Sing Gompa Chandanbari Village Guide

Chandanbari, also known as Sing Gompa, is a picturesque village nestled within Langtang National Park. This vibrant village, famous for its monastery and yak cheese factory, offers a welcome respite after the uphill climb from Dhunche. Its lively atmosphere and charming setting make it a favorite stop for many trekkers.

A Historical Glimpse

Chandanbari’s history is intricately woven with the evolution of Nepal’s trekking scene. While the exact date of its origin remains shrouded in mystery, the village’s past unfolds through its captivating elements.

Humble Beginnings:

  • Yak Cheese Legacy: The yak cheese factory, established around 1968, serves as a testament to the village’s connection to traditional practices.
  • Shepherds’ Trails: Many trekking routes, including the one leading to Chandanbari, emerged from paths used by shepherds grazing their livestock. These routes often featured rudimentary shelters, later attracting trekkers seeking adventure.

Monastery and the Passage of Time:

  • Sing Gompa’s Enduring Presence: The ancient monastery, estimated to be centuries old, stands as a silent sentinel, witnessing the village’s transformation. Despite recent renovations, its historical significance remains palpable.

Red Panda Lodge: Pioneering Hospitality:

  • 1980: A Turning Point: The establishment of Red Panda Lodge, the village’s oldest, marked a pivotal moment. Prior to this, the area served as a mere campsite.
  • Responding to a Growing Need: Recognizing the increasing demand for accommodation, Mr. Subbha Lama’s vision led to the creation of the teahouse, paving the way for further development.
  • From Campsite to Thriving Village: The subsequent years saw the emergence of additional teahouses, gradually transforming the once-quiet campsite into the vibrant village it is today.

Chandanbari’s story is a captivating blend of tradition, adaptation, and resilience. From its humble beginnings to its current status as a popular stopover for trekkers, the village embodies the dynamic spirit of Nepal’s mountain regions.

Sing Gompa Chandanbari Village, Gosaikunda Trekking Route
Sing Gompa Chandanbari Village, Gosaikunda Trekking Route

Myth and History Intertwined

Chandanbari’s charm extends beyond its picturesque landscapes, as it’s also veiled in captivating local legends.

The Healing Touch of Chandan:

  • A Whimsical Tale: A playful story recounts Lord Shiva traversing the region and experiencing throat discomfort. He supposedly found solace by rubbing a specific wood against his throat, leading to instant relief.
  • The Mystery of the Missing Sandalwood: Interestingly, the name “Chandanbari” translates to “sandalwood grove,” yet the area lacks sandalwood trees. This discrepancy adds an intriguing layer to the legend, hinting at the possible misinterpretation of a local plant with similar properties.

Echoes of Gosaikunda’s Past:

  • Royal Pilgrimage: During our visit, we encountered fascinating narratives surrounding Gosaikunda, though their historical accuracy remains unconfirmed.
  • Malla Kings and Sacred Offerings: The first tale speaks of the Malla Kings, renowned for their artistic legacy in Kathmandu Valley, who revered Gosaikunda as a pilgrimage site during their reign (1200-1700 AD). It’s believed they offered chiura (beaten rice) as a royal tribute during the Janai Purnima festival. Additionally, a plaque presented by the Kings is said to be lost.
  • The Warrior’s Sanctuary: The second story delves into the life of Amar Singh Thapa, a valiant warrior. Following his defeat in the East India War, he sought solace in Gosaikunda, reportedly abandoning his weapons in the lake. Local folklore suggests that his swords resurface from time to time, and he may have found his final resting place there.

These captivating narratives, while potentially embellished with a touch of folklore, offer a glimpse into the cultural tapestry woven around Chandanbari and Gosaikunda. They add another dimension to the region’s allure, inviting visitors to appreciate its rich heritage beyond its breathtaking scenery.

Chandanbari Village Guide

  • Major Ethnicity: Tamang
  • Major Religion: Buddhism
  • Language: Tamang, Nepali, and Sherpa
  • Chandanbari Altitude: 3,330 m (10,925 feet)
  • Oxygen Concentration: 68% compared to 100% at sea level
  • Chandanbari Village Population: The village of Chandanbari (Sing Gompa) is only inhabited during tourist season with people who work in the teahouses.

Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Chandanbari is during the peak season around October or November as the skies are clear, offering great views of the surrounding mountains. It’s also a popular destination during the Janai Purnima Festival in August when pilgrims trek to Gosaikunda Lake.

Here are some additional things to know about Chandanbari:

  • History: Chandanbari is a relatively new village, established in the 1980s to cater to trekkers on their way to Gosaikunda Lake.
  • Activities: Hiking, sightseeing, and visiting the Sing Gompa monastery are popular activities in Chandanbari.
  • Accommodation: There are several teahouses and lodges in Chandanbari that offer basic accommodation and meals.

I hope this Chandanbari village guide helps you plan your trip!

A Trekker’s Paradise

Nestled amidst the majestic Langtang National Park, Chandanbari (Sing Gompa) beckons trekkers with its serene beauty, rich culture, and diverse wildlife. This comprehensive guide provides all the essential information you need to plan your visit to this charming village.

Essential Information:

  • Location: Northeast of Kathmandu, inside Langtang National Park
  • Distance from Dhunche: 5-hour walk
  • Altitude: 3,330 meters (10,925 feet)
  • Major Ethnicity: Tamang
  • Major Religion: Buddhism
  • Language: Tamang, Nepali, Sherpa

Highlights:

  • Red Panda Sightings: Chandanbari is a hotspot for red panda sightings, offering a unique opportunity to encounter these elusive creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Sing Gompa Monastery: Immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere of this centuries-old monastery, recently rebuilt after sustaining damage.
  • Yak Cheese Factory: Witness the traditional process of yak cheese making and savor the local delicacy.
  • Panoramic Views: Chandanbari boasts breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains, including the Langtang range and the majestic Himalayas.
  • Warm Hospitality: Experience the welcoming spirit of the locals and enjoy comfortable accommodation in cozy teahouses.

Planning Your Trip:

  • Best Time to Visit: October-November offers clear skies and comfortable temperatures, while August is popular for the Janai Purnima festival.
  • Permits: Obtain a Langtang National Park Permit (3,000 rupees) before entering the village.
  • Accommodation: Choose from several teahouses offering basic amenities and delicious local meals. Expect prices around 1000 rupees for a double room and 700 rupees for vegetarian Dal Bhat.
  • Connectivity: Mobile network coverage is limited in Chandanbari. Consider purchasing local SIM cards for better connectivity in nearby areas.

Additional Activities:

  • Explore the surrounding forests in search of diverse birdlife and other wildlife species.
  • Relax by the fireplace in a cozy teahouse and enjoy the serene atmosphere.
  • Engage in conversations with the locals and learn about their culture and way of life.

Remember:

  • Pack appropriate clothing and gear for the varying weather conditions in the mountains.
  • Be prepared for limited access to electricity and internet connectivity.
  • Respect the local environment and culture during your visit.

With its captivating charm and unique experiences, Chandanbari awaits you on your next adventure in the heart of the Himalayas.


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