Did Langtang Valley Rebuild after the Earthquake? How is it now?

  • Kishwor Adhikari
  • Last Updated on Apr 29, 2024

The earthquake of 2015 in Nepal caused huge destruction in the country. While every nook and corner of the country was affected, the popular tourist destination of Langtang also faced great impact. You might have seen a video of the entire Hill and stone rolling over the Langtang Village, destroying the entire settlement completely.

This article looks over how the local and international community all gathered to rebuild Langtang and how Langtang village now has been completely rejuvenated, ready to welcome tourists and live life beyond that tragic moment.

Before that, let’s cover what exactly happened in the Langtang village in “Black Day”.

On 15 April 2015, a 7.8MW earthquake hits Nepal with its epicenter in the Gorkha district. Langtang Valley, which was about 200 km away from the Epicentre encountered massive avalanches right after the earthquake. Followed by a landslide and pressure wave, the rocks destroyed all of Langtang village. While the entire village and almost 380 bodies were covered beneath the landslide, only one house was standing straight. 80 foreigners and 176 locals were dead before the rescue operation started on the 19th of April. The survivors were evacuated to Kathmandu but many people were devastated from the loss of their houses and loved ones. This was the largest and most massive destruction and the entire country.

Comparatively, Kyanjin Gompa reported less than the Langtang village. But the houses in Kyanjin Gompa were also destroyed and few people were buried where inside the house.

Table of Contents

The immediate effect of the Earthquake in Langtang

After the 20th of April, temporary camps with tents, stones, and wood were built for the locals. As the entire country was affected, the government couldn't deploy a lot of army on Langtang after 2015

. However, the locals from the surrounding village came together to assist in such a tragic time. By the time of the second hit on May 12, a lot of people were already living in the small camps. Although life on Ina temporary campus was not easy people were more concerned about living past the hard times.

When and How Did the Rebuilding Process?

After 2 to 3 months of the big Langtang earthquake in 2015, locals started clearing the debris for the settlement. They did receive help from many national and international volunteers. Although it took some time for this international help to reach into remote landscape of mountains, the village started rebuilding after six months. A langtang relief fund was set up immediately by The youth clubs and volunteers of Nepal. A non-profit organization named Himalayan Climate Initiative helped with the reconstruction of houses and infrastructure. Another big appreciation to Sunaulo Sansar who mobilized volunteers and funds from Switzerland, and Germany to rebuild the village.

Did they ever rebuild Langtang Valley?

Yes, the 2015 earthquake in Langtang Valley was hard but they did recover from the big shock in about 3 years. The trekking route was reopened in 2017 after the trial was constructed. Currently, all infrastructure such as houses, local hotels, Gumbas, and schools of Langtang has been reconstructed. Although the villagers cannot regain the lost life, they have certainly worked hard the reconstruct the infrastructure

What does Langtang Valley look like now?

Langtang village looks more beautiful and managed than it used to be before. The villagers were united not just to rebuild their houses but also to rebuild the entire trekking road. The Langtang trek route now has become more beautiful and safer with stone stairs. Also, Langtang Village now has moved a few meters apart to avoid avalanches again.

Here are some major stops along the Langtang Valley trek route and the condition of infrastructure in this village area.

Lama hotel

This small traditional settlement in the Langtang trekking route. Lama Hotel Village is often the first-night stay for tourists who start the journey by driving to Syabrubesi. Now, lama hotel has around 7 tea houses. These tree houses are very basic with small rooms and minimum facilities. Since the infrastructure of lama Hotel is under the preservation of Langtang National Park, the change in the hotel's structure and construction of new ones is a difficult process. And since this village was not affected much by the earthquake, new infrastructure has not been made. The old remaining hotels have a capacity of around 400 tourists and this will give you that old classic vibes even today.

Langtang village

The old village of Langtang which was completely destroyed by the earthquake is left as it is. A better and newer infrastructure has been constructed by the locals with the help of national and international volunteers. The new hotels are bigger in size and have larger rooms, in-room plugs, better beds, and even attached bathrooms. Currently, there are around 20 big hotels/ guest houses in Langtang that can accommodate more than 500 tourists at a time. While the population of local people has significantly lowered after the earthquake, the remaining people have worked very hard to provide better infrastructure for the tourists.

Kyngin Gompa

Although their settlement is at a higher altitude than Langtang, the hotels and infrastructure here are very good. With only a few locals in the area, there are some big hotels with attached bathrooms and good internet facilities. Kyngin Gompa has the capacity to accommodate 700 to 800 tourists at a time. So, this means, even in the busiest months everyone gets a good accommodation.

How are the people of Langtang now?

Langtang after 2015 was a mess, but the villagers of Langtang worked hard to rebuild the village and reopen the trekking trails. The old houses are now replaced with big concrete homes. These homes provide earthquake resistance, and better insulation to the locals. Not only the homes but also schools, Hospitals, and monasteries including Kyanjin Gompa (with Japanese support) have been revealed. The reconstruction has allowed the locals to live a vibrant lifestyle once again. The children can go to school regularly and feel safe within the thick walls. The Gompa is once again filled with prayers and people often gather to remember the lost souls.

Since most of the agricultural land around the village has already been destroyed by the earthquake, only a few villagers are engaged in agriculture. Tourism is the main source of income and your single visit will somehow help in the reconstruction of Langtang.

Is Langtang trek safe now?

The 2015 earthquake in Nepal was an unfortunate event in the history of Nepal. Although Nepal is a bit prone to earthquakes, such catastrophic events only happen once in a century. It's unfortunate that such a large number of tourist also lost their life in the Langtang Valley. But there is no chance of such an event to be repeated in the near future.

Further, the Langtang village now with new houses made after 2015 is earthquake resistant. They will remain unharmed even in high-magnitude earthquakes. Also, the new villagers have now shifted to avoid the avalanche zone. So, in short, yes Langtang Valley Trek is now safe for tourists. Not only is the village made safer, but the locals have also made the trekking trial easier. The route built with stones and railings is less prone to landslides.

Is the Langtang trek worth it?

langtang trek now holds two big values for Mountain trekkers. First is obviously to experience the nature and culture of Nepal in a very short time from Kathmandu. Not only can you see the beautiful Himalayas range from a very close distance, but you can also live in luxury hotels and have a comfortable stay in the newly built construction. The other purpose is to contribute to a healing society. Although you cannot physically volunteer to build the Langtang village now, your single trip can be helpful for the locals to boost the economy. While You are on the trek, be sensitive to the loss that the people of Langtang Valley have faced. Langtang Village now is worth your time and effort.

Kishwor Adhikari

Kishwor Adhikari

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