Langtang Ri Trekking & Expedition and decided to explore Nilgiri and North Annapurna Base Camp for its annual exploration trek. The trek was planned for a total of 8 Nights where 2 nights will take place in night bus and the remaining 6 nights in Camping Tents. The trip consisted of 9 people including office representative, guides, porters and cook. We started the trip from Bus Park in Balaju for our bus ride of 3pm. We would travel to Lete from bus. The bus journey was 15 hours long. We reached Lete at 6am on the next day. At Lete we fixed our luggage and made our way to a nearby bridge where we had made our breakfast. Than we continued the trek for around 1-2 hours to Deurali villager. In Deurali we made our camp. Today we could witness the view of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak. Today was a short day of trek with ample time in afternoon to plan for trek ahead. We made our lunch and dinner in Camp side and slept in our respective tents.
Next day we made our breakfast packed up our tents and sleeping bag and left Deurali for our next distance. The start of the trek for an hour was pleasant with mostly flat terrain. After that we crossed a river and than it was straight uphill for around 5 hours of walking. All of the uphill consists of jungle terrain and was quite tiring due to the continuous uphill path. Their was trekking trail but it seems that it wasn't used much by trekkers as it is not a popular trekking trail. We had made packed lunch which we had after around 3 hours of uphill trek. It was a much needed rest and the food helped us recharge our energy. Than we continued the uphill trek and we reached our destination after another 2 hours. The place we stayed was on top of the hill and as far as we know there was no name to the place so we named in Jungle Camp. Our campsite offered amazing view of Dhaulagiri and Tukuche peak. We were also able to witness a small avalanche that took place in Tukuche peak. After making our camp we went to search for water. It took us about 2 hours but we found flowing water which we gathered and brought back to our camp for the purpose of drinking, cooking food and washing utensils. We also made a camp fire which helped to warm our body in the cold weather. The night was beautiful too and there was splendid view of stars due to clear sky and being away from city lights.
Next day was an important day or us as we would reach one of our target of reaching Niligiri Base Camp. We had our breakfast than packed up and started the trek for the day. The day started straight from uphill hiking. About and hour consisted of walking through Jungle but after that we had crossed the Jungle terrain and moved towards more barren terrain. This meant that we had a lot of wind during our walk and there were no solid cover from the winds. As we kept going higher we were witnessing amazing view of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Tukuche Peak and Niligiri mountains. The best part of the day was right before lunch where we reached top of a hill that allowed us to see the view of new set of Mountains including Annapurna 1, Annapurna Fang, Annapurna South. This was an surreal moment as we had one 8000+ meter peak behind us, which was Mt. Dhaulagiri and we had another 8000+ peak in Annapurna 1 in front of us. Than we had our packed lunch while taking in the view. It was a 270 degree view of mountains with picturesque barren mountain landscape around us. Moving ahead we also explored the area and found some good locations with clear and uninterrupted view of Annapurna 1 side. Than we continued our trek toward Nilgiri Base Camp. On the way we reached the highest point of our trek with an altitude of 4400m. From that point we would go down for an hour and few hundred meters to reach Lower Nilgiri Base Camp. We decided not to go to the actual Nilgiri Base Camp due to the lack of water and it was completely visible from the Lower Base Camp itself. Since we had limited time also we didn't make our way up. For people wanting to reach the Base Camp i would suggest on having 2 nights in Lower Niligi Base Camp as on the second day you can make the hike up to the base camp with the comfort of not carrying luggages. We than took our group pictures with banner having reached one of our two main destination. Than we had our dinner and went to sleep for a very windy night.
Next day we packed up and started the trek for what would be the most challenging hiking day of the whole trek. The first few hours consisted of relatively low uphill and some downhill hike. The hiking path was very narrow and there were some places with small landslides that needed very careful crossing. After than it was straight downhill but it was not a normal downhill and there was so trekking path with stones and local walking path. We had to go straight downhill with lot of bushes and small plants as support. We were very careful in this path as one wrong step could lead to a disaster. So we slowly made our way down. Later the terrain started to become less steep which made it more comfortable and less risky. But soon we had to continue beside a stream path which had lot of small unstable rocks. This was also challenging as we had to be careful with our steps or we would slip on the rocks. After around total 4 hours of downhill we reached the trail that continued to North Annapurna Base Camp. Just few minutes ahead in the trail we found a camping house creating by ACAP and TAAN for campers. It was a welcome relief as it make it convenient for us to cook dinner and make fire and the weather was very windy. We also found lots of firewood that helped us make camp fire that really helped to warm us up.
The following day we left all of own bags in the camping area and heading towards North Annapurna Base Camp. The hike to the base camp was around 2 hours long. The walk was relatively pleasant with no bag pack and slow uphill path. The base camp provided breathtaking view of Annapurna 1 and the mountains surround it. The base camp only had a lake that formed from the melting of glacier. The lake was completely frozen during our visit due to the cold. Besides the lake their was also a temple referred to as small Muktinath temple. This also meant that many domestic tourist also visited the base camp to pray in the temple. After taking photos and praying in the temple we made our way back to our camp from last night. We had lunch than packed up and continued our trek. The rest of the trek was mostly downhill path where we crossed jungles and also few waterfalls. The first waterfall was really beautiful and picturesque. The water was deep and blue. That waterfall is also quite popular with domestic tourist. That we reached Niligiri Hydropower. From here the trekking train was finished and we had to continue the trek in vehicle road. We had to walk around 1 hour before we reached the lower hydropower station where we made our camp beside a local hotel. Since this was our last night of trekking we celebrated with local alcohol and meat that we brought from the hotel.
Next day after breakfast we continued the trek in the road. Today we had to walk only around 4 hours at which point we reached Tatopani which was the end of our trek. Before reached Tatopani we also bough oranges from a local farm and cheap price. From Tatopani we booked a Jeep till Beni. On the way to Beni we stopped for lunch. From Beni we took a night bus and arrived in Kathmandu in 6am the following morning. With this our trip had officially come to an end.
As Nilgiri Base Camp and North Annapurna Base Camp is not so popular with trekkers, it was a great opportunity for everyone in Langtang Ri to explore this hidden gem. The trek offered everything from amazing view of Mountains, Jungles, Waterfall, Lakes, rivers and more. The Nilgiri part is definitely challenging and we would only recommend it to experienced trekkers, while the North Annapurna Base Camp can be completed by first time trekkers as well. Since there are no trekking lodges all of the stay has to be done in tents. There are hardly any people in these trekking routes which makes it a great option for trekkers to explore different areas of Nepal in a peaceful environment, full of nature and lack of other tourist.