The Tsum Valley Trek

Everything you need to know about “The Tsum Valley Trek”

Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. ― David McCullough Jr.

The above-mentioned quote might have given you some insight into what a traveler and a mountain lover would advise you before you get on a flight for your adventurous holiday into the lap of the Himalayas. Long gone are the days when people visited places to encrypt their names and plant the flags. Now traveling means knowing the new place, embracing different cultures, challenging yourselves to tackle difficulties along the way, and beholding the most amazing views not for the world but for your inner satisfaction. And at the end of the day, nothing in the world will match the happiness of witnessing something incredible with your eyes as you travel for days to reach your final destination of the trip.

Context of this Blog:

 

Dedicating the blog to the mountain lover and nature admirer, we have listed the most exotic trekking destination of Nepal Tsum valley. The Tsum Valley is located to the east of Manaslu on the Tibetan border and homes the descendant of the Tibetan community, Tsumbas. Opened to the trekkers in 2008, the ancient Tibetan village and unique monasteries of the valley is untouched by modernization and are yet to be explored and admired by its visitors. The sacred Himalayan pilgrimage Tsum valley is also famous for its ancient art, culture, tradition, lifestyle, and locals speaking their unique language. Holding a long and brief history of Buddhism, the valley is adorned by Mani walls, prayers flags, and popular gompas like Mu Gompa, Rachen Gompa, and Dephyudonma Gompa all along the trail.

The trek to the isolated region of Tsum valley winds off with a scenic ride to Arughat, where the first half of the trek covers the trail of another popular classic trekking route in Nepal, Manaslu. As you trek through the region, you will pass through the blossoming rhododendron and lush woodlands of pine. The trail to Manaslu and Tsum valley splits as soon as you reach Ekle Bhatti, from where the journey continues to Lokpa. The village of Lokpa is popular among the locals as “The Valley of Happiness blessed by Padmashamva” and offers magnificent sights of the Manaslu range. The journey ahead from Lokpa will leave you awestruck by the pleasant views of Boudha Himal (6672m) and Ganesh Himal (7422m). Apart from the natural scenery and beautiful sights, you will also visit some of the sacred of the region, Milarepa cave.

Let’s get deep into the hidden valley dominated by the magnificent Boudha Himal and Ganesh Himal.

The outline itinerary of Tsum valley trek is mentioned below:

Find the detail itinerary for 21 Days Tsum Valley Trek

Days Itinerary Altitude Time
Day 1 Kathmandu to Soti Khola 700m 10 hrs drive
Day 2 Soti Khola to Maccha Khola 930m 6 hrs trek
Day 3 Maccha Khola to Jagat 1340m 7 hrs trek
Day 4 Jagat to Lokpa 2040m 5-6 hrs trek
Day 5 Lokpa to Chumling 2386m 6 hrs trek
Day 6 Chumling to Chokhangparo 3010m 5 hrs trek
Day 7 Chokhangparo to Nile 3361m 6 hrs trek
Day 8 Nile to Mu Gompa 3700m 4 hrs trek
Day 9 Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa 3240m 5 hrs trek
Day 10 Rachen Gompa to Dumje 2440m 6 hrs trek
Day 11 Dumje to Gumba Lungdang 3200m 5 hrs trek
Day 12 Lungdang to Ripchet 2468m 6 hours trek
Day 13 Ripchet to Dovan 1070m 5 hrs trek
Day 14 Dovan to Soti Khola 720m 6 hrs trek
Day 15 Soti Khola to Arughat 600m 6 hrs trek
Day 16 Arughat to Kathmandu 1400m 6 hrs trek

Highlights of the Tsum Valley Trek:

  • Pleasant off-beaten trails
  • Sacred caves, Monasteries, Mani walls and Chortens
  • Exploration of Tibetan lifestyle, culture and tradition
  • Best opportunity to witness wildlife including blue sheep and Himalayan Thar
  • Trekking through the blooming rhododendron forests at lower elevation to summiting the view point for marvelous views of Himalayas
  • Unobstructed view of Manaslu (8163m), Himchuli (7893), Shringi (7187m), Boudha (6672m), and Ganesh Himal (7422m)
  • Unadulterated natural scenery
Yak on the Way toTsum Valley Trekking
Yak on the Way toTsum Valley Trekking | Source: manasluroundtreks

Reasons to Visit the Tsum Valley:

1) A trek in the off-beaten trail

Located at the Manaslu region, Tsum valley is expanded from 1905m to 5093m and covers half of the remote trekking trail of the Manaslu trek. Settled far from modernization, the valley has the best views and undestroyed natural trekking trails for the trekkers who challenge themselves for a better trekking experience into the lap of the Himalayas. Apart from the natural trekking trails, the valley also offers a majestic panorama of Ganesh Himal and Boudha Himal.

2) Unique culture

Being close to the Tibetan border, the Tsum valley is enriched by Tibetan culture and tradition. The Tsumbas have unique values, culture, and dialect that comes out as a surprise for many outlanders. One of the most surprising facts of the valley is that they still follow the polyandry system where all brothers of a family get married to a single girl.

3) Sacred Caves and Monasteries

The Tsum valley is a living museum of Buddhism where people still follow the ancient values and practices in their day-to-day life. According to Buddhist mythology, the Buddhist saint Guru Milarepa meditated in the valley as he was in his mission to travel, understand, and teach Buddhism to the locals. The cave where the saint meditated is now a sacred cave that still has his footprints preserved and noticeable in the rocks. The cave where the saint meditated has made the valley a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site. Apart from the cave, the valley is decorated with Prayer flags, Monasteries, and Mani walls. The Mu-Gompa of the region is the largest standing monastery of the region. Located at an altitude of 3361m, the Gompa is the perfect vantage point to witness a 360-degree panorama of the pleasing Himalayas. Other attraction of the region includes Rachen Gompa and Dephyudonma Gompa.

Some of the Relatable Trek: Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley Trek  | Manaslu Trek Without Guide

Festival in Tsum Valley:

The Buddhist land, Tsum valley observes different unique festivals throughout the year to cherish the joy of being together and alive. The festival celebrated in the valley does not fall on the exact date every year but the month is usually the same. The date for the celebration is however decided by the Lamas a month prior to the festivals.

Lhosar

Lhosar is the new year of Tibetan Buddhism celebrated on the first day of the Lunisolar Tibetan calendar. The festival falls in the month of January/February and the celebration lasts for 15 days with the main celebration happening for the first three days. Families prepare for the festival by cleaning their houses, painting the walls with the signs of sun, moon and reversed Swastik. Wearing new clothes, people drink Chang (barley beer) and gather forgetting any disputes and quarrels.

Saka Dawa

Saka Dawa is one of the holiest and most sacred festivals of Tibetan Buddhism. Falling on the 15th lunar day of the full moon in the month of May, the day is associated with three major events in the life of the Shakyamuni Buddha. The day marks the birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha. On this day, a special ritual is carried out in monasteries by monks reciting different Buddhist mantras.

Dhachyang

Falling in the month of November and December, Dhachyang is another important festival in the valley. During this festival, you will be able to witness beautifully decorated horses participating in the race. Hence, the locals also call this festival “The festival of horses”. Men take part in the festival and women enjoy the festival by watching the game.

Faning

Celebrated during the month of August, the festival marks the attainment of internal energy. Since the energy we attain is produced from the nutritious foods that we eat, the festival is rejoiced my savoring delectable healthy meals.

Chortenon the Way to Tsum Valley with Manaslu at the back
Chortenon the Way to Tsum Valley with Manaslu at the back | Source: hsj.com.np

Permit for Tsum Valley Trek:

Since the Tsum valley trek was opened to the trekkers only in 2008, you need to get different permits to enter the area. Before starting your trip make sure to have these permits with you.

Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek Special Permit

Season Price per Individual
September to November USD 70 per week and after 1 week USD 10 per day
December to August USD 5O per week and after 1 week USD 7 per day

Manaslu Conservation Area Permit for

Manaslu Conservation Area Permit for foreigner NRS 3,000 per individual
Manaslu Conservation Area Permit for SAARC NRS 3,000 per individual

Essential Things for Tsum Valley Trek Permit

The trekking permit of the Tsum valley trek can be collected at the Nepal Immigration Department where you will be asked for your original passport and two copies of passport size photo. Solo trek to Tsum valley is not allowed hence a legal authorized guide must accompany you and have at least two members in a group.

What to Pack for the trip?

Since the hidden valley is untouched with modernization, Tsum valley trek is the ultimate teahouse trek where you will be spending your nights in teahouse or in the camp as well. So pack things that are more important other than some useless stuffs for the trek.

Bags

  • Duffle bags
  • Trekking bags

Clothing

  • Trekking shirts and trousers
  • Base layer
  • Insulation layer
  • Outer layer
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket
  • Raincoat
  • Breathable underwear

Foot wears and Hand wears

  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Hiking and Thermal socks
  • Outer and inner gloves

Head wears

  • Cap/ Hats
  • Scarfs
  • Beanie

 

Other important accessories

  • Map and compass
  • Passport
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen with UV protection
  • Sleeping bag
  • First aid kit
  • Water bottle
  • Water purification tablet
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toiletries
  • Small locks
  • Some books if you are a reader
  • Portable charger
  • Protein bars/ Granolas
  • Tea bags/ Coffee

 

Tips to Pack for your Tsum Valley Trek:

The excitement of the trek is one thing and over doing your packing is a whole another level mess when you don’t have any idea how much you can carry during your trek. Keeping every small things, you need to know during your packing, we have made some important tips for your Tsum valley trek

  • Rent your trekking gears instead of buying them.
  • Get your travel insurance to cover any medical costs during the trek.
  • Pack few Protein bars and snacks according to your preferences
  • Get comfortable and waterproof trekking boots.
  • Keep enough Nepali rupees on your pocket safely; ATMs are not available on the trail
  • Don’t pack your bag more than 15 kg
  • Use water purification tablet and avoid buying mineral water bottles
View of Manaslu during Tsum Valley Trek
View of Manaslu during Tsum Valley Trek | Photo Credit: Shyam Sitaula

Best Season for the Trek:

Late December to Early March: During this time, you can enjoy pleasant sights of frozen waterfalls and rivers. Since the trail is slippery, the trek is very risky.

March to late May

As the spring season starts, the trail is filled with blooming rhododendron flowers and the snow melts, hence any novice trekker with no technical experience can join the trek.

June to Mid-September

With the rainfall in the month of August, the trail becomes clear and offers wonderful sights of the lush woods. The trail might be slippery with the rain and is prone to landslide.

Late September to Mid-December

This is the best time for the Tsum valley trek. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold, offering appealing sights with clean sky above the head.

Do you want to know more about this trek? Contact Trekking Guide Team, we are available 24/7.

FAQ Related to Trekking to Tsum Valley:

1) Is it possible to trek Tsum valley independently?

➤According to Nepal Tourism Board, the Tsum valley trek requires at least two members in a group, accompanied by a legal guide.

2) What is the best season for Tsum valley trek?

➤The month of March, April, May, September, October and November is best suited for the Tsum valley trek.

3) How hard is the Tsum valley Trek?

➤The Tsum valley trek is a moderate to strenuous trekking experience. Apart from well-maintained physical fitness, you should also have a strong mental assurance.

4) What is the maximum altitude of the trek?

➤The highest altitude of the Tsum valley trek is 3700m where you will be visiting the famous attraction of the trek, Mu Gompa.

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