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Sagarmatha National Park

Introduction
Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park is spread over an area of 1,148 sq, km in 1976, of the Himalayan ecological zone in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The Park includes the upper catchments areas of the Dudhkoshi and Bhotehoshi Rivers and is largely composed of rugged terrain and gorges of  the high Himalayas, ranging from 2,845m at Monjo to the top of the world’s highest Himal – Sagarmatha at 8,848m above the sea level. Other peaks above 6,000m are Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Thamserku. Nuptse, Amadablam and Pumori,

The famed Sherpa people, whose lives are interwoven with the teachings of Buddhism, live in the region. The renowned Tengboche and other monasteries are common gathering places to celebrate religious festivals such as Dumje and Mane Rumdu. In addition to Tengboche, Thame, Khumjung and Pangboche are some other famous monasteries. For its superlative natural characteristics, UNESCO listed SNP as a World Heritage Site in 1979.

Flora and Fauna
The vegetation found at the lower altitude of the park include pine and hemlock forests, while fir, juniper, birch and rhododendron, scrub and alpine plant communities are common at the higher altitude.

The park is home to the red panda, snow leopard, musk deer,  Himalayan tahr, marten, Himalayan mouse hare (pika) and over 118 species of bird including the Impeyan pheasant, snow cock, blood pheasant, red billed cough etc.

How to Get There
The most common ways to reach the park from Kathmandu are:
– Flight to Lukia and two day’s walk
– Bus to Jiri and 10 day’s walk
– Flight to Tumlingtar and 10 day’s walk
– Flignt to Phaplu and 5 day’s walk

Buffer Zone
Government of Nepal has declared a buffer zone in and around the park in 2002 with the objective of reducing biotic pressure in the slow growing vegetation. The government has also made a provision of plowing back 30 – 50 percent the revenue earned by the park to community

development activities in the buffers zone. In collaboration with local people it aims to conserve biodiversity in the region.

Popular Trekking Routes
The trek from Namche to Kala Pathar is very popular. The Gokyo Lake and Chukung valleys also provide spectacular views. The Thame Valley is popular for Sherpa culture while Phortse is famous for wildlife viewing. There are some high passes worth crossing over. However, the trekkers must have a guide and proper equipment for the trek.

From Namche Bazar to Kala Pathar

From Destination Duration
Namche Bazar Tengboche 5 hours
Tengboche Pangboche 3 hours
Pangboche Dingboche/Pheriche 3 hours
Dingboche/Pheriche Lobuche 5 hours
Lobuche Kalapatthar 6 hours
Kalapatthar Base Camp 8 hours

Namche Bazar to Gokyo Peak

From Destination Duration
Namche Bazar Khumjung/Khunde 2 hours
Khumjung/Khunde Dole 6 hours
Dole Macherma 4 hours
Macherma Gokyo 4 hours
Gokyo Gokyo Peak 3 hours
Gokyo Peak Thaknak 3 hours
Thaknak Phortse 6 hours
Phortse Pangboche 2 hours
Pangboche Park HQ, Mendalphu 8 hours

Safety Precautions
High altitude sickness can affect if elevation is gained too rapidly and without proper acclimatization. The symptoms are – headache, difficulty in sleeping, breathlessness, loss of appetite and general fatigue. If someone develops the symptoms, stop ascending immediately; if symptoms persist, the only proven cure is to descend to lower elevations.

Medical advice could be sought from Kunde Hospital or Pheriche Health Post. Radio communication with Kathmandu is available at Park Headquarter.


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