The walk from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche started with a very steep climb. We reached the junction with a big prayer wheel from where a steep uphill road on the left goes straight to the Everest View Hotel and the straight one would lead us to Tengboche, our intended destination of stay for the night. After a hike of 20-25 minutes the trek became easy on which most of the trekkers were in fact walking very fast.
The effort of keeping this trail maintained is mostly taken by one of the locals, Pasang Sherpa, who has been maintaining it to Everest Base Camp for decades – out of the collections he receives from the trekkers. He kept a small donation box in the middle of the road where I dropped my bit and moved on.
We encountered a big Buddhist Stupa with the views of Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse and Mt Ama Dablam on the background. We moved further and arrived at a junction with a signage indicating the road to Gokyo Valley on the left and Tengboche on the right.
Following the path to Tengboche we progressed. After crossing the villages Kyangjuma, Sansa we began to walk downhill losing much of the altitude gained over last few days. We walked over a series of steep downhill steps which went all the way to level the Dudh Kosi River at Phunki Tenga. It’s a lunch point for many people before attempting the steep climb to Tengboche. A brief stop for a cup of tea and snacks was what we chose.
Phunki Tenga has an Army checkpoint where our TIMS permits were checked before we moved ahead on the trail. The last part of the climb to Tengboche was fairly steep but slowly, slowly, bistari, bistari we made it to Tengboche well before our targeted time.
Tengboche is located at an altitude of 3867m and has an important Buddhist Monastery, the largest in the Khumbu region. Originally built in 1923, the monastery was destroyed by fire but with the help of volunteers and foreign aids, it was rebuilt in 1989. I arrived and stood still on the green ground of Tengboche only to amaze by the fabulous views of Mt Lhotse, Everest and Ama Dablam from there.
In the centre of the village, there is a bakery which claims to be the highest in the world and at nearly about 4000m, it is easy to believe. Few lodges too are there around but the quality of them are little lower than in Namche Bazaar. We visited the Monastery first and ate Apple pie cake in the Bakery later. Decorated beautifully inside, the monastery holds prayer every morning and evening. You can attend the prayers and sit with the monks as they hymn and play horn, occasionally stopping to gulp tea as a part of rituals. It was a lovely experience for us to attend the prayer.
Since we reached Tengboche much ahead of our targeted time, we decided to push a little further to the village of Pangboche that locates at an elevation of 3950m. The walk to Pangboche started of gently sloping downhill but shortly after crossing the river we had to climb steep uphill. Sooner the very high altitude started taking the toll and we had to push it really hard for reaching Pangboche before the dark.
Overall, it was a long day of trekking for us with a very clear weather to capture Everest and other peaks well. But tonight would be a real testing time for us to sleep at an altitude little less than 4000m.
Some more pictures of the trail from Namche Bazaar to Pangboche
You can read the day to day account of my Everest Base Camp Trek here-