The Kag in Kagbeni was once Ghag, meaning center and it is, with the important Buddhist/Hindu pilgrimmage site Muktinath to the east and the town of Jomson to the south. The beni in Kagbeni means confluence of two rivers where the Kala Gandaki and Jhong Rivers meet is where the village sits.
Before Tibetan Buddhism became the fabric of the culture of this region people followed Bon, another Tibetan religion. Bon is an ancient shamanist religion with rituals, exorcisms, and talismans.
Kagbeni still integrates the beliefs of Bon in village life with these ghost eaters or Kennis that protect the town. I asked my friend Dara, the proprietor of YakDonald’s Hotel and Restaurant to explain what the statues do to protect Kagbeni and some of the other beliefs that Bon followers hold.
I asked Dara who runs the famous restaurant and hotel of Kagbeni, why the name YakDonald’s?
It was time to leave Kagbeni and head for Jomsom, the final stop for my Annapurna Circuit Trek. At roughly 3 hours it will be a light trekking day.
The impressive Kali Ghandaki Gorge, some believe the deepest in the world has been an ancient trade route between Tibet and India for centuries.
Kagbeni is one of my favorite villages in Nepal but we needed to get out of the gate by 8:30 so we can beat most of the winds that pick up by late morning.
With a clear start to the day we were able to enjoy magnificent views of Nilgiri North at 7061 meters, the highest of the 3 peaks of the Nilgiri Himal. Excerpts from “World-Class Trekking Adventure On Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit Part V-Final Episode.”
I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.
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