Kalinchowk Dolkha Hike

Posted on Feb 4, 2014 by Anujghimire under Hiking

Tags: Nepal, Kalinchowk, Dolkha, Kalinchowk, Charikot

Kalinchowk Hike 
Kalinchowk temple lies in Dolkha, about 132 kilometers from Kathmandu. 
How to get there?
Local buses are available from Buspark in Kathmandu. The buses leave early in the morning, with few shift starting from 6 am. Many private companies or local travel and tours also provide packages for Kalinchowk temple. 

How Far is Kalinchowk?
Charikot, Headquarter of Dolkha, is about 132 kilometers from Kathmandu, and Kalinchowk is about 18 kilometers from Charikot. Local vechiles are not available but can be reserved to reach Kuri from where Kalinchowk temple is about 1 hour hike for regular hikers and can take upto 2 for others. 
How about hiking from Charikot?
The hike to Kalinchowk from Charikot will take about 7-8 hours depending upon the walking habit. 
Where to stay? 
If you take a local bus from Kathmandu then you are going to have to stay at Charikot the first day, or if you can walk fast then walk to Kuri the same day, or else you should take rest at Charikot. Then take all the time you can and travel to Kuri the next day. 
Are there places to stay?
While in Charikot, you dont have to worry about places to stay, in case of Kuri there are few hotels there and staying shouldnt be much of a problem. A room costs around 500/room and food around 150-200 Rupees. 
My Blog Story:
We just had a week left before our Winter Vacation ended so we decided to go for a short hike and the best quick option to do that was to go Kalinchowk Hike. I had been to Dolkha before but never to Kalinchowk and had heard a lot about Kalinchowk so I decided that we should do a hike to Kalinchowk. Most of my friend had already been there and Id heard stories about how awesome the place was. I did ask few of my friends and all of them said that it was just few hours hike, not even and hour said some. So I asked another friend of mine to pack the bag and that we were going to Charikot the next morning. Nothing was planned, as usual as every other trip of ours.
Day 1 
So we packed our bags and went to the bus park early in the morning! There were lots of buses there, and we went to the ticket counter to get the tickets. Both of us had students ID card but they told us that we need the receipt as well, dont forget to take the receipt of your admission, because they wont give you discount just based on your ID card. So I didnt get a discount but my friend did, with a discount for him it cost us around 500 rupees. Shortly after that the bus left, with early morning traffic, in no time we reached Koteshor, the bus pierced through heavy fogs along the Manohara River, and then went express towards our destination, only to go non express after it reached Khadichaur.
After khadichaur it went local picking up locals every 200 meters or so on the average. Slowly and gradually the bus went up the hill to mude and then finally to Charikot at about 2 O clock. Then we got off the bus and entered a lock bakery at Charikot. Even at this point, from what I had heard I thought Kalinchowk was maximum of 2 hours hike from Charikot, but as we sat down on the bakery shop the owner started the conversation, asked where we were from and where were we going, and then we came to learn that Kuri, the place from where Kalinchowk is 2 hours is about 7-8 hours from Kalinchowk. It was already about 2:30 and he said that its 7-8 hours hike for you guys. But there was nothing to be done; we didnt have much time to waste so my friend and I decided to walk. Then the shopkeeper showed us the way and we started our hike at about 2:30.
The first half an hour into the trip was all paved road, passing by a dense village which slowly started to fade as we got higher, and the village-y look started to show in. After about 1 hour walk we reached a place called Deurali, where we stopped to have a nice bowl of delicious noodles. Where to elderly people told us about the hike and they gave us a tip which really helped us later into the hike. They told us that, the road that leads to Kuri is longer and theres a short hiking trail and the Electricity poles follow the hiking trail, they told us to follow the poles no matter what and we did so. Then we went ahead in our journey, after Deurali the hike goes up hill for a very long time, well it doesnt go downhill at any place, it just goes up hill to the end, and at times it feels like its never going to end, but it will. After walking for about 2 hours we met few locals coming down the hill so we took our time and asked them how far Kuri was they told us that its about 5 6 hours up hill, (and never ask the local how long will it take, its either way to less or extremely more than it takes) they told us it would take 5-6 hours to reach there. It was already about 4 Pm so we asked them if there were any places to stay in between, if we couldnt reach Kuri and they told us that we had to reach Kuri, since there was not a single place to stay. We knew that it was going to be late night when we reach Kuri, so we took up the pace. No matter how fast we tried to walk we never were fast enough, in about 2 and half hours we passed by a place called Gairi with just a single house, and the local there told us that it would take about 3 hours to reach Kuri. The sun was about to set and the horizon was shining golden light. Soon it started to get dark and we had to leave the hiking trail to catch up with the roads in order to not get lost in the jungle.  So we took the roads instead of short hiking trail, and we knew the next morning that the roads were extremely longs, as they were supposed to and we had to walk in pitch dark condition for about 3 hours or so, we didnt even know for how long we had walked, 1. We were hungry and, 2. It was pitch dark and extremely cold. But after walking a million miles, I finally saw patches of light down below, and a surge of happiness flooded in my head then we started walking faster, which was slowed down by lack of motivation after walking the winding road that never ends. We were so tired that we stayed at the first hotel that we saw. The stay was good; it was extremely cold at night though.
Day 2
We woke up early the next morning and started walking up the hill to Kalinchowk Temple. Its not much of a hike for a regular hiker but takes time for non-hikers. But regardless of the trouble of walking that high, the view from up there is majestic. The Temple lies on top of a huge stone at about 3800 meters which give almost a 360 degree view of the surrounding. We stayed there for a while and returned to Kuri and hiked back to Charikot. 

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Blog by:Anuj Ghimire - Zoologist by profession, Travel writer,Photographer and blogger.

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