Phoksundo is a fresh water lake located in the Dolpo region of Nepal. It is popularly known as the deepest lake in the country, and makes up for one of the best trekking experiences in Nepal. Reaching the lake isn’t easy either. You need to trek for days and up to 3,612 meters to reach the site.
Phoksundo or Shey Phoksundo is an alpine fresh water oligotrophic lake located in the Dolpo region of mid-western Nepal. It lies to the north of Dhaulagiri mountain bordering Tibet and inside Shey Phoksundo National Park.
With the depth of 145 meters, Phoksundo is known to be the deepest lake in Nepal. The lake and surrounding was designated a Ramsar site back in 2007. At the lake’ southern end, the village of Ringmo lies on the 30,000-40,000 year old landslide dam that formed the lake. Past the dam, the waters of the lake plunge over a 167 meter tall waterfall, called Phoksundo Waterfall.
The lake is rich in biodiversity and also supports various wildlife in the region. Snow leopard, musk deer, Blue sheep, Tibetan wolf and frequently traversing Yak caravans and cattle.
Visitors are prohibited from stepping inside the lake, as it is considered a holy site by the local inhabitants.
Upper Dolpo is a high-altitude region located at western Nepal. A rain-shadow area, Upper Dolpo receives least rainfall; therefore, most of the terrain resembles a desert like landscape and can be trekked throughout the year. It lays close to Tibet in the North, therefore, the inhabitants, local culture, dialect and architecture, resembles its northern counterpart.
The Dolpo people have practiced trading salt through caravans for ages. Eric Valli, a renowned French filmmaker made a movie based on the life of the people of Dolpo, named “Caravan.” It was nominated for Oscars in 1997.
Phoksundo National Park
Shey Phoksundo National Park, established in 1984, is the largest and only trans-Himalaya National Park in Nepal. Covering the entire Dolpa and Mugu districts, the park is home to some of the most exotic and least seen wildlife.
The national park is home to 6 different species of reptiles and 29 butterflies. 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 wildlife. Rhododendron, Caragana shrubs, Salix, Juniper, White Himalayan birch and the occasional Silver fir are the most found flora inside the park.
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