Tsum Valley Trek

Arrival City

Kathmandu

Departure City

Kathmandu

Lodging level

Accommodation: Hotel, Lodge (Tea House)

Meals

3 Course Meals

Trip Grade

Moderate to Challenging

Maximun Altitude

4060m

Attractions

The longest mani walls (over 250m) are at Dzong and Phurpe.

Mu Gompa, Rachen Gompa and Gonhgye Gompa

Activity

Trekking & Cultural Tour

Overview

An off beat trekking in the foothill of Manaslu & Ganesh that caters the unexplored landscapes and authentic Buddhist culture in the monasteries dotted in remote highland villages!

 

The Tsum Valley is a sacred Himalayan pilgrimage valley situated in northern Gorkha district of Nepal. Tsum comes from the Tibetan word “Tsombo” which means vivid. The trail heads up the valley of the Budi Gandaki River through wild and unexplored country inhabited mainly by members of the Gurung ethnic groups. Good cup of the local cultivated natural coffee and Tatopani hot springs will help you to relax on this intensive trial.

Upper Tsum valley (part of the Inner Himalaya) open from Chhokangparo, where hospitable local people (Tibetan group “Tsombo”) welcome you with traditional Tibetan Chiya (butter tea) and local meal. The Tsum Valley is extremely rich in cultural assets. The valley is dotted with gompas (Buddhist monasteries), chortens and mani walls. The longest mani walls (over 250m) are at Dzong and Phurpe. The valley preserves steps of the great Buddhist Yogi Chyuchin Milarepa and story about Guru Padmasambhava circumbulation. The people here never slaughter animals, even as sacrifice to the gods. The Tsum Valley is surrounded by the Buddha Himal and Himal Chuli to the west, Ganesh Himal to the south, and Sringi Himal to the North.

Itinerary

You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your trip activities.

Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Boudhanath- the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath- the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. At Patan Durbar Square, you will delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square.

After breakfast you start your journey to Arughat Bazaar. Leaving Kathmandu city behind, you drive along Prithivi Highway passing through the beautiful river view and small clusters of highway settlements. After about 7/8hours of drive, you will reach Arughat Bazaar, from where you continue to SotiKhola in a jeep. After another 1:30 -2 hours’ drive through terraces and picturesque hamlets along Budhi Gandaki, you reach SotiKhola, where you accommodate for the night.

Today is the first day of your Tsum Valley trek. You walk by the dense forest passing through a number of small villages tucked into the hillside, till you reach a widening of the valley, opposite the point where a large tributary stream enters the Budhi Gandaki River. The terraced cultivated fields belong to the upper village of Lapubesi (880m). Descending down through the wide, sandy riverbed which follows a trail meandering below the steep, craggy valley side, you then climb again to a ridge to Almara. Further a few walk will lead us to MachhaKhola, which literally means “Fish River”.

The trail from MachhaKhola to Doban involves some steep ascents and descents. You climb a well – crafted staircase over a ridge to Doban. Doban lies at the confluence of the Shiar Khola, which flows from the east, and the Sarpu Khola, which flows from the west.

The route climbs on a rugged rocky trail. You climb up and down ravines and notched trees. You get good views of Shringri Himal as you continue up to the village of Philim at 1550m.This is a large Gurung village with fields of corn and millet, and trees of alder, blue pine and poplar.

You take the trail up through Philim and head up over a ridge that leads to Ganesh Himal Base Camp and Chumling (Lower Tsum). Moving towards Chumling, you come to a point where the route divides, one leading to Manaslu Base Camp and the other towards lower Tsum. You take the way to lower Tsum to reach Chumling.

From Chumlingyou trek to Chhokangparo. Upper Tsum valley (part of the Inner Himalaya) open from Chhokangparo. Chhokamparo is a village situated on flat land and made up of two settlements Chhokang and Paro. From the valley, the Ganesh Himal range can be seen directly to the south. It also provides spectacular views of the Buddha and Himal Chuli peaks to the south-west. Some households in this village practice polyandry.

From Chhokangparo you trek to Nile/ Chule. This is the last village heading north in the upper Tsum Valley. Nile is on the western, sun-side of the ShiarKhola, about 20 minutes’ walk across from Chule. On the way you pass the PirenPhu cave. PirenPhu (pigeon cave) is one of the most sacred caves in the Tsum Valley. It is located at the foot of a rugged cliff near the village of Burji. Milarepa, a famous Tibetan saint, was believed to have meditated here. There are two separate monasteries attached to the rocky cave. Richly painted Buddhist murals, excellent artistic scripts carved on stones, long prayer flags and significant Buddhist’s paper scripts make this cave one of the most important cultural assets of the Valley. Beautiful views of the Shiar Khola, Rachen Gomba, the mountains and settlements amidst vast agricultural land can be seen.

From Nile the trail gradually ascends to Mu Gomba, the largest monastery in the region. Mu Gompa is located at the highest and farthest point in the Tsum Valley. Mu Gompa was established in 1895 AD and is situated at an altitude of 3510m.The monastery houses religious books, including Kangyur, a life-sized statue of Avalokiteshwara, and images of Guru Padmasambhava and Tara.

You take a hike up Mu Gompa and reach the base of Pika Himal (4865m). You are quite close to Tibet and get a good view of the Tibetan peaks as well as the Ganesh Himal range. After the day's excursion you return to Mu Gompa.

From Mu Gompa you take the trail to Rachen Gompa, a nunnery. The nunnery is situated in the Shiar Khola Valley in the foothills of the mountains bordering Nepal and Tibet. Rachen Gompa was established in the year 1905 AD and is one of the largest nunneries in the Tsum Valley. It houses nuns belonging to the Ngak-pa sect, which does not allow animal slaughter. The nunnery houses one thousand clay, molded statues of Avalokiteshwara, a brightly colored, carved throne and pillar, and a large prayer wheel. The interior is richly painted with murals about Buddhism and its history.

Now onwards, you slowly retrace our journey. From Rachen Gompa you proceed towards Dumje, a small village with about eight houses and adjoining cattle sheds.

From Dumje you trek to Philim and cross Ripchet. On the way you pass one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Lower Tsum Valley, Samba Tingding Chhupyang.

From Philim you trek to Tatopani which literally means “hot spring”. There is a hot spring at Tatopani. You can relieve your tired muscles by soaking yourself in the hot spring.

From Tatopani you trek to Soti Khola. You pass through terraced fields and tropical waterfalls and finally reach your Manaslu Tsum Valley trek end point.

As you make your way from Soti Khola to Arughat Bazaar, you come to the last leg of our journey and continue to Kathmandu.

Our Nepali support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. (Or stay longer for short tours such as game drive at National parks, do some wild-water rafting, a Tibet tour or even mountain biking).

General Information

TRIP GRADE: Moderate to challenging

Tsum Valley trek is a longer treks going right into high mountain country, over high passes. Physically quite tiring, involves approx 6-8 (in average) hours trekking along rocky ridges of high Himalayan peaks. No previous experience is required, you should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercises and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.

 

TREKKING TYPES

Trekkingin Nepalis categorized in three different types based on their way of organization (Camping Trek, Tea House Trek and GAP Trek). Tsum Valley Trekis organized in two ways (Tea House Trek and GAP Trek) due to the availability of accommodation facilities in the region.

  1. Tea House Trek: This trek includes services like guide, food, accommodation in local Tea Houses and porters.
  2. GAP Trek: This trek includes services like Guide (G), Accommodation (A) in the Tea Houses, and Porters (P). Food bills are to be paid directly by the client.

 

ACCOMMODATION

You will find clean and friendly lodges along the trail in Tsum valley Manaslu Trekking. You often have to share rooms but you can also stay in single rooms where possible. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric blanket, hot bags (luxury lodges) and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in a comfortable local lodge each day. The Guide coordinates with the local lodge owners to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot always be booked in advance).

Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary.

In Kathmandu, we have a pool of hotels under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection to this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice.

 

FOOD

LODGE TREK: Meals are included in our price and are taken in lodges available along the trail. You can find a considerable variety of Nepali (rice, curry & lentil, momo, noodles, chapatis etc.) and Western food (pizza, pasta, sandwich, chips, porridge, toast, pancake, soup etc) as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer). The Guide suggests you the best option as per the availability.

GAP Trek: You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around $25-$30 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.

 

WATER

On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be provided filtered water about 3-4 liters per person per day. The good thing about such water is it doesn’t smell chlorine. We normally use Sawyer Filters. However, you can also buy bottled water in tea houses. You can also bring water purification pills in case you want to drink water from local taps.

 

PERSONAL EXPENSES– MONEY TO TAKE ON TREK

Money requirement depends largely on type of trek style, duration and trekking region.
For a two-week Tsum Valley trek, you can take about $200-$300, more if you intend to get more table drinks (alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas), souvenirs, battery charge, internet, hot shower (available in some places) etc. If you are on ‘GAP’ trek style you need to pay for all your meals. Approximately $25-$30 a day should be enough to cover your meals. We pay for your accommodation at mountain hut (tea house) along the trail and bear all the expenses of staffs assigned by us, plus extra bar bills, snacks, hot shower, battery charge, internet etc.

 

CHANGING MONEY

You can change money at a bank or the money exchange counter in city like Kathmandu. Many Tourist class Hotels have money exchange facilities. These days, there is availability of ATMs in Kathmandu.

 

TIPS

Tips are appreciated by your support team after the completion of your Tsum Valley trek. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips. It is recommended that you talk to the members and hand it over individually as per the hierarchy on the last day of the trek.

 

GROUP SIZE ON FIXED DEPARTURE

If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 2 people and the maximum is 15 people.

For a Private Booking, any number size from 1 pax to 20 pax is acceptable and can be comfortably organized. We go for special planning for handling group size bigger than 20 pax.

 

GROUP LEADER AND CREW

We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:

1) Western leader

2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)

3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)

The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. We provide 1 porter for 2 members.

 

COMMUNICATION

For using internet during the Manaslu Tsum Valley trek, Wifi service is available in lower altitudes. You can also use Ncell and NTC network (both for internet and mobile network) but they don’t work properly in some places as you go higher. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request).

 

FLIGHT / LAND TRANSFERS

The starting point of the Tsum Valley trekking is Soti Khola, which is connected by an 8/9 hours’ drive from Kathmandu. On your return, you will drive back from Soti to Kathmandu via Arughat. We will arrange airport pick up and drop transfers as per the itinerary.

 

LUGGAGE WHILE TREKKING

During the Makalu trekking, your main luggage will be carried by porter. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 to 15 kgs for flight safety and porter welfare as per IPPG standard. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel in Kathmandu while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel’s safekeeping.

 

TYPICAL DAY ON TREK

Lodge/ Tea House Trek, GAP Trek

A typical day while trekking in Nepal consists of about 7-8 hours of activity. Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day’s walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.

 

TREKKING GEARS & EQUIPMENT

You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack. Comprehensive list of equipment will be provided once you book your Tsum Valley trekking. It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.

 

GEARS AVAILABLE IN KATHMANDU

There are numerous suppliers of trekking gears in Kathmandu supplying genuine branded items or imitations depending on your choice and price. You can get anything from down jackets and sleeping bags to socks or thermal wears that you need for your trek. They might not be the best but good enough for the trek considering the price.

 

TREK SECURITY

Security of our clients is our foremost priority. All our guides are licensed by Nepal Government. Our guides and support crew are carefully chosen for your trips. They will ensure your safety and security throughout your trip.

During your trek, you will be sleeping in local teahouses. You have to take precautions yourself at all times. Never leave your baggage unattended and keep your lodge room locked when you go out.

 

MEETING AND GREETING AT AIRPORT

You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass the customs desk and come out of the terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.

 

TREK DURATION

We ensure liability as indicated in itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay for hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.

 

CLIMATE AND BEST TIME TO GO

The best seasons fortrekking in NepalareAutumn (from mid-September till November end), and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. The nights are cold (between -10 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 20C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon and winter is not recommended, as the visibility during monsoon is limited, upper parts and high passes could be covered with snow in winter.

March, April, October and November are the most favored months. Please choose the date that is convenient for you.

 

ITINERARY CHANGES

The itinerary for this Makalu trek is a standard itinerary. Depending on the prevailing situation while on trek, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into the remotest region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original.

 

HEALTH ISSUES AND VACCINATIONS

As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.

The main health consideration in this Tsum Valley trek is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and handle the low oxygen rate.

If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you to consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude areas before booking. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions.

 

FIRST AID KIT

We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors and a user’s manual. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have.

 

VISA

All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. You can also get “On Arrival Visa” at entry points. For doing Makalu Trekking, you can come with a 30 day visa which costs US $ 50. You should have a passport size photo to get it at airport upon arrival. Some countries’ nationals need to get visa prior their arrival. Please check http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa for detailed information.

 

JOIN A GROUP OR PRIVATE TRIP

Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this Tsum valley trek, please check our ‘Fixed Departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues, you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 20 at a time).

If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list, we are ready to tailor your trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to meet your needs.

 

RESCUE / EVACUATIONS

We take your safety and security very seriously, and make sure that nothing untoward happen to you. However, if anything serious like sickness or a casualty occurs, we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. As you are responsible for all the expenses incurred in evacuation, please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it.

 

INSURANCE

Before joining this Makalu trek, we recommend you take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. Our staff will collect your insurance details before you leave for the trek.

 

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

We are among the few companies in Nepal to receive Travelife Certificate Award https://www.travelife.info for our long-term efforts in sustainable practices.

 

1.Care for porters and staffs

We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions during the Tsum valley trek are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. All our porters carry less than 30 kg and underage porters are strictly prohibited in our operations. We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG – www.ippg.net).

 

2.Environmental Responsibility

Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible. As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use LPG gas or kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We don’t use plastic bottles. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.

Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strewn with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. Our staff carry garbage bag with them all the time and collect our garbage and other litters they find on trail, and dispose them on the designated area. We also volunteer to bring garbage down to Lukla while returning back. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.

 

3.Social Responsibility

Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) has been conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.

Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agro practices and culture preservation. A certain amount of your trip money goes to these projects. For more details on our CSR initiatives, please visit https://www.explorehimalaya.com/csr/

    The Trip Cost Includes
    • Lodge trek with guide, accommodation & porters only (Standard rooms on sharing)
    • All meals during Teahouse trek only.
    • Tsum Valley Restricted Area permit fees
    • Transfer from Kathmandu –Arughat- Kathmanduin private vehicle
    • Local Jeep from Arughat-Sotikhola- Arughat
    • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Kathmandu (3*) on twin sharing with breakfast
    • Sightseeing tour with English Speaking local guide
    • Entrance fees to sightseeing monuments
    • Airport transfers and tour transfers in private vehicle.
    • Insurance for all staff & porters
    • Equipment & clothing for all staff & porters
    • First aid kit bag (carried by guide)

    The Trip Cost Excludes
    • Nepal visa fees
    • International flight and airport taxes
    • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
    • Personal expenses (like, communication, laundry, bar bills, internet, camera/mobile battery recharge, hot water/shower on trek, extra meals, snacks while walking etc.)
    • Personal gears & clothing
    • Tips for guide, porters, drivers, local staff etc.
    • Personal insurance and medical expenses
    • Any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/rescue due to any unforeseen reasons
    • Any other services other than mentioned under “Price Includes”

     

    For more information, please contact us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com

     

Pay Now

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

BOOKING PROCEDURE

Your Booking Of This Trek Will Be Confirmed By Email Once We Receive Your Deposit Of $500 And The Signed Copy Of Booking Form And Contract. The Balance Is Due No Later Than Two Months Prior To Departure. If You Book A Tour Less Than 2 Months Prior To Departure, You Must Send The Full Payment Within 7 Days Of Confirmation By Us.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you cancel your booking, the following scale of charges will apply: • 2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 500) • 29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost • 10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost • Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost.

TRIP EXTENSIONS

In addition to yourTsum Valley trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan etc. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet or Bhutan, whichever seems more appealing to you.

DISCLAIMER

It is fundamental to acknowledge that Tsum valley trekking is an adventure tour. This requires some flexibility. The day to day itinerary is taken only as a guideline. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives which will be decided upon mutual agreement. If you have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com or directly by phone: +977-1-4518100. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours.

TRAVEL GUIDE

TSUM VALLEY

Tsum means “The Valley of Vivid”. The Valley occupies an area of about 1662 square km. Tsum Valley, situated in the Manaslu region, high up near the Tibetan border, is one of the most secluded valleys in Nepal. Buddhist Saint Milarepa is believed to have meditated in this sacred Valley surrounded by giant rocks and mountains. It is believed the Milarepa went to a woman’s house as a beggar but the old woman from Burji Village did not know that he was a great saint and she treated him badly by giving him a spoilt piece of buck wheat bread. Later half of her field became barren. Even today, amidst the fertile land of Burji, there is a small plot that remains barren. This beautiful Valley has pine forests, raging rivers with cascading waterfalls, incredible suspension bridges, several monasteries, mani walls, stupas and Milarepa’s Cave.

CLIMATE, FLORA AND FAUNA

The altitude of Tsum Valley varies from 1905m to 5093m. Therefore, you can see varieties of forest on the way. Lowland has coniferous forests whereas highlands have sub-alpine or alpine vegetation. These different forests provide shelter to different species of flora and fauna. Likewise, you can find different animals such as elusive snow leopard, musk deer, Ghoral, Himalayan Thar, and blue sheep. Besides, oaks and rhododendrons are common trees in the forest. Colorful birds like Danphe and Munal add extra shine to the beauty of Tsum Valley.

PEAKS

Manaslu Peak
Manaslu is the eighth-highest mountain in the world at 8,163m above sea level. It is in the Mansiri Himal range, part of the Nepali Himalayas, in the west-central part of Nepal. The name Manaslu means “mountain of the spirit” and is derived from the Sanskrit word manasa, meaning “intellect” or “soul”. Manaslu was first climbed on May 9, 1956, by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of a Japanese expedition.

Himal Chuli
Himal Chuli has three main peaks: East (7893m), west (7540m) and North (7371m) and it is the 18th highest mountain in the world. The West Peak was first climbed in 1978 by two members of a Japanese expedition to the main peak of Himal Chuli. They climbed from the south (the Dordi Khola) and approached the summit of the West Peak from the east. The North Peak was first climbed in 1985 by a Korean expedition via the North Face.

Ganesh Himal
Ganesh Himal is a sub-range of the Himalayas located mostly in north-central Nepal, but some peaks lie on the border with Tibet. The Trishuli Gandaki Valley on the east separates it from the Langtang Himal and the Budhi Gandaki Valley and the Shiar Khola Valley on the west separate it from Shringi Himal and Manaslu. The range lies about 70 km north-northwest of Kathmandu.

 

 

PLACES

Manaslu Conservation Area (MCA)
Manaslu Conservation Area is a protected area in Nepal. Established in 1998, it covers 1663 km² in the Manaslu region. There are about 9,000 inhabitants living in MCA and over 2,000 species of plants, 39 mammals, 201 birds, 3 reptiles and 11 butterflies in its 11 types of forests.

Larkya La
Larkya La is one of the longest passes in the Himalaya of Nepal, situated at 5,106m (16,752 ft) above the sea level. It is located in between Dharmashala and Bimthang, and is the highest point in the Manaslu Circuit Trek.

Birendra Lake
Birendra Lake is a freshwater lake located in Manaslu Glacier in Gorkha District in northern-central Nepal. Birendra Lake is nearby Punhyen Glacier and Gompa in Samagaun.

Piren Phu (Pigeon Cave)
Piren Phu, a sacred cave in the Tsum Valley, is also called Milarepa cave as Milarepa, a famous Tibetan saint was believed to have meditated here.

PEOPLE

Gurung People
The Gurung people are also called Tamu. They are an ethnic group in the hills and mountains of central Nepal. Priestly practitioners of the Gurung Dharma include Bon Lama (Lama), Ghyabri (Ghyabring) and Pachyu (Paju). Shamanistic elements among the Gurungs remain strong and most Gurungs often embrace Buddhist and Bon rituals in communal activities.

Nubri people
Nubri people live in mountain region which is very remote and difficult to access. Their lives have not changed for centuries. They are Buddhist and animistic in their beliefs. They are shepherds and keep yaks, goats and sheep. They grow their food in high altitude. Despite their hardship, they are warm and friendly people. There are only about 1500 Nubri people in Nepal.

Tsum people
Tsum people live in the upper highland of Tsum valley. They speak Tsum language. They are Buddhist in their beliefs. There is only 7300 population of Tsum people. They involve in farming for living.

Tsumba People
Tsumba are the indigenous people of the Valley and they practice Bon Shamanism and Buddhism. They speak a unique language called Tsumke or Tsumba, a dialect influenced by Tibetan language.

 

FESTIVALS

Lhosar
Lhosar means New Year. Known as the festival of mountain people or highlanders, it is celebrated by various ethnic groups following Buddhism like Sherpa, Hyolmo, Tamang and Gurung. Interestingly, these groups don’t celebrate the festival on the same day. There are three types of Lhosars namely Tamu Lhosar (Gurungs), Sonam Lhosar (Tamangs) and Gyalbu Lhosar (Sherpas and Hyolmos) celebrated on different dates based on lunar calendar starting from January to February. During the festival people offer prayers for good health and prosperity at homes and monasteries. They exchange various goods and gifts, organize feasts and perform dances.

Nara Festival
Nara is celebrated in two different dates, Thosing Labrang Nara in January and Khansar is June. It is celebrated in the main Gompas by performing masked dances and poojas with the beliefs to free people from evil spirits and bring salvation to deceased people.

Dhanchyang
Dhanchyang is the horse festival celebrated in December/ January. It is primarily a horse race and dedicated to the welfare of people. The Valley celebrates Dhanchyang on different dates. Horses are richly decorated, and the riders clad themselves in traditional attire and wear elaborate jewelry for festivals.

Saka Dawa
Saka Dawa is another vital festival marking the auspicious occasion of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. Saka means star and Dawa is translated as month. It occurs on the full moon day of the fourth Tibetan month. In Saka Dawa, activities like chanting, dancing and playing religious instruments and worshipping are observed.

 

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