With mountains all around, there is a lake in the middle, covered with snow. Tsho Rolpa is like a great painting by a skilled painter; everyone who casts their eyes upon it thinks it is heaven on earth.
It was difficult to reach the lake though. Reaching the shore of the lake filled my heart with the feeling of insurmountable joy. And sitting on the edge of the lake and looking over, I felt like pinching myself to check if I am dreaming.
My unforgettable trip
I am working in the health sector, but I go out of the Kathmandu valley twice a year. But last year, due to the coronavirus spread, it was not possible.
This year, I reached Tsho Rolpa in Dolakha during the third week of April. I made plans many times to go there, but it did not pan out as planned. But once I got there, sitting by the lakeside with the view of the mountains, I was mesmerised by the beautiful view.
My trip was possible with the help of Bikram Bhatta of Zipmandu Travels and Tour.
In all my treks so far, I found that the route to Tsho Rolpa was more organised than others with exceptional views of the surrounding along the road. While travelling to many touristic destinations in Nepal, one has to travel uphill on the way there and downhill on the way back. But here, there were as many ups as downs along the road. The roads were filled with red rhododendrons blooming along the way as if they were welcoming us.
There were 10 of us on the trip and we had fun along the way. The six days of the Tsho Rolpa trek passed in a blink.
About the lake
The Tsho Rolpa lake is a popular destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. Located in Dolakha, this lake is one of the highest glacial lakes in Nepal at an altitude of 4,580 metres. And, one of the features of the lake is the panoramic view of the Gaurishankar mountain range.
The lake is estimated to have originated only 50 years ago. In 1963, the glacier lake covered an area of only 0.23 square kilometres. According to a satellite map of 1997, the lake expanded to an area of 1.65 square kilometres. The depth of the lake is 135 metres.
How to reach Tsho Rolpa?
The first day’s journey can be covered in 10 hours on a jeep from Kathmandu via Dolakha district headquarters Charikot to Chhetchhet village near Singati. You have to walk for three hours from Chhetchhet to Simigaon. That is the end of day one and you stay in Simigaon.
On the second day, it is an eight-hour walk from Simigaon to Dongyang. And on the third day, it is another eight-hour walk from Dongyang to Na village.
On the fourth day, you reach the Tsho Rolpa lake from the Na village.
Returning, first come to Beding. The next day, you reach Simigaon from Beding in eight hours. And on the final day, it is a three-hour walk from Simigaon to Chhetchhet again. From there, you can return to Kathmandu on a jeep.
A destination with great potentials
This naturally-rich Tsho Rolpa lake is an easily accessible destination from the capital, Kathmandu.
Although the local government there is trying from its side, it has not seen the number of tourists as expected, maybe because of weak publicity. Tsho Rolpa trek got the limelight only after there was a rumour that the glacier lake would erupt.
However, there has been little to no effort on publicity from the national level. If the state pays even little attention, this area can immediately become a fast-growing destination for tourists.
At present, the tourism sector is deserted not only in Nepal but all over the world. So, it would be great if we could focus on domestic tourists and promote them at this time and correct our past mistakes.