Kalinchowk, situated in Dolakha District in Province No. 3 has recently been trending in social media. Since it is easily accessible; one can choose to either walk 5-9 hours (depending on the pace) from Charikot or reserve vehicles or maybe take a bike until Kuri village. And it takes around 1-2 hours to walk from Kuri village to reach until Kalinchowk temple. Recently, Kalinchowk has been one of the most trending destinations for those who want to enjoy snowfall along with the scenic beauty of mountains in the surrounding. The beauty of Kalinchowk trip is it can be done as per the need of the visitors; as short as 2 days or more than that and next is one can get enough hotels in reasonable price there. Also, we can see people from a diverse culture like Sherpa, Tamang & Brahmin, Chhetris etc. This place falls in Gaurishankar Conservation Area and two of the rivers in Saptakoshi; Sunkoshi and Tamakoshi originate here.
Kalinchowk Bhagwati temple is the highest point of travel to Kalinchowk. It is at an altitude of 3842 m (12605 ft) and one can see a 360-degree view from this point. Kalinchowk Bhagwati temple offers a spectacular view of Mt. Gaurishankar, Jugal and also Annapurna & Everest. Kalinchowk Bhagwati is the perfect destination for Hindu devotees and religious people. Worshipping this temple will be one of the most blissful moments while traveling to Kalinchowk. There are numerous bells and trisuls offered by the visitors and passerby in the temple.
Kalinchowk has a warm and temperate climate. The average annual temperature of Kalinchowk is 5.7-degree Celsius whereas the average precipitation is somewhere around 955 mm. July receives the highest amount of rainfall at an average of 255 mm and December is the driest of all. In December, the average rainfall is 4 mm. Similarly, July is the warmest month of all and the average temperature during that month is 11 degree Celsius. And the lowest average temperature occurs in January and it’s around – 1.2 degree Celsius. The variation in temperature throughout the year is 12.2 degree Celsius.
Further reading: Mardi Himal trek 2019!
Best Time to Visit Kalinchowk
The trek to Kalinchowk can be done all year around. But as with most other treks in Nepal, Kalinchowk trek is mostly done in the autumn which falls on the month of September to November and during the spring i.e. March to May. Recently Kalinchowk has started to witness hundreds of visitors every day during the winter season i.e. December to February. Even though it’s colder than at other times, it’s still manageable and a lot of people prefer traveling during that time.
There is an increasing number of young people traveling to Kalinchowk because of Snowfall. Kalinchowk receives heavy snowfall during the time of winter which falls on the month of December to February.
Further reading: Manaslu Circuit Trekking 2018!
Kalinchowk resides at an altitude of 3842 m from sea level.
Kalinchowk Cable Car
Cable car service has been effective in Kalinchowk recently. The travelers can reach Kalinchowk temple within 5 minutes of time. There are 4 boxes in a cable car which can accommodate 10 people at a time.
There are plenty of hotels and lodges in Kuri. The travelers can choose one of them from numerous options. Normally they charge Nrs. 500 to Nrs. 1000 per room.
Kathmandu to Kalinchowk Distance
The distance between Kathmandu to Kalinchowk is around 150 KM. The distance between Kathmandu to Charikot is 132 KM and Kalinchowk is 18 KM from Charikot.
Further reading: Trek to Paanch Pokhari- 2016!
Important Facts about Kalinchowk Trek
- Kalinchowk Altitude: 3842m
- Starting and Ending Point: Charikot
- Trekking Grade: Moderate
- Mode of Trek: Hotels/ Teahouse
- Best time to trek: Can be done all year around. But the best to visit Kalinchowk is during Spring and Autumn.
- Mountain ranges seen from Kalinchowk on a clear day: Mt Gaurishankar, Jugal, Annapurna & Everest.
- Kathmandu to Kalinchowk distance: The distance between Kalinchowk and Kathmandu is around 150 Kilometers.
- Kalinchowk Snowfall time: Kalinchowk experiences snowfall during winter i.e. during December, January & February.
- Kathmandu to Kalinchowk bus: One can get a bus to Charikot from Old bus park. Also, there’s a road to Kuri from Kalinchowk as well. So one opt to travel by private vehicles from Charikot as well.
- Kalinchowk Packages: Because of regular snowfall, travel companies are coming up with different travel packages to Kalinchowk.
- Hotels at Kalinchowk: there’s a good provision of hotels at Kalinchowk (Kuri) with clean rooms and healthy foods.
Itinerary of Kalinchowk Short trek
- Day 1: Kathmandu to Charikot ( 6-7 hours of bus ride). You can opt to stay there. Or else hike up to Kuri village which is 5-8 hours of walk.
- Day 2: Charikot to Kuri village (5-8 hours of walk). Or if walked until Kuri village on the first day, hike up to Kalinchowk temple (1-2 hours of steep uphill walk). You can return to Kuri on the very day and also to Kathmandu on the very day. But it’s a kind of hassle.
- Day 3: Kuri to Kalinchowk (1-2 hours of steep uphill walk) and back to Charikot. You can opt to stay in Charikot as a rest day or else return to Kathmandu on that day.
Further reading: Solo Trek to Tsho Rolpa Lake- 2017!
Here’s my travelogue to Kalinchowk (Kuri) with my friend Shreyak Kafle!
Day 1 ( Kathmandu to Kuri)
1 destination, 2 friends, 3 days of travel and in return lifetime memoirs. What we experienced lasts forever in our memories and here I recall fractions of those moments.
Early in the morning, I rushed towards old bus-park when the sun even hadn’t woken up. I got two tickets to Charikot, Dolakha, and my companion, Shreyak was a bit late to arrive and after a while, he joined with excitement, my excitement level too mounted. The bus kicked off to the destination at 7 AM. We both recognized each others’ eagerness about how the place is, what kind of people would we meet on the way, scenic beauty and weather. Sharing the previous travel stories and at the same time taking pleasure in viewing the scenes added charm to the bus trip. It was 11 AM when we reached Mude and we had lunch there. After a short break, the bus then headed to Charikot and incredible views of mountains, Kharidunga(a place where limestone is extracted), forests, clouds were worth gazing at. With different anticipations going on, our minds were moving like the bus; the only distinction was the bus traveling in its own path whereas the minds were not. By 1 PM we got there at a petrol pump near Charikot bazaar and we were impatient to wait for the bus to fill fuel and then reach the bazaar. So we hurriedly got out of the bus with sunglasses on and the hiking began.
My parents were worried if I could catch a vehicle from Charikot to Kuri. They were doubtful about my walking and stamina; concerned if I could get to Kuri on time and I, on the other hand, had the mindset to walk. Keeping that aside, I decided to follow my heart and continued the walk. We asked as many people as we could in order to confirm whether the direction was right and make real-time conversation with them which we miss in our daily lives. With the rising altitude increased the joy and ecstasy in the journey. Shreyak asked, “what’s the best thing about the trip?” After a while, without getting any answer, I replied “the trip itself” which is the most obvious answer that fits almost every time. He told, “Only we two being together”. Surely it was, I then realized.
The breathtaking and alluring landscapes left us speechless. When we acknowledged those moments; we don’t have any words to express that particular emotion, the only thing we could do is look at each other, SMILE and continue the hike again. Most of the times, “Sahi ho yaar!!!” would break our silence and regain conversation again. And those were moments which we could turn them into words; there were countless instants which now just reside as memories.
During the walk, we could witness the beautiful chirping of birds, captivating sights of vivid and vibrant meadows, appealing mustard fields and flowers, ponds and wide panoramic view which would take away all the weariness and exhaustion and revive the energy to walk with enthusiasm. We also spotted a black colored baby deer observing our journey but we couldn’t capture in the camera.
Afterward, we came to realize we had already walked a lot and the golden rays of the Sunstruck us. It turned out to be an opportunity for us to click silhouette pictures. Similarly, the magnificent view when the golden rays hit the mountain peaks is quite inexplicable and moreover being an observer in such a height was a dream come true. By then, Shreyak had already his cramped legs but that moment created astounding time which washed all the pains and he had a big smile on his face.
Soon the dark began to spread out with Moon showing its presence. Since the moonlight was not enough, we took out the light and continued marching towards the destination. Still, we had a lot to walk and we two were the only travelers on the way during that time. Slowly, the joy we had was taken place by the fear and uncertainty. While walking we were thinking of secondary plans regarding foods and shelters if we couldn’t reach Kuri. Shreyak was having even more difficulty in walking as his cramp got worse. And also, the battery was about to cease which led light not to function well. Problems were complimenting the other problems. Yet, deep down the heart, there was a hope, hope of reaching Kuri and staying there.
We were continuously walking only thinking about reaching Kuri village with the weary body. The light had already stopped working and hence moonlight was the only thing showing us the way. We would cross hill thinking that we would reach the village then and the next hill would appear. We would somehow manage to pass it and again another one would come into view. After more than one hours of relentless hiking in the dark, we saw a light glowing on the top of a hill extremely far from where we were. We were delighted at the moment to notice the light and in the meantime, I was questioning myself; if it’s Kuri, can we reach there today? And the answer was a big NO. Still, I was hoping for something better.
Later on, we met persons on the motorbike and when inquired about Kuri village, we were too happy after hearing that it’s just a few minutes walk then. After sometime numbers of lights were shining signaling us; “Welcome Home!”
I remembered the song by Coldplay; Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones. And I will try to fix you.
We dealt with shelter and food. The food had been already prepared and we quickly readied ourselves to eat. The food was never so tasty before. After dinner, we had a brief walk around the lodge. Since it was freezing cold and windy, we couldn’t stay outside for long and chose to stay inside the room. The experience and life stories sharing helped strengthen the bond between us. Finally, the double layered blanket kept us warm the whole night freely allowed to dream about the following day.
Further reading: Travel Diaries from Jumla!
Day 2 (Kuri to Kalinchowk and back)
We started walking early in the morning and reached Kalinchowk in about 1.5 hours. It was great watching mountain ranges and feeling the cold air breezing. After an hour or so, we returned back and had our lunch in the hotel we stayed in. The trek to Kalinchowk was a great travel experience as every other travel had been.
Happy traveling people! 🙂