Dolpo( The Next Top Destination)

Dolpo (Dolpa)

Dolpo is very famous among the foreigners and the local people of Upper Dolpa. Dolpo is often referred to Upper regional part of the Dolpa district. Similarly, Dolpa is the official name of the largest District of Nepal in the area. Which is located in the western part of Nepal and bordering China in the north.  Dolpa itself is divided into two distinctive levels the upper part and the lower part. The upper part of Dolpa is inhibited by the people who have a very unique culture and have distinctive local dialect similar to Tibetan culture. The lifestyle, geography, culture, costumes, livestock, and their dialect are very closely related to the culture of Tibet (the autonomous region of Tibet). So, this particular region is referred as Dolpo.

Dolpo consists of seven villages, which are closely related to each other. These villages are politically, religiously, linguistically, and socially very closed and connected. They have even strong individual relationships as well. Due to which they have a unique and distinctive culture, tradition, costumes, social values, dialect unlike other parts of Nepal. Dolpo is often known as Hidden Land; it has remained untouched by many of the ‘isms’ including Modernism. It has remained unexposed to the rest of the world for a very long time.

There are a lot of changes that happened during a few last decades in the name of Modernism but still much is left to be happened in the decades to come. In the last decade, Dolpo has been touched by the outside world and it is gradually changing. Currently, it is in the changing phase which matters the most.

Dolpo lies in the rainshadow region. Dhaulagiri range, which makes this region dry and does not receive extreme rainfalls throughout the seasons. This is an advantage point for the trekkers. This makes trekking easier in this region. Trekking can be done in the Dolpo region even in the rainy season. It is feasible for the trekkers from the month of early spring to late November. But in winter it receives heavy snowfalls and blocks all the passes. So it is not possible to trek during the winter season. September, October, and November months are considered the most favorable for Dolpo.

Aerial view of the valley between the Dho and Tokyou. Which known as Darkmar.                 photo- Thup Tsang

Dolpo itself is divided into two parts; upper Dolpo and Lower Dolpo. The inhabitant of upper Dolpo follows and practices Buddhism and Bon religion. Though the practitioners of Bon religion less compare to Buddhism. It is still prevalent in Dolpo. Similarly, their culture, traditions, and social values are closely related to Tibetan culture as I have mentioned above.

Likewise Lower Dolpo is home to multi-cultural inhabitants and the followers of Hinduism and Shamanism, Bon and Tibetan Buddhism though less in comparison.  Lower Dolpo is majorly dominated by Khasan people purely Hinduism and Shamanism followers have their Khasan culture. The Khasan valley is then, garden of Hindu castes such as Brahmin, Kshetries, Thakuries, and others. They celebrate Hindu major festivals like Dashain, Deepawali, Janai Purnima, MagheSangkranti, and Shaman festivals like SaunePuni, BhadauPuni, and KartikPuni.

Among all these variations we can find another typical culture and dialects of Kike in the middle part of Upper Dolpo and Lower Dolpo. This region is covered communities which has very different and unique culture as well. These communities inhabit the slope of hills. They have a very unique dialect which is understood by very limited these communities. They share their culture and tradition with the upper Dolpo. They have a very strong connection with Upper Dolpo. It is because they had a very special relationship with the people of Upper Dolpo since their ancestors. They adopt a very similar culture and religion to Upper Dolpo. There are prevalent practices of Shamanism in this region.

 

 

 

 photo- Thup Tsang                                                                                                                                                                   A shepherd starting his day with a whistle. The nomads stay far from the village in the pastures during the summer for 4/5 months until the harvesting is finished.                                                                                          Well, many argue that Dolpo will the next top tourist destination. Dolpo has its own charm and uniqueness. Dolpo has its own history, biodiversity, culture, and way of living. You will be amazed by its uniqueness.