Langtang is towards the north of Katmandu and just south of the Tibetan border. It is sandwiched between the main Himalayan range to the north and a slightly lower range of snowy peaks to the south. To the west of Langtang is Ganesh Himal with peaks between 6,000 to 7,000 meters. The name Langtang is originates from two different words ‘Lang’ and ‘Tang’. Lang means Yak and Tang means to follow.
This region is full of mountains: Langtang Lirung (7246m), Gang Chhenpo (6388m), Naya Kangri (5846m) and Dorje Lakpa (6966m).
In 1971 this region was recognized as Nepal’s first Himalayan National Park and is now a protected area. Most trekking within this area falls within the boundary of Langtang National Park covering an area of, 1,710 square kilometers. This national incorporates Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchok districts. The chief attraction of this park is the Langtang range in the north and a number of Lakes in the south.
The main ethnic groups of this region are Sherpa’s and Tamangs whose religion, culture, languages and dress are similar to that of the Tibetan people.
Animals found in this region are: wild dog, red panda, pika, muntjac, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan thar, ghoral, serow, rhesus monkey, common langur, snow leopard. Birds found here include hawks, hoopoe, cuckoos, barbets, owls, and night jars, laughing thrushes, black-capped sibias, red-billed, minvet and parakeets. The flora includes sky blue gentians, epiphytic orchids and primroses. This region haves temperate sub- alpine vegetations.
The best time to visit Lantang is spring and autumn. Springtime is rhododendron season and April offers a dramatic display of red, pink and white flowers. Summer is abundant with wild flowers and consider as a good time for trekking in this area.
A trek in this region offers an opportunity to explore villages, climb small peaks and visit glaciers all in this one region and is in close proximity to Kathmandu. The major trekking destinations of this area are:
- Langtang Valley
- Helambu and
- GanjaLa Pass
Langtang Valley: It is a popular trekking destination which will fire up the imagination of everyone. This area is full of scenic villages inhabited by Sherpa and Tamang people. Its diverse environment offers high altitude jungles, varied vegetation, an abundance of wild life, scenic glaciers, frozen lakes and Himalayan peaks, making it a very attractive destination for visitors.
Gosainkunda: Gosainkunda Lake, one of the most famous pilgrimage destinations of Hindus and Buddhist. The lake is situated at an altitude of about 4,360m and is surrounded by mountains. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit here during the full moon festival in August. Other famous Lakes adjoining it are: Saraswoti, Bhairav, Sourya, Ganesh Kunda etc.
Helambu: situated about 72 km north east of Katmandu is one of closest treks to Katmandu. It offers an easy loop through villages of varied ethnic groups. This place is famous for its scenic grandeur. There are many Buddhist monasteries. The chief highlights of this area are Tarkegyang and Shermathang both beautiful villages.
Ganja La Pass: Ganjala one of the steeper and more picturesque passes in Nepal. This trek offers views of Langtang Lirung, Shisha Pangma, and Naya Kangri. The route goes from Kyanjin Gompa in Langtang to Tarke Gyang in Helambu crossing 5106 meters before reaching Ganjala.