Gosainkunda is a glacier lake situated in the heart of Langtang National Park. This lake is popular among trekkers, pilgrims, and adventure seekers. Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake Trek is the adventure of a lifetime that awaits those who venture to this high-altitude gem, with pristine glacial-fed waters and a backdrop of high mountains.
You will witness the views of Ganesh Himal, Langtang Lirung, Annapurna, and many other mountains on the journey from Pokhara to Gosaikunda. The Pokhara to Gosainkunda lake trek offers breathtaking views of the Langtang Himalayan range, Manaslu, and Ganesh Himal as well. Not to mention, Gosainkunda Lake is also the source of the Trisuli River.
Read along to find out the important details to begin the unforgettable trek from Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake. Whether you are a seasoned trekker searching for a challenge or a traveler seeking a transformative experience, this adventure promises a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can immerse yourself in the beauty and spirituality of the Himalayas.
In this blog we will virtually guide you through the remarkable journey, providing a comprehensive resource to help you plan your Pokhara to Gosaikunda expedition. From the awe-inspiring landscapes and cultural significance to the logistical aspects of reaching this remote destination.
About the Gosainkunda Lake
Gosainkunda Lake is a significant place in both spiritual and natural realms. Situated at an elevation of 4,380 meters, it is surrounded by unspoiled glaciers and tall mountains. Its name, “The Lake of the Gosaik,” pays homage to Lord Shiva, making it an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus and Buddhists. Many spiritual enthusiasts complete this challenging trek each year, during the full moon in August, to take a holy dip in the crystalline waters of Lake. Beyond spiritual significance, Goshaikunda attracts trekkers and nature lovers, with its high-altitude wildlife and cultural richness.
Overview of Gosainkunda Lake Trek
- Trek Duration: 5 to 10 Days
- Trek Distance: approx. 35 km from Dhunche
- Trek Difficulty: Moderate
- Max-Altitude: 4,610 meters at Lauribina Pass
- Trek Permits: TIMS Card and Langtang National Park Permit
Highlights of Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake Trek
- Trek suitable for beginners
- Gosainkunda lake at height of 4380m
- A short and moderate trekking trail in the Langtang region
- Observe the lifestyle of people in the Himalayan region of Nepal
- Encounter endangered species like Red Panda, Snow leopard and more
- Trek through mountain views, villages, hills, cultures, traditions communities
- Majestic mountain vistas of mountains like Langtang, Ganesh Himal, and many other peaks.
What is the Significance of Goshaikunda Lake?
Gosainkunda is not only a stunning lake but holds profound spiritual and cultural significance. The lake draws pilgrims, trekkers, and adventurers from all around the world. Let’s delve into the rich tapestry of stories and beliefs that make this Himalayan jewel a place of reverence and wonder.
- A Sacred Temple of Lord Shiva
One of the most compelling aspects of Goshaikunda’s significance is its association with Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is believed to have created the lake when he pierced a glacier with his trident (Trishul) to quench his thirst. The lake is considered one of his many homes, and devotees believe that taking a holy dip in the icy waters purifies the soul and absolves sins.
- A Place of Pilgrimage
Every year, during the festival of Janai Purnima in August, thousands of Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims visit the Lake. They come to worship Lord Shiva and take a dip in the holy waters to cleanse themselves. These devotees carry water from the lake, which they believe holds purifying powers.
- Cultural Celebrations
The religious significance of Goshaikunda Lake extends to the vibrant cultural tapestry of Nepal. During the annual pilgrimage, you can witness the local Tamang and Sherpa communities celebrating the festival with music, dance, and traditional rituals. The atmosphere is filled with reverence, festivity, and a sense of communal belonging.
- Buddhist Influence
Goshaikunda is not limited to Hindu beliefs. It also holds importance in Tibetan Buddhism as well. There are several monasteries and stupas around the lake. These religious sites contribute to the rich cultural diversity that defines the region.
Ways to get from Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake
Gosainkunda Lake lies inside the premises of the Himalayan beauty of Langtang National Park, and offers multiple means of access, each with its charm and adventure. Here are three primary ways to reach this pristine destination:
- Drive Combined with Trek
Drive combined with a trek is one of the popular options to reach from Pokhara to Gosaikunda Lake. You can hire a private vehicle or take a public bus to Dhunche, which is the gateway to the Gosainkunda Trek. The scenic drive provides an opportunity to glimpse the changing terrain as you ascend to the Langtang region. From Dhunche, your trekking adventure officially begins, leading you to the Lake. The trail leads you through lush forests, terraced fields, charming villages, and alpine meadows.
- By Helicopter
For those with time or physical limitations, Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake by helicopter is a convenient and easy option. Helicopter tours provide an aerial view of the breathtaking Langtang region, and land near the lake, saving you days of trekking. This luxurious approach allows you to appreciate the high-altitude wilderness without the physical demands of a long trek.
No matter which mode of transportation you choose, Gosainkunda Lake promises a memorable and awe-inspiring experience. Each approach offers its batch of advantages. Whichever path you take, the magic of Lake awaits, making your visit to the Nepali Himalayan Region an adventure of a lifetime.
Permits Required for Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake Trek
The journey from Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake is a dream for many adventure enthusiasts. However, before hitting the trails, it is important to obtain permits and read along to ensure you have all the necessary documentation for a hassle-free trek.
TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System)
The TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card, is a fundamental requirement for all the trekking trails in Nepal. This card helps authorities in tracking and managing tourists in the region.
- Cost: Rs. 2000 (for foreigners)
Langtang National Park Entry Ticket
The Langtang National Park Entry Fee is also necessary to visit Gosainkunda Lake. Obtain the Langtang National Park Entry Ticket at the gateway of Langtang National Park.
- Cost: Rs.3000 (for foreigners) & Rs.100 (for Nepali Citizens)
How to Obtain Essential Permits?
For the TIMS card, you should visit the Nepal Tourism Board Pokhara. You can obtain the card once you provide the necessary details like your trek itinerary, passport information, a home-country emergency contact number, insurance policy number, and a local emergency contact number. You can secure the Langtang National Park Entry Ticket at the entrance of the National Park.
Best Time to Visit Gosainkunda Lake
Spring and Autumn are considered the most favorable time to visit Gosainkunda Lake. Let’s dive deep into why:
- Spring (March to May)
Spring is one of the ideal seasons for trekking to Gosainkunda Lake. During this time, the weather is moderate, with gradually rising temperatures. The trails come to life with vibrant rhododendron flowers, creating a colorful contrast against the snow-capped peaks. Clear skies provide excellent visibility, allowing trekkers to soak in mountain views. The moderate temperatures and blooming flora make spring an excellent choice to explore the beauty of both the natural world and local culture.
- Autumn (September to November)
Autumn is regarded as the best time to visit Gosainkunda. The monsoon cleanses the atmosphere, resulting in crystal-clear skies and improved visibility of the majestic peaks. The temperatures are comfortable, and the trekking trails are in their best condition. Autumn also coincides with the Hindu festival of Dashain, adding a cultural dimension to your journey as you witness local celebrations and traditions.
Cost of Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake for Nepali
Trekking from Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake is a budget-friendly adventure for Nepali trekkers, with costs estimated at around NPR 20,000 per person, covering transportation, food, and accommodations. Opting for traditional Nepalese cuisine and trekking in groups enhances affordability, while indulging in Western food and alcohol may increase expenses. However, this inclusive cost ensures a comfortable journey from start to finish, making this Himalayan journey accessible to all with careful planning and mindful choices.
Pokhara to Gosainkunda Trek Itinerary
Your adventure begins with a drive from Pokhara to the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu. You should change the bus to reach the tranquil town of Dhunche. The journey through winding roads offers glimpses of rural life and the stunning landscapes of the Langtang region.
On the second day, the trek officially starts as you follow the trail deeper into the Langtang region. You pass through charming villages, terraced fields, and dense forests filled with rhododendrons and diverse flora. Your destination for the day is Chandanwari, a village that offers a taste of local culture and stunning mountain views.
Day 3 is the highlight of your trek as you ascend to the sacred Gosaikunda Lake. The trail leads you through rugged terrain and rocky paths. As you approach the lake, the breathtaking sight of Gosaikunda, with pristine waters shining in the middle of the peaks, is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Take your time to explore the surroundings and immerse yourself in its spiritual aura.
You descend back to Dhunche on Day 4. The journey retraces your steps, allowing you to revisit the enchanting landscapes and villages you encountered on your way up.
On the final day, you return to Kathmandu via drive, allowing you to reminisce about the incredible journey you just completed.
Preparation and Physical Fitness for the Trek
- Cardiovascular Fitness: Focus on cardiovascular exercises like hiking, jogging, or cycling to enhance stamina and endurance.
- Strength Training: Strengthen leg muscles through squats, lunges, and calf raises to cope with the varied terrain.
- Altitude Training: If possible, incorporate altitude training to acclimatize your body to higher elevations.
- Practice Trekking: Prior trekking experience is beneficial. Practice with a backpack to get accustomed to the additional weight.
Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake Trek Difficulty
The Pokhara to Gosainkunda trek promises an immersive adventure, but understanding the trek’s difficulty is crucial for a successful journey. We have broken down the trek into different sections, shedding light on the challenges and offering preparation tips.
- Sections and Difficulty Levels
The initial part of the trekking journey involves a mix of flat terrains and gradual ascents. As you ascend, the trail becomes steeper. The path is a moderate to challenging level of difficulty, especially as you gain altitude. Some sections of this trail have steep ascents and varying trail conditions. Trekkers should be prepared physically for this trekking journey.
- Elevation Gain and Trail Conditions
The initial elevation gain is gradual in the Pokhara to Gosainkunda allowing trekkers for acclimatization. Trail conditions are generally well-defined. Later, the elevation gain becomes more pronounced, and the trail becomes rocky and uneven. You can expect a stretch that involves a significant elevation gain, steep ascents and descents, and some sections with loose gravel throughout your trekking journey.
Altitude Sickness during Pokhara to Gosaikunda Lake Trek
Altitude sickness is a concern on the elevated terrains of the Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake trek and manifests through symptoms like:
- Headache: An early warning sign, often presenting as a persistent and throbbing headache.
- Nausea and Vomiting: Feelings of queasiness or experiencing vomiting sensations.
- Dizziness: Sensations of feeling lightheaded or unsteady on your feet.
- Shortness of Breath: Difficulty in breathing, especially noticeable during exertion.
- Insomnia: Difficulty in sleeping is a common symptom experienced at higher altitudes.
Preventive Measures and Acclimatization Strategies
To ward off altitude sickness, employ preventive measures and acclimatization strategies:
- Gradual Ascent: Ascend slowly, allowing your body to acclimatize to the decreasing oxygen levels.
- Hydration: Drink plenty of water and fluids to stay hydrated, but avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption.
- Rest Days: Integrate rest days into your trek itinerary to allow your body enough time to adjust to the altitude.
- Proper Nutrition: Maintain a well-balanced diet, rich in carbohydrates and low in fat, to support your body’s energy needs.
In the event of altitude sickness symptoms, consider these common remedies:
- Descend if Symptoms Persist: If symptoms worsen, descending to a lower altitude is the most effective remedy.
- Medication: Acetazolamide (Diamox) can aid in preventing and alleviating symptoms. However, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before use.
- Supplemental Oxygen: In severe cases, supplemental oxygen should be used to minimize the symptoms of altitude sickness.
When to Seek Medical Help?
Seek medical help if you experience:
- Severe Symptoms: If symptoms are severe and persist despite descending and other remedies, seek medical attention immediately.
- High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) or Cerebral Edema (HACE): Conditions such as HAPE (fluid in the lungs) or HACE (swelling of the brain) necessitate immediate medical intervention.
Altitude sickness is a potential challenge, but with awareness and adherence to proper precautions, it can be effectively managed. Pay close attention to your body, stay well-hydrated, and incorporate gradual ascent strategies. If symptoms persist or worsen, do not hesitate to seek medical assistance. Your health is paramount, and understanding altitude sickness ensures a safer and more enjoyable trek from Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake.
Accommodation Options on the Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake Trek
The trek offers a range of choices, from cozy tea houses to basic lodges.
- Tea Houses
The most common accommodation on the Gosainkunda Trek is tea houses. These are family-run lodges that offer simple and comfortable rooms and hearty meals. Tea houses are spread throughout the trekking route, providing trekkers with warm hospitality. You can interact with fellow travelers, creating opportunities for cultural exchange and shared experiences during a teahouse stay. While the facilities in tea houses are basic, they provide essential amenities such as comfortable beds, common dining areas, and local cuisine.
- Lodges and Guesthouses
In addition to tea houses, there are also lodges and guesthouses available at various points along the trek. These establishments vary in terms of comfort and services, with some offering private rooms and attached bathrooms. The larger settlements, such as Dhunche, offer a range of lodging options, including more luxurious lodges. The availability of such accommodations is limited at higher elevations.
Camping is possible through camping equipment and the support of local trekking agencies. This option provides more privacy and flexibility but involves carrying additional gear.
Food Options During the Gosainkunda Lake Trek
You can discover the diverse and mouthwatering options that Nepalese cuisine has to offer. From traditional Dal Bhat to tantalizing Tibetan Bread with jam, the trail is a feast for your taste buds.
You can start your day with a variety of breakfast options to energize your body for the trek. Choose from Tibetan Bread with jam, French toast, muesli, oatmeal, cornflakes, cereal, hash browns, fried eggs, Gurung Bread, pancakes, puffy and round, porridge, or chapatti with tea. The availability of breakfast from Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake is a hearty and delicious breakfast.
Luch option on the trail offers various healthy choices like momo (dumplings), vegetable fried rice with egg, dal bhat, soup (noodles, chicken, mushroom), cheese potatoes, or fried egg noodles. You can refuel your energy as you soak in the breathtaking landscapes surrounding you.
As the day winds down, treat yourself to a satisfying dinner amidst the tranquility of the mountains. Choose from stews, pizza, thukpa, fried noodles, noodle soup, macaroni, fried potatoes, fried rice, momo (dumplings), spring rolls, dal bhat, spaghetti, and more.
Why Travel Insurance is Necessary for the Gosainkunda Lake Trek?
The Pokhara to Gosaikunda Lake trek promises an unforgettable adventure, but with fun comes responsibility. One of the integral aspects of a safe and sound trekking experience is securing your travel insurance. Here’s why it is a non-negotiable component for a safe and worry-free journey:
- Medical Emergencies
The trek involves significant altitude changes, and altitude-related illnesses can occur. Travel insurance ensures coverage for medical emergencies, including evacuation if needed.
Trekking involves inherent risks. Insurance provides financial support for medical treatments, hospital stays, and, if necessary, evacuation to a medical facility.
- Trip Cancellation or Interruption
Life is unpredictable. Travel insurance safeguards your financial investment in case you need to cancel or cut short your trip due to unexpected circumstances such as illness, family emergencies, or natural disasters.
In unfamiliar terrains, the risk of losing or having your belongings stolen is common. Travel insurance covers the loss of personal items, including passports, cameras, and other valuables.
- Emergency Assistance Services
Quality travel insurance often includes emergency assistance services, providing round-the-clock support for any travel-related issues or emergencies.
- Lost Baggage
In the event of delayed or lost baggage, travel insurance offers compensation for essential items, ensuring you can continue your journey without unnecessary disruptions.
- Personal Liability
If any unfortunate accidents happen during your trek and if you accidentally cause injury to someone or damage property, travel insurance provides coverage for personal liability claims.
What to Pack for the Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake Trek?
We have prepared a comprehensive list of essential gear for your trekking journey to ensure a comfortable adventure:
Documents and Currency
- Passport and separate photocopies
- Proof of insurance
- 2 extra passport-sized photos
- Airline tickets
- Card money and ready cash for purchasing a Nepalese visa at the airport
- Photocopies of identity card
- Bank/ATM cards for fund withdrawals
Upper Body Gear
- Warm hat/cap
- Waterproof jacket
- Windcheater jackets
- Pair of woolen gloves
- Light and warm thermal tops
- Torch with alternative batteries
- Half and long-sleeved upper wears
Lower Body Gear
- Inner wears
- Trekking shorts
- Trekking trousers
- Woolen trousers
- Waterproof pants
- Light-weighted thermal bottoms
- Normal and woolen socks
- Trekking shoes (Crampons)
- Power bank
- Sleeping bag
- Trekking pole
- Large travel bag
- Mini folding knife
- Anti-bacterial hand wash
- Gosaikunda trekking map
- Camera with extra batteries
Medical and Toiletries
- First aid box (band-aids, anti-loose motion pills, anti-headache pills, cold and cough medicine, anti-altitude sickness pills, water purification tablets)
- Toiletries based on personal preferences
As we have come to the end of this blog, we can confidently conclude that the Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake journey in the Himalayas is not just about the destination but the entire experience it offers. From the spiritual significance that infuses the region to the awe-inspiring natural beauty, this trek is a blend of culture, nature, and adventure.
Whether you are drawn by spiritual curiosity, the call of the Himalayas, or the thrill of adventure, the Pokhara to Gosainkunda Lake trek is a journey where the heart and soul find comfort. As you stand by the pristine waters, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, you will understand why this is the adventure of a lifetime. So, plan your escape and embark on a journey to Gosainkunda that will leave an unforgettable memory in your heart and spirit.
- How difficult is the Gosainkunda trek?
The Gosainkunda trek is considered to be a moderately challenging trek. However, the difficulty level of the Gosainkunda trek may vary depending on your fitness. The trail involves steep ascents and descents, rocky paths, and high-altitude terrain, which can be physically demanding. It is advisable to be in good physical shape and have prior trekking experience before trying this trail. Finally, proper acclimatization is necessary to prevent altitude-related issues.
- Where does Gosainkunda Lake lie?
Gosainkunda is situated inside the premises of Langtang National Park, in the Rasuwa District of Nepal. The lake is located at an altitude of approximately 4,380 meters above sea level.
- Which God is Worshipped in Gosainkunda?
Gosainkunda is primarily associated with Lord Shiva, the Hindu deity. Therefore, the lake holds deep religious significance for Hindus, and it is believed to be one of Lord Shiva’s abodes. During the sacred festival of Janai Purnima in August, devotees from both Hindu and Buddhist traditions undertake a pilgrimage to pay homage to Lord Shiva and take a holy dip in the lake.
- What is the highest altitude of the Gosainkunda trek?
The highest point of the Gosainkunda trek is Lauribina Pass, which reaches an altitude of approximately 4,610 meters above sea level. This pass provides stunning panoramic views of the Himalayan mountains which is a significant milestone on the trek. Proper acclimatization is crucial when approaching this high altitude to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.
- How can I travel from Pokhara to Gosaikunda by helicopter?
Several Pokhara-based hiking firms arrange helicopter tours from Pokhara to Gosaikunda. To have this picturesque trip planned for you, you can hire them. The journey to Gosaikunda Lake by helicopter takes 15 to 20 minutes, departing from Pokhara. Gosaikunda Lake and Langtang National Park will be yours to explore for thirty minutes.
- What is the total distance between Pokhara and Gosaikunda?
Gosaikunda Lake is 258 kilometers away from Pokhara overall. This is a distance that you will travel by bus and on foot. Thus, you will take a bus from Pokhara to Dhunche via Kathmandu, which is 223 kilometers away, and then hike the remaining 35 kilometers to reach Gosaikunda Lake.
- Is there any bus service for Pokhara to Gosaikunda journey?
Yes, there is a bus service that runs from Pokhara to Gosaikunda. The trip takes 12 to 13 hours to complete and includes a route to Kathmandu and then on to Dhunche.
- Can I complete the Gosaikunda trek in 3 days?
Except for the bus travel from Kathmandu to Dhunche and back, the Gosaikunda trek is indeed manageable in three days. After a six to seven-hour drive from Kathmandu, the trek officially begins at Dhunche. Three-day itinerary for Gosaikunda Lake:
Day 1: Dhunche to Sing Gompa
Day 2: Sing Gompa to Gosaikunda Lake
Day 3: Gosaikunda Lake to Dhunche
- What is the distance from Kathmandu to Gosaikunda?
Gosaikunda is 121 kilometers away from Kathmandu collectively. To get to Dhunche, the starting point of the stroll, you would need to travel 116 kilometers by road, which could take six or seven hours. Gosaikunda Lake will then be reached after a 35-kilometer hike.
- What is the walking distance from Dhunche to Gosaikunda Lake?
The trip takes three days to complete and covers a distance of about 35 km from Dhunche to Gosainkunda Lake. This remarkable hiking trip comes to an end with a transport back to Kathmandu from Dhunche.