Gosaikunda, also spelled Gosainkunda and Gosain Kunda is an alpine fresh water oligotrophic lake in Nepal Langtang National Park located at an altitude of 4,380 m (14,370 ft) in the Rasuwa District with a surface of 13.8 ha (34 acres). Together with associated lakes, the Gosaikunda Lake complex is 1,030 ha (4.0 sq mi) in size and has been designated a Ramsar site in September 2007. The lake melts and sips down to form the Trishuli River and remains frozen for six months in winter October to June. There are 108 lakes in this area, small to medium in size. The challenging Lauribina La pass at an altitude of 4,610 m (15,120 ft) is on its outskirts.
The Gosaikunda area has been delineated as a religious site. Hindu mythology attributes Gosaikunda as the abode of Hindu deities Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri. The Hindu scriptures Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana, and the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata refer to Samudra manthan, which is directly related to the origin of Gosaikunda. Its holy waters are considered of particular significance during Gangadashahara and the sacred thread festival Janai Purnima when thousands of pilgrims from Nepal and India visit the area. Gosaikunda is believed to have formed from the digging of the land by the Trishul (holy Trident) of lord Shiva.
Gosaikunda is a significant place of interest in the Dhunche-Helambu trekking route. This trek adjoins the famous Langtang valley trek in the same district and the two treks can be combined. This trek can be done teahouse style with hotels and lodges available along the trekking route.
Trekking to Gosaikunda
The popular start to the trek to Gosaikunda are in Dhunche Village or Syabru Besi both from the Langtang side. Alternatively, trekkers may also start from Sundarijal, which lies on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
If you are starting from Dhunche, the first day involves a long steady climb to reach Chandan Bari, which is at a height of about 3200 metres. On the second day, one reaches Laurebinayak at about 3700 metres. At this point, some trekkers choose to climb ahead to Gosaikund, though altitude sickness is a concern due to rapid ascent. Many trekkers choose to stay at Laurebinayak which also provides excellent sunset and sunrise views of the Langtang and Ganesh Himal. The descent from Gosaikund to Sundarijal takes about four days. The first day involves a short climb to Laurebina pass (4600 metres) and a rapid descent to Phedi or Ghopte. Depending on pace, there are options to stay at Tharepati, Mangengoth, Kutumsang and afterwards at many village habitations every two hours. Accommodation is quite easily available, though basic and a variety of food options are also available at tea house stops.
The trails are very well marked, except between Ghopte and Thorepati, where chances of losing ones way are real.