Namche Bazaar is a beautiful town perched on a slopping hill, hemmed in on all sides by gargantuan mountains, immediately to the west is Kongde Ri (6,187m) and to the east is Thamserku (6,608). Rising to an elevation of 3,440m, this relatively small town in Khumbu region is popular among trekkers as a gateway to the high Himalayas of Mt. Everest region and best known for offering wonderful views of the snow-capped mountains. This town also serves as a junction from where different Everest region trekking routes diverge.
Below are 10 interesting facts about Namche Bazaar for travelers who are preparing for adventurous trek in Everest Region
1. Administrative Centre
Namche Bazaar being the historical capital, has many governmental offices, is a big administrative centre of the Khumbu region. It is also the head quarter of Sagarmatha National Park.
There is also a Wildlife Crime Control Bureau which is responsible for punishing the poachers and alleviation of the wildlife poaching. Besides, it has post office, army barracks and a community police post for maintaining safe trekking in Khumbu region.
2. First Acclimatization Spot
Namche Bazaar is the first point of acclimatization on the way to Everest region trekking. Trekkers, heading to the Everest Base Camp, Gokyo, Everest three pass and many other destinations, have at least two nights of a stopover here in Namche as a part of acclimatization which is important for every trekkers to keep yourself safe from altitude sickness.
During your stay in Namche, you can visit the neighbouring Khunde and khumjung village, famous for the Hillary hospital and Hillary School established by Sir Edmund Hillary. Thame, is another village west to Namche, set among alpine meadows beneath the mountain wall of Kongdi Ri.
Namche Gompa, Thamo Gompa, Sherwi Khangba Sherpa Culture Museum and Sargarmatha National Park Visitor Cenre are best places to visit on the acclimatization day in Namche.
3. Busy Hub
In the past, Namche bazaar was a trading post where locals bartered yak cheese and butter for agricultural goods grown at lower altitudes. However, after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa’s successful ascent of the Mt. Everest, the Everest region drew global attention and brought change in the dynamics of Namche Bazaar as number of tourists flocked in this region.
Namche bazaar has now become a tourist hub and has a number of hotels, lodges, restaurants , bakeries and storehouses of trekking stuff and one can even find a pub and cyber café. Besides abundant hotels and lodges, Namche bazaar boasts three museums, monastery and a Stupa at the bottom of the village.
4. Climate and weather
Namche is cold and dry in winter. During the month of Dec-Feb, the day temperature is normally 5-8 degree Celsius whereas during night temperature fall to -6 to -8 degree Celsius.
Summer is warm in Namche making it the best time to visit. During day the temperature rises to 16 degrees and falls to 8 degrees at night. However, frequent mists during summer can make the views of Himalayan ranges blur.
5. Information Centre
The short climb to the village of Chhorkung (3540m) along the ridge east on Namche will take you to Sagarmatha National Park Visitor’s Centre (free admission; 8am-4pm; Sun-Fri). This place has well-presented extraordinary pictures of Himalayan flora and fauna and the culture of the Khumbu Sherpas and offers significant information about the wildlife of the Sagarmatha National Park and Sherpa culture.
6. Sherwi Khangba Sherpa Museum
Sherwi Khangba Sherpa Museum is another attraction of Namche close to Sagarmatha National Park Visitor Centre run by local photographer Lakpa Sonam.‘Sherwi Khangba’ in Sherpa language means ‘Sherpa’s home’. This place is a traditional Sherpa house which is dedicated to preserving the Himalayan Sherpa culture.
Sherwi Khangba Sherpa museum has an intriguing collection of Sherpa cultural objects and ancient Sherpa artifacts. It also has attached Mount Everest Documentation Centre which displays photos and press cutting covering of all the Sherpa Everest summiteers and Sherpa culture photo gallery where tourist can thoroughly learn about the Sherpa culture and lifestyle through photography.
Sherwi Khangba also has a hotel of its own and an international conference hall which can be reserved for rent.
7. Saturday Market
Every Saturday morning, the ground at the bottom of Namche Bazaar are filled with traders for all over Tibet and nearby areas to sell goods like vegetables, butter, cheese, trekking gears, woolen clothes and electronic device.
It can be good place and time to buy souvenirs when there is a market because you can get everything at the same place and also prices are reasonable.
8. Home to Legendary Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Apa Sherpa
Thame, a yet another village close to Namche is home to many mountaineers including two legends Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Apa Sherpa.
Tenzing Norgay holds the record for being the first person to set food upon the Mt. Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary.
Apa Sherpa nicknamed as “Super Sherpa”holds a 21 times Everest ascent record and is a brand ambassador for raising awareness of global warming in the high Himalayas.
9. Dumjee Festival
Namche Bazaar holds annual Buddhist festival called Dumjee celebrated as the birth of Guru Rinpoche, the Indian saint who introduced Buddhism to Tibet. The festival last for six days with various rituals and feasting falls normally in June and July.
The ceremony also involves breathtaking lama dances and rounds of traditional Sherpa dance called Shyabru, is led by the incarnate lama of Tengboche Monastery which has been a major attraction for tourists in recent days.
10. Everest View Hotel
An hour’s hike from Namche Bazaar will take you to Everest View Hotel, opened in 1971, it holds a Guinness world record for being the highest placed hotel on the earth at 13,000ft. This hotel provide great view of Mt. Everest.
In order to immerse the beauty of nature and the hotel itself, most of the tourists visit this hotel on their acclimatization day.