It seems like time seems to have frozen in Tsum Valley. 

A picturesque view of Tsum Valley with a magnificent Manaslu on the backdrop
Tsum valley lies in the northern Gorkha. This hidden valley is surrounded by Baudha Himal and Himal Chuli on the west, Ganesh Himal on the south and Sringi Himal on the north. The valley is still untouched from the touch of modernity, keeping its ancient feel alive within.

The name is derived from the Tibetan word ‘Tsombo’ and it means bright and vivid. Therefore, the valley is also known as the “Classic Valley of Happiness”. Traditionally, Tsum valley comprised of culturally, a distinct geographical area called ‘Tsum Tso Chuksums’, which means thirteen provinces ruled as a single territory. The valley possesses many Buddhist tales surrounding its past. A Buddhist saint Milarepa is believed to have meditated in the hills adjacent to the caves. Tsum valley has preserved steps of the excellent Buddhist Yogi Chyuchin Milarepa and has a tale about the circumambulation of Guru Padmasambhava.

 Trekking in the Tsum Valley
Trek to the valley starts from Arughat in the Gorkha district, which is easily available from Kathmandu. By bus or in a private vehicle you can easily reach. A stroll through the wild yet pristine vicinity along the river Budi Gandaki opens up to the valley endowed with views of Ganesh Himal and the surrounding hills. The altitude in Tsum valley trek varies from 1905 m in Lhokpa to over 5093 on the Tibetan border at Ngala Dhojhyang Pass. Several Gompas (Buddhist monasteries), Mani walls, Chortens, drawings of deities provide a glimpse of ancient relics. The valley that spreads over the 1663sq km area is bounded by high passes like the Ngala Dhoj Hyang (5093m) and Yamdro Pass (5326m). Trekking in the Tsum Valley Trek is remote area trekking therefore, you cannot expect to have luxury accommodation or even a guest house type of accommodation. Likewise, it is same for the food. People who love exploring the wilderness in its intact form, trekking in the Tsum valley is the best to be at. Every year few numbers of trekkers make their way to Tsum Valley thus trail most of the year during trekking season or Offseason, the trail is relatively empty compared to the Everest range and Annapurna range. However, trekkers will get to meet the locals as well as cattle of cows, mule or donkeys. They will keep a good company during the trek. 

Mule crossing the river during dry season across Budi Gandaki carrying goods.

Nature and culture of Tsum valley

Local people of the valley who are mostly of Tibetan origin, practice Bon religion. They have their own dialects, culture, tradition, customs, and ways of doing things. In a way, their culture and tradition is a contrast from other parts of Nepal. When visitors make their way to Tsum valley they are welcome with traditional Tibetan butter tea and local meal. Moreover, Polygamy is still relevant in the Tsum valley and it is fine in their culture. Colorful festivals like Lhosar, Dhacyhang, Saka Dawa, Fanning, and others are celebrated in Tsum Valley. The local inhabitants of Tsum valley are called ‘Tsumbas’. Locals claim that they have seen or found the signs of Yeti. However, this is still not proved to true or false. 

 Beautiful village of Samdo, Tsum Valley

Despite the serene beauty and unspoiled culture, Tsum valley is yet to reap the benefits of tourism. Not many people make their way to Tsum valley. Tsum valley is the perfect destination in Nepal for those who cherish to do remote area trekking without going far-flung places from Kathmandu. The two village development committees in the valley, chumchet (lower Tsum) and Chhekampar (upper Tsum) are the most remote in the entire Gorkha district. The valley used to be a restricted area. It was opened for group trekking recently. With the increasing popularity of the Manaslu circuit, trekkers are slowly knowing about the prosperous beauty of Tsum Valley.