Legend has it that the Langtang valley was discovered by a Lama (monk) following a runway yak. Lang stands for yak and tang means to follow in the Tibetan lingo; thus the name. Langtang is a narrow valley that lies just south of the Nepal-Tibet border and is squeezed in between the main Himalayan range to the north and a slightly lower mountain range consisting of snow clad peaks to the south. Tamangs inhabit this high and isolated region, but their religious customs, language and attire resemble those of the Tibetans rather than their brethren of Nepal’s middle hills. A visit to Langtang valleys offers an opportunity to explore villages and monasteries as well as to visit glaciers at a comfortably low elevation. Dominating the valley to the north is Langtang Lirung (7,245 m) while Gang Chhenpo (6,388 m) and Naya Kangri (5,846 m) lie to the south and Dorje Lakpa (6,996 m), guards the eastern end of the valley.
Though Syabrubesi, the trailhead to Langtang region, is only about a day’s drive from Kathmandu, the valley is a relatively less frequented area by trekkers. But Bill Tillman, a famous explorer, has described Langtang as a one-of-a-kind valley in the world in terms of its scenic beauty.
Trekking in the Langtang region offers a unique possibility to take in the beautiful Nepalese Himalaya. While Langtang Himal and its several peaks mesmerize trekkers on the one hand, the fresh water lakes such as Gosainkunda, Saraswati kunda and Bhairav kunda, which are situated at a height of more than 4,000 m, satiate the trekkers’ thirst for peace and tranquility. Gosainkunda, which is considered to be a sacred lake by Hindus because of the mythical stories associated with its origin, attracts pilgrims from all over the country as well as from outside, especially during the full moon of August, to pay homage to the Hindu God, Shiva. The lake is also sacred to the Buddhists.
Due to its close proximity to Kathmandu, the Langtang region is an ideal trekking destination for those with time constraints who wish to experience Nepal’s unique combination of cultures, landscape and mountain vistas. The valley is home to the red panda, snow leopard and the Himalayan thar, Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated marten and many other bird species, and also presents a delightful kaleidoscope of coniferous and rhododendron forests.
In addition to the Langtang Valley Trek and the Gosainkunda Pilgrimage Trail, Cho-Oyu also offers the Rasuwa Trek, a new attraction for trekkers in the Langtang region. This trek takes you through beautiful and traditional villages. This is complemented by the scenery which is simply fabulous.
All you need is a reasonable level of physical fitness to trek in this region. No previous trekking experience is necessary.