When the Sherpas first came to Solu-Khumbu, their homes were bamboo huts. Gradually they changed to being half stone, half split wooden logs. Eventually they became stone houses, and later with two floors. At present, there are even some three and four story hotels and houses. Windows have been the fastest changing par of Sherpa houses, with the introduction of glass panes and just recently ski lights are being added warming them up considerably both in light and in warmth.
The design of the lha-khang (chapel) was brought from Tibet. In every home it serves as a reminder of spiritual matters.
Usually the houses had simple windows with an opening in a wooden frame that closed by a small door. The wooden lattice windows became popular in Khumbu when a Tibetan carpenter was re-building Tengboche gompa after the earthquake in 1934 used this design of window. Sherpas copied this design, especially in their household lha-khang windows.
There are so many lodges along the most popular trekking trails in Nepal that it makes sense to use the facilities, rather than camp in their yards. While these Tea Houses are definitely not the alpine lodge which are often the height of rustic luxury in other parts of the world, they are unquiquely Nepali and are being upgrade very fast these days to include toilets, showers, comfortable beds and great food. The Tea Houses give you a deep insight into the lives of the hardy mountain sherpa people, because most are family-run and just extensions of their family home. The food is nourishing and hygienically prepared and the environment cozy and congenial. We have carefully selected the lodges/Tea Houses which belong to our climbing sherpas families.
The development of locally managed lodges along the popular trekking trails in the Annapurna, Everest and Langtang/Helambu areas have resulted in an increasing number of trekkers making use of these facilities. In recent years with the help of Government as well non-Government agencies many of these lodge owners have gone through training programs aimed at raising the quality of services as well as instilling environmental awareness. For example in the Annapurna Sanctuary and adjacent areas it is now regulation for all lodge owners to use alternative fuel (fuel other than fire wood - kerosene, gas, electric or even solar) for cooking and heating, dispose of garbage properly and adopt other eco-friendly measures. Most lodges have all the basic requirements for trekkers to stay overnight - a dormitory, several private rooms, an attached restaurant, toilet and a shower room. The quality of food offered may vary from lodge to lodge but most serve simple and hygienic meals.
Peak Freak Expeditions Inc. has found it very attractive for trekkers to use these lodges in some of the routes instead of operating camping style treks. One of the main reason being that along these popular routes almost every house offers bed and meals and many camping trekkers find it incongruous to camp near a lodge and not be able to experience the warmth and hospitality of the friendly Nepali hosts. The other important reason being that this helps the local economies directly by using the facilities along the route.
To make sure that our guests do not get disappointed we stay in simple yet comfortable and interesting lodge in each place. With larger groups we reserve all the beds in a lodge thus making sure that we have the place to ourselves. A majority of our Lodge Trekkers have been overwhelmed by the homey atmosphere and the grace of our hosts and many have made great friends with our friends for many years.
If you have an urge to trek in some of the most beautiful places in Nepal, interact and make friends with the local people without having to sleep in a cold and lonely tent, Lodge Trekking is just the thing for you.
HIMALAYAN HIGH ALTITUDE SPECIALISTS since 1983