After spending some adorable time at Everest View Hotel we resumed our trek down to the Sherpa village Khumjung. A short walk away there from and the magnificent view of Mount Lhotse (8516m) appeared which is the fourth highest peak in the world, after Mt Everest (8848m), Mt K2 (8611m) and Mt Kangchenjunga (8586m).
It was an easy downward trail to Khumjung village from the Everest View Hotel and we took about 30 minutes to reach the village walking lazily. On the way we saw the panoramic view the mountains Mt Lhotse, Peak 38 and Mt Ama Dablam. Khumjung at an altitude of 3790m at the foot of the Mt Khumbu-yul-lha is the largest Sherpa village in the Khumbu region. In India, you might have seen towns like Jaipur, the pink city, known as such because of the pink buildings; Jodhpur, the blue city because of blue houses and Udaipur, the white city. But I am certain; you have not seen a village or town like the Khumjung village. All the houses in this village were built with a green rooftop except the Buddhist Monastery with a red roof. The youth committee of this village with a view to make it an Eco Village had decided the colour of all the buildings including their roof. A school was founded here by Sir Edmund Hillary on the courtyard of which you would see a statue of the first Everest climber, the New Zealand Mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary!
Khumjung Monastery and Yeti Scalp
Another main attraction of Khumjung village is its Monastery that displays a rather unusual relic, claims to be a scalp of Yeti (abominable snowman). The legend has that many years ago, before Khumjung monastery was established, the people of villages Thame, Namche, Khunde and Khumjung celebrated the festival of Dumji together at Thame every year. However, a dispute arose after some time over management of the festival and the people of Khunde, Khumjung and Namche left Thame to celebrate at Khumjung. When they left, the people of Khumjung expected a cultural gift – perhaps prayer flags, Buddhist scriptures or ritual instruments from the people of Thame but were surprised to receive only a Yeti scalp. The villagers of Khumjung were so offended that they kicked the skull all the way home. Only now, after increased interest from western tourists, mountaineers like Sir Edmund Hillary and western scientist the so called scalp of Yeti has got some value and found a place in the Khumjung Monastery. In 1960, Sir Edmund Hillary sent the scalp to the West for laboratory test, whose results indicated that the scalp was made from a goat-like Himalayan antelope. Whatever was the test result you are allowed to see it only against a small donation for maintenance of the Monastery. After I made a donation, the monk opened a green steel cabinet to show the scalp of yeti that was kept in a glass case and I was also allowed to take picture of it.
Mt Ama Dablam (6812m) -The most beautiful Mountain
While returning, I entered in a small restaurant of the village for a cup of tea. There were none inside and I happily chose a seat near the window. I ordered for a cup of tea and was looking through the window at the clouds that were hiding Mt. Ama Dablam for long. Tea was served hot but the timing was wrong. The clouds just started clearing off the peak of Ama Dablam and I had to choose between the hot tea and first sight of Ama Dablam. I could get another cup of hot tea but was not sure about my chance of the first sight of Ama Dablam. I opened the glass window and was blessed for a fraction of a minute when clouds did clear the peak. Mt Ama Dablam (6812m) is the most beautiful mountain I have seen ever.
Syangboche Stupa and Mt Thamserku (6623m)
We resumed hiking from Khumjung village towards Syangboche. An imposing Buddhist Stupa on the trail caught our sight. We moved further towards the Syangboche airstrip. Mt Thamsekru, which remained under clouds all along our hike to Everest View Hotel, was now looming large above an isolated dwelling. It was then all downward trails from Syangboche to Namche Bazaar and took us may be half an hour to come back.
Back to Namche Bazaar
The accommodations in the Everest Base Camp trail are called tea houses that are simple structures with a common bathroom with hot and cold shower (in some places you will get hot water in bucket only), common toilet and a communal dining hall. The only respite from cold is a cast-iron stove that’s get lit each evening in the dining hall where all the trekkers, guides and porters sit together around the stove to keep them warm.
After lunch, I walked to the other side of our Hotel through a narrow uphill lane to the Monastery of Namche Bazaar. It’s a small Monastery with a periphery lined with prayer wheels. I walked further up from there to the Namche Helipad which has had a stony surface. This helipad serves for rescue of sick trekkers to Lukla and then to Kathmandu. I looked down behind from the Helipad only to find the everlasting image of stunning Namche Bazaar! It was our last day at Namche Bazaar before proceeding further tomorrow to our next destination, Tengboche.
You can read the day to day account of my Everest Base Camp Trek here-