Tsum valley trekking is a sacred Himalayan pilgrimage trekking in Manaslu region. Tsum valley trekking starts at Arughat after a day bus journey from Kathmandu. Arughat is connected to Kathmandu through Gorkha bazaar, Trisuli bazaar and Dhading bensi. Trisuli to Arughat has no motorable road, but there are seasonal road connections from Gorkha bazaar and Dhading bensi to Arughat.
The trail follows the winding Budhigandaki River. It takes a week to reach the Tsum valley from Arughat on foot. The flat elevated valley provides magnificent vistas of the Ganesh Himal (7422m), Sringi Himal (7187m), Himalchuli (7895m) & Baudha Himal (6672m) peaks. The trail to Ngula Dhojhyang is the main trail into the valley and is part of the larger Kyimo Lung (Beyul Kyimulung) circuit, which circles the Sringi Himal along the Nepal/Tibet Boarder. The trail of Ngula Dhojhyang is also the main trail to Rachen gumba & Mu gumba, making it a popular pilgrimage trail.
The Tsum Valley has a long history of Buddhism. The Buddhist saint Milerepa is believed to have meditated in the caves of these mountains. Traditionally, the 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 & 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 trekking has two routes - one passing through Chumchet and the other from Lokpa. Both routes involve steep ascents of over 1500m from the valley floor. The valley is uniquely rich in wild life, especially in Ghoral & Thar which congregate in herds of 50 – 200. Hunting is not permitted in the Tsum valley. The valley also has some unique and historic monasteries including Rachen gumba & Mu gumba, which lie on a pretty plateau nestled in the lap of the valley. Lungdang Gompa is situated at the base of a conical hill against the main slope of Ganesh Himal.
Tsum comes from the Tibetan word ‘Tsombo’, which means vivid. Against the majestic backdrop of the Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal & Boudha Himal ranges, the serene Himalayan Tsum valley is rich in ancient art, culture and religion. The local people are mostly of Tibetan origin and speak a unique dialect. Trails are strewn with artistic chortens lined with Mani walls made of thousands of stone slabs carved with drawings of deities inscribed with prayers. The famous Kyimo Lung a pilgrimage circuit in the central Trans-Himalaya is well-known for learning and meditation.
Below is Tsum valley trekking itinerary and for customized trekking itinerary for Tsum valley, cost deals, latest up to date Tsum valley trekking information and Tsum valley trekking guide, talk to a team of trekking guide and tour leader.
Day 1: Kathmandu to Arughant (608m)
Drive by bus to Arughat takes 8 hours and overnight sleep there.
Day 2: Arughat –Lapubesi (885m)
4/5 hours ride on jeep to Sotikhola then hike to Lapubesi.
Day 3: Lapubesi -Tatopani (990m)
6 -7 hrs trek to Tatopani means hot spring.
Day 4: Tatopani – Philim (1570m)
6 - 7 hrs trek on foot.
Day 5: Philim – Lokpa (2240m)
6 hrs trek on foot along the Budhigandaki till the trail junction before the bridge over this river, and you will branch to right hand side for Tsum Valley Trek!
Day 6: Lokpa – Chumling (2346m)
6 hrs treks on foot, 60% strenuous steep uphill along the Shiar khola and narrow gorge with dense forest.
Day 7: Chumling -Chhekam (3031m)
5/6 hrs trek to Chhekam, about 50% last part of the trail strenuous steep up hill.
Day 8: Visit the Gumba of Chhekam.
Excursion day of Chhekam.
Day 9: Chhekam – Rachen Gumba (3240m)
3/4 hrs gentle trek climb along the west bank of Shiar khola and beautiful wheat fields to Rachen Gumba.
Day 10: Exploring day.
You may visit to a famous Milarepa cave, called Piren phu, where there is Milarepa’s foot print can be seen.
Day 11: Rachen Gumba –Mu Gumba (3700m)
5 hours trek on foot, a pleasant walk along the Shiar khola, and both side high mountain views of Ganesh Himalayan range to the east and Sringi Himalayan rage to the west.
Day 12: Exploration day of Tsum Valley.
Around Mu Gompa, there are many options to do, you can visit to Dephyudoma gompa to the Tibet border, but for that you need to bring tents to sleep and foods etc.
Day 13: Mu Gumba – Chhekam (3031m)
5 hrs trek on foot to Chhekam.
Day 14: Chhekam – Chumling (2346m)
5 hours trek on foot, there is a another trail via Ripchet village a beautiful forest trail to Lokpa directly a long day, but it does not recommend to take this route, there are more than 4 wooden bridges you have cross, and two of them are extremely scary! Too high above the deep gorge, and most of the woods are getting loose. So in case if you want to take this trail, make sure before you go there are strong new bridges or not.
Day 15: Chumling – Lokpa (2240m)
We trek 5 hours on foot to Lokpa.
Day 16: Lokpa– Jagat (1340m)
We trek 5 hours on foot to Jagat.
Day 17: Jagat – Machhikhola (869m)
We trek 5/6 hours trek on foot to Machhikhola.
Day 18: Machhi Khola – Soti Khola (700m) – Arughat bazzar (608m)
We trek 5/6 hours, and then you may hike till Sotikhola, then can have a jeep and drive to Arughat.
Day 19: Arughat – Kathmandu (1300m)
8 hours bus drive to Kathmandu.
Tsum Valley Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
We will meet and greet you at the airport on arrival to Nepal and transfer to your hotel. Welcome drinks will be served and over night at your hotel.
Day 2: Kathmandu to Arughat Bazaar (8/9 hours)
We take an 8-9 hrs bus ride to Arughat Bazaar in Gorkha district. The village of Arughat is in two parts, on opposite sides of the Buri Gandaki. Arughat Bazaar is large, clean and prosperous with hotels and shops selling cloth, food and hardware.
Day 3: Arughat to Soti Khola (6-7 hours)
From Arughat Bazar we trek to Soti Khola. Along the way we enjoy splendid views of Shringri Himal. We trek through Gurung and Magar villages, past fields and cascading waterfalls, till we reach Soti Khola.We set up camp on the banks of the Soti Khola(‘khola means river in Nepali).
Day 4: Soti Khola to Machha Khola (6-7 hours)
We trek from Soti Khola to Machha khola (Fish river). Machha khola is a village situated above a stream with the same name. We camp for the night by a wide campsite.
Day 5: Machha Khola to Doban (6-7 hours)
The trail from Macha Khola to Doban involves some steep ascents and descents. We climb a well – crafted staircase over a ridge to Doban. Doban lies at the confluence of the Shiar Khola, which flows from the east, and the Sarpu khola, which flows from the west.
Day 6: Doban to Philim (6 hours)
The route climbs ona rugged rocky trail. We climb up and down ravines and notched trees. We get good views of Sringri himal as we continue up to the village of Philim at 1550m.This is a large Gurung village with fields of corn and millet. There are several good campsites and we set up camp surrounded by alder, blue pine and poplar trees.
Day 7: Philim to Chumling (7 hours)
We take the trail up through Philim and head up over a ridge that leads to Ganesh Himal Base camp and Chumling( Lower Tsum). We camp for the night at Chumling. There are several good campsites at Chumling.
Day 8: Chumling to Chhokangpar (5-6 hours)
From Chumling we trek to Chhokangparo. Upper Tsum valley (part of the Inner Himalaya) open from Chhokangparo.Chhekamparo is a village situated on flat land and made up of two settlements Chhekam and Paro. From the valley, the Ganesh Himal range can be seen directly to the south where it provides spectacular views of the Baudha and Himal chuli peaks to the south-west. Some households in this village practice polyandry.
Day 9: Chhokangparo to Nile/Chhule, visit Milarepa Piren Phu Cave on the way (6-7 hours)
From Chhokangparo we trek to Nile/ Chulle. This is the last village heading north in the upper Tsum Valley. Nile is on the western, sun-side of the Shiar Khola, about 20 minutes walk across from Chhule.
On the way we pass the Piren Phu cave. Piren Phu (pigeon cave) is one of the most sacred caves in the Tsum valley. It is located at the foot of a rugged cliff near the village of Burji. Milarepa, the famous Tibetan saint, was believed to have meditated here. There are two separate gumbas attached to the rocky cave. Richly painted Buddhist murals, excellent artistic scripts carved on stones, long prayer flags and significant Buddhists paper scripts make this cave one of the most important socio-cultural asset in the valley. Beautiful views can be had of the Shiar Khola, Rachen Gumba, the mountains and settlements amidst vast agricultural land.
Day 10: Nile/Chhule to Mu Gompa (3700 m), visit Dhephyudonma Gompa (4060 m, 4 hours)
From Nile the trail gradually ascends to Mu gumba, the largest monastery in the region. Mu Gumba is located at the highest and farthest point in the Tsum valley. Mu Gumba was established in 1895 AD and is situated at an altitude of 3510m.The monastery houses religious books, including Kangyur, a life sized statue of Avalokiteshwara, and images of Guru Padmasambhava and Tara.
Dephyudonma Gumba is one of the oldest monasteries in the Tsum Valley and is situated in the rugged mountains, a 2 hr walk from the village of Chhule and Nile. The history of this monastery is directly associated with the dawn of Buddhism in the valley. The monastery is run by Lama Serap of Nile Ladrang from the Kangin sect. There are a few campsites and dinking water facilities.
Day 11: Extra day for excursion
We take a hike up Mu Gumba and reach the base of Pika Himal (4865m).We are quite close to Tibet and get a good view of the Tibetan peaks as well as the Ganesh Himal range. After the day excursion we return to our camp at Mu gumba.
Day 12: Mu Gompa to Rachen Gompa (5 hours)
From Mu Gumba we take the trail to Rachen Gumba, a nunnery. The nunnery is situated in the Shiar Khola Valley in the foothills of the mountains bordering Nepal and Tibet. Rachen Gumba was established in the year 1905 AD and is one of the largest nunneries in the Tsum valley. It houses nuns belonging to the Ngak-pa sect, which does not allow animal slaughter. The nunnery houses one thousand clay, moulded statues of Avalokiteshwara, a brightly colored, carved throne and pillar, and a large prayer wheel. The interior is richly painted with murals about Buddhism and its history.
Day 13: Rachen Gompa to Dumje (6-7 hours)
From Rachen Gompa we proceed towards Dumje, a small village with about eight houses and adjoining cattle shed.
Day 14: Dumje to Philim (6-7 hours)
From Dumje we trek to Philim and cross Ripchet. On the way we pass one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Lower Tsum Valley, Samba Tingding Chhupyang.
Day 15: Philim to Tatopani (6-7 hours)
From Phillim we trek to Tatopani. There is a hot spring at Tatopani. You can relieve your tired muscles by soaking yourself in the hot spring.
Day 16: Tatopani to Soti Khola (6-7 hours)
From Tatopani we trek to Soti Khola. We pass through terraced fields and tropical waterfalls and finally set up camp at the village.
Day 17: Soti Khola to Arughat Bazar (6-7 hours)
As we make our way from Soti Khola to Arughat Bazar, we come to the last leg of our journey.
Day 18: Arughat Bazar to Kathmandu (8-9 hours)
We drive to Kathmandu; it takes 8/9 hours.
Day 19: Kathmandu Airport
Transfer to Kathmandu airport at least 3 hours earlier than the schedule flight time.