Gosainkunda Trek – See One Of Nepal’s Most Beautiful Lakes

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Gosainkunda-trek

On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Gosainkunda Trek.

As this is a very long and detailed article on the Gosainkunda Trek, we recommend using the quicklinks below to navigate to the sections that interest you most. Alternatively, bookmark this page for future reference.

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 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.

The highlight of this 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.

dhaulagiri-region-map

Recommended Map

Application-Of-Gis-In-Bathymetric-Mapping-Of-Gosainkunda-Lake--A-high-altitude-lake-located-at-Shyaphru-V.D

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.

Tour Recommendation

If you are unsure about how suitable Gosainkunda Trek is for you and your group, please leave a comment below with your enquiry, and we will try to help you choose the most suitable option. 

We always reply within 24 hours!

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

A-Trekking-Guide-to-Langtang--Gosainkund,-Helambu-and-Tamang-Heritage-Trail

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

climbing-aconcagua-insurance

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.

Other Routes

everest-base-camp-trek-difficulty-3

Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular and iconic treks in Nepal. Trekkers get to retrace the early footsteps taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on their historic Everest expedition in 1953. Discover the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Langtang-Valley-Trek-routes

Langtang Valley Trek

The Langtang Valley Trek is a relatively easy trek and is often far less busy than other popular treks in the Everest and Annapurna region. The trek can be done in seven days, however, it usually takes 10 to 12 days. Discover the Langtang Valley Trek.

manaslu-circuit-trek-1

Manaslu Circuit Trek

Robin Boustead, author of Nepal Trekking & the Great Himalaya Trail: A route and planning guide, pronounced, “Many would argue that the Manaslu Circuit trail is the best general trek in the country.” Discover the Manaslu Circuit Trek.

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Tour Recommendation

If you are unsure about how suitable Gosainkunda Trek is for you and your group, please leave a comment below with your enquiry, and we will try to help you choose the most suitable option. 

We always reply within 24 hours!

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