Tsum Valley Manaslu Trekking

tsum-valley-trekThe Tsum Valley Manaslu Trekking is a consecrated Himalayan pilgrimage valley positioned in a trans-Himalayan province of Gorkha, Nepal. It commences from Arughat Bazaar in the Dhading district. The Budhi Gandaki River is the main river in this region. The Tsum Valley connects with Tibet and its culture and unspoiled natural beauty makes this trekking unique. Tsum comes from the Tibetan word ‘Tsombo’, which means vivid. Against the majestic backdrop of the Ganesh Himal range, Sringi Himal range, and Boudha Himal ranges, this serene Himalayan valley is rich in ancient art, culture, and religion. The local people are mostly of Tibetan origin and seek a unique dialect. Chhokangparo is the main village in Tsum Valley. They have a Police station and a check post as well. Rachen Gompa (3360m) is the biggest Monastery that only has woman monks. There are some student groups as well, meaning there are more than 300 woman monks living there. Mu gompa is situated in the highest area at 3700m and there are more than 200 male monks living there. There is another Monastery at Gumda Lumdang (3370m) where again only woman monks live. Rachen Gompa is the main Gompa near Milarepa cave. Schooling could be better in the region and as a result, parents send their children to the monastery for a better education. Trails are strewn with artistic chortens and lined with mani walls made of thousands of stone slabs carved with deities and prayers. The Tsum valley has a long history of Buddhism The Buddhist saint Milarepa is believed to have meditated in the caves of these mountains. Traditionally Tsum valley was a culturally distinct geographical area 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. Tsum Valley Manaslu Trekking is one of the religious and culture as well as nature exploration trekking where typical lifestyle can have experienced.

is considered as one of the most challenging treks in Nepal, the Manaslu Circuit will reward the adventurous with an unparalleled alpine experience. Opened in 1992, this area offers a combination of rich culture heritage, unsurpassed beauty, and biological diversity.

Tsum Valley Manaslu Trekking along the Gandaki River valley, which is fed by immeasurable rivers and waterfalls, offering the chance of a plunge into some bathing pools. From here, the strenuous section begins and yaks begin to outnumber people in the rocky landscape. In Samagaon (3390m) we visit the glacial green lake of Birendra, before crossing into mystic Samdo, a mere 15kms from the Tibetan border. Here Tibetan monks inhabit sacred monasteries and combined with the views of the Tibetan plateau against stark white Himalayas this is a truly spiritual place. The biggest challenge then awaits – crossing the snow bound Larkya La pass (4930m). Snow-covered peaks over 6500m towers above as we cross. The descent, once off the snow, takes us through alpine then tropical areas, bursting with ferns, bamboo, pine trees, waterfalls and aqua-blue green lakes laced with cotton-white beaches. Finally, Manaslu will disappear as we descend to Besisahar (832m) This three-week excursion will leave you with a sense of peace and respect for the people of Nepal and its ecological wonders.

Trek Highlights:
Tsum Valley Manaslu Trekking is stunning scenery, Ganesh Himal I (7422m) is attractive as well as Boudha Himal (6672m) and Sringi Himal (7187m), the biggest and famous woman’s Monastery in Rachen Gompa (3360m) as well as in Gumda Lumdang (3370m) and the biggest and highest Monks Monastery in Mu Gompa (3700m), Milarepa cave where Milarepa used to do meditation, situated near the Rachen Gompa. Tibetan culture and spoken Tibetan language, beautiful terraces, pine trees and Rhododendron trees.

In the Manaslu region, views of Tibet and an insight into Tibetan culture through various monasteries, the biggest monastery in Lho Gaon and Tibetan settlements where Samagaon (3390m) is the biggest. Unspoiled mountain views, above eight thousand meters. Manaslu (8163m), many more peaks above 6000m, the highest resting place Dharamsala (4460m), Larkya La pass (4930m) the highest pass, bathing pools, lakes and waterfalls surrounded by alpine and tropical forests.

Trek Facts
Trek: Tsum Valley and Manaslu
Trek starts: Arughat Bazaar
Trek duration: 31 days
Grade: Medium & strenuous
Maximum altitude: 3700m Tsum valley and 4930m Larkya La pass
Minimum altitude: 570m
Walking: 6-7 hours
Transportation: By bus or by jeep
Accommodation: Camping or in simple lodges
Trek ends: Besisahar

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and a representative of Unique Nepal Adventure Trek will welcome and transfer you to your selected hotel by private vehicle.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu valley by private vehicle with an expert tour guide.

  • Kathmandu Durbar Square
  • Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)
  • Boudhanath Stupa (Large white Buddhist Stupa)
  • Pashupatinath (Hindu Temple)
  • Patan Durbar Square (Ancient city)
  • Bhaktapur Durbar Square (55-window palace)

Day 3: Kathmandu to Arughat Bazaar (570m) by bus (8 hrs)
Early morning start by bus from Kathmandu to the beautiful town of Arughat Bazaar, an 8 hours drive from Kathmandu. For half the distance the road is tarmac and then it becomes a gravel track. It will be fun, as it is a local bus which many people use and it is vital to the community. Lunch is in Dhading Besi, the headquarters of Dhading District. On the way the scenery is attractive and we follow and cross three big rivers. Before lunch, we see the Trisuli River, the biggest of the three. After lunch, we see the Ankhu River followed by the Budhi Gandaki River. Arughat Bazaar is situated at the foot of the surrounding hills. It is a really nice place to camp on our first day.

Day 4: Arughat to Soti Khola (730m) walking (6 hrs)

The trek heads northwards, following the Budhi Gandaki River in the low country, passing by rice paddies and picturesque hamlets. After a couple of hours we reach Arkhet Bazaar (620m) where they have a high school as well as a clinic. After climbing briefly to Keureni Pani (820m), the path descends once again to the river and our campsite is at the confluence with the tributary of Soti Khola. It is not a long day, and perhaps we will have time for a stimulating swim sometime during the day, as it is hot in the low country.

Day 5: Soti Khola to Machha Khola (930m) walking (6 hrs)

The countryside changes where the broad valley narrows and at times the trail cuts into the steep valley side, which is densely forested. We pass a number of small Gurung villages, who live in this region, until we reach a widening of the valley, opposite the point where a large tributary stream enters the Budhi Gandaki River. The terraced farmland here belongs to the village of Lapubesi (880m). The trek descends once again to the wide, sandy riverbed and follows a path, which runs below the steep, wrinkled valley side. At length, we have to climb up once again to Machha Khola. Stay overnight at lodge or in tents.

Day 6: Machha Khola to Jagat (1370m) walking (7-8 hrs)

First of all, we follow the Machha Khola – Fish Stream – and head upstream to the tiny village of Khorla Bensi (970m) and the natural hot springs at Tatopani (990m). The valley sides steepen until they are impassable and the route then switches to the left bank by way of a suspension bridge. The trail is quite exposed and challenging in places. After a short section of forest path, we reach the single tea house at Doban (1070m). Above Doban, the Budhi Gandaki River descends an impressive series of rapids. Beyond this steep section, the river is much more placid meandering across a broad gravel bed. At Lauri, we cross the river again on a suspension bridge and then climb on a high path to the fields of Jagat, where we camp. We encounter the check post for the first time. Without a Manaslu Conservation Area Permit, we will not be able to enter the Manaslu region.

Day 7: Jagat to Lokpa (2260m) walking (5 hrs)

From Jagat, after descending a long series of stone steps back down to the river, we then climb on wonderful stone steps along a terraced hill-side to the small hamlet of Saguleri and Sirdibas, from where we can see the impressive Sringi Himal (7187m). We pass through the charming, village of Sirdibas. We cross the river again on a long, high suspension bridge at Ghata Khola, the path splits, with the right-hand branch heading off towards the Ganesh Himal. Our route continues upstream, and again we have a steep climb to reach Philim Philim is a nice place to take lunch. Then we continue our trip till Lokpa for the first one and half hours the trail heads up. Then there are two trails where one crosses a bridge and heads for Manaslu and the trail for Tsum valley heads right and then ascends for a couple of hours to Lokpa (2260m). Stay overnight at lodge or in tents.

Day 8 Lokpa to Chumling (2360m) walking (7 hrs)
Lokpa to chumling is nice and climb up day but really comfortable trail from staring time. Our lunch and stay place is the same place. We take the trail heads down for half an hour before it then ascends steeply up.  We then have a half-hour descent to the riverside and cross the beautiful wooden bridge, before the final ascent of up to an hour to Chumling. They have a primary level school, a small clinic, with great views of the Ganesh Himal range. We are now in an area of Tibetan culture where they import goods from Tibet. Stay in lodge or in tents.

Day 9: Chumling to Chhokangparo (3031m) walking (6-7 hrs)
With great views of Ganesh Himal I (7422m) situated on the right-hand side, we start the day trekking for a couple of hours gradually ascending. From here the pine forest is quite dense and we head up to Rentsam After the village we will be walking for about four hours steeply up to Chhokangparo, which is situated in a nice valley. They have fields growing barley, wheat, buckwheat, potato, etc. They have Yak, Cow and Blue Sheep. This is the main village for the Tsum valley region, where they have more than 50 houses. They have a police station as well, where they will check our permit. Stay in lodge or in tents.

Day 10: Chhokangparo to Rachen Gompa (3360m) walking (5 hrs)
The trail heads beautifully up and the mountain views are so attracted towards the Ganesh Himal, Boudha Himal, Sringi Himal and much more. We go through the large village of Lamagaon and then onwards to the village of Rachen Gompa. This is the female Gompa where there are approximately more than 300 woman monks living here. It is one of the biggest Monasteries in this region and students receive a good education here. This Gompa receives aid from Kapan Gompa in Kathmandu, which has slowly been built just prior to the year 2000. We will be able to visit Milarepa Piren Phu cave (or Pigeon Cave) where people can see the Milarepa footprint. It will be a great exploration day. Stay at lodge or tents.

Day 11: Rachen Gompa to Mu Gompa (3700m) walking (6 hrs)
The day begins walking through the rice terraces. Most of the trailheads up and after a couple of hours walking we will arrive in Chule Nile (3350m). The trail then heads continuously up and across the river where the trail heads slowly up to Mu Gompa that is situated in a steep area. Mu Gompa is man or monks gompa, where they have more than 200 monks. Similarly to Rachen Gompa, many students study here and it also receives aid from the Kapan Gompa in Kathmandu. It is a really nice place to make camp here. This will be our highest point of sleeping in the Tsum valley.

Day 12: Excursion day for hill views of the Tibet border and stay at the same place

Day 13: Mu Gompa to Chhokangparo (3031m) walking (6-7 hrs)
The trail now heads back down the same way we came up. It is easy walking and you can explore much more going back down, having more time on our hands and taking in the fantastic views. Stay overnight at lodge or in tents camp.

Day 14: Chhokangparo to Gumda Lumdang (3370m) walking (6-7 hrs)
It is a beautiful trail and for the first couple of hours, we go all the way down to Domje (2460m). After crossing the bridge, the trail heads steeply up to Gumda Lumdang. Gumda Lumdang is a woman’s monastery where more than 50 woman monks are living. There are no local houses and we will be welcome to stay here. They perform a ceremony every morning and every evening twice a day. Ganesh Himal I is situated high in front of us here.

Day 15: Excursion to Ganesh Himal Base Camp (4300m) walking (6 hrs)
Today is solely an excursion day to Ganesh Himal base camp. The trail heads up and after arriving at base camp we will have a packed lunch and take in the great views of the mountains. Back to Gumda Lumdang and stay at the same camp.

Day 16: Gumda Lumdang to Lokpa (2240m) walking (6-7 hrs)
The trail heads all the way down to Chumling village and then onto Lokpa. You will feel great here having been to a higher altitude. Lokpa a small place where there is just one lodge, but they also have nice camping places.

Day 17: Lokpa to Deng (1860m) walking (6 hrs)

The first hour and a half hour sees us continually heading down. We cross the Budhi Gandaki at the intersection of the Manaslu and Tsum valleys.  After trekking through dense woods for over an hour, we pass the campsite of Pewa on the river, and after another hour we leave the gorge and climb briefly to the small village of Deng. Deng is the start of the lower Nubri region called Kutang, where the people are ethnically Tibetan but speak a different dialect than the people of upper Nubri where the people are pure Tibetans. We have views of Lumbo Himal to the rear, as well as Lapuchen and Dwijen Himal. It’s worth a visit to the upper floor of their house above us, perhaps for a glass of local ‘chang’, or Tibetan beer and for a chat around the fireside. Deng is a small village. They have 7-8 houses. Stay overnight at lodge or in tents.

Day 18: Deng to Ghap (2380m) walking (6 hrs)
The start of the trek heads steeply up to the small, poor village of Rana. Before Rana Village (1910m) there is suspension wooden bridge. Then the trail ascends steeply up. After climbing through lovely woods of pine and crossing a small bridge, we reach Bihi Phedi (2130m), where there is a good shop and views of Kutang Himal, and starlit to see mani walls stones (prayers etched onto wayside rocks, particularly mani stones with pictures of gods and goddesses), a sure sign that we are entering another of the tiny Tibetan footholds that mark the high Himalayan places. We have three or four hours of trekking ahead of us, twice crossing the large Budhi Gandaki River and twice over smaller tributary streams, staying mostly high with many ascents and descents as we walk through the gorge, all the time enjoying spectacular views. Eventually, we reach Ghap, where we set up camp for the night in a wonderful Tibetan village. Stay overnight at lodge or in tents.

Day 19: Ghap to Lho Gaon (3020m) walking (7 hrs)

This is a wonderful trekking day. After leaving Ghap, we ascend for an hour through a dense, cool forest, crossing the Budhi Gandaki River once on a wooden bridge, climb on smooth, stone steps and eventually arrive at Namrung, at 2540m at the Tibetan-run lodge. As we gain altitude, we reach alpine territory and are treated to increasingly broad mountain views. Namrung village is the start of Nubri, the region of purely Tibetan inhabitants speaking a dialect of western Tibet. A few hours later, we reach the village of Lihi at 2840m, a substantial altitude gain. Lihi village has old Monastery, and is spread along the trail with its billowing fields of barley, guarded by ‘bear watches’. We climb gently now and soon we cross a large stream flowing down from the Lidanda Glaciers and reach the charming Tibetan village of Sho at (2880m), where we stop for lunch. After an hour we reach Lho, where we are treated to breath-taking views of Manaslu itself. We set up camp in Lho, The sunset and sunrise from the campsite are wonderful and it is here we see the biggest monastery on trek. Stay overnight at lodge or in tents.

Day 20: Lho Gaon to Samagaon (3390m) walking (5 hrs)

it is a beautiful day and walking trail heads all the way slope up. Walking through the upper reaches of Lho, with the snowy peaks of Manaslu (8163m) ahead of us in the distance, we pass the new gompa and then ascend through light forests next to a small river to reach the high, tranquil Tibetan settlement of Shyala, where the villagers are often out in the fields Imagination mountain panoramic view from here. Another few hours of trekking through classic alpine scenery leads us past Tibet grazing settlements, the trail to Pung Gyen Gompa off to the left, and eventually past chequered fields of barley and potato to Samagaon. The people of Samagaon settled here from Tibet over 500 years ago. The Tibetan villages in this region of Manaslu have distinctive entrance gates (manes), and they maintain an active trade with their co-religionists in Tibet over several high passes nearby. If the weather is good, you will see the village women weaving wool from Tibet into gowns – which are then traded back to Tibet. Take the afternoon to hike up to the old Gompa settlement above the town, and to wander the streets of the fascinating Samagaon village stay overnight at lodge or in tents.

Day 21: Rest day and explore the Gompa and Birendra Kunda
It is a beautiful and a very special day to explore Samagaon, the Gompa and Birendra Kunda (Lake). Birendra Kunda is just another 45 minutes to get there and 30 minutes to return. The Gompa is in the village and we take a shower because after that it won’t be possible. From here we see the sight of Manaslu (8163m) it is a spectacular view from this village.

Day 22: Samagaon to Samdo (3700m) walking (4-5 hrs)
It is another day of incredible mountain views, past wrinkly woods of Himalayan Birch, during the walk up to Samdo, an easy three hours away. En route, we pass the long mani walls at Kermo Kharka, after which we see the entrance to the chorten of Samdo high on the track. We descend back to the Budi Gandaki and cross a small bridge before another short climb to the ‘Kane’ entrance of Samdo. It is quite a big village and they have Tibetan culture and they speak the Tibetan language. There is a small Gompa in a house mid-village which we can visit and see a puja being performed by several of the reincarnated lamas living in Samdo. We’re up high and the wind can be chilling in the evenings, so tuck into the little tea-house next door to our campsite for a cup of salt-butter tea to warm you up! Stay overnight at lodge or in tents.

Day 23: Samdo to Dharamsala (4460m) walking (5 hrs)

We leave Samdo on the old trade route towards Tibet, crossing a bridge, and climb through the ruins of Larkya Bazaar, one of the trade markets that flourished years back. After about three hours of climbing past glaciers, with increasingly awe-inspiring panoramas, we come to the campsite at Dharamsala, the high camp for the Larkya La pass,  where we have lunch and take in the views. You will really feel the altitude and the cold here, so enjoy a more leisurely afternoon and keep warm We’ll have an early dinner in preparation for crossing the pass tomorrow. It will be the highest point for sleeping on this trek. They have one lodge that has a large capacity they have a large camping site as well.

Day 24: Dharamsala / cross Larkya La (4930m) to Bimtang (3590m) walking (8-9 hrs)

The trek commences early morning because it is the highest pass and trekkers should reach the top before it becomes too windy. The wind usually starts from around 10 to 11 o’clock. The trail heads all the way steadily up, and we reach the ablation valley on the north side of the Larkya Glaciers where we have views of Cho Danda and then of Larkya-La (4930m). We continue across the moraines of the glacier, often through the snow, making a gradual ascent, which becomes steeper only in the last section to the pass and it should take us about 4 to 5 hours to reach the top. The views from the top of the pass are wonderful; a mountain panorama of the Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kangguru and the huge Annapurna II, equally stunning from both sides. After hanging our Tibetan prayer flags, get ready for a steep, often slippery drop to a trail following the glacial moraine. We’ll lunch below the pass on smooth rocks before continuing the descent, still three hours to go to our campsite. We will also see the beautiful Ponkar Lake (4500m) along the way.  A boulder-strewn descent brings us, finally, to Bhimtang. It’s all worthwhile now. They have a beautiful place and Manaslu north face is seen from there. They have a small lodge and camping site. Stay overnight at lodge or in tents.

Day 25: Bimtang to Tilje (2300m) walking (6-7 hrs)

A chilly but beautiful morning, as the sun hits the peaks around us long before the campsite. After leaving the grazing fields of Bhimtang, we cross a boulder-strewn river and head down through open forests of brilliantly blooming rhododendron, past the Kharka below Bhimtang. We’ll lunch at a small tea-house, and then continue along the rocky river-bed and sliding hill-sides to several small, green villages, a sign that we’ve reached lower altitudes.  Eventually, after a somewhat long but very scenic day, we reach the large village of Tilje village which is a mix of Manang is (of Tibetan descent) and Chettris (Hindus) and Gurung. It has unique architecture and culture and they eat mix foods – Dal Bhat, buckwheat dhindo, tsampa, and Tibetan salt-tea. They have a nice school and a small clinic powered by electricity. It is a really beautiful village. Stay overnight at lodge or in tents.

Day 26: Tilje to Jagat (1300m) walking (6-7 hrs)

It’s an easy trekking day following the Dudh Khola through bamboo forests down to Dharapani, an atmospheric Tibetan village with prayer flags fluttering in the wind, stopping en route at the Gompa in Thonje on the old Annapurna trail. Trekking south on the main Annapurna Circuit trail, we soon arrive at a long suspension bridge over which we cross the Marsyangdi River to arrive at Dharapani (1860m) where the (ACAP) Annapurna Conservation Area Project permit check post is and where we are required to show our permits. The trail then heads all the way down and through the small village of Karte, We continue along a high, winding, the stunning cliff-side trail passing several small teahouses at Khorte, and then switch back down the steep trail before crossing the Marsyangdi River yet again. Before use, we see the wide plain and waterfall at scenic Tal. Tal is a neat and beautiful village and we will be taking lunch here. The trail heads down one and a half hours and we cross the suspension bridge to arrive at Chamje village. After Chamje we arrive in Jagat after about an hour. Jagat village is a Gurung village where we will be able to see the Gurung culture. Stay overnight at lodge or in tent camp.

Day 27: Jagat to Bulbule (840m) walking (7 hrs) 

Today will be a beautiful day as the trail heads downwards with a few small climbs. We reach Syange (1150m) in an hour and a half-hour and then cross the long, suspension bridge and ascend for 20 minutes and arrive at the beautiful village of Ghermuphant wherefrom can see a lovely waterfall. The trail then heads gradually uphill for a couple of hours to Bahundanda (1310m) and then the trail then heads down to Ngadi taking about an hour and a half. Ngadi village is a beautiful place located near the Marsyangdi River. After 40 minutes we arrive in Bhulbule, which will be our last night of camping. Tomorrow morning we will catch the bus to Kathmandu. It is possible to catch a jeep at Syange just below Jagat to take us to Besisahar.

Day 28: Drive back to Kathmandu (7 hrs)

We will catch an early morning bus, which runs every half an hour. It takes 7 hours including lunch to reach Kathmandu. After an hour we arrive in Besisahar and if we were not able to get the direct bus to Kathmandu from Bhulbule, we can catch another bus, which also runs every half an hour. The road from here is good and we can see beautiful scenery on the route to Kathmandu. Stay at your selected hotel.

Day 29: A representative of Unique Nepal Adventure Trek will drop you off at Tribhuvan International Airport by private vehicle.

Price Includes:

  • Airport pick-up and drop off by the private vehicle.
  • Welcome & farewell dinner.
  • Three nights in your selected Kathmandu hotel with breakfast.
  • A full day’s sightseeing in Kathmandu by private vehicle.
  • All meals during the trek (lunch, dinner, breakfast, and tea or coffee).
  • Accommodation in simple lodges or camping in twin shared tents with mattress.
  • All necessary equipment for camping.
  • One English speaking government trained license holder and well-informed trekking guide.
  • One porter for two people to carry luggage.
  • Dependent on group size, cook, kitchen boy, and extra porters.
  • All expenses for guide and porters – meals, accommodation, salary, equipment, insurance, transportation (bus/flights), etc.
  • First Aid kit bag.
  • Government and local area taxes where applicable.
  • TIMS card fees (Trekking Information Management System).
  • Transportation from Kathmandu to Arughat Bazaar and Besisahar to Kathmandu by tourist bus.
  • Manaslu entry permit fees (See the ‘Trekking Permits’ link under ‘Trekking Info’ for current fees)

Price Excludes:

  • Nepalese entry visa fee. (See the ‘Visa Information’ link under ‘Trekking Info’ for current fees)
  • Travel insurance.
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks (mineral water, hot water, coke, Fanta, beer, spirits, etc).
  • Snacks (Chocolate, biscuits, etc).
  • Hot water, hot shower, heater charge, battery charge, phone calls, and laundry service.
  • The donation, tips, and personal expenses.
  • Emergency evacuation and medical equipment.
  • Hire equipment and other personal items (sleeping bag, down jacket, hiking boots camera, toilet rolls, etc).
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.

Related Area Trek

1. Manaslu Trekking
2. Tsum Valley Trekking
3. Tsum Valley Manaslu Trekking
4. Rupina La Trekking