Pathibhara Limbu Cultural Trek
Pathibhara Devi Mandir in Taplejung is one of the most revered and frequented Hindu pilgrimage sites in Nepal. As such, the temple is perfectly nestled in the foothills of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8586m) in the easternmost region of Nepal. While pilgrims visit the region for their reverence, the tourists visit the region as a gateway to the popular Kanchenjunga Trek. It is also celebrated as one of the Hindu-Shaktipeeths, along with Muktinath and Pashupatinath. The quaint villages on the foothills of Pathibhara are largely inhabited by the indigenous Limbu tribe, endemic to eastern Nepal. Trek through the Limbu cultural trail to Pathibhara Mandir and witness the majestic mountainous panorama of Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Dorje Lakpa, and Mount Everest (8848m).
Pathibhara Limbu Cultural Trek begins with a short flight to Biratnagar followed by a 6-hour drive north towards Basantapur. Basantapur in Terhathum District serves as the gateway to Kanchenjunga Trek. The trail gradually advances through small Limbu settlements into the lushly forested Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. The trek accommodates overnight stays at Limbu guest houses, hence offering you an opportunity to observe their lifestyle from a closer perspective. Walk past Suketar Airport to Phedi located on the lap of Pathibhara Hill. From here, you’ll begin ascending the rugged footsteps and ridges to reach Pathibhara Mandir located atop the hill. Also known as ‘Raktakali Pathibhara Devi,’ the pilgrims visit the temple to pay homage to the local goddess by sacrificing live animals. The locals believe that Raktakali Pathibhara Devi fulfills all their wishes. After witnessing the majestic mountainous sight including Kanchenjunga, you will begin trekking downhill towards Suketar. A scenic drive from Suketar will take you through lushly green tea-estates of Ilam, the tea-capital of Nepal. You can choose to shop for local tea products at Ilam Bazaar. You will further commute towards Bhadrapur town and catch a short flight back to Kathmandu.
Himalaya Holiday Service has been running successful trekking throughout Nepal. We conduct all kinds of treks in both major trails and remote regions of the country. Our full-board package includes transportation inside the country, three meals a day, an experienced guide, porter, and permits.
Pathibhara Limbu Cultural Trek Highlights:
Experience an adventurous trek through one of the most culturally rich destinations in Nepal
Observe the ethnic lifestyle and culture of the Limbu Tribe
Visit the Pathibhara Devi Temple, one of the most revered Hindu sites
Enjoy the magnificent mountain vistas of Kanchenjunga (8586m), Mt Everest (8848m), Makalu (8463m), and Dorje Lakpa (6966m)
Pathibhara Limbu Cultural Trek Facts:
Geography: Hills, Valleys
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Duration of Trek: 14 days
Max Altitude: 3794m
Religions: Buddhism, Hinduism
Ethnic People: Limbu, Rai
Accommodation: Lodge, Hotel
Transportation: Private Vehicle, Tourist Bus, Flight
Minimum Pax: 02
Itinerary of Pathibhara Limbu Cultural Trek
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel
Arrival in Kathmandu, followed by a drive towards the hotel. You will meet our representative just outside the airport. A 30-minute drive through the bustling Kathmandu City will bring you to your hotel. After refreshment, you’ll meet your trek guide and discuss the trip in detail.
Day 02: Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing and Preparation Day for Trekking
As an extra day in Kathmandu, you can indulge in a sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu has a lot to offer when it comes to cultural and historical tours. You can choose to visit a few of the most popular and frequented UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, and Boudhanath. Pashupatinath is a popular Hindu site while Swayambhunath and Boudhanath are revered Buddhist sites. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Flight from Kathmandu to Biratnagar and drive to Basantapur
After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll drive towards the airport and embark on a short flight to the southeast of Kathmandu towards Biratnagar. The popular Terai town lies almost 237 km east from Kathmandu in the Morang district. After a short layover, you’ll catch your commute towards Basantapur. A scenic drive through the lushly forested trail for almost 6hr will bring you to Basantapur in Terhathum District.
Day 04: Trek from Basantapur to Chauki (2700m)
The trek commences at Basantapur and gradually advances through the small Limbu settlements and lushly forested trail towards the village of Chauki. Along the way, you can witness the rich culture and tradition of the ethnic Limbu tribe. The trek on this day will be a short one as you pass few villages across easy trails. Overnight at Chauki.
Day 05: Trek from Chauki to Gupha Pokhari (2900m)
Leaving Chauki, you’ll begin trekking north towards Gupha Pokhari, a popular tourist destination of Eastern Nepal. The uphill trek leaves from Chauki and advances through the rhododendron capital of the country towards Gupha Pokhari. Located at an altitude of 2900 meters, Gupha Pokhari is a small natural pond overlooking the beautiful Terhathum valley. Both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims pay their reverence to the pond.
Day 06: Trek from Gupha Pokhari to Dobhan (645m)
From Gupha Pokhari, you’ll begin trekking downhill along with the rhododendron forests towards the village of Dobhan. The easier trail goes through downhill that may take almost 7 hours to reach Dobhan. Located at 645 meters, it is the lowest altitude of the trek. The village is mostly inhabited by the indigenous Rai and Limbu tribes.
Day 07: Trek from Dobhan to Suketar (2420m)
Leaving Dobhan, you’ll climb the uphill forested trail that goes towards Suketar village. You’ll cross into Taplejung District and walk almost 7 hours to reach the beautiful Suketar. As you ascend further, you’ll witness the rich and cultural settlements of local Limbu inhabitants. Suketar serves as the gateway to the Pathibhara Temple.
Day 08: Trek from Suketar to Phedi (3190m)
Leaving Suketar, you’ll begin walking through the narrow off-road towards Phedi village. Continue walking along the ridge overlooking the beautiful Mt. Kanchenjunga (8586m) in the distance. Along the way, you will encounter many pilgrims en route to the Pathibhara trail. Enjoy a delicious lunch before resting for the day at Phedi.
Day 09: Trek from Phedi to Pathibhara Temple (3794m)
From Phedi, the trail continuously ascends uphill filled with small Limbu settlements towards Pathibhara Temple. You’ll encounter continuous stone-steps and ridges going all the way atop the hill. As you go further, you can enjoy the beautiful sights of the Taplejung valley. Once at the top, you can visit the temple site and witness the beautiful scenery before heading down to the village for the overnight stay.
Day 10: Trek from Pathibhara Temple to Gadidanda (1890m)
The morning will welcome you with the panoramic sight of Kanchenjunga, Mount Everest, and Makalu. You can revisit the temple and explore the Buddhist site just beside the temple before heading down the hill. Today, you’ll continuously descend and rest for the night at Gadidanda village.
Day 11: Trek from Gadidanda to Suketar (2420m)
Leaving Gadidanda, you’ll embark on a short and pleasant trek back to Suketar village. You’ll be descending along the forested path to villages in lower altitudes. Along the way, you can catch the beautiful sight of the faraway Kanchenjunga ranges along with lushly decorated forests and few Limbu settlements. Once at Suketar, you can explore the small village before resting for the night.
Day 12: Drive from Suketar to Ilam
Leaving Suketar, you’ll catch a commute and rather drive through Taplejung and Panchthar district towards Ilam. The long drive can prove to be difficult as you commute through the swirling hilly road of eastern Nepal. Ilam is a popular tourist destination where you can explore the tea-estates and visit the nearby Fikkal bazaar.
Day 13: Drive from Ilam to Bhadrapur and catch the late flight to Kathmandu
You’ll catch a commute from Ilam and drive back to Bhadrapur town. The drive cuts through seven narrow ranges with over 100 hairpin turns and endless windings until you reach Bhadrapur. It may well over 5hr to reach Bhadrapur. Once at Bhadrapur, you’ll catch the flight back to Kathmandu overlooking the beautiful aerial sight of forested hills, villages, and massive rivers.
Day 14: Final Departure
We will drop you off at Tribhuvan International Airport. After breakfast, you will embark on a car and drive through the bustling part of the town towards the airport.
The tour covers entry permits to every UNESCO World Heritage Sites and national parks mentioned in the package. Depending on prior agreements, you may need to pay for the entry fees for places not mentioned in the package.
As you will be traversing the Hindu/Buddhist pilgrimage site, you must adhere to the local rule and regulation.
For the temple visit, make sure that you wear according to the likings of the local people. The dressing choice is conservative and hence, make sure that your skin is not showing.
We recommend that you carry your own water bottle for the trek. This will be economical as well as friendly for the environment.
Extra costs for snacks and refreshments are not included in the trip package.
Accommodation provided on this trek will be on a sharing basis.
From the top of the Pathibhara Temple, you will get to enjoy the mountainous panorama including Kanchenjunga, Makalu, and Everest ranges.
When is the best time to do the Pathibhara Limbu Cultural Trek?
The best time to do the Pathibhara Limbu Cultural Trek is during the spring season which falls from March to May. Another suitable season for this trek is the autumn season which lies between September to November. These seasons ensure visibility of the scenic vistas. The trails are pleasant so that you can enjoy the trip to the fullest.
What are the main highlights of the trek?
The Pathibhara Limbu cultural tour enables you to learn about the unique lifestyle of Kirat and Limbu people of Eastern Nepal. Other highlights of the trek include the visit to Pathibhara temple in Taplejung. Pathibhara temple is a holy temple for both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. The trek provides a wonderful experience of walking through varied terrains as well as colorful villages.
What should I pack for the trek?
It is recommended that you pack light for the trek so that the baggage is manageable. Be sure to pack your sleeping bag and down jacket. In case you did not pack your down jacket or sleeping bag when flying to Nepal, you can buy or rent it in areas around Thamel. Carry other essential personal care items for the trek.
Is hot shower available during the trek?
You will be accommodated in guesthouses and lodges throughout the trek. These may not be very well facilitated like in the capital city, Kathmandu. However, you will be provided with basic facilities which also includes facilities of hot shower. Some hotels may have solar panels so, you can enjoy the hot shower. In other places, you can request for a bucket of hot water.