Day 21 Sinawa to Ghandruk

Day 7 Sanctuary route

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5 hours 30 minutes


10 kilometres

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Walk down the hill from Sinawa towards Chomrong. At the bottom of the hill cross the Chomrong Khola by an old suspension bridge (35 minutes) [28°26.41'N 83°50.10'E] 2100 metres, then a smaller stream by a stone bridge. At the Captain's Lodge (50 minutes), I would recommend stopping for a cup of his excellent Darjeeling tea which is the best tea on the circuit.

Plod up the hill to Upper Chomrong (1 hour 10 minutes). [28°25.1'N 83°49.33'E] 2040 metres. Walk along the path as it contours around the hillside to reach Kaji Lodge (1 hour 45 minutes) [28°24.68'N 83°48.21'E] 1800 metres.

From Kaji Lodge, the path descends very steeply to Kyumnu ( 2 hours 5 minutes) [28°24.19'N 83°47.83'E] 1800 metres. Cross the Kyumnu Khola (2 hours 15 minutes) to begin the ascent up the other side of the valley. On the ridge at the top of this hill is Komrong ( 3 hours 10 minutes) [28°23.76'N 83°48.00.E] 2255 metres. Have a bottle of Coke. Its far cheaper here as Komrong is outside the 'special management' zone.

Ghandruk may be seen in the distance. Follow the broad path gently down the hill. Cross a large suspension bridge (3 hours 50 minutes). Enter Ghandruk (4 hours) by a hollow lane surrounded by green mossy tree trunks and roots. This must be a very ancient path.

Ghandruk must be the rakshi capital of the Himalayas, if the huge acreage of millet planted around the village is any indication. In the Gurung museum in the village is a D-I-Y guide to rakshi making which is reproduced here. Of course I am not suggesting you should have a go, but the curious may like to try. Remember that distilling strong liquor may attract the interest of the excise authorities in your home country. It will be certain to attract your friends.

As you can see, Ghandruk is a most impressive village with excellent food and other advanced facilities. Do consult the map which shows where to obtain the best views in the village.

Copyright Ian P Johnson October 1998