Gosaikunda: Trek, Weather, Altitude Sickness & More

  • Sun-Jul-2019

Gosaikunda: Trek, Weather, Altitude Sickness & More

The majestic and mesmerizing range of Himalayas hasn’t only bestowed with the incredible snow-capped mountains; those very pile of snow has also formed several lakes and water-system in the altitude region which are equally captivating.

There are several incredible lakes in the high altitude that has become the desired destination of tourists visiting Nepal. As they are located at such an impressive height, amid the mountain, and through the adventures trail, they have become a major trekking destination in Nepal over the years.

And Gosaikunda is one of such lakes which is walked by hundreds of trekkers yearly. Its high altitude location has enticed many to embark towards it. Also, the lake is equally visitors by pilgrims for it is amongst the religious sites in Nepal.

Gosaikunda Lake

Located within the Langtang National Park of Nepal, Gosaikunda lake exhibits the stunning Himalayan beauty draped in the serenity and religious ambiance.

The lake is recognized as an alpine freshwater oligotrophic lake in the Rasuwa district of Nepal. Covering the total surface of 34 acres, Gosaikunda lake is located at an altitude of 4,380 meters. However, the total lake complex is 2,545 acres comprising other lakes in proximity including Saraswati Kunda and Bhairab Kunda. Altogether there are 108 lakes in the area, ranging to from small and medium-size. 

Gosaikunda Lake is also known as a frozen lake, as it remains frozen for six months during winter from October to June. The lake melts and flows down to form the Trishuli River.

Religious Importance of Gosaikunda Lake

Gosaikunda is one of the famous Hindu pilgrimage sites in Nepal. A large influx of people visits the place despite its high altitude location. Well, it is not always the thrust for an adventure that drives a person; it is the ultimate devotion and belief that stirs the energy in a person.

Mainly during the festival of Janai Purnima, over 10,000 visitors are expected in Gosaikunda lake for taking holy bath. The water of the lake is considered holy and of particular significance during the festival of Janai Purnima and Gangadashara.

Gosaikunda is greatly revered amongst Hindus and is even mentioned in Hindu scriptures like Bhagavat Puran, Vishnu Puran and the epics Ramayan and Mahabharat refer to Samundra matha, which is directly related to the origin of Gosaikunda.

It is also believed that the lake of Gosaikunda is created by Lord Shiva when he thrusts his holy Trident into a mountain to extract the water to cool his stinging throat after he had swallowed poison.

Gosaikunda Trek

You can embark on Gosaikunda Trek from various places, Dhunche Village or Syabru Besi in Langtang Himal or Sundarijal in Kathmandu Valley as per your convenience.

As you start the journey from Dhunche, there will be a long steady climb to reach Chandan Bari (3,200 meters). Then, on the second day, you will arrive at Laure Biyanak at an altitude of 3,700 meters and spend overnight there.

Trekkers often go ahead towards Gosaikunda lake from this point; however, some trekkers might feel the symptoms of altitude sickness, and they may choose to stay a day for acclimatization. A day stay in Laure Binayak is rather rewarding from where sunset and sunrise view can be observed including the mountain views like Langtang and Ganesh Himal.

After finally arriving at Gosaikunda Lake, the descent back to the valley takes about four days. While descending, you will have to climb to Laurebina La at 4,610 meters, a challenging point of the trek. Then, comes a rapid descend to Phedi and onwards to Ghopte.

You will come across several villages that provide decent food and accommodation; Thadepati, Mangengoth, Kutumsang and at many villages farther downhill. 

Also, the combined trek of Langtang Gosaikunda is equally popular among the trekkers in Nepal. So, if you are in no hurry, then you can trek in the Tibetan-influenced culturally rich valley of Langtang, along with the glaring lake of Gosaikunda.

Important Information on Gosaikunda Lake

Gosaikunda Solo Trek

Gosaikunda Trek is a remarkable short trek which can be done independently. The trek is about 117 km with 35 km of bumpy road from Trishuli to Dhunche. 

You can go for Gosaikunda trek solely without any chance of getting lost as the trails are well-marked, expect between Ghopte and Thadepati.

The standard itinerary is Gosaikunda Trek 5 days, with about 5-7 hours of a daily walk. It will be quite difficult for the beginners who aren’t used to with exercise; however, it is still doable with rest and breaks.

Gosaikunda Trek is not a demanding trek, so any skills or technique aren’t required.

Gosaikunda Weather and Temperature

While trekking or traveling, it is very important to gather the information on the weather condition as it is the main determinant of how your vacation goes. Especially, the weather in the high altitude region is unpredicted and moody.

The temperature can go around 30-degree celsius during summer and go below zero with snowfall in winter. As of its high altitude location, summer is quite moderate, while winter can be a bit extreme. 

Gosaikunda Trek Best Time to Visit

Spring and autumn is the best time for trekking in Nepal and so is for Gosaikunda too. During spring, the forest comes alive and beautiful will colorful rhododendron, magnolia and various wildflowers. The trek becomes memorable with the stunning scenery surrounding you. And the temperature is moderate and days are clear too.

As for autumn, it is another best time, when the monsoon has just wash out the dirt and smog from the trails. The journey is rather refreshing during this time of year.

Talking about the rest of the two months; winter and summer, you might want to avoid trekking in this season. Winter is harsh in such height, and the lake of Gosaikunda remains frozen as well. While in summer, the weather is hot and wears you out soon. Also, summer is soon followed by the monsoon, where rain, leeches and soggy weather obstructs the trek.

Gosaikunda Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness is the major threat while trekking to any higher regions. Beginners can experience some symptoms of altitude sickness like dizziness, headache, and nausea when they reach Laurebinayak. That’s why some trekkers rest for a day at Laurebiyank and acclimatize before heading any further.

Do not ignore altitude sickness thinking Gosaikunda Trek is a short trek. Keeping slow place, having enough rest, drinking plenty of water and a good-diet are some of the tips for keeping altitude sickness at bay.

Or else, you can take medicine like Diamox that helps the sickness. 

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