Ba-Yul, the hidden land of Dolpo, was first settled by Rokpa farmers and Drokpa nomads from Tibet in the 10th century. It is one of the highest inhabited places on earth, with scattered fortress-like villages and monasteries nestling amongst mountains of stark, ascetic beauty. Though part of Nepal today, Dolpo remains culturally and economically firmly tied to Tibet, the people of this desolate area are cut off from their southern neighbors by snow-covered passes for much of the year. This is fascinating and difficult country to travel in.
Most of Dolpo is protected by Shey Phoksundo National Park. It is bounded in the east and south by Dhaulagiri and Churen Himal ranges and in the west by the Jumla district. Dolpo has been bypassed by development and until recently by tourism. Although a few Anthropologists and geographers had explored the region, the entire district was closed on to foreigners until 1989, when southern parts of Dolpo was opened to organized trekking groups.