete itinerary

USD 500 First 10 days
USD 50 For each day
Shey Phoksundo National Park

Shey Phoksundo National Park spans 3,555 km and was established in 1984. It is the largest and only trans-Himalaya National Park in Nepal. Covering the greater regions of Dolpa and Mugu, the park is home to some of the rarest flora and fauna found in the country.

It is home to 6 different species of reptiles and 29 butterflies. The wildlife, such as; Snow Leopard, Grey wolf, Musk deer, Blue sheep. Goral, Great Tibetan sheep, Himalayan Tahr, leopard, Jackal,Himalayan black bear and yellow-throated marten, dominate the region.

The park contains the famous Phoksundo Lake, which is also the deepest lake in Nepal, and Shey Gompa (Monastery), both of which are the major tourist attractions.


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