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Nepal Environmental Trek
Nepal Environmental
Treks & Expedition

Manaslu and Tsum: Hidden Valleys of Tibetan Buddhism

Published 5th Mar, 2019

Standing at a height of 8163m on the Mansiri Himal Range at the northern edge of western Nepal, Mt. Manaslu flaunts its beautifully carved ridges in the first hour of a golden morning; the snowy planes illuminated due to the clear-cutting rays.

Manaslu bears the title of being the 'mountain of the spirit' and showcases it rightly so because it looks so heavenly and almost impossible to exist;its muted presence is equally ethereal as it is breathtaking. The planes are challengingly steep yet highly sought after by adrenaline junkies looking for extreme adventure. However, the other part of the popular attraction lies beyondthe Manaslu Mountains, the graveled routes leading to the highest point from which all sides can be seen clearly. The Manaslu Circuit Trek remains one of the toughest treks although not a completely off-beaten trek that hasn't stopped anyone for persevering because of the beauty that lies under all the difficulties. After all, wouldn't the destination be more satisfactory if the journey was exceptionally challenging and fun?

Manaslu and Tsum Valley Trek 

The trek usually starts off with a smooth ride to Arughat and then the walking from Gorkha. The highest point to look out or is the Larkya Pass standing at 5160 meters and comes sequentially once you pass Gorkha. The viewpoint offers a roundabout view of several peaks like Mt. Himalchuli (7853m), Ganesh Himal (7422m), and Mt. Manaslu (8163m) in their snowy glory especially during dry autumn seasons when the skies are clear but snow accumulates at the higher peaks. It's not just the path that makes the journey thrilling but the types of landscapes you encounter on the way. From tall standing alpine forests to rocky trails to glaciers stiff in their resolute, the trek features a varied style of ecosystem one after another. Since the region opened only after the early 1990s, it is fairly untouched by modern lifestyle and preserves the local culture along with flora and fauna. The trek features the Manaslu Conservation Area, the protector of various endangered species of herbs, shrubs, and animals. It wouldn't be a strange sight if you randomly come across red pandas basking in the sun on trees. If lucky enough you might even be able to spot snow leopard, lynx, musk deer and many more. It is to be taken note that the Manaslu Conservation Area stands to protect these beings, and tampering with them or littering is strictly prohibited. The valley basin has rich eco-tone diversity and includes nineteen different types of forests, most prominently rhododendron.  

The land of Tibetan Buddhism and ethnic community 

Apart from the natural aspects of this trek, the other wonder lies in the prevalent ethnic communities based on ancient civilizations that you will come across almost at the end of the route. Nubri and Tsum are the two ethnicities based on the area but in comparison to Nubri which was already open since the 1950s and thriving since then, Tsum remains hidden from general public view which has helped it to continue ancient legacies till date. Walking through Tsum valley will be like walking down the lanes of history as it is the sacred Himalayan pilgrimage situated in Gorkha. As you drag the tips of your fingers across the old stone walls, you will find the engraved inscriptions and drawings of Buddhist deities and prayers. The askew trails on wondrous Greenland will lead you to Kyimu Lung, the destination for travelers seeking peace through meditation. The traces once glorified kingdom of thirteen provinces can be seen even till today because of the area's isolation from mainstream locations and trekking trails. The monasteries are often situated on the plateau, scattered around evenly like the Mu Gumba and Rachen Gumba. An unforgettable hum of serenity flows through the valley, sweet breeze passing through every nook and corner and celebrating the togetherness and harmony between a preserved culture with marvelous works of nature. For wildlife enthusiasts, there are spotting of several Blue Sheep frolicking about the grasslands and climbing up the steep plains.

Tsum Valley Trek is an inevitable part of the Manaslu trek. The east side is always preferred because of the comfort. The trek including Tsum alley exploration takes about 27days and excluding it takes 18 days, but the days all are worth it. Suitable to travel during the spring and autumn seasons, a group of two people is easier to go around than a large pack. The trek requires a permit and thecostsvary upon the route taken. Contact us at for more information on the trek.

The grading might be tough but it only makes it more fun and worth it. Explore the desolate lands of Manaslu and Tsum while creating memories that last for a lifetime. The cultural magnificence, the prevalence of Tibetan-Buddhism, Himalayan delights, astounding biodiversity, and the Larkya La Pass among others await your arrival in these lands believed to be the abode of the Gods. Don't wait long, experience the tranquility of western Nepal by traveling to Manaslu and Tsum Valley. 

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Art representing various natural and cultutal heritages of Nepal