Tsum Valley Manaslu

Tsum Valley was a restricted area until it was opened for trekking in 2008 and there is a little information available on the area.

The Tsum Valley is a sacred Himalayan pilgrimage valley situated in northern Gorkha, Nepal. Literally “Tsum” means vivid. Against the majestic backdrop of the Ganesh Himal and Sringi Himal, and Boudha ranges, this serene Himalayan valley is rich in ancient art, culture and religion. The local people are mostly of Tibetan origin and speak unique dialect. Trails are strewn with artistic chortens and lined with mani walls made of thousands of stone slabs carved with drawings of deities and inscribed with prayers. The famous Kyimu Lung, a pilgrimage circuit in the central Trans-Himalaya, is well known for its center of learning and meditation. This circuit traverses the Tsum Valley the Manaslu area in Nepal, and southern parts of Tibet.

The Tsum Valley has long history of Buddhism. The Buddhist saint Milarewa is believed to be meditated in the caves of these mountains. Traditionally, the valley was a culturally distinct geographical called “Tsum Tso Chuksum”, which means thirteen provinces ruled as a single territory. The ancient remains of the Tsum Kingdom are still visible today. Due to its remoteness and inaccessibility, this sacred valley and its people have been bypassed by mainstream development for centuries. As a result, the unique culture of this valley has remained intact.

The valley is drained by the Shear Khola, which originates from the western glacier of Ganesh Himal and east and southern glaciers of Sringi Himal and meets the Budhi Gandaki at Nyak.

The valley is uniquely rich in wildlife, especially the Himalayan Thar and Blue Sheep which congregates in herds of 50 to 200. Hunting, fishing is not permitted in the Tsum Valley. The valley also boasts some unique and historic monasteries, including Rachen Gumba and Mu Gumba, which lie on a pretty plateau nestled in the lap of the valley, and Gumba Lungdang, situated at the base of a conical hill against the main slope of Ganesh Himal.

One comment

March 23, 2015
I have just completed this trek. I am not going to make a deiealtd trip report, just a few points.1. I started in Ghorka and walked to Arugat via Garempesang. I would NOT recommend this option, unless you have a tent. The accommodation was dire.2. The tea houses have adopted standard menus, which have increasing prices as you head upwards. Checking my diary I paid from 1,400 to 2,200 for two people (no beers, cokes, chocolates) but around double that at Daramasala.3. I hated having the guide. He knew far less than I did about the trek, and cost me USD 18 each day. The route is easy to follow, and I saw no conceivable advantage to having him. This is the single reason why I would NOT do this trek again, or indeed, any other trek, if I have to use a guide. I only took the guide from Arugat to Bimtang.4. Wild dogs. In Samagoan and Samdo wild dogs come into the villages and bark constantly from around 01:00 am until 04:00 am. Bring ear plugs or sleeping tablets. They are a massive nuisance.5. The local shops charge much more than the locals pay. Several times I asked the shop owner how much for say a couple of hard boiled eggs. Instead of being given a direct answer, there seemed follow some huge discussion with the guide and other locals before a price was announced. I had the impression it was along the lines, how much can we charge? . I did not like this.6. If you can stand the taste, drinking Tibetan tea is by far the cheapest hot drink. In Samagoan I had a large thermos bottle for 60 rupees. Even hot water was more expensive.7. There is a lot of lodge construction, they are clearly hoping that this route will become more popular.8. Checkpoints are at Arugat, Jagat, Phillim and Samagoan (although the guy here did not seem too bothered, we walked past, but the guide insisted on showing the paper)9. The following additional costs would put me off next time.- guide (USD 18/day)- restricted area permit (USD 80 per person, there is some sort of scam here, as I asked for 10 days but only got 8, so I suppose the trekking agent pocketed the other USD 20 which I paid him). I don't mind paying either for a restricted area pass or the MCAP pass (2,000 Rupees), but not both, thank you very much)- Annapurna region pass (2,000 Rupees) (Need this because the exit is through Annapurna)- TIMS is not necessary because the Restricted Area pass covers it. (I have serious doubts about the effectiveness of TIMS in tracking trekkers)10. My favourite place was Samdo. I recommend you stay a couple of days here and walk through the village and up to a ridge about an hours walk. Great views of the glacier and Manaslu. The walk up to the top of the hill at 5,000 meters is tough but worthwhile too.On the whole I would rank this trek behind trekking in the Khumbu and Annapurna regions.If you are doing the Annapurna circuit I can recommend taking a side trip up to Bimtang. I would take two days to get up and two to get down. Very few other trekkers and great views of Manaslu.Your Mileage May Vary

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