Langtang Village Before and After
Langtang village is situated in the northeastern part of Nepal at Rasuwa district of the Bagmati Province in Nepal. The village is located in the Himalayan region of the country. This place is rich in nature, and people often come here for trekking. Langtang National Park also borders the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. One can reach this village by going 80km to the north from Kathmandu. Though the village had been destroyed to a great extent after the earthquake in 2015, eventually, people living there took some years to return to their old lifestyle in the village itself. Likewise, around 668 people have been estimated to have been living in the village after the massive natural disaster.
Langtang village has changed quite a bit after the earthquake. There have been several aspects of the village that have both changed and remained the same even after the disastrous event, and in this article, we have written everything you need to know about Langtang village!
Table of Contents
- 1 What happened in Langtang village in 2015?
- 2 Langtang village before the earthquake
- 3 Langtang village after the earthquake
- 4 Which organizations helped rebuild Langtang Village?
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5.1 Did anyone in Langtang village survive?
- 5.2 Did they ever rebuild Langtang village?
- 5.3 How was Langtang village destroyed?
- 5.4 How did Langtang village get flattened?
- 5.5 Was Langtang village destroyed?
- 5.6 What is the history of the Langtang Village?
- 5.7 Is Langtang still there?
- 5.8 Can you visit Langtang village?
What happened in Langtang village in 2015?
In 2015, a massive earthquake hit Nepal. The earthquake took the lives of several and destroyed the habitats of many throughout Nepal. One of the places that suffered the most due to this event has to be Langtang village. The tiny village, as it is in a rural place in Nepal, and the earthquake just made things worse for everyone living there. Trekking had always been popular in the area, even before the earthquake, and this had been a source of living for a lot of people in the village. Sadly, the earthquake put a halt in all trekking activities in Langtang for a good amount of time, precisely four years.
Not just the lives but even the economy of the village was reduced to nothing in a matter of a day time. The earthquake also resulted in numerous landslides and avalanches in the area. This only worsened the condition of what was already ruined.
The Earthquake of April 25, 2015, in Langtang village
Everyone in Langtang village was joyously rejoicing in the festival of Ghawa on April 24, 2015, when the ruthless calamity took place just a day after. On the day earlier, people had been drinking, eating, dancing, and performing Buddhist rituals at the festival that is considered one of the most prominent by the locals of the Himalayan region in Nepal. People had been in bed much later than usual due to tiredness from the celebration that took place on the 24th, while most of the others were engaged in their daily chores. In the same way, many trekkers had come to the village, some trekking and others enjoying the beauty of the village.
As the clock struck 11:56 a.m., a 7.8-magnitude earthquake did not take even a minute to turn the stone houses into dust. While the condition of the village lightened up a bit soon after the earthquake stopped, a great avalanche was waiting to crush the village. 40 million tons of rock and ice fell into the village as a result of the avalanche. The Langtang Lirung fell victim to a landslide while stones, ice, glaciers, etc., crushed and blocked the water source for the entire village, a famous lake in Langtang. Trees were flattened by the incident, and the village of Langtang was buried way before 243 people there could even make an escape.
This event was one that took the lives of 175 villagers, 27 local tourism staff (guides and porters), and 41 foreign trekkers. The village or anyone in the village had no chance of surviving, and only a single house stood tall throughout the disaster. Though not many, there were a few who managed to survive the incident.
Even today, several inches of the village marks a memoir of the bitter moment of April 25, 2015. The earthquake did not entirely end, though; there were aftershocks of the earthquake that would lead to fear among the villagers as small rocks and ice still kept falling towards the village.
Helicopters were sent for the rescue of the survivors. Many who survived or were rescued both from and outside the valley retrieved the dead bodies and helped those who were alive. It took several days to get this work done as a lot of bodies were still missing despite intensive search. It took the authorities to put a stop to the rescue and search attempts after a fairly long amount of days spent doing so. This was mostly due to the lack of safety for the ones who made it out alive through the earthquake.
Langtang village before the earthquake
Langtang village, like any other trekking destination, had been a heaven to a lot of people throughout the world who went there to cherish the natural environment of the village while also trekking in the area. The people living there were quite fulfilled by the lifestyle despite it being in one of the most rural parts of the country. Making a life out of tourism and trekking activities had never really been a challenge, as there were visitors coming all around the year.
The people living in Langtang village mostly included people who migrated from Tibet around 600 years ago, most of them now known as Sherpas in Nepal. Other groups of people included Tamang and Gurungs. Most of the people in the village worked as farmers and traders. Others worked as trek guides, guesthouse owners, porters, etc. An aspect of the village that caught the attention of many had to be the Langtang National Park, which consisted of floras and faunas like deciduous oak, maple, pine, and national flower rhododendron as well as Himalayan black bear, Himalayan Thar, red pandas, and rhesus monkeys. Since the village is located in the Himalayan region of Nepal, there has always been a legend of Yeti (a mythical character living in the mountains).
It was in the early 1970s that people discovered Langtang village. This increased revenue entering the village like it had never been before. From a rather rural village to almost no touch with the world outside the village and early memories of life in Tibet, the people in Langtang started becoming familiar with the outside world.
Tourists from all around the world saw Langtang National Park area as one of the best trekking locations in Nepal. They started hiking, biking, trekking, going about the village, and exploring the Sherpa culture here. The growth in tourism established the need for facilities that can be monetized. The locals especially Sherpas in the village, started opening teahouses and facilitated their knowledge and skills as guides and porters. Moreover, they eventually got in contact with agencies outside of the village who could hire them anytime a tourist or a visitor, in general, required the help of a local guide.
After the 1970s and before 2015, Langtang Village only faced the best in their economy. Though not the richest Himalayan part of Nepal, there has always been a good flow of revenue there. Even during the earthquake, several unfortunate tourists were caught in the calamity and killed in no time. That’s why there was no flow of revenue besides donations after almost four years of the earthquake. Though it slowly took around 2 years to completely recover from the aftermath of the incident, it took four whole years for the village to get back to how it used to be.
Langtang village after the earthquake
Langtang village took some time to recover. The damages in the village were severe. There was almost no house besides a single house in the affected area that stood tall against the earthquake. So, in no more than 2 years, trekkers started coming back to the Langtang area. Though reforms and efforts to rebuild the village had started, it was almost impossible for the village to jump back to its old form in only 2 years. People had their fears of suffering from an earthquake lessened to an extent. Therefore, the peace of mind among trekkers and visitors also helped the locals, who had now decreased in number, to get their source of livelihood back.
Foreign researchers marked the Langtang area safe only after 3 years, in 2018. Though teahouses and other minor hotels in the area had been destroyed, the hopeful locals had reestablished their teahouses and hotels again. The trails that were once destroyed were rebuilt and made stronger than ever. For a while, there were no locals who had hopes in their hearts for a better life in Langtang. But, in no less than a year, they started building their houses in the village with the hope of continuing their life in the village itself. Though not populated as densely as before, the Langtang region recovered quite sooner than was thought.
There is almost no evidence of the village that lay in Langtang before the earthquake. More than half the population of the locals lost their families during the earthquake. The only hint of a life or a village before the earthquake is the houses that were built from the cliffs connected to them. That, too, people stopped living there as they did before.
As of the present time, Langtang village has finally completely recovered from the loss they faced almost nine years ago. As of now, you can also find good infrastructure in the village, like a solid internet connection at hotels like Lama Hotel. In Kyanjin, phone connectivity is just as good. Supplies are delivered on a timely basis every now and then here. Resilience can be the synonym of the village as they have gotten only better with time. Today, numerous visitors go to the village for trekking, biking, and exploration just like they did before. Further, many facilities and teahouses or hotels have gotten even more facilitating and better than before. As for the guides and porters who had been working before 2015 in Langtang, they might feel things changed from before and after, given that the village has changed completely from how it used to be before, but the locals who have survived and are doing sufficiently than ever, the change has been both a lesson and a way to do better.
Which organizations helped rebuild Langtang Village?
There were several organizations that lent their hands in rebuilding Langtang village. Some of these organizations include:
- The Langtang Relief Fund
- Himalayan Climate Initiative
- Sunaulo Sansar
Frequently Asked Questions
Did anyone in Langtang village survive?
The main part of Langtang that had fallen victim to the earthquake of 2015 stood no chance of survival. Not everyone in the Langtang region, the part where avalanches and landslides struck the most, even after the most disastrous earthquake, killed most of everyone who was there, including locals and tourists.
Did they ever rebuild Langtang village?
Yes, the locals and other support systems for the locals survived and rebuilt Langtang village. The facilities in the village have gotten better than ever.
How was Langtang village destroyed?
The massive earthquake of 2015 destroyed most parts of the Langtang village, leaving no trace of how the village looked before the disaster.
How did Langtang village get flattened?
After being hit by an avalanche that resembled a nuclear explosion during the earthquake of 2015, the Langtang village is said to have been flattened.
Was Langtang village destroyed?
Yes, it took no time for Langtang village to be destroyed after the 2015 earthquake.
What is the history of the Langtang Village?
Langtang village was the village that Tibetans shifted to during the 15th century. Ever since, the village has been occupied by Tibetans who are now known as Sherpas.
Is Langtang still there?
Though the earthquake of 2015 perished the entire village and left only bits and pieces, it took around 2 years to start rebuilding the village.
Can you visit Langtang village?
After 3 years of the earthquake that shook the village and left no remnants, Langtang village was marked a safe zone after 3 years of the incident. Hence, you can visit Langtang village.