Fikuri Trek is a virgin trail that offers insights into the culture and lifestyle of the Himalayan people and the exceptional views of peaks like Langtang, Dorje Lakpa, Gosaikunda, etc. Located between Nuwakot and Rasuwa district, it is less than 100 km towards the north of Kathmandu Valley. The Fikuri Trek can be completed in a week, and you get to stay in local villages that serve you locally grown organic food, added with the warm hospitality of the Tamang, Gurung, Brahman, and Dalit communities.
THE JOURNEY TO FIKURI DADA
American anthropologists Dr. David Holmber and Dr. Kathryn March from Cornell University visited the are from 1975 to 1977. They stayed at the Manegaon area for their research into the Tamang people and their culture. Since then, the couple have regularly visited again with university groups, until their retirement in 2011.
During post-earthquake Nepal. they visited for relief work in Nuwakot and Rasuwa. They are pioneers in exploring and promoting tourism in these regions. Fikuri hill, standing tall at 3,586 meters is the highest point of the trek. Fikyuba means rich hill in local Tamang dialect. It is a sacred and common pilgrimage centre for Buddhists and Hindus. There are mane and Mahadev Temple, where a number of Lamas, Jhakris and devotees visit during Ekadashi Mela.
We took a recent trip with 3 does tourism entrepreneurs guides and journalists to Fikuri. Our first stop was at Nuwakot Durbar, a UNESCO world heritage site that was built by Prithivi Narayan Shah. It is under renovation as it was ruined by the 2015 earthquake. The people gave a warm welcome, with the Murani dance accompanied by the music of local instruments. After which, we reached Chokade town and made a trip to Suryagadi. Suryagadi, a historic fort is an hour-long uphill climb. The hilltop still has remnants o of the battle between Tibet and Nepal. The surrounding views of Trishuli Valley, Kalikasthan. Jib Jibe, Keraghari, and the far-off hamlets and eye-catching landscapes were amazing. As we hiked down. we captured the dazzling sunset view. Thanks to the Suryagadi Rural Municipality, we also enjoyed wonderful cultural programs and an overnight stay at Chokade community homestay.
Dipak Mahat, Executive Board Member, NTB
Fikuri trek a wonderful and potential trekking trail that has people’s culture, lifestyles, and panoramic view of Himalayan ranges. The trek is suitable both for domestic and foreign trekkers.
Chokade is the starting point of the trek, and we traveled by bus directly to Manegaon. The local community gave us a huge welcome and served a delicious lunch. Our journey moved forward towards Bhalchhe Village, where we explored the only government sheep farm at Dumbang. We returned to Kaule Village, where the local municipality had organized a wonderful Mendomaya dance. We had an overnight stay at a newly-built monastery guesthouse.
The next morning, we had a delicious breakfast of kheer dish and bean curry. With our backpacks ready with a Tapari packed lunch, we embarked on our trekking journey. We climbed through terrace fields, overlooking distant villages and breath-taking landscapes. The journey continued with an ascending trail, and we reached Naughaderi in the afternoon. During a steep climb, the weather turned gloomy and a hailstorm started. But we still continued forward through dense oak trees and finally reached Memthala Goth. Unfortunately, some of our friends, including Dipak Mahat, missed the route and had followed a straight path as there were no signs.
It was difficult to trek along the ridge due to continuous snowfall. The trail was full of snow and the rhododendron forest was blanketed with white snow. At 5 pm, we reached Dhwachhap goth, which was the overnight camping spot for the night. Those who had reached earlier were already enjoying the campfire.
The sloppy ground was pitched with yellow tents and the kitchen staff was busy preparing meals in a nearby shed. A warm hot noodle soup and a cup of tea were served when we arrived. These were simply blessing in the quivering cold. The weather became worst with continued snowfall. As we were all tired, we got inside the warm tent after a delicious dinner.
Four of us, Gagan Raj Neupane, Bhumraj Tiwari, Sanjib Gurung and me shared one tent and we each took sips of Raksi to warm up. I suddenly woke up at 3:30 am, while it was still dark outside and snowing. Our tent was filled with snow. I woke up with my other friends. When we peeped out, all of our tents were roofed with snow - turning our yellow tent white. Just then, Bhum shouted, “HELP! HELP! HELP!”
Gopal Thapa and Urja Tamang woke up and started clearing up and removing the snow from the tents. A big salute to these friends for their courageous help in the middle of the night. Just then, we heard yelling from another tent - the tent also half-fell due to heavy snow. Thankfully, none of us were injured and the situation was under control. We woke up to a snowy and foggy morning. Our base camp was 150 meters away from Fikuri, and was covered in 2 to 3 feet of snow. After breakfast, we returned back, while Sanjib, a climbing guide decided to summit the top to record Fikuri’s elevation.
The team started descending through the deep snow-filled trail. Some of us even lost our balance and slipped on the trail. It felt like skating, so it was fun. After a 2 hour descends, the snowy trail was over and the downhill path continued. After we reached Naughaderi, the trail took left beside the huge rock. After an hour of downhill hike, we reached Taji - a beautiful Tamang village where we stopped for light refreshments.
In an hour, we descended further to Satdobate, a predominantly Brahmin and Chhetri settlement. There was a Bhajan and Kirtan performance along with delicious lunch. Following the gravel road for one and a half hours, we reached Thulo Gaun, a densely populated Gurung village. The Uttaragaya Municipality had arranged a welcome program. followed by a speech and cultural program.
THE FINAL DAY
It was all sunshine the next morning. After breakfast at a Gurung homestay at Paire, we trailed down to Shantibazar. The actual trail is 2 hours of uphill hiking to Ghalegadi. But we took a bust through Kalikasthan and reached Ghalegadi (a historic fort). After visiting the fort, we returned to Kalikasthan and attended the last program organized by the Kalika Rural Municipality. We returned to Kathmandu via Galchhi by bus, concluding the 5 days of an exhilarating trip to Fikuri.
The exploration and the familiarisation trip were organized by RasuwaNuwakot Paryatan Samaj, a social organization actively working in social works and also the promotion of tourism in the area. We express our gratitude to Urja Tamang, Dinesh Tamang, and Gagan Neupane, who are actively promoting the trail.