Friday, July 27, 2012

2. A journey into Tibet – Mountain flight

July 2012

Previous posts
A journey into Tibet - Kailash Manasa Sarovar
A journey into Tibet - At Kathmandu

Thanks to delay in Tibet permits, I got couple of extra days in Kathmandu. Having travelled so far, it was not fair on my part to sit idle and relax. This flight was always my dream and this was an opportunity to fulfill it.

Mount Everest and Lhotse as seen from the flight

What is mountain flight?
It is an hour long flight journey over the majestic peaks of Eastern Himalayan area of Nepal. Airlines like Buddha Air, Yeti air and Sita air provide this service. It is the easiest way to see Mount Everest!! What else you need? Travel agents charge between INR 5,500-6,000 which includes to and fro journey from hotel to airport. The best season is April-May and October-November when weather is clear. It is not very uncommon for the flights to be cancelled due to bad weather.

Flight that I travelled

At cockpit

My experience
While the experience viewing the snow clad mountains is simply great, the same cannot be said about photographing the beauty. First, a good zoom lens is needed. And you can only take photos from windows. The moisture on the outer side of the windows is a challenge for photographer. Luckily, tourists are allowed inside cockpits (only one person at a time) where it is easier to take snaps.

Shisha Pangma at the far end

Within minutes after takeoff from Kathmandu, the flight entered into clouds. The journey was turbulent and visibility was nil. But a new world opened once the flight came out of the clouds!! Snow clad mountains started appearing.

The left most mountain seen was Langtang  Lirung (7234M/23734ft) which is in the sub range of the Nepalese Himalayas.

Shisha Pangma
And the right most one was Kanchenjunga (8586M/28169ft) at Nepal-Sikkim border.


Out of 14 eight thousanders (The mountain peaks that are more than 8,000 meters), 6 peaks could be seen from the flight itself.

The peaks are:
Everest (8848 M/29,029 ft)
Kanchenjunga (8586M/28169ft)
Lhotse (8516M/27,940ft)
Makalu (8485M/27,838ft)
Cho Oyu (8201M/26,906ft)
Shisha Pangma(8013M/26290ft

Out of other eight thousanders, Dhaulagiri I, Manaslu and Annapurna I are in western side of Nepal. The rest (K2, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I, Broad peak, Gasherbrum II) are in Karakoram Range that borders Pakistan controlled Kashmir and Aksai Chin, India part of Kashmir under Chinese control.

The most beautiful sight was none other than Mount Everest. 

Mount Everest, Lhotse and Makalu (on the right side) in the same frame


Santosh bs said...

Wonderful account and this is the 2nd post I'm reading of the same experience. I'm not sure if you got a chance to see Arjun's post on the same -

Thanks to you guys, we are seeing something very distant, very near and close :)

R Niranjan Das said...

This is a treat.. Thanks for sharing such mind blowing photographs of the himalayas.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

Outstanding Shots...

Aravind GJ said...

Yes. I had seen the link before... photos inspired me to take this trip.



ರಾಜೇಶ್ ನಾಯ್ಕ said...

Mind blowing shots. I saw Everest!

Aravind GJ said...

Thanks Rajesh.

Srikanth Manjunath said...

Mounter Everest from close ranges..Am just getting goosebumps after seeing my dream Mt. Everest..what a spectacle natures holds in her lap..Super narration..and out of the world snaps..Arvind !!!!

Gowtham said...

Fabulous shots. Very beautiful. I read Makalu is structured like a perfect pyramid. Could you make out something or was it a far sight?

Anuradha Shankar said...

wow!! this is beautiful!!!!!

Aravind GJ said...

Thanks for your comments!! Very much true!!!!

Makalu was bit far... so could not get the full details.

Thanks for the comments.

Srik said...

Fabulous! Mind blowing pictures, excellent narration.

Thanks for sharing.

- Srik

Unknown said...

awsome piece of information,i have read & they also offers Cheap Hotels in bangalore

123 said...

kathmandu airport
is one of the wonderfull airport. You can enjoy your trip to Nepal by landing in Kathmandu airport.It will be great experience for you

Naba Thapa said...

Wow!! Very nice blog about the flight. Great appreciated
mountain flight in Nepal

kathmandu to lukla flight