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Panoramic photo by Arroz Marisco EXPERT MAESTRO Taken 15:50, 21/12/2008 - Views loading...

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The Ancient Salt Trade Route between Nepal and Tibet

The World > Asia > Nepal

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An ancient trade route for salt and other commodities such as wool is still very much in active use between the nomads of Tibet and their kins across the border in Nepal along the valley below, Bhote Khosi which translates literally as " the river from Tibet" as the river that runs through it originates from the high Tibetan plateau which lies on the right beyond the mountains here and is reputed to be guarded fiercely by the PLA who forbids any foreigners from within a stone's throw away.

This part of the Khumbu region was once closed to foreigners but as the political situation improves it is now open to trekkers crossing from Gokyo via the high mountain pass of Renjo la. Availability of accommodation is pretty seasonal down this route at the next settlement of Lungden  as it serves mainly nomads and their herds of yaks that ply this route. Normally trekkers could rely on hearsay at Gokyo to get the latest updates but as it turns out on this occasion - it is afterall unconfirmed reports and owners could suddenly pack up and decide to head elsewhere warmer for a day or two leaving their businesses unattended.

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Nearby images in Nepal

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A: The Mountain Hamlet at Lungden

by Arroz Marisco, 990 meters away

It was getting dark but my hope of getting some grub and a roof over my head at Lungden wasn't partic...

The Mountain Hamlet at Lungden

B: En route to Lungden

by Arroz Marisco, 1.6 km away

The River of Lhanjo Khola below drains the glacial lakes of Angladumba Tsho and Ralama Tsho successiv...

En route to Lungden

C: The Twin Lake on the Way to Lungden

by Arroz Marisco, 2.8 km away

The twin lake of Relama after Angladumba Tsho is not frozen yet and there are quite a few waterfowls ...

The Twin Lake on the Way to Lungden

D: The Frozen Lake below Renjo La Pass

by Arroz Marisco, 3.5 km away

The descent from Renjo La Pass on this side is quite straight forward as the trail is well paved with...

The Frozen Lake below Renjo La Pass

E: Renjo La Pass

by Arroz Marisco, 3.8 km away

Battered by the high wind, the prayer flags danced a menacing rhythm against a majestic landscape dom...

Renjo La Pass

F: Bhote Koshi Valley Just After Marulung

by Arroz Marisco, 4.2 km away

I took this picture just after the first major settlement on this salt trade route - Marulung, which ...

Bhote Koshi Valley Just After Marulung

G: The Plateau before Renjo La Pass

by Arroz Marisco, 4.3 km away

The 5345m high Renjo La Pass is slightly off the beaten track but it offers spectacular view of the i...

The Plateau before Renjo La Pass

H: The Hamlet of Gokyo en route to Renjo La Pass

by Arroz Marisco, 4.9 km away

Immediately after the hard slog up the cliff I took a breather and took this photo looking at the imp...

The Hamlet of Gokyo en route to Renjo La Pass

I: Nepal - Renjo La High Altitude Pass

by Ramon Fadli, 5.6 km away

Nepal - Renjo La High Altitude Pass

This panorama was taken in Nepal

This is an overview of Nepal

Nepal lies between India and China and it contains Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. The Himalayas here are pretty rugged terrain.

The first civilizations here date to 600 BC in the Kathmandu valley, where the capital is now located. According to Buddhist tenets, the Buddha was born here in 563 BC, incarnating as Prince Siddhartha Gautama and leading the world to enlightenment through liberation from suffering. Many small temples and shrines like this one exist for Buddhists to stop and offer prayers.

Early support of Buddhism gradually gave way to Hinduism and today Nepal is the world's only Hindu monarchy. The kingdom of Nepal was united in 1768 by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who fled the Moghul invasions of India. Soon after that there was a period of conflict with the British East India Company leading to a treaty recognizing the independence of Nepal -- in 1923!

After WWII Nepal was ruled by monarchy but it arrived at the 1990's split by an official ban on political parties. Intense protest by the pro-democracy movement and the Maoist guerrilla Communist movement led to free elections in 1991, only to be followed by violence between the Nepalese government and Maoist guerillas.

Since the turn of the millennium there have been several important steps taken in the peace process, including a new Constitution for Nepal and a cease fire agreement with the rebels. A compromise government was achieved whereby a Maoist was elected prime minister without his taking control of the armed forces of the country.

At the time of this writing it has been one week since the compromise government has collapsed. We offer our hopes that the citizens and government of this beautiful country will come to a peaceful agreement soon.

Text by Steve Smith.

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