Mundum Trek Overview
Mundum Trek is a recently discovered off-the-beaten trail located in the Far-Eastern part of Nepal. It was introduced by the Government of Nepal in January 2018 and is one of the 100 destinations selected for Tourism promotion. This trail traverses through the ancient Kirat villages, lush Rhododendron, bamboo, and pine forests, ridges, sparkly rivers, ponds, and waterfalls, and some of the sacred sites of the Kirat religion.
This region remains in solitude, far from the modernization of the world, and entering Mundrum provides the feeling of being thrown back to medieval times. It is also one of the last places where the authentic culture of the world’s few existing Kirati tribes is preserved.
Kirat religion or Kiratism is an indigenous religion followed by the ethnic group of Rai, Limbu, Sunuwar, Kulung, and Yakkha. They devote themselves to Shaivism and practice Shamanism and Animism. Likewise, Mundum refers to the holy book/religious script of the Kirati people. This trek is named the Mundum Trek because the trail emphasizes the rich culture, tradition, lifestyle, and hospitality of the Kiratis.
Trek route to Mundum is relatively easy but what makes it a bit adventurous is that it’s a camping trek. At the lower part of the trek, few teahouses and homestays are available, but as we start moving upwards, the number of teahouses drops to none with the soaring altitude.
This trek is ideal for travelers who wish to relish the beauty of tranquil nature perfectly blended with an unspoiled culture and a hint of adventure.
Our journey to the wild divine begins after our arrival in Diktel from Kathmandu. We will then commence trekking towards Chakhewa Bhanjyang after staying overnight in Diktel. We will trek through a long ridge, highlands, green pastures, animal herds, and villages from Chakhewa Bhanjyang to Dhotre. This trek is also called ‘A Ridge Trail’ as the route consists of several ridges that trekkers will walkthrough.
Next, we will then forward to Maiyung after spending the night in Dhotre. Maiyung is where we will start our proper camping trek. Trekkers will get to enjoy the green landscape here and also visit the famous Maiyung Danda (hill) and Hans Pokhari. This region is popular as a picnic spot for the locals and a Mela (carnival) is organized here annually.
Our next point will be the mesmerizing village of Rawadhap where the beautiful Laure Hill lies. Likewise, we will then forward our camping trek to Salpa Bhanjyang (pass), locally known as Kulupongkho. The camps will be prepared by the guide/camping team and we will enjoy the campfire and delicious meal prepared by them.
After overnight camp in Salpa Bhanjyang, we will ascend the Silicho Peak located at an elevation of 4,156 meters which will be the highest point of our entire trip. From the summit of the peak, we will see the sublime view of 30 different snow-capped mountains including Everest, Kanchenjunga, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu, Number, Mera, Chalachuli, Shishapangma, and others. This area also houses the holy Salpa Pokhari (pond) which the travelers will get to explore.
After spending another night in Salpa Bhanjyang, we will return back to Bhojpur following the same trail through Hyakule and Hans Pokhari. This trek has a lot to offer from rich biodiversity, ancient cultures, unique lifestyle to the untouched natural beauty and adventurous experience.
Major Attractions of Mundum Trek
Mundum Trek lies near the Halesi Mahadev Temple, one of the very important Hindus religious sites. This trail was opened not very long ago hence, there are very limited accommodations available but only during the start of the trek. So, this trek entails camping.
Mundum Trek not only involves adventurous camping but also local homestay where the trekkers will get to experience the authentic culture, tradition, cuisine, lifestyle, and warm hospitality of the Kiratis. The Kirati people are beautiful inside and out and according to their values, the guests are equivalent to God.
Similarly, the Kirat religion is followed by the fewest population but within this religion, the people follow different traditions and there are 10 different dialects. During this trek, you will be experiencing different cultures and traditions and hear different languages spoken in every other village. Similar to other parts of Nepal, this region also faces cultural diversity as Sherpa, Gurung, Dalit, Brahmin, Chhetri, Magar, and Tamang ethnicities can also be seen as a minority.
Mundum is also rich in eco-biodiversity. 12 different species of Rhododendron bloom here during spring and it is also home to some of the endangered species including red panda, barking deer, Himalayan black bear, partridges, wild duck, wild water buffalo (Arna), Ghoral, and many more.
One of the major highlights of the trek is walking through the rugged ridges, high passes, and plain grasslands, across the picture-perfect villages, shepherd’s hut, and barns witnessing the transition from temperate to the alpine landscape along with the view of 30 soaring Himalayas.
Likewise, this region also houses two sacred sites in Kiratism which are the Salpa Pokhari and Silicho Peak. In Kirat mythology, Salpa Pokhari is believed to be the holy abode of Goddess Sumnina and they believe that taking a dip in the pond washes all of your sins away. They also refer to Silicho Peak as the place where Sky God Paruhang resides and that by worshipping the God, their wish of wellbeing and prosperity will be fulfilled.
This peak is also the final point where Mundumi received blessings from their Gurus. There also is another pond that lies in the route of the Mundum Trail which is called Hans Pokhari. Hans Pokhari literally translates to the duck pond and it got the name as it is shaped like a duck and locals claim that wild ducks come here to swim.
En route to the Mundum Trek lies several Chortens, monasteries, hill stations, temples, Chautaras, Himalayan Bamboo forests, sub-alpine, temperate, and sub-tropical woods, etc. and the plus point of this trek is that it is suitable for all age groups. This hidden gem located in the Khotang district has a unique feature. Bhir Mauri (Wild Rock Bees) are found here and several honey hunters harvest this region for pure wild honey. Very vibrant and important festivals celebrated here are Sakela, Shivaratri, Bala Chaturdasi, Ram Navami, Teej, and others.
NOTE: If the trekkers are not bounded by the time we suggest you combine the trek with Halesi Mahadev Cave and Rupakot or you could also do a side trip to Temke Hill which is two and a half hours south from Chakhewa.
Best Season To Trek in Mundum
The best time to visit Mundum are Spring (March to May) and Autumn (mid-September to the beginning of December). During spring it is relatively hotter and there is no snowfall. You will also get to see different species of Rhododendron and other plants blooming along the way.
Since Autumn is also post-monsoon in Nepal, you will get to walk on the green meadows if trekked during Autumn. There are no chances of rainfall but there is very thin snowfall. If you prefer to experience the first snowfall of the year, this could be a perfect time to trek to Mundum.
Since Nepal is a Himalayan country, it comes with a package of unpredictable weather. So, we recommend the travelers who are planning for trekking in Nepal get Travel Medical Insurance. Getting Travel Insurance before trekking in Nepal will help you if any unfortunate like bad weather, altitude sickness, natural disasters, physical injuries, difficulties during trekking, misplaced or delay in getting luggage, theft, etc. occurs.
It not only provides a layer of protection but also will help you save a hefty amount of money if any hapless happens.