Manaslu Tsum Valley Trekking can be considered as an off-the-beat route, keeping in mind the number of tourists that visit the region every year. Every piece of attraction that you come across during the trek, and even the path that you walk upon, seems quite untouched. It’s not that the region or the trek altogether is boring, it’s just that certain other treks are more popular that this one. Manaslu and Tsum Valley trek takes you to the picturesque Tibetan Valley. During the trek, you’re left with no option other than appreciating the beauty of the attractions here.
Tsum Valley Trekking
Tsum Valley Trekking is an activity that is conducted in Tsum Valley. Tsum Valley is an area that is linked closely with Tibet. When you visit the place, you get to see so many Tibetan influences, especially when it comes to language, culture and religion. Tsum Valley is located towards the north of Manaslu region. The trek route leading to this place deviates from Manaslu Circuit trek route. As a matter of fact, around two thirds of Tsum Valley trek route is a part of Manaslu Circuit trek route. During Tsum Valley trekking, you come across so many attractions. These include natural spectacles and as well and religious and cultural heritages. All these features make the Tsum Valley trek an ideal journey for trekkers of all kinds, belonging to different walks of life.
Altogether, Tsum Valley trekking is 23 days long journey. During this time, the trekkers walk for a duration of around 17 days. When you look at it, you realize that Tsum Valley trekking actually includes the entire Manaslu Circuit trek route in it. And so, you’ll be spending the majority of time walking in the Manaslu Circuit trek route itself, and exploring the places and attractions that happen to fall in it. However, there are certain places that are unique to Tsum Valley, and they are Lokpa, Chhumling, Chhokang Paro, Chule, and so on. These villages are naturally and as well as culturally gifted. It’s a guarantee that you’ll find it to be an absolute pleasure moving around them, and exploring the attractions in them. They are beautiful and rejuvenating.
Tsum Valley trekking can be considered as a religious trek, as during the journey, you get to explore so many religious heritages. The routes are filled with Buddhist relics like chortens, mani walls, structures wrapped in prayer flags and so on. The most significant heritage of the region is Mu Gompa, which is regarded highly by the Buddhists living in the regions. Another important religious heritage that you’ll get to explore on the route is Rachen Nunnery. During the journey, you will also get to explore Milarepa caves that are situated on the outskirts of the valley. There is a very interesting story about how these caves came into existence, and how the region got popular as a crucial pilgrimage site, especially for Tibetan Buddhists.
It is said that Guru Milarepa, one of the prominent figures in Tibetan Buddhism, and one of the disciples of Gautam Buddha came to the region centuries ago. He had a great hand in spreading Buddhism in the region. He traveled to different places and spent a great amount of time in the caves around the valley. It is said that he would meditate in them for days and nights. It is for this reason that those caves were named Milarepa caves. Tsum Valley Trekking is an ideal journey for you if you look for not just natural attractions, but religious ones as well in your trek. Apart from exploring these heritages, you will also get to interact with the locals, and get to know their way of life. Exploring the Himalayas and the natural beauties here is a plus.
Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Circuit Trek is also known as Manaslu trek. It is one of those journeys that is slowly gaining popularity among tourists. It’s unbelievable to sometimes notice that trekkers have now started picking Manaslu Circuit trek route over other more popular routes like Everest Base Camp trek route and Annapurna Circuit trek route, and why not! Manaslu Circuit trek route offers everything that these other routes do. On top of that, it offers the peace and serenity factor that is disappearing at an alarming rate from the other trekking routes. When you go for Manaslu trek, you’ll realize is that nature is exactly how it should be - real and untouched. Manaslu Circuit trek is the journey for you if you’re looking to explore nature on your trek.
Altogether, Manaslu Circuit trek is 16 days long journey, and during this time, the trekkers walk for a duration of 10 days. During this time, they cover places such as Jagat, Deng, Namrung, Samdo, Dharamsala, and so on. Needless to say, during the trek, you get to enjoy the most amazing views of peaks such as Manaslu, Himchuli, Ngadichuli, and so on. Since the route is located so close to the Annapurna Circuit trek route, you’ll also get to enjoy the glimpses of peaks in the Annapurna region towards the end of the journey. Some of them are Dhaulagiri, Machapuchhre, peaks in the Annapurna Massif, and so on. These mountain views that you’ll be able to enjoy from various viewpoints scattered on the route will definitely make your day.
The toughest point of the trek is crossing Larkya La, which is a mountain pass situated at an altitude of 5135 m. Speaking of high altitude, you’ll be spending more than five days at an altitude above 3000 m, which will largely contribute to increasing the difficulty level of the journey. At such an altitude, the chances of trekkers suffering from altitude sickness is really high. With the help of the guide and the friendly locals, you shouldn’t find this to be of much trouble. To cope up with the altitude, you will be spending around one day, or more than that, depending on the situation, acclimatizing. Generally, the trekkers acclimatize in this village known as Samagaon. You will have the option to either rest, or go for a hike around the area.
Provided that you’re willing to add a couple of days to your itinerary, you can make a visit to the Manaslu Base Camp. It is situated at an altitude of 4800 m, and is the final stop before the climbers start making a climb to reach the peak. It is fascinating to explore around the base camp area, simply enjoying the greyish white setting and the views of the peaks in the region. Another place that you can explore by going on a side trek from Manaslu Base Camp is Tsum Valley. The resulting Tsum Valley trekking is a balanced journey altogether, with so many natural and as well as religious and cultural heritages. Though you will get to explore them even when you stick to the route strictly, accessing Tsum valley will add another dimension to your journey.
Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek
There are two ways of approaching Manaslu Tsum Valley trek, and in both the approaches, you need to cover at least a section of Manaslu Trek route. In the first approach, you treat Manaslu Tsum Valley trekking as a side trek. You cover the entire Manaslu Circuit, and in the process, add a couple of days to your itinerary and explore the Tsum Valley, simple as that. In the other approach, your objective is just to visit Tsum Valley, and so, you only cover a section of the Manaslu Circuit trek route, preferably from Soti Khola to Jagat. This way, you will save a great amount of time and effort. This trek is meant especially for individuals who want to explore Tsum Valley, without the burden of actually covering the entire Manaslu Circuit trek route.
Manaslu and Tsum Valley trek is a trekking journey in its pure form; it’s isolated, untouched, and the beauty of nature and religion that you get to experience here is unparalleled. If you are a trekking enthusiast, and have never tried this trek, you should definitely go for this journey. It’s up to you whether you go for the extended version or the shortened one.
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