Education in Nepal

Education in Nepal

Education in Nepal
Education in Nepal

Modern education in Nepal began with the establishment of the first school in 1853; this school was only for the members of the ruling families and their courtiers. Schooling for the general people began only after 1951 when a popular movement ended the autocratic Rana family regime and initiated a democratic system. In the past 50 years, there has been a dramatic expansion of education facilities in the country. As a result, adult literacy (age 15+) of the country was reported to be 48.2% (female: 34.6%, male: 62.2%) in the Population Census, 2001, up from about 5% in 1952–54. Beginning from about 300 schools and two colleges with about 10,000 students in 1951, there now are 49,000 schools (including higher secondary), 415 colleges, five universities, and two academies of higher studies. Altogether 7.2 million students are enrolled in those schools and colleges who are served by more than 222,000 teachers.
Despite such examples of success, there are problems and challenges. Education management, quality, relevance, access are some of the critical issues of education in Nepal. Societal disparities based on gender, ethnicity, location, economic class, etc. are yet to be eliminated. Resource crunch has always been a problem in education. These problems have made the goal of education for all a challenge for the country.


School children in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Ministry of Education is the apex body responsible for initiating and managing education activities in the country. The Minister of Education, assisted by the State/Assistant Minister, provides political leadership to the Ministry. The Ministry, as a part of the government bureaucracy, is headed by the Secretary of Education and consists of the central office, various functional offices, and offices located at the regional and district levels. The Central Office or the Ministry is mainly responsible for policy development, planning and monitoring, and evaluation regarding different aspects of education.

With a purpose of bringing education administration nearer to the people, the Ministry has established five Regional Directorates and 75 District Education Offices in five development regions and 75 districts respectively. These decentralized offices are responsible for overseeing nonformal and school-level education activities in their respective areas. Regional Directorates are mainly responsible for coordinating and monitoring and evaluation of education activities and the District Education Offices are the main implementing agencies.

NCED is an apex body for teacher training in Nepal. There are 34 Educational Training Centers (ETCs) under NCED to support the teachers in pedagogical areas. ETC Sunsari, ETC Dhulikhel and ETC Tanahun/Educational Training Center Damauli are the leading training centers under NCED. NCED was established in B. S. 2050 but it could not take speed much until Arjun Bahadur Bhandari was appointed as an Executive Director. Now it is running full-fledged and implementing “Teacher Education Project” to train the pre-service and in-service teachers throughout the country.


Education in Nepal is structured as school education and higher education. School education includes primary level of grades 1–5, lower secondary and secondary levels of grades 6–8 and 9–10 respectively. Pre-primary level of education is available in some areas. Six years old is the prescribed age for admission into grade one. A national levelSchool Leaving Certificate (SLC) examination is conducted at the end of grade 10.

Grades 11 and 12 are considered as higher secondary level. Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) supervises higher secondary schools which are mostly under private management. Previously these grades were under the university system and were run as proficiency certificate level. Though some universities still offer these programs, the policy now is to integrate these grades into the school system.

Higher education consists of bachelor, masters, and PhD levels. Depending upon the stream and subject, bachelors level may be of three to five years’ duration. The duration of masters level is generally two years. Some universities offer programs like M Phil and post-graduate diplomas.

Legally, there are two types of school in the country: community and institutional. Community schools receive regular government grants whereas institutional schools are funded by school’s own or other non-governmental sources. Institutional schools are organized either as a non-profit trust or as a company. However, in practical terms, schools are mainly of two types: public (community) and private (institutional).

A third type of school is the kind run by the local people enthusiastic toward having a school in their locality. They do not receive regular government grants and most of them do not have any other sustainable financial source. Supported and managed by the local people, they can be thus identified as the real community schools.

Except one, all universities/academies are publicly managed and are supported by public source fund. However, public universities also provide affiliation to private colleges. Two academies of higher education are single college institutes whereas other universities have constituent and affiliated colleges across the country.*

Years in schools, colleges and universities

  1. Nursery
  2. Lower Kindergarten (LKG)
  3. Upper Kindergarten (UKG)
  4. First Grade
  5. Second Grade
  6. Third Grade
  7. Fourth Grade
  8. Fifth Grade
  9. Sixth Grade
  10. Seventh Grade
  11. Eighth Grade
  12. Ninth Grade
  13. Tenth Grade
  14. SLC (School Leaving Certificate) (A test based on Tenth Grade study. To appear in SLC exam the student must complete pre-test exam of Tenth Grade based on SLC exam pattern.)
  15. 10+2 (Intermediate Level) (two years)
  16. Bachelors (three or four years)
  17. Masters (two years)
  18. Ph.D.

Medical Colleges in Nepal

Medical colleges in Nepal are spread over various parts of the country. Most of these medical colleges in Nepal are in the private sector, although there are some government medical colleges too. Admission of local students to these medical colleges in Nepal is done generally through an entrance test. However foreign students are admitted on the basis of their performance in a personal interview. In order to be eligible for admission to the MBBS courses of Nepal’s medical colleges, one needs to pass the higher secondary examination in science or its equivalent. Medical education in Nepal is regulated by the Medical Council of Nepal. Apart from giving recognition to the medical colleges in Nepal, it also conducts the licensing examination for providing registration to the new doctors. It is also responsible for making policies related to curriculum, admission, term and examination system of teaching institute of medical education and to make recommendation for cancellation of registration and approved by renewing and evaluating such system/procedure.

On this page, we would be providing a list of medical colleges in Nepal. This list would include both the private medical colleges and government medical colleges of Nepal.

So far as we are concerned, the list is correct and updated. But if you come across any discrepancy, please do inform us. We would appreciate any such move that would improve the quality of the site.

List of Medical Colleges

B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences,

 Dharan, Nepal P.O. Box 7053, Kathmandu, Ph : 977-25-525555(Ext: 4017,2278) Fax : 977-25-520251
 Website :

Institute of Medicine,

 Tribhuvan University, Maharajgunj, G.P.O. BOX : 1524, Kathmandu Nepal Ph : 977-01-4410911,Fax: 977-01-4418186
 Email :
 Website :

National Academy of Medical Sciences,

 Post box: 13606, Kathmandu, Nepal Ph : 977-1-4230710 Fax:977-1-4247032
 Email :
 Website :

Manipal College of Medical Sciences,

 PO Box – 155, Deep Heights Pokhara , Nepal Ph : 00977 – 61 – 440600
 Email :
 Website :

Janaki Medical College,

 Ramananda Chowk Janakpurdham Dhanusha, Nepal Ph : (00977) 41 - 524174
 Email :
 Website :

Kathmandu Medical College,

 184 Baburam Acharya Marga, P. O. Box No. 21266, Sinamangal, Ktm, Nepal Ph : 977-1-4469064, 4476152 Fax: 977-1-4477920
 Email :
 Website :

Kathmandu University Medical School,

 P.O. Box. No 6250, Dhulikhel, Kavre Ph : 00977 – 011 – 664407 Fax: 00977 – 011 –664406
 Email :

Nepal Medical College (NMC),

 Attarkhel, Jorpati, Kathmandu, Nepal Ph : 977-01-4486008 Fax: 977-01-447118
 Email :
 Website :

National Medical College,

 P.O.Box: 78, Birgunj, Nepal Ph : 00977-051-521780
 Fax: 00977-051-532261
 Email :
 Website :

Nepalgunj Medical College,

 Chisapani (Banke), Nepal Ph : (00977-81) 529112
 Fax: 00977-81) 529116
 Email :
 Website :

College of Medical Sciences,

 P.O.Box No: 23, Bharatpur, Chitwan        Ph : 00977 – 056 – 520367, 521886
 Fax: 00977 – 056 – 521527
 Email :

Universal College of Medical Sciences,

 Paklihawa Campus, Bhairahawa, Lumbini Zone, Ph :00977-71-522896, 522938 Fax: 00977-71-522921
 Email :
 Website :

Engineering Colleges in Nepal

There are quite a good number of engineering colleges in Nepal that provide engineering courses in various parts of the country. Most of these engineering Colleges in Nepal admit the local students through an entrance test. However foreign students are admitted on the basis of their performance in a personal interview. Candidates, to be eligible for admission to the engineering colleges in Nepal, should at least pass the Intermediate in Science or diploma in engineering or its equivalent.

Architecture, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electronics and Communication, Electrical and Electronics, Energy Engineering, Civil and Rural Engineering are some of the popular engineering courses in Nepal. While the B.E. Architecture courses are of 5 years duration, other bachelor degree courses are of 4 years duration. Some engineering colleges in Nepal also offer Masters degree courses. The Nepal Engineering College, for example, offers Master’s degree courses in Construction Management and Natural Resource Management.

On this page, we would be providing a list of engineering colleges in Nepal. This list would include both the private engineering colleges and government engineering colleges of Nepal. So far as we are concerned, the list is correct and updated. But if you come across any discrepancy, please do inform us. We would appreciate any such move that would improve the quality of the site.

List of Engineering Colleges

Acme Engineering College,

 Acme Engineering College,Sitapaila Chowk, Ring Road, P.O. Box : 8849, Kathmandu, Nepal       Ph :4282962, 4280445
 Website :

Asian College of Engineering & Management,

 GPO: 19719, Ktm, Old Baneshwor Kathmandu  Ph : 4472608, 4474169

Himalaya College of Engineering,

 Rudramati Marg-3491, Kalopul P.O. Box 24726, Kathmandu    Ph : 0977-01-4433117
 Email :
 Website :

Lumbini Engineering College,

 Butwal, Rupandehi, Bhairahawa, Nepal      Ph : 542659, 561659
 Fax: 543444

Nepal Engineering College,

 Changunarayan VDC, Bhaktapur, G.P.O. Box: 10210, Kathmandu, Nepal         Ph :(977)16611744 Ext: 201, 202
 Email :
 Website :

Pokhara Engineering College,

 Phirke, Pokhara, Nepal    Ph : 528530
 Fax: 531209

National Engineering College,

 GPO : 8908, Ktm, Banasthali Chowk, Kathamandu, Nepal         Ph : 4357328
 Fax: 4273563

Everest Engineering College,

 Gangabu, Tokha Road Kathmandu, Nepal G.P.O. Box : 6628       Ph : 977-1-4358354 / 4363024 / 25
 Fax: 977-1-4358354
 Email :
 Website :

Institute of Engineering (IOE),

 Center for Information Technology (CIT), IOE Pulcowk P.O. Box: 1175, Kathmandu,Nepal      Ph : 977-1-5543080
 Email :
 Website :

Star Engineering College,

 GPO : 3844, Ktm, Dhobighat, Kathmandu, Nepal         Ph :5529246
 Email :

Dhangadhi Engineering College,

 Dhangadhi, Kailali Nepal  Ph :091-521312

Janakpur Engineering College,

 Technovalley, Basahiya Janakpur, Nepal    Ph :041-525646, 041-522591

Kantipur Engineering College,

 Dhapakhel, Lalitpur P.O.Box: 8849 KTM. Nepal      Ph : 5571004 , 5571005
 Fax: 5570344
 Website :

Kathmandu Institute of Technology,

 GPO : 8638, Ktm, Sankhamul, Kathmandu, Nepal         Ph : 4781481
 Fax: 4783903
 Email :

Kathmandu Engineering College,

 Kalimati, Kathmandu, Nepal        Ph :977-1-4284902, 977-1-4276130
 Fax: 977-1-4272653
 Email :
 Website :

Eastern College of Engineering,

 Pokhariya, Biratnagar, Nepal      Ph : 524505, 526395
 Fax: 528871
 Email :

Paschimanchal Engineering Campus,

 Pokhara Pokhara, Nepal    Ph : 520093

College of Software Engineering,

 GPO: 2438, Ktm, Putalisadak City Kathmandu, Nepal         Ph : 4227820, 4256769
 Fax: 4225793
 Email :

Janakpur Engineering College,

 Dhanusha, Janakpur, Nepal         Ph : 525646

Khwopa Engineering College,

 Libali, Bhaktapur, Nepal  Ph :6614794,6614798
 Fax: 6615202
 Email :
 Website :
List of universities in Nepal

This is a list of universities in Nepal. Prior to the establishment of the first college in the country, Tri-Chandra College in 1918, higher education in Nepal was nonexistent. Until 1985, Tribhuvan University had remained the one and the only university in Nepal. In the early 80s, His Majesty’s Government developed the concept of a multi-university system for the country. One important assumption behind the concept was that each new university should have a distinctive nature, content and function of its own.

The first new university that was established was Mahendra Sanskrit University. The inception of this university was soon followed by Kathmandu University in 1990, Purbanchal and Pokhara Universities in 1995 and 1996 respectively. Many schools and colleges are run by private initiatives but none of the universities in Nepal are private.

B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences is the first and foremost Health and Medical University of Nepal, established in 1994 and upgraded to university in 1999.

Currently there are six universities in Nepal, and two institutions recognised as universities:

   Tribhuvan University [1]
   Kathmandu University [2]
   Pokhara University [3]
   Purbanchal University [4]
   Mahendra Sanskrit University [5]
   Lumbini Bouddha University(Proposed) [6]
   Mid-Western University Birendranagar(Proposed)
   Far-Western University Kanchanpur(Proposed)
   Nepal Agriculture and Forestry University(Proposed), Rampur, Bharatpur

At Present there are only five accredited universities operating in Nepal. Other four universities have been proposed for establishment but the government has not allocated the funds for universities and the issue has not been decided yet. Along with the four new universities, one more are supposed to be established in Nepalgunj.

David Breashears

David Breashears is an accomplished filmmaker, adventurer, author, mountaineer, and professional speaker. Since 1978, he has combined his skills in climbing and filmmaking to complete more than forty film projects.

In 1983, Breashears transmitted the first live television pictures from the summit of Mount Everest, and in 1985 became the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest twice.

In the spring of 1996, Breashears co-directed and co-produced the first IMAX film shot on Mount Everest. When the now infamous blizzard of May 10, 1996 hit Mount Everest, killing eight climbers, Expedition Leader Breashears and his team were in the midst of making this historic film. In the tragedy that soon followed, Breashears and his team stopped filming to provide assistance to the stricken climbers. After returning to Base Camp, Breashears and his team then regrouped and reached the summit of the mountain on May 23, 1996, achieving their goal of becoming the first to record IMAX film images at Earth’s highest point. Breashears has said that if there is a lesson to be learned from the May 1996 tragedy, it is that for him, success that year was not to be found in reaching the summit, it was that everyone on his team returned safely. The film, titled EVEREST, premiered in March 1998.

In May of 1997, Breashears performed the first live audio WebCast from the summit of Mount Everest for the PBS science documentary series NOVA. Breashears is the recipient of four National Emmy Awards for achievement in filmmaking.

Breashears best-selling memoir High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places (Simon & Schuster) documents his life as a mountaineer and filmmaker. He co-authored National Geographic’s best-selling book Last Climb which documents the disappearance of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine on Mount Everest in 1924. Breashears wrote the afterward and was a contributing photographer for National Geographic’s book Everest: Mountain Without Mercy which documents the story of the 1996 Everest IMAX expedition. His IMAX film, Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa, is the subject of a National Geographic book of the same title.

In the spring of 2004, Breashears reached the summit of Mount Everest for the fifth time while shooting his film Storm Over Everest. Equipped with a 35mm motion picture camera, Breashears made his fifth ascent of Everest while leading his handpicked filmmaking team to the summit.

Breashears most recently produced and directed the feature-length documentary Storm Over Everest about the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. The film was acquired by NBC Universal and is scheduled for broadcast on the PBS series FRONTLINE on May 13, 2008. The documentary includes dramatic interviews with the survivors of Mount Everest’s deadliest storm, and strikingly realistic re-creations of the ferocious storm that killed eight people in May 1996. The film also tells the story of the climbers who perished in that storm, marking the worst climbing tragedy in Mount Everest’s history.

Breashears is an accomplished, highly sought-after professional speaker who has delivered his presentations throughout North America, Canada, Europe, and Asia. His lectures are closely tied to his ascent of Mount Everest in 1996 as expedition leader and co-director of the IMAX film team. He conducts quarterly lectures each year on leadership, planning and team building at the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France; widely recognized among the world’s top-tier business schools as the most innovative and influential. He also speaks about “Leadership in an Unpredictable World” six times annually to groups of Admirals and Commanders at the Naval Post-Graduate School’s Center for Executive Education in Monterey, California.

Like this article? Subscribe To My RSS Feed

City that Paradise of Fine arts Patan

The city lies about 5 km from the Kathmandu. It is a city of Budhist monuments, Hindu temples and fine wood carvings. Lalitpur is the another name of this city which ‘means the city of beauty’. The city is known as the paradise of fine arts.

Places to see in Patan

View Larger Map

Patan Durbar Square: This durbar square located in Patan is a Patan Durbar has many famous sites and unique architectures. Krishna Mandi, Bhimsen temple, Hiranya Varna Mahabhihar are just a few among the temples offering you an ecstasy of  paintings, wood and metal carvings. The Sundari Chowk contains exquisite samples of woodcarvings, stone and metal sculpture. Patan Dubar Square and the Himalaya  that can be seen at a distance make an enchanting scene. A half-day sightseeing tour of the Patan city is highly recommended.

Patan Museum:

Offers an opportunity to view remainings of the ancient palace of Malla Kings, and some of the most beautiful wood and stone carving works in the world. Museum covers a long history and living traditions of Nepal and is a-must-see for tourists to learn more about Nepali craftsmanship and their traditions.

Krishna Mandir:

A king dreams of God Krishna and Goddess Radhan standing in front of a temple. Next day, turning dreams into a reality, a finest stone wrought monument is born! The Krishna temple located on the west side of the Patan Durbar Square, was built in 1637 by the King Siddhi Narsingha Malla. The temple holds a great position in the Patan palace, it is also the only temple in Nepal which as 21 shrines and is completely made of stone, and fine carvings. The temple has three floors, Krishna, Shiva, Lokeshwor are enshrined in first, second and third floor respectively. During the Krishnastami, the lord Krishna’s birthday, the temple is the destination of thousands of worshippers from around the country. The temple is beautifully lighted by thousands of oil lamps during the festival.


The temple is dedicated to Gautam Buddha. The temple was built by Pandit Abhaya Raj, a Buddhist architect, and more interesting thing about the temple is that every single brick has Buddha engraved in it. There are nearly one thousand bricks of Buddha in the temple!

Hiranya Varna Mahavihar:

This three storey gloden pagoda is located about 650 feet from the Patan Durbar Suare. It has the images of Lord Buddha and large prayer wheels. The pagoda is also knwon as Kwa Bahal or Suwarna Mahavihar or Golden temple.


A good five storeyed temple in the valley portraying fine arts. An annual festival is held here once every year.

Jagat Narayan Temple

A temple of Lord Vishnu, made of red bricks. It has fine images of stone and an artistic metal statue of Garuda on a stone pillar.

Rudra Varna Mahavihar:

A Buddhist monastery containing a collection of images and statues in stone, wood and metal and also the treasures offered by king’s devotees. In ancient times, Nepal’s kings were crowned in this monastery.

Ashoka Stupas:

Stupas known to have been built in 250 BC by the Ashoka Emeror are located in Pulchowk, Lagankehl, Ebahil and in Teat all of which act as an evidence to this city’s ancient religious importance.

Machhendra Nath:

Also known as Avalokiteshowr and Adinath Lokeshwor, is a pagoda that is housed here in Patan for every six months each year and plays an important role in keeping the ancient traditions alive.


Situated at the foothils of Phulchoki, this place is surrounded by gardens and flowers. It is an ideal place for picnic and hangouts for people of Kathmandu Valley


10 KM away from Patan, this 2759 mters high spot is good for hiking. The Guranse flower (Ghododendrons) of white to dark red can be seen here.

Like this article? Subscribe To My RSS Feed

Namche Bazaar (नाम्चे बजार)

(नाम्चे बजार−also Nemche Bazaar or Namche Bazar) is a village and Village Development Committee (Namche) in Solukhumbu District in the Sagarmatha Zone of north-eastern Nepal. It is located within the Khumbu area at 3,440 metres (11,286 ft) (the low point that is), populating the sides of a hill. Namche is the main trading center for the Khumbu region with many Nepalese officials, a police check, post and a bank.
At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 1647 people residing in 397 individual households.

Namche Bazaar (नाम्चे बजार−also Nemche Bazaar or Namche Bazar) is a village and Village Development Committee (Namche) in Solukhumbu District in the Sagarmatha Zone of north-eastern Nepal. It is located within the Khumbu area at 3,440 metres (11,286 ft) (the low point that is), populating the sides of a hill. Namche is the main trading center for the Khumbu region with many Nepalese officials, a police check, post and a bank.

At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 1647 people residing in 397 individual households.


The village is located on crescent shaped mountain slopes that offer stunning views of the mountains across the valley. It is a grueling 3 to 4 hour climb up from the river to Namche, and at 3,500 meters, it is possible to suffer altitude sickness here. Therefore, it is advisable to spend at least two nights in the village to acclimatize.

Traditionally the village was a trading post, with locals bartering yak cheese and butter for agricultural goods grown at lower altitudes. However, after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s successful climb of Everest in 1953, the dynamics of the village changed forever as climbers and trekkers soon followed in their wake. At first the groups came in a trickle, but in the 60s and 70s this turned into a torrent, and being located at a confluence of trekking trails, Namche was best served to meet their needs. In addition, as Namche is the first place on the Khumbu trek that is above altitude sickness threshold, most travelers prefer to spend at least two nights here in order to acclimatize. Still, despite the village’s popularity with trekkers, geographical restraints have contained its growth, and it remains a small settlement with no more than 60 dwellings.

Namche has prospered from the tourist trade, and according to government statistics it is the wealthiest district in Nepal, with 7 times the average national income and twice that of the capital, Kathmandu. In addition to an abundance of hotels, the village also boasts three small museums, a stupa, monastery, several cafes (locally known as bakeries) and many well stocked stores.

Namche has several official money changing facilities, and as it is the only place in the region to offer this service (besides Lukla), travelers should ensure that they have sufficient cash for the remainder of their journey before leaving the village. NB: The rate of exchange in Namche is much lower than in Kathmandu, and so it is advised to only use the facilities in Khumbu as a last resort or for changing small amounts of money.

The winters are cold and dry, while summers are warm, but characterized by persistent mist, and so the spectacular mountain peaks often lost from view. The best time to visit the area is from mid-September to mid-November when it is still not too cold and the air is at its most pristine, affording crystal clear views of the mountain scenery. The Spring is also a good time to visit Namche, though due to the higher proportion of dust in the air, the mountain views lack the clarity of the Fall. However, to compensate, the hedgerows and wild flowers are in full bloom in April and May and bring a dash of color to the mountain paths.

Get in

The trek from Lukla to Namche can be done in one full day, but unless you are experienced at trekking at high altitude and extremely fit, taking two days over the journey is strongly recommended. Many people who rush to Namche suffer altitude sickness and have to be brought down again the following day.

There is only one way to move around in Khumbu – on foot; unless you are a former president of the United States. In October 1985 Jimmy Carter, his wife Rosalynn, and future senator from California Dianne Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum helicopetered in on the King of Nepal’s personal whirligig. The next morning, protected by two secret service agents, the former president walked throughout the village shaking hands and conversing with the locals

See also: Everest Base Camp Trek


Sagarmatha National Park Visitor’s Center, located at the top end of the village off the Tengboche trail (right side of village when looking up). Offers information on the wildlife of the area. There are some interesting photographs.

Museum of Sherpa Life, located above the village off the Tengboche trail. An introduction to Sherpa culture and the fauna and flora of the region –

Museum of local medicinal plants and Tibetan herbal medicine at the Healing Centre (see the Stay healthy section). Offers an introduction into the world of Tibetan medicine through posters and artifacts. It also has a small gift shop, the profit from which help maintain the clinic up stairs.

Namche Library. A small library with a big heart – good selection of English books, though they cannot be taken off the premises.

Namche Monastery, located off the Thame trail (left side of village when looking up). A small monastery in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It has pleasant courtyard and some traditional frescoes on wall of the main shrine.


Namche market. As the name of the village suggests, Namche Bazaar has a market. Every Saturday morning, Sherpas from the surrounding valleys spread out their agricultural products and electronic goods carried from Kathmandu on land above the main path into town. While the goods themselves may not be interesting to tourists, the market itself is certainly worth wandering around and is a good place to get some souvenir shots of “Khumbu life”. Check out the ýak “parking area” above the market – though don’t get too close. Yaks are notoriously ill tempered.

Dumjee Festival. In June (lunar calendar fifth month 9-17), Namche holds an annual festival called dumjee (actually all the villages in Khumbu celebrate this event, but the festivities in Namche are the most impressive). The festival celebrates the achievements of a highly respected Sherpa lama, and while the first few days are rather subdued with just local families visiting each other for food and entertainment, the final few days are a boistorous affair held at the Namche Monastery. The ceremonies are presided over by the incarnate lama of Tengboche Monastery and include hillarious lama dances, traditional Sherpa dances and an initiation ceremony


Handicrafts. The main street into the village is lined with Tibetan run handicraft stalls and stores. Most of the goods are available in Kathmandu, but certain woolen items are made locally. Also, check for anything special that has been carried over from Tibet.

Books. New and second hand books are available at several places, and a store with one of the best selections is located in front of Namche Hotel.

Necessities. Namche has some well stocked, albeit a little expensive, stores selling such things as batteries, basic medicine (throat lozenges, aspirin etc), toiletries, sun block and trekking clothing/equipment. These items (except for the trekking equipment) are available further up the trail, but the variety is far less and the prices much higher.


Namche is really geared for the ravenous tourist, and offers all kinds of delights. Namche’s bakeries are quite famous in Nepal and, considering that the town is a six day walk from the nearest road, they bake up some amazing pastries. None of the bakeries are open during the tourist “off-season” from June until September. All the hotels have dining facilities open to non-residents. Again, during the off-season, not every hotel in Namche remains open.

Herman Helmers Bakery, located on the main street into town, has great apple pie and chocolate cake. The other Bakery items are delicious too.

Namche Bakery, located just down from the main intersection, really excellent, freshly made pizza and delicious Coffee.

Traditional Sherpa dishes include:

Rigi kur – potato pancakes, which are delicious eaten straight off the griddle and covered with dzo (female yak) butter and a sauce made of mature cheese and spices called sorma. Due to the effort involved in making rikikul, they are generally not listed on lodge menus. However, most places will oblige if you order well in advance.

Tzen – a heavy pate made from millet and flavored with spices.

“Thukpa” – Noodles with soup. Perfect for a cold day.

Additionally, be sure to try the delicious Nak-cheese, that can be bought in most of the stores and costs around 100Rs per 100g.


Juice and beer are available at all hotels and bakeries. However, remember that anything in a can has been brought up from Kathmandu, and so prices will be very high.

Coffee blends such as cappuccino and latte are served at the bakeries.

Tea is available everywhere and is mostly served sweet and with milk. Salty, butter tea is also available, though not as common.

Herbal teas are made from Khumbu wild flowers and produced locally. They are available at most of the hotels, and tea-bag packets can be purchased at the Tibetan Healing Centre.


Accommodation in Namche ranges from around 200Rs for an old style room with shared bathroom up to around 1,000Rs for a modern en-suite twin. Most have hot water. NB: Check the regulations regarding meals. Some hotels offer very cheap room rates, but in return expect their guests to eat on the premises.

Namche Hotel and Camp de Base are probably two of Namche’s most pleasant places to spend a night, with both offering rooms with attached bathroom (with lashings of hot water) at reasonable prices. Location: After entering the village, follow the main shop-lined street until you reach a ‘cross roads’. Here, turn left for ‘Namche Hotel.’ It is on the left, next to the money changer. For ‘Camp de base’ do not turn left, but continue up the stone stairs. The hotel is behind a large wooden door on the right.

Thawa Lodge, turn left at cross roads, Thawa is located immediately on the right – an older hotel with pleasant outdoor sitting area.

Trekker’s Inn, across from ‘Camp de base’ – an older lodge with lots of character.

Hotel Zamling and Éverest Hotel – both hotels are located on the left side slopes of the village when looking up and are new members of the plethora of hotels – quality accommodation at competitive rates.

Panorama Lodge, [1]. Perched on top of Namche hill, Panorama is about five minutes from the Saturday Market. Coolest hosts in Khumbu. The rooms are cozy, quiet and equipped with attached bathroom and shower

Stay healthy

Altitude sickness At nearly 3,500m, Namche is above the altitude sickness threshold. Therefore, it is highly recommended to spend at least two nights in the village to acclimatize.

Tibetan medical clinic [2] This is an excellent place to get both chronic and acute ailments treated using natural formulas. The clinic is located next to the Camp de Base Hotel, but entered from the path in front of the library. As the clinic provides free treatment for porters and other patients on low income, donations are greatly appreciated.

Dental clinic. Namche has a small dental clinic operated by a local person who studied dentistry in Canada. It is located on the right side slope of the village when looking up (near the library).


There are currently no telephone lines or mailing addresses in the Everest region.

The Post office is located near Namche Hotel. It is a personable little facility, but there are mixed reports of letters reaching their destinations. Postage stamps are also available in local shops.

International phone calls can be made in the town, however this is very expensive compared to Kathmandu. The cheapest place is the one-phone government telephone office, on the second floor of the nondescript wooden building behind Hotel Buddha, identified with an official yellow sign in Nepalese with a faded paper sign in English stuck on to it. Expect a lengthy queue on Saturdays (market day).

Internet cafes are common in Namche, though they are not cheap, and it costs around 200Rs per half hour to bounce your cyber words off a passing satellite. Keep a sharp eye on the clock.

Get out

Lukla – a seven hour journey from Namche – can be done in one day without too much difficulty as much of the walk is flat or down hill – though remember that the final hour or so entails a steep climb up to the airstrip.

Khumjung – a good one hour walk.

Tengboche – a five to six hour journey – the first part is pretty flat, but there is a steep and long hill up to the monastery.

Thame – a three hour walk – mostly flat after the climb out of Namche. Exit by trail in front of Namche Monastery.

Like this article? Subscribe To My RSS Feed

Ang Tshering Sherpa

Ang Tshering Sherpa
Ang Tshering Sherpa

My name is Ang Tshering Sherpa and I was born on 15 November 1953 in a picturesque Himalayan village of Khumjung (3790m) in the Solu-Khumbu district.  It is one of the famous Sherpa villages on the way to Mt Everest.

I spent most of my childhood in Khumjung as a pupil of Sir Edmund Hillary’s first school, and consequently I was fortunate enough to be the one of the first batch of graduates. I also studied Buddhist scripture with my grandparents at the Tengboche monastery.

It has been more than 35 years that I have been working in the mountain tourism sector.  Twenty-five years ago, in 1982, I established Asian Trekking Pty. Ltd, which organizes trekking and tour packages, mountain expeditions in the Himalayas, including Everest, and other activities related t mountain tourism.

Over the years, Asian Trekking has grown into one of the biggest operators in Nepal and Tibet. We are also the general sales agent of China-Tibet Mountaineering Association. Besides being the Chairman of Asian Trekking, I am also the president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, as well as the Honorary Consul of Belgium to Nepal.

Retreating glaciers

My personal and professional experiences have been witness to vast changes in mountain areas, especially in Everest region. Most noticeable in my lifetime has been that glaciers are rapidly retreating and new glacial lakes have formed where there was only ice and snow before.

When I was a child, I could easily cross the Ngusumba Glacier near Mt. Cho Oyu with our herd of yak.  Today, the glacier has been transformed into innumerable small lakes. We also used to cross Lho La pass (6026m), situated on the western ridge of Mt Everest, on our way to trade in Tibet. Today, all that remains of this huge ramp of ice and snow are precariousceracs clawing desperately to the top of rocky cliffs. In both cases it is no longer possible to use this historic route.

Over the years, I have seen new glacial lakes form, and their size has increased dangerously. Before 1960, Imja Lake (5000m) did not even exist. It first appeared in 1962 as a small pond. Now, the lake is almost 1.6-kilometres long and could burst at any moment.

On 4 August 1985, another glacial lake, called Dikcho Lake (4365m), burst resulting in huge loss of live, property and infrastructure. Imja Lake is twice the size of Dikcho Lake and is located upstream of the famous Everest trail which takes people the highest mountain in the world. If we allow Imja Lake to burst it would be the most shameful example of our ignorance to our rapidly changing world.

A similar trend is seen on the Ngusumba Glacier and others throughout the Himalayan region. These small lakes will eventually follow Imja Lake’s example and grow into dangerously big lakes. I dread thinking about the calamities and human loss when these lakes burst.

Changing weather

Besides potential glacial lake outburst floods, our mountaineering profession is also facing problems due to unpredictable weather condition. Just over a decade ago, the appropriate climbing season for mountaineering used to be September, October and November. Today, it has shifted to late May and is shifting later and later into the summer. The weather has become unreliable — it snows when it is time to rain, and rains when it should snow. Because of this, there has been increase in the rate of accidents during mountaineering expeditions.

Another danger to our profession is the rapid rate at which snow melts. Only a few years ago, it used to take about two months to melt a foot of snow, whereas nowadays it takes only a couple of weeks to melt twice as much snow. This phenomenon is very obvious when we set up our camps. We constantly find ourselves adjusting and relocating our camp sites as the snow around our tents melt. Another threat we find at camp sites are the huge boulders scattered on the glaciers which over a few weeks find themselves raised on icy platforms, ready to tumble down on to the tents below.

I don’t think local pollution and tourism is the cause for this trend. I think it is because of global warming.

Like this article? Subscribe To My RSS Feed

Chhewang Nima Sherpa 19 Time Everest Submitter

On 23 October, Chhewang Nima Sherpa (pic) went missing following an avalanche on Baruntse (7129m), a neighbour to Lhotse and Everest. He had been fixing ropes below the summit on the north face of the mountain for an international expedition. He was 43.

Chhewang was no ordinary Sherpa. He had summitted Everest 19 times, one short of Apa Sherpa’s world record, and had completed many difficult climbs on peaks such as Cho Oyu, Manaslu and Sishapangma, as well as in the United States. He was also the brand ambassador for Nepal-based clothing store Sherpa Adventure Gear. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Following the abandonment of the search for Chhewang, Nepali Times spoke to his cousin, Lakpa Rita Sherpa, the first Nepali to climb the highest peak in all seven continents, and himself a 14-time Everest summiteer.

Nepali Times: What went wrong on Baruntse?

Lakpa Rita Sherpa: I am not sure what happened, but I have climbed Baruntse twice in the last couple of years. It’s very technical in the last five to six hundred metres below the summit. You are climbing on a knife-edge ridge with a huge drop on both sides, with very soft snow. If anything happens, or if you make a small mistake, there is no chance of survival. When I first heard the tragic news, I was speechless. Tears were running down my face, my wife and kids were crying beside me. It was a very sad moment for us.

Did Chhewang hope to one day hold the world record for climbing Everest the most times?

Since he was only one short of the world record by Apa Sherpa, he had dreams to claim the record. In fact he was due to climb Everest twice in the spring next year.

Tell us about your experiences with Chhewang.

Chhewang and I had lots of great times while we were climbing together. We summitted Everest together eight times, and celebrating our success on the summit made for unforgettable memories. His main goal was to help other mountaineers when they were in trouble; we did this twice together, for instance when we helped rescue the Nepali climber, Usha Bista.

How risky is mountaineering as a profession, and why do Nepalis do it?

As a mountain guide, it is risky whether you are climbing the world’s tallest or smallest mountain. You never know how and when accidents may occur, even if you are very good at what you do. It all depends on Mother Nature. No one can beat nature. At the same time, you need to take care of your clients, and doing this on a mountain is riskier than climbing by yourself.

In a country like Nepal, people like us do not have many options other than climbing. Most Nepalis who climb mountains do it for a living, only a few do it for fun.

What will you remember most about Chhewang?

He was in the US, where I am based, a month before his accident. His cousin Norbu Tenzing Sherpa had invited him to attend a fundraiser for the American Himalayan Foundation on 13 October, where he would have met former US Vice President Al Gore. My wife and I tried very hard to convince him to stay on with us for another month and a half, but he said, “Sorry, I can’t stay longer this time but I’ll definitely be back next year.” I wish he had agreed with us.

Chhewang was always very humble, he was always smiling, and we will miss him a lot. Our family’s deepest sympathies and prayers are with his family.

Like this article? Subscribe To My RSS Feed

Saving a friend's life on Everest


Jun 3, 2005 10: 50 EST

A fast response, common sense and unabated support from skilled team-mates saved Hirotaka’s life. Ralf Dujmovits, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Hirotaka Takeuchi were on their BC-to-summit Supercouloir push on Everest’s north face, when the Japanese climber fell sick.

Climbing on the North Ridge in the morning he had been perfectly fit, but once in the tent his state rapidly deteriorated – to a scary level.

Cerebral edema

“We were at 7650m. Hiro lost the capacity of talking, and his pulse dropped to 50 bits per minute. His body was so cold, that Gerlinde had a tough time trying to find a vein to administer Dexamethasone,” Ralf told Deutsche-Welle reporter Stefan Nestler, who was with the climbers in the team’s lonely BC on the central Rongbuk Glacier, unable to do anything.

“Hiro’s eyes were wide open, but it was as if he was not there anymore. After a while he opened his clenched teeth and spat blood.”

Without losing a second, Gerlinde and Ralf put Hiro in their down suit and got him in the feather sleeping bag. Then they called a doctor in Austria over satellite phone asking for further advice.

”Take a picture before I die”

“Gerlinde and Ralf stayed awake all night, treating Hiro with altitude drugs. Eventually, he got better. At one point, he asked Ralf to take a picture of him before he died.”

Ralf and Gerlinde kept their cool. They knew exactly what to do. As Hiro got better, and capable of moving, he would have to get down by his own power. “I’ll belay him with a rope, and we will traverse to Everest’s normal route on the north side,” dispatched Ralf over the radio.

“Hiro is getting better and better as we lose altitude,” was the message the next morning from the north ridge at 7000. “Now he can rappel down as a young God.”

The team reached ABC on the Normal route and got help from Russell Brice’s team. Russell quickly provided the climbers with a tent, food and drinks. Hiro immediately fell asleep.

Friendship works miracles

The team rested in Brice’s camp while the blizzard whipped Everest’s north side two nights ago. Yesterday all three reached their own BC, by the lonely north face. “Today was the day the team had planned for the summit. They would have liked to stand on the top together. However, what’s in a summit, compared to the life of a friend?”

“Now Hiro is sitting with us at the table in BC’s mess tent, very weak but alive and kicking… Almost a miracle!”

Yes, almost. But those who ever got into trouble while on the mountain know well, as Hiro does, how important it is to climb with friends.

German climber Ralf Dujmovits, Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, and Japanese climber Hirotaka Takeuchi have rejoined forces this spring for some doubleheader action in the Himalaya.

Their first – accomplished – goal was an Alpine style climb on Sihsha Pangma’s South Face. They summited on May 8th and traversed to the north side.

The second goal, also in alpine style, was Everest North Face though the Supercouloir (combination route on the Japanese Ridge and Hornbein Couloir).The team launched their summit bid aiming to reach the top on June 1st, but they were forced to abort at 7650 m. when Hirotaka suffered from Cerebral edema. Ralf and Gerlinde look after Hiro and helped him down.

Ralf Dujmovits started climbing at the age of 7 at The Battert, a climbing school near Baden-Baden (Southern Germany). Currently he is in charge of Amical Alpine, and has summited 10 8000ers: Dhaulagiri in 1990, Everest in 1992, K2 in 1994, Cho Oyu (1) in 1995, Shisha Pangma Central Summit in 1996, Shisha Pangma main Summit in 1997, Cho Oyu (2) in 1998, Broad Peak in 1999, GII in 2000, Nanga Parbat in 2001, Annapurna I in 2004, GI in 2004. He has guided teams on all those peaks, except Annapurna.

In 2004, Ralf, Gerlinde and Hirotaka summited Annapurna, after a serious attempt on Shisha Pangma South Face. In summer, they planned on climbing both Gasherbrums and K2, but poor weather conditions left them with only enough time to summit GI.

Ace female climber, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, has summited Cho Oyu, Makalu, Manaslu, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna and most recently Gasherbrum I: Six 8,000ers. Gerlinde is considered one of the top female high altitude climbers and is the 6th woman to reach Anna’s summit. She has also summited Shisha Pangma Central and Broad Peak.

Japanese climber Hirotaka has summited Makalu, Everest, K2, Nanga Parbat, and in 2004, he summited Annapurna and GI. He summited Everest and K2 back to back in 1996 and, at the age of 25, became the youngest climber to summit the world’s two highest mountains.

Like this article? Subscribe To My RSS Feed