A complete guide on Tsum valley trek – Travel Blog
Kanchan Shrestha | March 8, 2020
A complete guide on Tsum valley trek – Travel Blog, Tsum valley is a remote and exotic Himalayan valley that lies well preserved in the lap of mighty Mt. Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain of the world. Hidden in the shadows of Ganesh Himal, Singri Himal and Boudha ranges, the valley is a natural wonder that has been able to maintain its natural and cultural beauty intact to date; untouched and well protected. The name – Tsum is a Tibetan word that translates as impressive. And like its physical outlook, it wouldn’t be unfair to call it impressive in terms of its wild Trans Himalayan landscapes in the backdrop of beautiful Himalayas.
Located in the northern territory of Gorkha, the valley is a famous pilgrimage site for Buddhist pilgrims. Extended over an area of 1663 meters, the valley has some old caves and gompas that dates back to the century. Culturally blessed, the valley is inhabited by the traditional Tibetan Buddhist people who have their own unique culture, custom, festivals, languages and way of living. The valley was once a part of Tibet, therefore, you can see the resemblance in people, their houses, religion, culture, and lifestyle. The people residing in Tsum are referred to as Tsumbas which belong to the people of Tibetan origin. The Tsumbas have their own unique religion, culture, art, and dialect.
Why Tsum valley Trek?
Tsum Valley Trek is an excellent opportunity to relish the majestic views of wild mountains like Mt. Singri Himal (7,817 m), Mt. Ganesh Himal (7,422 m), Mt. Hiunchuli (6,441 m), Buddha Himal (6,672 m) and many other mountains. Lying on the northern part of Manaslu, it used to be a restricted region till 2008. After 2008, it was allowed for the tourists but even after the restriction was called off, the region has been receiving very few numbers of travelers yearly. The place is wild and remote with no signs of infrastructural development. It is less exposed to the tourists and offers many unexplored virgin trails in the pursuance of any challenge loving travelers.
Tsum valley trek traverses through the Manaslu region full rock-strewn trails adorned by artistic chortens, mani walls and prayer flags. The mani walls carved with the paintings of deities and prayers makes the path even more mystic and enchanting. The valley is rich in terms of wildlife. Do not get surprised if you get a sight of Himalayan Thar or Blue sheep somewhere nearby.
Tsum valley trek traverses through some traditional villages. As you enter into the valley of Tsum, you can observe the mystic Tibetan Buddhist vibes. The mani walls, prayer flags, stupas, etc. are the factors that reflect the dominance of Buddhism religion in those areas. The trek is a chance to get some unique insights on Tsumbas and be a part of their unique culture, custom, and lifestyle.
Some legendary myths about the valley
Piren Phu is a sacred cave in the Tsum valley. It is believed that a legendary Buddhist sage meditated in this holy land. He was once a victim of misbehavior by one of the local women. While begging food, the women misbehaved with the sage due to which her land turned barren. The land still exists and nothing grows in that barren land.
There is a monastery in the valley that comprises of statues of Avalokiteshwara, Buddha, and Tara holding the footprint of Milarepa. There are many religious texts and scripts engraved on the stones and ceilings in the route.
Tsum valley trekking route
Tum valley trek starts with a drive to Arughat which is around seven hours’ drive from the capital city of Kahmandu. From Arughat, the trail climbs up the Budhi Gandaki valley along a well-paved path. An awesome mix of dense forests, terraced farmlands, and charming villages makes the trail jovial and worth it. On the halfway, we diverse from the main Manaslu trail and head towards the Tsum valley. As we traverse into the valley, we can notice the change in atmosphere and surroundings. The atmosphere gets more wild, dry and isolated. Tsum valley trek offers an opportunity to pass through alpine forests, glacial lakes, and traditional villages. We pass various villages like Liding, Machakhola, Jagat and Philim on the lower Buri Gandaki river and traverse into the secluded region of Tsum to explore ancient caves and gompas like Paren Phu cave, Rachen Gompa, Mu Gompa, Dephyudonma gompa and many more.
Some unique features of Tsum valley Trek
- The trail traverses through tough geographical conditions with barely any trace of infrastructural development.
- The natural and cultural richness of the valley is well preserved
- People residing in Tsum are known as Tsumbas and they are of Tibetan origin
- We can explore old caves and gompas that date back to centuries.
- An opportunity to witness the stunning beauty of Singri Himal, Ngadi Chuli, Buddha Himal, Himal Chuli, Annapurna range, Ganesh Himal and many more
- Some ancient sites like Mu Gompa, Gumba Lungdang, Piren Phu cave, and many other monasteries.
- A sacred site where Guru Rinpoche and Milarepa meditated for several years
Is Tsum valley difficult?
Tsum valley is neither too tough nor too easy. It is a moderate trek that requires certain level of stamina and will power. You should be mentally prepared for a very basic life with no signs of infrastructures in the surrounding. The trek requires 6 to 7 hours of walking along an off beaten trail for more than two weeks. The trek is not for a beginner but for a fit person who has been engaged in trekking activities few times earlier. Nevertheless, if you can walk, have good stamina and will power, Tsum valley Trek is an absolute boon for you.
What is the best time for Tsum Valley Trek?
Monsoon and Winter i.e. June to August and December to February respectively might not be the right time trekking. In monsoon, heavy rain may block the path or make the path wet and slipper. Likewise, winter is too cold. Remaining, spring and summer i.e. March to May and September to November are the right time for trekking to Tsum valley. The weather is dry and clear with perfect visibility.
Options of Tsum Valley Trek
Generally, you can only opt for Tsum valley Trek which is an 18-days standard package. But if you are looking for a more challenging trip, you can combine Manaslu Circuit Trek with Tsum Valley Trek. It would really combine to bring out a journey for lifetime.
Trekking with Himal Eco Treks
Himal Eco Treks is one of the most promising tour operators in Nepal who masters in trekking and tour related activities. We are a group of professionals who assure you a safe, secure, comfortable and fruitful journey. With us, you are traveling with quality. When it comes to quality and security, there is no any place for compromise. We have many trekking options and we can modify any of our pre-designed itineraries to make it your perfect choice!
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