KHUMJUNG - The ‘Yeti’ scalp

  • 3780 meters

Khumjung is hands down the most beautiful village in Khumbu. This spread out village with uniformly green roofs blends so perfectly with the landscape that it is hard to imagine the land otherwise. It is dominated by Khumbila to the north and the valley which is roughly shaped like a horse is surrounded by beautiful forest of fir and rhododendron. It is also one of the few places to sport the yellow variety of rhododendron.

No wonder Sir Edmund Hillary chose this place for his first project: the Khumjung Secondary School at the southern part of the village. It has played an important role in the social and intellectual upliftment of the Sherpas. One of the more famous products of this school is the late Mingma Norbu Sherpa who was a pre-eminent conservationist with the WWF and did substantial work in the Eastern Himalayas. His bust stands on the way to Khunde.

Khumjung is also famous for the yeti scalp housed at the village gompa. It is a well travelled scalp that has completed a world tour with a person of no less stature than Sir Hillary himself. However tests showed that it had once adorned the back of a Himalayan antelope (Serow) rather than the skull of a yeti. Myth and science aside, it is still a pleasing walk to the Khumjung Gompa.

Khumjung is also one of the better places for wildlife. Himalayan Monals and Blood Pheasants frequent the ground below while Lammergeiers and Golden Eagles are not an irregular sight in the skies above. There is also a bird sanctuary nearby.