Long gone are the days, when pirates voyaged the sea to track down a treasure. Now is the era where trekkers map the mountains and mine their mysteries. They find no jewels, neither mountain pearls, nor radiant ruby. Instead, they explore rustic rocky terrain, Himalayan massif, and mules and donkeys. Yet, the mountain virtue is more than a treasure hunt trinket.
Yes, you got it right! The phrase above comes from an avid mountain admirer.
If you love mountains too, the idea of trekking in the northern region of Himalayan country Nepal must fascinate you. You might as well find many trekking options with equally exceptional importance. But how about taking off-the-beaten trail and becoming the select Landers in the secluded hidden valleys shielded by the rugged sierra in the north.
One of such untouched valleys lies in the Manaslu region – the Tsum Valley. Trekking through this valley is like discovering gems of scenic beauty, uncanny history, amazing people and their culture, everything at once.
Derived from the Tibetan word “Tsombo”, Tsum literally means bright and vibrant. The meaning behind the valley’s name is rightfully justified by the beauty it beholds, the time-hallowed history it speaks, and the compassionate people that reside in the land. The vibrancy of life is at its full in the Tsum valley. Esteemed as one of the world’s remotest Himalayan Valleys, the remoteness of the Tsum valley challenges modern millennial. And the tranquil trails circuiting the valley calms even the extremely troubled soul.
Trekking in the Tsum valley was forbidden until recently. Thus the place has remained untouched. The natural aura and history are as authentic as they can get. The Buddhist settlement in the valley looks completely different than elsewhere. The people here are of Tibetan origin and they possess unique dialect, culture, and practices. The geographic location of this land in northern nook of Manaslu is a boon when it comes to witnessing Majestic Mountain. Decorated by Ganesh Himal, Shringi Himal, Buddha ranges and Himchuli, the backdrop of Tsum Valley trek is a trekker’s dream come true. Stand anywhere in the middle of your walk and the backdrop is a picture perfect frame!
Here are the best of Tsum Valley Trek for avid adventurers that make the trek a heck of an experience.
Given that Tsum valley is positioned in the Manaslu region – which itself is the best remote trekking region in Nepal- it stands out among its kind in the remote trekking checklist. Trekking in the hidden valley of Tsum was prohibited until 2008. Even to this day, Tsum valley trek is restricted and requires permits. Formalities for the sake of flabbergasting experience!
This daunting process is outright click bait, for the entirety of this valley has so much more and so much exotic to offer. And, the best part, all unadulterated!
Stretched and unbroken mountain ranges including Ganesh Himal (7,422m), Shringi Himal (elevation: 7,165m), Buddha ranges and Himchuli (elevation: 7,893m), build a series of Himalayan vista. You might not even realize the peak in the scrim could be listed in the world rank of tallest mountainsAdding to the existing riches, are varieties of flora and fauna that await your sluggish upright climb. Tsum Valley is one of the rare residencies of Himalayan Thar and Blue sheep. Who knows the stars come to you favor and you happen to encounter one! If you do, keep it safe and keep it running in your memory lane.
One of the grandeur that comes from remote setting of the Tsum Valley Trek and Entire Manaslu region is the serenity throughout the trail. The restrictions imposed on trekking the region gives the benefit of peaceful and less crowded journey to the select trekkers. Most trekkers generally love the idea of having the trail all to themselves. On the other hand, the tranquility fails to entertain the ones who prefer busy trails.
October being considered the busiest season sees, a lot less trekkers in the Manaslu region including Tsum valley, compared to its counterpart regions like Everest and Annapurna. In addition, among the trekkers in the Manaslu region, only few circuit the Tsum Valley even in this high season. So, you can expect toning peace that bestows you the best of self-reflection.
Situated at the edge of secluded Himalayan territory, Tsum valley is a museum that nurtures the ancients. Ancient practices, ancient gompas (Buddhist monasteries), and ancient way of life!
Buddhist mythology has its own history to tell of the Tsum valley. The myth says that Buddhist saint named Guru Milarepa had mediated in the Tsum valley while he was on mission to travel and preach Buddhism. Hence, Tsum valley is a pilgrimage to Buddhists; Kyimu Lung is a popular pilgrimage circuit in the Trans Himalayan region in the area.
Decorated with Mani walls (Buddhist scripture store walls), prayer flags and gompas the valley is a hidden Himalayan gem. Mu Gompa, Rachen Gompa, Dephyudonma Gompa are the long-standing sculptures that speak tones of the land’s history even to this day. Mu Gompa — the largest standing monastery in the Tsum valley — is one of the major attractions in the area. Located at an elevation of 3,361 meters (the highest point in Tsum Valley), it is the perfect viewpoint for an up-close 360 view of the snow capped peaks.
During the primitive time, Tsum valley was embedded in Tibet. This has given the residents of the Tsum valley – locally called Tsumbas – their Tibetan origin. Having influenced by Tibetan practices in depth, Tsumbas hold their own dialect, culture and customs. For instance, all the brothers in a Tsumbas family are married to a single woman. Sounds deviant to outlanders! Although Buddhism is widely followed religion (or the only religion followed in the valley), the culture surprisingly varies than rest of the northern region. Shout out to the Tibetan influence! Again!
To the ones’ with loaded spirit of exploration, Tsum valley is in your destiny! Not only will the natural majesties seize your memory, but also the people. You will not understand the strange language they speak. But you’ll understand their gesture that they are happy upon your visit, when they smile at you their biggest smile.