Tsum Valley Manaslu Circuit TrekkingTsum Valley Manaslu Circuit Trekking

Tsum Valley Manaslu Circuit Trek - 23 Days

  • Duration23 Days
  • DestinationNepal
  • Difficulty Strenuous
  • Max Altitude 5,160m
  • Activity Trekking and excursion
  • Group Size min. 2
  • Accommodation Comfortable hotel in KTM and local lodges on trekking
  • Meals Full package at trekking
  • Transportation Overland drive
  • Starts KTM- Machhakhola & treks
  • Ends Dharapani
  • Best Season Sep- Nov, March- May
Overview
Trip Highlights
  • The hidden land with historical caves where Guru Rimpoche and Milerepa visited for Meditation.
  • Geographically it is very spectacular and culturally and traditionally fascinating.
  • Exclusively Tibetan custom, picturesque villages, traditional houses, Buddhist Mani walls, ancient monasteries, and, a beautiful Nunnery Monastery.
  • Very nice views of holy Mt. Ganesh Himal, Siringi Himal, Himalchuli, and Boudha Himal.
  • Challenging excursion to Ganesh Himal base camp
  • Trekking with a special permit at Pristine mountains view, rich in culture and genuine adventure,
  • Geographically spectacular and culturally fascinating landscape,
  • Tibetan Buddhist culture and tradition,
  • Wonderful high pass crossing at Larke la 5,160m,
  • The massive view of the world’s eighth- highest Mt. Manaslu 8,163m,
  • Holistic site Pungkar Gomba, glacier, icefall, Lakes and Manaslu Base camp,
  • Old monasteries, stupas, chortens, Lungdars, and yak pastures

Tsum Valley and Manaslu trek are the most astonishing in remote pristine areas. Tsum Valley and Manaslu Trek is a journey on the quiet and quaint trails of the Himalayas. Both regions are opened for travelers just some years back so that the culture and traditions are still uninfluenced by outsiders. Major attractions of Tsum Valley are Milarepa’s cave, sacred cave, Buddhist paintings, a nunnery Gomba (Rachen Gompa) the largest regional Mu Gompa, and Gumba Lungdang While trekking in Tsum Valley allows you to understand the practices of Tibetan Buddhism, trekking in the Manaslu region allows you to walk around the eighth highest mountain in the world, Manaslu (8163m) and several panoramic mountains.

The Tsum Valley and Manaslu trekking trail passes many ascending and descending, over the ridges and villages along the Budhi Gandaki River bank. After completing holistic, historic, and scenic Tsum Valley trekking, the trek connects to the Manaslu circuit route. The trail ascends through several villages of different ethnicities with a ravishing view of the Manaslu range along with other surrounding panoramic Himalayas. One of the highlights of the trek is walking through Larkya Glacier to cross the longest mountain pass in Nepal Larkya-La (5160m). The trail then descends to the most beautiful highland pastoral settlement Bhimtang and follows the trails of the Marshyangdi River to the trekking ending point of Dharapani village.

Itinerary

We start overland driving along the Prithvi highway till Anbu Khaireni and turn towards Dhading Besi or Gorkah road by seeing the wonderful views of picturesque landscapes, mountains, villages, terraced fields, and different cultures of different ethnic groups. Lunch break will be somewhere in a good restaurant, you can try Nepalese famous daal bhat today. The rough and bumpy road starts from Arughat Bazaar to Sotikhola. Overnight at a local tea house.

The trek frequently follows the Gandaki River bank. Not a big ascends and descends prevail here, however, the path is always full of up and down. Frequently goods delivery groups of mules will be encountered along the path. By then please be safe yourself towards the wall side not to the edge.

Today we enter the constrained region of Manaslu and Tsum Valley. Leaving Jagat, we start walking on the riverbank of Budhi Gandaki past the settlements of Salleri, Sirdibas, and Philim. Enjoying the view of Shringi Himal (7161m), we register ourselves at the checkpoint in Philim before heading on to Ekle Bhatti. Still walking alongside the Budhi Gandaki River, we arrive at a waterfall before entering the village of Lokpa. Overnight at a lodge in Lokpa

Descend through beautiful forest, crossing three side streams (one shown wrongly on the Map as Shiar Khola) on bridges, circle under a huge bluff on the river then climb steeply on well-made but exposed stairs. After about 30mins start to traverse north through pines and rhododendrons, still climbing and with very steep slopes. The hidden valley of Tsum stretches enticingly ahead. Eventually, descend to a lone Bhatti Ghumlong (2130m) on the river. The path straight ahead climbs steeply to Ripchet (2470m; Ripche) in about 1hr; the path to Chumling (2360m) crosses the Shiar Khola on a wooden bridge and up. It is not for those afraid of heights - several locals have fallen to their death on this track while drunk. Make sure you climb up to Chumling and check out the old gompa, the traditional houses, orchards, the clinic, and the beautiful stone streets. This is Buddhist agriculture, with conical pine needle haystacks among the 4 prayer flags. Overnight at a lodge in Chumling. 

The trail is lined with artistic chortens and mani walls made of thousands of stone slabs carved with deities and prayers. An easier day after yesterday, Cross the suspension bridge just east of the hotel and traverse through the rich farming land of maize and potatoes. The houses are classic Tibetan with barricades of firewood on the roof, but without flat roofs, as it rains and snows here. Cross a huge slip where rocks and flood cleared the area even up onto the opposite bank, killing five in 1999, but is now covered with a forest of new trees. Up the valley to the east are superb views of the 7000m Ganesh Himal, of long suspension bridges on the opposite bank, and far above the perched village of Ripchet (2468m). Lunch is possible at Rainjham (2400m), a single bhatti with an enclosed courtyard. Cross the Serpu Khola and climb for 2.5 hours on a well-graded but exposed track to upper Tsum and the large village of Chhokangparo (3010m), stone houses nestled under cliffs without a single iron roof. The valley opens here into spacious fields of barley, maize, buckwheat, and potato, but wheat has been abandoned due to ‘hill bunt’, a disease which turns the heads black and causes total crop failure. Herds of Thar often graze the wild cliffs to the north, coming right down to the fields. If the air is clear Himalchuli (7893m) can be seen down the valley. Overnight at a lodge in Chhokangparo.

Today we trek uphill alongside Shiar Khola to arrive at the nunnery of Rachen Gompa, which is an ancient nunnery of Tsum Valley. Enjoying the attractive views of the valley, we arrive at Piren Phu/Milarepa cave. Piren Phu is one of the holiest caves in the Tsum Valley. Ancient Buddhist paintings, excellent creative scripts carved on stones, long prayer flags, and important Buddhist scripts make this cave one of the most significant socio-cultural assets of the valley. We continue climbing up until we arrive at a beautiful village Nile. 

Leave your rucksack at the Nile, Make an early climb up to the large Mu Gompa (3700m) with rows of chortens and widening mountain vistas. This is the largest monastery with over 100 monks and an ancient gompa. If time permits you can also visit Dhephyudoma Gompa (4000m) further west on an obvious track. On three sides now are tantalizing views of the border with Tibet, with frequently used passes to the east (Ngula Dhojyang or Mailatasachin Pass, 5093m) and west (Thapla Bhanjyang, 5104m) just out of sight. Some people climb to Kalung (3820m). Making a day trip to the passes for a view into Tibet. There are extensive seasonal yak pastures in all directions, the Lungdang Glacier to the east, and high peaks in all directions. 

Returning down to the same way you came through via Phurbe village, but stay on the east bank of the Shiar Khola and cross flat boulder-covered plains to Rachen Gompa (3240m), where it is possible to inspect the ancient gompa. The older part of the nunnery is more interesting Gomba than the others. Most of the families in the Tsum practice at least one member is either Nun or Monk at the monastery. Keep walking down to the south until a bridge crosses to the west bank then descend again to Chhokangparo village. Overnight at a lodge in Chhokangparo.

Move downhill on a narrow track via the village and to a wooden bridge over Shiar Khola. Cross the bridge to reach Domje, and then, ascend steeply on an unclear path through pines and rhododendrons until the path arrives at the Mani wall with prayer flags. Finally, make a vertical twist and climb through a huge pine forest to reach Gumba Lungdang (3200m), a small nunnery on the foothills of the Himalayas. Astonishing view of the Ganesh Himal range and the other Himalayas can be seen from Gumba Lungdang. Overnight at a monastery homestay

Take a pack of picnic and enough water for the day's excursions. Cross Langdang Khola and climb steeply on a rough unclear track through the forest of pines and rhododendrons. Today you may lose the way while very less people hike for Ganesh Himal base camp upon arrival in Landan Kharka, we walk on the parallel moraine of Torogumba Glacier. Walking on the steep, icy, and slippery trails of Torogumba Glacier, we arrive in Torogumba Kharka before reaching Ganesh Himal Base Camp. From the base camp, a breathtaking view of the Ganesh Himal range can be observed.  Later, hike back to Gumba Lungdang. 

Descend to Dumje and cross the Laudang Khola and stay on the south bank of the Shiar Khola. Climb over some very deep gorges and shaky cantilever bridges to picturesque Ripchet. Descend on steep stairs to the lone Bhatti Ghumlong (2130m) at the riverside. Make a climb through the forest to Lokpa village.

Cross the suspension bridge over the Budhi Gandaki River and leave Lokpa to enter Nyak Phedi. Then continue walking uphill on the gorge of Budhi Gandaki River, Pewa, and Deng villages. We cross Mani walls and several bridges over the Budhi Gandaki River and finally arrive in Ghap village.

It will be like a meditational walk through the Himalayan forest. Sometimes you meet a group of Himalayan white Languor in the forest. Domestic animals like yak, Chauri, horses, cows, goats, sheep, and mules are available all around here. Also, some Himalayan wild animals are visible on the way. The trail does not climb directly but gradually and long ascends via Lihi village. On the way you will frequently see so many different attractive Buddhist traditions; finally, you will arrive at the Lho (a mind-blowing view place). There is a very beautiful monastery so if you arrive on time then make an evening monastery visit during puja otherwise visit the next day during passing towards Samagau trekking. Make an earlier wake up the next day to see the Golden sunrise on Mt. Manaslu, probably the best photos of Manaslu will be from the Lho.

Walking through the forest leads you up to the Shyala village. This village offers you wonderful rounding mountain views. We make tea breaks here for some hours to enjoy the panoramic mountain scenery. 1 hour of easy walking brings you to the central and major town of Samagaun. This village has very unique beauties of Buddhist culture, way of life, monasteries, Mani walls, and Stupas. You will arrive in Samagaun by lunchtime and make a private free walk all around the village.

There are two options for acclimatization in Samagaun (1) visiting pungen gomba. (2) Is visiting Manaslu basecamp with Birendra Taal.  I recommend Pungen Gomba: take a packed lunch and make a Pungen Gompa visit. Pungen Gompa is a famous deity in this region. This Deity is believed as the ruler of good or bad weather/ fortune or spirit and Manaslu means the peak of spirit or soul. It may take 3 hours of climbing up to the bottom of the Mt Manaslu glacier. When you get up to the temple at Glacier. The surrounding Circumstances, views, glaciers, ice fall, blue sheep, yaks, a monastery, stupa, rocks, and a glance of avalanches will make it like a paradise hiking.  You will arrive at the camp by 3 PM and then get free time with tea and a hot shower. 

The trek starts after breakfast. Make a short visit to the oldest monastery by the side of the trail and then keep walking along the legendary way with full panoramic views of the mountain. The trail is easy to inflate along the Sama Valley, Himalayan pine, birch, bamboo, rhododendron, and fir forest making nature a wonderful sight. You will arrive at Samdo by lunch time and make some hours of climbing up to Samdo ri for better acclimatization. Getting at higher and sleeping at lower places should be applied. Samdo provides very simple lodges than Samagaun however you get very good and fine sleeping rooms. 

Your trek begins after lunch. The destination is not far but due to the altitude, it takes a longer time. The trail climbs gradually up head with fantastic views of Manaslu north, Larke Peak, Samdo Peak, etc….. Food and rooms in Dharmasala are very simple and basic standards, sometimes we must sleep in a dormitory room with several other people. You arrive at the camp by lunch and again make a hiking up to the Dharmasala ri for height gain.

You have to start your trek around 3:00 AM due to the wind. If you arrive late at the pass then it is very windy so most of the trekkers begin earlier. The trail is not strongly steep but gradually upwards and very long to the pass. After the pass, it descends to the Manang Valley with mind-blowing views of different mountains. It is quite an enjoyable trail to descend however takes a very long time to get to Bhimtang. The destination seems closer however it is quite long and tough walking until you arrive at the place. The hotel offers a very nice and clean room with a very comfortable warm dining hall.

Today the scenery and landscape are also quite beautiful, this valley or trekking reminds you of the European Alps trekking except for the high mountain views. The trail descends always downwards to the beautiful place via beautiful landscape and Tibetan-looking villages to the Dharapani.  Dharapani is a point you meet for the legendary Annapurna Circuit trail. Overnight at very nice hotels with fantastic hot showers and food.

Take a local jeep from Dharapani to Besisahar and then drive back to Kathmandu by private vehicle along to classic road to Pokhara.

Route Map
Tsum Valley Manaslu Circuit Trek - 23 Days map
Useful Info

Tsum valley Manaslu Circuit Trek Permit Details:

1. Manaslu Restricted Permit Fee: 

Manaslu trek permit from September to November (autumn) will cost USD 100 for the first seven days and USD 15 for each additional days Manaslu trek permit from December to August (winter, spring, and summer) will cost USD 75 for the first seven days and USD 10 for each additional days

2. Manaslu Conservation Area Permit Fee:

MCAP Entry Fee for SAARC: NRs.1000 per person
MCAP Entry Fee for other nationals: NRs. 3000 per person

3. Annapurna Conservation Area Permit Fee (ACAP):

ACAP Entry Fee for SAARC: NRs. 1000 per person
ACAP Entry Fee for other nationals: NRs. 3000 per person

If you choose Tsum Valley as a side-trip, then you need to add one more permits – Tsum Valley permit. It will cost USD 40 per person for one week.

Whereas, you can also continue Annapurna Circuit Trek or Annapurna base camp route. You need to apply for the TIMS card. It will cost USD 30 per person.

Manaslu Trekking Permits Terms and Conditions:

  • For children under 10 years of age, no need to apply for permits
  • Trekkers need permits for MCAP and ACAP
  • An entry permit is non-refundable as well as non-transferable and valid for the single entry only
  • The person entering the Conservation Area shall abide by the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act, 2029 B.S. (1973) and the Regulations made under this Act
  • Entry Permits will not be issued from any check posts along the trekking routes of the Conservation Areas. It is only available from Kathmandu and Pokhara tourism board office
  • Entry permits must be carried during the entire trek and should be shown in checkpoint
  • Above Manaslu trek, permit cost include 13% Value Added Tax (VAT) and all other government taxes
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