Dakpa Kelden

Dakpa Kelden, the founder of Arro Khampa Shangri-La; Arro Khampa Lijiang; and Arro Khampa Lhasa, is a legendary Tibetan Khampa. Born in India, he spent seven years in a monastery as a devoted Buddhist monk during his formative years. He learned about his hometown of Shangri-La from bedtime stories told by his father Ladho, a muleteer on the Tea Horse Road. His father instilled in him dreams of returning to his beloved home of Shangri-La in Tibet with “its grasslands, the untouched snow mountains, and the roaming wild yaks.” 

In 1987, aged just 16, Dakpa Kelden returned to Shangri-La with his father. As the only 17-year-old in a class of seven-year-old first graders, he put all his energy and much good humor into learning the Chinese language quickly, thus adding to his multilingual skills in English, Tibetan, Hindi and various regional dialects.  

In 1997, Dakpa quit a government post to start his own business, Khampa Caravan Travel Agency, the first eco-tourism company in Shangri-La. In 2007, Dakpa mounted his horse and set out on an adventure on the ancient Tea Horse Road of his father's memories and dreams. By the end of that lonely 40-day voyage his father’s passion had become his passion. It was at that moment, his dream of building an Arro Khampa boutique hotel was born.

The first realization of this dream was built in the ancient town of Shangri-La.  

Although the Tea Horse Road is no longer in service, guests can experience the social intimacy of a Netsang inn and receive the warmth of a genuine Arro Khampa welcome. 

Dakpa and his best friend from Nepal, Rahul Chaudhary, continued the vision, building two more Arro Khampa boutique luxury hotels along the Tea Horse Road, one in Lijiang and one in Lhasa, Tibet. All three are located in rustic old towns near stone castles.

In addition to tourism work, Dakpa has been a strong advocate for environmental protection of the Greater Tibetan regions. He spearheaded the Shangri-La Association for the Heritage and Protection of Local Cultural Diversity, an NGO founded to protect Tibetan indigenous arts. And near the original Arro Khampa Shangri-La hotel, he has opened the Thangka Culture Center, which provides tuition-free classes to local kids, as well as classes for interested hotel guests. 

He says: “It is my hope that our guests experience the indigenous Tibetan arts, culture, and people at Arro Khampa hotels.”


Mr. Rahul Chaudhary, the co-founder of Arro Khampa and from Nepal. He is the Managing Director of CG Corp | Global which is a multinational conglomerate with an exceptional legacy of 140 years and 4 generations. With 76 brands, 174 companies and over 10,000 employees, CG is Nepal’s first and only multi-billion-dollar corporation listed by Forbes since 2013. Some of its most notable areas are fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), banking, hospitality and education amongst others.

Rahul heads CG Hospitality, the hospitality wing of CG Corp | Global. His forte lies in forging strategic alliances in established as well as emerging markets, which assists in the growth and development of the company. CG Hospitality has a proud history of successful joint ventures in the hospitality sector with esteemed partners and owns some of the most iconic assets globally with some of the leading hospitality brands over two decades such as Taj, Taj Safari, Vivanta, Jetwing, Radisson, Ekho and its own brands The Zinc, The Fern, Summit and The Farm. CG Hospitality portfolio comprises of over 130 hotels & resorts in 11 countries and 87 destinations with over 6,507 keys. By 2020, the portfolio is expected to grow to over 200 hotels and 10,000 keys.

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