Makalu Barun National Park

Makalu Barun National Park is one of the Himalayan nature reserves of Nepal. It was established as the eastern extension of the Sagarmatha National Park but was later instated as the separate protected nature reserve.


Thulo Pokhari
Thulo Pokhari

Makalu Barun National Park was established in 1992. It is the only National park in the world with the elevation gain of 8,000 meters. One of the highest peaks in the world. Mt. Makalu, is located inside the park, along with other great mountain ranges, such as; Chamalang, Baruntse and Mera Peak.

Spanning across 1500 km2, the park touches both Solukhumbu (Khumbu) and Sankhuwasabha districts. In the north, the park shares the international border with Tibet. The park also comprises into the Sacred Himalayan Landscape.


During 1980s, personnel of The Mountain Institute (TMI) conducted surveys in the Barun Valley for studying the biological diversity of the region. The results of the survey led to the creation of an entirely new protected area. A respective proposal was formulated in 1985.

In 1988, the Makalu-Barun Conservation Area Project (MBNPCA) was started in the joint of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and TMI. It was gazetted in 1991.

The conservation area was to be regulated in joint effort of the locales and the respective department. In 1991, the conservation area converted into a buffer zone.


The Makalu Base Camp makes a wonderful trek for the outdoor lovers. More than 20,000 tourists visit the Makalu trail every year. The entire trek may last 16-17 days, and you must fly from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar to do the trekking.

The trail lies inside Makalu-Barun National Park, hence offering a rare glimpse of the Eastern Nepal’s rich biodiversity.

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Insight on the Lukla (Everest) Airport

Lukla Airport or Tenzing-Hillary Airport is a small airstrip located at the Khumbu region of Nepal. Situated in a remote destination in the eastern Nepal, it has been declared one of the most dangerous airports in the world.


The Lukla airport (LUA) is renowned for its short runway and higher altitude. Situated at 2,845 meters in a mountainous region, the weather radically changes within few minutes.

Due to its mere runway size (527 m×30 m), only the small airplanes and helicopters are allowed to access it.

Aircraft can use runway 06 only for landings and runway 24 only for takeoffs. There is low prospect of a successful go-around on short final due to the terrain. There is high terrain immediately beyond the northern end of the runway and a steeply angled drop at the southern end of the runway into the valley below.

In 2008, it was renamed “Tenzing-Hillary Airport” in honor of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary, the  first men to successfully conquer the Everest.

Lukla Town

Lukla is a small mountainous town comprising of well facilitated huts.  Most of these huts are used as the lodges to cater the incoming tourists. It also serves as the gateway to the Everest. The village is only accessible through air or by a lengthy drive/hike through Jiri.

Sherpas are the predominant inhabitants of the region, and Buddhism remains the de facto religion. It rains in Lukla throughout the year. The most precipitation occurs during Monsoon (June – August) and may even extend to the Autumn months of September and October.


Everest Base Camp

Trekking remains the most popular outdoor activity in Nepal. The Khumbu region attracts most tourists in Nepal for the Mount Everest. Every trekker has to reach Lukla before heading towards the Everest Base Camp, therefore, the region remains a busy place throughout the year.

More than 50,000 tourist visit the region every year. A handful of the tourists comprise of mountaineers looking to summit the Everest. The arrays of Eight-Thousander peaks and more popular smaller peaks, such as; Imja Tse, Mera Peak and Lobuche, makes the region a bustling place for tourists.

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Gokyo Village: The Gem of Everest

Gokyo village at Khumbu region is small hamlet consisting of only few huts. You can choose to visit the village while trekking towards the Everest Base Camp.

It is one of the highest settlements on Earth, but likely not permanently inhabited throughout the year. The Sherpa inhabitants of the village migrate to lower warmer lands during harsh winter and monsoon. It remains open during Spring (March-May) and Autumn (September-November) seasons.


Gokyo or Gokyo village is located to the west of the Khumbu region. Separated from the usual Everest trek trail, Gokyo remains completely discreet from the foreign tourists. Except for few huts and handful of Sherpa inhabitants, this region has only natural riches to boast about.

The village is situated just below the local peak, Gokyo Ri 5,357 m. Ama Dablam and Cholatse are other peaks fairly visible from the village. You can even get to see the greater Ngozumpa glacier just beside the village.

Gokyo Ri Panorama
Gokyo Ri Panorama

Gokyo Lakes

It is also home to the highest fresh water lakes on Earth. Gokyo lakes consists of six major oligotrophic lakes, and all of them situated above 4,700 meters. Dudh Pokhari or Gokyo Cho is the major lake among the six, while Thonak Cho remains the largest lake with an area of 65.07 ha (160.8). The other lakes are Gyazumpa cho, Ngojumba Cho and Tanjung Cho.

The lakes hold an important religious place among the  Hindus and Buddhists alike. The pilgrims visit the lake every year to take a holy dip during the auspicious month of August (Janai Purnima). In September 2007, Gokyo and associated wetlands of 7,770 ha (30.0 sq mi) were designated a Ramsar site.

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