Dolpo treks lead to some of the most unique civilizations and isolated regions of the planet. The charm and appeal of Dolpo, is partly due to the fact that it is accessible by only foot, horseback or flight. Heavy snows make any access at all difficult for much of the year. Dolpo lies next to the Tibet border and is an enclave of pure Tibetan culture, one of the last strongholds of the pre-Buddhist Bon po religion. Even though it opened for tourists in 1996, only a handful of adventurous tourists undertake these challenging treks in remote and harsh region. Dolpo has remained largely secluded from the outside world.
The vast, rugged, mountainous landscape is scattered with nomadic villages of dzongs, turquoise lakes, sacred mountains and high passes. The villages of Upper Dolpo are some of the highest in the world. Hardy Tibetan nomads, called drokpa and farmers called rokpa live amid the stark beauty of the mountains. The giant Himalayas have protected the natural beauty and culture of this region for centuries. The trails which crisscross this region are the centuries old trade routes linking it with Tibet. Seasonal caravans still traverse these paths.
The stunning movie ‘Caravan’ also known as ‘Himalaya’, was shot exclusively in the rough mountain terrain of Dolpo. It was nominated for the Oscar Award in the best foreign language film category, and has added to the allure of this unknown land, as did the book, ‘The Snow Leopard’, written by Peter Matthiessen.
The Government of Nepal has fixed a high permit fee for Upper Dolpo and also restricts the number of visitors each year. This makes a trek into Upper Dolpo a very special and exclusive experience.