Is it worth visiting Humla and Limi Valley Nepal?

Is it worth visiting Humla and Limi Valley Nepal?

Author: Himalayan Trekkers

May 19, 2021

Isn't it worth meeting the happiest locals in the most beautiful and secluded valley in Nepal? We all guess your answer is a big 'Yes' because one can’t deny to Limi Valley of Humla.

Located in the westernmost region of Nepal, the Humla Limi Valley is one the unspoiled and pristine location. It borders Tibet in north and owing to the factor of its solitude and distant placement, it is considered to be an 'off beaten path'.

The word Limi means people who lives on the land between the two rivers derived from the Tibetan language, where 'Le' is land and 'Mi' as people. 

Opened as a trek route in 2002 and only a limited array of permit are issued to hike and explore the area to protect the biodiversity of this place, making it an exotic location to travel and experience.

The valley has a strong connection to Tibet and is heavily influenced by Tibetan culture and lifestyle. Authentic Buddhist culture and traditions can be experienced all over. Locals here have a trade route to Tibet.

Humla Limi Valley Trek's Facts

  • Trek starting & Ending Point: Simikot,Humla
  • Trip Starting & Ending Point: Kathmandu
  • Type of Trip: Restricted/Protected Area Trek
  • Daily Walking time: 5 - 7 Hours
  • Maximum Altitude: 4,949 m, Nyalu La Pass
  • Trek Grade: Moderate to Fairly Hard
  • Accommodation availability: Tea House/Homestay/Camping
  • Estimated Trip Duration: 15 to 21 Days

1. Unique culture and lifestyle

The Limi Valley has three villages - Til, Halji and Jhang. Inhabited by Khas (ethinicity) in the southern part and Tibetans in the northern part, the Khas follow Hinduism whereas Tibetans follow Buddhism. Iinhabitants of the village have their own native language with Tibetan and Nepalese as their second spoken one.

At lower altitude, you will come across small Hindu and Buddhist hamlets. Since the region is heavily influenced by Tibetan Bon culture, travelers also visit this region for spirituality. Throughout your trek, you will have an outlook on these varied cultures.

2. Strolling through Buddhist monasteries

Post arrival the village of Kermi of Humla, majority of the small villages are occupied by the Buddhist people. You will feel the presence of strong Tibetan Buddhism by  glancing at the simmering prayer flags waving in the breeze, chortens and mani stones walls. This journey will also lead you to some of the oldest and most popular monasteries in Nepal.

You will visit the Rinchenling Monastery which is predominantin Limi, protected since the 14th century. Around the village of Tumkot, the Dhungkar Choezom monastery, can be really appreciated which is fundamental for the Sakya lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. 

The surroundings of this monastery are very lovely, peaceful, and clean whereas as the sweet humming Buddhist mantras fill you up with mindfulness as well as progressive muscle relaxation.

Next, you will visit Laikyo Monastery and Lhundrup Choling Monastery in Kermi village, which has been preserved for centuries. Also, Kunzum Do-Nag Monastery, located in Til village is worth a visit.

Similarly, Namkha Khyung Dzong monastery of the Yalbang village, is another notable monastery on our hike. Particularly on this monastery, there are around 130 monks happy and eager to welcome you. The monastery also operates a school and a clinic and finally you can attend Buddhist prayer ceremonies later in the evening.

3. Majestic views of the mountains

As by now, you may already know that Nepal is the land of the mountains and most travelers, just to get a glimpse of these sky touching high peaks, tend to go on challenging trek. 

Mt Kanjirowa (6883 m), Saipal, Api Himal, Byas, Rishi and Kanti are the potential candidates that you are about to witness on your journey. 

You can even enjoy the clear views of Mt. Kailash (6638 m), across the Tibeten border, from the village of Yak Kharka (4900 m). Mount Kailash is sacred peak to the followers of Buddhists, Hindus and Bon religion.

4. Impressive landscapes

The Limi Valley creates aesthetic appeal through its upward and downward slope. The general land structure of this region is perfectly suitable for hiking that takes you uphill and downhill along your trail. Some areas of this hike are desolate and rocky. Sometimes you will walk through rough terrain and dry land as well.

From green pastures with the wild river flowing down to barren rocks, trekking to Limi Valley definitely should be on your wishlist!

5. Home of the varied flora and fauna

The region has a diverse variation of vegetation and wildlife.

Some living in the wilderness are marmot, wolf, wild yak, Himalayan blue sheep, wild horse, barking deer, musk deer, Tibetan wild ass, Himalayan black bear, and snow leopard.

Pine trees, blooming flowers of rhododendrons forest are the most noticeable amongst the others on your trekking trip.

Gazing yaks, cows, and herd of sheep returning from the border carrying the heavy commercial packages makes the background vibrant. Yak and sheep are mainly used in this region for commercial purposes.

6. View of impressive rivers and lakes

Humla is very rich in water resources. On your trip you will be trespassing across the banks of Karnali river. As you cross the wooden suspension bridge, you will notice the emerald green Karnali below the bridge. Karnali River is the longest river in Nepal.

Besides Karnali River, you will also see other small but popular rivers of this region such as Chumsa River, Sali River, Tagtsi Khola, Nyingchhu River, Tshongsa River, Takhor River, etc. All these rivers are the main reasons besides making your hike completely wonderful.

Besides these rivers, you will have the opportunity to see the sacred Lake Manasarovar located in Tibet from two places; either from Lapcha Syar (4,900 m) or from Nyalu Lu Pass (4,949 m). 

You can also rent a truck in Lapcha Syar to see the panorama of Manasarovar. Lake Tshom Tsho, Lake Sheliman, etc. are some of the other lakes that you can explore on this trek.

7. Crossing the Challenging High Altitude Passes

Trek with stunning views and challenging passes is adventurous and has always been the number one choice of trekkers. Humla Limi valley offers you a challenging trek by crossing the two high altitude passes - Nara La Pass (4,620 m) and Nyalu La Pass (4,949m). 

From this spot, you will be able to view thick forests, high mountains, flowing rivers and lakes, majestic waterfalls, different locals following their day-to-day activities, etc.

8. Natural Hot Spring Bath

While trekking at Tatopani, you can enjoy the natural hot spring bath with relaxation. Similarly, Chagzur hot spring is another famous destination of this trek. Tiresome days after the long walk are washed away through this natural bath.

Permits for Limi Valley Trek

As Limi valley is a restricted region, a special trekking permit (SPT) is required and issued by the Department of Immigration. 

Permit to this region is allowed only to two or more than two people and only via a registered trekking agency of Nepal.

Similarly, to trek in Limi valley, you need to pay tax of USD $ 10 to the District Development Committee (DDC) in Simikot. Permit cost USD $ 50 for the first week per person and thereafter, US $ 7 per day. 

As mentioned earlier the permits are mandatory and the price are subject to change according to Nepal Government.

Route to Humla Limi Valley

Jouney to Limi valley is a long way. Your journey will start from a scenic 50 minutes flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. Thereafter, another 45 minutes flight from Nepalgunj to Simikot (2,950 m). 

Simikot is only connected directly from Nepalgunj. Your trek starts from Simikot which follows the ancient salt trading and pilgrimage route towards the frontiers of Nepal and China. 

Simikot is the starting as well as the ending point of your trekking. From there you need to walk around 5 to 6 hours daily. This trek takes around 15 to 21 days to complete.

Level of Difficulty

Most of this trek will take you to the part above 3000 m, so you may face some of the consequences of the elevation. Similarly, this trek consists of two high passes which are challenging to cross. 

So, you need to be passionate and have a positive attitude and determination along with good health. To avoid the difficult scenarios, please follow the following precautions:

  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Carry some energy bars
  • Pack necessary medicinal kit with common medicines like fever reducer, anti-diarrhea pills, headache etc.
  • Take a break in between long walks.
  • Follow our guides advice.

Food and Accommodation in Humla Limi Valley

Limi is a rural and distant valley of Humla. Because of its isolation and detachment, there are no such luxurious hotels and cafes as of modern cities. Thus, making it popular for camping as well. However, some tea-houses are being operated recently for the ease of visitors.

So, throughout the trek, you will be spending your nights either in a tent or tea-house. You will get to enjoy the basic food served by the locals cooked on firewood. This region offers you the ethnic food blend of Nepalese and Tibetan culture which is really tasty. 

Best Season for Humla Limi Valley Nepal

The best season to trek Humla Limi Valley is Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). On these periods, the weather is clear, warm, and fine making it way easier to cross the high passes with vivid environment.

Trek to Humla valley in monsoon (June - August) and winter (December - February) brings obstacles in viewing the scenery as well as slippery routes with snow and such, so we don’t recommend traversing on these off seasons.

Pro Tips

  • Choose a good travel insurance with helicopter rescue
  • Choose the best recommended season
  • Be wise and carry proper equipment and Gear list
  • Always follow your trek leader advice
  • Don’t indulge in unnecessary arguments with locals such as in politics and religion
  • Don’t do drugs

Conclusion

Humla Limi valley trek is a lifetime experience and suitable for those who seek adventurous journeys, are happy to embrace the basic living style, love exploring the remoteness of the hidden village of Nepal. 

So, if you have all these traits in you, then the Limi valley trek will appeal to you the most.

Because of high altitude, restricted area, and camping trek, trekking to this region must be planned wisely. You should deal with an experienced and registered professional travel agency so you can acquire the permit and can trek comfortably and freely throughout all the days. 

We, Himalayan trekkers, having several years of field experience in handling trekking in restricted areas, assure you to make your trip to Humla Limi valley the way you would want – comfy and relaxing as well as getting that thrill. 

For further information, or have any questions planning, plwase do not hesitate to call us. We are always ready to guide you!!

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