Phoksundo Lake is located in the She-Phoksundo National Park in Dolpa. The lake becomes blue in a moment, black in a moment and vermilion in a moment. The lake is decorated with different colors from morning to evening.
The lake (3,600 m) in She-Foksundo Rural Municipality-8, Dolpa, located in the lap of Kanjirova Mountain, has an area of 4.95 sq km. It has a maximum length of 5.93 km and a maximum width of 1.80 km with a depth of 145 meters. The lake was listed on the Ramsar site on 23 September 2007.
When the sky is blue, the lake water also looks blue. When the clouds fall, the lake also becomes dark. It is colorful at sunset. The lake keeps changing its appearance according to the color of the sky. Bathing, swimming and washing clothes are not allowed in the lake. There is no boating facility. You can watch without blinking. No matter how much you look, your eyes never get tired.
I like to decorate with my eyes and my heart. I don’t want to leave the lake and come back. Phoksundo can be visited throughout the year. The best season to visit is from February to June and from October to October.
One can set foot on the lake only after two days and one morning trek from Suligad in Dolpa. There are Rigm villages, monasteries, chaityas etc. on the shores of the lake.
If you reach the view point after a two and a half hour trek from the lake, you can see the unique appearance of Phoksundo. The river flowing from the outlet of the lake is called Phoksundo river. There is a spectacular waterfall in the river called Phoksundo Falls.
The waterfall can be seen from the footpath. After reaching Suligad, the Phoksundo River merges into the Thuli Bheri. The lake is reached by a 27 km footpath from Suligad.
Rigam village on the lake shore is a trekker’s abode. Dolpa Lower Circuit, Upper Dolpo and Phoksundo trekkers stay at Rigm. There are 65 houses in the village where 11 hotels are running. Lama, Budha, Baiji and Gurung of Bhote community live in the village.
It produces potatoes, papar, wheat and mustard. Cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and greens are grown in vegetables. Cattle, goats and chickens are reared in animal husbandry. To the northwest of the village is the Kanjirova mountain and to the south is the Kang Taika Tong mountain.
There are Gumba, Chaitya and Manes in the village. There lies the beauty of the Bhote lifestyle. They have their culture and customs. Losar is their major festival. There is heavy snow in the village in January-January. Even before the snow falls, the villagers go down to the valley.
It is best to spend two nights in Rigm village and enjoy the beauty of Phoksundo. There is no electricity facility in the village, there is light from solar energy. The mobile phone works. There are few hotels in Rigam.
Apart from that, whether you are traveling by road to Suligad on foot or flying to Jufal, you will find mid-range hotels everywhere. So ‘Tea House Trekking’ is possible.
The famous She-Gumba is reached by a two-day trek from Rigm village, while a three-day trek crosses Bagla Bhanjyang and Numla Bhanjyang to reach Dho-Tarap Valley (4,200 m).
Dolpa is home to the Yungdhung Bon religion. The pioneer of Bon religion is Tonpa Shenrao Miwo which started 18 thousand 38 years ago. The religion that protects all beings in the world from all kinds of suffering is called Yungdong Bon Dharma.
Happiness is obtained from its practice. It is mentioned in the Bon texts that one thousand and eight Buddhas will be born on earth over time. Tonpa Shenrao is the eighth Buddha. He was born to father Galbon Thokar and mother Yochi Gyalsema in a place called Holmo Lungring in Xiangsiung State.
The path of wisdom and compassion that he preached for public welfare is called Bon Dharma. There are 140 books called ‘Kangayur’ which contain his teachings.
Apart from this, about three hundred scriptures have been composed by Dharma Guru, they are called ‘Katen’.
Those who practice the Bon religion are called Bonpo. Other Buddhists chant ‘Om mane peme hoon’ while twisting the mane. However, Bon followers say ‘Om ma tri mu ye sa le du’.
The Bonpo walk around the Ma Tri, Gumba and Chaitya to the left. On the shores of Phoksundo Lake is Thasung Choling Monastery, built by Teton Chhewang Chulthim in the fifteenth century.
There are many such ancient monasteries in the Himalayas. According to the General Secretary of the Bon Buddhist Federation, Gese Lotoi Choglek (Tshiring Lama), there are significant Bonpo settlements in Dolpa, Mustang, Humla, Jumla, Baglung, Mugu, Kaski, Chitwan and Kathmandu. There are more than three dozen bon monasteries in Dolpa alone.
That is why Dolpa is called ‘Land of Bone’. Ichangunarayan, Tingghare in Kathmandu also has Bon Gumba. The ‘Philosophy of Doctor’ on Bon Dharma is taught at Triten Norbuche Monastery, founded 36 years ago by Guru Yongjin Rinpoche. Those who complete such a course are called ‘Gese’. For this, you have to study for at least 15 years.
If we look at the history, Shangseung Kingdom was counted among the largest and most powerful kingdoms in South Asia until the 8th century. From Nyathi Chenpo, the first king of Bhot, to Namri Srongchen, the 32nd king, Bon religion seems to have been widespread in Bhot.
Buddhism began to expand in Bhot from King Shrangchang Gompo. During the reign of King Thisong Dechen of Bhot, the Bon religion underwent many ups and downs. Then successively many bon religious people went to different places by vote.
Miwo, the founder of the Bon religion, came to Nepal to preach the religion. Therefore, Bon Dharma has been practiced in Nepal since ancient times. Some of the ancient monasteries, manes and chaityas in the Himalayan regions of Nepal are dilapidated.
The state should invest in their protection. Food and lodging Food and lodging facilities are available everywhere along the trail. There are 11 hotels in Rigum village on the upper lake shore where a simple meal costs 400 rupees and a room with a double bed costs 1000 rupees.
Nima Lama-9851034018, She-Foksundo rural municipality-8 ward president and hotelier
How to reach?
Kathmandu-Nepalganj-Jajarkot-Dolpa road trip, by bus. 118 km unpaved road from Jajarkot-Dolpa headquarters. From Kohalpur, Chhinchu-Jajarkot-Dunai is 311 km. Direct buses run from Kathmandu to Tallu via Jajarkot via Rukum (West) Radijula.
You have to change jeep from Tallu and reach Suligad. The Phoksundo trail starts from Suligad about 2 km before reaching Dunai. Kathmandu-Nepalganj 55 minutes by air. Nepalgunj-Jufal 35 minutes flight. Jufal – Suligad 8 km by jeep. Phoksundo Lake on two days one morning trek from Suligad.
- Lake She is located in Phoksundo National Park. However, the name of the lake is ‘Foksundo’, not ‘She Phoksundo’. Similarly, the name of the settlement on the shore of the lake is ‘Rigm’, not ‘Rigmo’.
- The Phoksundo area is inhabited by the Won religion. They do not go around Mane, Chaitya or Gumba to the right, but to the left. So it is better for nomads to turn left.
- As it is a cold place, you should carry warm clothes, comfortable shoes, walking stick, flashlight, thermos, water bottle etc. Carry essential medicines, life water, cetamol etc.
- There is no need to carry dry foods as there are hotels on the trail, you can buy fresh soup and eat fresh food at the hotels.
- Respecting local art, culture, lifestyle, food and customs. Do not argue with the villagers about caste, politics and religion.
- Do not hurry in the journey to the Himalayas, drink water, and take a leisurely walk. Reaching the abode before the sun sets. Sleep by 10 pm.
Picture and Reference : setopati, kimkim