Namche Bazaar: the gateway to Everest

Namche Bazaar: the gateway to Everest

Namche Bazaar is a very popular town of Khumbu region. Located at an elevation of 3,440 meters at its low point and populated in the sides of the hill, Namche is a spectacular town depicting the remarkable topography of Nepal. It is situated on the slope of an arch-shaped mountain allowing us to oversee the beautiful sights of snow-capped mountain peaks throughout the valley.

Namche Bazaar is known as the gateway to Everest among the trekkers and mountaineers because of its perfect staging point for an expedition towards Everest and other Himalayan peaks in the area. It has a very long history with the trekkers and mountaineers of the Everest region, and now it has developed itself as a tourist hub.

Namche Bazaar is a historical trading hub, famous for the homemade yak cheese and butter. It was once a capital of Khumbu, where Sherpas of neighboring village and Tibet would gather and trade the goods and their traditional arts and crafts.

Namche is a typical place chosen by travelers for acclimatization. Being the popular stop for almost all the Everest travelers, Namche has dominated the trade of whole Khumbu. In addition to a large number of hotels and lodges, there are decent cafes and pubs as well. The beautiful and prosperous town of Namche has everything to offer you from the trekking items to rare Tibetan artifacts.

Namche Bazar

History of Namche Bazaar

Namche is not only rich in beauty with mountains all around; it is a physically rich town as well. With the large throng of travelers, it gets every year; the town has flourished amazingly. Namche is the richest town in Nepal with seven times the average national income and double of the Kathmandu.

But the prosperity of Namche didn’t came easy. Namche Bazaar was just a trading post with local people bartering for yak cheese and butter in exchange for agricultural goods. Then in 1953, a historical event took place when Everest was climbed by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary. After this event, people from around the world started to visit Nepal to scale this magnificent piece of art of nature.

With the growing popularity of Everest, Namche started to welcome more and more number of travelers. In the beginning years, there were small groups of trekkers, but in the 60s and 70s, Namche was literally flooded by travelers.

Facts and Information about Namche Bazaar

An Administrative Center

Namche is the administrative center of Khumnu with many government offices including the headquarters of Sagarmatha National Park, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, banks, check post and postal offices.

A busy market place

As the name itself suggests, Namche Bazaar is a very busy market of the region where people from different villages come together and make a trade. The products are usually agro-products, cheese, butter, and some electronic goods as well.

Cold Climate

Namche Bazaar has a cold climatic condition throughout the year. In winter season between December and February, the day temperature ranges between 5 to 8-degree Celsius, and in the night it goes between -6 to -8.

While in summer day temperature is around 15 and night us usually around 10.

Sagarmatha National Park Visitor Center

If you want to gather information on the wildlife and biodiversity of Sagarmatha National Park, then Namche Bazaar serves you the best.

You will find Sagarmatha National Park Visitor Center at the top end of Namche Bazaar where you will find the detailed information about the wildlife of the park. You can have a real-life experience looking at the pictures of flora and faunas.

Honorary Visit

Not only trekkers, mountaineers, and adventure loves, Namche was also visited by the respected 39th president of United States, Jimmy Carter, who is also the recipient of Nobel Peace Prize, The former president paid a visit on October 1985 with his other-half, Rosalyn Carter.

Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev escorted the guest in the personal chopper and returned after a couple of hours and also had lunch at Khumbu lodge.

High Altitude Hotel

Namche Bazaar homes one of the high altitude hotels at 12,999 feet, Hotel Everest View. The hotel is built in a simple yet clean structure but strikingly adorned with stone carvings of Tibetan Buddhist inscriptions.

The hotel was established in 1970, and since then it has been serving guests from around the world. If you are looking forward to staying at Hotel Everest View, it is the best as you can get a view of Mount Everest from every room you stay no matter which.

Traditionally Built Houses

Houses made out of stone and mud are the traditional way of building them, and Namche still exists that way. Due to its high altitude location, transportation is near to impossible which puts items like bricks and cement out of the question.

There are very less cemented houses in Namche Bazaar. People usually use stone and mud due to their easy accessibility. But we must admire the architectures, as they are equally striking as modern ones. Although they are built using mud and stone, people decorate them beautifully and design the interior using wooden frames.

All these small matters like houses, markets, and shops make Namche Bazaar a distinctive and lively settlement.

Mount Everest

Attractions of Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar itself

Namche Bazaar is the popular tourist hub of Khumbu region. To serve its guest, Namche has established many lodgings and stores as well as a number of internal cafés. As the name of the place itself has a bazaar in it, Namche is actually a marketplace.

Every Saturday morning, Namche holds a weekly market junction in the center of the village. Sherpas from around the valley gather and spread their commodities both agricultural and electronic which are bought from Kathmandu on land above the main path into town. Woolen clothes, cheese and butter, mountaineering and trekking items are also found in the market.

You will enjoy the activities of a market where you can have a glimpse of a typical Nepali life. You can also buy some rare and beautiful artifacts as a souvenir of Namche Bazaar. Just above the market, you can also see the yak parking area of Namche, but do not make the mistake of messing around with them.

The market in Namche is extra vibrant and jolly on Saturday, but there is a daily Tibetan market where you can find clothing items and cheap Chinese goods.

Dumjee Festival

Dumjee festival is an annual festival of Namche which falls in June. Although Dumjee Festival is celebrated in the whole Khumbu region, Namche Bazaar celebrates it with more excitement and spirit. Dumjee celebrates the achievement of highly honored Sherpa lamas in a most impressive way.

The first few days of the festival is not much as just local families pay visit each other for food and entertainment. But the last few days is more exciting at the Namche monastery as a large number of people come together for the festival.  Dumjee festival has many ceremonies which are presided over by the respected lama of Tengboche monastery and includes funny lama dances, a traditional dance of Sherpas and an initiation ceremony.

Sherwi Khangba Center

Sherwi Khangba Center is an exemplary place with all the facts and artifacts relating to Sherpas. The center is dedicated to preserving the Sherpa culture in the Everest region of Nepal. The name itself means Sherpa’s home.

There is a Sherpa Culture Museum where ancient artifacts of Sherpas are pot on display. Mount Everest Documentation Center is another interesting section with a complete and systematic record on Sherpa climbers. Also, Sherpa Culture Photo Gallery shows us the Sherpa culture, tradition and lifestyle.

In addition to them, Khumbu International Library has large collections of books on mountains, peoples, flora, and fauna and so on. International Conference Hall of Sherwi Khangba Center is an excellent world-class conference hall which can be the book for various events. There is a Hotel Sherwi Khangba too, where you can relish your taste buds with a variety of cuisine and experience the exquisite Sherpa hospitality.

Foods and Drinks

Namche welcomes a large number of tourist almost every season in a year. So, to greet the guest with excellent food items, Namche offers all kind of delight from pastry to traditional Sherpa dishes. You can enjoy the freshly made pizza, apple pie, chocolate cake, and other items too.

Rigi Kur (potato pancakes covered with female yak butter and a sauce made of mature cheese and spices called sorma), Tzen (a heavy pate made from millet and flavored with spices) and Thukpa are some of the traditional Sherpa dishes.

Khumjung and Khunde

These two villages in the vicinity of Namche Bazaar equally worth your visit as they have historical essence and alluring natural beauty. Khumjung is rather famous a school, Khumjung Hillary School, established in 1960 by Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first men to scale the Everest. Along with this historical monument, do pay a visit to Khumjung monastery as well, that as per the rumor has a rare piece of yeti scalp.

Khunde is no hard to find once you are in Khumjung; it is located alongside Khumjung. In Khunde, you will find a hospital, Khunde Hospital founded by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1966. You can also say that these two villages have played an important role in the social change of the Sherpa community and prosperity of Namche Bazaar.

 

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