Canyoning is an adventurous and exciting sport. Dudh Koshi (River of Milk), in Nepal is one of the best places in the world for canyoning. Dudh Koshi is one of the seven tributaries of river Koshi (or known as Saptakoshi since it has seven tributaries).

Reaching Nepal/ Lukla

To visit Nepal one needs a tourist visa. Nepal has an ‘On arrival’ tourist visa policy for citizens of most countries. It would cost around $25 USD for a Visa.

Nepal has no direct connectivity from US. You can take the Atlantic route in which case you will have to travel via London or Frankfurt.  You can also take the Pacific route, in which case you will have to stop over at Thailand, Hong Kong or Singapore and pick up a connecting flight. The flights are available only on specific days of the week. So, please check on the available dates and schedule your journey accordingly. Thai Airways has frequent flights from Bangkok to Kathmandu Airport. There is also an alternate option of booking through India. This might be tedious and a little costlier since the flights from India to Nepal are almost always fully booked.

From Kathmandu you will need to take a flight to Lukla. The Lukla airport is named Tenzing-Hillary after the two legends. From Lukla till the starting point of the canyoning will have to be a hike.

River expedition

You can take a river expedition down the river Dudh Koshi.  The first kayaking expedition across the Dudh Koshi river was in 1976 expedition by Mike Jones and post then there have been lots of people who have taken this.
From Lukla, you will have to descend down to reach Tsholo Lake, which is the starting point of River Dudh Koshi. Kalapathar or Periche can be an ideal starting point. The starting point for the expedition needs to be decided after careful consideration as to whether you are planning to use a kayak, bub lick, canoes or double catamarans (some of these are extremely risky for the initial part).

The initial part of the canyon from Periche is a very steep one. Completing Dudh Koshi up to its confluence with Imju Khola is a Himalayan task – and yes the pun is intended. The canyon is steep and there are a lot of waterfalls.  This is the upper part of Dudh Koshi and the most difficult one. From there once you reach Namche Bazaar, it becomes a little more complex to descend.  Post that you have to scout and decide which course would be the best one.  If you take the difficult one below Jubing you will reach Tari, where you will find another canyon. This is the final descent which will take you to the valley.

The whole trek starts at a height of around 4500 m and comes down to a height of 750 m.

Trekking across the valley

A safer way to explore the canyon is to take a trek from the Dudh Koshi canyon to the Tengboche Monastery.  It is one of the most beautiful walks one can take. From Namche Bazaar to Tengboche, the trek has a lot of breathtaking sceneries and amazing sights. It is an initial descent till Phunki Thanga after which it should be a one to two hour climb up till Tengboche. Tengboche has one of the most beautiful monasteries in the world.

Throughout the journey you will also find a lot of places for souvenirs. Food here has its own flavour and you might want to try it on the way. It would be wiser to have a lot of water for the final part (the ascent from Phunki Thanga).

Adventure Sports Agencies

There are a few professional Adventure sports agencies which you can contact if you are planning to do a river expedition. You will be provided with support regarding the type of water boats that would suit the expedition. They will also be helpful to scout and devise a plan. Experience from trips years back might help in not only understanding the region but the exact nature of the river at present. This needs to be explored and information from locals will help you a lot. You will get Sherpas (guides or porters) to carry your equipment till the starting point if you really need to. You will also be surprised by the integrity and friendliness of the Sherpas. Though it is not prevalent now, at some of the places Maoists tend to ask you for money.

The Dudh Kosi River is filled with glaciers and has in store one of the steepest river expeditions for adventure enthusiasts and explorers.


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