This is possibly one of the finest short treks in Bhutan which takes you into the heart of the mountains with superb views of Jhomolhari 7314 metres (often called Chomolhari) and Jichu Drayke 6989 metres. This trek passes through the alpine grazing land with a large number of small and big lakes. It has scenic mountain views including views into Sikkim of Kangchenjunga the 3rd highest mountain in the world, surrounded by other great mountain ranges. This trail was an ancient trade route from Thimphu to south Danana. It was also cattle migration route during winter and summer time. It is a short 5 day trek of moderate walking gradient. It is a full support camping trek with tents, meals etc through magnificent mountain terrain. Many of you who have been looking at Bhutan should wait no longer!
Who should join this trek?
A good choice for regular hill walkers, moderate level of fitness required. Prior trekking experience is advisable as this is a camping trek.
1) Walking times: average 5 to 8 hours walking per day.
2) Altitude: up to 4300 metres
3) Terrain: for some of the time following well-travelled trails although also likely to encounter rough and rocky conditions near the passes.
4) Remoteness: the trek is in a remote mountain area. There is no mobile phones and wifi connectivity.
Trek Leader - Sujoy Das supported by a local Bhutan guide.
Day 1 Fly into Paro
The flight into Paro on the wings of the Dragon, finally lands after making a couple of acrobatic maneuvers while negotiating the high mountains surrounding the small air strip in the Paro valley. We spend the first day acclimatizing and maybe visiting the Paro Rinpung Dzong.
Altitude 7330ft/ 2235m
Day 2 Excursion to Taksang (Tigers Nest) monastery in the morning and then drive to Thimpu after lunch.
We spend the morning hiking up to Taksang Monastery, the most famous monastery in Bhutan. Taksang means “Tiger’s Nest” so named because Guru Rimpoche reportedly flew to the site on the back of the flying tigress in the early 8th century. The monastery perches miraculously on a cliff nearly 2,700ft above Paro’s valley floor. Break along the way for tea and snacks in small tea house and after this drive in the evening to Thimpu for the night.
Alt: 2250 metres
Day3/ Thimphu to Gayni Zampa camp 2 hours by car and 2.5 hours trek We drive for two hours to Genykha and then start the walk to the campsite. We stop at a 10th century village on the way and visit a farmhouse to experience daily way of life of the local people. We stop for packed lunch on a hilltop and then hike to the campsite for the night. Alt:2850m / 9348ft.
Day4/ Gayni Zampa to Gur: 4 to 5 hours Leaving the camp, the trail gradually climbs through the forest of pine, oak and rhododendron shrubs, the villages on the other side will be soon at the view, the deep gorges of the valley and the local mountain ranges will take you soon to the top of the Dagala range. Hike gently along the ridge and soon reach to your camp site. Alt: 3350m /10988ft.
Day5/Gur to Labatama: 5 to 6 hours - The trail starts with a gentle slope and then climbs for about two hours to a saddle at an altitude of Alt: 4100m /13450ft – in another hour we reach the Pagalabtsa pass Alt 4170m/13657. We can see the Yak herder’s camps and in spring you will enjoy the alpine flowers. The trail later descends to the Labatama camp. Alt: 4050m / 13,285ft.
Day6/ Labatama to KewiChowa : 4 to 5 hr We leave Labatama and make several short climbs in and out of minor valleys with a view of Jili Dzong at Paro and Talakha Peak Alt: 4278m / 14,0030ft . After passing through the final climb to Chole La, Alt: 4140m/13580ft marked with cairns, descend down to camp site near Yak herders at Kewi Chowa Alt: 13,220ft / 4030m.
Day7/ KiwiChowa to Talakha Gompa 2950m 4 hours and drive to Paro 1.5 hours
Today trail starts with gradual climb to the pass marked with lots of cairns, here four trails meet from four directions to different valley. Another steep climb to Yak herders place near the old giant ruin Dzong, and to the top of the Tale La pass, Alt:13725ft/4185m -Spectacular views of Himalayan ranges including Mt.Kangchenjunga (28160ft/8586m) Mt.Jomolhari (23995ft/7315m ) Mt.Jitchu Drake and Tserem Gang and more, soon you will get into forest of Juniper and rhododendron forest and later vegetation changes to Bamboo, birch, spruce and finally with Blue pine forest reach you to Talakha Gompa. Another 45 minutes you will meet your car to transport you to Paro for overnight. Alt: 2200m / 7,216ft.
Day 8. Air port Drop: Fly from Paro back home.
The cost of the trek is Rs 78,000/- for Indians passports plus 5%TCS and US $ 2000/- plus 5%TCS foreign passports Paro to Paro. The Government of Bhutan charges a fixed sum of US $ 250 per day from all foreign passports, hence the difference in cost between Indian and foreign passports. - some exclusions apply. The Sustainable Fee for Indian tourists @ Rs 1200 per day for 8 days is included in this cost.
The cost per person for Paro to Paro (8 days ) as per the itinerary given earlier
Costs given above are at current rates of 2016 and may change without notice. Changes if any will be notified 3 months before the trek.
Pick up from the airport and drop at airport
Jumolhari camp fee and permit
Bhutan visa fees ( for foreign nationals)
Goverment Royalty and taxes ( for foreign nationals ) and SDF fee for Indian nationals
Transport from Paro to roadhead and pick up at the end of the trek
Two nights accomodation and all meals in Paro on the way in and one night on the way out. Accomodation in tents and meals on trek for seven days ( day 2 evening to day 8 ) as per itinerary; breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Cost of guides/cook/helper/ponyman and ponies as needed for the trek.
Costs not included
Flight Costs from home country to Paro and back.
Airport taxes if any.
Client travel and medical insurance of any kind. Emergency evacuation costs if needed.
Bottled drinks; boiled, filtered or bottled water; alcohol; snacks etc
Personal clothing and equipment; sleeping bag; /down/ goretek jacket, medicines for personal use etc.
Tips to guides/cook/helper/ponyman at the end of trek
Two Bhutan based airlines – Druk Air & Bhutan Airways fly to Paro. Druk Air has connections from Kolkata, Guwahati, Bagdogra, Mumbai and Delhi. Bhutan Air flies from Kolkata and Delhi. Even if you live in Mumbai or Delhi, it may sometimes be less expensive to take a flight from Kolkata instead of flying direct.
Do note that Indian Nationals may have a discounted fare available on these flights. To avail the discount, please select your nationality as ‘SAARC’ when you book on Druk Air website. With Bhutan Airlines, discounted fare is not available online, but can be booked by calling their office.
If you plan to travel by air, we recommend that you get your tickets at the earliest, as tickets often get sold out months in advance.
If you opt to fly via Kolkata, as these are international flights and leave early in the morning, you may have to reach Kolkata a day earlier.
|Duffle Bag||All the equipment listed below other than what you need for the day should be packed into a duffle bag, locked and handed over to the porters in the morning. In case you cannot get a duffle bag in your home country these are available very cheap in Kathmandu and I can help you with this. The duffle bag should not weight more than 10 kgs!|
|1||Sleeping Bag||Warm sleeping bag is needed at least three season rated to 15F|
|2||Daypack or Hipbelt||To carry water, one jacket some nuts, chocolates, cap, camera to keep with you in the day, maybe gloves and cap as well, hiking poles etc.|
|3||Boots or Trekking Shoes||one pair|
|4||Slippers or Sandals for camp||lightweight to wear in the evenings|
|5||warm Socks||2 pairs to carry and one pair to wear|
|7||Underwear||1 to wear and 2 to carry|
|8||Warm Cap||one- Wool or fleece is usually good|
|9||Heavy jacket||the warmest you can get as nights and early mornings are cold - down is usually preferred otherwise a warm synthetic filled jacket.|
|10||Thermal Underwear ( top and bottom) - long johns||inner layer to wear at night and early morning ;|
|11||Mid Layer||Usually a jacket of fleece or wool which can be worn over a thermal layer or by itself while walking|
|12||T shirts for walking||one to wear and 2 to carry - if the sun is hot you can walk in a T shirt|
|13||Trousers /tights etc||one to wear and one to carry light weight preferred|
|14||One Rain Jacket /Wind Jacket/Soft Shell jacket||useful in case of wind ... you may need it in light rain though we would usually take shelter and wait for the rain to stop. Our trek is not in the rainy season though some light rain/snow in the late afternoon evenings cannot be ruled out.|
|15||Torch or headlamp||one small needed carry one set spare batteries|
|16||Sun bloc||one small tube should be ok spf 30 or 50|
|17||some essential medicines||vitamins, headache, fever, pain killers, diamox for altitude, your own specific medicines etc|
|18||Hiking poles||if you have bad knees then this is recommended especially on the down hills!!|
|19||Water bottle||one no 500 ml or 1 litre is ok you can use the 500 or 600 ml empty coke or pepis bottles|
|20||Sun glasses||the sun is strong in the day|
|21||Cap for the sun||ditto!|
|22||small towel||for baths and wash up in case you can use the hot shower|
|23||toothbrush, paste, soap, shampoo, vaseline, comb||and any other toilet items you may need!|
|24||wet tissues - wet ones for bathroom||called wet ones in India|
|25||some washing powder surf etc small||to wash clothes en route if needed|
|26||Nuts, raisins etc all mixed up||can be divided into small packets for daily use|
|27||Chocolates /Energy Bars/Amul cheese slices/tea bags||Carry some chocolates or energy bars to have on the way. Amul cheese slices are very useful and can be had as snacks when you are tired of sweets!|
|29||Volini gel/ Bengay etc for aches and pains||or any other equivalent|
|30||Iodine or chlorine tablets for water purification||available in Kathmandu- this is important as mineral water bottles are expensive; for overseas visitors you can get iodine tablets in REI and other large outdoor outlets|
|31||Electral or any other rehydating salts||Carry a few small packets of electrolyte - useful to have mixed with water if dehydrated|
|32||some spare plastic bags to pack wet stuff, dirty clothes etc|
|33||Book in case you want to read on the way and IPOd for music optional!|
|34||Two small locks one for your duffle bag and one for your room in case the lodge does not have a lock|
|35||Clothes line with hooks on either side in case you want to hang up your wet clothes to dry outside!!|
|36||Super Glue||To patch up boots that may give way!|
|37||Face mask||For dust, cold winds etc available in kathmandu|
|38||Extra shoe laces||one pair|
Special Information for the Dagala 100 Lakes Trek
This trek is a full support camping trek with ponies, guide, cook, helpers.
It is not a lodge or tea house trek though there are some tea tents in the season where basic refreshments like noodles, tea, soup etc may be available.
Tents with mattresses will be provided every night. Quilts and blankets will not be possible. You will need a warm sleeping bag at least three season.
We will have a team of one cook and two helpers who will cook all meals. Food will be basic like porridge, cornflakes, some eggs, chapattis, rice, dal, vegetables etc. All food will be carried from Leh.
Our bags and luggage will be carried by ponies supervised by a pony man.
Toilets will not be available on the trail. – we will provide toilet tents for the trek.
The cancellation policy and refunds available are given below:
0-7 days before the start of the trek =75%
8 -15 days before the start of the trek = 50%
16-30 days before the start of the trek = 35%
31-45 days before the start of the trek = 25%
46 days and above = 15%
IN CASE OF LEAVING THE GROUP
If due to illness or any other reason a client has to leave the group and go down or wait at a campsite for the group to pick him/her up on the way back, all expenses including lodging, fooding and any porter/guide related expenses if any are to be borne by the individual client over and above the trek fees paid for the trek. There are also no refunds for leaving a trek before completion.
HIRING OF PONIES ETC
In the eventuality of a client needed the services of a pony to come down to lower altitudes, the cost of hiring the pony will be paid by the client.
CAMPSITES ON THE TREK
The choice of campsites to be used on the trek will be decided by South Col and clients will have to stay at these designated campsites. Clients are not permitted to choose their own campsites on the route.
The trek route and day wise schedule will be fixed by South Col and will have to be followed by the client.
RISKS AND LIABILITY
The trek is in a remote mountain area and has certain additional dangers and risks, some of which include: physical exertion for which the client should be prepared; weather extremes subject to sudden and unexpected changes; remoteness from normal medical services; evacuation difficulties.
In the event of injury or illness South Col Expeditions (Sujoy Das) or its Staff can, at the clients cost arrange any medical treatment and emergency evacuation service as it or they deem necessary for the health and safety of the client. Waiver of liability form as per link attached to be signed by the client. https://www.southcol.com/waiver-of-liability-release/