Salpa Pokhari: Holy Lake in the Mountains of Nepal

Posted by on February 10, 2012

 Salpa Pokhari: The Holy Lake of High Nepal

I once heard a story, of a time long ago….

salpa pokhari bhojpur

Long ago, in the ancient days of the warring kingdoms, a Rai king and queen did some early day trekking in the hills of what would one day become the country we now know as Nepal.

Salpa Pokhari gateway

The queen, unfortunately, was suffering from a bit of mental sickness during the whole of the journey. With the source of her sickness unclear, the king grew concerned.

Salpa Pokhari prayer flags

Miraculously, upon reaching the lake at Salpa Pokhari, she recovered… only to be promptly eaten by the giant serpent residing in the lake at a moment when the king’s back was turned. He never knew.

Salpa Pokhari reflections

Fearing a return of her mental illness had lead her away from him, the king spent the rest of his weary days searching for his beloved wife. He made regular trips to the lake, yet never found his beloved..

The lake, at the top of the Bhanjyang Pass into the Solu Khumbu region, is still a pilgrimage site for several of the religions that inhabit the Nepalese hills.  The Rai people, whose history defines the legend of the lake, even claim that to bathe in Salpa Pokhari is so holy that it obviates the need to make a pilgrimage to India’s Ganges River.  Powerful water.


When I visited this area (late 2011, I believe), there were only the most basic guesthouses and noodle stalls in the area. If you intend to come here independently, make sure to pack some spare food and be prepared to have a bit of an adventure!

Hiking to Salpa Pokhari is one of the many trekking options on offer in Nepal. I visited independently, but seemed to be in the minority in doing so. If you’d rather take a guide, you can either arrange it in Kathmandu before your hike or online at sites like GetYourGuide.

Be Sociable, Share!

3 Responses to Salpa Pokhari: Holy Lake in the Mountains of Nepal

  1. Rajan Jha

    Stephen, you are immensely talented, loved your photographs.

  2. Sujan

    Dear Stephen, i am from also same district Bhojpur, where Sapla Pokhari lies. Thank you so much for your incredible photography and information disseminate to the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *