A brief history on Dolpo’s tourism
Until the end of the 18th century, Dolpo was a territory of Tibet and was ruled by the powerful flanking kingdom of Lo and princedom of Jumla Dolpo. Later Dolpo came under the province of Lo, the recent day Mustang. In the beginning of 19th century as the Nepal was unified the borderlines drawn between Nepal and Tibet made negative impact on alliance with the Lo. Dolpo now belongs to Tichurong and begin to pay taxes to its governing body in the south after the introduction of Panchayati System in Nepal.
In 1951 as Nepal was opened for tourism activities, most of the highlands begin to enjoy changes. However, sensitive location of Dolpo compelled this beautiful region once again made Dolpo a mysterious forbidden region for foreign travelers in 1974. Dolpo became ideal hideout place then for Tibetan freedom fighters (Khampas) causing frequent conflicts with Royal Nepalese Army. Secondarily the fear of China claiming their lost territory also supported the reason to close Dolpo for tourism activities. However, after fifteen years in 1989, few regions of Dolpo were opened for foreign tourists, which include regions south of Phoksundo, Tichurong and Tarap.
As Eric Valli’s wonderful movie, Himalayan Caravan captured breathtaking landscapes and nomadic lifestyle of Dolpo in 1999, this heaven on earth got great exposure among the enthusiast travelers across the world. Now, Dolpo is slowly emerging as Nepal’s one of the most important trekking destinations.