Gosainkunda Trek - See One Of Nepal's Amazing Lakes | Mountain IQ
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Gosainkunda Trek – See One Of Nepal’s Most Beautiful Lakes

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The Gosainkunda trek is one of the shortest treks in Nepal and a relatively easy hike.

However, altitude sickness is still a problem, although less of a risk than on some other major treks in the region such as the Langtang Valley trek.

Below is a complete guide to the Gosainkunda hike.

Gosainkunda Trek

Route Overview

The Gosainkunda trek takes hikers to one of Nepal’s most beautiful lakes of the same name, located 14,374 feet above sea level.

According to legend, it was formed when the Hindu god, Shiva, pierced a glacier with the trishul, his trident, so he could obtain water after he swallowed poison that made his throat turn blue and sting.

People have often claimed that they could see Shiva asleep in the water. If so, he is one of the few lifeforms present in the lake. This lake is oligotrophic – low in nutrients. As a result, there are few fish and little algae, the latter making the waters very clear and eminently drinkable. Gosainkunda Lake is 40 square miles in size and there are around 108 other lakes in the vicinity.

The lake is now a pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus, with the peak period being the full moon festival of Janai Purnima in August, when over 25,000 visit the lake! It is believed that bathing in the lake will wash away one’s sins. There is much dancing at the fesrival. Shamans demonstrate their skills to teachers to qualify for the post of village shaman. Sadly, many pilgrims fall prey to altitude sickness, having climbed too fast. Dehydration can also make the situation worse if they are fasting.

The inhabitants of the Gosainkunda area are mostly Tamangs. The Tamang people constitute 5.6 percent of the population of Nepal and have their own language.

The highlight of this Gosainkunda trek is sunrise at Laurebina, where there is a panoramic view of Langtang ridge. This is the sunrise of a lifetime. At 15,120 feet, this is the highest point you will reach.

The Gosainkunda trek can take anything from 8 to 16 days, depending on how pushed for time you are.

Please Note

Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a risk on this short trek as sudden increases in altitude cannot be avoided.

Regional Map

The Langtang region, where Gosainkunda is located, is a stone’s throw north of Kathmandu. The lake is the source of the Trishuli River.

It is frozen in winter, from December to February, although this period is growing shorter due to climate change. 

On a clear day, the Annapurna range can be seen to the north.

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Recommended Map

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No paper maps are published.

The only book dedicated to Gosainkunda Lake is Application Of GIS In Bathymetric Mapping Of Gosainkunda Lake by Sudip Raj Niroula, which discusses the lake’s morphometry (shape, size, volume and depth) and could be slightly overwhelming for trekkers.

Gosainkunda Hike Itinerary

In this itinerary, accommodation is entirely at tea houses.

Please note that there are several Gosainkunda trek itineraries that can be done. Below we have laid out the most popular version – 10 days, leaving from Kathmandu. If you want to make your own way to Dhunche then you could probably organise this with your operator or guide.

Click each day to read more...

Day 1-2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

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Video Overview

A beautiful video overview of the Gosainkunda Trek by Zayed Uddin Chy and set to the classic ‘Rocky Mountain High by John Denver It’s 04.57 long.

Recommended Guidebook

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In terms of a guidebook we recommend A Trekking Guide to Langtang: Gosainkund, Helambu and Tamang Heritage Trail by Sian Pritchard-Jones, Bob Gibbons and the Himalayan Map House

You are also welcome to have a look at our recommended list of Nepal books and guidebooks Library for more options.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the trek cost?

Are permits required for this trek?

When is the best time to trek?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the trek?

What gear do I need?

What travel insurance do I need?

Insurance Information

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Climbing insurance is vital for Gosainkunda Trek. If an accident or incident should occur that requires immediate medical assistance and evacuation you will most definitely want adequate trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and treatment.

Make sure you have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, stolen, damaged or delayed baggage; interruptions and flight delays and tour operators default.

Please read our article on travel and trekking insurance in Nepal. The article provides great information on what type of insurance you'd need.

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