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Day 3 Chamje to Bagarchap

Day 3

Chamje

Bagarchap

North

28°25.93'

28°31.74'

East

84°23.65'

84°20.64'

Altitude

1,436m

2,070m

Ascent

634m

Time

5 hours 30 minutes

Distance

15 kilometres

Buy the book

Leave Chamje and after 10 minutes cross the bridge to the right hand bank of the Marsyandi River. After 20 minutes pass under a huge boulder, from where the path ascends. The village of Sattare (50 minutes) is reached in another 20 minutes. You may find here the hotels:

  • Thorung Peak
  • Ganga La
  • Mountain View
  • Bamboo

The path drops steeply and then levels out. At Tal Besi there are two hotels. Continue as the path ascends to Tal village (2 hours 30 minutes).

Tal is situated on a former lake bed. It looks rather like a town on a western movie set. Its wild west image is quite appropriate as it is the entrance to the independent spirited Manang region. With so much land available many lodges have been built here. There is an ACAP office.

Leave Tal and after about 15 minutes pass through maize fields and a small village with a paved road. About 10 minutes further on the path forks. Take the left hand lower path past a field of pine saplings (At least they were in 1997). Cross a bridge ( 3 hours 15 minutes) to the left bank of the Marsyandi River. Pass a small village with maize fields and the Laxmi Hotel.

The Manaslu hotel is reached after 3 hours 50 minutes. Cross a bridge next to a small hotel to reach the right bank of the Marsyandi River (4 hours 10 minutes). 10 minutes further on, when the path forks (4 hours 20 minutes), take the right hand fork up stone stairs.

Dharapani [28°30.89'N 84°21.70'E] (4 hours 45 minutes) has a police check post, 4 hotels a telephone centre and a shop, but in 1997 there was no fridge. Dharapani does, however, make a very tasty local apple pickle which I recommend trying. 15 minutes from Dharapani is Thonche with more hotels and a path alongside the Dudh Khola. Shortly after this the path gradually turns west. There is a marked change in the vegetation at this point. Conifers make their appearance, along with ferns. Livestock are now cows rather than water buffalo. Although this marks a transition to a cooler dryer climate, it also indicates that the people from here on are Buddhist rather than Hindu.

Bagarchap [28°31.74'N 84°20.64'E] (5 hours 30 minutes) is marked by a gateway and a memorial plaque for those who died in the Bagarchap landslide of the 10th of November 1995. Nevertheless Bagarchap is still an interesting village despite the landslide which destroyed around 80% of the village. Enough remains of the Tibetan Houses and cobbled streets to see what it was like before the landslide. The landslide appears to have rolled down the hill to the west and then unfortunately turning right across the village. Most of the lower village is gone. Only the Marsyandi Hotel survived. Higher up some houses and the new monastery remain intact.

The village is surrounded by apple Orchards and maize fields. Open views include Manaslu 8156 metres to the East. The Marsyandi Hotel's miraculous escape may be seen in the drawing. The landslide halted resting against the lower wall of the hotel. This has since been dug out. Access to the upper floors is a lot easier now. The proprietor of the hotel was in the hotel at the time of the disaster. It is sad to reflect on how many friends he must have lost so suddenly. But he seems quite cheerful despite his loss.

Copyright Ian P Johnson October 1998