Langtang National Park was declared in 1976, is situated in north-central Nepal covering 1710 Km2, which extends parts of Rasuwa, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk districts. The park encompasses Gosaikunda and associated lakes, which were declared wetlands of international importance in 2007 under the Ramsar Convention. The park represents a meeting point between Indo- Malayan and Palearctic Realms and holds rich biodiversity. Langtang National Park represents some of the best examples of graded climate conditions in the Central Himalaya. Elevational gradients (ranging from the mid-hills to the alpine zone) coupled with complex topography and geology have resulted in rich biodiversity.
In 1998, an area of 420 km2 in and around the park was declared as a buffer zone. Buffer zone management is a joint venture between the park office and the local communities. The local communities have a decision-making role in the management of such areas. Additionally, the National park and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 has made a provision of ploughing back 30-50% of the park’s revenue into community development and conservation of the buffer zone.
The three main ethnic groups in Langtang National Park and its buffer zone are Tamang, Yolmo and Bhotia, each thought to have originated in Tibet. The cultures are discernible by their language, home-style, dress, ornaments, and customs. They follow the Bon religion, a pre-Buddhist doctrine prevalent in Tibet. The Yolmo people of the Helambu region are often referred to as the “Sherpa”. However, their language and socio-cultural set-up do not resemble the Solukhumbu Sherpa. They are rather similar to the Lamtang Bhotias and may also have migrated home the Kyirung area of Tibet. Their religion and monasteries reflect rich Buddhist traditions. It is believed that Gosaikunda was created by Land Shiva when he thrust his Trident into a mountain to draw water to cool his throat after swallowing poison.
Major Flora and Fauna of Langtang National Park
Langtang National Park and its buffer zone consist of sub-tropical to the alpine zone, rich in floral and faunal diversity. The sub-tropical vegetation is characterized by the Sal (Shorea robusta), Chilaune (Schima wallichii), Chirpine and Nepalese alder. The temperate zone is covered mainly by Rhododendron, Oak, Silverfir, Hemlock and Larch forest in the lower sub-alpine zone. Nepalese larch (larix nepalensis), the only deciduous conifer in the region, is found in this park and a few places elsewhere. Throughout the buffer zones, different species of Rhododendrons from a colorful understory. Juniper and Rhododendron shrubs (R. anthopogan) slowly dissolve into the expansive alpine grassland meadows. Langtang’s expansive high altitude meadows provide summer habitat for the Musk Deer and Himalayan Tahr. The park is also well known for its Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bear, Snow Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Wild Dog, Goral, Serow and more than 250 species of birds.
Langtang National Park & Buffer Zone FACT SHEET
|National park declared Year||1976 AD|
|National park area||1,710 km2|
|Location||Central Nepal (Rasuwa, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk districts)|
|Ramsar site declaration||2007 (Gosaikunda and associated lakes)|
|Elevation||1,000 m (Trishuli river bed Ramche) to 7,245 m (Lamtang Lirung)above msl|
|Major geophysical characteristics||Himalayan region, glaciers, valley|
|Major rivers||Trishuli and Bhotekoshi|
|Major peaks||Langtang Lirung (7,245 m), Jugal Himal (6,989 m)|
|Main Mammals||Snow Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Musk Deer, Red Panda|
|Main birds||Himalayan Monal, Ibis Bill, Wood Spine|
|Major tree species||The Nepalese larch, pine, hemlock, fir, juniper, birch, rhododendron|
|Major destinations||Langtang Valley, Gosaikunda, Helambu|
|Buffer zone declared||1998 AD|
|Buffer zone area||420 km2|
|Districts||Rasuwa, Nuwakot, and Sindhupalchowk|
|Rural Municipalities||10 (Gosaikunda, Kalika, Naukunda, Uttargaya, Tadi, Dupcheshowr, Suryagadhi, Panchpokhari- Thangpal, Helambu and Jugal|
|Major caste groups||Tamang, Bhotia, Yolmo, Brahmin, Chhetri, Gurung|
|Economy||Agriculture, Animal husbandry, Business, Tourism|
Langtang National Park Major Attractions
- The Langtang Valley
- Gosaikunda Lake
- Dupcheshwori Temple
- Buddhist culture (Tamang, Yolmo and Bhotia)
- Helambu region
- Red panda
Accommodation in Langtang
There are several hotels, lodges, tea houses and campsites in the park and its buffer zone that offer modern amenities.
Best Season for Trekking in Langtang
- Autumn is the best time to visit the park when brilliant greens fed by the monsoon fade to golden/amber against the crystal blue sky and grains ripen in the enclaves.
- By April, bursts of red, pink and white rhododendrons stretch into towering canopies of fir and oak forests.
A lively festival of Gosaikunda Lake attracts thousands of Hindu pilgrims.
National Park Use of Entry Fee
30-50 percent of the park’s entry fee goes directly to the Buffer Zone Communities for:
- Biodiversity conservation
- Community development
- Conservation education
- Income generation and skill development
Langtang National Park Popular Trekking Routes
Three main trekking routes: (1) Langtang Valley, (2) Helambu and (3) Gosaikunda Lake cover much of the Langtang National Park and the southern Helambu region. Langtang and Helambu regions are connected through Lauribina La. All routes have locally operated hotels/lodges, tea houses and campgrounds for trekkers. The park offers a choice of moderate to difficult hiking routes with durations ranging from 3 days to 3 weeks Lodges operate year-round except during peak winter when the trails are blocked.
Trekkers who take extra time to explore the trailside wilderness (e.g. near Goda Tabela and Kyanjin), Hilltop viewpoint (Kyanjin) and cultural sites (notable in Melamchighyang, Tarkeghyang, and Shermathang) will be well rewarded. One has to be self-sustaining to venture to remote areas of the park such as Panch Pokhari (five lakes), east of Helambu, the toee of the Lamtang glacier, and upper-level valley from Kyanjin, and over the challenging Ganja La pass in upper Langtang Valley.
Langtang Valley Trek
|Lama Hotel||Ghoda Tabel||3-4||3,000m|
Dhunche to Helambu via Gosaikunda
|Thulo Syafru||Singh Gumba||3-4||3,300m|
|Singh Gomba||Cholang Pati||2-3||3,500m|
|Sundarijal to Gosaikunda and Helambu|
How To Get into Langtang National Park
The most common way to reach the park headquarter, Dhunche from Kathmandu is a bus ride of about 5-7 hours.
Acclimatization and safety precautions
High altitude sickness (HAS) can be life-threatening if elevation is gained too rapidly without proper acclimatization. Over evertion and dehydration contributes to HAS. Drink at least 3-4 liters of water every day besides tea and coffee which act as diuretics. Watch the health of your companions and porters. Medical doctor’s advice against ascending more than 400m a day once above 3000m elevation. Alternatively, one can spend an extra night at 3000m and 3,500m before ascending further. The symptoms of HAS are-headache, difficulty in sleeping breathlessness, loss of appetite and general fatigue. If someone develops these symptoms, stop ascending immediately. If symptoms persist, the only proven cure is to descend to a lower elevation. Carrying a comprehensive first-aid kit is advisable as there are to medical facilities outside Dhunche.
The Langtang-Helambu trails are rocky and slippery after rain or frost. Watch out for falling rocks while crossing Landslides but do not stop. Never hike alone. Hiring local guides is strongly recommended on the Ganja La (5,120m) trek and on Lauribina La pass (4600m) during winter. Emergency radio facilities are available at army posts at Ghoda Tabela and Langtang. Telephone facilities are available at Singh Gompa and at major settlements in Helambu.
Park Regulations to follow or things to remember
- An entry fee of Rs. 3,000 (Foreigners), Rs. 1,500 (SAARC Nationals),Rs. 100 (Nepali) visitor and Rs. 25 for tourist porter should be paid at the designated ticket counter.
- Valid entry permits are available from the National Parks ticket counter at the Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu or park entrance gate at Dhunche, Kutumngsang, Timbu and Tempathan.
- The entry permit is non-refundable, non-transferable and is for a single entry only.
- Entering the park without a permit is illegal. Park personnel may ask for the permit, so visitors are requested to keep the permit with them.
- Get a special permit for documentary/filming from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC).
- Documentary/filming fee of US$ 1500 (Foreigners), Rs. 50,000 (SAARC Nationals) and Rs. 10000 (Nepali) should be paid at DNPWC. Additional 25% should be paid while using a drone for documentary/filming.
- Drone (UAV) fee is same as documentary/filming fee while using it for other purposes.
- Don’t remove or damage plants and animals. All flora and fauna are fully protected and must not be disturbed.
- Rubbish must be placed out, buried or disposed off in designated areas.
- No one should walk within the park between sunset and sunrise.
- Do respect the cultural and religious sites.
- Visitors should be self-sufficient in fuel supply (kerosene/LP gas).
- Camping inside the park should be made only in the designated areas.
- Carry out non-biodegradable items such as batteries, plastic bags, and bottles.
- Never trek alone, hire a local guide if you can’t find a companion.