Almost all of us have seen Ganesh Himal to the North of Kathmandu, but we may not have even imagined there is a beautiful valley beyond the Ganesh Himal. Yes, a beautiful valley named Tsum Valley lies there, beyond the Great Himalaya, to the North of Gorkha, surrounded by Tibet from three sides.
Tsum Valley carries a history of ancient Himalayan civilizations with mind blowing natural beauty. One will be pleased to explore the culture, art, tradition, religion, customs depicted in the way of living of people there. It is surrounded by Sringi Peak to the North, Ganesh peak to the South and, Boudha and Himalchuli Peak to the West.
People of Tsum Valley are called “Tsumba” or “Chumba“. The people are mostly of Tibetan origin and follow Buddhism. They speak unique dialect.
Yarsagumba (a Himalayan Herbal Viagra) is a good source of income for people here. And Tibet is a nearby places for trade. It takes one day to reach Tibet crossing 5000 meters altitude. But it will take a week to reach the nearby Nepali town like Gorkha or Dhading. So people prefer Tibet for their trade and shopping.
Tourism is in rise here. New Hotel and Lodge are being constructed.
One of the eight Sacred Valleys
Tsum is one of the eight sacred valleys (also called Beyuls) in the inner Himalayas. Legend says Padmasambhava created these sacred valleys (Beyuls) in the 8th century as a refuge for people at the time of war, famine or religious persecution.
And also it is believed that Buddhist saint Milarewa had meditated in the caves in Tsum Valley.
Since 100 years, they have not killed animals for meat. For purpose of meat people use naturally dead animals.
Mani walls, Chortens (Stupa) and Kannis ( gateway Chortens) and Monasteries:
In the entry point of each village, one has to walk through a gateway .These gateway are called Kannis. As you enter the valley and around Chortens, you will encounter various long walls made of mantra carved stones. These stones are called Mani stones and the walls are called Mani walls.
And also there are many artistic Chortens in the valley. Chortens, also known as stupas, are Buddhist religious monuments. These are erected to get rid of evil spirits or to commemorate the visit or death of lama or historic figure or even relatives.
Some of the historic monasteries are Rachen Gumba, Mu Gumba and Gumba Lungdang.
Tsum Valley lies at the altitude of 3700 meters in the Manasulu Trekking Trails. And the trekking starts from Arughat Bazar along the Budi Gandaki river. Arughat Bazar lies in the border of Dhading and Gorkha District. Normally, it takes 6 days to reach the Tsum Valley from Arughat.