Pathibhara Trek (Pilgrimage): Holy Trail of Northern Nepal

One of the most regarded religious destinations in Nepal, a trip to Pathibhara Devi Temple is an amalgamation of religious homage, sightseeing and adventure trek. Kanchenjugna, the 3rd highest mountain in the world, is its nearer eastern neighbor.

∞Overview∞

Temple Bells

Temple Bells

Pathibhara Devi or Mukkumlung 3,794 m (28,852 ft) is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Goddess Pathibhara in Nepal. It is also considered as one of the holy places for Kirats. Pilgrims from different parts of South Asia make a trip to the temple during special occasions; Dashain and Tihar, as it is believed that the goddess ensures the fulfillment of the pilgrims’ desires.

The temple is Located 19.4 km east of Phungling municipality. The pilgrims tend to wholeheartedly offer animal sacrifices, gold and silver to please the goddess.

It is highly suggested to take a guide if one wish to trek the greater region of Pathibhara (Pathibhara-Tapethok-Taplejung), as there are instances of many trekkers getting lost on the trail, into the forest.

Legend

It is believed, the local shepherds once lost many sheep while grazing at the same place as the temple. The distressed shepherds had a dream in which the Goddess ordered them to carry out ritualistic sacrifice of sheep and build a temple in her honor. When the sacrifice was offered the lost sheep supposedly returned back, hence, starting the ritual of offering sacrifices inside the temple.

The myth is that Shepherds suddenly lost a lot of sheep in this area and that Pathibara appeared in their dreams. She promised that the sheep would return if they would offer a few sheep to her. And so they did.

~Wikipedia

∞Trek Seasons∞

Trek seasons nepal

Pathibhara along with Kanchenjunga is trekked during Pre-monsoon (March-June) and Post-monsoon (September-November) seasons. It alone receives most amount of pilgrims during Dashain and Tihar (Post-monsoon festivals) than any other time in a year.

∞Pathibhara Trek Map∞

∞Standard Itinerary∞

Day 1: Arrive at Suketar Airport 2,420 m (7,938 ft) and trek to Deurali 2602 m, 2-3 hrs
Day 2: Trek to Phedi 3,190 m (10,466 ft), 5-6 hrs
Day 3: Trek to Pathibhara Temple 3,794 m (28,852 ft) and descend back to Phedi, 6-7hrs
Day 4: Trek to Suketar from Phedi 2-3 hrs
Day 5: Sightseeing at Taplejung
-Secondary Trail-
Day 4: Descend to Tapethok 1,800 m (5,906 ft), 7-8 hrs
Day 5: Trek to Lingkhim 1,200 m (3,937 ft), 5-6 hrs
Day 6: Trek to Mithlung 890 m (2,919 ft), 5-6 hrs
Day 7: Trek to Taplejung Bazaar, 5-6 hrs

∞Gears & Equipment∞

  • Pair of hiking boots (well broken in) – One could spend over 5 to 6 hours a day on the trail, therefore, long-lasting boots are essential. The boots can range from light to medium, high or low. If one plans to trek during the months when it snows, the high boots become essential for proper hiking.
  • Soft and light shoes (sneakers) – Carrying light-weight sneakers for ‘after the day hike’ serves comfort.
  • Lightweight knapsack – It is useful for short trips away from one’s lodge, and will save you from carrying large backpack along. It should be large enough to fit a camera, spare clothes and a sleeping bag, if one plans to spend a night away.
  • Lightweight sleeping bag – Essential during peak seasons (October-December). Lodges do offer blankets, but are scarce during the peak season, therefore carrying a sleeping bag (-10 C°) can be a great precaution.
  • Fabric band-aids – Blisters are common due to rigorous walking. A good alternative to band-aids is duct tape. Works great for blisters and also proves invaluable in many other ways.

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