Taplejung to Jiri (October-November 2012):

2. Olangchun Gola (1 day)

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The Buddhist people of Olangchun Gola used to rule a relatively large territory overlapping parts of Eastern Nepal and Tibet. Today they still trade goods from Tibet through Tiptala La (5095m). However, increasing constraints imposed by the Chinese government (including border closures) make this commerce more and more difficult, and, so, the village is shrinking. A beautiful 400-year-old gompa (one of the oldest gompas in Nepal, the oldest in Eastern Nepal), the Diki Chhyoling gompa, overlooks the village. It is said to have a butter lamp continuously burning on its altar since its construction.

 

View of Olangchun Gola in the morning sun. All houses are built in traditional manner with a stone base, walls made of wood panels, and roofs made of wood tiles. Almost every house has a small balcony with an incense burner on its outer corner. The stone base is often covered with drying yak dung patties that are later burned in stoves. (Dried dung does not smell bad and burns very hot.) Wood tiles are periodically cleaned and replaced (video).

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View of Olangchun Gola in the evening, with two of our tents in the foreground. (Matt Scott photo)

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Street scenes in Olangchun Gola.

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Inside the tea house of Olangchun Gola. (Kai Zinn photo)

 

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The Diki Chhyoling gompa overlooking Olangchun Gola.

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Mani wall on the way up to the gompa.

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Outside the gompa.

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Inside the gompa.

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Statue of the founder of the gompa.

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More statues. (Kai Zinn photo)

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The gompa also contains a large collection of Buddhist texts.

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Masks inside the gompa.

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Other parts of the trek:

1.   Taplejung to Olangchun Gola (4 days)

2.  Olangchun Gola (1 day)

3.  Crossing Lumba Samba pass (3 days)

4.  Tudham to Hongon (3 days)

5.  Hongon to Yangla Kharka (5 days)

6.  Yangla Kharka to Sherpani Col High Camp (4 days)

7.  Crossing of Sherpani and West Cols (1 day)

8.  Hongu basin to Namche across Amphu Lapsta (3 days)

9.  Namche to Jiri (5 days)

 

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